Andrea Dätwyler - Lunatica

November 11, 2005

Photo Credit: Angela Monger

Where in Switzerland are you from?

I'm right in the middle. It's in the middle of Bern, Zurich, Lausanne. It's right in the middle. Central Switzerland.

Lunatica is a symphonic metal band.

Yes, I would say so. I would also say perhaps even melodic metal with symphonic influences.

I really love that kind of music because it has this big huge sound to it. It's not just guitars, drums, and bass and that's it. It has all these other instruments involved and it just sounds so huge.

Yes, that's true. It's bombastic.

Very much so.

I love it also and Alex our keyboardist also loves music scores. I think perhaps you can hear that a little bit in our music.

Has he had the opportunity to write music for music scores in movies?

Not yet. He would like to but I think it's very difficult to do this in Switzerland. Although there was a Swiss man who went to California. Hans Zimmer if you know him. He wrote all the big scores for The Rock and Lion King. He's very famous. He has a guy from Bern I think who wanted to practice a little bit there in their studio in California and so he could stay there and now he works there also. This would be great but they're not so much with movies like this. You don't have very often the chance to do something like that.

Hollywood used to be a very huge place for making movies but now that people have come to the realization that you can make movies anywhere, even in Podunk, New Jersey, I would think you'd have more of a chance. Especially in Europe, I've seen some of the movies made there that are absolutely fantastic. I would think you'd have a bigger chance at doing something like that now that making movies is so widespread and isn't so confined anymore.

That's true. Yes, indeed.

You came out with your latest release called Fables And Dreams. Tell us a bit about the record.

It's our second record actually and we released it in Switzerland in March 2004. We wanted a big production and a professional production. We decided to go to Sascha Paeth who did all the great production for Rhapsody and Kamelot. We liked his style very much and we asked him if he would produce it and he said yes. We are absolutely satisfied with the production, the songs also, and for the next album I think we will go to Wolfsburg, Germany to Sascha Paeth again. We're going to record the third album in March or April of 2006.

Yeah, that guy is pretty well known for his production efforts. He's in a band too and I can't think of the name right now.

Angra it is. A South American band from Brazil I think. Angra, Heavenly, and Epica. In Epica it's also a girl who sings but more in the opera style and they're from The Netherlands. Their style is like After Forever if you know them. They're also from The Netherlands.

I'll have to look into that because I'm always looking for new bands.

I don't know but I think The Netherlands like very much when women sing because they have two or three bands who are known in Europe with female voices. They like After Forever, then Epica, and of course Within Temptation. Within Temptation is the biggest one. The most famous in Europe. They also had chart singles in Germany.

I tend to like bands who have female vocals too because you get so used to guys doing it all the time. I find it wonderful that women are getting into this more and more.

Yes, me too. I'm fighting for this because it's 11 years now that I'm singing lead vocals in bands and it was always metal bands. I started when I was 19 with my first band and I always kept moving and entered the male domain.

We need to show them how it's done.

Of course, it's also a few times you think it's more charming also how you can act with the audience.

In Europe is it as much of a struggle for women to get into the music industry especially metal like it is here? Or is it a little bit easier over there?

I think it is difficult because a lot of the fans and a lot of bands think that women and metal don't fit but the people who like this style of music and also our fans say that it fits absolutely because it's different. Yes, it's also harmony, the heavy guitars, and the soft voice. I think it's coming with the success of Nightwish, I think it's more accepted now. I've heard several times that people don't like Taria's voice. They don't like that much the opera way to sing. They love more the kind of normal singing but that's our different kind and different people, one likes that and the other one likes this. It depends.

To me it all sounds amazing. What works for your band works for your band and what works for her band works for her band. That's something people have to take into consideration.

That's true and I know every band with a female voice. I was also a huge Nightwish fan. They kicked off Taria was the latest news. We have to look how they proceed.

That's a real shame. How did you meet up with the boys in Lunatica?

They didn't know me from my old band Mescarbonic where I was before Lunatica. For a year or more I didn't have a known band and they were searching for a lead singer for at least two years and so our former guitarist from the old band called Mescarbonic called the guys from Lunatica, especially Alex the keyboardist, and told him I had no singing job and they could ask me if I would do it. They called me and I went and listened to see if I liked it and I liked it. So I stayed with them.

You've been on both albums, Atlantis and this one.

Yes, I went to the band and a month later I had to record Atlantis. The quality of the album is not that special.

When it comes to making records, each successive one you make is that much more experience and practice that you get making them.

