Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Hugo and welcome back to THE GATES OF METAL! Thanks a lot for accepting this interview! It's very cool to interview you again Hugo.
Hugo: Thanks Hanna, it’s always a pleasure to be here and to set your blog…err, ok, it was already on fire nevermind that!
Hanna Tsepesh: (ahaha), don’t need to thank me, it's always a pleasure! First of all tell us about “Factory of Dreams” and why you decided to make another project?
Hugo: Ok, why Factory? Well, simply because when I completed Project Creation’s Dawn on Pyther, I was kind of worned out from Project Creation’s complex and difficult to produce music, I mean, the mixes were hard to finish since it’s just so full of instruments and melodies, and stuff. So, I needed a break and I asked myself, ‘why not simply make what your mind tells you to do at this time?’ And I found myself writing these tracks and they were already 11 tracks. The sound was so cool and calm and kind of ‘Gliding’, you know like you’re just high up in the air. I immediately thought that this had surely to be another band, never Project Creation, I mean PC does have lots of atmospherics and a few more rocky songs, but this was certainly different and more alternative. About the concept, I don’t want to reveal too much now (you guyz have to listen!), but imagine the picture: a land with two sides, a generator of illusions, the people and dreams. I think this says it all. We all live inside the Poles, the society is based on the Poles. We are made of bad energy and good energy. Two sides playing this game.
Hanna Tsepesh: That's a very interesting view! It's like good and evil (ehehe)!
Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Jessica and welcome to Hell On Fire! Thanks a lot for accepting this interview too! Can you talk a little bit about yourself? when did you start to sing?
Jessica: Thanks a lot Hanna! I’m very happy that you gave me this opportunity! I started singing when I was 15, sometimes I wish I had gotten an earlier start but I guess doing things only when you feel like “now’s the time” might be the best when it comes to stuff like this. I keep my voice in shape as much as possible, I write own music under the name Once There Was and I participate in different collaborations with my vocals, like this one with Hugo and his Factory of Dreams. I’m also a part of the Argentinean band Beto Vazquez Infinity, since about a month back only. I record vocals there as well. Then I sometimes collaborate with various people out there, singing on their tracks, which is also really nice.
Hanna Tsepesh: You are very welcome Jessica, and also your 2 others bands are great too! Don’t need to thank me, I thank you for accepting this interview! I read some stuff about you Jessica in your MySpace, and you are a part of Nightwish crew, you translate their website to Swedish! It is a easy work? How came out this opportunity for you? You already know Nightwish band in real life?
Jessica: That’s true yes. It’s a fairly easy job, the only thing that sometimes cause problems is translating a word you’re not at all familiar with, for example there are some Finnish words (names of characters or shows) for which neither the English nor the German (I know a little German) translation have helped me, so that’s a bit tricky but I find my ways I guess. I got to know one of the web masters for the page, Christian, in 2006 and when they needed a Swedish translator in 2007 he asked me about it and of course I wanted to join in. I don’t know the Nightwish guys at all, have only met them once after I became a part of their crew.
Hanna Tsepesh: Cool job Jessica, good luck on that! Hugo for “Factory of Dreams” you inspired in your dreams or something? Tell us a little bit about your inspirations to create the lyrics for “Poles” album…
Hugo: I’m a nut (ahahaha)! I mean, I was having lunch with some friends the other day, eating Japanese food and stuff, and I was just looking at the final artwork for the album, and I started reading the song titles and the lyrics and it’s crazy, because I keep asking myself several times’ How in the hell did I come up with this concept and lyrics? What’s the machine I talk about here? ’ But in the end it all makes sense to me and hopefully for those that really get the whole picture. And yeah, you’re right; this is a world in my imagination or dreams if you will. Can we escape this society? Will there be an end only when the planet finally dies (Transmission Fails?). Nature is dying, and we need the machine to survive, we need the planet. One thing curious about Factory is that first I wanted this album to be only ambiental music driven, with female vocals. It turned out to be like that but with strong guitars, sections and powerful material.
Hanna Tsepesh: Yes you are totally right, the word is dying, now I can understand more the lyrics (ehehe) THANKS! For you what is the difference between Project Creation and Factory of Dreams?
