Asylum Pyre just released their newest cd called Fifty Years Later. A lot of things have changed since their last record, they have a new lead singer named Chaoss Heidi and they seem to be making a lot of waves with metal fans and touring with Doro as of late. Well what a good opportunity to interview this new lead singer and seeing if she can hang with Wicked Channel, most importantly James DePaolo. Have fun and happy new years to all of you. If you read this interview and want to know more about this band and the cd check outÂ http://www.asylumpyre.com/
1.What was your first musical memory or song that made you think you would want to pursuit music and be in a band?
Honestly I donâ€™t remember one particular song that made me think thatâ€¦ I think I just should mention Iron Maiden because itâ€™s the heavy metal band that made me fond of metal! I discovered them when I was a teenager, and I was so impressed by Bruce Dickinsonâ€™s vocals. But the will to sing and to be in a band came later, as I was listening to Nightwish, Within Temptation or After Forever.
2.For people who may not be familiar with what Asylum Pyre is about, how would you describe your band and its sound?
Weâ€™re a heavy metal rooted band with many influences that give us this varied sound, which is not a lack of coherence as Iâ€™ve sometimes read, but really our trademark: we include symphonic, progressive, power, heavy metal in the same album, sometimes in the same song! As a singer I donâ€™t like to sing always the same way, so Asylum Pyreâ€™s music is perfect for me because I can express very different feelings and vocal technics, from rock to operatic, from soft to powerful, from head voice to belting or even gruntsâ€¦
3.Were you familiar with this band before you joined? And how did you get this break to be the lead singer after Carole left?
I knew the name and the music of the band before joining them but I hadnâ€™t met any of them before (neither I had seen them live). I had heard Carole had left and they were looking for a new singer. As I had just left a band at this time I contacted them to make an audition because I had this feeling Asylum Pyreâ€™s music could fit with my vocals and what kind of music I wanted to play. It seems I was the candidate they preferred, so here I am!
4.You know having you and Johann signing together, people are going to bring up Lacuna Coil and countless other metal bands that do the same. Are you fans of bands like this or do you think the comparisons are unfair?
I think youâ€™re the first one for now who brings up Lacuna Coil! I think we do this way with Johann because he has this need to sing some parts of the songs. Heâ€™s the one who write the lyrics and itâ€™s a very important thing for him, it often tells a story and has a deep meaning. He sometimes feels some parts of the songs have to be sung by another person, sometimes because thereâ€™s an exchange between two characters, sometimes to give a different color to a particular part of the lyricsâ€¦ We donâ€™t see the vocal duet as a style, like female vocals/male growls and so onâ€¦ So we canâ€™t tell weâ€™re fans of this particular kind of bands, like Lacuna Coil or others, and we donâ€™t try to do the same thing but I would say itâ€™s more a way to serve the best the meaning of the songs.
5. Let us be honest you are a very attractive young lady. Right now in music is this huge influx of women who seem to be using their looks or sex appeal to help their band get the word out or sell records. As a female do you find it insulting that magazines care more about how you look then what you sound like? And, do you think it is fair that people would think the same of Asylum Pyre?
First of all, how I sound and what music I play should always be the main fact and the more important thing. Then, letâ€™s be honest, music is also a business and the marketing part is about finding what sells the best! Itâ€™s not a secret good looking ladies help! We may disagree with that because music shouldnâ€™t have anything to do with pretty girls, but we have to admit itâ€™s how things goâ€¦ Even if thereâ€™s no chick in the band, the band sometimes put one on the cover of the album, because itâ€™s an attractive argument for the sales, heheâ€¦ I donâ€™t want to go too far into this. Iâ€™m not gonna make sexy photos and so onâ€¦ We may use my image as a singer to promote the band and if the fact some people may think Iâ€™m attractive make them buy the album, itâ€™s okay, but Iâ€™m not gonna try to play with that on purpose.
6. Has Nightwish contacted you about being the next singer in their revolving door of singers? The Gathering maybe?
You must be kidding me, but itâ€™s very kind of you! No, of course none of them contacted me and I seriously doubt they even know who I am!
7. Some people view being in a band as a job with a boss and you just do something and at the end of the day it is just like working at a bank or whatever, some people view being in a band as doing what you love with friends and making money. How do you view as being in Asylum Pyre?
Being in a band canâ€™t be compared to an ordinary job. But it can be compared to a real job because it is!! Thereâ€™s so much work to make a good album, to rehearse, to go on stageâ€¦ Sometimes people may think an artistâ€™s life is made of studio recordings and tours without measuring the sum of work these achievements are requiring before that. Asylum Pyre is a very demanding band because we want things to be very professional. We are convinced that being professional and consider the band as a little enterprise is part of the success of the band but we all have other jobs besides, so Asylum Pyre is like a second job, with friends and with very grateful retributions from fans.
