We caught up with Anna Brunner from the band Exit Eden, a new symphonic metal band featuring four female vocalists who released their debut album Rhapsodies In Black earlier this month. We talk about the new album, origins of the band, her own influences as well as future plans!
Dave: You recently released your debut album, Rhapsodies in black! How has the response been?
Anna: Really amazing! Truth be told, none of us had any expectations of how it would but the feedback so far has been amazing and it went in at #15 in German charts which is very exciting!
That’s amazing! Well done! Do you have any personal favourites from the album?
Yes, I enjoyed ‘Unfaithful’ a lot, I think it’s so different from the original. We turned it from a ballad into a pure metal tune and I really love that.
It was my favourite song too! You also got to make a video for it as well as a few others (For Unfaithful, Impossible, Incomplete and Paparazzi is) What was it like?
Cool! Ha ha! It was exciting! It was really hard too as we only had two days which was insane to record all of them in that short period of time.
How much creative input did you get to put into it?
We did have a director who had lot of ideas but all of us brought ideas forward, particularly at the beginning when we were in the planning stages. We all had our little mark on it as all of us had ideas which were used.
If I may, I want to take you back to the start. Exit Eden obviously isn’t a common set-up for a band as it revolves around 4 female vocalists, how did the idea for Exit Eden come about?
The idea started with the music producers who wanted to take Pop Songs and put them into a metal style. I had been friend with them for a while and they asked me and Amanda to come in and record some demos for them. So it just started as a studio project for us two but then they asked us if this is something we would want to take on as our own thing. I loved the songs and I loved recording them but it was even more exciting to know that this is something we could really take forward.
Did you get say on which songs, or were they picked by the producers beforehand?
I went and did the first demos where they had a couple of songs picked already and I recorded them but for the rest we did a joint brainstorm where we all came up with ideas.
How did you decide on which songs? Did you have a criterion?
Not a criterion per se but we obviously they had to work as a metal song! We wanted a variety so we tried to cover a range of artists and decades.
So originally it was you and Amanda, how then did Marina and Clementine come into it?
Amanda had been friends with Marina for a while and thought she would be a perfect fit so she asked her when the band started. They had met Clementine at some shows and always had her in mind for the project. The idea to have not just a couple of singers but 4 female singers was special cool as it’s so unique and so it was really cool to have them on board.
How did you work out the singing parts for each for song?
That’s a very good question! We had to sing a lot of parts! We kept saying “Oh let’s try this out” or “let’s try that out” So we got to sing a lot of different stuff in the studio which was cool. Then we tried lots of things out. Then some parts fell perfectly fell into place and it was obvious who should sing them but in others, the producers worked their magic and decided which parts we should sing and we trusted them and we love how it has turned out.
You’re also based in different parts of the world, how did you overcome that difficulty?
Yeah it was crazy! We are lucky as we have phones and skype which makes it relatively easy to stay in contact. But there was one time, around Christmas where all four of were in a different part of the world and we needed a group call but organising it was a nightmare as we were all in different time zones so it was morning for me, late afternoon for someone else etc and it was crazy! We managed it though, so I think we’ll handle it!
Did you get a chance to do much recording together, or was it all in home studios?
No, we did get to do a lot together, we mostly recorded in Northern Germany. The producers have a studio there called Elephant music. It’s where I originally met Amanda then later met Marina and Clementine. Whilst we there we also had time to go out to dinner just to get to know each other which is really important.
What was your musical upbringing like?
I was always into rock. I played in rock bands growing up and wrote songs etc but you always thing it’s better than it is but when you’re a teenager you think it sounds great! (laughs). I also got to study music; I studied song writing and voice in Germany which was a great opportunity to learn more. My main regret so was that even though I was in bands and played a lot live we never got a record deal, never even got to make a record which was a shame as we put so much time and effort into playing live but at the end we don’t really have anything to show for it. It’s so great that I have finally managed to do it with Exit Eden though!
Who was your biggest musical influences?
Always a tough question! AC/DC is up there. I love the riff rock, I love the rough vocals and I always try and imitate that. I’m also a huge Foo Fighters fan, of course there are loads of bands but those are two who influenced me most
Exit Eden do have a live show booked in Hamburg next month, have you got plans for more?
Not yet, unfortunately. But we definitely hope to plan a tour soon. It’s tough though as we lots of people saying, “Come to our country!” and it’s amazing and we certainly want to.
Do you see Exit Eden as a long-term project?
Yes definitely. We all see it as one we want to carry on doing. We have loads of new ideas, maybe for a second album and we are looking to gig so this isn’t going to be a one-off side project but something we really want to take forward.
Would you keep doing covers? Or would you want to write original material together?
We aren’t sure yet to be honest. It’s so much fun turning the old songs into new and with the first album we came up with so many ideas, we probably came up with enough for 2 or 3 more! But we aren’t sure of what we want to do after this one!
Have you got any other projects on or is Exit Eden the focus?
Exit Eden is very much the focus. have some small bits, some studio vocal work and I do some vocal coaching. My tendency is to take on way too much then I’m just like WHAAAT, ha ha. So, I’m just focussing on Exit Eden for now and see what happens!
Great, well thank you so much for giving up your time to speak to us!
You’re welcome! Thank you it’s been lots of fun!
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