Interview with Michele (Meek) Guaitoli and Clémentine Delauney
Interview by Elesha Jepson
Visions Of Atlantis are set to release their upcoming studio album, Pirates, on May 13, 2022 via Napalm Records! Today the band released the second single “Melancholy Angel” – a song that has already proven to be one of the fan favourites, when played live during the ongoing US tour. The single comes together with a stunning official video, including great visual effects and outstanding acting by the band around singer Clémentine Delauney, who has clearly developed further vocally and has both beautiful high tones and deeper more soulful colourings in her vocal repertoire.
The mighty new single “Melancholy Angel” is representative of the new Visions Of Atlantis sound, who with Pirates, reveal their most honest and intimate album to date. With their latest albums, visionaries Visions Of Atlantis have without a doubt proven that they are on top of the scene. Now, the band sets sail on an adventurous new journey and exciting chapter, marking a turning point in their discography with the upcoming album, Pirates.
Visions Of Atlantis are:
Clémentine Delauney – Vocals
Michele Guaitoli – Vocals
Christian Duscha – Guitars
Herbert Glos – Bass
Thomas Caser – Drums
MR: Hi Visions of Atlantis, thank you for your time. Please could you introduce yourselves?
Hey! This is Meek, the male lead singer of the band, answering to you. Thanks a lot for hosting us here!
MR: You’re a well-established band forming in 2000 and pulling in over 148,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, what drives you to keep going for so long in the music industry?
Meek: VoA have been through a lot, and there have been a lot of line up changes in the past. We consider the band that released “Pirates” a sort of “new band”, that has reborn with “The Deep and The Dark” in 2018 and its now releasing the third record. We feel the fire burning inside our heart, as its used to be said, we believe in what we are doing and we love sharing our music. This is our drive and it’s growing and growing.
MR: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Meek: Imagine a pirate-oriented musical. Spice it up with pirate themes and costumes, add up heavy guitar riffing and a metal-vibe…and this is Visions of Atlantis nowadays.
MR: You’re soon to release your 8th Album, ‘Pirates’ on the 13th of May 2022, what sets this album apart from your previous releases?
Meek: While writing this interview the album has been released since a couple of days already. This is the most massive, epic, cinematic and melodic album we’ve ever released. We’ve changed a lot from the previous releases: we changed producer, mixing/mastering engineer, songwriters and in general the entire production chain has been fully renewed. We can finally say we identify ourselves at the 100% in what we’re doing.
MR: The music video for ‘Melancholy Angel’ is incredible and the song was definitely a big hit on your latest US tour. How did the idea for the storyline come around?
Meek: We have to say thanks to Clementine for her marvellous idea. Clementine is the one who writes all the lyrics for our albums, therefore it’s extremely important the the videoclip reflect her visions. For this reason she is also following and co-writing the scripts for our videos with the directors. “Melancholy Angel” is clearly a song where the main thematic is the inner fight with our personal demons…
MR: What has been the best part about writing this new album and have there been any funny moments you could share?
Meek: For the first time in this new “era” of Visions of Atlantis, we could really lock ourselves in the studio to work on the new ideas, during the song writing process. This was a huge highlight for us, a wonderful experience that allowed us to truly immerge ourselves in our music, detaching from every distraction. I strongly believe that this part of the process has been fundamental for the realisation of ‘Pirates’.
MR: You have been with Napalm Records for a little while now. How important do you believe it is for a band/artist to be signed to a record label to get recognition in today’s society?
Meek: The label is still a fundamental pillar in the music business, if this is the kind of answer you’re looking for. I personally don’t believe in auto-productions as the contacts and the promotional work that a good label can do for a band is beyond everything that can be done on your own. Of course, it has to be a true and efficient label, and Napalm Record on this level is definitely one of the best, and surely the best for Visions of Atlantis.
MR: With being so busy touring, making and releasing music, music videos and everything else that comes with the crazy schedules of being musicians is there anything that you have had to sacrifice?
Meek: Being a musician is quite like a vocation. I think that all musicians are a bit crazy, as we fight to follow our dream without caring about a lot of things that “normal” people would care of. I understand that from an external point of view a lot of things might seem to be sacrifices, but for us everything comes natural. We don’t “suffer” being away from home. We don’t “suffer” not seeing our families for a long time, as we love and enjoy what we’re doing and we crave to be back on the road. On the contrary, we’re even happier when we can once again hug our families at home, as being away for a long time makes the moments together even more special…
MR: Speaking of being busy, you have recently come off a US tour and are soon to tour Germany and Belgium. Is there anywhere you would like to play and haven’t yet or anywhere you would like to play again?
