Subterranea Interview 14/04/19
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences
S: My band is a solo project, really. I am a multi-instrumentalist and a trained operatic singer, I play the cello, drums, keys, and a bit of bass.
I started Subterranea back in 2017 and it was always a solo initiative, although I have performed with guest musicians too, on occasion.
My biggest influences are diverse because I listen to a lot of different music and am influenced by a lot of artists and musicians. Recently, I have been deeply influenced by Ulver, Myrkur, Chelsea Wolfe, Dan Swano projects, Opeth, Storm Corrosion, some industrial bands as well. The list goes on, really.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
S: Mostly I am inspired by folklore. In the university, I studied a lot of Ancient Greek and Roman literature and history (classics), as well as medieval literature and history. A lot of my ideas come from combining mythological themes with my own perspective on the current world events.
I love the darker side of folklore and have always enjoyed “unfiltered” fairy tales (the ones that didn’t go through editorial censorship and still contain a lot of gritty, dark details). I would say all that lands in Subterranea material.
I am also a fan of Lafcraftian horror mythos. So, that partially influenced my music (you can mostly hear it in my production/instrumentation). I love the “wall of sound” production and gothic, choir arrangements.
MM: What would you say is your Band's favorite song?
S: The entire album of Storm Corrosion :)
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2020
S: Well, touring-wise, it looks like 2020 will be canceled due to COVID-19, but there is a lot of new material currently being written, so I am not worried. All my summer festival arrangements for 2020 got postponed to 2021, which is a festival in Brazil and a South American Tour, plus, possibly a festival in Bulgaria. For now, I am just practicing my favorite instruments (cello, drums, bass) and will probably announce a few online “bedroom” shows in the next couple of months.
MM: What can we expect from (Subterranea) live
S: I usually put on a fairly unique show. In the past I would be doing a lot of live operatic work and effects, mainly performing with other musicians or backing tracks. But I am the kind of person that enjoys ultimate control over my music. So currently, I am adding more live instruments into the live performance - cello, drums, possibly keys or bass with the intent of playing all of these live accompanied with backing tracks and vocal effects too. I had a few trial run “limited audience” shows to test the capacity and it works nicely.
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring
S: I love seeing new faces, meeting new fans, seeing how people are excited about live music. It feels fantastic exploring new places, seeing how people live and what their life/routine is like. I also absolutely love hanging out with local musicians. What I like the least is flying. I will sound like a wimp right now, but there’s something about long flights that dehydrates me a lot. And, obviously, jet lag can be absolutely unbearable for me - I don’t sleep in planes at all. The New Zealand flight, for example, was pretty murderous for my well-being overall, but people were so fantastic - it was definitely worth it.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
S: Ulver, Opeth, Myrkur
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
S: That would probably be Heavy too. I have never been on shows of such a scale before, so it made an impression. It’s either that (because of how massive the event was) or Bjork. Because Bjork is always intense - you never know what to expect from her live shows.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with
S: This is a big question. In a sense, I think all my biggest accomplishments are still ahead. But if I have to choose, it would probably be the ability to self-start and enjoy music independently; explore it by myself. I remember I was pretty desperate to join a band when I was 16, but it never worked out. The ability to get past this and make myself able to make music the way I envision it without bandmates or relying on anyone would be probably my greatest achievement to date.
MM: Which are your Two favorite Albums of all time
S: I assume these changes with time. But probably Storm Corrosion’s album of the same name and Witherscape’s The Northern Sanctuary.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
S: I have played live since I was 6 (piano/choir/solo singing). I don’t remember anymore how it felt. Stage is definitely a second home for me by now - it’s how I express and process emotions. Since the years of music school and my classical operatic training, the performance was a big part of my upbringing. Usually, on stage, I feel relieved - I have only one goal going for me and it’s to be the best performer I can be. In that sense, playing live gives me emotional clarity.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
I did not have any posters on my wall at all.
MM: Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
S: I mean, every decade has its own influences. In the beginning, it was The Beatles, then it was Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Rush, Judas Priest, later - Metallica/Megadeth. If you pay attention to musician interviews or biographies, pretty much every band that started in the ’80s has been influenced by Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath or Judas Priest: Mustaine was in part influenced by Iron Maiden, for example, Petrucci was influenced by Maiden. TypO-Negative was influenced by The Beatles. It’s only now we have an entire rainbow of bands to choose our influences from, but all our “heroes” and influences essentially would list as one of the bands listed above as their inspiration.
Personally I think Maiden had probably the broadest appeal, but that’s my personal opinion. And I don’t think that a single person can influence the entire scene. Excitement usually comes from collaboration and idea exchange. So if there’s something that made such an impact on the global rock/metal scene, it would probably be a band and not a person.
MM: What's the most important thing for the band right now?
S;Probably, my sanity. Things have been moving very fast and very unpredictably. Balance can be sometimes hard to maintain, but nonetheless, it’s necessary.
MM:If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
S:All Things Will Pass by Opeth. I am actually currently making a cover of this song. Why? I am not really sure, it has emotional significance to me somehow.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
S:You don’t have to buy or listen to anything :) But you might find it captivating or appealing. I don’t make music for sale, I make it because it’s a part of how I process the world. If it moves you - my music did it’s part already.
MM: Four words to describe Subterranea
S:Haunting, visceral, dark, mad
Final Words for your fans and our readers
S:Be compassionate. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy toward all creatures in accordance with reason.