Visions Of Atlantis/Exit Eden Singer Clementine Delauney Reveals "The Deep & The Dark"

In this modern age of metal, there's a massive appreciation for traditional story telling as well as the progressive sight of more women in bands. Austria's, Visions Of Atlantis has been steadily making a name for themselves over the years and now with new French vocalist Clementine Delauney and a new studio album, "The Deep And The Dark," Visions Of Atlantis are sure to gain the attention and respect of metal fans the world over. We recently had the pleasure of asking Clementine about the band's new album, how they've changed over the years and how women are seen in metal music today.

Diamond Oz: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Visions Of Atlantis are about to release their first full length album in five years, "The Deep and The Dark," which will be your first album of new material with the band. How do you feel it compares to previous VOA records and what were you able to bring to the table?

Clementine: You’re welcome! Honestly, we all do believe this is the best album the band has ever released! We went back to a more melodic and symphonic metal style with an old-school touch and a production that suits the genre. We wrote diversified songs with rich arrangements using many different influences.

"I was finally able to take part in the creative process! I wrote many of the vocal lines, most of the lyrics together with Siegfried, and I wrote the last song of the album “Prayer To the Lost”. So, for the first time I’m able to release really personal material and to sing about things that deeply matter to me. I’ve been waiting for this since I joined my first band in 2010!

Oz: Why was "The Deep and The Dark" chosen as the album's title?

Clementine : "This title sums up the topics that we talk about in our lyrics, exploring dark and deep spots whether it’s out there in the world around us or deep within ourselves. There are a lot of double meanings in our songs. This title uses simple yet evocative words to gather all what this album is about.

Oz: Of course, the myth of Atlantis was the starting point for the band. How much further into the mythology does "The Deep and The Dark" go and what would you say are, if any, the overall themes for the record?

Clementine: "The only song that mentions a world of myth openly is “Return To Lemuria”. But I’ve been using the place “Lemuria” as a metaphor to describe the place where lovers meet. It is a love song in the end!

"When it comes to the other themes, I’ve been writing about topics that affect me and define me: our connection to nature, dealing with inner struggles and mourning, imagining a world that would be fairer, with people thinking by themselves, escaping our modern industrial money-driven world! We are pirates creating our own rules and values, questioning power, religion, seeking for truth in the Nature around us and in the love we hold within.

Oz: Although this is your first album with VOA, you're actually one of the longest serving female vocalists the band has had. What do you believe has kept you in the group for so long and how were you approached for the job?

Clementine: "I’ve been contacted by Thomas Caser, founder and leader of the band, late 2013 as they were facing another line-up change. He told me he wanted to make a last album and a last tour as he had lost faith in the band to be honest. He said for this last album he wanted to come back to the musical roots of the band, which is pure old school symphonic metal and was thinking of me who he knew from Serenity to become the lead singer of VOA. I was attracted by the idea of making an album of the musical genre that got me into metal at first and also because I wanted to help the band finish its career on a positive note!

"So I joined them and when we played our first shows, the energy between us was so great and the response from the audience was also very good, so Tom changed his mind and said he wanted to go on! Then for sure, it took us a very long time to make this album but during these years we got to know and appreciate one another, we played great festivals and collected awesome memories. So I was happy to be a part of this adventure and I knew I had to be patient regarding the album making. Now I feel complete, I feel like we are a real band, releasing new music and going on tour and it was worth all the time I waited!

Oz: Your first release with VOA was an EP of rerecorded old songs. How did it feel to introduce yourself to fans who hadn't seen you perform live by singing the older tracks and would you have preferred to have released something original first?

Clementine: "For sure I would have preferred to release something new rather than cover songs people knew with other vocalists. People compared versions of course and couldn’t get a truly objective idea whether Siegi and I fit in this band or not! But we had to do it this way as the album was taking too much time to be written.

Oz: You will be supporting the album in Europe by taking part in a rather large tour package, which also features Serenity. How did this tour come together?

Clementine: "We are going on a Europe tour with Serenity for the Symphonic Metal Nights tour! It starts on the 9th of February and we finish the tour with the Wacken Winter Nights Festival! We play Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, The Netherlands, Belgium and Czech Republic and we cannot wait for it

Oz: Aside from VOA, you have another project, Exit Eden, where you have teamed up with other female singers from America, Brazil and Germany. Who came up with this idea and how far do you see Exit Eden reaching?

Clementine: "The idea was born in a studio that both Amanda and Anna are used to work with. Metal musicians having fun covering pop songs until they realized that it could actually be a very interesting concept to turn real pop anthems into symphonic metal songs! When they had Amanda and Anna recording the songs they got the confirmation there definitely was a big potential and everyone was very enthusiast about the songs! So, they imagined a greater concept, with more singers involved and Amanda contacted Marina and myself. There are great things to come for Exit Eden which I can’t reveal right now, but stay tuned!

Oz: How do you see the image of women in heavy metal today? Do you think it's improved over the years?

Clementine: "I think women have proven they belong to the metal world as much as they want to and as much as men do. We have amazing female artists in successful bands, from Nightwish to Arch Enemy and I am very happy about it. Furthermore, even though having a so-called pretty face is still required by the audience, to be frankly speaking, girls have shown they don’t have to be the stereotypical diva, classic singer in huge gothic dresses.

"Since women have joined the metal scene, more and more of them have dared taking the mic or the guitar or even the drums and I think metalheads are used to have women around now. However, I have to admit that quite a lot still consider us as objects, insult us very easily in comments and consider just the looks. The lack of respect towards women still exist in metal as everywhere else…and not just from men! From women as well and this is even worse at some point."

Oz: Visions Of Atlantis will turn twenty years old in 2020. Are there any plans to celebrate this landmark once touring for "The Deep and The Dark" has finished?

Clementine : "This is a very good question! Right now there are no plans yet… I think we need to get the audience’s response to our album before making any plans. I would love a special event but it’s a bit too early to plan anything right now!"

Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. Do you have any parting words for our readers?

Clementine: "Thank you all very much for your interest in us by reading this interview, have a listen to “The Deep & The Dark” and you can write me on Instagram, I’d love to hear your feedback! And I hope to come back to the USA soon…"
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