Translation: Dope Fiend
Galvin - Guitar
Anam - Vocals, Guitar
Ierlath - Bass
Aillan - Drums, Percussions
Morrigan - Violin
Anej I. - Flute
Peter Dimnik - Keyboards
They are Slovenians, they are young and they want to entertain and enliven our days with their music. I speak about Avven, folk band of which we reviewed the last work entitled "Kastalija" (the review is included in our site), let's know them better.
Welcome to Aristocrazia Webzine, how are you? This hot and perfect for the live shows summer was began for you? Are you already on tour?
Anam: Hey there! We are great! We are delighted that we have joined Aristocrazia Webzine. Actually we were on European tour about three months ago. During the summer, we will play some festival concerts in Slovenia. But as you said, summer festivals simply rock, we love playing there.
Let's tell to our readers who are Avven, how they are born and what are the key events of your history as a band?
Gasper: Avven was officially established in 2004. It was formed by Anam (singer, guitarist), Ierlath (bass player) and me. And it was the first musical project for all of us. After that, also other members joined the crew. Another interesting fact is that right from the beginning the band was focused on creating our own music. So in 2006 we released our debut album "Panta Rhei", which established us on our national scene. We were doing gigs and working a lot on our next record and finally in April 2011 our second album "Kastalija" was released. "Kastalija" actually made some major changes in Slovenian music scene. We also had some line-up changes during the years but I can say that the last formation is really stable.
One thing I am always asked: how do you bring together many heads in a band? It's already complicated when we had to do with "typical" formations formed by three or four elements. You are seven, how do you care of the situations that revolve around Avven and the everyday life? It's not complicated?
Anam: If we are talking about organizing our rehearsal schedule it is sometimes complicated, yes. But actually in recent years we all agreed that Avven is a priority for all of us, besides the things that cannot wait (our jobs and families). So actually I don’t find it so difficult. Recently we started with preparing the material for our next album and we are really working on almost everyday basis. It gives us so much energy. And speaking of making new songs things are really simple, since we all like to mix different things into one piece.
Your second album "Kastalija" was ready in 2009, right? What has led to a released delayed for two years? And why have you anticipate it with three singles?
Gasper: Mastering was actually completed in 2010. Audio production was completed way before, but the problem was as always financial part, and we also wanted to get some kind of label which would help us with promotion. Since it was not possible in Slovenia, and the record was done completely in Slovenian language, we released it ourselves in the end. We also wanted to release three singles before official release of new album from the same reason. We had to work on promotion of the album by ourselves, and it was the only possible way for us to do it with singles.
The platter turn from rock influences at other more classical symphonic metal, up to those who report to the folk-metal scene, that appears to be gaining more fans every day. What are the bands you think your points of reference as a vision of your sound and what are the listenings that could influencing your songwriting?
Anam: As I said, we all like different styles of music and because of that we can find many bands that might influenced our songwriting. I think that the main bands are Metallica, System Of A down, Nightwish, In Extremo and Pendulum. Some of the band members also listen quite a lot of folk music of different cultures. Recently we put all of our effort into the making of new modern sound for our next album which will, I guess, surprise all our fans. It will still stay quite the same considering melodic aspects, but the production and also arrangements will differ greatly from our previous record "Kastalija". We love to surprise, ourselves and our audience, give them something fresh.
I can not deny that I am an occasional user of this musical style, not a fanatic, and I must say that many times I put on air albums like "Kastalija" to get away from the extreme area and relax, it give me a smile and eased the pressure and, with songs like "Zmaj" and "Ibo" for example, I am really amused. What is your songwriting method? And what are the key features that make "real" a song of this style? I sensed, even according to many friends with more experience than me of this genre, a flattening and a kind of extreme derivation in the interpretation of many new band, how can you remain full of personality and genuine?
Gasper: This is complicated question and it requires a really simple answer [laugh]. Well, I think you just have to write every song just straight from your heart. If you push it, you cannot make it. I mean, you need to push it in the sense of discipline, keep on working constantly, but don’t push it considering the songwriting. Every song needs its time. Considering the process, usually one of the members brings an idea to our rehearsal room. Other members try to complement his work. We can feel if the current music part is good but we won't put it in the song, because for us, it just has to be great, not average.
