INTERVIEW WITH MYRIAM RASKA SINGER OF TEREBRA
Hello Myriam and welcome to the blog of Symphonic-Gothic Metal .It is a great honor to be given the chance to interview you.
1. Can you tell me about the band and how you all came together?
Thank you Geo for the opportunity to have a talk here and give you a piece of my mind, to get Terebra known a little better. Well, initially it was me and Kone, who decided to create something new, as he liked my way of doing melodies and writing lyrics and I was empathizing with his way of playing. After changing several line-ups, the bass player Iron Maida and the guitar player Ross joined in, but we changed drummers, and finally Flavio joined us. Let’s not forget we have Oscar helping us with keyboards parts.
2. How did you choose the band name?
Me and Iron Maida are very passionate about history and visiting castles, so it was during a visit in one of those that the name found us. There was an little exhibition of fossils in one of the Matilde di Canossa’s castles, and it was our bass player who saw it first: a beautiful shell, similar to cone shells but much thinner and longer. Terebra poisons in the same way as cone shells, but its venom is not as poisonous. World-wide, there are many species of these auger shells.
I like them, their shape reminds me of the gothic pinnacles and the tall spires of gothic Cathedrals, such as those in the Cathedral of Milan or the Sagrada Familia, I’d say they’re equally artistic. The meaning of “Terebra” in Latin is auger, borer or gimlet. And what we also loved was the sound of the word recalling that of “tenebrae”, “darkness”, which of course is totally gothic, and reminds us of the masterpiece by Dario Argento.
3. Who/ what are your musical influences?
They are so many, since I am a very curious, open-minded and receptive. But I think that, as for everyone of us, what really reaches your heart, make you have those goose bumps and make you say “wow!” or “eureka!”, that’s the real big influence. You really find yourself in that, music, lyrics or both.
I have been listening to music since always, but there are artists or songs that have a significant meaning for me, to begin with my origins and background, so Balkan music, rock, traditional and ethnic/world music. I especially enjoy very much Loreena McKennitt that performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes: she’s an incredible musician and composer!
I am a quite demanding listener and I get influenced by melodies that make me experience strong emotions, being it pleasure, fear, nostalgia, melancholy, euphoria. And I love emotional and intelligent lyrics. “From the Choirgirl Hotel” by Tori Amos and “Blue” by Joni Mitchell are among my favorite albums, they are so raw honest, confessional and deeply passionate! And after many years I can listen to them again and again, and they communicate me more and more, it’s a constant discovery.
But gothic, prog, heavy metal music (all genres of metal actually) are the ones that energize me the most… Ronnie James Dio, Blind Guardian, Moonspell. And of course, I remember the first time I listened to “Wishmaster” by Nightwish, OMG! That energy and uniqueness! And then the “discovery” of Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation, like “what is this awesome sound and voice?!?” I was just playing their CDs over and over again and knew I had to do this myself!
4. Let’s talk about your demo , in your opinion which was the main achievement you had with this release?
The fact that it helped us being known by some people who will in future collaborate with us.
An era has closed and another one is opening, but the first step, represented by the demo, was necessary.
5. Where did you record the demo and how was your experience in the studio?
We recorded the demo at DAV studio and it was the first time for us. It was a challenging, but alsolearning experience. We discovered some sounds that improved us also in our live shows.
Personally the most intense experience was recording Resilience, which is a highly confessional and autobiographical song, painted with the dark shades of literature, from Milton and Marlowe.It is an emotionally-charged song and my tone is darker, and I wanted to communicate great energy despite the great vulnerability as well.
I lived it so much. Every part of me that was hurting were courageously there. And I had to be ready to finally pour it all out and be resilient.
For this song I preferred to be in a room where I had no vision of the direction, and the end result was worthy.
6. Eternal Limbo is a song of your demo, can you tell me how you wrote its lyrics?
Eternal limbo is a special song. Kone wrote the music, but I clearly remember the very first time the guys played it together with Oscar, and with the piano I had the full picture: I closed my eyes and I was in that forest roaming and I did some melodies that night, but the actual lyrics and vocal parts came after, when I was alone and collected my feelings, giving birth to what I really had inside.
It speaks about forgetting about yourself for a great while because you found a love to live for that is all consuming, but unrequited, and eventually it leaves you without soul, wandering in an eternal limbo. Yet you would love it back, and you do not know how to give up and make it die. You see, not the type of love that doctors would prescribe you for your health! I decided to sing the melodies as you hear them to convey with my voice the symbolic meaning of a story that does not go ahead, it does not move, it is blocked, so vocally I wanted to picture the sense of suffocation in this state.
7. Writing Lyrics is difficult?
Since I create my melodies and lyrics, each song is my creature, they have their own personalities. They come from my experiences, the musicality marries well with the guitar melodies and the lyrics sometimes come after and sometimes together with the melodies. But I have been writing poetry since very young, although not constantly, so making music is also a way to express and keep alive that part of me, living my everyday life and also getting inspired by several types of music, visual arts, significant movies, philosophy, poetry. Although I have my favorite literature, with works by Poe and Plath among those, I think inspiration comes really from life.
