Deadscape Interview

Hi Mirela. Are you in the festive vibe? How is Christmas for you this year?

Too much food and too little sleep. I think it’s fine.

I didn’t really know of Deadscape, but after listening to your music it aroused an interest and that’s why we are having an interview. I hope we make a change and get people to know your band better. Could you please introduce the band and the style of music you play?

We are a 5 piece melodic death metal band from Sofia, Bulgaria. We consist of me, Mirela on vocals, Alex on bass and clean vocals, Ani is the other girl member and she plays the rhythm guitar, and then we have 2 guys with the same name, they are both called Ivan. One of them is the solo guitarist who founded the band, and the other one is the drummer. The band was actually created as a solo project by our guitarist in 2015 a far as I know. And when he met with Alex, that’s when they thought it would be nice to make a band out of this project, since they both like melodic death metal. They already had some songs done by that time. A bit later, maybe in 2017 or 2018 they were joined by the drummer Ivan, and a bit after that our first rhythm guitarist appeared, and I think it was April 2018 when I joined the band. There were a few rhythm guitarists in the band’s past, but in 2019 we finally got Ani. And a funny this is that we knew each other from way back. It’s actually her first band, but she fits in nicely. And this group of 5 people that we are now are really good at working together, and I hope that people will be able to hear that when the album comes out next month.

I hear some memorable death metal melodies, like In Flames, the earlier stages of Dark Tranquillity, but there is a lot more to it as well. Your songs are really exciting and a bit mystical. It’s not necessarily fast, but it captures your attention. How do you think of the music of Deadscape?

Well, I am the person in the band that has the least to do with music. I mean with the music of the band. Because usually as I said Alex and Ivan writes to songs together. One of them starts with an idea and then the other one comes in and says that this is shit, let’s work on it. And after some time spent on it we have some idea of the song, and maybe with 1 or 2 exceptions all the lyrics were done by Alex as well. So basically when we meet for rehearsals we get the news that we have a new song, and we get presented the guitar profiles, with the tabulatures, and we start learning it. Usually Ivan writes his drums. Like he is responsible for all the drum parts. He choses when and what to play. For our song ,,The Artist”, since we had a few rhythm guitarists we have 2 separate solos. One by the solo guitarist and one by the rhythm guitarist, so we had to change the solos every time, because we wanted everybody to play their own solos. Sometimes Ani comes in with ideas a few times, but mainly it comes down to Alex and Ivan. And what I know about their writing process, is that they are inspired by a lot of different things. For Alex it may be the more famous bands of the melodic death metal genre, like Insomnium and as you said Tranquility. And for Ivan there is something from the current melodic death metal scene, but there is also classical music. He enjoys that a lot. And some crazy music that he is the only one listening to it.

In the summer of 2020 you released a 4 song demo. What did people think of it? What were your reactions to the fans reactions?

To be honest we were really excited to release that, because before releasing it we had a number of shows in Sofia and in other cities in Bulgaria. So for a band that people haven’t heard yet we got good reviews it’s good to say that. Those people that came to our concerts enjoyed what we played, and we were pretty excited to release something even if it was a 4 song demo. The other thing is that we decided to release the demo is for 2 main reasons. The first thing was to know what we want as a sound producionwise and so on… Before we started to record the album itself. And the second reason was to release something, because the interest we got from those concerts we got was good, but in today world, with the social medias, if you don’t keep this interest you are practically lost. So we were excited to get that out and we also got some reviews. People enjoyed what we did, not only on concerts. And since the 4 songs on the demo are the first 4 songs written for Deadscape we are keeping the more interesting stuffs for the album, and I hope that people will accept and enjoy the album as well. But to answer your question about what was our reaction to the fan’s reactions, we couldn’t really believe it. Because it’s one thing to write a song and to publish it a way, but it’s a completely different thing to have people enjoy it. To save it and to play it again and again and reach out to us to say that he likes to play our music while going to work or something. So we really enjoyed the process of the demo releasing, and the first 2 songs of the album that we already put out as singles in the past 2 months got reviews of that make me hyper excited and I can’t wait for people to hear what we have prepared.

Not so much time later you recorded a full length album, that contained the 4 songs of the demo. You asked Dan Swanö to help, who I personally really like as well. What ideas did he bring to the table? What could you tell us about the birth of the songs?

