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Interview: SUNSETH SPHERE
Title: Ravishing staged daydreaming

In hot summer 1998, Hungarians Péter Márton (guitars) and Györgi Bánfalvi (bass) had musical conflicts within their former band and decided to start up a fresh and brandnew one. So they founded a new band, initially called ShockWave, and in November of 1998 László Landy joined them on drums. 



In February 2000 finally all line-up problems belonged to the past and with this new line-up their new music drastically changed, so they changed their name into Sunseth Sphere. After half a year of hard work, they finished the Gothic Metal material for their debut album „Storm Before Silence“. 



The offer of legendary Dutch record company Hammerheart Records proved to be the best. February 1st 2001 they signed the contract. Questions were answered by guitarist Péter Márton.

The line-up of the Hungarians seems to be gratifying constant: 



„Just the same, you can see on the back of the cover: Peter Marton – Guitar, Gyorgy Banfalvi – Bass, Laszlo Landy – drums and percussion, and Kyrah – Vocals, Keyboards. We are seeking for a keyboard-player, because Kyrah has to be a front-singer to have a complete image on concerts. Besides as we are very good friends, and for knowing each other well for a long time, it's not too easy to find the right person, who fits us musically and personally too, have the similar musical concept and can accept our way of humor too...”

Do you guys feeling very curiously about the results from fans and press after the release of the album? 



„Ah, of course! Some press releases are known for us, they seem to be positive enough, but the main part is the listeners' opinion. If they would like our music, we'd be really happy!”

The band´s name – where does it come from? 



„It is a word-game – we Hungarians like word-games a lot, as our language is proper for it, it's a big part of Hungarian humor. So about the name: first here is Sun, as the symbol for life; then comes Seth, the god of the nether world in the ancient Egyptian mythology, so the two parts together are the whole meaning of being. If you think on the simple word: sunset – without the letter `H` at the end, you can also feel something has ended, but you might imagine the beautiful colours of it too. There is the second word, Sphere, that means the entire universe, where you can be really free. So if you read the whole name, you can feel life and the ending of it, that is not a scary thing, but something that sets you free and lets you to enter the universe. But there's another meaning too: if you pronounce the name like sunset's fear, you can have a separate kind of expression, too.”

What is the main-concept or theme on „Storm Before Silence”? 



„`Storm Before Silence` is a kind of game too. You might know the phrase `Silence before storm` that means you feel something wrong is going to happen, and you feel the silence only for being afraid of what is to come. We simply changed the first and the last word, so it received another kind of meaning. Have you ever felt the power of silence after going home from a concert, when the past emotions are only melted in your mind with the help of the silent following it? As all our lives has their own storms and silences, everyone need the balance of them, when you have only the silence without storms, you can not appreciate it at all; or if you have only storms, you might become crazy of them.”

It was a long procedure, to get the recordings finished… Péter: 



„We recorded the album in Hungary just a year ago, after half year's work on composing songs together. We chose the best songs from the others, and we simply spent 10 days in a Hungarian studio, at Szekesfehervar, called PontMi. As we wanted to find a label for us, we sent it over to many places, and with having the best deal from Hammerheart Records, we had the opportunity to remix and re-master the album in the Netherlands, the famous RS29 studio, with the help of the engineer-magician Stephen Van Haestregt. He felt our music well, so within a week we were ready with a better sounding. By the way it was a nice week – of course with full of work – the whole band spent together in Waalwijk.”

Concerning the songwriting, the band work it out all together. 



„The songs are made by the whole band, there's no main songwriter. Just imagine a rehearsal of us: someone starts to play a melody or even only some notes, and the other members join soon. We play together for half an hour sometimes, and these improvisations are the base of our songs. After the basic melodies and structures are ready, we refine the details, and the song is completed. The moods are depending on the one's mood beginning to play new theme, but as we are similar personalities, it is easy being touched by each other. But sometimes a melancholic melody can turn out to have some aggressive parts too. As we deal with our feelings, it always depends on them.”

The girlfriend of the Sunseth Sphere drummer is their female main-lyricist… 



„The lyrics are mostly written by a common friend of us, Monika Gyebnar, who is the girlfriend of our drummer. She visits most of our rehearsals, and as for she is a similar personality like us, she can easily catch the mood of our music being born. As she speaks English well she can write her feelings inspired by our music right in English, and it is a better way to fit the vocal melodies, she can make changes when it is needed. One track's lyrics – `LSD` – is written by Kyrah, but we have to tell you, that there was nothing to do with the drug, it is only a shortening of 'Lies, Shadows, Death', only the mood of the song made us to shorten it.” 



Do you have a personal name for the style of Sunseth Sphere in your musicial mind maybe? 



„It is a hard question, because it's not our job to make such statements. You might compare it to many stylistic elements of Gothic, or Doom, but we like it to be told as Atmospheric Metal.”

Your own opinion about the wide field of occultism? 



„Occult things are interesting, as there are some very strange things happening sometimes with people, it has a very interesting literary background too, and a part of people are really interested in these things. But we personally do not take part in it , as it is also a kind of fashion nowadays, and most `dark` personalities dealing with it are floating on a wave of trend. But there can be serious persons too, we do not want to offend anyone. As we feel ourselves free-thinking people, we can understand other peoples' interest and belief, but we think any kind of confession and belief must be a very intimate and personal act. We do not like to have dogmatic thoughts forced on us or other people. Sometimes people really need a belief to lean on, but it might not be only a kind of religion spread by any churches. So for an end to this answer, as the word 'occult' means secret, we do not want to tell you anything about our secrets.”

