“Not all wanderers are lost” is the quote that best describes the concept of the upcoming album from VISIONS OF ATLANTIS. This beautiful album will take the listener on a profound voyage. Rock Out Stand Out’s Lotty Whittingham spoke with one of the band’s vocalists Clémentine Delauney about the album, her own song writing process and the upcoming tour.
Hello Clémentine, thanks for joining Rock Out Stand Out today. So, you are due to release Wanderers, your upcoming album with Visions Of Atlantis. I noticed there was a quick turnaround in releasing this one as you only released The Deep And The Dark last year. Given the usual turnaround is roughly two years, how did you get it done and ready for release so quickly?
Well because, we realised quite quickly after The Deep And The Dark dropped that people liked the album that we managed to get some tours and the doors were opening for us. We felt that the band was rising from its own ashes and that it was the way for us to get back on track. It allowed us to have that rhythm and fluidity that every band have in their creative process; you have an album, you go on tour to promote it, you write the next one and go on tour.
Most bands have that cycle within one and a half to two years between each record and this one dropped a year and a half after The Deep And The Dark. So, we needed to come back to this cycle to get back on track and pursue our career without breaks anymore.
Did you have songs already there that didn’t make The Deep And The Dark?
No, the song writing process was one flow for Wanderers. The songs were co-written with our producer, myself and Michele [Guaitoli]. Since it didn’t take too long, as you said, it was a quick turnaround between the two records. It was one flow of creativity and there was no material left from The Deep And The Dark. All the songs on Wanderers are brand new and were created during that time.
What was the inspiration behind choosing the theme for the album?
I would say my personal spiritual journey. Thomas [Caser] our leader he has the word Wanderer tattooed on his wrist and has had that for two years. Since I do a lot of yoga and meditation, I am very much into finding my own personal truth and my own journey for life. It’s about getting to know what I am meant to be doing to find my place and be happy. I realised that he and I shared this, we were influencing each other and helping each other out.
Through this, it became natural to suggest Wanderers as the album title and then once this was approved, I realised what I wanted to talk about. Writing the lyrics became very natural and that’s why all the themes are interconnected, all the songs have common points.
I guess that would explain the JRR Tolkien quote used “Not all wanderers are lost.”
That quote was just used to define our album, it sums up our album concept even though it’s not a concept album. Our universe isn’t inspired by Tolkien at all. We want people to believe that you can go through dark times and it’s OK, it’s because these dark times are what we need to go through in order to understand who we’re meant to be. There’s always a lesson and always something to learn when you go through the darkest phases. That’s why even if you feel lost, you’re not as you find what you are looking for by yourself.
Was there any of the album songs you enjoyed writing, or you found the most difficult to write?
For me, it was unique to come up with Wanderers the title track as it was very personal song. It was a very personal move that was off one flow of creation, I barely had this sort of flow, so I was very happy when the song ended up on the record. I always write for myself. Maybe I will release my own solo record one day.
When it comes to the other songs, we put a lot of work into the detail and the interpretation of who is meant to sing what part. We wanted to the album to have a natural flow whilst keeping it distinctive.
I did notice this natural flow when listening to the album. Particularly within the lyrics, I noticed there is a lot more ballads on this album.
We had all the songs written and we realised this is our seventh album. So, we decided to keep them in. There is about two in the end, so Nothing Lasts Forever which is what me and Michele sing. It’s something different, we didn’t duet at all in The Deep And The Dark. We want to keep trying new things and explore new ways so for us it made sense. All these songs speak about something different; they all find a spot in our hearts and there was no reason to narrow it down to our usual one ballad per album. We release the music we love to make.
This is the first album with Michele, his voice sounds great. How did you find him?
When Siegfried [Samer] decided he couldn’t keep up with the band activity and that he chose to leave the band, we started to look for a new vocalist and we had restrictions. We needed someone who wasn’t based too far away because it’s difficult to find good musicians in Austria. It can also be a financial burden with plane tickets.
