Title: Conscious closeness to life

Much has happened since the 2013 album "Ethera" at the Austrian Symphonic Metallers, which haven't been spared by line-up changes from the beginning.

Once again, Visions Of Atlantis changed the position of lead vocalist - as the Greek front-lady Maxi Nil was replaced at the end of 2013 by the more capable Frenchwoman Clémentine Delauney. The outstanding throating arts of the latter know insiders already by her noble work in the stylistically not quite dissimilar acting Austrian formation Serenity.

Band founder, pioneer and drummer Thomas Caser let the line-up dice bounce repeatedly peppy anyway, put Visions Of Atlantis together with what he thought were the most harmonious protagonists. And allround-master Caser had a lucky knack, as evidenced by the convincing songs of their sixth album „The Deep & The Dark“, whose release is dated February 16, 2018.

Clémentine lets me as well as openly and cordially share in her personal balance sheet of the year.

How are you?

„I am good! Thank you! This year has been very intense and as I’m just about to get involved in brand new projects (not necessarily connected to music), I am happy 2017 is coming to an end!“

How do you remember 2017 in general?

„It went by extremely fast and was full of both wonderful highs and unexpected lows I had to adapt to … and some things remained stable and reliable enabling me to move on what ever happened. So all in all an intense and productive year!“

Do you even care about ‚years‘ and the aging itself?

„I don’t have the time to care about this haha! I know that when it comes to building a family, time matters, but it’s not the right moment for me yet, so I just go on with all the things I want to do, running my life the way I want to. It’s a hard way and time is a key element, so I use it for what matters the most. Aging happens, it is part of life, one can do nothing about it, so better accept it and not minding about it!“

Did the year go as you had hoped?

„The big projects that were planned for this year, such as releasing ‚Rhapsodies In Black‘ by Exit Eden or recording the new Visions Of Atlantis album, somehow worked out the way I wanted to! When it comes to personal aspects or my professional life, there has been unexpected surprises both on the bright and darker sides. I don’t need to control everything in my life. What I can handle I handle so that it ends up where I want it to, but when it comes to things that are out my hands, I like to let life creates its own magic, it brought great things to me in the past and I am very grateful for it. So, no, the year didn’t go as I had hoped, it went better and worse sometimes!“

Are you fully happy with all the fan feedback and worldwide media results for Visions Of Atlantis?

„Right now the feedback we received after the release of our very first new song ‚Return To Lemuria‘ is fantastic! People understood where we wanted to go with the band and really appreciated our musical direction, so I am very happy about it! A lot of people are asking for a Visions Of Atlantis show all around the world and that makes me feel very special. But I can’t wait for our new album ‚The Deep & The Dark‘ to be released and to have a full feedback about this entire record because there are many more great songs in there!“

What have been the greatest things at all for you in 2017?

„Well, without any hesitation, Exit Eden was one of the most wonderful things that happened to me this year! Such a fun, interesting, fresh and daring project! Singing pop tunes renewed as Metal tracks along with 3 other amazing ladies, this band is a blast of fresh air to me! Then, the writing of the songs for the new Visions Of Atlantis album was something I had been waiting for, for so long! So it was really special to finally write these lyrics and record the songs by the end of summer!“

What was the most unexpected musical surprise for you in 2017?

„We had been told that Exit Eden wouldn’t hit the stage before 2018 because the schedule wasn’t the best before that, so it was a great surprise when the management told us that we could play our first show in September! Meeting with the fans for the first time, a couple of months after we revealed the project, felt good and helped us feel this band and the feedback we received are for real!“

What was the most unexpected global surprise for you in 2017?

„I expected Exit Eden to get us pure love and strong hatred. We got both, but I was really impressed by the positive side, seeing so many people really enjoying our music and sharing their feelings with us, sending us so many messages, creating fan pages and fan art so quickly after we released our first songs… this was highly unexpected and such a wonderful surprise!“

What was the baddest thing for you in 2017?