Hugo: Factory of Dreams = (2*Project Creation’s sonic beauty – Project Creation’s more experimental parts), which means that you get very appealing music with lasting melodies (I hope!) Project Creation is prog, it’s experimental, it’s huge, and it stretched the progressive genre to certain limits. Factory takes the beautiful parts of PC and kind of amplifies those. It’s simpler, but has a unique sonic notion on it’s own. I am completely taken by Factory’s music. I love when this happens, when you almost can’t control the music, it’s the music controlling you and you feel you just can’t escape it, can’t escape it, can’t escape it, hear the echo (ahaha)! The tracks are also smaller, well, most are, except Air Powerplant and Factory of Dreams, and the number of instruments is smaller, basically guitars, bass, synths and vocals.
Hanna Tsepesh: How did you discovered Jessica? It was from MySpace? Before you knew her, you were thinking to choose someone with the same voice style? Why is that?
Hugo: She lives across the street (ahaha) and likes to cuddle with rabbits… so I knew her when I went to the animal shop to grab some rabbits and pet them.. Seriously, I wasn’t sure whether Factory would be fronted by 1 person, two or more. I was sure about one thing though, it had to be female vocals. So, I began a Quest throughout the World to search for the perfect vocals for this project. I faced many adversities, storms, erupting volcanoes, crazy vocalists, but I reached a place called Swedinivdia (err...Sweden) and there I found Jessica, playing in her space (well, myspace). I was faced by many other voices, some were even starting to mesmerize me, but finally the uniqueness of Jessicaia’s voice clicked (literally, ‘cause I had to click the mouse to send over several emails) and then I heard a small test for one song and this was it. So, yeah I saw her in myspace and then her main site. To answer you third question, yes, I wanted someone in the borderline between rock/goth vocals and operatic /symphonic voice. I didn’t want any voice completely focused on rock/pop or opera, bur something in-between. She was great.
Hanna Tsepesh: It was a great choice, in my opinion! Jessica you have a great great voice, i really like it because you have the voice style that i really liketo listen! Do you have some singing classes?
Jessica: Thanks for the kind words! I took singing classes about once a week or so when I was around 19 or 20, and I took them about a year. I still had lots to learn at the time they ended but my teacher moved, so since then I’ve sort of been teaching myself. Recording your own voice helps a lot, since that’s something I do frequently I easily notice what I can polish and get better at and then I try to do so.
Hanna Tsepesh: Don’t need to thank me it is true!Do you play any instrument? If yes tell us what…
Jessica: I’ve played the keyboard since I was seven, and recently I’ve gotten the crazy idea of learning some acoustic guitar. It sounds really weird when I play it but maybe I’m learning, I don’t know! At least playing is fun, maybe I’m not really ready for recording guitars for my music though, but that might be possible in the future I hope.
Hanna Tsepesh: Ok, that sounds cool! Talking about the album “Poles”, once again Hugo i don’t have anything bad to tell about this album! I simply love it, really you have a lot of work in here…maybe months and months (ahaha) right? like i already say it about your voice is really the true you give more life to the songs with your beautiful voice! The melody is fantastic Hugo, you have a lot of talent to keep us dreaming and thinking with your songs! Thanks a lot for that oportunity!! So in this album what was your intentions to make us dream(ahaha)?Can you and Jessica talk a little bit about it, because this album will be released this Summer…
Hugo: You can say something bad about it. For example, why isn’t the last track named only ‘Poles’ and why the long name ‘ Crossing the b..’—errr, I forgot the whole thing. Jessica surely prefers Poles! Yea, this took about 6/7 months to do and promos are still to come. My intention was to make music that you could listen to easily, and not skip one single track. Music that can make you feel the sonic tension and the melodies behind it. If fans feel this, I’ll be happy! Then there was the concept. I usually like to write lyrics that people can understand, without unnecessary of forced ‘poetry’, but people do have to think a bit to get there sometimes. So, I want fans to imagine how the World of Poles is. I’d like them to try and imagine the cycle in Poles. I mean, the people being driven by the dreams and illusions, the better universe that awaits them, war, peace and the strange blend between nature and machine, organic and digital. Yes! Poles is already available at progrockrecords.com and will be released late June and the street date, is 12th August.
