Interview: Gus and Fiona of Fallen Arise
Written by Rainer Kerber
A few weeks ago Fallen Arise was on tour through Europe as support for the Prog- grandseigneurs Fates Warning. The new line-up has left a very good impression. So reason enough for me to ask the band which impressions they have collected on the tour and what is planned for the future. Singer Fiona Creaby and keyboardist/band founder Gus Dibelas took the time to answer my questions.
First of all, thank you very much for having this interview with you. For those who do not know you, please introduce yourself.
Gus: It is our pleasure to speak with you Rainer. We are Fallen Arise, a six piece band, we play symphonic metal. We have two albums out, and our purpose is to write and create and perform be best we can for people to enjoy
Fiona: We are also recently back from supporting Fates Warning on their European tour.
Since September last year, Fiona Creaby (Apparition) is your new singer. And for your current tour you have enhanced the band with Amy Lewis on guitar. How did this collaboration come about?
Fiona: During the search for a new singer I was contacted in September by the band’s manager, and after several discussions and work on current material I was invited to join. Without a permanent guitarist at the end of 2016 the search began to complete the line-up, however, as the band had become familiar with my work with Apparition, Amy’s talent and passion was duly noted and she was approached to become part of the touring line-up for 2017, which we are pleased to say has developed further with Amy joining the band formally during the Fates Warning tour.
Gus: Actually, we have one more change in bass guitar. Lucas J.B. replaces Rudy.
You were on tour in January with Fates Warning and Armored Dawn, in a strongly changed cast. I have seen you at the tour opening in Hamburg, you seemed well established. How did you prepare for this tour?
Gus: Thank you very much for your kind words. Well, we all know what we must do. We study a lot the songs because of the new members and then we rehearsed a lot in the studio for the best result. All you saw in Hamburg, it was one month’s hard work.
Fiona: Given that Amy and I are based in the UK, rehearsal time is very limited. Each member worked individually on mastering their parts and then Amy and I travelled to Athens to join Gus, Vlasis, Marios and Lucas for four short rehearsals before travelling to Hamburg to begin the tour. At first rehearsal, the dedication each member had put into learning their parts meant that we came together very well from day one. But beyond that, there is great resonance of personalities across the band, which helped everyone right from the start.
Among the concerts were indeed mainly prog metal fans. How did the Fates Warning fans accept you and your Symphonic Metal? At least in Hamburg, there was a lot of applause.
Fiona: The audience at each show had such great energy, just like with Hamburg, and a theme that carried on throughout the tour was the applause and genuine interest in our performance and we had many people take a moment to talk with us about the band after each show which was a great pleasure for us.
What experiences have you collected during the tour? Are there any episodes you’d like to remember?
Gus: For me, it is the whole tour that really fascinates me. I have no comparison with anything else. I like to visit new places, meeting new people, play every day in a different venue. It was really good that we met Fates Warning. They are all very nice and kind people and they helped us so much. I have the greatest memories from that tour and I met the most wonderful people out there.
Fiona: I agree, as Gus says the whole experience was fantastic and will certainly stay with me, but I think that one thing that stands out beyond the people we worked with was being able to talk to so many interesting and supportive people at each show – the genuine passion for live music was very strong across all of the shows and the audiences were very welcoming and a pleasure to perform tour. And hanging out with the guys and crew from Fates Warning and Armored Dawn was of course great fun too. A snowball fight was also a good laugh and stays in my mind!
Fiona, at Fallen Arise you are singing with a deeper voice than, for example, at Apparition. Was that difficult for you?
Fiona: Of course, when you join an established band with current material it is always a process of trying to fit your own style and range to the music in a way that remains true to each piece, but also allows you some freedoms as a singer. Some things we did change a little to create the impact we wanted so the process wasn’t especially difficult overall. However, for me it did require increased discipline and preparation leading up to rehearsals to develop stamina in different way that I am used to but it has been enjoyable to develop my voice and to work in a harder and deeper style.
You published the concept album “Adeline” in 2015. It tells the story of the girl Adeline, on who lays an evil curse. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Gus: I think that Adeline is a mixture of romanticism and blood (laughs). The idea came when I wanted to write something which explains the whole passage of human life; you know, sadness, anger, lust, desire etc. But I needed a good script, maybe from another era. So I thought that the Victorian Era was the perfect place, and if the story contained something supernatural, then will be very nice. So, we have Adeline.
How do you write your songs? Do you have a fixed songwriter? Or do all the band members introduce their ideas?
Fiona: Gus is an excellent composer and takes the lead in writing and offering direction, yet he enjoys collaboration and there is a lot of room for developing individual parts, so I think that each member has room for their own flare and ideas.
Gus: For me the song writing is a very personal thing and when I compose I prefer to be alone, doing the best I can and then I give it to the other guys and start playing. Of course, some changes always happen, but I am really positive in the ideas of the band, if they exist.
In 2013 “Ethereal” was published, 2015 then followed “Adeline”. So can we look forward to album number three this year?
Gus: Yes, we are in the progress.
Fiona: Indeed, writing is underway currently for the next album with the view to record in the summer and mix and master in Autumn, so we think that the end of this year or early 2018 should see a release via the label (Rock of Angels Records). After the tour with Fates Warning I have been in Athens working on material with Gus developing vocal melodies, which I will spend some time working on over the coming months along with developing lyrics.
From Greece come a variety of excellent metal bands. Do you know each other? And what are the opportunities to perform in Greece?
Fiona: The previous Fallen Arise albums have featured guest musicians and producers from the likes of Firewind and Septicflesh, so there has been some very supportive connections over the years and I have had the pleasure to meet some excellent musicians during my time in Athens with Fallen Arise. Through my work with Apparition and The Dames of Darkness UK Festival I have found several names are actually familiar to us all in Fallen Arise as we have shared stages here and there over the years.
Thanks again for the interview. I hope to see you live again soon. Do you want to tell the fans something else?
Gus: Thank you very much for your support, take care yourselves, follow your dreams and do the best you can for your life!
Fiona: I second that! And I would like to say a special thank you to the fans, not just of Fallen Arise, but to everyone that supports the music scene; it’s a real pleasure to see people enjoying an evening of music and to be able to chat about bands, gigs and festivals. And of course, it is also thank you from me for your time and support Rainer!
For our German audience, you can read the original German version HERE