Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new album “Spiritual Migration”. But
could you please start off by introducing the readers to the band and give a short version of the biography?
Persefone is a band from the tiny Principality of Andorra. We play a mixture of progressive death metal since 2001 and now we have just released our forth album “Spiritual Migration”. We invite you to visit our site at www.persefone.com or our Facebook page and check some of our songs.
And now onto “Spiritual Migration”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do you want to express with this song etc.
01. Flying Sea Dragons
This song is the intro of the album. We always like to open with some instrumental music. On our three earlier albums, we used a piano intro, or synths or even orchestral sounds to invite people to listen to the album, but this time, we decided that the whole band would be part of it. A flying sea dragon is an imaginary image of the inner power we all have inside waiting to be found or activated, and with the music, we try to represent that moment.
02. Mind As Universe
We have always liked the idea of the mind being a whole universe inside our brain. Why not? It’s enormous, strange and from time to time we have the capacity of surprising ourselves with a part of us that we didn’t know that could exist. Every situation, every moment in life, gets its reflection in our mind and we decide how to do depending on how that reflect is. Biggest men in history realized that they could do anything, and they did it. It’s our decision to trust or not on our full power.
03. The Great Reality
There’s a common believe on some philosophies or religions in the world that believes that as we grow up, we all create a false way of being that hides our real being. It’s all about what the world, our family, our friends expect from us, and what we are ready to do to fulfill those expectations... There’s another way of looking at the world and ourselves, and it’s said that our existence here, our real duty, is to find out who we really are. If you ask yourself “who am I?” and you are not sure what to answer, that means that you have a job to do ;-)
04. Zazen Meditation
Zazen Meditation is a buddhist practice that consist on sitting in silence and make some exercises to let our mind focus on very few things in the present moment, not allowing it to leave to future concerns or past events that we are worried about. The now, the moment, here. That’s the whole thing. Some of us practice this kind of meditation, even though none of us are actual buddhist, and we wanted to share it with you guys. The music represents the moment of inner peace that you are able to get by meditating in a daily basis.
05. The Majestic of Gaia
We tend to live like zombies in a way. Frequently I like to stop and watch around the world, its greatness. We use to spend our lives going from a place to another and we simply don’t realize of the greatness happening around us all the time. The Majestic of Gaia is a reminder about this. But not only that. Every human being comes from the Earth. Our mother, our father, everything we come from, comes from the Earth, so we are all part of a whole. There is no animal, vegetable or anything that you’ll find out there that doesn’t come from the same place: The Earth. Our planet is living being, and we have forgotten that. We need to come back and understand that every harm we do to our world, is a harm we are doing to ourselves. Try to stop 5 minutes a day, in your extremely busy day, and breath, take a look and soon you’ll realize how big is all what is happening around you. It’s a matter of consciousness.
06. Consciousness (pt. 1), Sitting in silence
Again, we go back to the Zazen concept of sitting in silence. Actually, that sentence, is something that our zazen teacher used to say in every session. He always start with that. Silence outside, silence inside...
07. Consciousness (pt. 2), A Path to Enlightenment
A tribute to the path we all have to walk on our living existence. The beauty, the suffering, the hard intricate situations we all live. Of course, none of the band members has enlightened, at least on the buddhist way of understanding it, but in a way, we all try to do our best in the world. We feel that’s the path to enlightenment.
08. Inner Fullness
Speaking about the unconscious attitude of having a way of being crafted by our society, our family, our expectations, we speak in this song about being free finally and the way you have to walk to get to that moment of Inner Fullness. We all hide in a dark garret what we don’t like about us, and that’s exactly what we have to face to be able to feel free finally. Of course, it’s a hard and painful task, but rewarding.
09. Metta Meditation
This kind of meditation is slightly different of zazen meditation. We all are really experts on feeling love to our beloved person, our families, hate to those who harm us and no feeling at all about the ones we meet everyday on the streets and we simply don’t know. Metta meditation is a mainly a three way meditation. First we have to feel REAL love for our beloveds. Our wife, our family... Anybody who is close enough to us to feel love for them. Easy uh? Now try to feel love for those you meet at the metro station, or that person that is right behind you on the coffee store. “But how?” Understand that he is part of a whole human being. Not that easy though, but if you succeed, now try to find love in your hurt for your enemies, the ones that are harming you. And if you can’t love them, at least, try to feel compassion for them, not pity!, compassion. It’s a really HARD way of meditation, but again, rewarding.
10. Upward Explosion
The moment of enlightenment. The moment in which you know that you are able to do anything, and the moment in which you understand the real essence of life.
