Q : First, I have to congratulate Blodwen for debut album “Black Symphony”. How can you describe Blodwen style of music? Is it a concept behind this album?
Bee : Hello Rebirth Era and all metalheads in Thailand, thank you for giving us this honor and having us here. My name is Bee and I’m the singer-songwriter of Blodwen.
Well, to put it simply, our style is symphonic rock. We combine rock elements with harmonious melodies (especially minor scales). We want to present beauty and power in our music. This album is pretty much based on a songbook, where all the songs written in past years are featured – which is why there are a lot of variations in the album with all sorts of genre.
Q : This album also release in Japan via Red Rivet Records. How did the label contact you ? And when you release the album in Japan, your CD must have an OBI on it. Is this the same as Japanese release ?
Bee : We posted one song in a social networking website for musicians, and RRR emailed us offering a contract – much to our surprise. It’s actually as simple as that. I think all the releases they produced are the same, with the obi and everything.
Q : Your profile said Blodwen start out playing J-Rock before. Why do you change your style? Does it have an impact on your fan based or make you lost old fan based?
Bee : We started as a J-Rock cover band because I’m a fan of Japanese culture. But after years of playing covers, I wanted to do something more original. At that point of time, I was introduced to Nightwish (with Tarja) – and to put it simply – I was blown away. I wanted to make music like that.
So far everybody is really understanding, and instead of losing fans, we are actually reaching out to new people everyday. We still do covers from time to time and in our album we did include a Japanese song to honor all the fans in the Japanese community in Indonesia and our label. So it all works out.
Q : Why did you choose Blodwen as the name of the band ? Does the name has a special meaning for you ?
Bee : Well… actually the name was suggested by our lead guitarist, Lexy. The meaning of Blodwen is ‘white flower’ in Welsh. We are a female-fronted rock band who believes in beauty in music, so we wanted a name that’s not too intimidating or scary. The name is fragile, yet strong. I feel that is the best way to describe how I want the band to be. Also, it’s short and easy to remember – which never hurt in terms of practicality. We googled the name, and thankfully it was not taken by anyone so we took it before anybody else did ha3
Q : Can you tell us a bit about how long did you make this album ? Is it hard for recording since this style of music need a very good studio ?
Bee : I think it took us about 1.5 – 2 years to finish everything. The main problem we faced that time was actually because we were separated by distance – I was attending college outside the country while the rest of the band stayed in Indonesia. It was hard to edit or share ideas due to the distance. Of course being a poor band we also didn’t have sufficient recording tool. In my opinion though, a studio will just be a studio, and the most important thing is the manpower behind it. In our case, we are lucky to have a very gifted all-in-one package musician as a member. Lexy is our arranger, producer, sound engineer and lead guitarist. Being an independent band, we learn to do everything by ourselves and I’d like to think of it as an advantage.
Q : Who is the main influence on Blodwen ?
Bee : We are influenced by bands and musicians like Nightwish, Amberian Dawn, Yngwie Malmsteen, Helloween and Stratovarius. Of course being a considerably new band, we are still finding our own taste while experimenting with a lot of genres based on these great musicians.
Q : How’s the reception on this album so far ? I know it sold in Japan, but how about other country ? Has your CD been distributed in European country?
Bee : For the details I think RRR knows more than us ha3 but from what I was informed, the album has reached Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Italy, USA, France, Brazil, Norway, and so on. I wouldn’t know too much about the details though, I’m just happy to receive notifications and reviews from all over the world. We are a new band, first and foremost we just need our music to be heard – not ratings and royalties. Those will come eventually later.
The reception so far is generally good, it is our first debut album and there are of course things we can improve on. But so far all the critics and reviews have been really encouraging. It makes us feel determined to surprise people in our next album. And I can assure you this album will not be the first and the last you will hear from us.
Q : If I correct Blodwen must be the first neo-classical power metal band from Indonesia who release the album right ? Why there’s not so many band in Indonesia play your style of music?
Bee : Actually there are quite a few bands in Indonesia who thrive in this genre too, some even much older than us, respectively. We were just lucky to be discovered and distributed globally. I wouldn’t say that we are lacking in neo-classical power metal genre, but it is true that there are definitely more trash and death metal bands in Indonesia than neo-classical ones.
Honestly, I wouldn’t know too much about why there are more extreme metal bands in Indonesia. But what I would think is because Indonesia is actually a very hot-blooded country. We are very passionate and filled with emotions because we are still considered a third-world country and you see injustice and corruption everywhere everyday. Which is why I think there are a lot of anger, disappointment and grief over such occurrences; and one way of expressing those emotions is by taking it to the extremes in music.
For Blodwen, we are not too interested in politics and such. The band was never meant to be a nationalist or political band, our music is fantasy and story-telling. We like illustrious dream-like music, one that can transport its audience to another world when you listen to it. And we’d like to keep it that way.
Q : Indonesia is quite famous for extreme metal scene such as “Death Metal”. Is it a problem for you to play live since there’s not so many band like you? Did you play live with them ?
Bee : Ha3 you are quite well-informed, I’m impressed! Well so far we never had any major problems. Usually when we first arrive in the scene, they gave us a ‘meh’ look. But as soon as we go on stage and play, they accept us as one of them and enjoy our differences. Music is universal, in the end as long as it’s good, we will all enjoy it no matter the genre.
Q : What is the next step for Blodwen ? Do you have a plan for playing live or tour?
Bee : The album was released in September, reviews have just started to circulate and I’m still crossing my fingers for promoters who are brave enough to send us on a tour. We do live from time to time, but because we are an independent band with not even a road manager at the moment, we do everything by ourselves including the marketing and promoting and selling stuff – and it’s hard because we can’t focus on finding gigs and such since all of us have day jobs and bills to pay. So wish us luck with that, and if there’s anybody who is crazy enough to sign up as a manager or promoter for Blodwen, please feel free to contact us! Ha3
In the moment, we are recording new materials and planning to release a demo single in the end of January for free download. The songwriting part never stops, we can never write too many songs, so that is definitely still going. And we’re planning to record a PV for our single “Night Black Symphony”, as soon as we can manage the time and budget, and of course the right person to do it, we’ll do that.
Q : Finally Question, Will you attend Iron Maiden concert that will happened in Febaury ? How do you except from this concert? I will be there too but in Bali not Jakata.
Bee : That’s cool, you should go to Jakarta and maybe we can meet up! Ha3 I’m kind of excited because it’s their first time in Indonesia and it’s wicked how they are going to transport everything in their Ed Force One plane. That’s insane, man. Looking forward to it, as soon as I can gather enough money, I’ll be there.
Q : Thank you so much for interviewing with us. Please say final word !!!
Bee : We are the ones who should thank you for the chance. Please keep supporting us and spread to all of your friends, families, enemies, lovers, haters, bosses, slaves (ha3) the name of BLODWEN! Order for CDs are available in Red Rivet Records Myspace and official website, do check the links and join our Facebook Page. Hope to meet you guys in gigs sometimes! Keep the flame and spread the word!! \m/