Jessica: There’s definitely nothing bad to tell about this album because Hugo’s writing and arranging skills are simply amazing, I find the tracks very versatile and captivating. He’s done a great job and I think people out there will recognize that too. What I wanted to do with my vocals was not to change but to contribute to the atmosphere that was already in the tracks, so I hope I succeeded there because I really love the atmosphere as it was from the beginning.
Hanna Tsepesh: See Hugo is 2 against 1, girls win(ahaha)! How was to record your voice on studio? Can you talk a little bit about that…
Jessica: My boyfriend bought me a new microphone two years ago and that microphone kicks the ass of every other microphone we’ve previously had, which is a really nice thing cause so much depends on the quality I can provide from home now when I’m in collaborations that take place over the internet. So, recording for Factory of Dreams went fine, I just wish I had had more time so I could have done a quicker job. But now the album is finished, so I guess I didn’t drive
Hugo too insane with my delays.. Or did I? Maybe in a future release we’ll know, he might have gone all nuts and now he’ll just write songs about pink unicorns and ticking clocks and food and what now.
Hugo: The timing was just fine Jess… Unicorns! Unicorns! Can’t escape them yes, yes ‘Factory of the little Unicorns’ that may well be the next album’s title!
Hanna Tsepesh: Great, we are waiting for that! I have a little bit of curiosity Hugo and Jessica, you 2 record this album together? Do you see Jessica recording her voice Hugo? Congratulations for all of your work with all this instruments, because you make them all alone…
Hugo: I tried to bring Jessica to Portugal, but she’s used to cold places like Swedinivdia, and she would surely burn to the ground in Portugal! Ok, now for the serious answer, this was all done modernly with me being here in Portugal and Jessica in Sweden. We exchanged emails very often, I sent her the music, the lyrics with lots and lots and lots of notes (not musical notes, just orientations where needed!) and she would reply to me with her interpretation of the music. Most of the time she matched my own views for the vocals, which is good since we’re sync! So, we did it all based on modern tek, that is, in the distance using the net. Amazing hey? About the instruments, yes, I played the guitars, the bass and did all the synth stuff, including handling some loops and drum arrangements. I had everything in control which is good.
Hanna Tsepesh: great work Hugo, very cool!
Jessica: I’m quite used to working with people like this, with a huge distance and only a computer connecting us, so it felt quite natural to me somehow. Since Hugo and I have kept in touch regularly I’ve not felt lost in what I’ve done and if there’s been some questions I’ve had no problem getting help from him. Would be cool to work with Hugo face to face some day, but I don’t know how much work we’d get done, I think we would end up talking about all sorts of weird things like rodents and cats and over eating and My Little Ponies and Brad Pitt nightmares and you name it… It’s a rare thing getting in touch with people you feel you really click with but this was the case here. We’re both nuts so that’s a good thing to have in common. And I guess I dare saying we’re both down to earth and lack that “I’m so much better than them”-attitude, which also makes a collaboration a lot easier and a better experience for both of us.
Hugo: Couldn’t agree more!
Hanna Tsepesh: Me too (ahahaha)!When I was listening to the album, we have some calm music like “The Sight of a better Universe” and “The Piano in the sea” and also very dynamic music like “Air Powerplant” and “Crossing the bridge to the positive pole”, in what do you think to make this variety? Can you talk about these songs?
Hugo: I usually don’t think about doing a faster song or a calmer song just for the sake of it, or to make a diverse and good playlist. That’s total BS. There are no defined ingredients most of the time. I know how to make an album more appealing, yes, placing a chorus here and there, repeating it or not more times, but I never compromised the musical integrity. For example, while making the final track list I asked Jessica ‘bout her opinion for it. Yes, Piano and Sight are calmer songs. Piano is the calmer one, very sweet. I mean, the lyrics do required a very very calm song. Lyrics and music were made almost at the same time. Sight is calm, but it’s also powerful In it’s own way. Hear it loud!! You have many sonic powerful elements there that makes this album ‘atmospheric metal’ (did we just create a new genre?) music hard to describe. Air Powerplant and Crossing are Jessica’s favorites I think! Am I right? Jess?
Jessica: You’re totally right about that! But I have more favorites, like Electric Boom which is instrumental for a long while until the vocals enters, and Stream of Evil is another track I find very cool. The rest of the tracks are very good as well. I think Hugo manages to hold stability in his songwriting which is quite rare, there are almost always tracks you tend to skip in an album but there’s not one track in this album that will end up sparsely listened, at least in my case. But yeah, Air Powerplant and Crossing are my definite favorites.
