Dutch symphonic/progressive Metal band Stream Of Passion have come a long way from their inception as a side project of Arjen Lucassen in 2005.
They have gone through major line up changes after the departure of Lucassen, released three studio albums and one live recording, toured many parts of the world and gained a formidable reputation as a live act. They are now about to release their fourth studio album 'A War Of Our Own' themselves after parting ways with their record label.
I caught up with singer Marcela Bovio to hear all about it.
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MT: Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat to me.I heard that you weren't very well during your recent show in Zeist, have you recovered?
MB: That was a bit strange, I got really nauseous after we had dinner and of course i wanted to do the show but I soon realised I wasn't going to be able to do much headbanging! We had a bucket at the side of the stage and everything!
MT: Oh no, one of those show must go on things!
MB: Luckily I got through he show but it was disappointing as I had been looking forward to doing our first show for months and totally going for it and it was a bit of a struggle! But we'll have many more chances to play later this year I guess.
MT: I'm glad you have recovered anyway! You are going to be releasing your new album 'A War Of Our Own' next month. Your last couple of albums were released via Napalm Records but this one you're releasing yourselves. Can you talk us through how that came about?
MB: It was around two years ago that we started the whole process for this album and to be honest by then we already felt that working with Napalm wasn't going all that well, for multiple reasons. When we started working on this new album we went to them with demos of the first few songs and they didn't really seem to get what we were doing. We had an option in our deal so it wasn't that we really had to make another album with them and their reaction triggered us to looking at what else we could do. We checked all our options like looking for another label and so on and we came up with the idea of crowdfunding. It seemed like a very big risk to take but we thought if we do this it will put us in a very different place. We hesitated for a while before making the decision but eventually decided to go for it.
MT: So you went for crowdfunding?
MB: Yeah. We did some research into how it worked and set up the campaign through a crowdfunding website and it went really well! We managed to raise a whole lot of money, much more than we ever expected to!
MT: I believe you received donations totalling over 160% of your original target! Many of these campaigns fail to hit to their target. Why do you think that yours was so successful?
MB: I give a lot of credit to the research that we did beforehand but also one of the most important things is that with us the fans know us really well. We always try to keep in touch with everyone and every time after a show we go into the audience and talk to them and hang out and have some beers together. The fact that we already worked on our relationship with our fans in the past nine years, that really counts for something. All these people, they knew that and they really wanted to back us up and support us. We're not some random band to them, you know, we try to establish a very close relationship with our fans.
MT: I have been to some club shows you've done where all the fans in the first few rows seem to know each other!
MB: That's so awesome, it's really cool and it's even got a lot stronger because of this campaign. We have a feeling that this is a family and the album is something that we did together, fans and band and that bond is really cool.
MT: So how about the music? How would you describe this album compared to 'Darker Days' and the previous albums?
MB: Our previous album 'Darker Days' in a lot of ways was a little bit difficult to make what with the whole process of me moving from Mexico to Holland and finding my inspiration. In the end it worked really well and it put us, or certainly me at least a little bit back on track and I knew what I wanted to do next. A couple of years ago when we started to write these new songs I already had the idea, I wanted to make it a little more progressive. It was our goal from the beginning to be more ambitious with the songs and I think we have really managed to do that. There are a lot more progressive influences in the album but you can still hear that little latin thing we do and of course a lot of symphonic elements still. That melancholic, dramatic feeling we've always had is still there too. I'm really happy as I think we really managed to put down on those songs exactly what we were thinking of doing.
MT: Have you had a good reaction to it so far from those that have heard the album or heard the songs live?
MB: We got a really good reaction to the songs when we played them live in Zeist recently. We also had a pre-release listening session for some of our crowdfunders and some members of the press and we were really nervous,wondering what they would think! They really liked it though and were really excited which was nice to see. The journalists are always going to put on their poker face but we could see that they were really enjoying it! Some positive things have already shown up on the internet and both the press and the crowdfunders really seemed to like it.
MT: Who wrote the songs on this album?
MB: Most of the ideas come from me and I write together with Johan Van Stratum(bass player and also Ms Bovio's husband) and also with Joost Van Den Broek(ex After Forever/producer). We also had one song that we wrote together with Daniel Cardoso (Anathema).
MT: You're coming back to play two shows in the UK in May! What was the reaction like to your tour here supporting Epica at the end of 2012?
MB: It was really good! I think it was a very good package! The audiences were always really responsive and very enthusiastic about what we did. We really had a really good feeling. It's nice to be able to come back and have a higher profile where we're closing the Dames Of Darkness festival in Bilston as well as playing with Xandria at the Underworld in London. We're really looking forward to it!
MT: Are there any more UK dates planned?
MB: We are looking at setting up some touring later in the year in Holland and Germany and we're doing a festival in the Czech Republic but I don't think there are more UK dates at the moment. We're still in the planning stages though so we'll keep you posted!
MT: Thanks very much for spending time with us and good luck with the album launch and the tour!
MetalTalk's review of 'A War Of Our Own' will follow in April.
Marcela Bovio: violin, vocals
Johan van Stratum: bass
Jeffrey Revet: keyboards
Eric Hazebroek: guitars
Stephan Schultz: guitars
Martijn Peters: drums