– Hi, thanks for answering to our questions. What’s currently going on in the VAN CANTO’s camp?
Hi Tania, you’re welcome. We’re in preparation of the forthcoming Europe-tour. That means spending time in the rehearsal room and of course looking forward to it.
– First of all, hope you don’t mind making some history of the band, as I’m specially curious about how did you come up with the unique idea of forming such an original band.
We all knew us from our former bands, which were “regular” metal bands. And one day Stef came up with this really freaking idea of doing something very vocal oriented. And all of us were interested and of course crazy enough to join this project. And now, none of us can live without it J
– You will soon release your latest «Break the Silence» but, as the media has already got its promo copies; how are first reactions being?
The reactions are very different, as they always are. Van Canto polarizes a lot, so there are on the one hand, many people who really love the new album, and in the other hand there are people, who think our music is crap. But I think that’s much better than being somewhere in the middle.
– First of all I would like to get a bit into the album’s title; why did you choose it? I mean, how well do you think describes both the whole band and this concrete album?
“Break the Silence” is a sentence that, in my opinion fits perfect to the whole band and to every member. To get so much attention just with our voices and a drummer is unbelievable. And for this concrete album it fits very well too. When you’re working on a new album, although you play many gigs in the meantime, it feels like being very silent. So you’re looking forward to the release and the end of the silence, when the new songs break the silence.
– In fact the band seems to be growing quite fast, considering you were formed just 4 years ago. Did you expect such success during your beginnings?
No, as I said before, Van Canto starts as a project. And the success we have is just incredible. So we enjoy everything that happens and expect nothing. And I think that’s a reason for us having so much fun making music.
– Moreover, being the only band doing this, a cappella Metal, can be quite risky. Is being the only band playing this style working positively for you thus far?
Yes, it’s risky, because people, who don’t like our style of metal just have us to complain about. In the beginning of Van Canto we thought that there have to be more bands like us in the future, but till now, we are unique J But it would be great to share experiences with other metal a cappella bands.
– Due to this, have things been easy for you? I mean with getting a record deal, having promoters interested in you, etc.
As I said in the beginning, we all knew us from our former bands, where everyone of us tried to be successful, but the big deal didn’t came. With Van Canto it was quiet easy. Doing something new brings you in an interesting position.
– And do you think most Metal fans are open-minded enough for these kind of concepts?
I think the most Metal fans are enough open-minded. We can see this singing a gig. During the first few songs you can see people with really skeptical faces, but then the face expressions change into surprise and after some time into interest. And then most of the hands are up J
– Getting back to this brand new «Break the Silence», I noticed a clear songwriting and vocal evolution but; how do you see has been your general evolution and development since «A Storm to Come»?
Our first album was the beginning of something, we didn’t know where it would end. We had no plans doing this live. But after getting some offers playing live and some shows, we learned how songs must be written to do them live and to survive the gigs too. So the evolution was essential staying alive. Otherwise Stef, Ross and Ike never get through a whole set, entirely without breathing 😉
– As I said, this time around there is a good songwriting evolution but; how does the songwriting process tends to be in a band like VAN CANTO? I mean, do you have to set up in your minds guitar lines, etc.? Or do you just have an a cappella approach?
Our songwriting works like in any other bands too. The songs are created with guitar or piano and then we “translate” them into metal a cappella. But you must not forget that voices have to do all your lines, patterns and riffs.
– There’s also a god improvement wich the»guitars imitation» (or whatever you want to call it). Do you want to get closer to the sound of those instruments or, otherwise, do you like to show clearly the band just has one drummer and different voices? Or do you prefer to create a good balance between both?
I think a good balance is important. Of course you can get closer to guitar sound, but then you need more equipment. Our songs seem like “normal” songs but they aren’t and you have to notice this while listen to our music.
– In this album we can find Marcus Siepen and Joakim Broden as guest artists so I would like you to tell us a bit about it; why did you choose them, etc.
In 2010 we played a few shows with Blind Guardian and Marcus plays the incredible acoustic guitar parts, so asking him was a natural way. And the result shows, that it was the right decision.
Concerning Joakim: We played as a special guest on their festival in Sweden and performed Primo together. So it was an easy decision to put the song on the album as well.
– This time, once more, you have covered some songs: SABATON’s Primo Victoria (where Joakim Broden provided some vocals), ALICE COOPER’s «Bed of Nails» and MANOWAR’s «Master of the Wind». Would you mind elaborate a bit on this?
Although our main focus is on our own songs, it’s always fun to cover. This time we wanted to cover songs that feel like we have written them ourselves.
– There’s also a limited edition of this album so, for all those who may be interested; could you please tell what are they going to find on it?
We have Betrayed, the second song of Van Canto with orchestra, again for the online game Runes of Magic. And we have Bad to the Bone, a Running Wild cover. And a preview of our upcoming transmedia project ‘Peer Returns’, which will be unleashed at the end of the year. This preview is the first episode and is called A Storm To Come.
– And finally, what does future have in store for you guys?
More shows, more fans, more albums and of course never losing the joy of making music.
– That has been all, thank you once more for your time. If you now want to add any final words; last lines are all yours.
Thanks for your interest in Van Canto. It would be great to meet you on tour someday.