Today our editor Fernando Acero introduces us Zephyra, a melodic death metal band from Sweden.
Would you like to know them? Read now this interview!
- How and when Zephyra began?
Zephyra began as a thing we did just to have some fun, back in 2009. Åsa, Tony and Henrik (former guitar player) played some covers together.
A bassist and another guitar player joined in, and some gigs were booked. Everything rolled on, and in 2011, we took the band to a new level, and the recordings of the first produced EP started. ’First Blood’, as it was called, was released in 2012. That year we played a lot of gigs, and developed our sound in the direction of what it is today.
- You describe yourself as a mixture between death, power and thrash metal. Do you feel these tags are a base or a limitation for your creations?
More of a base. You know, people want to label bands and we don't really do it ourselves. But sometimes it's almost required so we usually say that we play melodic metal or a mix of power, thrash and death metal.
As far as limitations goes, we kind of have our vision were we want to take the music. We're open to different approaches and styles, but in the end of the day when we play together as a band, a certain identity shines through automatically.
- Which were the bands whom influence was decisive for your sound?
Bands like Evergrey, Metallica, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Dark Tranquillity, Iced Earth are some of the main ones.
- How were the first years of the band?
The first year had a more of an innocent vibe to it. We didn't really had the kind of vision and ambition we have nowadays. Gradually it became more serious and things started to happen. 2011 was the year when Zephyra started on the path that it is on today. We did some line up changes, Tony gave up the drums and started playing guitar instead for instance. It has
always been going forward in small steps.
- 2012 supposed an important turn for the band: you released your debut EP First Blood, you toured around Sweden, and even your lineup changed radically. How do you remind that year?
It was a great year for the most part! We played a lot, our songs were aired on the radio for the first time, we were in magazines, played at the awesome MetalTown in Gothenburg and so on. We released as you mentioned our first professional EP. We began to get our name out there.
The latter part of the year became a challenge though. Two of our member decided to leave the band due to the lack of commitment. So it was only me, Åsa and our bass player left in the band. It was a rough time. But instead of just doing nothing we started to make some songs that later became the EP Kämpaglöd. And it was that EP that lead to us being signed.
- In 2013 you joined the Italian label Worm Hole Death. How did it affect to your music?
In terms of composing songs, not much. We wrote the songs the same way we always have done. The only difference is that our label and our producer had their influence on the songs.
We had a great deal of creative freedom from WormHoleDeath to make the songs like we wanted to. But in terms of promotion and things at that nature it has meant a lot for our music to be at WHD.
- Did it change your lifestyles?
Yeah, we all have solid gold toilet seats, our own airplane and we have become difficult to work with! Haha! Just, kidding. It hasn't changed that much. It's more serious now maybe, more deadlines, more things you have think about.
- Finally in 2014 you released your first album, Mental Absolution. How was the process of creation of the songs?
As I we mentioned earlier, the songwriting process was the same as it always has been. The only difference is that the label and our producer had their input.
- Are you used to work as an ensemble when you compose a song?
We have almost never composed a song together from scratch in the rehearsal room, except for a couple of songs in the beginning. All the songwriting is done home at the computer. Tony, the guitarist is the main songwriter, but Tobias, the bassist has co-written a few songs.
The songs are made at home with programmed drums, vocals and everything before the songs is being rehearsed with the whole band. And then some changes will usually happen on the drums, vocals or something. Everyone has their saying and ideas at this point. But the core of the songs, like 80-90% of the songs doesn't change much from the composing stage to the
- You’ve chosen “Undone” and “Atychiphobia”. Do you feel these songs represent themselves the spirit of this new album?
Yeah, we think so. We chose those together with our label. Undone was a good first song to present the band with. It's short, heavy, fast, melodic in your face kind of song. Atychiphobia is the right opposite. It's slow, melancholic and more soft. Those two songs shows our wide range.
- Did you self-produce this album, like you did in previous works?
No, we worked with Jonathan Mazzeo. He produced, engineered and mixed the album at Mathlab Recording Studio. Christian Donaldson at The Grid did the mastering.
- How has been the response of your fans to this new album?
Mostly positive we would say.
We got some cool reviews and just recently we got to know that our song Undone came at place 12 of 100 in a list consisted of the most requested and played songs of 2014 at the Women Of Metal Show. That's pretty awesome right?
- Will we see you touring in Europe the next months?
We'll see. We aiming first if all to play a lot in Sweden but looking at the possibilities to play abroad as well.
- Will you be part of any festival this year, by any chance?
Yes, only in Sweden though as for now.
- What’s on the future of Zephyra?
We're continuing to write new songs. We're gonna release a music video at the 24th of January. Keep your eyes out for that one! Other than that it's all about playing live!
- So that’s all. Thank you for your time and your answers. If you want to say anything else, this is the moment. Good luck and congratulations for Mental Absolution.
Interview by Fernando Acero