So, we narrowed down to Northern Italy, Austria and Southern Germany. We knew about the band Temperance and we didn’t know them personally, but we checked them out and liked his voice. He also looked like a nice guy so we thought he could be a great fit to our team and become our band member. So, we contacted him. He was one of our choices alongside another guy from Italy and Michele got the job.
Would you say Michele is settling in well in terms getting along with you guys, the touring and recording process?
Yes, he is an amazing person. He is very humble, positive and he’s a professional sound engineer, so he has brought that expertise to the band which is extremely valuable on tour and when recording. It’s thanks to him that we managed to release our live album last year. So, he has been bringing a lot of energy and dynamism. He is the third guy together with Thomas and I to run the band.
You’ve had a busy touring schedule this year, including opening for Kamelot. How did that tour go?
Amazing. This was the first experience of playing to a wider audience, playing club shows and we really got to know people who haven’t heard of the band before. It felt like we were a real band again; going on tour with other bands and to be taken seriously. It was important for us and we got along very well with Kamelot. I was a guest singer for them during Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife). It was a super time for Visions Of Atlantis, a great way for people to get to know us.
Have you got any more tours planned for this year?
Yes. We have five headline shows at the end of August. This is the first lot of headline shows for a long time. This is a try-out around the release date just to be out there as a real act. We then go on tour with Freedom Call as a co headline tour in the fall and this will be a lot of fun, they are cool guys.
Have you received from fans? If so, what was the most memorable?
I have received gifts from fans. I got a t-shirt with my name on it from the Argentinian team, that was a special gift. I wore whilst playing on tour in Argentina, they absolutely loved it. I got drawings like portraits, I got things people had made themselves from their own countries. For example, Russian Dolls and Mexican Skulls.
I also got food, chocolates and vegan chocolate too because some of my closest fans know I’m vegan. Sometimes they’re afraid I won’t be able to eat much on tour, so they bring food to me.
What’s your inspiration behind your stage attire?
Well I try to project myself as a figure and how I like to dress up, so theatre like. I come up with lines, I come up with colours and fabrics, which I discuss with my designer. In terms of influences, I think it’s everything I have watched from fantasy movies and TV series. It also comes from the video games I play because I’m kind of a nerd sometimes. I want to portray the warrior princess I could have been in another period somewhere else in the world. That’s my guideline.
What’s the inspiration behind your song writing in general?
I try not to have anything properly inspiring me, particularly with lyrics. All the songs are different as I don’t write them alone so it’s a different mindset. When it comes to lyrics, I really want to keep myself away from distraction. I shut the phone off and I take as many hours as it needs for connect with myself and to talk about the things that are consciously or unconsciously precious to me in those exact moments.
I can’t say anything that is untrue, doesn’t feel write or that doesn’t come from the depths of myself. So, I really want to get rid of influences so that I try to be sure that what comes out is genuine and true.
What advice would you give someone who is trying to make it in the music business?
There are several bits of advice I would give. First one is to make sure you are dedicated because it takes everything out of you. It takes your time; it takes your energy and it takes up space in your mind. It can also take hours of work, sometimes for nothing.
It’s extremely demanding so if you want to make it in the music business, you must be ready to sacrifice everything else. I have missed family birthdays and moments with friends. I missed my friends for a very long time, I couldn’t see them. I didn’t get my driver’s licence. I could have got a super career where you make lots of money, but I wouldn’t have had time for music.
Dedication is the number one thing to have, if you don’t have it then keep the music as a hobby or don’t think about it.
I would also say work hard, be ready to always face criticism because whatever step you make, the next step is always bigger and requires more from you. So, you’re never finished or established, there is always a next step towards whether you make it or not. It’s always extra work.
The most important thing for any artist; find your thing, your own truth, your own colours. Don’t try and do what works now, don’t try and imitate, don’t try to be the next XYZ band as that never works. It only works if you have a money machine behind you fuelling you with thousands of euros. It doesn’t work if you’re not sincere and it’s not from your guts. It must be good; it must be different; it must be relevant, and it must be unique.
Every musician and artist are unique, they need to work on their own creations so they can find out who they are and it’s a lifetime project.
Thank you so much Clémentine for joining Rock Out Stand today and best of luck with the album release.