It’s all about deep and great honesty. I want to do empowering songs, deeply, intensely personal and also wide open to interpretation. To make people feel you first have to feel with all your nerves and allow yourself to feel fragile as well.
I appreciate lyrically complex but musically straightforward folk.
Forthright and poetic, raw, complex, sincere, brutal, emotional. Our demo has its dark moments but also moments of lightness.
8. Who inspires your music?
Everyone from Terebra has their own influences, and then we got inspired by the best in our field. As musicians we try to be open as much as possible, then we have our tastes, talk about it…
Most of the songs are done by the guitar player Kone, who also takes inspiration from modern motion picture soundtracks. There is an intrinsic connection between me and him, a pure alchemy, because my singing and his music fit together perfectly: it seems they both come into being together, all at once. And to me, there is no better feeling in the world!
9. Tell me about Italy and its metal scene, how does your band contribute to the growth of it?
Metal is not the main genre in Italy. It is mainly spread in the North and some of it also in the Centre of Italy. There are different genres and many groups for those, therefore there’s a lot of competition to play in the clubs. Together with some others bands, our friends, we try to organize something to get us known better and have more visibility.There are some festivals, but very often they encompass several genres.
We would love to make it international and hopefully make our music reach new audience out of Italy. And of course we are all very happy that our demo is much appreciated abroad.
10. Internet has captured the world (You tube rules); do you think this is a problem for one band to sell albums ?
Actually internet helps a lot! It just connects the whole world and it helped us to get to know some great bands, and that would have been more difficult without internet. In that sense “hail to internet”. It helps promotion a lot, so even if it seems more difficult to sell albums nowadays, actually there are many fans who want to have the cd in their hands, and I can say I am one of those as well concerning the bands I like.
11. Until today ,who gave you the best advice in your career?
Generally I take my decisions alone, but I also have my Pythia LOL! I listen to people I trust in this field. And I always try to learn from the most wise and experienced. I am a bit impulsive but I also stop myself to think and try to feel what’s the best choice for me, what I want. Then I am open to discussions, I really love to collaborate to make something new.
12. Can you tell me your biggest dream as of now?
Who wouldn’t say “to obtain the same success of Lacuna Coil or Within Temptation”? And to play in the biggest festivals and reach as many people that share our same passion.
13. What your fans should expect from you in the next months?
We will be busy working on our songs, because the demo is an appetizer, we have a lot of work to do. Nevertheless, as we love to perform (it’s a great way to share our energy with people and get it back as well) we will try not to forget that important part, although we are preparing the songs for the album. But step by step: first of all let’s record a video! This will be a surprise.. just wait and keep following us! 😉
14. Now for those who have not heard your music, and as you are a new band .there would be quite a few no doubt. So how would you describe your music to those people?
“Not conventional”. I think our music has a signature on it and you can very well recognize it’s Terebra. I hope our sound will be largely appreciated, because we really are a mix of influences and styles, where you can certainly recognize an alternative form of Gothic, yet inspired by bands like Within Temptation, Leaves’ Eyes, Opeth, Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, so I think fans of those bands will most likely enjoy our music. We are still evolving a lot and we are very open to new sounds, always maintaining our identity. So I invite you all to listen to us! 😉
15. I saw the band to play many times in live acoustic. Acoustic means no electronic devises and being used for that song. Like if drums,electric guitars,and other electronic instruments were being used in a song the acoustic version would be the song all just the person singing. So is this good for a new band with songs witch have many electronic elements to play acoustic?
Why not? In some conditions it’s a challenge, in other it’s a great asset, the sounds are less aggressive, more clear and hearable. I enjoy it pretty much, although it is very different from what we do when we play live our songs, just like a fireball, the energy is different. But I love the power of acoustic as well, although not all our songs can be played in acoustic version.
16. You think one band is capable to play any cover song or that which are similar to the sound of the band?
Inevitably a sound can be more close to that of some very well known groups, from which one can take inspiration and also do a cover. The true and most beautiful challenge is to revisit a song also from non-metal origins. It is sufficient to find in a song that certain spark that make us say “ we can do this”.
17. How about to send a message to the subscribers of the blog then and also to the people who are going to read this interview?
Sure! I hope you guys will really enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed the question.. Support the bands that you like, go to live shows, because bands depend on you: Fans are the fuel that makes the engine run! Enjoy Terebra music and share it if you like! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and You Tube, and stay Terebrian!
18. Well,I kind cover up all the questions that I have prepared for you.It’s been a pleasure talking to you .and many thanks to talking to me, I wish you all the best!
Thank you so much Geo, I wish you the same with your promoting new artists and the already very well known ones: all deserve your support and you are doing an impressive job. Keep up the amazing work! \m/
For more info on Terebra visit theiir facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Gothic.Terebra/timeline