Italian symphonic metal band ELEGY OF MADNESS are gaining more and more international repute since they released their debut album “The Bridge Of Sighs“ in 2009. Today, with three strong composers in their line-up, guitarists Tony Tomasicchio and Marco Monno and bassist Larry Ozen, the band is on its way to the top of the European symphonic metal world and with Francesco Caputo on drums and singer Kyrah Aylin that may just be a matter of time. Their fifth album “XI“ is about to be released on October 20th through Scarlet Records, one that could give them that last necessary push. We had an interview with Kyrah about “XI“.
INTERVIEW BY: HENK VAN NIEUWENHOVEN
BUONGIORNO, KYRAH. IF I AM CORRECT, YOUR REAL NAME IS CHIARA DI MARE. WHERE DID YOU GET KYRAH AYLIN FROM AS YOUR ARTIST NAME?
Hi! First, I wanna thank you for this lovely interview. My real name is Chiara Di Mare. Years ago, I was looking for a stage name. Not for marketing reasons, but I wanted something more, because it had to do with my inner ego, something that was going to represent me and my view of things through the music. I remember I was by the sea, as every now and then I need a break from everyone and everything. It was a period of confusion and I needed to find myself and let my deeper me come out, so I had an enlightenment… Kyrah Aylin!!! I know it sounds like a Turkish name and that can create confusion with my fans about my roots, even though I like to unite different cultures. Kyrah comes from the Greek meaning “Lady”, Aylin comes from a Turkish word meaning “Moonlight”! Kyrah in Irish means “Black” and my real name Chiara means “Clear”. So these opposites, like dark and light, black and white, represent me even in my music life and style… just like when I sing clear or growl.
YOU JOINED ELEGY OF MADNESS IN 2022. DID THE GUYS KNOW YOU FROM YOUR OTHER BAND ARESEA?
No, they didn’t. Aresea was born years ago and was my own very first project. Created in 2017, one EP “Retrospection” out in 2018, but it had no future. It was a beautiful box of memories with which I grew up.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TIME WITH ELEGY OF MADNESS SO FAR IN MAXIMUM THREE WORDS?
Intense, emotional and constructive.
“XI”, THE NEW ALBUM THAT WILL BE OUT ON OCTOBER 20TH, IS OFFICIALLY ELEGY OF MADNESS’ FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM. WHY IS IT CALLED “XI”, DOES IT START WITH THE INSTRUMENTAL “11:11” AND CONTAINS 11 TRACKS. WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NUMBER 11 FOR ELEGY OF MADNESS?
When I joined ELEGY OF MADNESS there were some tracks just composed by Tony, Larry and Marco, so I started to work on the lyrics. We noticed that each one was inspired by the post-pandemic feelings. You know, it all seemed so dark, so we needed strength to reawaken and fight. We know the Tarot XI means just that, strength, awakening of consciousness, call to action, creative power, mindfulness, etc. So, we decided to make the master number XI the new album’s leitmotiv.
IN JANUARY 2023 YOU SWITCHED FROM GERMAN LABEL PRIDE & JOY MUSIC TO ITALIAN LABEL SCARLET RECORDS. ITALIAN BAND – ITALIAN LABEL, IS THAT A BETTER COMBINATION?
Yes, I think it is. Things are going great with our label, there is harmony and affinity… the right chemistry.
ON THE SECOND TRACK “BROKEN SOUL” WE HEAR YOUR BEAUTIFUL VOICE FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THERE IS ALSO AN OFFICIAL VIDEO. FRANCESCO FERRINI (FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE) DID THE ORCHESTRAL ARRANGEMENTS, BUT WHAT DOES THE LATIN SENTENCE “OMNIA PRIUS EXPERIRI QUAM ARMIS SAPIENTEM DECET” MEAN IN THIS SONG?
The line from Terence (an African Roman playwright during the Roman Republic) means that an intelligent man would prefer negotiation before using arms… so this is clearly a message against every war.
“HYBRID LOVE”, THE THIRD SINGLE OFF THE ALBUM, IS OF A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CALIBRE: THERE ARE ONLY CLEAN VOCALS ON IT. THE OFFICIAL VISUALIZER VIDEO FOR “HYBRID LOVE”, RELEASED ON OCTOBER 5TH, IS TRULY BRILLIANT WITH YOU DRESSED IN BLACK & WHITE. WHAT IS FOR YOU, AS YOU SING IN “HYBRID LOVE”, YOUR “STRANGEST KIND OF LOVE”?
