Estonian female fronted metal band, Emphasis, have returned with “Revival”… the album has been getting such awesome reviews that Pest Webzine thought it would be great to chat with the band… bassist Katya answered all our questions! Read on…
The band formed in 2010. How did you get together? Was it easy finding the right musicians?
Katya: It was quite a hard process, but we’ve been through this. The music of Emphasis is complexly structured, that’s why we were looking for skilled musicians from the beginning. Twice we have seen significant changes in the line-up, but I believe that, currently, we have the right people.
Female fronted metal band from Estonia… not very common! Usually Emphasis appeals to fans of which bands?
Katya: As time shows, our music is appreciated by fans of symphonic metal, old school progressive metal and female fronted melodic metal as well (Within Temptation, Epica, Nightwish, After forever). Also I saw some guys in Slayer T-shirts buying our album.
The Emphasis logo seems to be quite “feminine” and not so metal… does it have anything to do with the fact that the band has 2 female members?
Katya: We haven’t ever planned to look like typical “feminine” band. Our logo is just author’s work of Russian artist Anna Chainikova from Moscow. We love it ?
In 2013 and 2014 you released 3 singles. Why? Was it to keep the fans interested and motivated?
Katya: To be honest we just had to release something during the hard and long process of working on our debut album. I think, that’s the only reason.
“Revival” is the first full-length and it has been getting awesome reviews but how is it being received by the underground scene/fans so far?
Katya: We got a lot of positive feedback from our fans and friends around the world. In Estonia we have played this material long before the release date. For local people almost all the songs from the LP were already quite familiar.
Does the title of the album have anything to do with the fact that the band had only released singles since 2013 and had no release in 2015 and it is like a return, coming back alive again?
Katya: Yes, it’s something like this. Actually we also released EP “Into Infinity” in 2012 with our previous vocalist. “Revival” is a kind of “The greatest hits” compilation. Ok, I’m kidding! Many songs were composed in different years of band activity.
What are the topics you deal with in the 9 tracks of “Revival”?
Katya: We don’t have distinct concept for “Revival”. All the songs are about humans and their emotions. As for the lyrics we had 4 different authors, including myself.
What’s your favourite track on the album? Why?
Katya: My favourite tracks are Emptiness and Death Itself. The first one is well structured. I love the arrangement. It’s actually one of the newest songs on this record. Death Itself is more “epic”. I love it! Anna’s voice sounds perfect on this track.
The cover of the album seems to be someone rising from the water or dancing with a water skirt. What’s the meaning of it?
Katya: It’s kind of reviving from the water. We saw the artwork first, then the name of the album was born. Anna joined us in 2013 and all the songs got a new birth with her voice. Why water? Estonia is a maritime country.
Most reviews have compared Anna’s vocals to Tarja Turunen’s. Is this a compliment or not at all?
Katya: In my childhood I was a big fan of Tarja. Her contribution into the global metal scene is priceless, but at the same time there’s a lot of female singers who use the same technique in their vocals. I believe, it’s a compliment, but Anna has her own individuality.
It seems a negative aspect of the album is the fact that the vocal lines don’t have much variety… do you take these reviews in consideration and think you’ll worker harder next time around on these negative aspects?
Katya: It’s only criticism and we take it easy. For sure we’ll do our best on next record. By the way, we have already started working on it ?
The band seems to play quite a few shows… is that the best part of being in a band? What’s the best gig you’ve played? And the worst?
Katya: For sure the live show is one of the best parts of being in the band, if you have enough crowd at least, if you’re not playing into a „black hole“. The best gigs we have done took place in Latvia and Estonia during our Baltic/Finnish tour in 2013, and the worst one was in Pärnu in front of 6 people - soundman, our friend and 4 guys from another band.
The band is signed to Underground Symphony. How are things working out?
Katya: They sell our album via their channels and provide some promotional support for the band.
Would you like to sign contract with a bigger label if the opportunity came up? If so, is there a label you appreciate and wouldn’t mind working with?
Katya: I believe every musician dreams about it. Of course, such huge names as Napalm Records, Century Media and Nuclear Blast sound great. But everything depends on the conditions that labels offer the bands. It’s hard to give a straight response.
What band(s) have inspired you?
Katya: Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Evergrey, Opeth, for example. I also love Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Soilwork and Heart of a Coward. Actually, each of us prefer different genres, but that’s exactly what brought us together.
Have you ever considered doing a cover of another band? If so, which song/band would you like to cover?
Katya: We’ve already covered After Forever. Check this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOjPh5r4Ftk
For me It would be also great to play any song of Evergrey.
Share a message with Pest Webzine’s readers please.
Katya: Keep metal and support underground!
Interview by Sonia Fonseca