Cleopatra with Alina Gavrilenko
We were lucky enough to get into the studio together and finish recording right before covid in Pennsylvania/New Jersey. At that point, we only had three days to record all vocals for 12 songs, with harmonies and layers. I had to sing for around 12 hours a day, so I’m amazed and very proud we pulled it off. I’ll be making sure that we spend more time together for the next one, for the artistic process itself and some group bonding. The guys are all awesome, and I’d enjoy hanging out without the tight deadlines. Once we finished recording, the process of completing the additional elements for the album took on a very international flavour. My bandmates are all in the US, while I’m living in Canada, Dan Swanö did the mixing and mastering in Sweden, and our album art was done in Hungary. It was an amazing partnership of talented people worldwide, almost like the United Nations of metal.
I haven’t gotten too deep on conspiracy theories, but I’m a big fan of true crime/paranormal podcasts. As weird as it sounds, I love spooky stories so much that I’ll fall asleep to them. Ironically enough, one channel I’m a big fan of and highly recommend is “Bedtime Stories” on Youtube.
As a student of classical music for most of my life, it spoke to me on a very spiritual level and stirred my curiosity. When I was introduced to metal, I felt that same spark in my soul. I find a lot of parallels between the two genres, like the complexity and thoughtfulness, so it was easy to fall in love. From there, the heavier distortion in the string department, faster percussion sections and overall epic production pulled me in and took hold.
I’m inspired and influenced by the world daily. Like a long walk in the woods or getting caught in a thunderstorm, simple things make a deep impression on me. I’m ceaselessly amazed by the beauty and grandeur of the natural world. Mountain ranges and ocean shores surrounded my childhood home; just imagining being there and meditating on it gives me chills. This is the ultimate state of creativity to me, where my most grandiose ideas strike.
Having a purpose is crucial for motivation. Music is an amazing form of therapy that has helped me heal and grow. I’m driven to share this same experience and deliver my emotions and ideas to others in a way they can identify and relate to. When someone has a vivid vision, they want to see their voice heard. As long as I have that vision, I will continue doing music, as it is my direct source of communicating with the World.
If you’re hoping for stories of wild nights partying leading to my artistic work, you’ll probably be disappointed. My best ideal state for being creative is solitude, fire, incense, a few mantras and a clear head, preferably after meditation. Creativity is so much more than a personal expression; there’s energy all around us to connect and tap into. I’m a true believer in the Akashic records and the notion that works of genius are influenced through knowledge that exists beyond this plane of existence. By opening up to this, we can bring this power into the mortal realm. I try to embrace a visionary state by being a vessel for creativity to channel something beyond the physical world. My goal is to transcend the trivial, daily grind and allow my mind to go beyond the mortal realm. This is my process of connecting to the astral world and delivering the beauty that I see through my visions.
There isn’t one particular concept or theme; the writing taps into a wide range of different subject matter. The tracks on Cleopatra touch on historical events and personal experiences of struggle and growth. I write a lot on mysticism/spirituality and draw quite a bit of material from winter, aesthetically and emotionally. I’m working on a solo project, Snowmaiden, which revolves around winter as the basis of the lyrical content.