sábado, 9 de maio de 2015

Interview: Stream of Passion - Winning Battles

Featuring the talents of Mexican singer Marcela Bovio, who was revealed to the public by the Dutch genius Arjen Lucassen, specifically on the album "The Human Equation" (from his best-known project, Ayreon, ) Stream of Passion initially had Arjen himself in their line-up, it is a band with a musicality above average, and that has been growing album after album, not being afraid to experiment, giving to it a personality and is virtually impossible to give to the bannd a musical label, and the group pleases many public within the Metal scene, combining various elements such as the progressive, symphonic, classical music and jazz.  (portuguese version HERE)

We talked with Marcela Bovio during a stop in the joint tour with The Gentle Storm, Arjen and Annekes's new band, to know a little more of their latest album, which was released by a crowdfunding, the tour and the participation in the stage line-up of The Gentle Storm, a little of history and more! Check it out.

RtM: Your latest  (and amazing) album, "A War of Our Own," was released by crowdfunding system, and many bands are using this system. Do you think this may be a trend that indicates a new way for the bands? What was your expectation when launching this campaign and what was your reaction about the results obtained?
Marcela Bovio: I think it’s definitely a system that will become more and more important for bands in the future. It’s not for everyone, as you require an established fan base to back you up. But for us it turned out to be the best idea ever! We were of course hoping that our fans would contribute enough to make the album happen, but none of us expected it would go so well and so fast! The whole experience gave us a huge emotional boost, and a lot of energy to finish up the album.

RtM: And for a next release? Do You think to use the same system? Or all depends, if there is an interesting proposal from a  label?
Marcela: Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. Crowdfunding wasn’t just about the money, but about creating a sense of community among our fans; and I think we definitely succeded. The advantage with a label is that they take care of a lot of the administrative and less musical part of the work; then again, being indie means we get to make all the decisions about promoting and marketing the album... We’ll see!!

RtM: And about "A War of Our Own," could you tell us about the concept behind the title?
Marcela: All the songs on the album are inspired on different kinds of battles: our struggle as a band to make it as an independent artist, the struggle of Mexico as a country due to the social problems and drug wars, the struggle of friends and family against diseases like cancer or depression... We thought “A war of our own” was a title that encapsulated all these situations very well.

RtM: Already one year after the album's release, can you now measure the acceptance of the fans and what the songs more fell into the public's liking?
Marcela: It’s very varied, really! But I think one of the favorites is “Don’t let go”; it’s also one of my favorites .

RtM: And what's your feeling about the album? You can say it is the best and most mature band’s album?
Marcela: Oh definitely. We’ve dared to do so much more on this album; we expanded our horizons and tried to incorporate even more progressive influences into it, something that makes me really happy.

RtM: By your Mexican nationality, I see that you get a lot of contacts and affection of the Mexican fans as well as Latin American countries, including having fan groups on Facebook in Brazil. Do you feel that Latino fans have a greater passion for music? there is a difference between public of America and Europe? And you know where they are concentrated the largest number of fans?
Marcela: I think us Latin blooded people are more tend to be driven by passion, yes. It doesn’t mean the European audiences are less emotional! But they express it differently. We like to let it out, to let it show! And I think that’s why we respond to music like that.

RtM: Andy you write many lyrics in Spanish, what is very nice, and, i believe, is more easy to you to express yourself using your mother tongue. And the mexican and latin fans love it!
Marcela: Yes! I love writing in Spanish, it allows me to say things I can’t say on any other language.

RtM: Remind us how were the first contacts with Arjen Lucassen, which later culminated in the birth of the Stream of Passion.
Marcela: Back in 2003 he was working on one of his Ayreon rock opera’s, “The Human Equation”. He made a contest through his website to give an unknown singer the chance to play one of the parts. I was still living in Mexico, a good friend of mine told me about this and convinced me to send him one of my CDs. So I did, and to my surprise he chose me for the part. I ended up coming to Holland to record at his studio, it was an amazing experience! And a few years later I ended up moving here, with a full-blown band and everything. Life takes strange turns sometimes!

Marcela on stage with Arjen and Anneke at  The Gentle Storm's Release Party
RtM: It must have been very good to share the stage again with Arjen, since he does not performs live more, only very rarely in some promotional events. Tell us a bit for us about this very special day, "Release Show" of the Gentle Storm’s CD, which was attended by Arjen.
Marcela: It was very exciting, not only because of Arjen being there but because it was the first time that we performed with The Gentle Storm as a band. So everyone was a little bit nervous, but everything turned out so well! The band is amazing, so the songs sounded incredible. To me being on stage with Anneke was a dream come true, and to play with Arjen again was a real treat. He kept telling us he constantly had goosebumps during our performances, such a compliment!

RtM: Speaking of Gentle Storm, Stream Of Passion will be playing alongside the band in several shows, including you and Johan also part of the Gentle Storm’s live line up. As well as shows that will certainly be very special, also you will have a lot of work! Tell us about your expectations of this tour, and I believe that may have some surprises, like some jams.
Marcela: Jams? Haven’t thought about that, good one! Haha! Yes, for Johan and me it will mean a lot of hard work. It’s not only playing with both bands, but also setting up the stage twice, doing two soundchecks and basically being busy the whole day. We love it, tho! I’d do it for months if I could!

RtM: The bands with female members today are something common and growing every day, with the stage being quite different from years ago when Rock and Metal was practically an environment dominated by men. How do you see the participation of the women today in that scene, and if there is still some kind of discrimination and in what things there needs to be na evolution yet?
Marcela: I think women are a lot more accepted in the metal world nowadays. You see a lot of women making heavy music, it’s not a surprise anymore which is great! If anything I think we really need to get rid of the “female fronted metal” label, it doesn’t say anything about the music a band makes at all!

RtM: And what do you think about the label "Female Fronted Metal", commonly used today for bands that have female singers? It's something more positive than negative?
Marcela: Haha, I got ahead of this question I see!

RtM: Ha ha ha! Yeah! Loud and clear! Well, and regarding your inspirations or influences as a singer? Who musicians or singers would you cite?
Marcela: Anneke is definitely one of my influences. I was also deeply influenced by ex The 3rd and the Mortal singers Kari Rueslatten and Ann-Mari Edvardsen; I love that band! Being classically trained I also carry some operatic influences, even tho I don’t use that kind of voice that often with the band.

RtM: And tell for us on how you started in the music world, who were your main supporters? And your decision to go to Holland? What are the main reasons you see why it's harder to keep a band in countries like Brazil or Mexico than in Europe?
Marcela: My first big influence was my godfather. He was the director of the conservatorium in Monterrey, my native city; he recommended my parents to put my sister and me on music school from  a very young age. So from the age of 5 I was already learning music and singing, and music has been a part of my life ever since.

After starting Stream of Passion and deciding to make a full time band of it, it made more sense for me to move to Holland, as the whole band was Dutch; this way we could do a lot more things than just the eventual tour! There are a lot of factors why keeping a band in Europe is easier than in Mexico, but a big one is I think that (at least in Holland) there’s much more government support for the arts than in Mexico for instance. It’s getting less and less, but there’s still lots of venues and youth centers that motivate young people to make music and perform; there are a few more doors you can knock on.

RtM: Marcela, muchas gracias por su atención, esperamos ver te pronto aquí en Brasil y América der Sur!!
Marcela: Obrigada, Carlos! I wish with all my heart we get the chance to visit you soon! xx

Interview: Carlos Garcia
Photos: Stream of Passion's archives

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