Singer Rute Fevereiro – EnChanTya
Interviewed by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Tom Hack for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Massacre Records for providing me with promo pictures
From Lissabon Portugal comes the progressive goth metal act EnChanTya. The band released their debut album at the end of last year. I recently had the chance to talk to lead singer Rute Fevereiro (ex- Black Widow) and we talked about the band, the metal climate in Portugal, and lots more. Check out EnChanTya if you’re into great music with some brilliant growl/clean vocals.
Hi Rute, nice to talk to you, are you ready to kick off the interview?
Hello! Bring it on!
Could you tell us when and where Enchantya was born?
EnChanTya started in 2004, EnChanTya when I decided to pause my musical career with Black Widows. Already with some songs written I went on a search for musicians. The band was up and running to unleash the spell and spread it around in 2005 with me singing and playing guitar, Trajano and Tiago Roque Borges in the strings section, Luis Vlad Fernandes playing and composing superb keyboard lines and with Ricardo Reis’ drumming skills. Not long after that I decided to dedicate all my energy to singing the beauty and beast style that define the vocals in EnChanTya, and Emanuel Henriques grabbed position as guitarist.
Was it hard to find members?
Not much, actually I was lucky. I posted some ads in some musicians’ metal sites and Luis and Trajano answered. They knew a good drummer and bass player and only in a few weeks we were rehearsing.
The band recorded the EP MOONLIGHTING THE DREAMER pretty fast – what did the media think of the EP?
The first thing we noticed is that we had more invitations to play in concerts and we did some TV appearances too, we had nice reviews mostly in Portugal because we were not selling our EP abroad.
Where does the band name EnChanTya come from and does it have any special meaning for the band members?
I thought the word Enchantya was a nice name for a band which at that time had a very enchanting musical essence, at least for me when I thought about this firstly as my personal project and afterwards as a band. I think all band members agree that it is a name that can also define us.
Has the band gone through any line-up changes through the years? If so, who’s the current original members?
Yes, during 2006 and 2007 Nuno Seven (guitar) and MP (bass) joined EnChanTya along with João Paulo Monteiro (Drums) and in 2012 Bruno Prates (guitar) became guitarist of the band. I am the only original member from EnChanTya.
Has it been hard to go through member changes and do you think that your music have gone through any changes because of the new members?
Definitely, I believe that changing members can delay the progress in a band unless the new members bring something new and refreshing to upgrade the band, which I think that happened in this case. Obviously that Nuno Seven, Mp, João and Bruno gave new ideas and influences to our songs, with time we found a nice balance and our own style together.
Has the band done a lot of touring in Portugal and in the rest of Europe so far?
We have been playing but not a lot due to the financial crisis in Portugal and in Europe, some venues and clubs are closing or are not accepting bands to play, and others are not capable of assuring our performance. And as a band we think that we should not pay to play as an example.
In 2007 the band won something called “Bandas Procuram-se” what’s that? ( sorry, had to write in Portuguese because that was the real name of the contest)
That was a contest in which the winning band would receive money to record an album. We actually used our prize for the pre production of the “Dark Rising”. We had to make sure we were on the right track and a good pre production makes a great difference!
You’re also a member of the band Black Widows; is that band active today and do you think that Enchantya has gained anything by your membership in Black Widows?
Black Widows was the first female metal band in Portugal, we were famous in Portugal and also in other European countries. The band is not active at the moment but I do plan to change this in the near future.
I was well known from those times where I used to sing and play guitar in Black Widows. And it was good for EnChanTya because people knew my work, my way of singing, however sometimes it’s hard because we are compared to the band, and we are a very different band than Black Widows.
Was it given from the start that Enchantya was going to play this kind of music?
In an early stage of the band the songs had many keyboard lines and orchestral parts but with the input of all band members the songs became heavier with a bitter sweet taste of melody and progressive lines. The only thing that still remains since the very first day is that we always write songs as we like them to be regardless what people think.
I’ve read that your music has similarities with Nightwish and Within Temptation can you agree with that?
Maybe that has been written because I have some similar vocal registrations when I sing in a classical way, but I suppose all singers who do that can be labeled to be singing like Tarja or Sharon. However I do also sing other vocal styles, and also growl in the songs. Apart from the vocals we like to think we have our own style as we have also added some Portuguese musical influences in our music and that you cannot find in the bands mentioned above.
How would you like to describe the kind of music Enchantya plays?