Meek: We’re currently on the road with the EU tour that covers Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. We’ve been lucky and we had the chance to play the US, South America, Mexico and Canada and obviously we’ve been touring the EU quite some times…but we still never touched Japan and Australia with this line-up, as much as some other Eastern countries…let’s see what the future will bring for us!
MR: With the music industry being ever-changing and now even more with Covid- 19. How has everything changed for yourselves and the music scene around you?
Meek: Finally tours are re-starting, not only in the US but in Europe too. Restrictions are being lifted and “the old life” is coming back. Maybe one year ago I would have replied to this question differently and I would have been scared that online shows would have stolen the interest from live music. Luckily I would have been wrong. People are craving for live music. My opinion now is that Covid just put everything on hold for a while, and with a few more months – fingers crossed – everything will be exactly as it was before the pandemic.
MR: One of the major changes over the years has been the change from physical purchases of CDs to streaming of music, What do you think have been the biggest pros and cons of this change?
Meek: This is a topic that has roots in the early 2000’. The process was inevitable: with the spread of internet and file-sharing, music would have inevitably ended up there. It might have been scary back then, but new generations grow up without even knowing the world in which you couldn’t stream your songs and you could only buy a CD. To properly answer to this question we would need a deep analysis and hours of writing/talking. I think that the best way to face the world is just to accept how it is and find your own way to work with what is given to you. There are plenty of bright sides coming from music streaming: this is what we should focus on forgetting about the cons.
MR: In a previous interview, you mentioned that your lyrics have double meanings. Are there any fan interpretations that you have found interesting or funny, or any that have been far off the mark of what they where meant to mean?
Meek: Well, we actually read some YouTube comments that were pretty interesting. Sometimes people thought that “Heroes of the Dawn”, for instance, was a song about coming out with a non-binary sexuality, and there are several other examples that could be mentioned. I think that it’s great that lyrics leave this freedom of interpretation to the listener. I really like the idea that someone can interpret our songs and reflect his/her own identity into it, freely, finding a moment of relief or finding support.
MR: Speaking of lyrics, I’ve seen you mention that you tend to write the melody first so the lyrics can flow easier and see what letter or sound from a word will fit best, has this always been the way you have wrote?
Meek: Absolutely, yes. A song, in our perspective, is first of all a melody. A melody that can be remembered, that is inspiring and that is engaging. We would feel forced if we had to start from the lyrics and “push them” into some of our melodies. Our voices are instruments and our sound and colors are meant to serve the song. If you sing one or one other letter, the texture of the melodies change, and it’s fundamental for us that this details are taken under consideration. I want to believe this is the reason why all of our song can be easily memorised and be sung along.
MR: Clémentine, you made a Youtube video last year talking about all the changes you have made in you life to push you towards being in your ‘happy place’. How has it all been working out for you?
Clémentine: It’s been working out really well! I love my new “living environment”. I got to be able to start my solo project with the help of Michele, as we’ve been able to work way more often together.
The region around Udine is absolutely beautiful and fresh starts are always inspiring and empowering. I am very happy of the choices I made.
MR: What would be your dream line-up at a gig? ( Either to play at or be in the crowd for.)
Meek: It’s always hard to answer to this question. I personally am a fan of several bands, and I didn’t have the chance to play with many bands that I love, sometimes not even to attend a show of some of them. Most of the times this are childhood idols like Iron Maiden or Metallica. Of course Visions of Atlantis performing with Iron Maiden or Metallica wouldn’t make any sense on the marketing level, but hey…you asked me about the DREAM line-up, not about the best line-up I would suggest to a festival organiser, right?
MR: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us. Do you have anything you would like to say to our readers?
Meek: As always when I got this question asked, I want to say thanks to all your readers who followed this interview ’till here! Thanks for being willing to discover more about Visions of Atlantis, and thanks for being interested in these aspects, that go beyond our music. And last but not least, thanks a lot to Metal Rules for having invited us.
Napalm Records: label.napalmrecords.com/visions-of-atlantis
Visions Of Atlantis’s Latest music video for Melancholy Angel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RH8rVt4Z8k