An Interview With Echoes of Eternity
Typically we think of female-fronted bands as being European, but like their varied music style, Echoes of Eternity doesn’t get pigeon-holed by tradition. This California based act that mixes thrash with symphonic and mainstream metal is spreading their wings with their second release, "As Shadows Burn." I recently talked with lead singer Francine Boucher about the new album, and discovered that though she is the main lyricist for the band, she’s actually a woman of few words, laced with a heavy dose of sarcasm and wit.
Nichole Nash: First let’s talk about your new release, "As Shadows Burn." It’s just been released in the last couple weeks. How do you think it compares to "The Forgotten Goddess?"
Francine Boucher: The music is a lot heavier and darker; the vocals are more raw and powerful.
Nichole: I did notice that when I listened to "Twilight Fires" on your Myspace page prior to the release. Was making the music heavier on this album intentional?
Francine: We didn’t hold anything back this time and we weren’t afraid to combine heavier riffs with my vocals. Twilight is one of my favorites.
Nichole: You chose to go with Massacre Records, an underground German label, for European distribution of "As Shadows Burn." Why’d you choose them over some of the bigger name labels?
Francine: They were a better fit for us as far as European distribution goes.
Nichole: What differences were there in the production and recording this time compared to your first album?
Francine: This new album has a heavier and raw sound. The first album we were going for soft ethereal vocals with a lot of harmonies and melodic guitar work. This album is a lot more metal. Whereas "The Forgotten Goddess" was more of a studio album with a lot of layers, the songs for "As Shadows Burn" were written for a live context, more simple, powerful and heavier.
Nichole: Historically, most critics say sophomore albums are weaker than debuts. Are you nervous about how "As Shadows Burn" will fare in its reviews?
Francine: So far we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and good reviews. I think we are truly starting to find our sound; we’ve all grown as musicians and still have a lot more growing to do. I’m proud of the first album but I think "As Shadows Burn" is definitely an improvement over the debut.
Nichole: A lot of people may not know how Echoes of Eternity came about. Why don’t you tell us how you and Kirk met, and how Echoes came together?
Francince: I met Kirk and Brandon in college in Florida back in ’02. We moved to Los Angeles after graduation to find work. The band formed in ’04.
Nichole: You’re actually Canadian born. How’d you end up in the U.S.?
Francine: I teleported here.
Nichole: Do you see any big differences between the metal scene in Canada compared to U.S.?
Francine: Canadian crowds seem to go off a little more at shows. I don’t think there’s much difference in the scene, but then again I’ve been gone a long time.
Nichole: Your original plan before signing on with Echoes of Eternity was to do film scores. Are there any thoughts of Echoes of Eternity doing something like that down the road?
Francine: Not at this time. It would be cool to be on a soundtrack, but we’ll see.
Nichole: I always ask the women in female-fronted bands: what’s it like being the only female in a band? Does it make touring any more difficult?
Francine: Not really, in the end were all just humans. We need food, shelter and beer. The only difference is when there’s no gas station in sight I can’t piss in a Gatorade bottle like my bandmates can. I’m a little jealous of that.
Nichole: Speaking of touring, any plans to go out on the road to promote the new album?
Francine: We might do a spring tour and a summer tour in North America, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Nichole: What bands would you like to tour with?
Francine: I’d tour with any good metal band.
Nichole: Tell us about one of your live catastrophes?
Francine: Nothing really exciting, tripped on my mic cable once and fell on my ass. It was hard for the guys to keep a straight face and not laugh! Although it was pretty funny.
Nichole: What music influenced you growing up?
Francine: I listened to just about every genre, and every decade from the 50’s to the 80’s, I’ve always been open minded when it comes to music. I’m influenced by everything.
Nichole: If you weren’t singing for Echoes of Eternity, what would you be doing?
Francine: Spinning fire in a circus.
Nichole: Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Francine: Life is short, enjoy it while you can.
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