8. Before playing live, do you get nervous? Have you ever been on stage and froze or freaked out? If so, how do you handle this? Have you ever forgotten the lyrics of a song?
Of course I am nervous! My main thought before going on stage is always to deliver the best show possibly, so I get some pressure! Thank god I never freaked out or froze (for now!!! I keep my fingers crossed!). Even if things donâ€™t go well on stage I always try not to show anything to the audience and to do my best. I remember a very important show in Paris where I was illâ€¦ I was pretty sure I couldnâ€™t hide defaults in my voice because I really wasnâ€™t well, but what could I do? No way to cancel the show! So I did it the best I could and finally things didnâ€™t go that bad and many fans came to us after the show, bought the CD, took photosâ€¦ and they didnâ€™t noticed I was ill! About the lyrics of the song I sometimes miss a word but I always managed to sing something else and then I go on singing as if it never happened!
9. What is the band s mission statement to fans?
I think it could be said in one single word : GIVE. We give them our music, we give them the best of us, we give them shows, we give them our energy, our time, our love! And most of the time they give us back the best retribution that can be for an artist: we can see how our music has touched them, how happy they are after a show, how we brought them into our universe and itâ€™s just magical!
( Can I make a personal note, when I interviewed the Agonist guitarist I had to explain to him about a mission statement was, and then he drew a blank. I am glad that some people understand what it means to deliver to the fans)
10. If you could tour with any musician or band alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Thereâ€™s dozens of bands we would be proud and honored to play withâ€¦ I would say the first one, above all, would be Iron Maiden because itâ€™s my favorite metal band ever, but Iâ€™m not sure it has any chance to happen! I would add After Forever because Floor Jansen is one my favorite female singer, but they split a few years ago, I suppose we would have to play with Revamp or Nightwish to have to opportunity to meet Floor now! I think we could add to this list all the bands we like and respect, I hope it will happen in the future! Weâ€™ve already been given the chance to play as opening act for DORO last December, who knows what could happen in the following months
(Tuomas Holopainen bro, you may want to bookmark this interview..hint hint)
11. We all know male group members get groupies. What about females, do you have groupies or guys that hit on you? If so, how do you handle it?
I donâ€™t know exactly if theyâ€™re â€œgroupiesâ€ or just regular fans, heheâ€¦ I havenâ€™t dealt with any dangerous, or rude, or weird fans yet, only kind personsâ€¦ Nothing really annoying or upsetting. Hope itâ€™s gonna remain that way!
12. Is America a goal with you guys? Do musicians still feel that America is the be all end all for music? I ask this because trust me American bands view overseas now as the be all end all for music, I did not know how the other side felt.
I feel so few bands from Europe go to America that it looks like an unreachable goal actually! But if we are given the opportunity to go in America and play there, it would be great!
13.The new cd is called Fifty Years Later. So where do you see yourself fifty years from now, you will be what 66,67?
Iâ€™m afraid Iâ€™ll be quite old fifty years later from now! I hope Iâ€™ll still be healthy and able to make musicâ€¦ unless the Humans destroyed themselves and the Earth disappeared, of course, hehe!!!
14. Playing Caroleâ€™s stuff live, are you a fan of stuff like that? You know playing someone else s songs live or cover songs or do you prefer just to sing your stuff?
By joining the band I knew I would have to sing the songs from their 1st album, previously sung by their former singer, Carole. The most difficult thing is to re-appropriate the songs and sing it my way, without being too much influenced by Caroleâ€™s vocals. I used to listen to these songs before joining the band and some are very great, like â€œLaughing with the Starsâ€ and I enjoy singing it on stage now like my own songs! Besides, I like covering songs sometimes because itâ€™s a way for me to work on my voice, by trying to sing different kind of songs and see what I can do with my own voice on it. I also sing in a French coverband of Iron maiden, you know? We havenâ€™t performed live yet for it is a quite recent project but weâ€™ll probably plan gigs in 2013.
15. What was the last cd you had to go out and buy the first day it came out?
Honestly I donâ€™t remember. I rarely buy CDs that fast! I would rather do that for gig tickets, because sometimes the concert is sold out only a few hours after the tickets are put on sale!
16. Wicked Channel is also a horror film site. Are you a fan of horror films? If so, name some titles as to what you love?
