Interview with Alma, the vocalist of the Romanian Symphonic metal band, The Hourglass.
By Carla Morton
Hi Alma, how are you?
Hello Carla and greetings to all who read this interview! I’m good, working on new stuff and preparing for the upcoming gigs. Autumn’s always the best season for both creative and organizational work!
When was The Hourglass formed?
Well, the plan to found this band was set somewhere during the fall of 2010 but it materialized only in 2011. Me and Bogdan (our drummer) phoned our guitarist from the previous project, and that’s how all has started. We self-released our demo, “Requiem”, on the last day of 2011 but we can say the band exists for real since our first live gig (April 2012). Then, we finally had a complete line-up (with the arrival of our bassist and keyboard player) and got to the “real deal”, a full band.
Last year you have released your debut album called ”Through Darkness and Light”, tell me about it.
It was a very beautiful but complicated process. In the do-it-yourself field, you hit the rock bottom over and over again, learn your lesson and learn what to do or, on the contrary, to avoid, then continue forward. It was a fulfilling, but pretty exhausting experience (including the ORDA paperwork and physical production). We had little knowledge of audio production, what we want it to sound like (compared to the industry’s standard) and we just booked the studio and recorded the 11 songs. Of course, now we know more and we’d do things slightly different for a better and quicker result, but everything in life is a lesson :). We’re proud we’ve managed to do everything the way we did without a label, management or any kind of help from this field. Also, for the production and release of our album, we actually had a crowdfunding campaign where we’ve received help from great people (who pre-ordered the album). This showed us that music has no limits, no frontiers and that distance is only a number on a paper. After the release, our CDs traveled far, in countries I only dream of visiting so I can only be jealous on those little parcels I ship, hehe.
Did you get nice reviews about the album?
Yes, actually I think we only got positive reviews. Apart of the media/webzine reviews, we were very happy to hear that people found the album very personal, but could also relate to those themes/ideas. I’ve always said that music has to be honest, that’s when it can strike a sensitive cord in the listeners.
Will you release new materials soon?
Yup! The audio material and lyrical themes for the second album are clearer and clearer and I’m progressing with the songwriting and lyrics. It’s gonna be different, angrier and bigger, definitely with a better sound…but more details on that when we’re closer. I think we’ll record it and also, release it next year. (Shhhhh! don’t tell anyone just yet! :))
What are the band’s influences?
Bands like Gothminister, Therion, Rammstein, Lacrimas Profundere and others from the Gothic, Industrial or Symphonic scene are definitely bringing an influence (as sound) for us. Loving a mixture of genres automatically gets them (in a bigger or smaller measure) into our sound.
Also, what are the lyrical themes?
This depends, there’s no overall theme (concept) so far. We’ve had songs about desperation and suicidal thoughts (The Fall), about the general idea that what goes around, comes around (even in a biblical way – Dies Irae) or about our dear ones who are no longer among us (In Remembrance). Each song has a different vibe/message and it’s definitely resonating on different levels with our listeners.
Are there any shows confirmed for this or for the next year?
This year we’ll have a last show in our hometown in October (the date will be announced soon, so bear with me) and then, we’ll have 4 dates in Germany: 30. 10 (Kleve), 31. 10 (Bielefeld), 6. 11 (Siegen) and 7.11 (Muenster). Nothing for 2016 so far but we’ll see, we’ll probably be buried in studio work anyway :)).
Do you have a message for The Hourglass fans?
Thank you, guys and girls for supporting us, showing up at gigs and being there with us! We’re doing this for you as much as we do it for our very own souls, so we’re just grateful you folks are following our activities. We promise plenty of good stuff, pretty soon ;).
Cheers Alma and thank you for your time!
Cheers Carla, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share some news! \m/