„The downsides I experienced occurred on a way more personal level. I run my own company Sounds Like Hell Productions as a local concert promoter and I had to face difficulties there that put me through a great turmoil and intense doubtful period in the middle of summer. I am not a depressive person, but for some time, I felt like so, wanting to do nothing, picturing everything way too dark, self-destroying my hopes and dreams. And I got sick slightly before the final recordings of the new Visions Of Atlantis album, we had to cancel a show and postpone the recordings. It was a real bummer. I am so grateful that I had people to talk to, friends I don’t see often but that I can count on, as well as my partner in life, Harald.“

Which were the very best gigs in this year for Visions Of Atlantis? 

„We were very happy to play Masters Of Rock again this year as we love the people there! Playing Metal Days, in Slovenia, right before the storm was also a great experience for the band! But when it comes to shows I can’t wait to hit the road in February next year with Serenity to introduce our new album all over Europe!“

Which bands inspired you most in 2017?

„I listen to a lot of different bands and artists, so it’s hard to tell which could have inspired me the most. Maybe Plini, Lana Del Rey, Anneke Van Giersbergen’s VUUR, Polyphia, Holding Absence, Periphery, Sigur Ròs, PVRIS …“

Which movies inspired you most in 2017?

„I absolutely loved the adventure movie ‚The Lost City Of Z‘ by James Gray! Way more interesting, profound and meaningful than the blockbuster that was ‚Fantastic Beasts‘ from the Harry Potter saga, which was beautiful to watch but felt pretty hollow. I loved how the ‚Wonder Woman‘ movie turned out! Finally, a real superhero movie with a woman and it’s well done, thanks to Patty Jenkins! ‚Dunkirk‘ from Christopher Nolan was very impressive. I really loved many of his director choices there, making the spectator experience a war movie in a totally different yet powerful way.“

What else besides the arts could touch or inspire you most in 2017?

„We had disastrous presidential elections in France which were a very inspirational topic for the new Visions Of Atlantis album’s lyrics … terrorist attacks in other countries also inspired my writing …“

Do you want to report something about the new album „The Deep & The Dark“ in advance?

„I dare say this album is the best Visions Of Atlantis ever released, and it’s absolutely not because I’m singing on it! The songs are stronger, the song-writing really improved and we are so happy that we managed to write songs that could suit the band’s older productions yet with a fresh touch, diverse ways of singing that give a wider picture of this symphonic Metal style! You will see! This is the very first time in my musical career that I could freely write lyrics about matters that really mean to me. All my lyrics, written with Siegi’s great support, are deeply connected with personal feelings and experiences. If you read closely and understand what these lyrics mean, then you get to know me a bit… I am so happy to share a real and sincere part of myself with the listeners.“

To what extent have events from 2017 influenced the new album?

„As I mentioned above, the political background in both France and Austria was very inspiring and guide me to write the lyrics of songs like ‚Words Of War‘, ‚Book Of Nature‘, ‚The Silent Mutiny‘ …“

Where and how will you celebrate the New Year's Eve?

„I will celebrate New Year’s Eve with my man and his friends in the Southern part of Sweden, where they come from! Then we will fly to Barcelona and spend a couple of days there for holidays!“

Do you have good intentions for the new year, which you absolutely want to implement?

„Haha I don’t really set good resolutions for the next year but I tend more and more to know where and how to spend my time and energy. I want to practice more physical activities besides yoga, I want to write more music for myself, wish to learn more about cooking, get into new exciting activities, travel more …! Working on becoming a better person all the time, getting rid of negativity, doubt and anger. Turning more people vegan haha!“

What is going on in you and what do you feel when you think about 2018?

„2018 is a very important year for Visions Of Atlantis, the band will release its 6th record, following 4 years without having released a new song! So, I am very excited to hear people’s feedback and to play these new songs live! Then I hope we will soon know how the second album of Exit Eden will be created! I think 2018 will be a great and busy year, with many things happening on many different levels, just the way I like my years to be!“

Any additional words here?

„Thank you so much for your support and I truly hope that the readers will appreciate ‚The Deep & The Dark‘ for this album means so much to me as a singer and lyricist!“

© Markus Eck, 27.12.2017

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