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Een paar maanden geleden kwam ik in contact met Raylyn Shayde, de zangeres van de Slovaakse progressieve metal band Anthology, wiens tweede CD ‘The Prophecy’ een absolute aanrader is voor de liefhebbers van het genre. Natuurlijk was ze gaarne bereid om wat meer achtergrondinformatie te verstrekken over de band en het nieuwe album...

Door: Sjak | Archiveer onder prog / sympho metal

Hi Raylyn, when did you start singing and when did you discover that you had a certain talent for it?
Hello guys, I already started singing when I was a little child. At that time I never thought about becoming a singer in a band, but a lot of people told me that I had a certain talent and that’s when I decided to take singing lessons and attend a class.

Which female vocalists in the scene have influenced you and which ones do you admire in particular?
I can still exactly remember the moment when I first heart Nightwish with Tarja, it was amazing. That has been my main influence as I love the combination of females vocals and metal music. In particular I admire Tarja Turunen, Floor Jansen, Sharon Den Adel and Simone Simons.

Did you participate in any bands/projects before joining Anthology and if so, which ones were these and did you do any recordings with them?
Yes, I did. I had two bands before Anthology, but they were both not very successful. I didn’t do any recordings with these bands, but both of them have been a great experience for me.

Anthology as a band already got formed in 2009. Although you weren’t a member of that original line-up, can you give us some more background information about the early days of the band?
The band was formed in 2009 by our lead guitarist Mathias and ex-bass player Ján Kičin. Since the foundation there have been quite a few changes, especially on vocals but also for the bass player position. I’m the third singer in the band and hopefully I will be the last one...Now the line-up besides me consists of Mathias - lead guitar, Morety - rythm guitar, Maarty - keyboard, Marc - bass guitar and Pepo - drums.

In 2011 the first album ‘Exitus’ was released, still with a different female vocalist. Do you know how successful that album was for Anthology?
The first album attracted mainly Slovakian fans and it basically made thing moving. It also brought us new concerts and it created a local fanbase. We are still very proud of the debut album.

After the release of the album the band went through several line-up changes of which the most prominent was the replacement of the female singer. Why did they decide to release the previous singer?
As I was not really involved in that, I can not really say something about it but I guess it was because of personal reasons of our previous female singer.

How did you get involved in Anthology and why did you decide to join the band?
I received an e-mail from the guys, asking me if I was interested in joining the band. It was about five months before the vocals for the new album were planned to be recorded. I decided to join because I saw a big potential in this band and we share the same goal in music. I became an offical member of Anthology in October of 2013.

I get a bit confused because I see both the names Ľubica Gavlasova and Raylyn Shayde mentioned as the singer of Anthology, can you clarify this?
My real official name is Ľubica Gavlasová, but for many people it is very hard to pronounce and also to write my name. So I use my pseudonym Raylyn Shayde, which is a lot easier to remember.

Do you feel that the current line-up is the right one and what’s the special chemistry that you have right now?
The special chemistry that we have is the common goal that we have with our music. The current line-up is just great, but of course you can never know what will happen in the future.

With this new line-up the second album ‘The Prophecy’ was written and recorded. When did the band start with the actual preparations for this album and how did the song writing process for this album look like?
The guys started to think about the new album last year and the actual work on this second record took a bit over three months. Every member has done a great deal of work to put their part on the album. It was quite a lot of work but it has definitely been worth it.

What did the band want to accomplish with this second album? Was the first album capable of providing you with a solid fanbase in Slovakia already?
We want to gain lots of foreign fans this time and that was also the reason why we did the album in English. In this way we are not limited to Slovakian fans only, but we are able to spread our music to the whole world. The first reactions to the new album have all been very positive so far.

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Talking about Slovakia, how does the metal scene look like over there? Any particular bands that you consider as very talented that we should check out?
We have a lot of bands that are into a similar genre of metal music, but we don’t have a lot of oopportinities for concerts and we lack the support that is available in other countries. Metal in Slovakia is still really an underground genre, as we don’t even have a rock radio station.

What are in your opinion the biggest differences and/or improvements when comparing ‘The Anthology’ to the previous album ‘Exitus’?
The major difference is of course the change of female singer and the fact that this time the lyrics are in English language. Furthermore the new album is heavier with harder riffs and it has noticably more keyboards and orchestration, in total much more powerfull than the previous one. Last but not least the production has improved quite a lot as the sound is much better than on our previous album.

Weren’t you able to get any record company interested as the album is released as an independent record or was this a deliberate move?
After the release we have sent our new album to some labels, but we’re still waiting for their response and opinion.

The music of Anthology is very varied, with softer, slower passages and real intense heavy parts. Is this planned or does it just happen naturally during the song writing process?
It just happens naturally during the writing process, nothing is planned.

What are typical elements that have to be present in a great Anthology song?
Important elements are power, speed, symphonic and melodic elements and each song is a mixture of those elements.

If you had to pick one song from ‘The Prophecy’ that represents Anthology best which one would that be and why?
I would pick ’Screams Into The Darkness’ because of the orchestral sound, the powerful chorus and the mixture of heavy and melodic parts.

What are typical subjects that you write about in your song material? Are there any messages that you want to bring across in your songs? Who is responsible for the lyrics?
The lyrics are written by me and our guitar player Morety and the themes are fantasy and mystery.

Is the artwork in any way connected to the lyrics on the album and if so, in what way?
Yes, as a matter of fact it is. The title song ‘The Prophecy’is linked to the artwork of the album. It is about the girl who finds the prophecy that could save our world from pain and fear.

Who was responsible for the production of the new album and how do you feel about the actual end result yourself?
A good friend of ours named Michal Jankuliak (Eagleheart) was responsible for the production of the album, but I must not forget to mention Vlado Povala who did the editing of the drums. The mix and mastering was done my Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) and we are all very satisfied with the final result.

Are the songs on the album all the material that you have written and/or recorded or do you still have more songs hidden in the Anthology vaults? If so, which ones are these and what’s going to happen with them?
All the material that we currently have available is to be found on the album, we at this very moment we’re working on new stuff.

What are your expectations from ‘The Prophecy’? When will it be a success for you?
It will be a success with every new fan, every sold CD or every booked concert. By the way, we have already booked concerts for next year, when we will be playing some festivals is Czech Republic.

What are the plans that you have for the next say six to twelve months?
In the autumn we are playing some concerts to support the new album in Slovakia and Czech Republic and of course we will be working very hard on new material as well.

The female fronted scene is quite big at the moment, so how are you going to distinguish yourself from all the other bands in the scene? What are Anthology’s unique selling points?
It is very hard to distinguish yourself from all the other bands. We want to present a mixture of both heavy and softer melodic elements and hopefully the people that are looking for quality music will find Anthology a great band.

What is the ambition level that you and the other band members have with Anthology? To what level to you think you can grow in the music scene?
That’s really hard to say, but in due time we would like to play on the main stage of big festivals.

Okay Raylyn, thanks for your willingness to answer my questions. Is there anything that we didn’t cover that you would still like to mention to our readers?
Thank you for the interview, it was an absolute pleasure for me. I hope that someday we will see you during one of our concerts!

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