On May 13th, Visions of Atlantis’ new album, Pirates, has finally arrived via Napalm Records. We caught up with vocalist Clémentine Delauney to discuss the record, their return on the road, the many changes of the group, and more.
What was the process like working on the new album, Pirates?
Thinking chronologically, the pandemic was actually a blessing for the band because of course, it sent us home right in the middle of the first US tour and canceled out our life activity for the last two years. But on the other hand, it gave us a lot of time to reconsider what we were doing and our musical artistic direction and everything. It was a very positive thing because what happened to us, we had more time to write, to go into more details we had the time to define the aspects of our music that we wanted to develop and enhance with the new record.. So yeah, the pandemic for that was, was really helpful. We also decided that in the middle of the process, we made new decisions. For instance, at the beginning we decided to change producers and then in the middle we decided to go with a new person that can make orchestral arrangements to go further in this aspect to push the epicness of our music to the next level. And then when we heard the result of our pre-production, we thought that these songs really deserve better production than we did in the past. And we decided to go for Jacob Hansen for a mix and mastering and this gave the result that we have now as an album for the recordings. The thing is that, yeah, at some point we had to record the album even though at that moment we didn’t know then if the pandemic was going to be over or not, but we had to go to the studio and it was during a lockdown period in Austria.
So our bass player and guitar guitarist couldn’t make it in person to the studio, so they recorded their parts from home and they sent us to our producer. But we think Tom and myself had the chance to actually go to the studio to record our parts. And this was very nice too. After so long, no band activity and being stuck at home to actually gather somewhere and make music, that was a really nice period of time for us. So yeah, in a nutshell, that’s, that’s how things developed for this record.
How would you compare the new album to 2019’s Wanderers?
Well, this is something we did before we wrote the album. We knew what we wanted to do better or we knew the way that we wanted to take with that new record. So Pirates is a result of that reflection. We wanted that record to be more metal, to be darker, to be heavier, to be richer. We allowed ourselves to make longer tracks too, and not just focus on having singles which make the music of the record way more interesting and and less very entertaining throughout this entire record. We also like what we took part in. a lot in the songwriting process, which you couldn’t do for the next for the previous releases. And this also brought a huge difference to the band because he has a lot of different musical influences and they are striking in pirates. And he brought the more intricate parts the orchestra also in the more the more riffing elements come from him and and it’s amazing that we managed to yeah just have so many different aspects that we decided to push also the we managed to we managed to to find his place as a male vocalist of the band. We also worked on the duo aspect that it’s not only just me singing verse A and him singing verse B, but that we really answer each other, that we really play with our vocals and different characters that we can bring because of our different vocal approach. And this is way richer in Pirates now than it was in Wanderers in a lot of different aspects. Pirates is pushing further, a lot of things that were already there, but we decided to enhance with that release.
Now, I definitely hear a heavier and stronger direction. Can you talk more about the songs “Master The Hurricane” and “Freedom?”
“Master The Hurricane” was one of the first tracks that we came up with for that record, and it was the pillar and the turning point. Actually, it was the track that told us, OK, this is Visions of Atlantis that has heaviness. All of these colors in one song where we come from darker parts to super light, soft things from darkness to light from desperation to hope. This is exactly what our band, what we want our band to be about. This is what life is about, you know, and when he came up with that song. We were absolutely amazed that we could write something like this. Personally, I used to be a huge symphonic metal fan, and this is exactly the kind of tracks that I would have definitely loved and that I do love still. But I refer to a younger part of myself when I say that. And then Freedom was one of the last tracks that were written for that record. Also, for me, and I think you’re really imagining what it could be to be a pirate on a ship, with just the basic and true instruments and talk about. And then I made that pirate talk about the most important thing for him, which is freedom. I felt that vibe. I mean, I’ve sensed sulk in the air in those melodies and in this track and yeah, it’s the capacity of writing so many different things that make that album also what it is today.
Now this is an interesting question to ask because Visions of Atlantis have been through so many changes, ups and downs over the years. And it’s actually this year that marks the 20th anniversary of the debut album Eternal Endless Infinity. I wanted to know from your perspective, from before joining the group to now, how have you seen the band change musically within the last 20 years?
Well, the band’s musical delivery is completely connected to the people who were part of the lineup. So the people who started to write for Vision left the band. New people came in and brought in another approach. Left the band. New people came in, you know, it’s just there’s only one left. Founding member, so the people who were writing the music had their own colors, and their own musicality. You can’t take music away from who was in the band at that moment and now I think we’ve found our team that will last in Visions of Atlantis and that is exactly what we focused on right now. We do not look at the past to me, the band started in 2018 because this is when we came back to life with our new music. That is coming from us and not from past members. You know, it’s very difficult for us to play the old songs live because they do not talk to us personally. I personally feel like I’m part of a cover band when I play tracks from the old Visions of Atlantis catalog because it’s not connected at all to what we’re doing now, it’s very different. So I would say that we feel like actually a brand new band and we feel like we have this energy of the newcomer and a lot of people are discovering us right now. So, even though we’ve been around for so long, I don’t think it’s very relevant anymore to mention that history because the music is so different. It could have been three or four different bands actually. We thought about changing the band’s name but Thomas didn’t. He felt like the transition was so massive. The turning point was so big. Between the past and now.
You had the tour with Dragonforce, and how has it been for you to finally be back on the road?
Yeah, well, at the beginning it felt kind of surreal. To start tour life again in the US for two months. You know, we never did that before. And then of course, from the beginning, I personally felt a bit rusty. I had to bring it back to being on stage to read up on what tour life is, especially in the US, where it’s actually harder than in Europe. So we could feel like there had been a gap without tour life. I felt like, yeah, it’s not like I didn’t feel like it was part of a continuous flow. I felt like it was a restart in a way. But still, you know, I’ve been on stage since I’m five years old, so I have to say it came out pretty fast, but still, it was a fresh restart and we have a lot of energy and a lot of patience to play those new songs. And every night we had such amazing feedback from the crowd that it was like really pushing us and motivating us to get better and better. Show after show and yeah, we were absolutely, happy actually, how everything went and if the pandemic had to happen again the way it did, I would not change anything because it enabled us to create that record. And then even though we had to postpone the release of that recording, the door tours were canceled or postponed and everything. You know, there were moments, desperation. And I’m actually wondering, are we ever going to be live again, being able to come back this way with such a long tour in the US, with that record, It’s the perfect ending to the crisis period.
Yeah, it’s definitely been an extensive tour and you know, with some darkness, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel in a way.
Is there anything else you want to say or add?
Well, I want to say thank you to all the fans that during this period of time have kept writing to us and kept buying our DVD that we released during the pandemic. And the people who also give their tickets to the shows that were planned in 2020 are going to be out. This is the massive tour that is going to be announced and postponed for this fall. So just a little bit more patience and then tickets will still be valid for real shows. And I want to thank everyone who’s been supporting us now by pre-ordering a new album and attending shows and being present online and in real life made us feel like we still were a band even though we couldn’t meet anyone or play shows. at all.