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