Skeptical Minds

Interview date

27 Novembre 2010




Interview Michel Stiakakis, Karolina Pacan (by mailer)

The actual line-up of Skeptical Minds was established in 2008. What happened during the two years before the release of Skepticalized?

Mich: Hello, We first worked on a set list during two months to be ready to make gigs again and as quick as possible... Skeptical Minds had to be back ! ... We started three months after arrival of Karolina and Catherine. After that, we worked to be ready for studio. Means: finish composing musics and texts.

We shared our time between preparing for the stage and the album.

In november 2009, we participated to MFVF contest and we won it... so, we were selected for MFVF 2010. And during one year, we made gigs and prepared for that event... that was our goal and the release of the album, the day of the fest.

We also signed a management deal with 2Wild4 (management and booking agency). They also signed bands like Diabulus in Musica, Dylath Leen, Bare Infinity, Echoterra,...

They are active and we have good feedbacks and projects after MFVF 8. More info soon ;);)

What are the reasons why you joined Skeptical Minds and you are proud to be the singer of this band?

Karolina: In 2008 I was searching for musicians for my own project. Through our common friend (Stepix), I have met members of Skeptical Minds in Amsterdam. As they were searching for new singer too and as I really enjoyed their music, I decided to give a try and it worked ! Finally, I feel like I am in the right place on the earth. :) Of course I am proud, very much! Skeptical Minds' musicians are very good people, they know what they want from life, and from music! There is no place for being lazy, everything is in right place, everything is planned, it's just great! I feel that I work with professionals. :)

The cover is in the same style than the one of "The Beauty Must Die". Is it a way to say that even if it's the first album with Karolina the band didn't lose its identity?

Mich: The EP was to announce the next album... We already had the ideas and when Karolina came, everything was already composed... We were ready to go to studio... After a divorce, choices are made between people and we made new lyrics and vocal melodies... It was a good occasion to adapt them to Karolinas' voice. But the music didn't change and the artwork neither... the train kept rollin' (all night long – hello to fans of wock'n'woll !!). We just continued our way ;)

"Skepticalized" is a word that doesn't really exist. What does it mean to the band?

Mich: It existed for us ;) that's why we decided to take it as Main title... Gab (the drummer) and me (the bad guy), say that very often... We start for example to work one melody, on piano or guitar, and then, we say: ok... now, let's skepticalize it ;) means: to make it grow up and we integreate in it our constant elements... electronics (Indus), guitars (cold, very cut and sharped) etc...

We bring the SM touch haha and then, we give it the dark side, and one, two of three of the constant elements around which we work: Sadness, Depression and Agressivity...

Then you have something Skepticalized ;);) that's the starting point... We made an extrapolation to the lyrics and subjects of songs... each character of each song presents first a white side... and we search for the aggressive, sad or desperate side that people hide... it's our job to be Skeptical and not believe that everybody is just white or just black...

There are lots of symbols on the cover and I especially noticed the eye in the triangle which makes think of the Egyptian all-seeing eye. Is symbolism important in Skeptical Minds or important for you?

Mich: Heheeh yes, there are lots of symbols in the cover, but nothing to do with any band member ;) I will let you make your own idea ;);) I'll just say that from above, it's white and the more you go down, the more the cover is skepticalized... the three elements are present again... For the rest, each thing has a reason to be... and some symbols came from the artworker ;);) we gave him the main ideas and he let his own imagination work too ;) it's a mix of all.

Karolina: I agree with Mich. Cover just presents things the way they are. First you see the eye... but after how long you noticed that woman from cover doesn't have body inside? ;) We always see what is in front our eyes, but when you go down... it becomes darker, and darker...

On this new album, which is your favourite song and why?

Karolina: Huh! I love all of them :) ! But if I have to pick up one, it will be "Inertia" because it is about big emotions that can happen to all of us! Just listen to that song, and read the lyrics. It's very sad, and so realistic: loosing the one you love, and you try to have him back for no matter what price, even your own life. But many times, it's too late to stop before last breath is gone. That songs is like calling, think before you do because after, there is no way out. I will add also "Broken Dolls" wow! That's a real blast of electro/metal/classical! When I heard that composition for the first time, I was on my knees! It's like electrified Vivaldi. The speed of cellos, and electro are flirting with metal riffs, and together they give spooky orchestra! It's aggressive and lyrics are about human emotions. You play the doll to people, showing them that you are fine, but hey... We are almost never fine ;) right? There is always some problems, but we hide those... and play Broken Doll even to our own friends. I believe that many of our listeners can find themselves in those lyrics.

How was the recording process for the band, and especially the voice recording?

Karolina: It was great experience for me, as it was my first professional recording. Guys were very helpful and understanding. Of course it was very funny too. :P You know, after some hours, your brain change wave, and you start to be crazy haha:P If you search on youtube you can see what was happening :P (I hope Mich won't kill me hahaha)

I know you brought some ideas for the texts of the songs and even write some. Writing about dark subjects, was it easy and obvious for you?

