It’s also about to inspire one another – Interview with Egeria
By Rainer Kerber
Almost every day, I receive a large number of e-mails asking me to review albums or EPs. I can only listen to a fraction of it. Recently I picked out the EP “As Night Falls” from the Dutch band Egeria. Egeria are based in Symphonic Metal, but without serving the typical stereotypes of this genre. This was already the second EP that the band produced on their own. Reason enough to ask once.
MHF: Hello, I’m Rainer and write for Metalheads Forever Magazine. I’m glad to have this interview with you. How are you?
Egeria: We´re feeling great, thank you for asking. How are you? We’re excited to do this interview with you.
MHF: Egeria already exist since 2013. But outside your home the band is largely unknown. Please introduce yourself briefly.
Max, Joris: For the readers who do not yet know us, we are a female fronted symphonic metal band from the Netherlands. We started out as a cover band, but nowadays we write our own music which combines metal with influences from progressive and classical genres.
Our first experimental release was a short, three song EP recorded on a low budget. We were quite happy with the sound and seemingly niche style we discovered, though. Recently, we´ve released a second EP. Five songs, and this time involving a lot more planning and promotion.
The theme of our music combines reality with dark fantasy. We like to write about the darkest depths where dreams become indistinguishable from reality.
MHF: You first played cover songs. Which bands were there on your program and why?
Nicole: Epica (of course) because Simone inspired me to pick up singing again. I think she is an amazing singer. Another one is Nightwish because we took inspiration out of their great music. There were some other bands, but Epica and Nightwish were the main ones. Shortly afterwards we began writing our own music.
MHF: Later, singer Nicole and keyboardist Max started writing their own songs. Which bands influenced you? And was not there a danger just imitating your role models?
Max: “Requiem Draconis” was the first song I ever composed; up to that point I had only played music, but never wrote any. I knew I wanted it to be something big and epic, and I took a lot of inspiration from the works of Two Steps from Hell, as well as a story idea about a dragon and the hero destined to defeat them. Later compositions were heavily influenced by classical composers like Beethoven, Mozart and Shubert, as well as bands like Xandria, Within Temptation and Stream of Passion. When looking for inspiration there’s always a risk of imitation, but I think that, so far, we’ve managed to take these inspirations and make our own thing out of them.
MHF: On your first EP “A Requiem of Shadows” there were three songs. On “As Night Falls” there are five. Can one assume that your next release will be a complete album?
Nicole: Well, who knows………????
MHF: I like your current EP pretty well. Especially because you have found your own sound. How do these songs work for your live audience?
Max: Based on what we’re hearing and seeing both from the stage and off the stage, people generally seem to enjoy them a lot, which makes us very happy.
MHF: I looked at your lineup changes at the Encyclopaedia Metallum. Especially on drums, it often came to replacements. How does a small band like Egeria handle these constant changes?
Max, Nicole: It’s not always easy to play without a regular drummer. Fortunately we’ve been very lucky finding great replacement musicians such as Arbudon, the drummer of Myrkvar, who has played with us for two past live performances and the upcoming ones.
We are looking for a regular drummer, however, so if you happen to know anyone… ????
MHF: The only constants in the lineup are Nicole and Max. Is the songwriting on the shoulders of the two founding members? Or are they also supported by the current band members?
Max: The way we usually work is Nicole providing a thematic idea or story, which Max then uses to write the instrumental arrangements for the song. Then Nicole writes the vocal parts and lyrics, and we rewrite and adjust the instrumental outline where needed. Once finished, our guitarist and bass player use the outline to write their respective parts.
With the exception of “Dawn Breaks”, which was written completely by Nicole herself.
MHF: From the Netherlands come a lot of famous melodic / symphonic metal bands. But also in the second or third row are many very good bands. How big is the pressure of competition?
Nicole: We don’t see it as competition but as an opportunity to keep creating new music in this wonderful genre. But is not only that, it’s also about to find each other on stage and to inspire one another.
MHF: Thank you again for this interview. Do you want to say something to the fans at the end?
Egeria: Thank you for the support and we hope to meet you someday live on stage!
Max Vijgen – Keyboards
Nicole de Ruiter – Vocals
Maurice Schepers – Guitars
Joris Janssen – Bass
MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber