Interview with Tricia Myers (vocals) of EMPYREAN FIRE
Interview by Lee Carter
Hey and thank you for your time. Please state your name and position in the band.
Tricia Myers, vocals.
How did the band come into existence? How did you all get into music and what brought you together to form Empyrean Fire?
Empyrean Fire was born out of many years of an idea roaming around my head for a long time, and a couple of like minded people who are talented coming together and crafting a killer album.
Me personally, my home was always filled with LOTS of music, from my Mother (Julia R.I.P.) to my sister and cousin always blasting music. My mother was a country singer, my sister Donna and cousin Donna were always blaring King Diamond or Ratt, haha, I naturally LOVED music and LOVED singing!
You note the likes of Immortal, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor as bands with which you share similarities. Would you say that these have been the biggest influences in starting out? Who or what else shaped the band?
YES, indeed! We have other influences such as Ceremonial Castings, Dissection, Evilfeast.
What is the main goal, ambition or drive behind Empyrean Fire?
To push boundaries, to create an audio experience that allows the mind to expand.
How does your material manifest? Do you each write, or does one person drive the music?
We each write our own parts, I play a little with the guitar BUT for most part we each write our own material (Jason for this album wrote, guitars, drums and bass; Brian wrote all the keys). This is a concept album and was inspired mainly by the poem written by Milton ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Paradise Regained’.
Where the symphonic elements come into the fold, are these elements heard from the start, or are they worked on once the bulk of the music is written?
Brian is a freaking genius, as he gets the base of the song sent over and then adds his keys.
It is something that really adds a larger-than-life dimension to ‘Deliverance’, and goes far beyond the more simplistic “symphonic” sound other bands utilise – how was this sound achieved? Were live instruments used, or was it achieved with sample libraries?
The symphonic elements were achieved with sample libraries and Brian being a wizard at placement and fine tuning/adjusting them to fit nicely.
How long has ‘Deliverance’ been in the works? When did you begin writing for it, and when did recording begin?
The idea for ‘Deliverance’ has been in the works for roughly 12 years, we started actively writing it 2 and a half years ago. Recording began about a year ago.
How did you find the recording process, especially when combining the two extremes of the band’s sound?
The recording process for the album was very involved, lots of time mixing, adding, subtracting all kinds of stuff, if you have ever done any recording you know how time consuming it can be.
How important was it to achieve a colossal sound as part of the final mix, especially given the thematic material the album is based on?
It was very important to me, especially for our last track “Final Battle”, that track HAD to be extreme, high pace and dark as fuck. In my opinion, Jason nailed it on the guitar and Brian with the keys, it is one of my personal favorite tracks as it offers so much!
‘Deliverance’ draws on the epics ‘Paradise Lost’ and ‘Paradise Regained’ by Milton – what drew you to these in the first place?
This may sound… weird… BUT I love words… The way he wrote that poem was so beautiful, the words he used simply elegant, they story was BRUTAL… It was a dark battle… One I felt was defiantly worthy of dedicating an album to.
Did you find any difficulty in adapting the story to music, or did the work come to life quite easily?
Not at all, I am very fortunate to work with some extremely talented musicians (Jason, Brian) who take direction very well, share with them your idea and they run like wild and help you create a freaking monster of an album.
The album makes darker changes to the traditional storyline – can you elaborate on what the changes are, or is it best to let the music speak for itself?
This question is HUGE, I believe it is best left to the listener to interpret it as I could go one for days about this, haha.
Given Milton’s two epics have religion at their heart, do you believe it or the rejection of it is key to black metal? Or are other influences and factors more important?
I believe the rejection of it is one key to black metal, in addition to creating your own path. I have always loved BM, I remember being at an Emperor show in California many moons ago, with the biggest smile in my heart listening to the most extreme brutal symphonic black metal around, it is a feeling that I get, I believe others get that…OH MAN THIS IS GOOD… This is the biggest factor for me… That feeling! (hard to describe).
How important is the visual aspect to the band? Would this be something that would be continued in a live setting?
Pretty important! This will be FUN, we definitely have plans to perform live, can’t wait!
Of course, live shows are currently running dormant, but are there plans to take the album to the stage when the time is right?
If the situation were to allow, would you ever consider performing with an orchestra to deliver the full Empyrean Fire aural experience?
Oh, hell yes! (gives me goosebumps just thinking about it).
With ‘Deliverance’ being your debut release, have you been looking forward to getting it out there?
Oh, man, that is a HUGE hell yes!
How has the initial response been to ‘Deliverance’, and how has that affected you?
The response has been amazing! Can not say THANK YOU ENOUGH to everyone for their support!
It has put the biggest smile in my black heart!
Debut release-aside, have you found there to be any positives to this year? How has it affected the band, both as a unit and as individuals?
Yes, we actually finished the album, haha, as we all have day jobs and definitely used this extra time at home to finish our album.
For me personally, I choose to stay focused on writing, preparing for our LIVE performance.
What has been keeping you sane during these last few months? Can you offer any recommendations?
Hiking, focusing on what is going well for me, my family and friends. New music. Taking time to write down what I am grateful for and working on myself.
Has the time in lockdown been productive at all? Can we expect any videos for the band, or a quick follow-up release?
Yes, we have two (audio visuals) videos available on our YouTube channel and have been thinking about putting together a LIVE FB stream of one of our songs, this is still in the works, just a thought!
If you were to hit the road in future, can UK fans expect a visit at some point once touring is back up and running? Who would you most like to tour with?
YES, we would LOVE to play the UK!
To tour with… Emperor… King Diamond.