Interview with guitarist Libor, Symphonity (August 2nd 2008)

Kenn - I am pretty sure most of our readers do not know your background, so could you start by telling us a bit about you and your musical background…

Libor: The band released the debut album "Goddess of Revenge" in 2003 thanks to Italian label Underground Symphony. It was also licensed in Japan by "Hot Rockin'” label. In these times the name of the band was NEMESIS. During the composing and recording the new material we were forced to change the line-up as well as the band name. The brand new album “Voice from the Silence” will be released on 15 august 2008 via LIMB Music. Musically, I would say that the style of the band is influenced by the three elements - European power metal, classical music and various kind of music with strong melodies.

Kenn – The album will be out in little less than a month, what kind of expectations do you have for it?

Libor: In the past there were not so many (maybe none) bands from former Czechoslovakia established on international Heavy Metal Scene. We would like to change it and spread our music to the minds of heavy metal fans all around the world.

Kenn – I ‘label’ your music as Symphonic Epic Power Metal; how far off the target do you think that is? And what would you tell a total stranger, if he asks what kind of metal you play?

Libor: You are not so far from true, but personally I rather describe our music as the “melodic metal” only because this label gives us more freedom. I mean SYMPHONITY is for fans of strong melodies, powerful riffs, fast double-bass drums and high vocals but you can find more progressive and neoclassical elements too. From time to time we go for inspiration to the other music styles since we are not exactly true “Symphonic Epic Power Metal” band. For example, on the new album you can find one AOR-like song or cover version of the well known European pop hit. Another thing different from most of the bands in the symphonic rank are our lyrics which are not full of dragons and dwarfs stuff.

Kenn - “’Voice from the Silence’ – is that referring to the 3 part epic song “The Silence”? And is there a deeper meaning behind the title? 

Libor: The first and third part is basically an intro and outro around the main song called “In Silence Forsaken”. This long epic composition takes about ten minutes, so we split it and made some kind of trilogy.The song contains a typical “feelings like lyrics and the meaning behind that particular track is that a silence would most of the times help us to recognise the situation we are in, make the right decision, find ourselves etc. The word „Silence“ appears also in the title of the whole album, but it is rather a pun. You can interpret it for example that for a longer time nobody could hear about us -:). 

Kenn – Olaf Hayer is doing the vocals on the album, was he hired just for this album, or will he be a regular member of the band in the years to come?

Libor: Olaf is the regular member now. I’m very proud that we have such an excellent vocalist. Moreover, we are on the same wavelength regarding the musical taste as well as the human element. Oh, and one more thing - Czechs and Germans like beer very much ;-)

Kenn – How do you feel if people are comparing you do band like Rhapsody of Fire, Sonata Arctica or Stratovarius?

Libor: On the one side it is a compliment for us but on the other side we should find our own way. At the beginning of the carrier all mentioned bands (maybe except Rhapsody) were also compared to their idols in reviews but after some time they found their own face. They still play power metal but everyone “his own”. And this is good.

Kenn – You produced the album and Sascha Paeth has done the mix, and the outcome is top notch. How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?

Libor: During the recordings and mixing we cooperated with famous people like Dennis Ward or Sascha Paeth. It was great experience for us and we are very satisfied with the final result. Of course we had to do some compromises and here and there something would be possible to make better but overall I hope we are bringing a quality material with a competitive sound to fans.

Kenn – The hidden track; the cover-version of Nena’s ‘Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann’, who came up with that idea, and why isn’t the song listed on the track list?

Libor: I really like metal covers of pop songs and if I remember well we talked about this song with guys from band somewhere in a pub and they agreed. In this song you can hear the special guest Herbie Langhans (Seventh Avenue) on vocals. Later Limb came with the idea to put the track on CD as hidden and we like this idea. It is something special and surprising for fans at the end of the album.

Kenn - Tell us a bit about artwork… to me it seems very classic power metal like…

Libor: Ha-ha. I already heard the opinions that it has nothing to do with a classic metal artworkJ  we asked Derek Gores because he made great artworks for bands like KAMELOT or DIONYSUS etc. Derek is a nice guy and the collaboration with him was absolutely trouble-free. I think he made a dignified cover for our  album.

Kenn - Symphonity – any special story behind your name, and you changed your name from Nemesis - why?

Libor: Bands called Nemesis are or were perhaps in every country and we had a lot of problems with this name. Before we sign with Limb we had to make a decision and we changed the name to Symphonity. I think it is better for fans because now they can find all information about us very easily.

Kenn - What’s the ambition for the band on a longer term?

Libor: be rich and famous?:-)....No, seriously. Of course it would be nice to address the people by our music and gain some position in the international metal scene, but I know that it is not so easy in the current oversaturated market. First of all I need to be satisfied with the music we compose myself!

Kenn - What are the best and worst trends in metal today?

Libor: Definitely too many bands in the genre. It is very hard to keep an overview about metal scene even in the melodic rank. Sometimes I have a feeling that there are much more musicians than fans ;-). On the other hand I accept that everyone has a right to try the wheel of fortune.

Kenn – You are told that you are going to take part in an experiment where you have to live seclude for a month, and are allowed to take either 5 books or 5 albums with you. What do you choose and what would you have taken along with you and why?

Libor: Definitely five albums! It would probably take some time to choose which ones, but I don’t read any books.

Kenn - Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?

Libor: Thank you for the interview and we wish all the readers a lot of good music in the future. Stay Metal!

Interviewed by Kenn Jensen.

Symphonity - Voice from the Silence

Album available on Limb Music Products.

For more info on Symphonity - click on the album cover.