Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview: Beyza of Astral Tears

Based in Orléans, France, Astral Tears is a dark, melodic metal band with similarities to outfits such as Lacuna Coil and Tristania. Fronted by the charismatic Beyza, who bolsters the band's sound with interesting Middle Eastern vocal melodies, Astral Tears recently released their debut album Hypnotic to critical acclaim. Beyza kindly took a few moments to participate in Harvest Moon Music's Women of Heavy Metal interview series.

[HMM] For readers who may be unfamiliar with Astral Tears, would you introduce the band and describe your role?

Beyza of Astral Tears
[Beyza] Astral Tears is a France-based band, co-founded in the late 2009 by Max (Guitars) & myself (Vocals) . Grem (Bass) and Jelly ( Drums ) joined the band in mid 2010 and lastly Will (Guitars) joined us in 2012.

I can describe our music as "modern melodic metal with Middle-Eastern influences". The "oriental" parts are mostly restricted to the vocal lines. I'm writing the lyrics and the vocal lines, and Max does the rest :)

What brought you and Max together, and is there a story behind the name Astral Tears?

We discovered that we had similar musical tastes. With time, we started to exchange ideas, he was making me listen to the new material he was composing and I started to suggest vocal lines, then we felt that the "magic" was there :)

I guess the mix of two different cultures gave birth to an interesting sound. Concerning the name of the band,  I just liked how it sounded so we decided to keep it.

Your debut full-length album Hypnotic was released in April.  Where did you record the album, and how did the sessions go?

We recorded our album at home!!! :) Max did all of the mixing in our home studio. We tried many techniques to get to the sound we wanted on the album. Brett Caldas Lima did the mastering in his studio (Tower Studios).

How long did it take to write the songs for the album?

Astral Tears
We had spent more than 1 year on songwriting.

Is songwriting for Astral Tears a collaborative process?  If so, what contributions to the writing of Hypnotic did you make?

Max brings the main ideas of the songwriting to the band, then we all discuss them. Often Max is the one who wants to change and improve his ideas. Both Max and I work on the melodies, then I work on the lyrics.

What kinds of things inspired the album's lyrics?

Everyday life, past experiences... anything one can feel and experience in life...

How as the reaction to the album been in France? Have you received feedback from other countries as well?

People here in France like the mix of different elements in our music. We have lots of people listening to our music from other countries as well, so it’s really great for us as a 'new band' to have already a large audience.

Who created the album artwork?

Beyza of Astral Tears
Our album artwork was created by a Belgian artist by the name of Fabrice Lavollay.

Where can readers purchase Hypnotic?

People can buy the album on, etc.. For those whom want to buy the digipack, we sell it on our  online shop.

The band bio mentions "freezing cold temperatures" during the filming of the video for "Sinner". Where was it filmed, and how was the experience (besides the temperature)?

It was shot in November during the night. The days we picked to film, were the coldest of this month. We had great people working with us that didn't care about being tired and cold. We all did the best we could to forget those conditions....

Does the band have any impending tour plans in support of Hypnotic?

For now we don't have any tour plans. We have  some shows coming at the end of the year. You can find all the information on our Facebook page. So stay tuned !!

Beyza of Astral Tears
How long have you been singing, and what led to your involvement in heavy metal?

I've been singing for 2-3 years. I've always listened to Metal music, ever since I was a little girl. It's natural for me to sing in this genre.

Are there any singers in particular who inspire or influence you?

If I think about a female singer who inspired me a lot in the past, she would be Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. I've been a huge fan of Lacuna Coil for years!!!! Also, I’m very much into Evanescence lately! I’m loving their latest album!

If there was one bit of advice that you could give to a woman with aspirations to sing in a heavy metal band, what would it be?

Just go for it and have fun, but get ready for the criticism at the same time.

Finally, do you have any parting words for your fans and for those who may be reading about Astral Tears for the first time?

If you want to listen to something new, fresh and different, then take a listen!

Thank you Beyza!

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