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Xandria Interview 2004

Xandria Interview 2004
By: John Wolff
With: Lisa Schaphaus of Xandria

Interview Info
By: John Wolff
With: Lisa Schaphaus of Xandria

John:  Tell us a little about the band, its unique name and how it formed.

The name Xandria appeared one day in Marco's, our bandleader's, head. He just liked the mystic sound of it, which fit really well to our music. It was also Marco who searched for the rest of the band and still he's the main songwriter of Xandria. But that doesn't mean that Philip, Gerit, Nils and I don't influence the band in our way... :-)

How would you try to describe your sound for a new listener?

Lisa:  Well, Xandria is something in between Metal, Pop, Classic, Rock, Soundtrack, Jazz and Gothic... what can I say..? We are Xandriatic.

John:  What gives you inspiration when writing lyrics for songs?

Lisa:  Everything that is happening all around my world: love, quarrel, sorrow, doubts, hatred... and these small things that make life so big.

John:  Have you or any of the band considered doing a song in German?

Lisa:  Not yet. Maybe someday.

John:  What obstacles if any , do you have writing material / lyrics in English?

Lisa:  Good question! Naturally, my German is much better than the foreign language English. But I really like English much better for singing, because this language is more smooth and warm than German.

John:  What vocal training have you received and at what age did you discover your talent?

Lisa:  I took classical opera-singing-lessons for 4 years and I haven't discovered my talent yet. Maybe harp...?

John:  What achievement has made you the most proud with 2 cds released at this point?

Lisa:  Having fans is the most beautiful and unbelievable thing that I experienced. Nothing is more intensive.

John:  In your eyes, What event would/did make 2004 year a success for Xandria?

Lisa:  This was especially our trip to Korea, but also the Ravenheart-Tour we just finished.

John:  What has been the hardest obstacle for you and the band to overcome thus far?

Lisa:  In the beginning we all were very naive. Everyone of us has to overcome his/her small doubts and problems, because these are not good for the band-structure and our live-performance.

John:  Do you gain inspiration for writing lyrics through your own personal experiences and relationships?  Or are the foundations for the lyrics about issues (love) that most people can relate?

Lisa:  hmmmm, should have read the questions before answering them...:-) I think the answer is already above.

John:  The title track "Ravenheart" has a reference to Edgar Allen Poe and the "Raven". Are you a Fan of the famous author? and did his writings factor into anything with theme of the CD?

Lisa:  Yes, I am a fan of Mr. Poe. I love the atmosphere of his pieces, which was an inspiration for the whole atmosphere of the album.

John:  Since Sonic Cathedral concentrates on Female Vocal Rock/Metal bands, we have seen the genre explode in the past 5 years. Do you feel like the female vocalists in metal bands are finally getting the needed exposure in the media?

Lisa:  Yes and no. It's good to see so many successful Female Vocal Rock bands, but we all should be careful: every musician should be strong enough to fight for his/her own position in music biz; the easy way up normally also is the fast way down...

John:  Do you (Lisa) hear any negative comments about female vocals in metal , in general?

Lisa:  Sure, but I laugh about them! It's always a question of taste if you like female vocals - that's okay - but many of these comments include a very stupid sexist way to look at the world. I don't mind: most of the people all over the world are more intelligent.

John:  It seems Marco and Yourself have most of the composition and lyrics credits on the CD.  Have you two found a good working relationship to make the task of new material that much easier to complete? How would you describe this process and at what points it is most stressful to you and Marco?

Lisa:  Marco is a perfectionist and I am lazy... this often leads to discussions about how fast to work. Normally he shows me an idea, then I say: that's good, I quickly write a vocal line and add: now, that's fantastic, the song is ready, let's record it. And this is the point when Marco starts to blush and to get very angry about my way to work...;-D ... Then we discuss for some minutes, just to find out that we had exactly the same opinion from the beginning on, and finally we are best friends again.

John:  Who is the marketing genius behind the 2 CD covers?

Lisa:  Kai Hoffmann, singer of the German band Secret Discovery. And... thank you! :-)

John:  I noticed no full time bassist was listed on new CD. Any plans in the works to find a replacement?  Or is the band content with a studio bassist and a fill in for live shows?

Lisa:  Since some months we work with our "new" bassist Nils Middelhauve, and we are very very glad with him.

John:  Your debut "Kill the Sun" was released in Brazil with good results. Are you surprised by your success abroad?

Lisa:  Yes!!! Probably I will never get into my poor brain that people all over the world really like us.

John:  Where would the band most like to tour and if they could choose any other female vocals bands to tour with, who those bands would be and why?

Lisa:  We just toured with LAB, a great band from Finland, and I would give my right arm to be on tour with them again: Ana, the singer, is a wonderful person, same as the rest. And where...? Well, we would like to travel the whole world!!!

John:  What do you enjoy most about being in Xandria?

Lisa:  Being allowed to do the best job in the world while being able to express myself perfectly. And spending so much time with the friends I like most. And meeting people who like us for doing so.  Probably I like everything about being in Xandria.

John:  What do you enjoy the least about being in Xandria?

Lisa:  That I will never be able be in the audience when Xandria are on the stage.

John:  What is your favorite Xandria song to sing and why?

Lisa:  Live? Black Flame, because then I'm allowed to use my heavier voice... and Snow-White for the same reason. But the most I like Eversleeping, because every time I sing it on stage I feel a close connection to the audience.

Sonic Cathedral appreciates the opportunity to interview Xandria.  Best wishes to you!