Die texanische Band Heliosaga gibt’s seit 2010 und ist auf alle Fälle ein heißer Tipp für Powermetal-Fans. Die Bandmitglieder um Frontman Damien Villarreal stand uns Rede und Antwort und sind unsere Band der Woche.
Who is behind Heliosaga?
Damien: I started and named the band in 2010. I also wrote all the songs for our album, Towers in the Distance; however, since the band started I have always been interested in others‘ songs and contributions. The various members that have come and gone have brought songs and ideas to the band that they took with them when they left. Had we released our debut album with the lineup and songs we had in 2012, it would have been a very different album. We planned on releasing 13 songs. I was going to contribute six, and the rest were songs the other members had written, as well as a co-written song. Anyhow, in short, we are all behind Heliosaga, including the people that have come and gone. They are all an integral part of our past, present and future.
If you had to put your music into a drawer and print a label on it, what would it say?
Chelsea: I would call it Power Metal honestly as it holds the most elements of Power Metal with some hints and highlights of Gothic Metal, Thrash and Prog.
How would you describe the sound of Heliosaga to a deaf person?
Chelsea: That would be hard considering a deaf person may not have ever experienced other bands and some not even sound in general. I’ll answer this having deaf people in my own family and basing it more off the feel than the actual sound. With the drums it’s a lively, active heartbeat powering a high energy vibration from guitars. Can’t speak too well from experience though as I am able to hear the music and don’t pay as much attention to the ‚vibration‘ of the music.
Which sort of panic inspires the best songs?
Damien: This is a wonderful question! To answer the question directly, I don’t think there is a single catalyst, in terms of inspiration, that leads people to write the best, which is itself entirely subjective, music and lyrics. Anything that inspires someone to write something that is relatable and touching on some level can be the driving force for a beautiful, heartfelt song. The lyrics on Towers in the Distance deal a lot with subjects that I think are universally disquieting. I mean, no one really wants to get old and die, right? I think most people, or I should say normal people, are dismayed by violence and bloodshed. I think many people would love to be sure that there is or isn’t some kind of afterlife; that death is not the end. These are some of the things that are discussed or hinted at in the lyrics, so I think they provided me with a good foundation on which to write lyrics that are, hopefully, relevant to most people.
Which instrument will surely NEVER be heard on a Heliosaga album?
Chelsea: I’m going to go out on a limb and say a kazoo. Though it has all the sound quality of a drowning duck it’s not really something that goes well with metal. I could be wrong about that but if ever we used one we might be the first band to do so.
Which record would you want to listen to when you leave the bathroom in the morning, while the beautiful girl from last night is still in your bed?
Jordan: That one is very easy for me. „Escapextacy“ from Poisonblack. Well, it hasn’t happened as much as I would like (hehehehe) but I know that this album sets a perfect mood for any romance. This particular album has a Gothic flavor mixed with romantic lyrics in a deep baritone voice, similar to Peter Steele from Type O Negative. The entire album is sexy, from start to finish!
Which song would you be proud of, had you written it?
Jordan: There are too many great songs that have impacted me in some way. However, the earliest song that really moved me and still continues to move me to this day is The Unforgiven from Metallica.
No alcohol is surely NOT the answer – after which combination of booze will all your problems have dissolved?
Damien: A shot of vodka straight out of the freezer followed by a Dos Equis special lager with salt and lime!
What shows you that someone is a true friend?
Damien: Oscar Wilde said it best, “A true friend stabs you in the front.” That is, of course, not the only criteria, so I will just say that a true friend is someone who accepts you for everything that you are. They accept you, not in spite of your flaws, but because of them. The best kinds of friends, the ones I generally gravitate to, are those that provide some sort of balance in my life. In short, I couldn’t be friends, let alone true friends, with anyone remotely like me.
Who was the hero of your childhood?
Jordan: The people I admired, other than my family, were the bands I was discovering. The first two metal bands I got into were Metallica and Megadeth. From there, my heroes blossomed toward bands like Dream Theater and Nightwish.
Are we alone out there?
Jordan: I doubt it. It’s a vast universe. While I do occasionally ponder deeper ideas and concepts such as space and time, I am more interested in finding kindred spirits here on earth.
What’s next? Tour? Studio? Vacation? Something completely different?
Chelsea: We are currently working on finishing our lineup as well as working on a second album. For some time Heliosaga has been an incomplete band and we are working hard first and foremost on making it whole once again. As soon as that happens expect a lot of new stuff to be going on for us.
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