Project Renegade: Interview with Marianna - 'Order of the Minus', Life in Music and Evanescence
The four piece Greek metal band has had an exciting and busy year, ending it with the release of their debut album 'Order of the Minus' after the success of their EP 'Cerebra'. They have already made a name for themselves having performed many live shows alongside some big names in music. They have a powerful and enchanting sound, and will no doubt have a busy and successful year next year.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the wonderful front woman herself, Marianna.
Although not always knowing if music was something she wanted to pursue, Marianna always had music in her life even from the young age of 5 when she began to learn to play the piano. She delved in classical and jazz music from then as well as working on vocals. A day in Marianna's life rarely went by without experiencing some form of music. From there, she started realising her passion for music and the stage and the rest is history! Even today, Marianna works as a professional voice teacher.
Back in 2014 was when Marianna and drummer, Ody first formed the band.
Marianna said: 'We just decided to get out of the loop of having bands that go nowhere and they didn't see things professionally. So we wanted to do something that was ours, that reflected our personalities and our musical taste, and would be something that could go further more professionally. Then we had some lineup changes, actually there were a lot of them! And finally we have the final lineup, we hope so! With Nick K. on guitar and Jay on the bass.'
As a band who brings something new to the table, I was eager to know what inspired their EP and debut album.
Marianna explained: 'For Cerebra it was how our brains cope with different emotions like depression or peer pressure or anger and everything that goes on with [the] chemicals in our minds and how that is connected with our emotions. And you know Ody has studied psychology...and it was very cool when he learned that all of that stuff that we are feeling is actually because of a chemical reaction in our brain and we decided that was a very cool subject for our first EP Cerebra.'
For their new album 'Order of the Minus', Marianna said: 'We wanted to do something different, we wanted our album to have a stronger social message. And the message behind Order of the Minus is unity through diversity, and what we mean by it is everybody is different and everybody is unique but those differences [do] not necessarily have to divide us and alienate us.'
She explained: 'We found out that everybody [has] at least experienced some kind of loss in his or her life and because of that everyone has some common experiences. This is the subject of Order of the Minus, loss and this progresses in intensity and different forms across the album...social injustices or a personal loss, the loss of dreams. And we progressively go to even more intense forms of loss like war or death or suicide, and we want to express all of those feelings and experiences because we find a lot of people will have them and you can actually find a common ground with another person through all that...We want to spread the message of hope, of peace, of unity and acceptance.'
Marianna describes Order of the Minus as: 'It's an album that is very intense, very emotional. We gave 1000% when we recorded it in order to be truthful to the arts, be truthful to ourselves and to make a unique experience for the listener. And not just be something that they can listen to in the background, every song is very meaningful to us... We hope that it will be an album that will put people into a thinking mode, they will get to think about problems that we face today, problems that the people of our age are facing now nowadays.'
She added: 'We want our music to be a home for everybody, a safe haven from everything ugly out there. And to be a part of our big family that we are trying to make through our music and through our live shows and all of the travelling and all of the reaching out that we're trying to do to people. I hope that everybody will, I guess, give us a fair go. Not everybody is going to like it of course, but I believe they will find that everything behind it, we mean it 100%. We are very true to the meanings and messages of the songs and of the album and we only want to spread our message of unity through it and to grow our family even bigger.'
This year, the band performed as special guests for both Bullet for My Valentine, and more recently for Evanescence in Ukraine in September. I was keen to talk to Marianna about the band's experience with Evanescence, both being female fronted bands.
Marianna said: 'It was a unique experience and a dream come true to say the least. Just playing with a band that has influenced us, and [they are] one of my favourite bands. I think it was the best experience we've ever done so far in our musical journey and the crowd was insane! Everybody was shouting and they were very energetic. It was the biggest crowd that we've ever played to and it was something that I hope to experience again. I hope to play with that band again they were very cool people to get to know and we talked a little backstage and they are very down to earth, very approachable... They're the best and I hope to get to play with them again real soon.'
As a fairly new band, I wanted to know what Marianna believes have been the most rewarding parts of Project Renegade's journey so far.
'Well of course meeting new people and getting to travel to a lot of different places and get to know the people who come to our shows and we play for them. It's always nice to get to talk for music, for different cultures and what impact our music has on their lives and if they enjoyed our show and what popped out in their heads when they saw us for the first time. I guess that, I guess the fact that [we] get to meet a lot of people, and of course to express yourselves through an artistic way and that you get to spread a message that you want people to hear.'
With their album 'Order of the Minus' having been released on 31st October, I wanted to know what the band was planning for the new year in relation to this.
Marianna said: 'We have confirmed a live show in Cyprus for the spring, and some other shows that are about to be announced. We are searching for as many shows as we can, we want to promote our new album... we want to spread the music to as many people as we can, to as many places as we can. We are in contact with a lot of managers and agencies to see what we are going to do, but unfortunately until everything is confirmed we cannot say anything more specific. And of course we are preparing new videos, we are actually pretty close in filming a new one... We are kind of meddling with some new music slowly. Busy, busy like a bee here in the Project Renegade camp!'
Buy Project Renegade's incredible 'Order of the Minus' here: www.projectrenegade.bandcamp.com/album/order-of-the-minus