2019 is an important year for alternative metal band Break Me Down. They went through big personal changes when their vocalist Faith decided to go separate ways earlier this year. Luckily for Break Me Down guys and all Break Me Down fans, the beautiful voice of Irene Franco was ready to fill the missing spot in the band in no time. A few months, club shows and endless hours in the studio later, these Italians are back on track, doing better than ever with their debut album on the way. We talked to Irene about her new position in the band, the album, her work as a fashion stylist and much more. Read all about Break Me Down and Irene below.
MG: Hello, Irene! Thanks for speaking to us. How’s it going?
Irene: Hello! Thank you for this opportunity. Everything is ok, thank you!
MG: You’re still relatively new to the Break Me Down family. You were introduced as the new BMD vocalist in early 2019. How did they approach you? Did you audition for the position of their new singer, did you know the guys from before?
Irene: Yes, I met them at their second concert as an opening act for Lacuna Coil in Reggio Emilia. We also played at the Christmas Jam Session in Milan. When Faith left, I was very surprised. After a few days, they called me to do an audition as the new singer and now here I am!
MG: And what about the transition? You were previously in a band called Foredawn. How does it feel to be a part of BMD, having an album coming out soon?
Irene: In the Foredawn band we were a family. Every one of us had personal reasons to quit. It was a hard blow for me: I played with my brother Ivan and one of my dearest friends. We played together for many years, and when the band was over, it was very hard to accept. Being in BMD is obviously different. We already start to know each other but I found some fantastic people in this band. They appreciated me before BMD and now that I’m in, they still continue to support me as a musician and person. We love and help each other, and this is how a strong friendship turns into a second family.
MG: I mentioned a new album. It’s titled “The Pond” and comes out on October 17th. Were you involved in the songwriting process or was everything all ready when you joined?
Irene: When I joined BMD, some songs were already written. After a small talk, we decided that every one of us has to feel the songs like they’re ours, so we made many changes, especially to vocal melodies. We wrote the other songs all together and just in three months.
MG: What does the title stand for? What exactly does the “pond” reflect and mean to you?
Irene: The title track “The Pond” is the last song of the album, and also it’s the last one that we wrote. The lyrics are inspired by the myth of Narcissus, who loved his reflection so much that he drowned in the pond while he tried to hug himself. “The Pond” is essentially a fight between what we have to look like and who we really are. The modern society and social media influenced us to follow perfection, people judge by the cover… but what’s inside? The song says that we have to accept ourselves as we are, and don’t look at the bad parts of us.
MG: Is there any song that was challenging for the band in the studio? Did you have to step out of your comfort zone while recording?
Irene: Everything changed in the studio! We faced some problems but in the end, we found brilliant solutions! I worked with Axel Capurro of Anewrage, he is a friend, an amazing singer and incredible musician. He gave me useful advice for all the backing vocals of the songs. I experimented with him with some new types of singing that I never did before. It was very funny! The Magnitude Studio feels like home for us.
MG: I have to say that you’ve recorded a really strong material with a powerful, driving vibe. Obviously, each of the new tracks is different in its meaning, but what was the overall message you wanted to send with this album?
Irene: Our songs are inspired by many different things: our life experiences, as well as those of our friends, and also movies, videos… all things that make you think. The message is: don’t try to be perfect, hiding your weakness, because it’s exactly what makes us perfect!
MG: One of the tracks is titled “New Hero”. Do you have any personal hero or heroes?
Irene: Without any doubt, my personal heroes are my parents, who remain united and face difficulties together! They are always teaching me and my brothers that as long as we can fight for something, there is hope!
MG: Irene, you’re a fashion stylist. Italy is one of the leading countries in the fashion industry so it’s not a surprise. Can you tell us a bit more about your work?
Irene: I am recently working to open my business. I deal with making custom-made clothes for women, men and children. Maybe even puppies! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
MG: Good luck with that! And back to music. We know you were in a band before but how did it all start for you as a singer? When was your first contact with singing and heavier music in general?
Irene: Fortunately, thanks to my father, since I was born I’ve been listening to bands like Dire Straits, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and others… Growing up, I was curious and I went deeper, I wanted to learn more about heavy sounds. Today I’m listening to any musical genre! Since I was a child, I had my preference for singing and dancing but the real push came thanks to my middle school music teacher, who heard me sing and decided to show me off. From that moment, I never stopped and I never will.
MG: Good to hear that. BMD plays shows in Italy quite often. How were you received as a new singer by the fans? Are you planning some shows outside of your country?
Irene: I was very afraid! The idea to replace such an excellent singer like Faith scared me, but the fans welcomed me with open arms, it was wonderful! We have already scheduled some dates! We hope to meet new fans at our next shows in Italy and outside of our country. We are working on it!
MG: Fingers crossed. Well, thank you, Irene. It was a pleasure having you. Anything you might wanna add?
Irene: My pleasure! I want to remind all readers to follow Break Me Down on all social networks (we are on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, YouTube and Twitter) and to listen to our new album “The Pond”! I can’t wait to know what you think about it! Thanks to everyone and see you soon!