It’s hard for me to answer this as I’m biased, however I must say that EnChanTya is a band where we all put our positive and negative emotions in a gothic, progressive metal way, it’s almost therapy. And it transfers to the listener, because he/she may feel emotional, angry or puzzled when he listens to our band. The emotions are all there, it’s a very honest music I must say in my humble opinion.
Do you got a big fanbase outside Portugal?
Each day that goes by we are reaching more listeners and we have been receiving great reviews and letters or mails from fans from Europe and also USA. It is possible that we might have as many fans outside Portugal as in our own country at this moment.
How is the climate for metal and harder music in Portugal? Are there many rock clubs etc for you to play at?
The metal is alive and kicking in Portugal, there are always the loyal metal fans that go to metal gigs and keep this going. However many rock clubs are closing because of the financial crisis, which leaves not many options to play in a lot of places with good conditions for a nice concert. There are also the summer festivals and many times those festivals prefer to have international bands playing in them.
Debut album DARK RISING
How long did you work on the material for the album?
The new material was written in a couple of years, because we also decided to re-arrange the songs from the EP “Moonlighting the Dreamer”. The line-up changes in the band delayed that process but it was worth it.
Who wrote the music and lyrics and what are the lyrics about?
The first songs were written by myself and worked in the band, however since 2006 that we all compose the songs. I write all lyrics, except for “Clad in Black” that was actually written and dedicated to me, but usually I prefer to do that because I have to feel and believe in what I sing in order to express it properly.
The songs on the EP also made it on to DARK RISING, how come and did you re-arrange the songs?
New musicians in the band… it all made sense to benefit from their input in those songs that have their personal touch with some changes.
How come you chose to name the album DARK RISING?
A Dark Rising has been our journey as Enchantya until now, overcoming many obstacles but always believing in our band. The lyrics also confirm this pattern, as from all my experiences in life, I was forced into looking inside, into opening my Pandora ’s Box and had to face my fears and rise as a new person. We as a band felt the same in many episodes of our personal lives.
You put out teasers of songs on Youtube and Myspace, what did the fans think of those?
That was a nice way of making our fans very curious about listening and buying our album and it worked out as we expected. We had mails and messages asking us about the album and where it could be bought.
Why did it take so long for you to follow up the EP?
First of all, we changed most members of the band and secondly, we recorded the pre production of the album in a studio and even began recording the album there, but then we decided to record “Dark Rising” at The Pentagon Audio Manufactures.
Who did the cover artwork and what do you think of it?
Pedro Daniel from Phobos Anomaly Design. At the beginning this cover art work was our first option, then we preferred another cover, but Pedro somehow convinced us that this cover made much more sense with the concept of our album, and he was right!
Is it you who sings both the ordinary vocals and the growl parts?
Yes, I’m both beauty and the beast. LOL
Have you read any reviews of DARK RISING yet? Does the band care about what critics have to say about the band and the album?
We have read many reviews from all over the world. We care about reading a review from someone who has really listened to “Dark Rising” and has something useful to say. As a band we wish to do our very best and improve. However we will never play or sing like this or like that because someone thinks we sound like some any other band. The good thing about being an artist, and in our case musicians, is that we are truly free to express our art, and that is all that matters to us!
Are there any differences in how native and foreign press writes about the band?
I would say that native press has written that this was a well deserved step to EnChanTya as they’ve known us since “Moonlighting the Dreamer”. Foreign press, most of it, is getting in touch with EnChanTya’s music for the first time, that it is why you had some reviewers thinking we had two vocalists, as an example. However we’ve always felt an expectation from the foreign press to listen to our debut album. I suppose Massacre Records is doing a really nice work out there!
Were there many songs that you wrote that didn’t make it on to the final edition of the album?
Not many songs before recording the album, but many songs while mixing and mastering “Dark Rising”, some of which will be in our next album.
DARK RISING is pretty long with 60 minutes of music. Was the length of the songs anything you thought of?
We were actually more concerned about the concept of “Dark Rising” and in choosing the right songs than the length of the album.
Is the band happy with the outcome of the album?
Yes, we think we achieved our goal with a debut album and this has given us more ideas for a second album. We are looking forward on recording our new songs.
You shot a video to the title song “Dark Rising” – what can you tell us about the video?
This video is about the song “Dark Rising” which is one of our favorite ones. The song was written when I went through a great loss in my personal life and so the video represents the stages of mourning death. The actress in the video interacts with each one of us and we represent the 5 stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. http://youtu.be/b-SalFF4zJQ
Are there any plans on shooting videos to any of the other songs?
