Interview date

April 2007



Official Website


Hi Melissa and Wolf ! I'm happy to do this interview ! It's a fan who's talking to you !
After the interesting "Cast Away", you had some changes in the line-up. Can you present the new members of VOA ? Who is the one who "tortures" the others in order to make them run away from the band ?

Melissa: Haha, Thomas would have to be the one who made them all run! ;) Just kidding. The band wished to evolve into something new, and then simply started making the changes. Wolf K took over on guitar and also the primary song writing. Then Nicole was replaced with me and finally, Miro was replaced by Martin Harb. I believe most changes were mutual and no hard feelings remain. In fact, Werner still hangs out with everyone!

The name of your new album is "Trinity". We can imagine it's because it's your third album, but is there behind this title a concept that we can't understand without listening and reading the lyrics ?

Melissa: The meaning of the title moreso reflects the band itself. Throughout many, if not all, major belief systems the number three has held significant value. The most obvious, which inundates us is that of the Christian representation. Another obvious is that of the three faces of the Goddess within Pagan cultures. HOWEVER, this album is not a Christian album nor is it a Pagan album NOR is it that of any specific religion. Perfect balance, perfect unity is that held within the number three. Finally throughout the history of Visions of Atlantis, have we found this perfection within our group. Yes, it is the third album, yes there have been three member changes, but the real significance lies in that of the balance this band now holds. This album is representative of the whole of our union which we offer to you.

You were in unstable conditions when you wrote this new album Trinity. Was it difficult for you to write in this context ? And how do you feel for this CD release ?

Melissa: Funny enough, it felt really stable. The way we now write for the band is that everyone is involved in the writing isnt just one person dictating to the rest of how it will be. We all will take the basis of a song which either Wolf or Martin primarily laid down, then Mario and I would individually take the piece and put our own touches in to personalize it even further. So really, every song contains a true piece of each of us. We wanted to produce the album ourselves so we could truly have the freedom to do this. The process of writing from way over in Minnesota for me was actually quite easy...we used the internet to our benefit. The guys gave me some recording software and we sent files back and forth via an FTP site. This CD release is one we are very proud of.

Does Trinity have the mission to open you new doors to success with your different's changes and through your upcoming tour dates ?

Melissa: We all truly believe in this album, very much. Is it the most cutting edge, risk taking, daring music? No, that wasnt the point of writing it. We wanted to write music that we liked which in turn, hoped others would like just as much. We have solid stories and emotions contained the lyrics. This album isnt pretentious by any means and that is what makes us stand out from others in this genre, this lack of self-servicing, non-arrogant music. Do we believe this album will stand above any other VoA album previously? Yes, and it already has.

You'll tour in festivals, you will tour in Japan and you will be the Epica's opening band in USA and in Canada. What does scene represent to you ? Is that easy for the new members ?

Melissa: Japan? that is news to me....?? The scene, that of metal, is beautiful and intelligent. It represents for me at least, a rebirth of the art of music. Pop music has pretty much killed any artistry in music....metal brings that back. This scene is the most respectful, I would venture to say, than any other and I'm proud to be part of it.

Your previous CDs were more symphonic than this one, and the Nicole's voice was in front of Mario's one. However, Trinity focuses more on the male voice than the female one, it is more agressive and takes a "heavy" direction that moves you away from Nightwish. Why did you decide all these changes now ?

Wolf: ON Cast Away, most lyrics were written by the old keyboarder Miro. On this album, Mario was more involved into songwriting and did most of the lyrics and vocallines. Therefore, they fitted better to his voice, and especially on heavy parts, it simply sounds more aggressive when a guy sings them. Then again, on track like "Return To you" you only will hear Melissa, while Mario takes the lead role in "The Poem". I think in total, it is about 50/50 this time.

Melissa is surely one of the most beautiful metal singer and she's got an exceptional voice, more lyric, aerial and less close to Tarja Turunen's voice as Nicole had before. We can feel that she's playing on emotions especially in the song "Return to you".

Melissa: You are too sweet, thank you! :) In regards to Return to You and really, every single song on this album, yes, my voice and the lyrics are guided first and foremost by emotions. For that particular song, I wrote it as a memorial to my niece who was killed in 2001. So yes, it is extremely emotional. Honestly, if a singer isnt pouring every emotion into your voice in a song, then that singer isnt doing his/her job. To be a singer is to be an instrument played with emotions. This has always been my personal mantra.

Do you think that you have found the right singer now ?

Wolf: Absolutely. Melissa is 100% professional, a great singer with a master's degree in singing, and she has one big advantage - she is also creative. Nicole wasn't used to do her own lines or write her own lyrics, whereas Melissa did this. It took a while, but only because of her, tracks like "The Secret" or "Return to You" turned out to be great. Also, live she's perfect for us, she doesn't drink or smoke or party hard, so you can always get a good live concert when you buy your ticket. Noone want's to hear a female singer with raspy voice.
Well, exept for Arch Enemy/Holy Moses ;-) Also, Melissa is a very kind person we all like. We couldn't live with some chick we don't have a connection too. Combine that all with her exraordinary beauty, and you'll have the perfect singer.

A lot of Female Symphonic Bands were born since 1990. Some bands like Within Temptation are accused to have given their souls to the devil, some others like After Forever to stay "real" and some others as Nightwish to have lost their best singer. Coming from Austria, we can imagine that you have an opinion on this scene. What do you think about that ?

Melissa: I think for people to say such things about bands like that is absolutely ridiculous and insulting to the genre as a whole. Sometimes bands evolve in sound...does that mean they sold out? I mean, its not like they changed their sound to be like Britney Spears or other commercialists. Honestly, any band that allows themselves to take risks, to write their own music, and to give 200% to an album or show, deserves utmost respect.

Which bands do you feel the closest to ?

Melissa: All of them in some way or another. We all started with similar inspirations (that being Classical Meets Metal) and grew from there. We are all branches from the same tree.

While we are talking about other bands, what were you listening when you were younger ?

Melissa: A lot of classical music (was obsessed with Phantom of the much so I used to get the neighborhood kids together to enact scenes from it), in high school I was into dance and rap (yeah, dont ask) and alternative rock. In college is when I finally got into metal. It was completely foreign to me before!

Which are your influences ?

Melissa: Experience and emotions.

So thank you for this interview and we are hoping for you a long and beautiful career.

Melissa: That is so sweet of you to say, thank you!

Have you a last word for your french fans ?

Melissa: Merci for all your support!!! You are all are such beautiful people and we hope to see you on tour soon !! Thanks for everything !