The song is based on the contrast of the opposites, as you can see by watching the video. That means dark and light, white and black, eros and Thanatos, good and evil. In particular, it talks about a strange relationship between a man and someone off the screen that could be a tablet, a smartphone or a Virtual Reality. In this relationship starts a sort of a game in which nothing should be “normal”: there is the will to overcome the limits, putting the man to the test and see what he is able to do for someone he doesn’t know at all. So the strangest kind of love is just the opposite of love. To sing and interpret “Hybrid Love” was very funny and formative. I was able to experience something that I really wanted to do and never did before: scream voice and vocal fry. It was quite a challenge for myself. In my life experience I had to do with “toxic” loves, so by singing “Hybrid Love” something came out from me. So it was easy for me to interpret both two characters, in black and white.
ONE OF THE NICEST SONGS ON “XI” FOR ME IS “INSANITY”. IT STARTS AS A BALLAD, BUT QUICKLY TURNS INTO A HEAVY ROCK SONG WITH A REALLY GREAT ARRANGEMENT, BEAUTIFUL VOCALS AND A (LITTLE TOO SHORT) GUITAR SOLO.
I agree with you, the guitar solo is a little short, but you know, when we compose a song it is important to rationalize the timing, flip all the pieces in the right way you know… we love this song, we love all arrangements that make the song more sliding.
OF COURSE, WE CAN’T IGNORE THE BEAUTIFUL BALLAD “MOON”. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TELL US ABOUT “MOON”? WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW?
“Moon” was written by Marco Monno. He only gave me some points about the lyrics and vocal line, that I completed right after trying to remain faithful to his original ideas. What came out is a melancholic ballad that talks about a lost love, through memories, desires and the need of finding themselves and get lost in a long eternal last embrace… “And inside an eternal dream… we lie close”.
“PORTRAIT OF A GHOST” THEN, ONE OF THE FASTEST TRACKS ON “XI”. IF YOU HAD TO PAINT OR DRAW A PORTRAIT OF A GHOST, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
My ghost is lost deep in the past. He is sad for what he should do next and even more for what he can’t be again. He looks at the window of an ancient home marked by time. He is forced to live in an eternal limb, searching for the light that will never redeem him again. My ghost is in everyone when we forget ourself, when we give up the fight.
THE LAST SONG FROM “XI” THAT I WANT TO DISCUSS WITH YOU IS THE 1:22 INSTRUMENTAL “A.I. SLAVERY”. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS A VERY HOT TOPIC AT THE MOMENT. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT A.I.? DO YOU EMBRACE IT OR ARE YOU AFRAID OF IT?
Science and technology did extraordinary things in the human history, some of them so beautiful and important for our lives and some so catastrophic and lethal. A.I. is a very important step for mankind, but it needs time to know if this will be positive for our lives or not. I support research, but I’m just a bit scared about its high potential. A.I. can be a way to make the world a better place or destroy it.WAS THE WHOLE ALBUM RECORDED AT THE DOMINATION STUDIO IN SAN MARINO? WHO WAS IN CHARGE OF THE MIXING / MASTERING / PRODUCING?
The whole album was recorded at the Domination Studio in Rimini. Simone Bertozzi was in charge of the recording, Simone Mularoni was in charge of the mixing, mastering and producing.
WHEN FANS AND THE PRESS COMPARE YOU AND ELEGY OF MADNESS TO OTHER FEMALE SYMPHONIC METAL SINGERS AND BANDS, WHAT NAMES GET DROPPED (DO YOU HEAR) MOST?
I imagine bands like Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica, Lacuna Coil…
YOU’RE DOING A FEW “XI” ALBUM RELEASE PARTY GIGS IN OCTOBER AND ONE IN NOVEMBER, BUT ONLY IN ITALY. WHEN DO WE GET TO SEE ELEGY OF MADNESS LIVE? PERHAPS IN A PACKAGE WITH OTHER SCARLET RECORDS BANDS LIKE DEGREES OF TRUTH, REASONS BEHIND AND SINHERESY, ALL THREE FROM ITALY ALSO?
I don’t know at the moment, but I hope soon. We can’t wait!