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Metal Maiden of the Month for May 2014 is Zuberoa Aznárez. Lead vocalist for Symphonic Metal band DIABULUS IN MUSICA.  zube1

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Diabulus in Musica Facebook Page

THE METAL PIT: Hi Zuberoa and thanks for being Metal Maiden of the Month at THE METAL PIT. Zuberoa Aznárez: Hi, thank you! It's a honour for me!

  On your newest cd ARGIA you have 2 guest vocalists in Thomas Vikström of THERION and Ailyn Giménez of SIRENIA. What was it like working with these 2 vocalists? It was fantastic! They are great professionals and we are very honoured to have Ailyn and Thomas singing in a couple of songs. The song where Ailyn is singing is in Spanish, so I immediately though about Ailyn to sing this song with me because we became friends and we both are from Spain. Besides, we have different voices that complement each other very well, so I asked her if she would like to take part in this song. She likes a lot the band, so she immediately accepted and I was very happy to have her beautiful voice in one of our tracks! Regarding Thomas, he is singing in “Encounter at Chronos' Maze”. We needed a very special voice for this duet. We wanted a versatile male singer who could give to the song a "music theatre" touch, even operatic. Thomas is an amazing singer, he has actually sung a wide variety of styles from classical to metal, so he was the perfect candidate. I contacted him and sent him a rough demo of the song. I was so excited when he accepted and he told me he really liked the song and my voice! It has been such a honour for me to sing with him!

  zube2ARGIA is your bands 3rd album in 4 years. How has the music changed over each album or do you feel they are all similar and each one is just a progression from the previous album? I couldn't tell exactly. I suppose that music changes in a natural way, as we also grow as persons and musicians over the years, so I would say our music is also more mature now. With our first album “secrets” we were still defining ourselves, we learned a lot from that process. Later with “the wanderer” we first wrote a story so that we had a very clear idea about how the songs should be, everything was “planned”. However, with “Argia” the process has been very different, we just wrote music to express the feelings we had inside at that moment, so it's a very “honest” album. Anyway, I would say it hasn't been a drastic change because we still play with the same elements, but I think those elements are even more evident now, I mean that our music is more eclectic each time. We love contrasts and I think this is something we have developed, as well as we have introduced more elements and new instruments.

  Do you have any favorite songs from ARGIA? No because each song has something special. This album has been like a therapy for me and each song has its own therapeutic function, so depending on my mood I would choose one or another. That's why the album is full of contrasts, because it was made up of extreme feelings.

    You have a beautiful singing voice. Why did you choose to go the Symphonic Metal route in your singing career? Thanks a lot for the compliments! Well, actually I didn't choose it, it was a natural process. I have been singing in choirs since I was a little child. I entered the rock world as a teenager, but I didn't feel comfortable singing in that “heavy” way. At that time I started to take formal classical singing lessons and I also discovered a mixed technique that worked fine on me so that I didn't feel my voice damaged when singing with a“modern” voice.  What I love about symphonic metal is that you can mix many ways of singing, so it was a natural path to take for me. Gorka and me come from the classical field and have also been involved in metal bands since we were very young so we knew that we wanted to preserve these two faces of our musical background when we founded Diabulus in Musica.

  When you work with orchestra’s or choirs in your music is it hard to convert that to a live show setting? Our dream would be to represent our music in a full show, with orchestra, choir and even dancers on stage. This was the first concept of Diabulus in Musica. Unfortunately this is not easy for obvious reasons. Organizing a show like this is very expensive and we would also need a special venue. Anyway, it is something we have in mind and we are waiting for the right chance to do it, rpobably in our hometown. When we play at home or also at MFVF we usually take a small choir with us, it depends on the budget and the logistics, but we usually like to do something extra than just a regular concert. When this is not possible we have to sample the choirs and orchestra live, most of the bands with extra elements have to do it this way.

  You started singing as a child and took classical music lessons. Was your dream back then to be a Classical singer?zube3 Not really, I never thought about being a professional singer. I just loved to sing and it's something that has been a very important part of my life since I was born, music is just a part of me, I have never seen it as a “job”, I just was carried along with the only ambition of learning and enjoying singing. I mean, I studied at University because I never thought singing could be also a job, I just sung as a natural thing. I followed my path and then I suddenly I realized I was working as a singer too.

        What vocalists whether they are Metal/Rock or Classical singers influenced you? There are a lot of singers I like and from many different styles, but I wouldn't say I'm influenced by them in my way of singing. You have to learn to sing with a proper technique, but also with your own voice, sound colour and what it's more important, own feeling. Singing is above all art, and art is always subjective and should serve as a way of self-expression. It is true that one can learn a lot listening to others and can take small things from here and there, but always trying to find and improve your own voice and never trying to sound like other, this actually can damage your voice. If I have to name someone I would first say my teacher, she is a wonderful singer and my closest example, but actually our voices are very different, so the influence comes above all from the encouragement.

