Interviews: IMAGICA

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Cinematic Arena Dance Metal band, IMAGICA from Ukraine & Portugal. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Vic: Yes, it was planned indeed). I conceived this project long ago being in between music projects I happened to be in at the time. The new songs I’ve been writing were pretty much out of the way from both projects I was involved with. So, I decided to name it somehow. From an early age, I was a bookworm, reading was my way to escape reality, and out of the tons of volumes I suddenly recalled ‘Imajica’ by Clive Barker, I did like how it sounds and feels with the material at the time, but instead of ‘J’ which is more concerned with the “magic” for me lol, I’ve decided to write it via “G” so it’s more connected with IMAGE and IMAGINATION. Being a film director, you constantly live through the worlds of sub-creation, a sub-universe starts when you turn on the camera and dies when you switch off the last light on set… And it organically flowed into the understanding that I really want to combine the world of music with the phenomena of image, art, and filmmaking. This is how IMAGICA came into being. 

David: The name for the band was created by Vic many years ago and it has been on the back of his mind for so long!! Meanwhile, songs were being written along the journey and the project was just waiting for the right moment to see the light of day! The word IMAGICA comes from “Imagination”, “Fantasy”, “Image” and it all comes from the idea of sound and visuals creating the most astonishing sceneries as an Art form - Film!! Being a professional Musician, Composer, and Producer, with a taste for Film Industry, I saw the opportunity to expand my creativity!!!

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Vic: Oh, it’s pretty straightforward. Since I first chugged the power cord on the guitar, I knew the world would never be the same, lol. The category and definition of metal are so vast nowadays. Many bands from underground extreme styles I was listening to in my childhood now have become almost pop scene and I am proud and happy about that for one simple reason - metal for me has always been therapy, it’s like you wanna fight on the streets and have a lot of angry and hatred towards humankind, but you go to the gym, boxing ring, MMA canvas instead and after that experience, you go out purified and full of love and respect for the others. So, for me, metal music is a way to release negative emotions in a positive way. If you happened to be in the mosh-pit once you know what I mean, lol.

The genre we are playing, as we would describe it is Cinematic Arena Dance Metal.

Cinematic - we strive to be musically visual - each song represents a separate plot line with the cinematic script written and ready to shoot. 

 We’ve always been fascinated by the approach of Rammstein, Mylene Farmer, and even Meat Loaf where every music video is a short film telling a story in an artistic metaphoric way.

Arena - let’s be honest. If you want to play in a garage band you can enjoy that kind of activity with a bunch of friends and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to be a professional musician and see your music as a dream of fulfilling your Life Mission - then you must raise arenas and write music that both the people and yourself would enjoy!

Dance - the riffs and the melodies we write must be fun to play and enjoyable to listen to. Sometimes it’s a jumper, sometimes a sentimental ballad, sometimes a moshpit slam, or an anthemic club raiser but we’d like people to be able to have fun and move, releasing their feelings in a positive way, even if the reality is ugly enough to make you cry.

Metal - oh, yeah - we are metal! Raised on multiple metal influences from Melodeath, Doom, Death, and Sympho Black to Industrial, Metalcore, Modern Metal, Alternative, AOR, and Pop, we combine riffing with melodies, clean singing with all sorts of growls and screams. Metal for us is a therapy and a way to release aggression, sadness, despair hate, and anger in a positive way.

David: Well, I’m always fascinated about everything with guitar, and the heavier and more progressive, the better!

What fascinates me the most is the endless music genres mixed into all songs!

One can never say it’s just Metal… 

IMAGICA Music is cinematic, dramatic, and controversial, with a Pop flavor!

The Music itself is a mix of sonic landscapes that alone create a moving picture!! But Heavy Metal is always there, it is the core of the songs!

Cinematic Arena Dance Metal - That´s how IMAGICA describes their music

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Vic: No, we met first when I moved to Portugal and was looking for a rehearsal place and guitar coach to improve my skills. I encountered David’s studio, it was quite nearby, we met and chat, and at the end of the conversation we’d already formed a band.

David: No, we met about 3 years ago, when Vic moved to Portugal with his family and was looking for a guitar teacher and a place to rehearse, and I happened to be the guitar teacher with a Recording Studio facility!! We started chatting about the project, Vic showed me some of the songs and concepts of the project, and the band was formed! And a project that Vic conceived 20 years prior, at that moment, was finally going to become a reality!

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Vic: Oh, man! It’s a tricky question if you want to get just one answer. I can tell for sure it’s impossible for me to name the ONE band. But, I can name a few which formed my passion for music. Queen In Flames Metallica Rammstein Linkin’ Park Septic Flesh A-ha Enya Sting Corey Taylor but in fact, this list is much longer).

David: For someone playing guitar for over 3 decades by now, it's a monumental task. I can't name just one, because the influences are too many! Queen Metallica Rush Dream Theater Joe Satriani Steve Vai Jason Becker King Crimson Pink Floyd Genesis Miles Davis Charlie Parker ….

