Sunday, December 2, 2012

Interview: Andrea Weiss of Black Daffodils

Embracing all of the qualities that have led to success for bands such as Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, and Within Temptation, Germany's Black Daffodils have made the transition from cover band to releasing their own identifiable material on their debut album Broken Flower. The band's charismatic frontwoman, Andrea Weiß, spent a few minutes with Harvest Moon Music for the latest installment of the Women of Heavy Metal interview series.

[HMM] For readers unfamiliar with Black Daffodils, would you introduce the band?

Andrea Weiss of Black Daffodils
[Andrea Weiß] Black Daffodils is a female fronted rock and metal Band from Kronach, Germany. We are five musicians: Björn on the guitar, Chris on keys, Micha on bass, Markus on drums and me as the lead singer. Our songs are filled with great emotions like passion, rage or loss – feelings every one of us is familiar with. The listener is taken on a thrilling ride of heaviness, progression, drama and deep melancholy.

How and when did the band come together?

The band was formed in 2007 as a cover band for a party. At that time we did not know that we would do an album one day. We had a lot of fun and continued to play together. We covered bands like Within Temptation, Nightwish or Evanescence and other bands of this genre. One day we started to try to write own songs and felt like this was the right thing for us to do. At our live shows we got great reactions on our own songs and decided to focus on that.

How did the band come to be named Black Daffodils?

To be honest – there is not a big explanation for the name. We just tried to find an extraordinary name and when we found the name Black Daffodils we liked the sound of it. It is special and it fits our music.

Your debut album, Broken Flower, was just released in October. How has the feedback been so far?

Black Daffodils
The feedback was really positive. The people who have the album seem to like the diversity of the songs. When we ask our listeners which songs they like most almost everyone names a different one.

Have you received much feedback from outside of Germany?

Up to now unfortunately not, but we hope this will change soon.

Where was Broken Flower recorded, and how was the experience?

The drums and vocals were recorded at the Backyard Studio in Bayreuth. It was a lot of fun to record there and we learned a lot. Chris recorded the keys on his own and also recorded the guitars together with Björn. Micha also recorded his bass at home. It took almost a whole year from recording the first note to the final mastering. The mixing and mastering was done by our former band technician Johannes Fischer.

Who created the cover art?

Black Daffodils - Broken Flower
That was me. I tried to find the right idea which fit the music. As you can see now the black daffodils on the cover refer to the band name and also to the album title. The picture looks very sad, dark and romantic just like the songs on the album.

How long had the band been writing the material for the album?

I think that was about one year until all the songs were written and arranged completely. Unfortunately we cannot make a living out of our music and we all have normal jobs so it took a little time until we were satisfied with each song.

Is the songwriting process for Black Daffodils a group effort?

Yes, definitely. I think this is what makes our music special. Every one of us brings his own ideas and influences into the songs. On Broken Flower you can hear that. The songs are very diverse. There are the melodic melancholic tunes and topics and also the heavy parts or the symphonic orchestral songs as well as the catchy elements.

Does the band have any upcoming tour plans?

Black Daffodils
Of course we plan to play live concerts constantly. At the moment we are planning the next concerts for 2013 but I cannot say anything concrete yet.

Have you had the opportunity to tour outside of Germany?

Unfortunately not yet, but if we get the chance to do that we will.

Are there any interesting stories from previous gigs that you’d be willing to share?

Yes. The first time we played in Nürnberg we got to know Harald who became our first real fan! Now he comes to almost every BD-concert, even if he has to drive very far. He even made his own CD cover for the album. That is something very cool that we do not want to miss.

Is there one song in particular that you love to perform live?

My favorite song live is "The One I was" cause it is so dramatic. We often feel that the audience is really surprised when the first so soft and sad song takes this unexpected change to a really heavy ending.

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

Andrea Weiss of Black Daffodils
I already loved singing as a child and I had my first band experience at the age of 14. But this band did not last very long. So I sang a lot at home and together with my sister. I always loved rock music and wanted to sing in a rock or metal band because that felt like freedom to me. I did not plan to found a band when I met my BD-guys and it also was not planed what kind of music we would do later. Musically Black Daffodils is the perfect band for me as a musician and as singer because that is the kind of music I want to do.

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

As a teenager I listened a lot to bands like Aerosmith, Guns 'n' Roses and Bon Jovi – real rock singers. Later I discovered Sheryl Crow and still she is a great singer for me. I also listened a lot to Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons. Their singing really touches and inspires me even though it has nothing to do with metal. If I have to name a singer from a metal band who is an inspiration for me it would be Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation.

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?

Do not compare yourself with others and try to find your own voice.

What do you enjoy most about being in a heavy metal band?

I really love the power of this music and it is a great feeling to create songs together with a very creative team and to rock live.

Andrea Weiss of Black Daffodils
Finally, do you have any parting words for your fans and for those who may be reading about Black Daffodils for the first time?

I thank all the BD-fans out there for your support. For those who might not know us yet: If you like bands like Nightwish, Evanescence or Within Temptation then check us out, you might like our music! Thanks for the interview.

Thank you for your time and wonderful answers, Andrea. Black Daffodils has a sound that is a favorite here at Harvest Moon Music, so I'm looking forward to what the band has in store!

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