– Hello, thanks for taking your time. How are you holding up? Has the pandemic affected the band’s activity in any way?
First of all, thank you for your interest in doing an interview with us, hopefully we can give the reader a deeper look into what Transilvania is about. As the pandemic hit the world, we have been nearly finished with the songwriting for our second album. But honestly the first wave has been such an inspiring time that we decided to write one more song, which has become the first song of the album. We haven’t been affected that badly, although we had to postpone the recording session several times, but in the end our album wouldn’t have turned out like this if we had recorded it earlier. Now as the second wave hit Austrian very badly, we were forced to shoot down the musical activities together completely.
-You’ve just released your sophomore album, “Of Sleep and Death”, which feels like a whole experience. How does every aspect of the album complement each other?
To be honest we hadn’t had any concrete plans of how the album has to look and sound like. It was more like one certain feeling, which surrounded all of us during the whole process. Out of this feeling has emerged all the ideas for the songs and artworks. You can say that this album is the result of some unexpected coincidences, which fit perfectly together.
-What is meant to instill in the listener this listening experience?
The aim is to drag the listener into a world, where the fear of the menace of revenants, wraiths and all other incarnated abominations, dominated the everyday life of medieval society. Maybe some listeners can figure out some similarities to today’s society as well. But most important for us, was to erase the image of vampires, werewolves, etc …which was caused by literature and movies in the last couple of decades. Hopefully we could give them a small part of their real face back.
-“Of Sleep and Death” I’d say is an album with more layers. Also darker if you will. Where did this blossom from? Is every album you release a portrait of a certain moment in your life?
Transilvania has always grown with us and the other way round as well. Each of us has different personal reasons why he is doing that and they haven’t changed yet. Of Sleep and Death is a collection of them. From where these ideas are, we don’t know. Somehow it feels like they have accompanied us our whole life time and broke out as we formed Transilvania.
-The album, as well as TRANSILVANIA, have a very singular atmosphere, or imagery. How is the process of coming up with a specific idea and translating it into sounds?
The first step is to explore yourself and what comes to mind when you read or hear a story about this topic. After the image gets clear enough, we think of what feeling we want to transport into the sounds and from which perspective the lyrics are. The process is very theatrical so to speak and demands a constant creative line to give a song the required completeness.
-After having been through the learning experience that doing a debut album might be, and with some new blood in the band, how was the songwriting process this time around?
In one easy word – rough. We had a lot of discussions during the songwriting and I’m not exaggerating, when I say that we have one of the toughest band climates, you could imagine and that’s good. Why? Because this shows how each one of us takes the band seriously. Without the discussions and fights, it would have turned out less personal and maybe Transilvania wouldn’t have made so many steps forward in the last couple of years.
-In “Of Sleep and Death” there are vampires, lycanthropes… Then there’s the medieval looking cover, and the band’s name… Has Eastern folklore been an influence for you? What are some of the specific events/legends that have inspired some of the lyrics on the album?
Not only eastern folklore has inspired us for the compositions. Many other countries of Europe with their specific legends had influenced the lyrical content of the album. Like Peter Stumpp the werewolf of Bedburg, the Romanian vampiric blood ritual, the Scottish revenant burials and ancient Greek goddess of necromancy Hecate, to name just a few.
-And how do some of the lyrics connect with the cover artwork? Tell us a little bit about it.
A few lines of text are connected to some parts of the cover artwork, but i don’t want to reveal them exactly. Everybody who reads through the lyrics will find something.
-Even though, as I said, there are legends and myths, it feels like most of the lyrics are symbols of death. What is Death in the universe of TRANSILVANIA?
Death is the biggest mystery of life, which everybody has to deal with sooner or later. But in our world Death isn’t the end of something like most people think. There are multiple meanings of this strong Symbol. It can be freedom as well as damnation or rebirth as well as solitude.
-All this about “Of Sleep and Death” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?
Well it feels weird to reduce the album on just three words, when you know how much work and emotions the album had cost.
-And finally, what are now your near-future plans in these uncertain times?
The most important thing for us right now, is not to stand still. We don’t know yet what is possible in the near future. But one thing is for sure, we keep on going, if it is on stage or in the rehearsal room to write new material.
– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Maybe some of you are now interested to listen to our new album and we have given a deeper look inside into what Transilvania is about. Although we live in such an uncertain time, we hope to welcome some of you at one of our upcoming shows in the future.