Band leader/guitarist Michael Alexander and singer Elina Laivera
Universal Mind Project
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Emil Westerdahl at Inner Wound Recordings for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Inner Wound Recordings for the promo pictures of the band.
Thanks to Inner Wound Recordings for the additional promo pictures of the band.
Universal Mind Project is a new act that released their debut album earlier in 2016. The band is led by guitarist Michael Alexander and singer Elina Laivera and they’ve gathered some well known people to feature on the album, titled THE JAGUAR PRIEST. Guests on the album are singer Nils K.Rue (Pagan’s Mind), Mark Jensen (Epica), Diego Valdez (Helker), Charlie Dominici (ex-Dream Theater) and Alessandro Bissa (Vision Divine) to name a few. I had the pleasure to talk to vocalist Elina and growler/guitarist Michael about working on the album, production, guests, a new label, and what the plans are in the future for the band. If you like the music of Avantasia, the Genius trilogy, or Soulspell, you have to check Universal Mind Project out. Enjoy.
Epica’s newest release, The Holographic Principle, will be available on September 30th and truly represents the most impressive and powerful expression of the bands boldly inventive sound yet. One listen to thunderous new songs like “Edge Of The Blade” and “Universal Death Squad” will confirm that this CD is Epica’s heaviest album to date. Meanwhile, the shimmering soundscapes and multi-layered melodrama of “Once Upon A Nightmare” and the towering 11-minute title track confirm that The Holographic Principle is also the band’s most musically extravagant and daring release so far. With lashings of sumptuous orchestration and a never-ending stream of ingenious but brutal metal riffs and propulsive rhythms underpinning the whole explosive enterprise, this is an album that raises the bar for the entire symphonic metal genre.
I caught up with lead vocalist, Simone Simons to talk about this daring new CD, The Holographic Principle, and the works that goes into making a symphonic metal masterpiece.
Holland’s greatest symphonic metal band, EPICA, have finally put the last touches on their new upcoming studio album entitled The Holographic Principle. Once again it’ll be released worldwide via Nuclear Blast Records on September 30! The album was produced with Joost van der Broek at Sandlane Recording Facilities. Mixing was handled by Jacob Hansen (VOLBEAT, DESTRUCTION). The cover artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann (www.heilemania.de).
The band commented:
“Our highly anticipated seventh studio album is a fact. The Holographic Principle feels to us like a true treasure, created by us all with blood, sweat and tears of joy. In the past year we have worked very hard to write and record this special album. We are all very eager to share it with you! Join us on our new musical journey.”
To celebrate the release of EPICA’s brand-new record fittingly, the band will be playing on their own Epic Metal Fest at the 013 in Tilburg, NL on Saturday, October 1st. They invited KATATONIA, their label mates FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and (also landsmen) TEXTURES to take part in this special event. Additionally, STREAM OF PASSION, THE AGONIST, MAYAN, MYRATH, EVIL INVADERS and last but not least OFF THE CROSS will be attending EPICA’s release show. On Saturday 15th October the Brazilian edition of Epic Metal Fest will take place in Sao Paulo. PARADISE LOST, FINNTROLL, XANDRIA and THE OCEAN will join EPICA for this first edition.
This fall, Dutch symphonic metal titans EPICAand Swiss folk metallers ELUVEITIE will join forces to co-headline across North America. This trek, sponsored by Revolver Magazine, also has Canada’s THE AGONIST supporting on all dates. Please see below for all tourdates and VIP ticketing information. Martina Edoff will also join the package as the opening band from Sept 18th to Oct 3rd.
The members of EPICAand ELUVEITIE also check in with a special message for North American fans via the tour video promo that can be viewed now at the link below. Get your tickets now, as these shows will sell out.
This will mark EPICA’s long-awaited return to North America after the band’s tour with Machine Head late 2013 got cancelled. It will also be the group’s first North American run in support of their highly acclaimed latest album, The Quantum Enigma, which hit the charts all over Europe and beyond.This touralso marks ELUVEITIE’s second tour in support of their chart-topping album, Origins.
EPICA and ELUVEITIE will both be offering VIP ticketing including meet & greets, exclusive merchandise, a Revolver Magazine subscription and the EPICA VIP bundle also includes a live 7-inch
Break out the balloons – it’s birthday time! No, not just mine (although thank you very much), but Hellfest’s big 1-0, the crossing point into double figures, the decade marker. It’s practically an institution now, not just in France, not just in Europe but across the world with folks coming from every which place to rock n revel. Hellfest is just about the best damn festival out there, so you KNOW this is going to be special.