Karolina: Yes that's true. Writing about dark side of humanity was easy for me, because I speak a lot with people, and I like psychological subjects. I can see what kind of problems appear in reality, and I am not affraid to put that into lyrics. I want everyone to know, that things like sadness, aggression, depression, do exist and that there is big connection between them. Look, you feel sad because you had problems with a friend and because you like that friend, you fall in depression. After some time, because your sadness is not healed, you become aggressive to other people... etc...

There is a big difference between the songs on the album and the way you played them at MFVF last month. How do you explain that?

Mich: not really ;);) we play exactly the same ;);). Each instrument plays the same ;), just on stage, the mix is more heavy !!! Guitars, rhythm chello, bass and drums are much more present... On the CD, acoustic drums and electronic drums are always mixed and never the same : sometimes, only electro, sometimes, only acoustic, sometimes both... On stage, you have always a real drum... It's already louder... and electro rythms mixed... Guitars and bass are in front and not always mixed in the musical block like on CD. CD is more like to listen comfortable ;) Stage is to kick asses... That's the way it has to be on stage !!! ;)

You won the warm-up for the MFVF8. It's a little bit weird that a band that already played there twice participated to the warm-up and came back thanks to that. What happened?

Mich: Not really... If you saw Skeptical Minds before, you would see there is a big difference between before and now... The line changed a lot too... Only Gab and me are from the beginning… And the promoter said: "ok for MFVF request but you have to participate to the contest 'cause another band, another singer (METAL FEMALE) and the music is much more different than 2005 and 2006. Like a restart ;)" But we didn't open the fest,'cause it was the third time we played there... good !

The album was released one month ago. Are you satisfied with the feedback you've had?

Mich: ah !!! yes of course !!! Sales were very successful at MFVF and since then, we receive lot of orders from everywhere. It's the first time we receive orders from countries like: Russia, California, Canada, Poland, France and Belgium (of course ;) but also Japan !!!!!!! some of them ordered !!! To give you an idea, we pressed five hundred albums for MFVF. Now, we almost sold the whole pack... in one month. It's nothing for a big band, but for us, it's more than expected !!!

For people who don't know Skeptical Minds yet, what can you say to invite them to listen to the band's music?

Mich: You have to know ;) it's your job to promote ;) isn't it? Hahaha. 

Ok, tell them: Watch your back !!!

Karolina: of course !!! Watch your back! :D

People often like to say there is rivalry between singers in a band (between the past and actual ones) or in general. Is it something you've noticed?

Mich: hahahaha Karolina has all her hair and the other singers too ;);)

But I'll tell you something… How will you make rivalry between singers in a band if there is only one singer at a time???
From what I see, each singer follows her way and there is no fight. We don't have time enough to spend time and also energy into fights. You know, people speak, think, interpretate... and judge ;). But we don't care... That happened to us too but nobody knows everything, so, we don't give following to those rumors... people can think all what they want, it's stupid because nobody lived what a bands lives internal... is it a fight? Is it a friendly separation? Is it for health reasons? Each one has his/her reasons... And for us, it's private things... we respect… and after that, good luck and follow your new way... ;)

Karolina: Let me add that even if there was rivality, nobody would tell that in public. It's not good to play that game... and not good to have rivality... I don't like that, so I stay away from that. I just want to do my job and let me do it ;)

If you had to describe your personality (as a singer, not in your private life ;-) ) in three words, what would they be and why?

Karolina: But I am the same on stage and in real life :) ! I don't change my personality when I go on stage! In three words ? Brave, Crazy, Warrior. So..."Brave" because I am not afraid of challenges, and I never stop in half way. "Crazy" because... I am crazy :D. I love to be funny and make people laugh! "Warrior"... Well, have you ever heard about Spartians ;)? Those guys, if they decide to do something, they go and never look back! I am like that, I look into direction where I want to go, and never feel fear about my own decisions :)

What are the next plans for Skeptical Minds, except for the two shows you will have in January and May?

Mich: More shows of course ;). We are actually preparing that with 2Wild4. We work on distribution deal too and other surprises ;) more info very soon... first preparing, then confirmations and when it will be confirm we will announce... But we can say what's on good way: distribution deal, gigs and live DVD... to be followed ;)

I know there is a typical sentence for Skeptical Minds which is "Watch Your Back", but how can you end this interview?

Mich : Let's be normal for once haha I just want to thank you for that interview, to thank people who read it, people who support us through internet and those who come to see us on stage !!! We really appreciate all of you !!! ;) But Watch your back !!! No mercy ! ;)

Karolina: Serious ! Let's be serious :D. I would like to thank you first of all for that great interview and all of the great people who support us, personally I hope to meet all of you one day and have some chat! That would be great pleasure and honor to me :)

but you know...and don't forget!!! WATCH YOUR BACK ! hahahah ];->

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