Hanna Tsepesh: Szervusz (Hello) for all of you Velvetseal! Köszönöm szépen (thank you) so much for all of you for accepting this interview! First of all i would like that everyone tell a little introduction about yourself.
Gabee: Wow, you are good in Hungarian! “Szia neked is” (hello to you too)! Well first of all, thanks you for the interview, it’s been a plasure for us to meet you. I am Gabee, the singer of VelvetSeal!
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks a lot Gabee, i know some words in Hungarian (ehehe)! You don’t need to thank me, it's a pleasure for me too, to know the band and also to make this interview for you guys and help this great band!
Balazs: I am the drummer of the group, I am the one who eats the most (ahaha) though I am the skinnyest, and I have to be everywhere they are to make sure they don’t “kill” each other.
Hanna Tsepesh: (ahahah) That is funny!
David: I take care about the “low” noise. I usually handle a bass on the stage.
Csabee: Guitars, Synths and the orchestral parts, but of course on stage I play guitars. When songwriting, I mainly get the initial base of the songs, you know, put together a Demo with the guitars, orchestra, and more or less the rest of the song, then Gabee works on the vocals, and when everything is done, the lyrics. As Balázs said, I am mainly the one who wants to “kill” everyone! (Hahaha) I usually get on their nerves easily...I am kind of a maximalist.
Hanna Tsepesh: Sometimes i feel the same (ahahaha)! Your band was formed in summer of 2006 with Gabee and Csabee, right? Tell to us a little bit of VelvetSeal history…
Gabee: A few years ago, I have been singing in a hard rock band but this wasn’t really my type of music, thats why I wanted to do something much more modern. With the same musicians, we started working on such a project, which then was never born in the end. The others were session players, you know, they never have time for their own stuff. Csabee was called to play guitars in this project by these guys, and when we saw it was not working out we have decided to form separately another band because the music that they were trying to do, was more a pop stuff then gothic/dark metal. With Csabee we knew from the beggining that we both want to do modern metal. This is how VelvetSeal was born. Then when the first few songs were ready we looked for the others.
Csabee: Yes in fact, I was lucky to meet Gabee, I had already plans previously of forming a band like this, but I was desperate because it is not easy to find a singer for this kind of music if you want to create quality. But Gabee definately is the one! David was an old friend of mine from a different band in the past, and for me naturally the first idea was to call him up. Balázs was already a well known session drummer, he played in like 40 different bands all together, so we were scared he will say no, but we convinced him easily!
Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands?
Gabee: I think a few of the bands that I would highlight are Within Temptation, Nightwish, Kamelot, After Forever, Evancescence. Of course there are a lot of others that I am in love with but mainly these are only songs of different bands. I prefer the bands with a richer sound, not just a “rocktrio” show.
Balazs: I would say the list is too long! ranging from Prince to Ozzy (hahahaha), But if I have to name a few: AC/DC , Journey, Nightwish, Hammerfall, Rage and so much more.....
David: Dream Theater and Within Temptation, but of course the list is very long, I also like guitar heroes like Joe Satrini and Steve Vai, and not to forget the “Bass guitar heroes” like Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey.
Csabee: I would always separate into 2 categories : Bands and musicians. The biggest favorite musicians is Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon). I think definately he is one of the greatest masterminds in music/composing. The other is Thuomas from Nightwish, and naturally as I am a guitarist, my guitar hero is Steve Vai!! The favorite bands: Kamelot, Within-Temptation, After Forever, Nightwish and even heavier modern stuff like Evergrey, Korn, In Flames, Eluveitie, SonicSyndicate or Messuggah.
Hanna Tsepesh: Very interesting taste in music guys! Csabee, what is your inspiration to create the lyrics?
Csabee: The lyrics actually are born in the last moment, usually only a few days before Studio. But influence is everywhere, I watch a movie, I read the news, or I just hear a word which gives me the idea and then the song just comes. If you listen to the lyrics carefully they have lot of hidden meanings, groteskly highlighting the varios acts/shards of life which I find just meaningless, but still some seem to follow like thoughtless sheep. It also leaves the audience thinking and questioned, which is the main goal of art, I guess.
Hanna Tsepesh: Yes i feel the same when i listen to the lyrics, also i like it a lot!Tell me about the orchestrations?
