Beyond Violet is a five-piece band based in the Netherlands, which combines melodic, highly energetic rock and metal with influences from pop and classical music.
I started the band at the end of 2008, after having been increasingly involved in music production for several years. My roots are in rock music, however, and I was already mixing up gothic music, prog rock and metal back in the eighties. Ilona, who plays keyboards, soon joined, and was later followed by (fretless) bass player Joachim. Drummer Pim, who studies with Within Temptation’s Mike Coolen recently joined us, as did Debby, our amazing new vocalist, who studied with a wide range of metal and rock singers, including Floor Jansen.
2.Recently you have released an ep, can you tell us a little bit more about your musical sound?
Basically, it is melodic rock/metal with female vocals, lush harmonies and a substantial amount of energy. The focus is on catchy tunes, good arrangements and classical influences, but we also enjoy a fair bit of musical aggression and rocking out. Harmonically, we borrow a great deal from western classical music, old prog rock and all that really well-composed pop music of the seventies.
3.The band has been around since 2008 and so far this is your first release, can you tell us a little bit more about the long wait?
Well, we knew we wanted to do something different, which didn’t sound like the average female-fronted rock/metal band, and that just took time to develop. We also went through the usual personnel changes, and now have a pretty fantastic lineup. We also wanted to work with a label that was supportive, but allowed us a great deal of freedom, and found that in Ravenheart Records. However, before that we released a number of videos and demo EPs ourselves.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Many bands in the genre seem to favour mythological or fantasy-related topics almost exclusively, but we’ve never been interested in doing that. More recent lyrics lean more strongly towards nineteenth and twentieth-century literary and poetical themes. Basically, as far as subjects are concerned, anything goes, from analyses of robotics or business ethics to deeply personal dilemmas and experiences. As long as we’ve something to say about a subject, it’s fair game.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Beyond Violet'?
It’s basically the English translation of the Latin ‘Ultraviolet’, a description of light wavelength. So the origin is scientific, but it also has a nice romantic, aspirational, even mystical sound to it. Which seems to fit our musical approach nicely.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We had a great time supporting bands like Autumn and Blutengel, but some of our best gigs have been in small rock & roll clubs. The Cave in Amsterdam was a good one. We’re very energetic on stage, occasionally bordering on manic, and pretty entertaining, I’ve been told.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Definitely. We have some smaller gigs planned, to break in our new lineup. After that, we have some international gigs scheduled and we’re appearing at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in the UK this October, with Fields of the Nephilim and some other great bands. Eventually, we hope to get to South America, where quite a few people have invited us.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic and gothic metal?
Pretty incredible, really. Not only do a lot of fans of symphonic and gothic metal seem to like what we’re doing, we also get great feedback from people who are more into rock, pop or indie music. We’ve built up quite a decent following through the various social media channels, and our videos have been watched tens of thousands of times. Of course, some people find us a bit too tuneful, or can’t get used to some of the more tense harmonies, but you can’t please everyone! We keep receiving lots of really nice reactions from all over the world, for which we’re obviously grateful.
9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
An album is scheduled for early 2015! With our newer material and new members, we’ll be heading in a more edgy, rock-oriented direction, with driving vocals and very powerful drums. There will be even more emphasis on energy and good tunes! There’ll also be a little more experimentation, with the occasional odd time signature, and plenty of interesting vintage keyboard noises. The characteristic arrangements, where no instrument overpowers the others, will remain, though.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We all seem to like bands such as Rammstein, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Queen and Muse. My own favourite band is Cardiacs, and I have been listening to very little else over the past year. Although recently I’ve been listening to Beethoven, Takamitsu, Shostakovich, Discharge and Ministry a lot. Joachim and I love proggy things like early Genesis, Camel, Pink Floyd and Van Der Graaf Generator and various new wave bands. Pim is into Slayer and Dream Theater, and Debby has introduced us all to Halestorm. Debby likes raw rock bands and prog metal with strong vocals, anything from Anouk to Revamp. Ilona and I like bands such as Depeche Mode and NIN. She also likes indie, industrial and ‘tanzmetal’!
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I like reading and anything to do with science, history or culture.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for having us here! Bloggers, independent critics and music sites are increasingly important in introducing people to new music they might be interested in, so keep up the good work!
Check out our latest release on Spotify!
... and our videos!