EMQ’s with SYMFOBIA
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Slovakian Symphonic Metal band Symfobia! Huge thanks to them for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Our band name is Symfobia and as the name reveals, we play symphonic metal. The band was founded in 2007 by our keyboardist Feri Molnár but the band is really active from 2013 when singer Erika Strečková and drummer Vandy Prokop joined the band. It took three years to record our first album “Way Of The Queen”. Since 2015 the band has been actively performing on stage.
How did you come up with your band name?
The name Symfobia was created by our keyboardist Feri and there isn’t a big story to it. It’s a pure satirical antagonism!
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We come from Slovakia, which is located in Central Europe. Since Slovakia is a small country (about 5 mil.) and rock/metal music is definitely not a mainstream, it’s not very easy for rock and metal bands to get in front of the proper audience. Still, there are some good bands that don’t give up, play and bring great music to their fans. We travel to the neighboring Czech Republic quite often where there is a bigger rock and metal music scene.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single or Video)
We released new album Smog Of Tomorrow on 2nd of March this year. It includes 11 songs and a bonus track – a song in the Slovak language. The new album is all about majestic orchestral arrangements, prominent guitar solos, choir parts and of course two main female vocals in the foreground. SOT brings a strong message of igniting a change in the minds of each and every person to become conscious beings in the real, offline world and reminds us to always stay vigilant and fight off lures of media stealing our attention from what is really important in life. We have released four video clips from this album, most recently this summer, to our song ‘Bury It’.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Certainly Nightwish, Within Temptation, Therion, and Epica! But basically all the good old bands from Iron Maiden, Metallica, Queen to AC/DC and we could go on and on. Every music genre can be inspiring; each decade has brought something new. What is interesting about Symfobia is that the age range of the members is from 20 to 61 years. So we all grew up on something else. I have to mention that besides rock music many of us are interested in classical or film music. One of the big influences for our keyboardist Feri is Hans Zimmer.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Our biggest dream is to tour at least for once with a symphonic orchestra.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
We have already played at all big festivals in Slovakia and Czechia. This year, we were the only Slovak band on the main stage at Masters of Rock but we would definitely love to play at some festivals in Scandinavia where there is the biggest audience for symphonic metal.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
There were actually several “special” gifts we have received. Unsuccessful drawings, underwear, postcards, lighters, “magic” stone, photos, etc. But, of course, every gift will always please us or at least cheer us up.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Live in love for yourself, for others, and for good music.
If you could bring one Metal/Rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
With all due respect, I don’t think we should pull the dead back to earth. Everything has its meaning and death too. If someone is no longer on this planet, it is useless to think about what it would be if he/she were alive.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
We love traveling to concerts, meeting new people, seeing new places. We love the feeling when we stand on the stage and fans enjoy the concert with us. We love it when someone tells us that he found something in our lyrics that touched him and changed his mind or behaviour. We love to be together as a band, create, record, work on Symfobia. I don’t think any of us don´t like being a musician. It’s just hard to be a musician and make a living from music. But we can´t do anything about it, except that we will try and work more and more.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
For our Keyboardist – Stormwitch – “Beauty And The Beast”!
For our Guitarist – Avenged Sevenfold – “Nightmare”!
For our Bass Guitarist – Deep Purple – “Burn”!
For Simona and our Drummer – Dream Theater – “Octavarium”!
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads!
Every era has brought something new and all four are great in something. Vinyl has a great sound but you can’t put it in your car. On the one hand, downloading is great because you have music fast on your computer from the comfort of home, but there’s something missing. Something that you can touch, look at, smell, put on your shelf. And this is how we could continue. It is great that we live in time when we can choose what suits us the best with so many options of listening to music.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
We´ve played some really amazing gigs and I can’t pick the best. I can mention some and say something more about them. One of the strongest moments we have is from 2015 when we were the opening band for Nightwish. This concert was officially our second concert in the history of the band so we didn’t even know what to do on such a big stage. I remember there were about 9,000 people and I thought I’d fall away from fear. A year later we played another gig with Nightwish but we had a whole year of performing behind us, so we really enjoyed the gig. The other gigs to remember are joint concerts with bands such as Therion, Arch Enemy, Powerwolf and major festivals in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Neither of us is just a musician. We all have a job outside the band besides our drummer William who is still studying at the college. Our singer Simona is a deputy at high school, our keyboardist Feri does business in agriculture; other boys work in engineering and construction. Our guitarist Peter used to have a great rock bar for many years, from where all Slovak musicians know him. I used to teach at art school for 3 years but in the end I decided not to teach anymore. Besides playing in the theater, I´ve started my new career as a photographer last year.
What’s next for the band?
By the end of the year we have a few concerts in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Next week we are shooting a new video clip and hopefully we will make another one by December. From the new year we will start a new tour with the Slovak band NoControl in the Czech Republic and from March another tour with the Czech legend Citron, also in the Czech Republic.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Like every band we use YouTube for our music videos, you can also find us on Spotify, Amazon music, Facebook or Instagram. On social networks we really try to be in touch with our fans, announce news, ask for opinions, ideas, sometimes we prepare some competition where we give away free concert tickets or our merchandise. As a majority of our fan base comes from outside of Slovakia, we are really grateful for living times when internet exists.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I don’t care, I don’t eat it
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thank you very much for the interview and we wish all readers all the best and lots of good music.
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