Wednesday, 18 March 2015

INTERVIEW: Diane Camenzuli of Weeping Silence


So this week Femetalism is heading off on a sneaking holiday to the beautiful island of Malta.  What made us decide to head to Malta?  The brand new Metal Over Malta Festival is what ... hosted by gothic doom metal band Weeping Silence and being held at Chateau Buskett. It was an event we just couldn't miss out on.

The line up for Metal Over Malta includes Chaotic Remains, Rising Sunset, Doomas, Daylight Misery, Helevorn, Weeping Silence and the headliners Draconian.

Ahead of the festival Diane Camenzuli, lead vocalist of host band Weeping Silence, took some time out to talk to Femetalism about the festival, about the band's recent signing to Massacre Records and their new album plus a whole lot more.

Hi Diane!  We have been very much looking forward to Metal Over Malta.  How did the festival come about and why did Weeping Silence decide to host a new festival in Malta?

Hi Emma! Thank you for this interview. I was very pleased when I heard that you are coming to Metal over Malta! ;)

Originally, the idea was to organise a small concert with Draconian but as soon as this was out, the interest and fan support locally and from overseas was overwhelming so we decided that this should evolve into something bigger and more dynamic and thus, the birth of this festival. Also, Mario and Sean had for some time been planning to start a new festival, and this situation triggered it off.

The festival seems to have been well received. Have you been pleased with the response from the international metal community?

The enthusiasm is over-whelming! We sold tickets to over ten countries including distant ones such as the USA and Russia. We are working very hard on this, and to have the response we had is very encouraging. We cannot wait for Saturday to come! ☺

There are already some well established metal festivals in Malta. How do you see Metal Over Malta fitting into the Malta metal festival scene alongside the likes of Malta Doom Metal festival and Xtreme Metal Assault?

Metal over Malta Fest is, in my opinion, a great addition to the calendar, as it is very different to the others on the island in terms of scope and music.

MoMf takes place in spring, whereas the other two take place in summer and autumn. XMA is focused on the local scene and MDM on the doom scene, particularly traditional doom (although they vary styles too).

MoMf has a wide spectrum, with a focus on melodic metal from death to gothic, from doom to heavy metal. This year we had a particular gothic-doom slant especially because of our headliner Draconian, next year might have a different slant. MoMf also wants to increase the local interest in female-fronted metal of all genres, since we felt that not enough attention to this style was being given. All in all, only time will tell if MoMf is to survive in the collage of annual events, and we’re doing our best to ensure it does, and grows further.

Chateau Buskett looks to be a beautiful location. What makes it a good venue for a metal festival?

Chateau Buskett is tucked away in one of the very few woodland areas in Malta, Buskett – limits of Rabat. It provides a great atmosphere for those who want to spend a day listening to metal music and making new friends. The venue has a large hall that can take several hundred people, a comfortable stage, a cool outside area, catering, parking and other important elements that make it ideal for a festival of this size.

Please also allow me to say, Emma, that Malta is an island with a history of 7000 years that dates back to 5200BC. There are plenty of historical places one can easily visit whilst on our island, even in the vicinities of the venue. So, MoMf combined with a holiday and sight-seeing could well be a great option for metal heads into these things.

We were really pleased to see you on the Dames Of Darkness line up this year. What are you looking forward to most about playing the UK and at this well respected festival?

As you just said, this is a well respected festival, and being on the line-up with artists like Leaves’ Eyes and Sirenia is great of course. Furthermore, we all look forward to sharing nice experiences both on stage as a band and individually roaming the festival grounds. It is an opportunity to grow both on a personal level and a professional level. A shout-out to David Homer who put us on the bill of DoDf!!

The last time Weeping Silence was in the UK was in 2010. Both Dario and I were not in the band back then, and the band had played with To-Mera and Asomvel among others in three cities. It was the band’s first experience overseas. From what the guys tell me, the attendance was nothing spectacular, but the experience had opened up the band to opportunities and instilled a sense of reality. We are really looking forward to the band’s return to the UK!

Do you have plans for more tour dates or further live appearances this year, or will you be concentrating on the new album?