EPICA / ELUVEITIE Partner With Revolver Magazine For North American Co-Headlining Tour This Fall; THE AGONIST Supporting On All Dates
This fall, Dutch symphonic metal titans EPICA and Swiss folk metallers ELUVEITIE will join forces to co-headline across North America. This trek, sponsored by Revolver Magazine, also has Canada’s THE AGONIST supporting on all dates. Please see below for all tourdates and VIP ticketing information.
EPICA front-woman Simone Simons says the following about the upcoming tour: “We are ecstatic to finally return to North America. It is time to nurture our long-distance relationship with our fans over in North America. We’ll have a wonderful time together and will perform songs spanning our entire discography. You guys better be ready for us.”
This will mark EPICA’s long-awaited return to North America after the band’s tour with Machine Head late 2014 got cancelled. It will also be the group’s first North American run in support of their highly acclaimed latest album, The Quantum Enigma, which hit the charts all over Europe and beyond.
Dutch female-fronted symphonic metal band EPICA, has released a lyric video for the track “Unchain Utopia”, below. The song comes from their new album The Quantum Enigma, which was released earlier this month via Nuclear Blast records.
“The ‘Unchain Utopia’ lyric video is one of the coolest lyric videos I have ever seen,” commented guitarist Mark Jansen. “The footage worked out very well for this approach. Images and words strengthen each other. Initially we had a normal video in mind but that didn’t have the same impact. We hope you will enjoy ‘Unchain Utopia’!“ Read the rest of this entry »
Mark your calendars! Lead vocalist Simone Simons & guitarist Isaac Delahaye of Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA will be conducting a YouTube live fan chat from New York City next Tuesday, April 8th at 12:15 p.m. PACIFIC / 3:15 p.m. EASTERN / 9:15 CEST.
Simone Simons: vocals Mark Jansen: guitars & vocals Coen Janssen: synths & piano Isaac Delahaye: Guitars Arien van Weesenbeek: Drums Rob von der Loo: Bass
Victoria Fenbane caught up with Epica front woman Simone Simons and guitarist and mastermind Mark Jansen, in London to find out more about their upcoming sixth full length studio album ‘The Quantum Enigma’ (released on 2nd May 2014). They reveal how the new album came to get its modern yet still distinctly ‘Epica’ sound, Simone explained the effect being a new mother has on touring and recording and they also hint at which summer festivals they are most looking forward. Read the rest of this entry »
Vintage Vinyl Records in Fords, New Jersey will be hosting vocalist Simone Simons & guitarist Isaac Delahaye of Dutch symphonic metallers EPICA for an in-store acoustic performance & signing session on Monday, April 7th at 7 p.m.
The acoustic set will include selections from The Quantum Enigma, EPICA’s upcoming sixth studio album due out in North America on May 6th. Fans who pre-order it from Vintage Vinyl in-person or online at VVinyl.com will receive a wristband for the event. Read event details are here.
On 23rd March 2013, female fronted symphonic metal band Epica are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special performance titled Retrospect. Joining them on stage will be a 70-piece symphonic orchestra and choir, making it the band’s most ambitious project ever.
It would be nearly impossible to take such a massive line-up on the road. To allow fans across the globe take part in the extraordinary event, Epica has partnered with LiveMusicStage who will broadcast the concert live online in HD quality. The high quality live stream provides an exclusive, social concert experience with a front row view.
“I am looking forward to this show very much. Everything we have done and achieved in these last 10 years will come together on the 23rd of March. With a big orchestra, our music comes to life exactly the way it’s meant to be. Very rarely can we realize all of it and that makes it so special”, says Mark Jansen of Epica.Tickets to watch the live stream at www.livemusicstage.com/epica cost 5 euro until March 7th, after which the pay-per-view will be 7 euro. The concert takes physically place in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. It is expected to sell out soon, so for most of the fans the live stream will be the only way to go. People from over 45 countries are already coming to the show but organizers expect to double this figure with the live stream.
LiveMusicStage is an online venue where the audience can often interact with the bands while participating in high quality live streams. For venues, festivals and other event organizers it’s a platform for broadcasting their gigs and concerts.
Words and pictures by Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus
Irving Plaza – New York, NY
October 26th, 2012
EPICA’s live show has twice-wowed me, even if their CD’s have not. Their most recent album “Requiem for the Indifferent” left me feeling, well, a bit indifferent towards the newest tunes. Something that had really gelled during “Design your Universe” got lost in the new effort, and the result wasn’t compelling. Maybe experiencing them again live would change that?
It was one of the most diverse crowds that made their way to the Opera House for the Epica and Alestorm show, a truly unique event. In addition to the excitement of a strong lineup on this tour, the magic of Halloween filled the venue with fancy costumes and the usual candy. So, on this rainy evening an army of pirates and other strange creatures gathered together to celebrate the holiday in the best possible way.