|"At the Lake" comes to us from Poland. Born in 2005, this band, which combines symphonic and folk metal, responded to Spirit of Metal’s questions for the release of its debut album, "Maya".|Hi AT THE LAKE, could you tell us about your band and its members?
Krzysiek: The idea of ATL was made up by Milena, the violinist, in 2005. She wanted to play some sort of Rhapsody-like music with strong classical music roots. Soon after she met the guitar player, Krzysztof, who was a great fan of opera metal and convinced her that the band should have female vocals. With him to ATL came Michal, the bass player and Marek, the drummer. Guys were true metalheads, strongly inspired by thrash, death metal and even grindcore(!) that days. The breakthrough for our sound was Anna, on the keyboards. She came up with some brillant epic and industrial ideas.
During all these years we had variaty of vocalists. Rock ones or sopranos. Luckly to ATL eventually joined Natalia, the female version of Dio, who is a professional singer and actress. Last year, right after the recording session of Maya, we seperated our ways with Marek and welcomed Alex, the very ambitious guy full of a fresh energy.«Māyā» is your first album. What have you tried to express? The titles of the album that matter to you?
Milena : The word « Maya » is taken from old Hindi language, sanskrit. This term was used in a song « Karma », which took very special place in my heart. In this song I told everything which I always wanted to the one person but I’ve never done it. It was some kind of catharsis. Some people scream at others, some hide it deep in themselves and I am used to write music. Very puryfying feeling. I recommend it to everyone ;) but ok, back to the topic. In sanskrit maya means illusion. To keep the explanation short I could put it in these words: when we experience maya it means that we see the world deformed by our senses, expectations (which are the most tricky of all earthly challenges) and culture. On the album I write much about the children and their mentality because only they can purely look at the world which surrounds us. For them everything is simple, they are honest in their expression. They don’t cheat – if they do not like somebody they poke their tongue out at him. If they like someone, they hu
g him and say what they think. And nothing is inappropriate.
The other title which means much to me is « Running Out of Time ». It had been written in very stormy period of my life. I was struggling with the decisions which will influence my whole future. I think that every of you after reading the lyrics will know what I meant.
Krzysiek : Running out of Time! It's the first song where my riff was made as first, then Milena done other parts of song.What are your influences? One or some artists you admire?
Milena : Definitely it’s movie soundtracks and... Pink Floyd. I remember when I was sitting in our flat with Krzysiek (guitar) and he added to his playlist « Shine On Your Crazy Diamond ». I, disgusted, asked him to change the song because this is... BORING !!! This is one of the most shamefull words which came out of my mouth. Pink Floyd appeared suddenly in very surprising moment when I really needed to get some strength. It gave me more that I could expect. Their song « Coming Back to Life » literarly brought me back to life. As far as soundracks are concerned, the most inspiring for me is Vangelis, Trevor Jones, Bruno Coulais (for his « Macrocosmos » featuring Nick Cave) and... yeah, ok... Hans Zimmer ;)
Krzysiek : It's definitely Toumas Holopainen and his Nightwish. However, I'm growing older and older. Now, as I'm writting to you, I'm listening to Pink Floyd. Seriously speaking, I love the old, good rock music: Rainbow, Black Sabbath or Fields of the Nephelim.How to categorize "At the lake"? As a band of "folk" or "Gothic"?
Krzysiek: I'd say it's rather symphonic metal. I guess, we're too bright to be 'gothic' (despite of girls' outfit on stage ;) ) and too urban for the label 'folk'. In fact, I don't really care how music critics will categorize us. I hope we'll be problematic band for them because it means, we're maybe a little original.What are your strengths and areas that should be improved in the future?
Milena : It’s sad that when I think about things to improve I have a looooong lis
t of things which could be better and I really had to think to find our strength. But maybe it’s only my perfectionism. To be fair I’ve chosen 1 strength and one weakness. Our strength is originality. We try to be creative, not schematic. On the other side for sure there are lots of areas to improve. Currently we're trying to focus on changing our concerts into real shows that will deeply memorable for the audience. The experience we gained during these years is definitely very profitable now. Poland is known for its "death metal". Think you can break into this scene, as well as outside?
Krzysiek: Good question. You're right. Poland has fantastic, well-known death metal scene. Unfortunately, there are not many symphonic metal bands we could promote with. We're pioneers here and it's always hard to be one. If would be much easier if we were from Netherlands or Scandinavia. Anyway, we're doing our job as best as we can. I believe it's just a matter of time when we'll tour also in France :)Concerts have they scored more than others and why?
Krzysiek: As for me, it was very exciting to support Tarja or Within Temptation. Meeting my idols on the stage. Some years ago I couldn't even dream of it. Playing on the Metal Camp festival in Slovenia was also an event to remember. We were scheduled at 9PM paralelly to Rage(!) on the main stage. We expected the worst, but suprisingly there was a lot of people during our performance. Do you have other projects pending or future?
Milena : In the nearest future we are going on tour to promote our newest album «Maya » and right after that... we will start working on new material which will cover our next album. To be honest, works on the new songs have been already pending but we have much work with practising and preparing for the february shows. We want to be in the best shape.If you have other thing to say:
Milena : It’s better to burn your skin than never see the sun.
Krzysiek : It’s worth to have dreams. They really come true!r>