When we started recording the demo, we started with the first songs, like the first 4 ones that were released. And the truth is by the time we started recording we didn’t finish the last 2 songs. They will be featured in the album. They were the last songs that we started writing, and by the time we recorded the demo they were not finished. So when we started to record the album we had everything written. The only changes we’ve done were small changes while we were in the studio recording the demo. Because for the reason we did the demo was to find out how we wanted to make the album. And by the time we were working on the demo we sent enquiries for different studios for mixing and mastering, and they were the first to answer. Also we were really excited to have it announced from him, because he is one of our greatest inspirations. So we pretty quickly decided that he will be the guy, and when we first contacted him, he mentioned that he is not mendling the bands’ work. He just wants to focus on mixing and mastering and not to bring any ideas like a real life producer would. So yeah, it was up to us how we wanted to record our stuff how we wanted it to sound. He even spoke to the guitar guy Ivan about what guitar sound we want. And in January 2021 we started the drum recordings with Simeon Panov, he works in Bulgaria and has his own studio. And our drummer worked with him on previous projects so he was pretty familiar with his work. And to be honest only the electric guitars and the bass were recorded by us at Ivan’s home studio. All the other stuffs like acoustic guitars, pianos and what not were recorded by Simeon Panov, and of course the vocals and drums as well. We were 2 of 3 people at most there while recording, so I can’t say what happened on the guitar recordings and the drum recordings, but for vocals Simeon the guy who was recording us had really cool ideas. Some of the stuffs he suggested are already on the album. It was a nice process. On the one hand we had the songs already finished, and on the other hand we had some cool ideas that we have incorporated while recording, so it got pretty interesting for us too. And the first time we heard everything done was when Dan sent the mixed versions, so it was kind of a surprise for us too.

The album will be released Jan 14. Where will it be available and in what forms? What do you think, how much attention will it get? What are your hopes?

Well yeah, the album will be released Jan 14 on maybe all social medias and possible streaming platforms. Including Spotify; Apple music; iTunes; Deezer and so on… We will also publish it on SoundCloud and BandCamp, as we have done it now. And for sure we will have some kind of a physical format like a CD. Even a few days ago I spent all the files for the printing house to produce the boxes for the CD-s, so that thing is going on currently. We will release it through my studio as well, because I am having a studio that works for promotion and printing and design and connected to everything about releasing music. So yeah we have some kind of a small label thingy. Officially we are unsigned and we are producing everything ourselves. What are our expectations is we are excited and it’s kind of scary too. Because as I said we have some music released in forms of a demo. We have 2 singles released too. We are doing concerts and people are receiving it really well, but to have the whole picture, the whole album put out is something completely different. We are not only putting out our music but our souls as well. Because we really put a lot of effort into making it, while writing it and recording it and mixing it and releasing it. The truth is that we are completely aware that without a PR or a management company it’s super hard to reach people in today’s world, and to get recognition. But we are working really hard to do that ourselves, so we are looking for different contacts and trying to pitch out stuff to people. So there is excitement and fear together, but I’m really hopeful that people will like our music, we enjoy it and we will get heard more.

What are the chances of being recognised as a metal band in Bulgaria? Who are those people that helped you?

I don’t like to be on the negative side of things, but since this is not my first band and I have some experience with the Bulgarian metal scene I may say that usually if you don’t play some kind of a tribute band, or if you are not into some metalcore band that sounds like some bigger band, then you don’t really have a chance. I mean we have some bigger name bands, but most of the Bulgarian bands are staying really underground. And that’s partly because the scene is really small, and we don’t have a lot of fans and a lot of places to go to. But on the other hand most of the bands don’t really have an ambition to be more than a garage band and to play several shows a year. There are a number of people, maybe less than 10 or 15 people that are really trying to make some difference in the scene. Maybe a band name that comes to mind is Odd Crew. They signed a deal with some kind of a german label recently, and they are maybe one of the biggest if not the biggest names is Bulgaria. And we spoke with them and the result was many tirying hours and so on. And as I said we are working entirely by ourselves, because producing an album is not cheap. Sometimes you have enough money to record it but not have enough money to promote it with a PR agency or something. So we just try to make the best out of it. We are trying to make the most friends as possible, just to at least have the word of mouth. And we also work with a marketing manager, but most of the time we write our own posts. Like he tells us what and when to post and where, but we choose the content. We make the photos. I am graphic designer so I make most of the visuals of the band. It’s a combination of have professional people around and doing stuffs yourself.