    What are some of your favorite bands you have played with live? I'm sorry to spoil your questions! ;D but I don't have real favorite bands neither. I'm a very versatile listener that changes the mood easily, so I can listen to very different styles of music. I'm not a good “fan” as I rarely follow the whole career of a band or singer, so I could name a few bands I like, but I couldn't be able to tell about the discography for example, as I probably have only listened to a few songs separately. I usually play my ipod aleatory, so it is difficult to tell! Anyway, we have had the chance to share stage with awesome bands, but I think not yet with the ones I probably like the most as they play different styles so it's not that easy to coincide on the same line-up.

  zube5What would it take for the band to be able to go on a world tour? Mostly money! Unfortunately we don't have an economical support behind us to organize a tour or support a bigger band on tour, so by our side it is not possible for the moment, at least not with the offers we received so far, it was really expensive. We are working with some promoters and trying to arrange something, but they are mostly separate dates. Anyway, we will continue working and searching for the possibility to go on a complete tour.

      Since it is hard financially for a lot of touring outside of your area how important is it to have places like YOUTUBE to show your bands life performance for people that can’t get the chance to see you live in person? Youtube is great to know new bands and reach more audience, but it is never the same than a real show. Mostly because the quality of the recordings is usually not good and also because you are normally seeing separate songs so you lose the feeling of the whole show. I think the atmosphere of the venue is very special too, the connection with the audience and the band is something magical and this is something you cannot experience on youtube. Anyway, it is a good tool to get to know a bit more about bands otherwise it would be difficult to see live or even know they exist.

  When you’re not singing or writing music what do you do for fun or to get away from music? I rarely get away from music! But when I really need to disconnect I like to go for long walks to the forest or mountains with my dogs, I love nature and I absolutely need it to recharge my batteries in its contact. Apart from this, I actually enjoy every little thing of daily life, I love reading, going to the cinema, going out for dinner with friends, gardening, cooking, making natural soap... As you can see it's difficult for me to get bored! And it's a pity I don't have the time to do everything I like!

  What are some other female vocalists out there right now that you admire? Well to be honest and due to my interests and never-ending learning process, the ones I admire as an example of technique and feeling are actually classical singers above all in the baroque repertoire. I have many favourites, one I'm listen to a lot lately is Sarah Connolly for example. I'm not listening that much to metal right now, so I don't have any favourites in this field and I don't know the work of many of the actual singers now so it wouldn't be fair to give an opinion. There are plenty of different bands now and I think each singer has her own style and personality, it is just a matter of taste. Anyway, I admire every woman who is fighting in the music business nowadays!

  The band has 3 new members since the last album. Why did the band changes happen and how do you feel about the band you have in place now?zube6 I couldn't tell exactly why they decided to leave, I suppose it is a matter of priorities in life. We have never had a problem with the rest of the guys, we were like a family and still are friends, it is only that people, tastes, situations and priorities change and we cannot always grow in the same direction. Our guitar player, Adrián, was going to get married and with his job he didn't have the time the band deserved, so we perfectly understood his reasons. Xabi and Alex decided to follow the same way, maybe because they have another band in common so they preferred to focus their efforts on their other band. Their departure was very hard for Gorka and me and we even asked ourselves if it would be worth to go on. We decided it was, because we both are the founders and main composers of the band and we simply cannot live without it. We were able to show ourselves that we can go on alone, we both wrote a new album, we searched for new members and played several shows, all this in only one year. Now we have recovered all the confidence in ourselves and I think we are on our best moment, sober and mature. The new lineup is full of energy and we get on very well together so I think very good things can happen from now!

    Where do you get your inspiration for song lyrics? My inspiration comes from the World itself, above all from my personal worries and thoughts about it (which are mostly related with nature, freedom, spirituality and social problems) and personal experiences too. I’m a nonconformist person and always think a lot about every aspect in life, I sometimes have rare ideas rounding my messy brain (I suppose this is normal among artists?) although I rarely arrive to a clear conclusion... In the case of Argia, all the lyrics come from personal experiences and feelings. The inspiration came fast after our band-mates left, I think it came as a reaction and that was what gave us the strength to continue. Some of the lyrics refer to our new situation as a band and individuals, some others are more critical and the rest are much more introspective and are related to some of my spiritual believes.

  What does the album title ARGIA mean or why did you choose this as the title?  "Argia" means "Light" or "clear" in Basque. This title somehow reflects how we feel now. The departure of the guys and other experiences I've also experimented at the same time, made me wonder about some human behaviours and made me try to understand others and myself better. I'm not sure if I have things so “argi” (“clear”), but I'm trying!

    Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. I wish you and the band great success with this album and for your future. Thanks a lot for your questions, it was a pleasure to answer them 🙂 And thanks a lot for your kind words and nice wishes!! Our best wishes for you too! And for all those who supported us in this path, we hope to meet each one of you somewhere! Love, Zuberoa

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