Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, alternative/symphonic metal band Lyria is considered one of the greatest names of modern Brazilian heavy music scene. Their debut album “Catharsis” from 2014 was followed by “Immersion” in 2018, both records released thanks to a contribution of their evergrowing worldwide fanbase. With the 1st anniversary of “Immersion” being just around the corner, we used this opportunity to chat with their vocalist, lyricist and founding member, Aline Happ. We analysed Lyria lyrics (dealing with no easy subjects and yet still delivering positive messages and words of encouragement), talked about her characteristic outfits/style, their own festival, online concerts and much more. Read the interview below.
MG: Hi, Aline! Thank you very much for the interview. How are you doing? Your latest album “Immersion” came out last year in April. It will be a year since the release soon, most artists reflect on what they like and don’t like, what they could have done better… You said in one interview that when you listen to your songs, you don’t want to change a bit. Are you 100% satisfied with “Immersion”? And what are you most proud of?
A: Hi all Metal Goddesses readers! I am very satisfied with the album and I keep my word about it (laughs). I think we did a great job together and I am happy the album is being really well received not only by people who listen to symphonic metal but also by people that like other music styles. I believe the way we are connecting to people through this album is something that really makes me proud.
MG: Aline, you’re the main lyricist of the band. You deal with quite difficult themes such as depression and anxiety on “Immersion”. However, you always manage to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I think this is really important these days and I appreciate your effort to bring this encouraging, healing effect to the table. How important is it to you to deliver positive messages through your music?
A: I want to help people through music, show them that they are strong and can overcome bad situations and feel proud of themselves. I think the light at the end of the tunnel is always there because it is inside us! But we usually don’t see it, because we are drowning in our problems. Problems exist and we need to learn something from them.
Nowadays, a lot of people are dealing with so much stress, anxiety and depression and I think one of the reasons could be our way of life. Sometimes it is important to slow down and just “Follow the Music”, and when you start feeling a little better, you can restart fighting for your dreams and “Get what you want”.
Also, we receive many messages saying that our music is helping people in some way, so, connecting with the previous question, this really makes me proud!
MG: Both your albums were released thanks to successful crowdfunding campaigns. For your debut album “Catharsis”, you raised more than $8,000 and more than $13,000 for your latest album “Immersion”. Looking at these numbers, it’s clear that your fanbase has gotten bigger over the time and keeps growing. How does it feel to have such huge support?
A: It is amazing! I am so grateful to have amazing fans. Many fans that helped us release Catharsis helped us with Immersion too. It is so nice to have the fans being part of our musical journey.
MG: I was going through the band pictures the other day, and I couldn’t help but notice your beautiful dresses and interesting headpieces. It really adds something extra to the music you play, this mysterious, fantasy almost like a fairy tale touch to it. The band also often performs at medieval and thematic events which goes hand in hand with your music and looks. Where do you get inspiration for your outfits?
A: Thank you! I have my own collection of accessories, the Aline Happ Collection. Normally we sell them at our concerts. My mother and I made the headpiece with the shells I am wearing in some Immersion promo photos. I also like to create pieces that can be worn in different ways, for example, a necklace that can be also a headpiece.
My mother and I always liked to create costumes. When I was a kid, I used to make animal ears tiaras using paper and other materials. I also used to take different clothes and combine them to create costumes. Also, I like dresses, headpieces and the Medieval, Fantasy and Victorian style since I was a kid. I think everything can be an inspiration, but you need to have your own style.
MG: You launched your own small festival called Lyria Fest last September. Do you already know if there will be something similar this year or was it only a one-time thing?
A: Yes, we are going to have the second edition this year. We will announce it soon. We are also thinking about having some special editions in other cities too.
MG: I believe you get this question a lot. Any chance for European or US fans to see you on the road in 2019?
A: We really want to and we will go for sure, but unfortunately not now. I see some bands doing crazy things to play abroad. Some of them pay all tour costs and never see this money again. I think we have to plan carefully before going, especially because we live from music, it is our job. We are still studying the options; maybe we will do a crowdfunding campaign. For now, we are playing the Immersion Tour in our country (that is very big) and we have online concerts for our fans around the world.
MG: As you said, you often play online concerts for your international fans that can’t see you live. When you play these shows, the atmosphere is really different since you can’t connect with your audience on such intimate and emotional level like during real concerts. Did you have any difficulties as a band to adjust to these conditions at the beginning? How are these special shows received by your fans?
A: We really wanted to offer something to our fans around the world that couldn’t see us playing live. So, since 2015 we have been doing this kind of concert and I think it is a good way to connect with them. Of course, it is not the same as being on the stage with a crowd screaming for you and singing your songs, but it is also very nice. We normally answer the comments and chat with our fans during the live concert, so we feel very close to them. It is like they are in the room with us, chatting and watching us playing. Because of this live interaction, I believe it was very natural to us, since the beginning.
By the way, the next online concert will be on March 22 and this time it won’t be in our studio. We are not charging a specific price for tickets; it will be the “pay what you want” style. The fans can make a donation on www.lyriaband.com/donations and watch the concert live or whenever they want since it will be recorded.
MG: I know that you did some cover songs like Bring Me To Life by Evanescence or Let It Go from the movie Frozen before. With covers being so popular nowadays, is there any particular song or artist you’d like to cover in the future?
A: At the beginning of Lyria, we used to play songs from artists that were a major influence to us like Evanescence, Epica and Nightwish. Nowadays, we have been creating versions for songs that aren’t from symphonic metal bands and giving them a Lyria style as Let it Go (as you cited) and Crawling/Numb from Linkin Park, for instance. There are many good songs and incredible artists, but nothing planned at this moment.
MG: Your husband often helps you with songwriting, and if I’m not wrong, he’s also the band’s manager. How does it feel to work with him so closely, knowing that you can always count on him when it comes to your musical baby?
A: Yes, it is a very good partnership. He has very good ideas and we have an amazing chemistry to write together. To me, it is awesome.
MG: Now, this is a question I ask every artist I interview. Unfortunately, many talented female metal artists and amazing bands are very underrated or go unnoticed. Would you like to give a shout-out to any of your female colleagues or bands? Maybe some Brazilian aspiring artists we should check out?
A: Since we are still close to the International Women’s Day, I would like to give a shout out to all women that work with the heavy metal style, including the backstage, production, journalism, etc. – especially to our PR agent, Julia Ourique. I also would like to extend it to all metal bands in Brazil which generally are not valued enough.
There are very good bands in Brazil to check out, some are already established and some are starting now, but already present some good material. A new band that I could recommend is Haron, which opened for us at the first edition of the Lyria Fest.
MG: Aline, thank you so much. It was a pleasure. Do you have any message for your fans and our readers?
A: Thanks! It was a pleasure for me too. Hope you like the interview! Thanks also to our Lyria Army for all the support. We love you!
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