A Double Presentation:
Hard n’ heavy and Symfo-metal in one place
Monolit and Symfomania present their new CDs in Kyiv
(Kiev or Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine for those geographically challenged)
Review and photos by by Orchidee Stachelig
Perhaps all fans of the band Monolit were aware that the guys were about to release their debut album. Finally it happened on the 16th of June at a presentation which took place at a Bingo club. There has been a massive advertising campaign all around Kyiv and in other cities that the band is known in, and it was surprising (and pleasant, of course) for me to see the ads at all underground stations – I was proud to know the guys in the picture.
The presentation was a double concert – the female band Symfomania plays symphonic metal was also presenting a CD. It was their second recording named “Aria”. It consists of cover-versions of hits of a famous Russian rock/metal band Aria. By the day of the presentation, the CD had not been released yet.
The concert started later than expected because of the number of people who came to the club – the security workers weren’t fast enough to let everyone in just in time. What is more, the security service of this club is well-known for passionate digging in handbags of visitors each time they go in and out of the main entrance.
The guys from Monolit are gentlemen, so they let Symfomania be the first band to perform. Their music is instrumental so the audience was instead the vocalists – they sang the lyrics while listening to the familiar music played by Symfomania. The Russian band Aria is even more than popular among Ukrainian rock fans.
The women from Symfomania impressed the audience not only with professional performing and unexpected way of playing well-known songs. There has also been much to stare at. For example the hairstyles that reminded me of anime movies. Someone from the audience even shouted “Sailor Moon!“ commenting on the look of Maryna Losytska who plays the violin. Another visual impression happened while they were playing “Ulitsa Roz” (“Street of Roses”) – roses were thrown on the stage together with…water being sprayed, eventually it looked like dew on the flowers that lay on the stage. Symfomania were then playing among the roses; and then Monolit performed among petals.
The Bingo club had been changed a lot for the presentation. The stage had been expanded and turned into a 8 metres long catwalk. A huge screen was put behind the drums. A new set of lighting equipment was supposed to make the show look like those worldwide famous stars have. The newly constructed stage let the musicians come extremely close to the public. This also gave photographers another thing to lean on to make clear photos, but my colleagues and I had to be careful not to get under the performers’ feet.
Symfomania started giving autographs as soon as they went off the stage. The small crowd near the dressing room was curious to watch, since there were some famous Ukrainian rock musicians. As the vocalist of the “Bila Vezha” band said, that time he decided to try being a fan and not a performer. I also used that moment of the girls’ desire to communicate. While they were changing after the show, I managed to talk to their keyboardist Olga Aydinova.
“We’re not related to anime. I think our looks are brought by our music – this must be what these outfits and hairstyles come from. Today we decided to carry out some experiments with hairstyles, and our stylist decided to have fun.
The possibility of women’s friendship in music depends on the people in the team. What I can say about us is that if we have disagreements, they’re mostly concerning creative issues. Each of us has her own point of view on things, so we try to let everyone express it and reach compromise in the end. Of course there sometimes arguments, but we always manage to find solutions. We’ve never done anything like putting nails in each other’s shoes. It’s weird for us. What is more, it’s extremely hard to be in a team with people who can perform dirty tricks on you. A team like that wouldn’t be able to exit for a long time.
We’re cheerful in real life too. And our smiling on stage comes from the inside, we feel so much courage that the facial expressions reflect it. Communication and intercommunication? During our performances it mostly happens because of some technical issues. It is not something we always do at concerts. But it’s what working live is.
We perform both abroad and in Ukraine. People greet us everywhere, but how they do it depends on the audience. For example, today it was exploding; the public reacts like this when the event is informal. And serious people aren’t that emotional because of their status. The audiences abroad greet us warmly, but a bit differently – they take part in everything that happens, they sing along.
Why we chose Aria? Because their melodies can easily be adjusted for string instruments. The music of this band is inseparable from the lyrics by Margarita Pushkina (the creator of many Aria’s songs – comment by the author.) But even if we take the musical part only – it can sound good by itself. And this is how we saw it. “
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