Interview with Kessier (guitar)
Interview conducted by Michel Renaud
Date online: August 13, 2002
Taiwanese power metal... Now that's a rare sight! This band of experienced musicians has already appeared on a few compilation albums, their debut album is available in both Chinese and English, and they have just finished recording their sophomore effort. Coupling female operatic vocals with male death growls, they have quite an interesting sound - some would just stop at the operatic vocals and call them a Nightwish clone, but that would be a misplaced (if not to say just plain wrong) comparison as Seraphim sounds nothing like the aforementioned. Guitarist and founding member Kessier answered a few questions by e-mail...
Hails! Well, let's start with the usual annoying question: Could you give us a brief history of the band?
Seraphim started from guitarist Kessier and Bassist Jax who used to play in a speed metal band called Firedance. During a recording session, Kessier met Pay, who was singing as an operatic saprono as good as he ever heard, and an idea for the new band came. The 2nd guitarist Dan and drummer Simon, who came from another band and reunited for the new concept and music, after some phone calls the band members had met each other and decided the on the band name "Seraphim".
I was quite surprised to hear about a power metal band from, of all places, Taiwan. How's the metal scene over there? I'm afraid we don't hear much about Taiwanese bands over here...
Actually, ther are not many metal bands in Taiwan, although there are a lot of fans of metal music, the music marketing in Taiwan is hard to develop for metal music, we still try hard to make people crazy!
You have a female operatic vocalist. Were you trying to build on Nightwish's success or things just happened and the band ended up with this lineup? Personally I think the two bands are quite different, especially your music is guitar-driven, while Nightwish's is keyboard-driven, but some people will just stop the comparison at the vocals.
Absolutely not, we started with our own style music, people here always compare with Pay and Tarja as well. Our music is based on guitar and a few keyboards, the vocal part is still the most important! We're totally different from Nightwish.
Your album was first released in Chinese, then in English for the European > market. How are things going sales-wise in the different markets?
We're not sure the exact quantities of album sold, but the Chinese version was released six month before the English version, and we think it is not doing bad!
How have the fans and the media responded to the album?
People were crazy about our music, better than we would have thought.
Are you planning on releasing the next album in both languages as well?
Yws, we're already done both English & Chinese version. (At the time of the interview, the band had just returned from recording and mastering their second album in Sweden and Finland - ed.)
Is your next material going to be along the same lines, or are you planning to go in a different direction?
Not exactly, the new album has more melodic singing and more powerful instruments playing, we hope everyone can find it easier to catch our music.
I believe you did some shows in Taiwan and China? How did that go? Any good and/or bad experiences?
Most of people who came to our concert like our music, we still got a long way to go. and we're happy to perform with Angra in Taipei this June.
Are there any plans to play in Europe in the near future, at some metal festival maybe?
We've tried to contact some festival, like Wacken open air, Summer Breeze in Germany, and others in Europe, we hope we could have the chance to perform in Europe next year!
Who came up with the idea of supplementing the operatic vocals with male "growling" vocals?
Kessier - the guitarist, also the song writer.
What stuff have you been listening to lately? Let's say what are 5 albums from your current playlist?
Pay(vocals) - Heavenly
Kessier(guitar) - Edguy
Jax(bass) - Harem Scarem
Dan(guitar) - Annihilator
Simon(drums) - Rush
You're on a Taiwanese label, what kind of promotion and distribution do you have elsewhere in the world?
The marketing policy of our record company is focused on Taiwan, and there are many people and websites who like our music and help us for promotion, just like you!
What is the meaning of the band's name? I can't help but smile everytime I see it since, in French Canada, "Séraphin" was a character in a very old television series and he was known to be very close to his money. :) I'm sure the two are totally unrelated, but around here this band name is bound to make people smile!
Seraphim is the angel character from the Bible, Isaiah 6:2 First degree of orders of angels. with six wings, his duty is singing prayer for the Lord.
Based on this, do you consider yourselves a Christian band? (better clear this up before the rumor mill starts ;))
Actually, we're not a Christian band, don't forget we still have a "demon screaming" in our songs. The vocalist - Pay, she is Christian, others are not!
We think the angel "Seraphim" is just like our music, heavy & strong, and never forget to make good music...
All the band members have quite a bit of experience, could you give us more details on the members' past experiences? Also are any members involved into side-projects?
Pay - pure classical operatic singing backgroud for 21 years, Seraphim is her first experience playing in a band.
Kessier - used to play in Assassin, Nice Vice, Firedance, 20 years experience in guitar playing.
Jax - used to play in Firedance with Kessier since 93.
Dan - used to play a lot of bands in Taiwan, with 5 years of guitar experience.
Simon - Graduate in M.I. (L.A.), used to play in Assassin but different dynasty with Kessier, 12 years experience on drums.
I'm out of questions, thanks for your time! Anything else you would like to add?
We just want to say "The Soul That Never Dies" to everyone!
|Other information about Seraphim on this site|
|Review: The Soul That Never Dies|
|Review: The Equal Spirit (Chinese version)|
Copyright © 1999-2018, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt. All Rights Reserved.