One of the rising stars of the female fronted metal bands is none less but Exit Eden. We really loved their first album and will see them on stage at Tartu Rock and thus a good reason to interview one of them. Marina and Anna found some time to answer our questions and we really appreciate that! Here we go:
Hello, first question: Who decided about the name of this magical band and is there a meaning/special story behind it
Marina: Amanda came up with the name after a lot of brainstorming. We all thought it’s a cool name with a touch of fancy and a dark side to it, it fits the music and visual identity.
Anna: Hi! “This magical band” - thank you! To be honest, this actually all started with an idea our friends from the production company had. Amanda and I sung the first demos and we both really loved the songs the way they were changed and produced. After hearing our recording the producers asked us if we wanted to be the real members of this band and we totally agreed. Amanda has an extraordinary beautiful voice and she's achieved so much already, I was thrilled to be in a band with her. She's been friends with Marina and got her to join and had heard Clementine with one of her bands who also was up for it. This made our quartet of front women complete! Things become magic when you add magic ingredients... And this is how Exit Eden was born and it started rolling from there! About the name: Everyone knows how hard it is to come up with a band name... first you have no clue and then you come up with all sorts of ideas. The 4 of us were brain storming about it a lot, via Skype or Whats App. Amanda had a couple of ideas we liked and after discussing them we knew it had to: Exit Eden!
Was it hard to fit in, as you all have different voices, backgrounds & history?
Marina: Absolutely not. We are all girls and musicians in the end, haha.
Who chose the dresses? What kind of dresses are your favorite ones? They really look awesome!
Anna Brunner & Marina La Torraca.
Anna: Thank you! Well...when thinking about what to wear for this band we actually all wanted it to be special, something extraordinary and crazy. We found a Spanish designer called Bibian Blue. Her style was great so we were like“ Something like this would be amazing to wear” not imagining that we would really have her make those dresses extra for us... I still can’t believe it worked out in the end! My personal favourites were dresses that are very crazy, weird, something I would not wear in private live.
Can you tell us some of your own background and how you live this story?
Marina: I started singing in metal bands in my hometown São Paulo when I was 15. I’ve always wanted to do it professionally. Since then I studied musical theater (which I also love) and have been working in that area for a while now too. Being part of exit Eden and constantly working with such talented people is extremely satisfying. It definitely feels like the hard work is paying off.
Anna: Sure! I've had a bunch of bands in the past. We played gigs recorded demo CDs and all but never got a deal or anything. Music always was what made me happy. I learned to play the guitar and piano as a teenager and after finishing school I decided to study music. I focused on rock music (although people always told me to change my style) and songwriting. It was always clear for me that the only thing I want to do is music and I never challenged it. I worked as a studio singer, songwriter and vocal coach and always had my bands where I could do my own thing. Of course you have to make compromises if you want to make a living from music but my heart beats rock n roll and this is what I will never forget. I am very glad to have Exit Eden as my band! So this is my first real big thing and I am very happy about it!!!
How hard was it to work your way up? I hope you didn’t caught up with anything related to Me#too shouts?
Marina: Luckily enough I’ve never been involved in sexual assault of that sort. But it hasn’t been easy AT ALL: if you want to succeed in anything, I believe you have to put in the work AND be extremely resilient and never back down at the first “no”. That’s easier said than done, haha.
Anna, is it right to say you had a bit of a leading role in the studio and could give lots of advice and giving in the direction? How did that feel?
Anna: Hm... well since Amanda and I had sung some of the demo songs we were involved before even without knowing that we would really be part of this in the end. So of course this gave us more background information. But I didn't really have more of a leading role than the others, no.
Well... being friends with the producers and seeing them a lot gave me the opportunity let them know what I think, this could be what you mean?! And working at the production studio did give me more sight and also word in some things....
What song did brought you the most pleasure to do and gave you the best feeling to do? Any favorite song to cover?
Marina: I loved doing Paparazzi because I’m a bit Gaga fan. My personal challenge was not to sound like her, haha. That’s also my favorite song of the album.
Anna: One of my favorite songs on the album is Unfaithful. Not only because I love our version but I also like to remember the recording session for this one. It was one of the first sessions we had and I got in the recording booth just to warm up. I was looking forward to singing it and thrilled to rock my verse. We took a couple of takes and I was soaked... putting all the power and energy I had into it. This was so much fun! And exactly one of those takes is what you hear on the record!
If you could pick out a special guest for a X-mass or a valentine-minded track, who would it be and why?
Marina: I’d love to record a something with Tommy Karevik (Kamelot, Seventh Wonder), just because I love his poppy distinctive voice. And he’s a great guy.
Anna: Oh, I would pick Dave Grohl. I think he is amazing. I love the way he sings and rips it off on stage. I always loved Nirvana and I'm a great Foo Fighters fan.
