Interview with Maxi Nil (Singer/songwriter)
Interview by Demitri Levantis
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With the release of their second album “Realign” on the horizon, I caught up with Greek melodic metal group, Jaded Star to discuss what the band has been up to this year.
Hi and thank you so much for joining us, how does your new album “Realign” differ to your first one, “Memories from the Future”?
My pleasure! Thank you for having us! Realign is heavier and more profound in a way. Personally, I pulled myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to singing. But in general, I wouldn’t compare these 2 albums.
What inspired the album title and is there a theme to the new album?
‘Realign’ means to regroup or reform. I think it was the best title to describe this new era for us. As usual, I’m not writing conceptual lyrics…Most of the time I’m writing about how I feel, how I see things, a personal story…
What does your single, “Female Fronted” cover?
This term always bothered me…it doesn’t describe a genre but unfortunately, it does to many people out there. I very often hear people saying that they’re listening to Female Fronted Metal…it just sounds wrong…why do we actually have to “announce” that there is a woman behind the microphone since we don’t do it when there is a man?… Music shouldn’t divide us to women or men…music is supposed to unite!
What are the stories behind other songs like “Children of Chaos” or “Breathing Fire”; what has inspired them?
Breathing Fire talks about the relationship between the music industry and the artist and all the people living parasitically around them trying to feed the vanity of the artists. Children of Chaos talks about our generation and our struggle to find some peace of mind in these weird times we live in.
How is Jaded Star different to other bands in Greece’s scene today?
We never compare ourselves with fellow musicians. Each one is different and has his own battles to win.
We write music that we love and we try to share it with as many people out in the world as possible. You need to have a clear vision and a strong stomach to make things happen.
What are the biggest non-musical influences on your sound, like literature, art, history, etc?
Life itself is our biggest influence, to be honest.
Where did you get the new album recorded or mastered and would you recommend said place/producers to other bands?
Our album was recorded and mastered by Mike Skarakis at 133 Productions and mastered by Nasos Nomikos at VU Mastering Studios. We went full analogue with this album it was a wonderful and challenging process. The album sounds very alive if you know what I mean. I would recommend any band of any genre that is serious about their sound to work with these super-talented people without a second thought!
Your sound is normally described as “Melodic Metal”, what are the main reasons for this, and would you say it is accurate?
I think it’s pretty accurate but yet generic. But how would you describe our music? It’s modern, it’s melodic…some songs are more punchy, other ones are more atmospheric…I don’t know…I’m not good at this, hahaha…
What have the latest additions to your line up, Jim Rouvelas and Angelos Vafeiadis brought to the band?
Before Jim and Angelos joined it was Dane Constantine our guitarist and John Dres our bass player. All four of them brought a new sound a new mindset and a lot of energy and good vibes to the band.
In the seven years of its existence, how has Jaded Star changed in terms of music or outlook?
We feel that we evolved as any band should. We’ve learnt from our mistakes and we try not to make them again. When it comes to music we went heavier for sure and personally I tried a lot of different things when it comes to singing.
What inspired the band in the first place and why did you choose its name?
I’ve always had the need for creating a brand from scratch and play the music I love with the right people…When I told our former guitar player Kosta Vreto that I like the word Star he started brainstorming and came up with the word Jaded…We did some research and we found out that the Jade Stone (emerald stone) is stronger than steel and has healing powers. There we had our name! Jaded Star.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the band?
Like all other bands around the world…we can play, now with the lockdown, we can’t even meet in our studio to rehearse and what hurts the most is that we can’t have a proper release party show for our new album. Social media is the only way to connect with our friends and supporters.
What was the recording process of the new album like, was it any easier or harder than the other recordings you have put out?
Personally, I just love the studio although I prefer the stage. This time it was way more fun because we were all together in the studio while recording and I had missed that feeling a lot!
Have you thought of bringing in any experimentations, like new instruments or song structures?
Who knows…hahaha, we have already started working on new songs but it’s too early to tell…We love some experimentations though…
When live music resumes, is there anywhere, in particular, you would like to start touring?
We need to get back on the road and first to Europe. I can’t pick one country, to be honest…we have so many good memories from so many places…UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Sweden…and so many more. Last but not least, Greece! We can’t wait to start in Greece!
When you are looking for inspiration for new music do you have a writing process, or do you have a special place you retreat to for ideas?
I usually write when I’m miserable and use it as a therapy…it’s mostly about personal stories, feelings, thoughts…
What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
The music, the people, the fun we have, the memories we create…
Finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers?
These are some pretty crazy times we live in but remember that music is the only thing that they can’t take away from us. Keep on listening, support the bands you love and stay true!
Thanks so much for joining us, I wish you all the best to you for the future.
It was a pleasure! Thank you for having me and all the best to you too!