Hi Winter’s Verge, first of all I’d like to congratulate you with the debut album. Could you tell us something more about the writing process, from the first notes to the mastering? How did you experience it and what have you learned, what will you definitely do different next time?
“First off, hello from us too and thank you for your kind words. The writing process for the songs was basically the same all through the album. At first, George [Charalambous, Vocals] would write some lyrics and then melodize them together with Stephen [Psillides, Keyboards]. Then the song would be presented to the whole band where each of the other band members (Harry [Pari, Guitar], Miguel [Trapezaris, Bass]and Andreas [Charalambous, Drums]) would add to it in their own way. When the time came to officially record the album (as a demo had been recorded previously) we traveled to Germany at Music Factory Studio in Kempten and under the guidance of R.D. Liapakis from Mystic Prophecy and Christian Schmid we completed our first album. The recording experience was truly amazing and we must say that we learned a lot, from recording, to performing and to how each instrument should be placed in each song. What we will change for the next time will definitely be due to what we have learned until now, from song structures to performance.”
Though I think your album is general power metal (which of course isn’t necessarily a bad thing) I couldn’t really hear any specific influences. Do you have influences and if yes, who?
“Each band member has different influences. We try to add a little of everything so we can avoid chaos in the band :). George listens to different bands from Iron Maiden and Savatage to Sonata Arctica, Kamelot and Rage. Harry listens mostly to progressive metal like Dream Theater and Rage but also listens to Jazz. Stephen likes classical music and Symphonic Bands like Epica, Rhapsody and Nightwish. Miguel likes many types of Metal (Black, Death, Classic and Power) but also likes classical music. Finally Andreas prefers bands like Helloween, Iron Maiden and Blind Guardian. I guess you can understand that we cannot pin point to one unified influence.”
How is it to be a power metal band from Cyprus? Is there a big metal scene on the island? Is it easy to get gigs in the beginning? Simply said, does Cyprus have an interest in metal and does it give you the feeling to be a bit isolated?
“I think we are the only power metal band in Cyprus. Although the island does not have a big metal scene, there are quite a lot of bands with different styles that vary from Black Metal, Hardcore, Heavy Metal and 80s Metal. We do have a Metal scene and the fans are very dedicated. The interest for metal is huge but due to the fact that Cyprus is a little far away from the rest of Europe and you can only travel to other countries either by boat or plane it makes it a little expensive for us to try and push our Metal scene outwards. I guess you can say that we are a little isolated. Gigs are quite easy to book for a band but you can guess that we don’t have a lot of good venues to play in. Hopefully things will get better in the future.”
Another thing about Cyprus, on your info sheet I read that you need to go to the army, just like in Finland! How does it work (how long, what age?) and what do you think about it. Did it get in the way of the band a lot?
“Well, in Cyprus as soon as high school is finished all the guys are obliged to fulfill their army obligations for a period of 2 years. This usually happens from the ages of 18 to 20. Then you can go to college and so on… We have all dealt with this problem, except Harry. He is finishing his obligations this summer. Our opinion on this matter is that it’s a little too long and we could do without some of it. Nevertheless the best way to get around it is to think positively and just do it as it is not something we can avoid. Thankfully it has not gotten in the way of the band too much as Harry for example was able to get a couple of weeks off for the recordings.”
Winter’s Verge debut album is done now; I hope you are getting a lot of good reactions! But what are the plans now? I suppose some touring? Could you tell us some more about that? And are you already thinking about what lies beyond?
“Our first album is finished and now the hardest part of all begins! Promotion, gigs, reactions etc. The plans for the future are to try and promote the album as well as possible, have a few gigs overseas and start writing songs for the second album. We have a pretty good idea about what direction the band wants to follow and the songs that will have to be written. I guess taking it one day at a time and thinking positively is the best solution for now.”
Could you tell us some more about the musicians behind Winter’s Verge? Did you study your instrument at school or are you self-taught?
“We all have a background taking music lessons. Harry has studied electric guitar and finished with his degree last year. Miguel has studied music in general in England and played contrabass in an orchestra while finishing his degree. George has studied piano and is self taught in guitar. Andreas took a few years of drum lessons and carried on learning by himself. Stephen….is Stephen! He took a few years of keyboard lessons but from then on has constantly be learning by himself.”
Where did you get your name and what does it represent?
“Winter’s Verge means just before winter. There is a feeling that everybody gets just before the winter comes. It is a cold feeling of loneliness and melancholy. Through our lyrics whether it is a fast or a slow song we always try and portray it. Everybody gets this feeling in their own way. Plus we don’t have real winters in Cyprus like other countries do and most of us wish it would just finally come! :)”
If you could choose one band to support on a tour, who would it be?
“Tough question as there are a lot of bands we respect and admire out there. Probably we would have to say Stratovarius.”
What do you think is Winter’s Verge best and weakest aspect?
“Our best aspect is probably the fact that we write music influenced by many different styles which gives a variety in our sound and our weakest aspect is definitely the experience. Slowly we are getting there.”
Sylvester Stalone or Arnold Schwarzenegger?
“Sylvester Stalone! “Aaaaaaaaaadriaaaaan!!!””
Do you have anything left to say to Metalrage readers?
“Thanks for reading and we hope to see you guys soon!