Exit Eden are a new symphonic metal project featuring four female vocalists: Clementine Delauney (Visions Of Atlantis), Amanda Somerville (Trillium, Avantasia), Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite) and Anna Brunner. Their debut album Rhapsodies In Black is a covers record featuring songs from a wide variety of artists ranging from Lady Gaga to Bryan Adams. We caught up with Delauney, who fills us in on how the project came to be, the album, touring, Visions Of Atlantis and other topics.
Chad Bowar: How did the idea for Exit Eden come about?
Clementine Delauney: It all started in a studio, musicians exploring new writing style and wanting to work on a way to make pop and metal meet up. They started to work on pop covers to be turned into metal tracks. Once the instrumental part was created they asked singers they had worked with like Amanda and Anna to make demo recordings on the songs to have a better idea of the result.
When they listened to it they all realized it was too interesting, too original and too special to be left in a drawer or to remain a studio project. They all decided this should be the music for a new band and they started imagining a whole concept around it. They didn’t want to stick to a common cover band with one or two singers and wanted it to be more epic by inviting other singers to take part of it and this is how Marina and I got in!
What led to the decision to record a covers album?
Since the whole thing started with covers and since we had so many ideas for cover songs, we thought it was more coherent to present our new sound and approach by making a full album of covers. All of them have a different approach, some show real creativity. It was a way for us to explore our voices and define a sound for Exit Eden that could be applied to original songs in the future!
How did you decide on which songs to do?
We made a huge list of songs we thought could work as metal covers, songs we loved, songs from various artists and various periods of time. Then we tried new arrangements and kept the songs that sounded the best once turned into metal, whether it was a heavy song or a ballad. Then we made sure the album was going to be diverse, rich and chose songs from various periods of time on purpose to make a tribute album to pop music in general, not only to more recent successful songs.
What’s your personal favorite song on the album?
I don’t really have a favorite. I have to say “Frozen” is one of my favorite songs of all time, so I’m very happy we covered it! Regarding the work on the arrangements, I’m happy about how “Paparazzi,” “Unfaithful,” “Question Of Time” and “Fade to Grey” turned out!
How did the division of parts work between the four of you?
We were very lucky to work with an amazing team in the studio that guided us a lot and who were in charge of choosing the parts we had to sing, so that there would be no tension between us. They objectively could tell who sounded best where and to assign the parts in that regard.
Were all of you together in the studio, or did you record your parts separately?
Marina and I recorded in the same studio at the same time and Anna was there too to give some feedback. Amanda has a home studio so she recorded there.
Are there any plans to play live shows in support of the album?
One show is already scheduled on September 22nd, we play Metaldayz in Hamburg. And then we will see how people welcome the entire album and make plans accordingly.
Do you see Exit Eden as a one-off album, or will it be an ongoing project?
When they decided to create a band out of this studio work they didn’t want to limit themselves to one record. That’s the reason why we worked so hard on the visual aspect too, delivering many videos. We want this to become a real new band with regular releases. But for sure it will depend on the welcome the audience gives to our first album. People have the power to decide which bands will go on and those who will struggle. If people like what we have to offer there is no reason not to keep releasing albums!
What have been some of the highlights of Visions Of Atlantis’ summer festivals?
I’m answering you from Slovenia. Playing Metaldays for the first time in a couple of hours. I can’t wait, the location is so beautiful! We always have a great time playing Masters Of Rock, the audience there is so welcoming and cheerful. Dierkich live was a lot of fun this year and it was the first time we played new songs from our upcoming album so it was a very special show for us.
Talk about your recent guest appearance with your former band Serenity.
We remained good friends despite the end of our collaboration so we had always kept the door open to the idea of sharing the stage together again. So I wasn’t surprised to be invited to perform with them at Masters Of Rock. It was really nice to meet up and play these songs again, bringing back great memories from the tours we made to promote the War Of Ages album back in the day.
What is the status of the next VOA album?
I will be recording my final vocals during the last week of August. Then it will go straight through mixing and mastering. We plan to release either by the end of this year or early 2018. So yes, it took us a long time but I really can tell that those who enjoy our music won’t have been waiting for nothing!
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I love to cook, to take pictures, to go to the cinema. I love to travel, I love to grow my own veggies and plants. I’m interested in ancient knowledge about curing ourselves with plants, cultivating my connection to nature and my spiritual approach to the world we live in.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Next year it will be 10 years that I’ve been supporting the metal scene in my hometown Lyon, with my own company Sounds Like Hell Productions, organizing metal shows from local acts to international headliners, from black metal to djent, from metalcore to progressive metal. I generally don’t talk about it, but since it’s going to be our big anniversary next year, I think it’s worth mentioning now! I love to be active on both sides and to help this metal community I’m part of.
(interview published August 4, 2017)