Marina, I know you are an actress, so in what (kind of) movies or theater plays did you act in?
Marina: I haven’t been in any movies (yet, hahaha, who knows). The last musical play I did was a german tour of RENT, where I had the biggest pleasure to play Mimi, a drug addict stripper who’s HIV Positive and wants to make the most out of life.
How is it to be so far away from your own country (Brazil) and travel around the world and live in Germany?
Marina: It’s great, hahaha. No, I do miss Brasil and my culture and my language and my friends. But I do love traveling all the time, I was made for touring, haha.
Marina, you participated in the Eurovision 2016, participated in Avantasia, the Broadway story and did wonderful collaborations, how do you look back at it and how did it all feel like?
Marina: I actually didn’t participate in the Eurovision, but I’m really grateful for all those “big things”. Like I said, it’s an immense joy to see that your hard work is paying off. It was a dream come true to share the stage with many of my metal idols, and I hope it keeps getting better.
What is the most precious moment for you during this tour, yet?
Marina: We haven’t toured with Exit Eden yet, but we’ve already shared many precious moments. Freezing together in that castle during the video and photo shootings was really a bonding moment. Haha.
Anna: Yeah right! And also our release weekend at Wacken last year. It was very special to spend this together. Since we don't see us a lot we always try to cherish the moment. I hope we will be sharing tour stories next interview. Being on tour with these girls will just be so much fun!
Did Depeche Mode (you covered A Question of Time in a very powerful and fitting way) or any other artist already react to the cover versions?
Marina: I don’t think any of the original artists reacted to our versions, no. But I’d love to know what they think!
A lot of people gave feedback on you, maybe you can give some feedback about my review, like this we can change the a bit the usual way of working?
Anna: Yes, why not!? Hey this is a great review! Thank you! What I like a lot about it is the idea to describe the album as a trip/journey though music. Because this is what it is about in the first place. Not only comparing them to the originals but seeing our version as a whole new song. And I love that you had the association to Lords of the Bords at Paparazzi, because this was exactly what I thought when singing it! The way you write really makes the reader interested in the band. I would check out Exit Eden after reading your review, if I wouldn't know them yet (with a smile).
On a bit of a critical note: it seems like the niche of female fronted metal bands (in Belgium, my country the well-known festival Metal Female Voices Fest is on hold) is getting narrower, some festivals that focused on it are quitting, is it easy to find good gigs, grow and get a higher reach?
Marina: It’s a pity if smaller festivals quit, because it’s always a great starting point for smaller bands (independent of being female fronted or not). But I have the feeling there’s still a lot of support from the fans of this specific scene, enough to keep more bands coming and growing.
One of the logical cover version was for sure the Bonnie Tyler song, but picking out Lady Gaga, that was a big surprise. How are the reactions so far?
Anna: Yeah... we wanted a wide variety of different styles and eras. And taking this pretty modern pop song (which metal heads might not like or know in the original) made it even more exciting and challenging. But the reactions where great. Many people said they like our version a lot but can't stand the original and that is the best compliment we can get!
Could you choose the songs you would sing?
Marina: for this album, most of the songs had been chosen by the producers and creative team before we got to be a band.
Is there a new album coming up soon and are there songs you would want to be yours on it?
Marina: We still can’t give concrete information about that, but we certainly hope so! Maybe this time I’d like to focus on revamping some oldies. Haha
This summer you will perform in Tartu (Tartu Rock, in Estonia), have you been there yet and will you have time to visit a bit this beautiful country (with only 50 km of highway)?
Marina: I’ve never been there! But I’m really looking forward to all of it.
Anna: Haha, this would be amazing. I haven't been there either... yes, we are thinking of extending our trip to stay a bit longer. We'll see if it works out …
Any chance you might come to Belgium too?
Marina: Once again, no concrete plans on that yet. But I’ll be playing at the Kraken festival in May in Ittre with my band Phantom Elite , hope to see some of you there!
What will the future bring? What’s on your bucket list? Anything else you want to promote to conclude this
Marina: Hopefully the future will bring lots of action and good news! I’m certainly working to make that happen. A personal bucket list item I’d love to cross soon: play in Japan and tour Latin America, haha. I really appreciate the support from you guys out there! Phantom Elite is releasing its debut album on the 15th of April, check it out! And we really, really want to see everyone on the road. Hope to see you soon! Xoxo.
Anna: I am very curious to what the future will hold. It has been a bumpy ride for me so far but the last couple of years have brought great opportunities. It feels like my rod is getting smoother and I am very excited to see where it will take me.
I still have many things on my bucket list... but one I can cross off on August 2nd this year – playing at Wacken!!!
More info: http://www.rockintartu.ee
Interview with opening band Herald: click here