Csabee: The Orchestrations on the other hand need much more time and freedom. I usually get a main idea, maybe a melody, then I can already hear the final orchestra blazing in my head, but it will take me about weeks to get them recorded! So sometimes I am so eager to show the others what I have been doing for weeks, and then I can see on their faces.”WELL THAT’S IT? that’s not much...” uffff.
Hanna Tsepesh: But a ideia is always a great ideia because you have it, but this is my personal opinion! I think the guys like it, maybe is just to kidding with you (ehehe)! I have a little curiosity that i want to ask for all of you! first the lady(ehehe), when have you started to sing? Do you have singing classes? Also you have a beautiful voice, congratulations for your work in the band!
Gabee: This is a funny question, as I started singing before I was speaking. At the age 3-4, my parents noticed that I was singing, so I’ve attended musical primary schools. I did not learn to sing there (as you cannot train 3-6 year old ones to sing), only in choirs and I have learned some theory.I used this in my future, and believe it or not my teacher was the “bath-tub and the shower” (hihihi). I was singing all day long from morning till I fell asleep. But naturally I do want to find a good coach!
Hanna Tsepesh:That is very interesting, very cool! Now the gentleman's (ahaha), when have you guys started to play your instruments and why that choise?
Balazs: Actually (hehe) have been playing drums practically before I learned to walk. In our family this is a tradition almost all the men were drummers, my father, my brother ( he is the drummer of one of the biggest heavy metal bands in Hungary), so for me it was obvious that I will be a drummer.
David: I chose guitar at the age of 13, because I wanted to play so kickass music like Metallica. First I studied classical guitar, later I switched to electric guitar and I studied from other local band’s guitar players. At that time I played the guitar in different local school bands. At the age of 19 one day, I realized, that there are so many guitar players, and the bassist guys are allways missing. In that area where I lived it was a miracle to find a guy with bass, who is able to handle it well. So I decided, to change all my stuff for bass guitar and and to learn how to handle it. It was a good decision, but girls don’t like bass guitar players they like guitar players...
Hanna Tsepesh: (AHAHAHA) Maybe is the bass brand (just kidding with you)!
Csabee: That’s right! They like guitarplayers, I chose guitars in highschool because the girls like guitarplayers. And as I don’t know how to sing, I didn’t really choose the keyboard, because it is more a passion for me, I am a synth and orchestra addict! I dont think I can play virtuoso stuff, so I am more into composing, and the stuff you hear on VS, but naturally as I attened some years of Jazz college, I had to learn basic piano.
Hanna Tsepesh: Csabee don’t be evil with David (AHAHA), the world is so big i believe that there are girls who like bass players too!So guys in Hungary one of the major events is the Gothica Fest 6.66, and you guys played in there on the year of 2007, and played with big bands like Deathstars and Battlelore! Tell a litle bit how was the feeling to play in the same stage with those great bands? Did you had some funny memorys to tell to us? what have you liked more?
Gabee: I was more worried on ours so I did not really get a chance to see them unfortuately, but if you mean how does it feel to play with big bands like them, yes it definately makes me happy that I can be part of such a big Project.
Balazs: I remember when I got out of the car in front of a tourbus just in time to see a blond godess stepping out. She was Morgana from Mandragora Scream.
David: It was amazing to being part of it, the whole happening was a nice memory.
Csabee: Sure it was nice! We had a lot of very good responses after the show and in fact we are looking forward for this year’s also! And it was good to see the different bands performing. We even had some email exchanging after the show with the different bands. It is also a good opportunity to seek friendships with international bands/people.
Hanna Tsepesh: Wow, that is really GREAT! Talking about your debut album “ Lend me your wings”, i like it a lot your work! The voice is really great, and also the melody as well! I have to say my favorite song is “Desperati” the melody is really fantastic!! Congratulations for your work! I have also to tell that you are the first Gothic Metal band from Hungary that I interview and I am very happy with that, because i am big fan of your country history and culture! For the people who don’t know your album yet, tell to us about the album. Are you guys happy and proud with the final result?
Gabee: The songs all have thier own world, as they have not been written at the same time naturally, it is quite diverse in emotions. It was a difficult and long birth, not mainly the songwriting, but more the part that comes after, the orcestrations and so on. But of course I am more than satisfied, I can finally sing our own stuff!