Be so kind and explain the songs of the album with your personal words! 



„First of all it is hard to emphasis one of them, as they are all our own `children`, and a good parent would never differentiate his children... So we like them all, according to the current situation or mood of us, one or another might be the current fave. So about the songs in order of appearance: `LSD`: It is a shortening for 'Lies, Shadows, Death' nothing to do with the drug. Kyrah wrote this lyrics – only one of hers on the album – when she was at home all alone at night and had many thoughts about life and death circling in her mind. With the spacy music it fits well for the shortening of the original title; `Black`: It is a simple song about feeling lovelorn, being alone and being angry on everything. Sometimes you have to look inside instead of blaming the other. So when you're in a bad mood, you might see everything in black. But without these feelings you could never see good things, so you need the world to be completed of colourful events and black events; `Life After Light`: It is based on the converse beings of men and women, their converse relationship to life. Maybe women are more optimistic as men, but the both sides has its truth. Women think there's always a day after, but men can -sometimes - only think about today's problems. They can only be an entire unity together; `Arizona`: We made this song to our drummer to have a break in concerts… It is about a place, where you are really alone, where you can be touched by the whole universe. Imagine if you sit on the top of a huge rock, look down into the abyss or look up into the deep sky. You can sing there alone to the whole world, while no one really hears you, though you can reach the heart of the one inside, you want to touch; `Sister Incest`: It is a protest against pedophilia, that is spreading even more nowadays, built on a story of a pharaoh's daughter. It cries, shouts, as it is the hopelessness of a girl abused by his father. Just imagine the scene: you are going to get asleep, the door opens slowly, and a great shadow burdens your room – and soon your whole life. It is the most awful and disgusting thing that can happen to a young child; `Gods Of Egypt`: Peter started to play an oriental-like melody on his guitar, and our lyrics-writer was inspired by this melody to write a story about the ancient Egypt's people's suffer from famine, wars, cruelties of their lives. Nowadays the same scenes can be seen on TV when you have some news on poor countries, so those people can also feel their gods have left them. The last song on the album is 'Until the End of Time', which is an instrumental song with an aim to touch people by the eternity of music.”

On which level of quality and claim do you see the global Gothic Dark Metal scene in the present? 



„We don't think Metal is bleeding from many wounds, but sometimes we feel that the younger fans became the fans of extreme Metal styles without knowing much about the past 'stars' of Metal scene. We think, one must know eg. Black Sabbath to really understand even Dimmu Borgir. For example if you are a historian, you can not understand the First World War without knowing the 100 years before it. That is the same with music. Other part of your question: we think, that the labels 'Dark', 'Gothic' or 'Doom' are put on many bands that could not be truck into any concrete, bigger style, as being too coloured in music to find a really fitting style for them. We know that a quality Metal music is needed from the scene, so if you play good things, the audience would be happy with it, no matter what your name is, or where have you come from. About the names, we like, we do not want to mention anyone, not to offend the others forgotten about… By the way we do not listen only dark, or underground styles, we like many different kinds of music, from the Progressive Rock of the seventies to the heavy scene of today.”

When we‘ll see Sunseth Sphere playing live on German grounds? 



„As we told you, now we are seeking for the proper person to play the keyboards with us. First of all we have to solve this problem, and we are working really hard on it! We feel, we can create an atmosphere with our concerts similar to the CDs atmosphere. It is not the main importance to play the CD alive note-by-note, but to get close to the fans, with expressing our feelings built in music. Of course we have some secrets we don't want to tell now, because it is to be seen on concerts, and with telling them we can hardly keep the interest of the audience… So we really hope we can pack our instruments soon, and travel to visit you and the German fans. But we can not tell you exact dates now, as we are looking for invitations too.”

Musical and private plans for the nearer future? 



„Now, after the last year's passed have some new material too – we'd like to play these songs on concerts too – for the next album. We are full of energy, inspiration thanks to the good reflections of our album at that moment. So we work a lot, have lots of rehearsals and spend as much time together as we can. As for the private plans, music is the main part of our lives besides our families, so if we'd have successes in music and be happier, our loved ones can feel much better too. For example Kyrah's parents are very proud of her, so her main goal is to give them back the lots of help she received through the long years. But it can be told for the other members too. Peter's mother was the happiest creature on Earth when she heard that her son got a contract with a label for his music!”

Hopes in the new album? 



„As we are all playing music for more than a decade and we are very hungry for success now, we are waiting for the audience's reflections. If they can appreciate our works, and if they can have a joyful time listening to our music, we'd be happy. We can not tell you numbers that we await from the selling of our album, we can only put faith in the best way of it. Thanks to our label, Hammerheart Records, we have many ads in magazines, we have made many-many interviews, so it might also help us a lot. The guys at our label make a really good job to help us, they are very eager to find any kinds of possibilities. Thanks for the opportunity to introduce ourselves to your readers in Metalmessage! Best wishes: the members of Sunseth Sphere!”

© Markus Eck, 23.10.2001

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