TO-MERA (Eng.)

– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. To start, please explain us what are TO-MERA currently up to.

J: We’re taking a break at the moment…

– First off, why did you pick “To-Mera” as the band’s name?

Primarily because I thought it sounded very unique!

 

– Some months ago you released your latest studio album, “Exile”. How was its feedback like? Did it fullfill your expectations?

J: we are really happy with the record and the feedback has been fantastic. Really good reviews all around.

 

– Have been four years between your prvious «Delusions» and this new «Exile». Did this make you feel a certain urge or need to create something new with TO-MERA?

J: we’ve been working on this record for a while, although we did release an EP in the meantime. We did however take our time partly because we were really busy with other things and also because we wanted this record to be as perfect as possible…

 

– I could say this is a more elaborated album in all aspects, maybe these years you have taken have had something to do with this? Has the band evolved in these years?

J: as musicians we are always striving to improve and to try different approaches. You could certainly say the song writing is more mature than on previous cds, although at the same time maybe less experimental than before, which will appeal to some but not others. But that’s natural – you can’t please everyone…

 

– As some of you have done HAKEN, you recorded the album with your home computers. I guess this time you didn´t have to care about money or time but, what balance could you do of this work? What are its pros and its cons?

J: Actually time and money is still a consideration but yes we definitely took longer recording ourselves. It was a steep and occasionally frustrating learning curve but also very satisfying.

 

– And considering the good final outcome, will you keep on working like this from now on?

J: yes that is very likely unless we win the lottery. In which case we’ll just enslave all the best producers…

 

– If I´m not mistaken, you have had some frustrating experience from your time together, as unity so, has been easy work again togheter? What factors did contribute to that not so good experiences?

J: Not really sure what you mean! We’ve had some member changes over the years but I wouldn’t say working together was ever too ‘frustrating’! People just change, have new priorities, that’s all. We’re still friends with all the ex-members of the band. We’re quite nice and friendly people, honest. 🙂

 

– This being said, would you mind to elaborate a bit on the concept behind this record?

J: The concept is about plunging into a self-inflicted state of exile that becomes a search for meaning. Although much of the album is quite dark, the end is very positive. It’s about living your life to the full, without fear and accepting that pleasure/love and pain and loss all have their part to play…

 

– And how was the songwriting process like? Is it different when you are building a concept album?

J: Yes, there was a conscious effort to make the album flow together both lyrically and musically. As before, much of the album was written by Tom but we also worked together as a unit in the rehearsal room, re-working structures and embellishing bits etc…

 

– That has been your first opus with Illusionary Records after leaving Candelight Records, which is an importante change, as Candlelight is one of the most important labels in Metal so, how has this move been?

J: We simply felt that in order to keep our musical integrity we needed to continue without Candlelight. With the advent of home recording and the ease of self-releasing albums (plus the loss of physical album sales), the importance of Record labels really is minimal these days. Of course in terms of media contacts and advertising it is still advantageous to work with a label but that’s about it…

 

– The cover artwork was crafted by the own Julie Kiss. How positive is having an own band´s member doing it? As I guess no one like you knows you want to get. And what did you want to reflect with it? Maybe freedom?

J: As I was responsible for the lyrical content and have some graphic design experience it made sense to do things this way. The cover art relates to the overall message of the album – the white dove is emerging from a great big storm…

 

– You have always featured 8 songs in every record and all of them have a similar lenght, is this something planned?

J: I actually had to go and check! So, no. 🙂 In fact it seems the songs have been getting longer and longer with each album…Blood from Transcendental is actually under 6 minutes, while All I Am on Exile is nearly 13! Also, Transcendental and Exile both have short intros so they don’t technically count as songs 😉 …but anyway, no none of this was planned.

 

– This also been your first effort with keyboard player Richard Henshall and bass Mark Harrington, who joined in 2009, prior to your «Earthbound» EP. How are they fitting in? And what could you say they have brought to TO-MERA?

J: Mark is a brilliant bass player who contributed lots to the sound of the band, especially live. Hen on the other hand brought some beautiful ideas on keys and really took out his part in the composition process.

 

– On this release you have had several guest artists such as Marcela Bovio or Stéphan Forté among others. How did everything arise? And if you could choose, which other artists would you like to play with?

J: Yes we played with them before at various shows and thought it would be great to involve them somehow. Re. other artists, don’t really have anyone particular in mind at this moment…

 

– All this about “Exile” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

J: involving, moving, deep

 

– As 2012 is about to end; could you please tell us what are your 3 favourite albums of the year as well as the least favourite one?

J: I really loved Anathema’s Weather systems and We’re here because we’re here, which I only just got around to listening to…I’ve also been listening to Florence and the machine’s Ceremonials a lot…re.least favourite…hard to say, I don’t really have one. I’m pretty fussy with my music and if I don’t find something engaging/exciting the first time I listen to it I just don’t bother with it. So no least favourites…

 

– And finally; what are your near-future plans?

J: We are thinking of maybe starting a new project but it’s early days yet…unfortunately it’s unlikely that Exile will ever be heard in a live setting.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

J: thanks! Everyone please check out Exile on to-mera.bandcamp.com.

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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