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05/08/2006 – Interview with TYSTNADEN

TYSTNADEN (official website), a melodic metalband from Italy, has recently released its debut, "Sham Of Perfection", via the well-known Limb Music Products. You can check out the review of the album at this location.

As a result of this release, I had a little interview with their sympathetic vocalist Laura about the album, the label, the band, and more

Tystnaden logo

TYSTNADEN is a very new and young band. Could you give some more insight about how things started, how the band was formed? Furthermore, how did your friends, family and colleagues react?

Iím not going to tell you the usual story of the band... Iím going to tell you something more than you can read from our official biography.

TYSTNADEN born in the end of 1998 from an idea of Marco (bass), Cesare (guitar) and Nestor (our old drummer, and now our great webmaster). They were playing together in a thrash metal cover band. After an holiday outside Italy Marco and Cesare came back to Italy with some cds taken during their journey: "The gallery" (DARK TRANQUILLITY), "Whoracle" (IN FLAMES), "Down" (SENTENCED), AMORPHIS. As you can see, they were all Scandinavian Melodic Death Metal albums. Marco and Cesare, fascinated by these sounds, wished to create something with their band under the guide lines of these new sounds. But their old band did not agree with this idea, (only Nestor, the drummer, did) so that they decided to create a new band. They knew Federico during a holiday at sea, through pure coincidence: they understood that Federico was a metal guy Ďcause of his long hair and his metal bandís t-shirt! Federico, who was very young, was truly amazed and joined the new band. Then, a male screamer and growler joined the band which was completed with his arrival. They wrote two songs but Marco, or maybe Cesare (I donít know), decided to add a female choir-singer to the sound. And this choir-singer was me!

We recorded a two tracks mini-cd named "Tystnaden", in 2000, in a little studio in our city and we were stirred up. We got some really good reviews and reactions from the press, but soon after the old male singer and the drummer left the band for personal reasons. We found two great replacements, both from the musical point of view and from the point of view of the relationship. They were Lorenzo Frascaroli (keyboards and growls) and Alberto Iezzi (drum). This cheered up the band and we put our souls and minds in our music!

We recorded a mini cd in 2003 "Fragments" and after sending this self production to some metal labels, Limb soon came into contact with us, talking about an agreement for continue collaboration, and... here we are.

In January 2005 we entered the outer sound Studios in Loria /Treviso (Italy) to record our first album "Sham of Perfection". And now we can see it out in all the musical shops.

Our family and our friends have always made a sort of fun of our passion, but they have always deeply trusted in us and supported us during the worst period of our life. Now they say that if we become such famous to do some tours all around the world theyíll follow us everywhere! Someone wants to drive the tour bus, someone wants to do the merchandise, someone wants to assemble the stages. They are wonderful! Laura

Did everyone learn to play the instruments by themselves or did they take lessons for that? In addition, I read that you didn't take lessons to sing. Do you plan on doing so for the future to know how to take care of your voice, how to reach certain tones without forcing yourself?

Everyone took some lessons for learning to play their instruments. Some (for example Marco and Cesare) - in fact we often make fun of them saying that theyíre 'instinctive' musicians!) - took few lessons and the others did more!

As you know I did not take lessons to sing. Sometimes I feel that I need them, but sometimes I like my natural style. Obviously some lessons could help me especially during the live shows, to use my voice in the best manner during the whole show! I donít know, for this moment there are no lessons in my future plans.

The name TYSTNADEN is not Italian at all. Whose idea was it to use that name and what's the reason?

The idea of choosing this moniker for the band was Marcoís idea. We were purposely searching for a particular moniker for our band, a meaningful and significative name - we preferred to sacrifice the pronunciation of a more simple band name. For us, the word Tystnaden, which means 'silence' in Swedish, perfectly represents what we wanted to tell with our music and the contrast between melody and aggressiveness in our songs. That contrast represented us since the beginning.

Marco is a cinema expert: "Tystnaden" is a Swedish film by Ingmar Bergman made in 1963. With this moniker we also wanted to make a tribute to the nation that gave birth to the music which inspired our musical project in 1998.

What do you think are the strong points of TYSTNADEN and what deserves more attention/improving?

I think the strongest points of us are the melody we are able to create during the composition of the songs, my particular way of singing and timbre (but I donít want to seem too presumptuous to you!), and our being natural but everything, included our strong points, needs to be improved! We are at our first step in this new world for us, and I can say that we are at a good level but we donít want to lay down and we want to improve ourselves always!