Nothing planned so far. We are very busy recording our upcoming album ‘Opus IV Oblivion’, as we need to get it out there some time in autumn. People have been waiting eagerly for this, including us. So, no tours planned until the release, and then we’ll see the opportunities that present themselves before us. Of course we are keeping our eyes open for touring in conjunction with the album release, maybe towards the end of the year or early 2016. Any promoters or agents that wish to book the band can contact us directly, or go through our agencies Limelight Productions and Hydra Booking Agency.

You have been looking for a label to support the release of your new album and you recently announced that Massacre Records was to be that label. A very exciting time for the band I am sure - how do you think this partnership will shape the future of Weeping Silence?

Signing to Massacre Records is important for us. We wanted a good, reputable and respected record label, and we now have it. The ball is squarely in our court ... we must deliver the album we envisaged. We have set the bar high for ourselves and we will do what it takes to achieve it. This is one of the beauties of artistic expression; the strive to improve and deliver more compellingly and more passionately what you want to say.

Looking back a little bit, in the demo stage we contacted a number of record labels, and we waited for their response. We thought to wait before accepting the first offer that came along, and it proved to be a good decision. It is indeed exciting for us to join the label that so many great artists call home. We are in the early stages of this relationship, but we can say that it’s working very well already. The label does its part of promoting the band on its social media and that generates interest all round. It is important to generate some hype before an album.

All I can say now is that we are happy to call Massacre Records our home ☺


Can you give us an update on the new album’s progress and what we can expect from it?

So, the recording is taking place at Spine Splitter Studio. The drum tracks have just been finished and next are the bass and guitars. I shall record the vocals in a few months time. I am very curious to hear the final result!

‘Opus IV Oblivion’ will be a gothic-doom metal album. Its uniqueness is the contrast between heavier passages and slower ones, alongside other dynamics such as experimenting with music compositions intertwined with complex lyrical themes.

Lyrics are written mostly by Sean, our bassist. The focus of the album’s lyrics is on finding inner peace with the ‘self’, finding the conscious being in us, and the struggle to detach from the many illusions we chose to surround ourselves with. We try to look for the unknown, to become more conscious and to understand our inner selves. As a result of this, we embrace any source of light that comes to our lives and value hope, acceptance and other important elements in life. Moving from one phase to another was another theme we included in the album. We are on the move, from one psychological place to another, choosing which personal values and beliefs to keep or discard. I think that anyone searching for more than just music, and looking for something deeper lyrically should find it here.

As one of the newest members of the Weeping Silence line-up, how have you put your stamp on the new material?  What sets this new album apart from the previous releases?

The vocal tones I use are still melodic yet melancholic. I am trying to use varied vocal techniques that I have learned along the years. I look forward to using my personal voice timbre and also to experiment with different pitches from my vocal range.

As for the album and how this stands out, I think that the composition takes into account the lyrical content with more attention, and the songs seem to have a depth and intensity that goes beyond previous works. However, I’ll leave the listener to be the judge of that.

Thinking longer term, what do you plan or hope to achieve with the band over the next few years?

Well Emma, to be honest I have a few festivals that are on my bucket list. I look forward to the opportunity to express my emotions, to more excitement shared with my brothers and sister on stage, and to have fun together with the audience. I feel really honoured and lucky to be part of such a unique journey.

Cheers to everyone following Femetalism!! We hope we can meet many of you someday, somewhere. Feel free to check out our music and live schedule. Here are some links to keep you updated about the band and Metal over Malta Festival. I will see you Emma at the Festival in Malta later this week. I really hope you have a great time in our country and at the festival. Take care! xx

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday too Diane.  We are currently busy packing and getting ready for the flight over to Malta in the morning.  We cannot wait to spend some time sight seeing and of course attending this new event in such a beautiful location.  We will be sure to come home with some wonderful photographs and some even more wonderful memories.

If you want to come along, there is still time to grab some tickets and a cheap flight.  Check out these links below:

Links to MoM Festival: 

Website - http://www.metalovermalta.com/
FB page - https://www.facebook.com/metalovermalta
FB event - https://www.facebook.com/events/336158306544007/

Weeping Silence Links:

Website - www.weepingsilence.com
WS FB page - https://www.facebook.com/weepingsilence
Diane's FB page - https://www.facebook.com/DianeCamenzuliWeepingSilence

Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.