Yes, we’d love too and we are looking for any artist who’d help us on doing an anime video. So feel free to contact us at: email@example.com.
Studio and production work
Where was the album recorded and who produced it?
“Dark Rising” was recorded at Audio Manufacturers Studios with Fernando Matias (formerly known for working with Moonspell, Bizarra Locomotiva, Gwydion, Linda Martini, We Are The Damned). It was produced by EnChanTya and Fernando Matias.
When did the recording process began?
In August of 2010, a hot summer.
The mix/mastering was made by Fernando Matias at The Pentagon Audio Manufacturers where is that studio located and was any of the members part of that process?
The studio is near Lisbon, in a location called Olival Bastos, it is in a private place where there are lots of studios where bands rehearsal, including Moonspell and D E S I R E. We call it “Quinta do Rock”, something like “Farm of Rock” (I’m not sure if this could be the best translation though). We were all part of the process, usually we were there supporting each others recording and also “nagging” Fernando when he was mixing the album.
Label & management
Was it hard to land a record deal? Were there many labels that wanted to ink a deal with you?
It was incredible because we had three affirmative answers, one from Portugal and two from Europe. We only sent 13 cds! We must say a word of gratitude to our friend Joachim Schlums who believed in EnChanTya all the way!
How come you chose to sign on for Massacre Records?
Massacre Records is a very famous metal label, and we knew that they would do a fine job promoting EnChanTya and releasing our debut album worldwide.
Are you happy with the work and effort that MR has put into the band and the album?
Yes, definitely MR brought EnChanTya music to lots of countries and we had the change to promote our band.
For how many albums are you signed for at MR?
At this moment we cannot reveal that yet.
Do you see any problems in the fact that MR is based in Germany and the band in Portugal?
Not at all, I think that was actually good for us as Germany has a huge number of metal fans. The location of a label was not our priority but indeed what a label could do for EnChanTya.
Is the album released worldwide today?
You can buy “Dark Rising” on line worldwide and in stores all through Europe and USA.
Have you done any live shows since the release of the album? Did the fans like the new songs?
We played some shows and it’s nice because fans seem somehow to be “enchanted” and also surprised with the new songs, but the best one was definitely the concert party to release our album in Portugal. We had special guests: Tear (vocals) from DESIRE, a very famous cello player: Claudio Panta Nunes, our former keyboard player: Luis Vlad Fernandes and also dancers who interacted with us and with the public. It was amazing!
Are any of the members part of other bands besides Enchantya?
Yes, as mentioned before I am from Black Widows, João Paulo Monteiro plays drums in Mons Lunae and Bruno Prates has his project Dark October where he invites many guests to sing and play in his songs.
Is Enchantya a band or a project?
A band for sure!
You made guest appearances on albums by Ancient Rites and Poseidon’s Anger are you going to continue to do that in the future as well?
Well, I participated again in Poseidon’s Anger album along with Nuno Seven and Bruno Prates, and before that I co wrote a song for Beto Vazquez. I love to try and sing in other bands, I feel that it’s challenging and I can always learn and improve myself as a singer and musician.
Is it important for the band to be active on the various social networks that are available online today?
What are the plans for the band now that DARK RISING is out?
We want to play and promote it in Portugal and abroad, that is the best way to reach the fans and thank them for their support!
Do you have any festival shows or tour booked so far?
We have two festivals in Portugal and also some venues added to our tour.
Are you happy with what Enchantya has achieved so far?
Yes, I always believed in EnChanTya since the very first beginning, I think that if you love what you do then you’ll play with all you got and that is felt by the fans!
When do you think we can find the next album by Enchantya out in stores?
I cannot answer to that question yet because I don’t know, but we would love if that happened next year. For now we are enjoying just playing and writing the new songs for the second album, it is a little different from “Dark Rising”.
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy DARK RISING?
I can’t actually do that because they’ve to listen to “Dark Rising” and maybe they feel as “enchanted” as we are with our songs. “Dark Rising” is available for sale and pre listening in our official facebook: www.facebook.com/EnChanTya and also in Massacre Records Download Store: http://massacre.musiclogistics.net/releases/18596?lang=en
That was all for me for now. Thanks a lot for taking the time doing the interview and I wish you and the band all the best in the future!
Thank you and hope we see you in one of our concerts!
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