Your debut was released a couple of months ago. What expectations did you have before the recording and how do you feel about the final result?

Well, before the recordings of this album, we felt like we were ready to do this step, but maybe because we were a little afraid of this new reality, we put our minds and souls in everything but without thinking too much at the results. Obviously this does not mean that we did not care about the results, I only mean that we have faced everything positively without stopping for thinking! Now we are very proud of the final result! We love our album and also the path we faced to do it, I think that we could not have done it better.

Is "Sham Of Perfection" a concept album or do the songs stand on themselves? In addition, what's the role of the female vocals and the male grunts? Something like good vs evil?

Tystnaden - Sham Of Perfection"Sham" is not a concept album, the songs could stand on themselves. The contrast between me and Lorenzo (keyboards and growls) is very natural and genuine. And this is not something like good versus evil, as you could read in the lyrics. We donít have a defined role with our voices.

The cover art was done by Travis Smith, who also worked with ANATHEMA, KATATONIA, and others. First, how did he get involved? Second, did he get carte blanche or was he given certain instructions of what the cover should be like? And third, what's the link with the songs?

Iíve always loved Travis Smith! In my opinion heís one of the best in the world! And Iíve always said "if we release a real album, Iíll ask Travis Smith to do the cover artwork!", and thatís it. We got into contact with him, before the recordings of the album, via e-mail, and he has been very friendly with us. I gave him some material, like two songs taken from our minicd "Fragments", some lyrics, the significance of the moniker Tystnaden, the album title... Well, after some talks, without certain instructions, he realized the first sketch of the cover artwork and I immediately loved it!

The album cover represents the significance gave to the words "Sham of Perfection" by Travis Smith. For us the cherub is a synonym of perfection. And, as you could see, half of the cherub is perfect and bright, the other half is decayed and fallen into ruin, with a bloody tear running down the face. Every thing and every person has two sides: one is perfect and the other is its sham - this is our sham of perfection. We, as persons, as musicians, and also our music have those two sides, too.

The album was mastered by a.o. R.D. Liapakis. How did he get into the picture? Did you contact him or was it the other way around?

The choice for the mastering was of our recording label. Limb chose R.D. Liapakis together with Christian Schmid for mastering our album because he knows their skills. After listening to "Sham of Perfection" we are very satisfied of their work, we trust in what they do, and it will be great if theyíll master our next albums too.

Any plans for a tour or will you stay in Italy?

Tystnaden bandWe donít know yet the plans of our record label for tour dates, but we hope in a real tour (also a little one).We are waiting for an opportunity that will benefit the band, our fans and people who will hear us for the first time. It could be with a bigger known band or a very good unknown band. Time will tell?

We love live shows because you can feel the nearest contact with the people, even if you are an unknown band coming from nowhere and no one knows that you have already released your first full-length album. It is the right way to make us known by the people. I fell in love with some band (Nevermore for example) after one of their live shows. And when I came home I bought all their discography. Maybe this could happens with us ?!!

When writing new songs, is everyone involved or is it the work of one or two members?

A new song starts from one of us, usually one of the two guitarists or from the keyboard player, but the magic of TYSTNADEN is the way we work on the original idea: we try to get a strong impact thru a very aggressive guitar-riffing, but being at the same time focused on creating a good melody, that can be easily reminded. So everyone of us is involved in the composition of the songs. Then the lyrics are the final step.

I checked your website and read the list of favourite bands very carefully and to my surprise all of you seem to like nu-metal quite a lot. You're not going to change course into that direction for the next albums, are you? ;-)

well, I donít know what will be the direction for the next album. Weíre very instinctive when writing songs. But I can tell you that we were listening to those nu-metal bands also when we were writing the songs you can hear in "Sham Of Perfection". So, we are not so conditional on our listenings - obviously you can find some influences in every our song, but we always try to do something different from our musical likings.

Speaking of the next album, do you already have ideas about the subject(s) that will be tackled or how the songs will sound? Will it be in the same vein as "Sham Of Perfection"?

Really, I donít know yet what will be the direction for our next album. We started to write new songs when we finished the recordings of "Sham". As a normal reaction we started to write songs very different from the ones included in this album. They seem more aggressive (also my voice seems to be more powerful), more direct, with a more simple and incisive guitar riffing, but we are still working on these songs, and I think we will change them many times. So I donít know the final dress of the next album.