From what are inspired your lyrics? And why have you reversed course in "Tornach" presenting, as a closure, a song in English lenguage with the first part, I believe, in Gaelic?
Anam: Lyrics are inspired by fantasy world. Pure fantasy. Some would call it mythology based, but actually they are not. In some cases, the mythology is only the source that powers the fantasy world. I also like to experiment with lyrics and that is why I’ve included some fictional lyrics based on Gaelic language. But still, it is fantasy, don’t look for it in the books, turn on your imagination!
In almost all songs of the album there is the participation of one or more guests, how these cooperations were born? And, in live situations, how do you involve these artists who have supported your work in the studio?
Gasper: When we were making songs for "Kastalija" we knew that for some parts we will need some extra, specific instruments. Most of the guests musicians on "Kastalija" are actually our friends. We really enjoyed working with them, since they are all also great musicians. Speaking about live performing, for some special shows we could perform also with some guests but actually we really don't want to have the same sound on the concerts and on the album. There are other things more important on the concert.
This type of music is meant to be lived fully "on stage", how and how much have you played live in recent years? What are the best and the worst concert which you took part?
Anam: We really love live performing. We had about one hundred and fifty concerts since the release of our first album. It is not so much, but until 2012 we actually only played in Slovenia, which is a small country. The best live act for me was definitely in Ljubljana at Congress Square. We performed in front of ten thousand people which was a great success. I cannot really remember the worst concert. Even if we play just in front of fifty people that doesn't mean that concert was bad. Once we actually had a show and the tent where we played in was empty. I mean, empty [laugh]. But we put all our effort in the show, kicked it hard, and in the end, the only few people that were present were screaming for more, so we had to play another song [laugh]. A great experience.
Slovenia = Metalcamp: if I'm not mistaken, you will be in the bill of the one has become a prestigious and popular festival. These places are really the ones in which fighting all or nothing? I speak in these terms because seems to be a frequent decline of appearances in other types of events (at least in Italy seems to be so).
Galvin: Well, we don't play typical folk metal and we can also perform on many different rock festivals all over Slovenia. Our music even got some radio play on Slovenian radio stations. And also we have an audience that reaches from metalheads, rock audience and also to mainstream pop audience. But yes, it is a problem for more extreme metal bands, for them it is all or nothing. For Slovenian metal bands, it is extremely hard situation, since the metal population in Slovenia is small, afterall. Getting the label and going international is the only option.
What are your positions on issues such as file sharing, pay to play and dematerilization of the CDs, and then selling only mp3s? These are symptoms that reflect the malaise of a society in a period of artistic and cultural decay?
Anam: These are difficult times for music industry, since it has since now not adopted to the changes in technology. Because of the internet people stopped buying CDs. OK, that’s true. But we must understand that internet also opened many new options. Different social networks and video websites enabled also smaller bands to individually promote themselves. So I guess it became much easier to grow and develop and slowly gain in number of supporters, since you can reach your own fans, practically for free. We just have to adopt a little more, and find the new ways. You cannot stop the progress in technology, that’s a fact.
Is offered to you the opportunity to organize a small festival with five or six formations of your choice, what would be the possible candidates and why?
Anam: Uhhh, we would rather organize big festival with Avven and Metallica, System Of A Down, Linkin Park, Nightwish, Pendulum, In Extremo. Why? Because these are the bands that recently became our biggest influence in music, considering the production and songwriting.
Let's go back to "Kastalija", give to our readers five good reasons why they should put it in their collection.
Gasper: "Kastalija" has: 1) soul, 2) power, 3) energy, 4) beauty, 5) it is one of the greatest albums made recently and we need to prove that to you! [laugh]
What are the future projects of Avven? There is already the third work in progress?
Gasper: Yes! Currently we are working on our third album, which will be released in 2013. This album will definitely surprise! We really believe in our new material, working together in recent months had been such a blast, and we cannot wait to bring our new creations to the audience!
And this concludes our interview, once I pass to you the word for a greeting or a message to those who follow our site.
Anam: We would like to invite all to our official web page: www.avven.com. You can also join us on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/avvenband. Keep on discovering new music, and stay tuned to Avven!