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Interview

Auvernia Talks Peter Steele, Cover Songs, And Latin American Crowds

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Band Photo: Auvernia (?)

Today, Metalunderground.com released a twelve track tribute album to honor the memory of Gothic metal legend Peter Steele, who died last year. Each of the bands on the tribute represent some of the most promising and engaging aspects of the underground, and Argentina based act Auvernia is no exception.

Mixing in doses of black metal with epic and melodic power metal, Auvernia has released two unique additions to the musical world with the full-length albums "Towards Eternity" and "Afraid of Me."

Putting their own spin on Type O Negative's iconic style, the duo that composes Auvernia translated "I Don't Wanna Be Me" into a power metal opus that kicks off "All For None, None For All: A Tribute To Peter Steele." Below you can find an explanation from vocalist Fernando H. Varela about how the band chose to arrange the song and when he was first exposed to Type O Negative with "Bloody Kisses."

To get better acquainted with Auvernia, you can find a previous interview with the band here, or listen to music from the group's two albums at the official Auvernia MySpace page.

xFiruath: Tell me about how the recording process went for your cover of “I Don’t Wanna Be Me.”

Fernando: We recorded the song at Tripart Studio here in Buenos Aires, engineered by Juan. The process took a little more time than expected, not so much from the musical perspective because we already had the song on our heads, but for personal matters. Once we started recording it was all really fast, first we made the preproduction with all the ideas we had in mind and then filtered down until we got the sound we were after. Then recording: drums, bass, Guitars, vocals, arrangements, and voilà.

xFiruath: How did you decide to approach the cover song and how closely you’d follow the original?

Fernando: Making a cover song is difficult, you always have diehard fans that would even find insulting any attempt of making a cover, whether it be good or bad, if it's not the original. So we usually try to stick close to the original in terms of structure, nonetheless we don't put ourselves any restrictions on the harmonic plane. We like to match the song with our sound, to make it sound Auvernia-like. Hence our version of “I Don't Wanna Be Me” is stylistically different, we changed the Leitmotiv of the song to sound more power metal-esque and vertiginous, hopefully trying to keep the spirit of the song. Peter's registry wasn't an option for me, my vocal cords just can't reproduce those low notes, so I adapted the vocals to my higher registry.

xFiruath: When did you first get exposed to Peter Steele’s music?

Fernando: I don't remember the exact year but it was the 90's, I was reading a heavy metal magazine when I saw the front cover of “Bloody Kisses” next to a review... that picture grabbed my attention instantly (wonder why...) and as a read the review I was more and more intrigued by the comments. I wasn't used to read words like "sexy" and "fun" on a CD review so the next thing I did was buying the album. If I have to be honest I didn't quite enjoy it at first, but after some intense listening I didn't regret at all.

xFiruath: Which Type O Negative album do you listen to the most?

Fernando: “Bloody Kisses” was stuck on my CD player for a long time, it was definitely the album I heard the most, maybe because it was so different from what I was hearing at that time that it took me some time to get used to it. Nowadays the greatest hits album always comes handy to have a listen to some of their best songs.

xFiruath: Which Type O Negative music video do you dig the most?

Fernando: "I Don't Wanna Be Me" for sure. Now, that's a fun video! I was so jealous of those guys who had the dream job and were having the hell out of fun out of it. Truly amazing video. It was a logical choice for the tribute.

xFiruath: How did you first hear about Peter’s death?

Fernando: As we all know bad news travel fast, I found out on an e-zine and was really saddened by the news.

xFiruath: What’s happening with Auvernia these days?

Fernando: Imagination is a machine we just can't turn off, as soon as we finish one album we are having more ideas for a new one. So right now we've already composed half the next album and hopefully we'll have it done by the end of this year.

xFiruath: Have you seen any good concerts lately?

Fernando: Last show I've attended to recently was the British icons Iron Maiden. It goes without saying that it was an incredible show from beginning to end, they just get better with time. The crowds here get really crazy! I think it's a Latin American thing, though I've never been to an European gig to compare.

xFiruath: Will Auvernia be hitting the road anytime soon?

Fernando: No scheduled shows at the moment, we're focusing on the composition for our next album. We might face this album differently, instead of making all music by ourselves we'll be hiring session keyboard and bass players to see what they can add to the music, as well as playing live on our next tour... it's about time!

xFiruath: Do you see any of the current metal musicians becoming major icons who influence the next generation like the ones we’ve lost recently?

Fernando: Well, that's a really hard thing to tell now because it depends on many factors, but I believe that any of the most renowned names nowadays could influence future generations, as they're already doing it right now.

xFiruath: Any parting words?

Fernando: We'd just like to thank Metalundergound and all their staff for making this effort to honor Peter's memory, and all the bands that contributed to this great endeavor.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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6 Comments on "Auvernia On Peter Steele, Cover Songs, And More"

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Anonymous Reader
1. burgbill writes:

@xfiruath made statements about christians being racist.

@XFIRUATH May want, to find Copt Christians in Egypt,
and ask them how life is under Islamist persecuting them.
Or ask Somali Christians who are being burned out of their churches by Islamist. (news does not report this!)
see @aina.org

DUDE THE VERY REASON YOU CAN LISTEN TO MUSIC IS DUE TO CHRISTIAN SACRAFICE! Before, Afganistan was, rescued from WAHABISIM ( Islam ) People could not listen to music, or dress the way they like. Women had to wear Birkas, forget about internet!

# Apr 14, 2011 @ 10:46 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

2. xFiruath writes:

Silly me, somehow I missed the part in this interview with Auvernia about Peter Steele where I defend Islam and attack Christianity. It's a good thing I had burgbill to point that out to me so I can avoid making such statements in the future.

Sometimes the Internet is just too bizarre...

# Apr 14, 2011 @ 11:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

3. Blindgreed1 writes:

Loving these interviews Ty. Looks like you have a new friend. lol

# Apr 15, 2011 @ 12:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

4. Cynic writes:

Will be checking out more Auvernia when I can, interesting mix of metal and great vocals. Wouldn't have guessed they were from Argentina.

# Apr 15, 2011 @ 12:27 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

5. xFiruath writes:

I'm usually not a huge power metal guy, but I'm an unashamed Auvernia fan boy. These guys deserve to be way bigger than they are, so I was pretty stoked when they agreed to offer their time and talents for the tribute. These gents really put their own spin on the song, which makes it one of the most memorable on the album.

# Apr 15, 2011 @ 10:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Progressivity_In_All's avatar

Senior Reviewer

This song was easily one of the most impressive ones on the album!

# Apr 15, 2011 @ 4:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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