I wouldnâ€™t say Iâ€™m a big fan of horror filmsâ€¦ but I enjoyed some of it. Recently Iâ€™ve been watching the TV Series â€œThe Walking Deadâ€ and I really enjoy this one! Itâ€™s not only a horror story with zombies, blood and guts, I like the characters and how the situation is described. Itâ€™s very interesting!
17.You go to a cd signing, ( I should warn you these never work out well) and a diehard fan of Asylum comes up to you all excited to meet you, but he does not know your name and calls you another female s name, what would you do? Do you correct him?
Hahaha! I think I would correct him, but with humor possibly. Do you know a quite similar funny thing happened in Paris at our DORO show? I was standing at our merchandising booth, my stage outfit on, and a guy who wanted to buy Doroâ€™s CD asked me how much it cost, assuming I was Doroâ€™s saleswoman!! I answered him I was the singer of the other band, but he looked pretty lost!
18. Same cd signing, another diehard fan comes up to you and this guy wants you to sign his cd, and he pulls out an illegal burn of your new record. What do you do?
I would ask him if he doesnâ€™t mind if I make a photocopy of my autograph so he could stick it on his CD! hehe
19. This cd signing seems to have all types, Heidi a male fan seems to be a little excited to meet you and his hands seem to have no common sense if you get my drift, how do you handle male fans wanting to grope on you or be overly affectionate? How would you handle hugging some fan and noticing that they are really too excited about meeting you?
Hope such things will never happen! It would be very embarrassing! I think most of time I would try to shut-away fans. I canâ€™t be close to everyone and it can become embarrassing or sometimes dangerous if the person in front of you isnâ€™t very stableâ€¦
20. You guys got a gig playing with Doro in Paris, congrats. Have you ever toured with someone like a Doro who pulls you to the side and gives you advice? If so, what is the best advice someone gave you and who was it?
We havenâ€™t toured with many well-known bands for now and so we havenâ€™t met many experienced persons on tour, but we worked with Didier Chesneau when we recorded our album and before being a very good sound engineer and producer heâ€™s guitarist in the French band Headline who recorded several albums internationally promoted and toured with bands like Vanden Plas or Symphony X. Didier gave us plenty of good advices and goes on doing it!! Itâ€™s very comforting to have someone by tour side that can help you that way and I really canâ€™t say what advice was the best! They all were very useful!
21. Have you played with any bands yet who was a pain in the ass to you guys? If so, you have to drop some dirt and give the readers details. If not, who was the best band or singer you toured with so far?
We didnâ€™t have such a bad experience yet, fortunately! The best band we played with so far is unquestionably DORO. Weâ€™ve been given the great opportunity to be her opening act in Paris on December 2012 and it was awesome.
22. Being in the position you are in is never easy, you are the new blood in a band that wants to be successful. That means sacrifices, in your opinion are the sacrifices, things you will leave behind for a while or things that you cannot do outside of music be worth what music can bring you? Why?
Itâ€™s definitely worth the sacrifice. I mean, Iâ€™ve been planning my life since several years now to be able to put music at the heart of my most important projects. Iâ€™ve become an independent professional singing teacher so that singing is what Iâ€™m doing all day long and I also have the possibility to organize my work and my band myself the way I want. Music is the most important thing for me and so it is for the man I live with, so there isnâ€™t any conflict with my family and I donâ€™t have any child yet. I donâ€™t feel I have to leave anything behind, I feel I am exactly where I wanted to be and itâ€™s awesome.
23. Do you read all the press about you guys? If so, does the bad stuff hurt you?
I do read everything about usâ€¦ and I wonder if itâ€™s a good thing!!! Thereâ€™s an impressive amount of opinions about us, from very good to very bad, that I think we mustnâ€™t pay attention to all of it, otherwise we may be paralyzed in the future without knowing what to do to make everybody happy with our next record! And thatâ€™s not our job. We canâ€™t satisfy every single metalhead, so letâ€™s play for those who appreciate our music and donâ€™t pay too much attention to those who donâ€™t. I havenâ€™t read stuff that really hurt me, only some that upset me a littleâ€¦ but what can I say? Reviewersâ€™ job is to give their opinion and they do!
24. Thank you so much, this is your chance to talk to the people. Tell them what is coming up next, promote and share all you want..thank you so much.
Thank you very much for giving me this great interview and these very interesting questions!
Weâ€™re currently preparing our next shows for 2013, in France but I hope also in Europe. We keep on promoting our album â€œFifty Years Laterâ€ and weâ€™re very happy about the great feedback from the fans! Weâ€™re very thankful and happy to have the opportunity to play the music we love and we hope weâ€™ll be able to meet many of our fans in the following months at gigs or festivals!! Cheers!