Some of you probably know that we used to be an Instagram fan page. It was September or October 2017 when someone contacted us. That lady was Atashi Tada of the British metal band Elysian Divide. She was one of the first girls who wanted to be featured on our Instagram page. Now that we’re a growing blog, we’re starting to interview ladies from metal music and I thought that Atashi should be the first one who get interviewed by us. When I contacted her, she said my timing was perfect because she and her band are about to release their debut album. But who are Atashi and Elysian Divide? I’m going to let her introduce themselves in her own words.
Metal Goddesses: Hi Atashi, thank you for letting me ask you a few questions. Please introduce yourself and your band to our readers.
Atashi Tada: Hi there, I am Atashi Tada, born and raised in Riga (Latvia), Russian by blood, living in London for the past 5.5 years. I am a frontwoman of metal band Elysian Divide, based in Hertfordshire/London, formed in 2016 and now releasing our debut album on 18th of May this year. Very exciting times for us!
Metal Goddesses: Well I guess you haven’t been the frontwoman of Elysian Divide since you were born. How long have you been singing?
Atashi: I started my singing career at the age of 12 when I met my best friend and soul mate, we were singing in a duet and had a lot of fun together. Started with very cheesy pop music recordings on a tape recorder and gradually transformed into much heavier stuff, formed a few rock bands together – that’s how I went to the “dark side” and never came back 🙂 In parallel I graduated academic vocal courses in my music school but never really used those skills until very recently. You’ll hear some of that in our newest tracks.
Metal Goddesses: Is Elysian Divide your first band?
Atashi: Nooo, of course not! *trying to count* I think it’s about 8th or 9th project, but very first one in metal genre indeed. Singing metal for me is also a big challenge, which I am really enjoying, yet so much room for improvements! Although I’ve done various genres in the past, I have to admit – metal scene has the nicest people of all, everyone is really friendly and supportive!
Metal Goddesses: When was the band formed?
Atashi: Elysian Divide was formed in January 2016, since then we have three original members including myself, our drummer Leigh and the guitarist Jon, recently we added a new bassist Rui who quickly became inseparable part of ED family, we are far more than just band members!
Metal Goddesses: Who are your influences?
Atashi: Funny enough all four of us are listening to a very different music but that works great when we write together – everyone is adding bits and pieces from their own influences. Our main influences music wise are Slipknot, Evergrey, Belphegor and Delain, vocal wise I’d name Russian metal band Slot, lead singer of German rock band Guano Apes as well as LA based band In This Moment. I admire these three frontwomen, their voices and energy is mind-blowing!
Metal Goddesses: Who’s your favorite of them?
Atashi: Slipknot and Slot are my personal absolute favorites. I can find everything I need in their music and vocals.
Metal Goddesses: The most female metal vocalists are symphonic metal divas. Why melodic metal?
Atashi: I think it’s changing now as more and more women are becoming famous also in other metal genres. Symphonic metal in my opinion just happened to be a first metal genre where more female singers managed to stand out because it was something different and fresh for the audience. Elysian Divide originally was planned to be a symphonic metal band too but as we started writing together we kind of naturally slipped into melodic/classic metal. I’d say with our new material we will possibly change our direction again into something a bit different, as we are evolving further.
Metal Goddesses: Your band, Elysian Divide are about to release their debut album. Can you please tell any information about it?
Atashi: It took us quite a while to finish it and therefore we are all very excited and also relieved, it’s like a first big milestone for us! The album called “Face behind the Mask” and it consists of 8 original tracks (+ one bonus track). Release is planned on 18th of May, so stay tuned!
Metal Goddesses: It’s not that easy to make the first album. How long have you been working on it?
Atashi: Feels like forever! We had some attempts about a year and a half ago, but due to human factor had to start it all from scratch about a year ago. There’s definitely a lot of band member’s sweat and blood on it, metaphorically speaking, but that just makes it even more precious 🙂
Metal Goddesses: Did you have a concept for the album?
Atashi: The title track, sung in Russian, is a summary of the album’s mission statement to motivate personal growth and question the multiple fallacies of the modern world. The album is a variety of emotions about internal struggles and external world events. The first single from the album is “Love Is War”, a terse and critical look at the heart of interpersonal relationships and the sacrifice of the self. The remained of the tracks comprise a variety of styles from the fast and hard hitting Destruction; the tender and melancholic Dead Inside; the nightmarish violence of Devil; and the dissented upbeat style of “Broken Mind”.
Metal Goddesses: What inspired you and the band?
Atashi: The main inspiration is the anger, living in the modern society and struggling to keep up with all the shit that is happening around us now.
Metal Goddesses: Recording sessions or concerts? I guess you like both but if you had to choose, which one would be your choice?
Atashi: Definitely concerts! I look at recordings as a good accomplishment/milestone as well as important part of band’s development, but I cannot feel the full joy of life without physically being on stage, it’s an addiction! I’ve got so much energy to give that if I don’t share it with the audience I feel like I am going to explode.
Metal Goddesses: Are you excited about the new Elysian Divide album? I’m sure you do.
Atashi: Excited as well as absolutely terrified as I am very self critical and often too perfectionist. Everyone is going to judge us based on it, so I feel like the first big exam at school 🙂
Metal Goddesses: Can you imagine yourself in a different musical genre?
Atashi: If you google my name I will come up as a House genre musician which was something I did in the past. I’ve also had a long history of dark electronica genre here in London being a lead singer of a band called Dicepeople for about 3.5 years. At some point bands started to clash so I had to make a choice. My music tastes are very versatile, I am not excluding a possibility of collaboration in other music genres in the future.
Metal Goddesses: Metal music is dominated by men but there are lots of female metal musicians. What are your thoughts about female fronted metal and women in such a rough musical genre?
Atashi: I believe that music and success in it is genderless. All you need is a). To be absolutely brilliant at what you do, b). Be hard working and c) Have really good team around you. The fact that historically metal genre is male dominated just means there were not that many female fronted bands that were good enough to make it to the top. Personally, I like listening to female vocals in metal and therefore very glad there are more and more great bands I can enjoy as it’s becoming more popular.
Metal Goddesses: In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in metal?
Atashi: The main advantage is that it’s still relatively new and quite trendy in the modern world of raising feminism, however it’s still full of challenges related to the gender itself. Recently I read news that some metal music venue banned female fronted bands from applying to play there and I find this ridiculous. Nobody should be banned on the lead singer gender basis!
Metal Goddesses: How do you imagine Elysian Divide’s future?
Atashi: I see ED future as a lot of hard work, awesome gigs, new friends, endless ridiculously silly band chats and generally having the best time of our lives!
Photos by Sam Clarke, Harambe Jones, Shinichi Adachi and Brian Harris