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XANDRIA: "We dont define ourselves as a "bombastic female gothic band"".
related: Xandria.
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XANDRIA, female-fronted band from Germany, recently released new album Salome via Drakkar. We contacted to Marco Heumaum and asked some tricky questions.

Your new album has just released in our country. It's already fourth album for 4 tears. Where do you get strength for this often inspirations? Do you agree that it helps you to get new fans? Do you agree that it can be too often to record better albums every time?

Maybe thats right for most bands. But if you have many ideas, you want to put them into songs, and in the last years, we always had many new ideas. Music is like a playground for us, theres always something new to explore and we dont have too many stylistic boundaries and we like many different styles, thats why we always want to do something new, thats also why you hear so many different elements in our music that make it interesting. But now we will take a little break before doing a new album, we will play live in international countries, hopefully again in Russia too, maybe release some DVD or other stuff.

You write material together. Have you any lider in a band or there is equality in your group? Is it important, that all musicians take part in writing or somewhen we will able to have XANDRIA album written by one person?

Our debut was written almost by me in a whole, cause I founded the band, having many songs and searching for the musicians to bring them to life, thats why there are almost all songs on the debut written by me. But on the following albums Lisa and I wrote most of the material together, and since "India", also our bassplayer Nils, who joined us after "Ravenheart", is writing songs. Though we all have different musical favourites, of course we all know what songwriting for Xandria is about. And the finishing in songwriting always involves me as arranger and Xandria-internal "producer".

I think budget of your records is not high enough for your type of music. Bands with female singers pay much money. They record in a famous studios with famous producers. Must your style of music be "rich" or it can be recorded in usual metal studios like any other style of metal? I think you are as popular as AFTER FOREVER or EPICA. They did big step forward with their last records, but you're not. Do you want to use some symphonic etc elements in your music?

Im sorry, but I dont really know what you mean with these questions! What do you mean with "the budget of our records wasnt high enough"? And what do you mean with comparing us to these other bands? If you listened to our albums you will realize two things: Firstly, we have a quite different approach to our music, so you just cant compare us to them. Our music is not defined by how bombastic it is or how many orchestra you use, it is about good songs with atmosphere and imagination. We use many different elements in our music, cause we dont define ourselves as a "bombastic female gothic band", but define ourselves as rock and metal music with a broad, imaginary atmosphere with many interesting facettes and variations, always exploring new things in our music. One of these things - but only one - is orchestral arrangements, we use them sometimes when we think the song needs it. It is NO basic element of our music like with the other bands you may compare us with, but thats only ONE difference. So you cant say, they did steps further and we didnt do. We did many steps into many directions already other bands dont even think about! So when you say, "the budget isnt high enough" and "do you want to use symphonic elements in your music", you now know what my answer must be! But despite that: We DID symphonic elements. On every of our last three albums we HAD them - everytime when we thought the song needed it. I cant imagine how one cant hear that in these songs... for some its even too bombastic... On "India" we even hired the famous German Film Orchestra for the job, which was of course extending the budget of the record quite much, and we worked with a famous producer. So I dont understand your question in this point, too.

I'd like to talk about Drakkar. What role do they play in your success? Do they help you with your promotion? Are you glad with them?

Of course Drakkar does the promotional job. Thats the job of the record label. Maybe we are not always of the same opinion, which is normal in a band-label-relationship, but as Drakkar are cool people we could always talk about everything and find the way together. Maybe thats the difference to other labels, especially the bigger ones.
You came with one show to Moscow last year (or this year?:)). But i  think you don't have massive tour activity with XANDRIA. Is it right? Why is it so? What can you say about russian fans? Was you glad with organization of your shows here?

We had three shows in Russia in 2006, and the show in Moscow was great. The organziation was ok, but I think next time there will be more dates and a better organization, so the fans will enjoy it even more.

Can you compare XANDRIA with other bands yourself. We think here that you can compare with AFTER FOREVER or NIGHTWISH, but i want to know your opinion. Do you listen to other band in gothic-metal/female vocal? Where will your style go in near and far future in your opinion? What do you think about NIGHTWISH split etc?

We dont care so much about comparisons or bands we are being compared with. There must be some reason why there are certain bands that we are compared with again and again, but I cant tell you too much about it. I personally take my inspirations from a much broader musical background and we do just what we like musically.

What's your status in Germany and in the World? How many fans did you have in  different parts of the world? How many fans come to your shows?

Its very different, depending on the region where we play. sometimes its pretty  much people, sometimes we play in regions where we are not too well known. But  thats why you do it - too get more people listening! I think in South America we  have quite a big fanbase, like in most European countries. In Germany all our  albums had good chart positions. Concerning live shows, wed like to know more  about the Eastern European countries, so I think we will do some shows there in the future to check that out...
What do you think about problems of your music (if you have it)? Where do you see basic lack in XANDRIA? Where do you go on the next album? And when can we wait for it?

Problems of our music? Its still ignored by many radio and TV stations, because it is not "mainstream" enough for them. Well, being "not mainstream" is no problem  itself, haha! But its driving you crazy listening to all that shit on the radio and MTV while so much good music keeps unheard by a broader audience then. The music culture has been better in the past, where there were bold radio DJs who dared to establish different and new musical styles in their shows, but today nobody dares anything anymore. They are all commercial whimps.



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