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Vic: I personally believe that we all write music that we want to hear, that we miss and lack. It’s like listening to a lot of favorite bands and their messages and still having the urge to say something more, maybe similar but in a different way. Elusive, evasive, and hard to catch, but if you’ve caught it, you immediately feel it’s there. The sources of inspiration for me had always been other musicians, books and movies, art, photography, and of course, it’s just a starting point, then you write the hero line, and imagine who’s the protagonist and what’s the plot-line, how is it related to you and your life, what is the message behind… But most of the time the source is just a pain inside my heart, whatever slapstick it might sound.

David: Anything actually… An ant trying to cross to the other side of a highway, leaves falling from the tree, gentle gestures, pain, love, joy… The questions of the Universe can also turn into a song!! My sources of inspiration have always been musicians, movies, movie soundtracks, colors, and not only music. Sound Design is something that fascinates me too!!

6. Where was your last gig?

Vic: We’ve just recorded our EP, keep working on the full length, and are just on the stage of negotiating labels and gigs. We keep rehearsing and recording the rest of the songs for “NUMBER ONE”. Overall there going to be 12 tracks.

David: We are in the process of finishing the full album with 12 tracks, but have already the EP released and are negotiating with labels and gigs!!

7. Where would you like to act?

Huge arenas all over the world!

David: Everywhere worldwide!! Madison Square Garden would be a nice venue to act!!! ah ah ah

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Vic: Like that one!) Well, here’s the wish list): Rammstein In Flames Bring Me the Horizon Billie Eilish Ghost A-ha Roxette (if Marie would have been alive…) Metallica Corey Taylor Lana Del Rey Adele Motley Crue

David: Hum an interesting question… For someone who lives for everything about guitar, I would love to feature with my Idol Steve Vai! And also bands: Metallica,  Rammstein,  Dream Theatre,  Rush,  Within Temptation,  Dorofeeva (Famous Ukrainian Pop Singer),  Artem Pivovarov (Ukrainian artist)

9. Whom not?

Vic: Dunno, really, I’m far from being a hater, more of a believer and enthusiast… 

David: I don’t see a point not featuring with this or that artists of any genre!! Could be really interesting and cool for IMAGICA to feature with a Hip Hop artist like Eminem for example!!

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Vic: I cannon say I had a stage fright per se, for I’ve been performing from early childhood, starting from a school choir, being a pro-competition athlete, then film director and frontman of a band… But what I can tell is I always really worry about the delivery and performance, to do the best you can at the moment, squeeze the max out of it. And this is always the point of main concern for me. The tips to get more relaxed and easygoing with that I would form like that: practice as much as you possibly can don’t blame yourself for flaws and mistakes (they are a part of learning, accept it) visualize everything - the stage, the venue, the moves, choreography, visuals perform a lot in front of the mirror film yourself while performing at home, rehearsing - get used to your look, feel your strong points and eliminate the weak take any possibility to go live - a small fiend’s party, karaoke bar, basking on the street - that will give you immediate feedback and experience you’ll carry on remember, people come to the gig to have fun - be entertaining

David: Well I never suffered from stage fright, but yeah there’s always that initial nervous rush, I think that’s pretty common!! The best anyone can do is to prepare for it, practice, practice, practice!!! Never blame yourself for mistakes, you’re Human aren’t you?!!! Humans fail every time!! Focus on your strengths not your weaknesses!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Gonna be a long list of really important artists for me and still, there’s a lot to mention. In Flames,  Metallica,  Rammstein,  Queen,   Septic Flesh,  Motley Crue,  Rise Against,  My dying Bride,  A ha,  Mylene Farmer,  Meat Loaf,  Roxette,  Kaiser Chiefs,  Avenged Sevenfold,  Clawfinger,  The Offspring,  Muse,  Ukrainian folk songs,  System Of a Down,  Ghost,  Linkin Park,  Bring Me The Horizon,   Paradise Lost,  The Kinks,  Van Halen,  Boston,  Rush,  Stone Sour,  Blue Oyster Cult,  Summoning,  Amorphis,  Edge of Sanity, ‘Crimson’,  Theatre of Tragedy,  Saturnus, Slayer,  Sentenced, ‘Amok’,  Scooter,  EDM (a collective of the genre),  Sting,  Mythotin,  Police,  Enya King, Crimson,  Morbid Angel,  Crematory,  Mylene, Farmer,  Kaipa,  Faith No More,  Smashing Pumpkins,  Lamb of God,    And multiple classic and film score composers!

David: Dream Theater,  Queen,  Metallica,  Iron Maiden,  Within Temptation,  Nightwish,  Rush,  King Crimson,  Genesis,  Pink Floyd,  Van Halen,  Muse,  Manowar,  Symphony X,  Jason Becker,  Joe Satriani,  Steve Vai,  Yngwie Malmsteen,  Shawn Lane,  Charlie Parker,  Miles Davis,  Eric Clapton,  Phil Collins,  Meat Loaf,  Boston,  Chicago,  Sting,  Roxette,  Celine Dion,  Adele,  Amy Winehouse,  Ella Fitzgerald,  Allan Holdsworth,  Rui Veloso,  Xutos e Pontapés,  Amália Rodrigues,  Mariza Liz,  Carlos Santana,  Tô Jobim,  Andrea Bocelli,  Enya,  Vangelis,  Kitaro,  Beethoven,  Mozart,  Bach Tchaikovsky,  Wagner,  Brahms,  Gustav Holst,  John Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Hans Zimmer, and James Horner

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