Female-fronted Symphonic Rock/Metal band from London, Serpentyne have been around since 2010, and for the period of seven years they put out three studio full-length albums. Their most recent release, 2016′s “The Serpent Kiss” offers a very pleasant listening experience.
Singer Maggie-Beth Sand and Mark Powell, who plays hurdy gurdy, spoke for Progstravaganza.
Hey folks. How are you doing?
MAGGIE-BETH and MARK: Great, thanks!
You released “The Serpent’s Kiss” in 2016. How do you feel about the release?
MARK: We’re very pleased with it ourselves, and it’s good that we’ve had some very positive reviews and a lot of media interest.
How much of a challenge was to work on the album?
MAGGIE-BETH: It was challenging- but in a good way! The first two albums, “Stella Splendens,” and “Myths and Muses,” followed the mediaeval-world music themes, though we also used modern instruments, dance and dubstep loops, etc. For “The Serpent’s Kiss,” we moved into the heavier rock area, with the addition of Matthew Damian’s guitar. We still kept the mediaeval-world sound though, as Mark’s hurdy-gurdy is a prominent part of many of the songs, and we also stuck to the mythical-historic theme, with songs like Jeanne d’ Arc (Joan of Arc) and the title track, “The Serpent’s Kiss” which is based on the story of Anthony and Cleopatra.
MARK: The recording experience was good- it was quite a revelation at times to hear the songs coming together with the new sound.
What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from UK are you friends with?
MAGGIE-BETH: We have many good friends on the UK music scene, from the rock, prog, folk and mediaeval sides of it, but there is no-one who combines all these elements apart from us!
What is your opinion about the current rock/metal scene?
MARK: In the UK, it is very conservative; there are a lot of talented, original musicians and bands who are not getting the exposure and recognition that they deserve, and a lot of venues are closing down. I always feel that the scene throughout the rest of Europe is healthier, and more open to new talent.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
MAGGIE-BETH: Opera, rock, classical, mediaeval, Gothic, symphonic metal, cinematic music with epic themes and big choirs, and anything that uses vocal arrangements, ranging from mediaeval and ethnic songs to big chorales.
MARK: Much the same as Maggie.
What are you listening to these days?
MAGGIE-BETH: A very wide selection covering, Led Zeppelin, Within Temptation, Nightwish, Delain, Eluveitie, Pink Floyd, film music, opera…
MARK: I discovered “Two Steps From Hell” a while ago, and love their music.
Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
MAGGIE-BETH: Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti. Within Temptation – The Silent Force. Pink Floyd – The Division Bell and The Dark Side of the Moon, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana; the version recorded by the Choir and Orchestra of the Deutschen Oper Berlin, with Eugen Jochum.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “The Serpent’s Kiss”?
MARK: Maggie and I have compatible home recording studios, where we record quite a lot using Apple Mac/Logic setups. For the drums and guitar recording, we used a Presonus system in a local studio. We then transferred the Presonus recordings to Logic for mixing. For mastering, we always use Air Studio in Hampstead, London, as their mastering room has everything!
Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?
MAGGIE-BETH: We are now writing songs for the next one, which should be released towards the end of 2017 or early 2018. We have several festival and other show dates lined up this year, with more coming in.
Any words for the potential new fans?
MARK: If you haven’t heard us before, please check us out at www.serpentyne.com, and we hope you enjoy it!
MAGGIE-BETH: Thanks to Progstravaganza for talking to us, and greetings to your readers!