11. Spiritual Migration
This song tells about a moment that a lot of people have felt anytime in his life. Feeling a spiritual migration is something really big. The moment in which something inside of you awakes, and you start to feel things that you have ever felt before. I think is quite a good example to speak about the film Matrix, which is a fictional representation of a world that we are living. Of course, we are not being slaved by machines we have previously created, but in a way, the lack of consciousness in the world makes us living in kind of a Matrix. Once you start realizing that there is something more outside, that there’s more that just a life in which I have to go to work, then you suddenly know that you have a task to do, and that you are here to get it done. I’m sure that at this point, most of the readers have got lost on the explanation of the cd, but this is really something that can’t be explained in words. We have made a big effort on explaining everything the best way that we could, but really, it’s something you have to live to really understand.
12. Returning to the Source
Mainly this song speaks about the process of dying, in a positive way. Maybe some readers could think on “how can death be positive in anyway?” Dying is just a change of state. We have being raised in the Earth as human beings and we go back to the Earth. What we are, what we will be or what we were, it all remain there, even when we die.
A moment of calm. The song itself doesn’t have a name. So just relax, after almost 70 minutes of notes and notes, rhythms and complex structures, we say “Laters!” with a quiet song. Piano, orchestra and emotional music that leaves open a final to what’s next on Persefone. We wait for you on our next show, or album.
Could you please tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?
We have had the great honor of working with Travis Smith. For all those who don’t know who is he, probably you have a cover of him in your shelf or in your computer. He has worked for Opeth, Katatonia, Anathema and a big etc. I have to say that it has been great working with such a professional. He has done great images for the cover and the booklet. It’s really important to get a beautiful cover since, unfortunately music doesn’t get to people through their ears first, but their eyes. We need to claim attention, and we feel that we have get exactly what we needed.
Three years have passed since the release of “Shin-Ken”, and “Spiritual Migration” is finally out! It has already climbed up to number one on www.metalstorm.net of “Top 20 albums of 2013”. What are your own feelings?
Being completely honest, we are stunned about it. A few days ago, there were about 20 votes of people, and of course, we thought that it was something very temporary and that probably in the next days it would change for sure, but surprisingly we are still there. Now we have about 90 and we are still there, sometimes #1, sometimes #2 or #3. We don’t think this is going to last a long time since it’s only April and we are sure that during the year, some really amazing albums will be out, but in the meantime, we will enjoy the situation
What’s the biggest difference between your previous three albums and this release?
I would say that the biggest difference is the way we have created it. This time we have been working with Marc Mas, our drummer. He is such a talented musician besides being a very technical and musical drummer. He has given a big input on every aspect of the album, and the evolution is there. You can listen to an album that is highly technical, with complex rhythms, and still, very melodic. We always try to evolve in every album.
Are there any songs on the album that gives you any special feelings?
Of course, but it would be fair to answer to this question as a band. In my case, I have special fellings with Spiritual Migration, The Great Reality and Consciousness (both parts). Of course, I’m sure that if any other band member would answer, probably the choices would be others.
Who and what has inspired you musically on this album?
Every day we listen to music. But it’s not everyday that we listen to the same stuff. It really depends on how we feel. So, I would say that inspiration comes from a wide range of music. We listen metal, rock, progressive, jazz, classic, soundtracks, ambience music... So I would say that when we start composing, we let our minds flow in the direction it is asking. As a consequence, most of our songs doesn’t have a concrete structure with verses, bridges, choruses as usual in other music styles. If we feel that the moment requires a big rhythmic section with strong and power riffs, we go that way, not thinking on any band but what it sounds in our minds.
Tell us about the recording of the album and the work with Jacob Hansen?
Actually we have mixed and mastered the album with Jacob. The whole process of recording the album has been made “at home”. On Shin-ken we tried to made it that way, so we recorded drums on Marc Mas’ studio, bass, keys and vocals in my studio, and guitars on Pere Revert’s studio, a close friend of us and great professional here in Andorra. In this album, the only thing that changed was the recording of vocals that took place at Marc Mas’ studio. Once we had everything correctly recorded we sent all the tracks to Jacob so that he could do the mix. Even we didn’t go to Denmark. He did such an amazing job mixing the album and once he had something to show us, he sent us the files and we did the changes we felt were necessary. I need to say that Jacob has demonstrated a BIG patience with us, since it’s not easy to work that way. Every change needs an mp3 render and it’s a big time consuming process. At the end, the sound is huge and we feel really happy with the results!
Do you have any plans for gigs or shows this year, or what’s the plans for the band this summer, maybe say hello to little Denmark?
We always have plans to go to anywhere to play, what we don’t have every time is the chance! hahaha. Now we are preparing a show at SWR Barroselas Fest in Portugal and a show in Vigo (Spain) on 26th and 27th April. Later we want to play in Andorra for presenting the album here and most probably we will be on some summer festivals. Hopefully we will be able to go and play to Denmark. As said before, we only need the chance. :)
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Any last words you want to round this interview off with?
We want to give thanks to you guys, for giving us the chance of answering your questions and for supporting the band! We also would like to invite every one to check our site at www.persefone.com, and to join our site at Facebook www.facebook.com/persefoneband, where you can follow all our updates.
Tommy Skøtt, April 2013