READY TO RECOUP
Maxi Nil has always had a vision of what she wanted to do and become in the music business. She was the voice of Elysion, On Thorns I Lay and Visions Of Atlantis and now she's on the road with her own band JADED STAR. Their debut album came out in 2015, but meanwhile JADED STAR's sophomore album 'Realign' has seen the light of day with a complete new line-up. We had an interview with Maxi about the new album and why she dislikes the term 'female fronted' so much.
For those who do not know you yet, you’ve been in 3 other bands before you founded JADED STAR: Elysion, On Thorns I Lay and Visions Of Atlantis. But only with the latter you did in fact record two albums (‘Delta’ and ‘Ethera’) and one EP (‘Maria Magdalena’). Why nothing with Elysion and On Thorns I Lay?
MAXI: We parted ways with Elysion after our signing with Massacre Records back then and right after I had recorded the vocals for our debut ‘Silent Scream’. The band decided to record the vocals again with their new singer Christianna before releasing the album. As for On Thorns I Lay, I’m singing on the album ‘Eternal Silence’ released in 2015, but they had a photo of another girl whom I don’t know on the album. Go figure… hahaha.
Right after you left Visions Of Atlantis, you formed your own band JADED STAR. Where did you find the other musicians so quickly?
MAXI: This project was in my mind while I was with Visions Of Atlantis and some songs were already in the making. It took me about 6 months to find musicians. For this, which is not a very short time, but we bonded very quickly and the album was released one and a half years later. I found Kosta Vreto on Facebook and being a fan of him, I wrote him a message asking him simply to join my band and make things happen! He replied the next day saying simply let’s do it! With Raphael Saini we’ve toured together a few times when he was replacing Thomas Caser, drummer of Visions Of Atlantis and we became very close friends! I remember him telling me for years to make a band and play together and so we did! Bass wise we had mostly friends and hired guns playing with us which was a lot of fun!
JADED STAR’s debut album ‘Memories From The Future’ was released in 2015. How where the reactions from the press and your fans on that album?
MAXI: Most people expected a symphonic metal album and they were surprised it wasn’t. But people and the press embraced this record and we received a lot of love and support!
Between the debut album and your new album ‘Realign’ is a gap of 5 years. What have you been up to all those years?
MAXI: Changing line up and finding a new label takes time and I needed to be sure that I’m doing the right thing for the band. Now we are ready to recoup for those years of silence.
Let’s talk about ‘Realign’ now, but first the single ‘Female Fronted’ that came out early September. What’s wrong with the term ‘female fronted metal’? We all know by now that female fronted is NOT a genre (symphonic metal and thrash metal for example are genres). It just says that there’s a woman behind the microphone, nothing about the style the band is playing…
MAXI: This term always bothered me… it doesn’t describe a genre for me as well, but unfortunately it does to many people out there. I very often hear people saying that they’re listening to female fronted metal… it just sounds wrong… why do we actually have to “announce” that there is a woman behind the microphone since we don’t do it when there is a man? …Music shouldn’t divide us to women or men… music is supposed to unite!
On ‘Realign’, we hear a complete new band. You’re the only one left from the debut album, after Kosta Vreto was replaced by guitarist Dane Constantine in 2018. Why did you replace the whole band?
MAXI: It was a decision we took all together since it was getting very hard to work as a team while living so far away from each other. We all remain friends.
‘Realign’ means to regroup or reform. Does the title reflect to the new band or a new start and in what way does the cover relate to the title?
MAXI: Yes all this together including my self-growth. As for the cover, it was designed by Jon Toussas of Graphic No Jutsu and we really wanted to combine the earth with the new world, we wanted our cover to scream regeneration.
When you compare ‘Realign’ with ‘Memories From The Future’, where is the progress in the songs? And what distinguishes them from each other?
MAXI: I wouldn’t compare those two albums, they are so different and yet so close to one another. ‘Memories’ is more atmospheric while ‘Realign’ is more straight forward I would say.
Some tracks are very AOR (Adult Oriented Rock) sounding, ready to be played on the American radio stations, like ‘A Pain All Mine’ and closer ‘Higher Than Love’. They remind a lot of what bands like BON JOVI and ALDO NOVA were doing in the early 1980s. Is that what JADED STAR is aiming for? Airplay?
MAXI: Where I come from we have this say that “Many people come to hate money, but nobody gets to hate fame”. Airplay is always a good thing to happen to a band, but surely it’s not intentional. I’m glad you see it this way though.
Lyrical wise: you recently said in a live stream that you write a lot about personal things that happens or happened in your life. Can you give us some examples with the titles from tracks on the new album and what they are about?
MAXI: I’d like people to see their own story and relate to my lyrics, so telling exactly what the songs are about may ruin it. Besides the song ‘Pain All Mine’, which clearly talks about my father, I’d like to leave the other songs on peoples imagination.
When do you hope to tour again to promote ‘Realign’? Which band would you like to take JADED STAR on tour with through Europe?
MAXI: With the current situation the future is uncertain and nobody knows when tours will happen again…. we just hope to recover from this soon and with the less victims possible. We would love to tour with bands like Amaranthe, our friends from Delain, Battle Beast, Nothing More…
You have participated in ‘Goditha, The Rock Opera’ with, among others, Henning Basse (Mayan), Iliana Tsakiraki (Enemy Of Reality) and Mora (Dimlight). Can you tell us something more about that? How did you end up in that to start with?
MAXI: I was invited to play as Goditha by the composer Elina Englezou and seeing all those talented musicians participating was an instant yes! We had such great times and it was a challenge for me since it was my first musical and having the main part made me push myself over my limits. I loved it! Can’t wait for the theatre premiere as soon as we get over this pandemic!
(update: Maxi Nil is also involved in Bob Katsionis and Nicole Christophorou‘s She & Her Darkness together with Aeva Maurelle from Aeverium. They will release an orchestral metal album soon – visit their Facebook page here!)
Thanks to Dominik Goncalves dos Reis at All-Noir for making this interview possible!