Hanna Tsepesh: Yes I agree 100% with you Jessica!
Hugo: So, let me talk about those. ‘Air Powerplant’ is a ‘statement’, it’s like shouting out the lyrics to the World, the whole music is a statement saying that we live and breathe what we’re given, the world must live on, we are destroying the planet, it has to survive. We don’t understand that the planet is alive, it’s an entity, and we are killing it. ‘Crossing the bridge’ is the final stage of the main character of the album. This person, sick of society, starts to think for herself, and decides to take a chance, fight the system and go find another place far away, like touching this world on the other side of a mirror (see the booklet artwork). It all began with ‘Sight to a better universe’…I mean, we know that a better world exists, so, why not create it? But the end of this ‘revolution’, if you will, may not be so clear, that’s why the song doesn’t have a clear happy end. Light without Dark, is nothing.
Hanna Tsepesh: So at this moment there's any concerts scheduled Hugo? If not tell us why…
Hugo: I would love to, but we would have to do those either in Portugal or Sweden, unless we do set up a project with more musicians, but for now it’s not my goal with Factory, my goal is to make good music, period, and release it on cd or other platforms. But who knows. Myself, I’m gonna probably be playing but unfortunately not with my projects but with a friend musician of mine, that has a great project and we’ll have news coming up soon… stay tuned. To sum up, Factory would be great live. If the opportunity comes up, I’ll discuss it with Jessica, but for now better than live is the final album that is here for you guys!
Hanna Tsepesh: Jessica, if you can choose one music genre what will be and why?
Jessica: If I would pick a genre I’d say metal I guess, but on the other hand I listen to lots of other genres too and some of my favorite bands/artists don’t belong in the metal genre. To pick a favorite band I’ll without a doubt say The Gathering. They’ve been my favorite band for many years now and I still listen to them a lot without ever feeling I’m tired of their tracks. That’s a cool and pretty rare thing.
Hanna Tsepesh: Jessica, can you talk about some of your future projects? Do you like in the future to come to Portugal to play a live show for us?
Jessica: I’ll keep working with Hugo for Factory of Dreams, which I’m really excited about since working with him for this album has been a great experience and has taught me a lot about my voice. Also I have an album, “Darkmind”, coming up with Beto Vazquez Infinity later in 2008. There my vocals can be found on two tracks. At some point, not sure when, a tribute album will be released where I’ve recorded some of the vocals for a Therion cover by BVI, so there’s a lot coming up which I really look forward to. As for my own music I’m working on both a fourth, more orchestral influenced, CD and a fifth one where I’m returning to the sound on “Where Angels Grow” but with a few improvements hopefully. I’m having some guests for these albums too. I would definitely love to come to Portugal for a live show. Let’s hope that will happen one day.
Hanna Tsepesh: That's GREAT Jessica, we will be waiting for that too! last question, you 2 have some words to say about this album to your portuguese fans out there?
Jessica: I hope you will enjoy the album as much as Hugo and I enjoyed creating it! Do buy the album, because the artwork in there is simply amazing and such a great bonus to have along with the music. And keep an eye open for future releases.
Hugo: Go grab the album. I think you’ve never heard this type of sound before. Come on, it’s a sight to a better universe! Really, go to our myspace, go to hugofloresmusic.com, take a listen, check the booklet illustrations and grab it! Forget the mp3s, get the album, you’ll get to see the Poles’ World, the Air Powerplant, the other universe, the Bridge, the character represented by Jessica, lots and lots of great stuff that was so damn hard to do.
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks a lot Jessica and Hugo for your answers! THE GATES OF METAL wishes for “Poles” album a lot of success and also for your future projects! Hope to see you guys again at THE GATES OF METAL for a second album (ehehe)!
Jessica: Thank you for the interview Hanna, it was a pleasure!
Hugo: Again thank you so much Hanna for the interview. In less than a few months, you’ve done a lot for the music and the passion keeps growing. And hope that everyone reading this tries to get the full album and comment it on myspace. We’ll be glad to hear your thoughts and reply to you guys for sure. Thank you!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks a lot Jessica and Hugo for the support!
By: Hanna Tsepesh