I assume 2022 for Deadscape will be the best year so far. How do you imagine it? What could you possibly achieve and what are those things that you are only dreaming about still?

I think one of the things we want to do, what we may be not able to do yet, is to play with some of the biggest names of melodic death metal. Maybe Insomnium or Dark Tranquility. We would be honoured to share a stage with those guys. We even had a concert scheduled with Aetherian, a greek metal band. But the concert was scheduled April last year, and we know what happened in March, so we are still waiting to play with those guys because they are amazing and again, one of our inspirations. As of things we are aiming for in 2022, we definitely want to have at least one tour, and by one I mean one in Bulgaria. We are also considering and talking to some bands in Greece, Serbia, Romania, to play something around Bulgaria. Because it’s easier moneywise and travelwise. And we already sent some emails to different organisations and promoters, so hopefully we will be able to play some bigger gigs in the summer. And for now the plan is to release the album on January 14, and January 29 we will start a tour in Bulgaria. So the first 3 dates are already confirmed, we are just waiting for to finalize the other ones.

Since when do you like metal music? How open are you to let other genres in?

Well, for myself I enjoy different types of music. This summer I discovered the magic of danish techno. I am also a big fan of Scandinavian pop music, and one of my guilty pleasures in Taylor Swift. And I get inspired by a lot of genres of music. For example my stage presence was inspired by singers from different genres, because they sparked an interest in me and I thought that it would look nice stage with this cape or something. For vocals I am more influenced by the stuff I used to listen to when I was younger, like 10 or 11 years old. I used to enjoy bands like Zonaria from Sweden, Invader from Poland and maybe some Amon Amarth from here and there. And when I was younger I enjoyed not so much melodic but death metal, so I grove up with bands like: Grave, Bloodbath, Unleashed, and they were the 2 of my greates inspirations in vocals until this day. I am trying to get so many different things in one and create my own thing, but I like doing that.

Is it possible to make something new in today’s world?

Well, yes. I think everyone is capable of bringing something new to the table. Not only when we speak about music but as for art in general. I hope I am not sounding cynical, but I think the whole 2020 and the lock down and pandemic thing really helped people to just stop for a while to rest a bit. Because nowadays the days just go so fast, and on the social media especially, everyday just consists of grinding every time and scrolling scrolling… This thing kills us. But it made people to get some time on themselves and inspiration sparked again and it made for a lot of cool new music and films coming out in 2021. I am hopeful for the world and I think that everybody is able to bring something new to the art and to everything.

To close this of, between the 5 members of the band, next to the love of music what other things bond you together? How much do you think alike? What are your life goals?

I don’t think we are that alike. I mean we have the passion for music that binds us, for sure. But to be honest all 5 of us listens to different music. As I said our guitarist enjoys a lot of bands that nobody knows about and classical, the other guitarist Ani, she enjoys really different music as well. Some kind of a banana.jpeg. It’s just a video with a photo of a banana and some chill music. Our drummer enjoys crazy black metal and some absolutely non metal related stuffs too. I enjoy Scandinavian folklore and pop music. Alex is the guy with the most metal knowledge. He listens to thrash metal; nu metal; melodic death metal; just death metal and all the metal classics. But I think one of the things that binds us is Michael King, because we usually meet at my place to have some food, have some beer and just to catch up, exchange ideas, just to have some good times. But maybe apart from that, not many things in common. Each of us has a different job, a different interest, a different friend circle, but we are still kept together and we have each others’ back. To be honest, the previous bands I did were with friends and with people I already knew, but in this case I joined a completely full band. We met through the band, not like we’ve been friends before that. So it’s pretty magical to say the least. 5 completely different people joined by the idea of creating music and expressing themselves through music, so it’s nice.

I sincerely hope that a lot of people will get to know your band more and more and that you will have a successful career in music. Wish you the best!

Thank you!

The interview was taken with Mirela Kaneva on 26.12.2021.

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