Balazs: Overall I would say I am very happy with the final outcome!
David: So am I. That’s all, the result is good, I am starving for the next one.
David: So am I. That’s all, the result is good, I am starving for the next one.
Csabee: I am happy with it, lot of work, but the result I guess is quite good! But you know, I am already concentrated on the next one.This is just finished and I am already concentrated on getting the next songs ready.
Hanna Tsepesh: Those are fantastic news! I can’t wait for another album(eheh)! You have all of the songs and lyrics ready when you enter on studio? Tell to us a little bit of the studio process…
David: It is a little bit difficult story. The songs are not completely ready, in case of a band like VelvetSeal, When someone has an idea, it is not possible, just to grab an acoustic guitar and play the main melody. If somebody (usually Csabee) has an idea, the song should be constructed, I mean we need a drum basic, the guitars, a little symphonic melody, and if it is listenable, then the band could decide to go forward, or rethink the whole idea. If we decide to go forward, Balazs spends a few days to find some kickass drum groves, I do the same with the bass, in the meantime Csabee finalizes the guitar tracks and the keyboards, orchestration. If everyone is done, we record the tracks and start to mix it, to get something from the noise.
Hanna Tsepesh: It is easy for a Metal band to have some support in Hungary? it was a difficult journey for the band to record this album?
Balazs: A metal band I think is less supported anywhere in the world not just Hungary. That is why we are working hard everyday to make sure, more and more people are getting to know us worldwide. As for the Recordings, I wouldn’ say it was a difficult journey, more “ long jorney”, as we have been finishing the songs sometimes in the studio, and this takes always more time than what you think.
Gabee: I think it is very hard, because this music is still “fairly” new for Hungary so you can’t expect them to support it so strongly, YET. Hopefully this will change it would be easier for us too, but as Balázs said we are trying our best in everyway we can. And of course, you’ve hear of Vitamin C, which is a hungarian discovery. We’d love to have VelvetSeal similarly famous.
Hanna Tsepesh: Oh yes, i know that when one time i read about Hungary (ehehe)! I really hope that in Hungary and also in every countrys, people and labels start to help and support more the Metal bands! About concerts, do you have now some dates and places that you want to tell? Is the band thinking in the future to play in Portugal?
Csabee: Well as you know we have just finished our debut abum and most of 2007 has been spent writing/recording. We wanted to have 2008 full of shows, but you know we were a little late with the album so we only started sending out the material to the european festivals in the past weeks, months. But we definately would like to be present everywhere possible from 2008 Autumn. To Portugal? Sure! Yes, why not, I immagine there is a great number of fans of gothic/dark metal that would like to get a chance to hear us, so we’ll try our best.
Hanna Tsepesh: Yes it's true, we have a lot of people who like gothic metal, i hope one day you guys come in here!I i'll be waiting for your next album! Gabee, if you have to chose one female front Metal band to play a duet…what will be your answer?
Gabee: I would like to sing with a guy more if I could choose… I am in love with Khan’s (Kamelot) voice, but psst this is s secret!
Hanna Tsepesh: Ok we are not going to tell your secret (ahah)! Last question, do you want to send any message for the portuguese gothic metal fans?
VelvetSeal : well we think the most important thing we have to tell, we really hope we do not have to keep you waiting much more for a great live tour in Portugal, we have seen that there are thousands of rocking fans out there…
Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks a lot for your funny and nice answers Velvetseal! HELL ON FIRE wish you a big success with your debut album and hope to see you in Portugal very soon…
Gabee: We will definitely not miss the possibility, Portugal! See you soon!
Csabee: Thanks for the interview Hanna and The Gates Of Metal! it’s been a pleasure to meet you, and hopefully we will get the chance to talk again soon, hopefully on a live interview in Portugal!!!
Hanna Tsepesh: Don’t need to thank me, i thank you for the opportunity of this great and funny interview! I hope the same too Csabee, and the pleasure is mine too,you and the rest of Velvetseal were very nice,simpathic and funny people it was great and an honor to know you guys too and also to make this interview for all of you, and i really hope that our readers like so much like i do! See you guys in Portugal very soon…
By: Hanna Tsepesh