After their cooperation on The Human Equation, Arjen Lucassen and Marcela Bovio joined forces again in the band Stream Of Passion. They started a tour across Europe on January 25th. The first performances have already taken place and they seem to be very well received. Some time before the tour I had a chat with Stream Of Passion's singer: Marcela Bovio. Of course I also slipped some Elfonía questions in.
Dries: Just before the Human Equation was released we had a chat with Arjen Lucassen and he spoke highly of you. Now you have worked together again, what was it like?
Marcela: It was wonderful we really got along well when we did The Human Equation we really connected in the studio I think , he really liked that I had a lot of ideas and a lot of creative input.
During the recording of this album did you meet or did you send your stuff in?
It was mostly remote, most of the recordings and song writing we did was remotely but I did get the chance to see him again because we all met at the end of the recording. We all traveled to the Netherlands and spend some time together, shoot the video clip and had the photos done and stuff like that.
I can hear some similarities between Elfonía's This Sonic Landscape and Embrace The Storm. How much of the ideas on this album are yours?
I did have a lot of say into the music of Stream of Passion and that is probably why you hear a similarity with Elfonía as well. But it started with Arjen recording some ideas: very rough just the chords and rhythm, stuff like that, and then he would send them to me and I would add my vocal melodies on top of that. And from that, of what I did, he worked on the arrangements of the songs and send them to everyone else for each musician to input their ideas.
The way Stream Of Passion is organised it does not look like another Ayreon project but a real band in it's own. So are there plans for more than one album?
I think the option is there, it will depend on how well this one does. Expectation has been quite large and we heard a lot of good things. It would be nice because we all know each other better musically now it could be interesting with what we could come up.
Sometimes is seems that everything in progressive rock happens here in Europe. What's your look on that?
I think progressive rock in Latin-America, in general, could have a bit more exposure. I know there are a lot of bands doing good things on this part of the ocean. Maybe there are not as many ways of exposure. In Europe you have labels like Inside Out that is very big and it has a lot of power of distribution and promotion.
I did call it ProgRock but how would you describe the music of Stream Of Passion?
Well a bit of a combination of Progressive Rock with other elements like Gothic, maybe (i don't even know what Gothic means but I add it because of the whole mood. A gloomy mood on the album. I think you can relate to that. There is a little metal and a bit of trip hop. A combination of things.
Gothic is a term you also use for Elfonía. But it is Gothic without the guitars and the screaming lady. Why use that term.
I don't really think the term itself means that much nowadays. The bands labeled Gothic are quite different from each other. Nowadays The Gathering has nothing to do with Within Temptation and Nightwish is a whole different band all together as well. It is useful when you want to describe the mood of the music because it is somewhat dark and mysterious.
For the recordings of The Human Equation you brought Alejandro (Marcela's boyfriend) to the Netherlands. This time he also participates, how did that come to be?
As you mentioned Alejandro and Arjen met at that time (when I was recording for THE) they have a lot of favourite bands in common so they could talk about music and stuff. And Arjen had heard what he had done on the first Elfonía album and he thought that his style and his playing could be a nice addition to Stream Of Passion so he invited him. It was nice because we know each other very well personally and musically, so that was good.
Is it Arjen only that put the band together? Did he pick all the members?
Yes definitely he was the one orchestrating and directing everything and I think he did a very great job, it was a very difficult thing to put a band together from different sides of the world. It turn out very well we do not only connect musically we also got along very well personally. so when we finally met it was very nice to talk and it turned out everyone is incredibly sweet and nice.
Half of Elfonía is cooperating: How does that make the other members of Elfonía feel?
I think there just very glad that we are doing this because it also give Elfonía lots of exposure. And we notice this already. Of course we have plans to continue working with both bands as longs as humanly possible. I think there mostly very happy for us that we are doing this. It is not something very unusual for them because all of the members do other stuff.
Aren't you afraid that Elfonía will become the band of the girl that is in Stream Of Passion
Well, you know the way I see it, as the audience of progressive rock is not that big, it is good to have the chance to make our music more accessible to people through Stream Of Passion. Because maybe all this people would have never discovered Elfonía if it wasn't for SOP. There are audiences for everything.
What is it like to release 2 albums at the same time with very different features (one big, one smaller, own album, cooperation album etc.)
It is highly demanding, it is interesting we will learn a lot about the whole experience because we get 2 sides of the spectrum. Very big production with a lot of promotion and a lot of potential, big record label on the other hand a totally independent album that we have to do everything ourselves. We are learning a lot and we like that.
You will be touring Mexico with Elfonía when SOP is (hopefully) selling big.
I think it will do very well in Europe especially in the Netherlands with Sony and all. With Stream of Passion in Latin-America doing the same hopefully. It will be strange to tour in Europe with bigger audiences, you have Ayreon on stage which will be very unusual and special event so I think a lot of people will be interested to come over to the show.
Is music your main occupation or are you still working in software?
I am still working in software but hope to make music my main occupation because it is driving me mad doing all these different things at the same time. Even though I am lucky: I work for an American company but I work from home.
You did not play much violin on This Sonic Landscape
Just a couple of bars (track 4) and on Gigantic 2. We don't really plan to much of it, if it fits we'll add it to it. If not then not.
It is more prominent on SOP.
Yeah but next to the parts I recorded we also had a very very talented string quartet who could perform much more difficult stuff, that I can't. I am not a big violinist but I like it and I added a few things here and there.
Is there any thing you listen to at the moment?
I currently listen to a real nice Norwegian singer: Anja Garbarek. She does sort of a very weird electronic music, it is very nice. I am listening to Porcupince Tree and The 3rd And The Mortal a Norwegian band as well. Have you not heard of them because they are very nice!
You met a number of people because of working for The Human Equation. What was that like?
Well I did not actually meet them because we were recording on different weekend but I get in touch with Devon Graves and Heather Findlay by e-mail to share stuff from the album with them.
I have done an interview with Nick Barrett he told of all this downloading how is that for you? What's your view on that?
I think the music industry will have to find a way around it and start profiting despite of the downloading. I don't know maybe there won't be place for large record companies in the future because for instance for Elfonía it works because you can get some songs for download. If you like that you can buy the album and I think people that don't like the download wouldn't have downloaded the album anyway. It's just like more exposure that you can later on exploit with live shows or merchandise. I think we have to gonna work around it and there is legal downloading that helps a bit. I guess stuff like downloading songs to your cell phone will get more important.
I still like to hold an album and read the booklet but there are 12 year-old kids I know, and almost all their music from the Internet. Maybe it's just that they are from a generation that grew up with it.
Well I don't consider myself from the download generation but it is kind of an hassle, put the album in a cd player and rip it for your collection. Maybe it will become too much of an hassle to get the albums. But still, it is nice to have the album especially the special editions.
Anything I forgot and you want to say?
Well I really hope you enjoy our album and the upcoming tour.
Stream Of Passion Oficial Website
Elfonía Official Website
DPRP Review of Stream Of Passion - Embrace The Storm
DPRP Review Elfonía - Elfonía
DPRP Review Elfonía - This Sonic Landscape