What are the plans for the future, for yourself as musicians and for TYSTNADEN? What would you like to accomplish?

Well, obviously we would like to become famous! This is the dream of every band and also for us! I would like to hear from the voice of the people, walking along the streets, the refrain of "First Embrace", or "Rewards". And then I would like to be on a big great stage looking at the people banging their heads on the riffing of our songs. This is my dream!

Which artists inspired you for the music created with TYSTNADEN?

Tystnaden bandOur influences are truly different, we are six musicians each with our own personality and we all like different kind of music: Alberto, for example, he likes pop music at the same way of Dream Theater, Cesare loves NEVERMORE and at the same time he likes THE BEATLES, Lorenzo likes the hip-hop of FORT MINOR, but at the same time heís a fan of DREAM THEATER, and he likes the brutality of the SLIPKNOT, but also some kind of music really different, like jazz and trance. Federico is the black metal guy, but he also likes al lot of guitar heroes, and I love bands like SLIPKNOT, SYSTEM OF A DOWN and ILL NINO, and I was also a fan of AMORPHIS, IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILLITY. As you can see our influences are truly different, and I think that you can probably find some of the music that has inspired us to become musicians in every TYSTNADEN song. We think that maybe our compositions could sounds original because of all of these different influences.

Where do you draw inspiration from to write lyrics?

The lyrics are inspired by the sensations and the moods that the song is giving to me. The subjects of the lyrics and the words that clearly describe them are driven by the moods we are feeling in that moment and that we want to portray. This is the final step during composing songs. And it is really a difficult step, I think. Because I have to open my heart to different kind of sensations (good or bad), I have to find out the right words that describe a sort of painting that I am seeing in my mind, I have to face a song that does not ever remind me of good moods, and I am alone with my pencil and my ghosts. Even if I donít speak about direct personal experiences (but this happens rarely), my personal experience makes a sort of filter with all the lyrics and with all the subjects.

The record deal with LMP was signed last April, if I'm correct. Was this the most interesting label to sign with and did you also considered offers from other labels?

We received some offers from the labels, but we thought that LMP was the most interesting label to sign with! Limb soon came into contact with us, after sending the mini cd "Fragments", really interested in our project. We thought that it could be a positive thing to be the only band different from the other bands on a power metal label, and we were amazed and happy to work with Limb. If you are the hundredth band of the same kind of style on a label, maybe you donít draw attention upon yourself. Now we are at our first step with LMP, but I think that Limb considers us with a special addition. And we are very proud and we have to thank him!

In May the two demos "Tystnaden" and "Fragments" were available for download, but now they've been removed. Will they be available again or was it a temporary 'favour'? I've downloaded them in time, so thank you for that. ;-)

Eh Eh, not at all! ;-) we have removed the download of these demos temporarily, but I donít know yet if they will be completely available again. Iím quite sure that the first demo "Tystnaden" will be available for download again, but itís our old past and not representative of what we are now.

Besides TYSTNADEN, what does a normal day look like for everyone? Do you have daytime jobs or still have studies to finish?

Well unfortunately... YES! We all have regular jobs besides TYSTNADEN (excepting me and Federico who are still studying!). This musical project takes us every moment to spare, with the same energies after so many years, but for living our regular jobs are obviously necessary!

On a more personal level, how did you get into Metal and what do you like about it?

When I was younger (teenager) and someone was asking me "what kind of music do you like?" I was one of those who answered "Ooh! I listen to every kind of music.", which means: NOTHING!

I knew through pure coincidence, few days before joining TYSTNADEN, the old male singer of the band. He told me that his band was looking for a female choir singer, and asked me to become that girl. I accepted without knowing anything about metal, least of all about Swedish melodic death metal ("Uh? What???" I said). I remember that, after my test with the band, Marco (bass) said that I was not so good! But I joined the band, and slowly I fell in love with those bands Iíve never heard before, I fell in love with music, I fell in love with metal, I learned to sing, to write songs and lyrics. Now this music is the most part of me!

I've ran out of questions, for now. Thanks a lot for your time, good luck with the next albums and do try to keep it free of nu-metal. ;-) If there's anything I forgot to ask or something you like to add, don't let me stop you.

Eh Eh! I understood that you do not like nu-metal, isnít it? We will try to keep our next albums free of nu-metal. Thank you very much for this interview, I really enjoyed to make it! Hope to see you when we Ďll plan a tour in your country! Kisses!

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