Exactly, it was great to have the first album in our hands. That was the first goal, to have a known album. To record something, to hold it in our hands, and the songs are not that I don't like them. I still like them.

That must be exciting to put all that work into something and then all of a sudden you have this disc in your hands and you can say "yes, I did this." That has to be a very special feeling.

Yes, it is.

You released Fables & Dreams back in 2004 and it climbed to number 13 on the Swiss Internet charts.

Yes, that's true. That was amazing. It was totally overwhelming I think because we didn't expect this success. We had to thank the fans. I don't know. We had good press and good public relations in Switzerland because our distribution in Switzerland did a lot for us. They sent it to radio stations, to magazines, and so we had huge support from them. It was totally crazy. You could see that.

I can imagine that was pretty exciting. Hopefully it will make a big splash over here in the U.S. because we definitely need more variety. What three songs on your latest release do you think represents your band the best?

I would say it depends. Each of us likes another song best. Perhaps "Element". I like "Element" very much because there are many different parts in that song.

Who does a lot of the lyrical writing? Is that what you do?

Yes, it's often like this that Alex or Sandro, Sandro is one of the guitarists, they write the songs together. I must say for the new album, for the coming album, it will be a lot of Alex's songs. He's writing the whole album alone this time because he has many ideas and he can do a lot at home with home recording with the keyboards. Normally they present me an idea or a song which is pre-produced and then I do my vocal lines and I write the lyrics. It makes sense to do it myself so I can see what fits in. Also the pronunciation and the rhythm.

When you write songs, what kind of stuff do you write about?

I read a lot. I like fantasy literature so I write about fantasy themes. I also write about daily life. For example about relationships and that can be stories that I've been told from friends or from myself. It's a bit mixed up for fantasy and real stuff.

A little bit of reality and a little bit of fantasy.

Yes, I also like to write the lyrics not too obviously. That everyone can interpret the things that you want. Everybody can take also the things that he wants from the lyrics.

It's light hearted stuff too and not so serious all the time. It's nice to get a little break from the serious stuff.

Yes, that's true.

What kind of touring have you guys been doing?

We did a small tour in Europe. It was our first tour because we're not that famous and it was in Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany so we could play for 10 dates. We could do a tour with two German bands who are a little bit more known than us and hopefully we're more known in these countries. We had a good reaction from the people.

Who did you tour with?

With Domain and Mob Rules. They're not so big and so we didn't have 10,000 people. We had more like 200 people each evening.

Hey, 200 people. 10,000 people. You had people.

Yes, exactly. It has to be fun. That's fun anyway. When we can play was always the highlight each evening. Just to play live.

You guys played at the Metaldayz festival in Switzerland.

Yes, that's the biggest metal festival in Switzerland which is three days normally. It's near Basil. We could play there two times and that was great because they are playing all the big bands who come from the big festivals in Germany. One day they play in Germany and the next day they come in to Switzerland so we met Nightwish. We met Gamma Ray. We met Exodus. We met all the big bands also and that was great.

Gamma Ray is an awesome band. Is Metaldayz right after the Wacken Festival in Germany?

Yes, it's exactly the same weekend normally. Like this day has the chance to book the big bands. It's more easy to book them because it's not that far away.

What city in Switzerland does the Metaldayz festival take place in?

It's from Pratteln, the Z7. That's a big club in Switzerland and they are organizing the Metaldayz and so this year they didn't do it but next year I think they will do Metaldayz again.

What other tours do you guys have planned?

I don't know. I think perhaps next year again because we have to see how we proceed with the recordings because we are in the studio March and April. Then the finishing of the production. Perhaps in May and so I don't know the exact release date for Europe but I think about September 2006 they will release it in Europe. We have to look who we're going to tour with and where. It's expensive always to pay. Now we need the money for the recordings and so we have to have a look and to have enough money for touring also.

It always boils down to the green stuff doesn't it?

You know and we wanted to go on tour with a really famous band in Germany. Blind Guardian. It's about $40,000 for the support and that's almost the production of the recording.

Oh my God, you can buy a house or a car with that kind of money.

Exactly. A car of course.

The price of a brand new car or the down payment on a house. Are you currently writing for the new album?

Yes, we are right now in the pre-production so we recorded ourselves in our home studio. Then we sent the material to Sascha Paeth to finish the production or the pre-production before the recordings. We have about six songs ready and we're going to record about 10.

It's going to be approximately the same length as Fables & Dreams.

Yes, I think so.

Any other thoughts or comments?

We would love to play in the USA but it's not in our hands. Not yet.