This year there are FemME Battles again with preliminaries in the UK, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. And I will introduce you to the bands which go to the Finals. I will do so by asking all of the bands the same questions. So, you have the same information about all the bands which are in the Finals.
The next one is ‘Eight Lives Down’, winner by audience of the “German Battle”.
Thank you very much ‘Eight Lives Down’ for answering the questions.
First of all, can you tell us something about the name of your band, ‘Eight Lives Down’? What does it mean and which one of you came up with this name?
(Aliki): Basically, what happened, was the following: I brainstormed possible band names and came up with 3 pages of names. After running them by various people, 3-4 were left, and I chose ‘Eight Lives Down’.
I liked the slightly negative tone of the name and the insinuation of there being some fight left. I was hoping to start an aggressive band – so that kinda fit. Most people think it has to do with cats… I LOVE cats (and have one) but it has nothing to do with them. It actually doesn’t have any deeper meaning.
What can you tell us about the history of the band?
(Aliki): I established the band in 2016 with our former guitarist, James Scott. We recruited Rodrigo and Marcin in 2017. We knew Rodrigo from another project I worked on with James before, ‘Cyclocosmia’. Marcin is my brother-in-law and he wanted to be in a band and we wanted a good bassist. In late 2017, James left London and we had to look for a new guitarist. I had met Paul when I was briefly doing vocals in another band, ‘Sun Seth’, and he was very keen on joining ‘Eight Lives Down’.
He auditioned and it was quickly settled. It was a great fit. So that’s who we are now!
We had released an EP “May cause Death” in 2016 with James. Since Paul joined, we’ve been exploring different sounds, experimenting more. Overall, the sound became heavier and we’re definitely playing more with odd time signatures.
Please introduce yourself to us. Who are you, which instrument(s) do you play and about your musical background?
(Aliki): Rodrigo Moraes Cruz is our drummer. He’s originally from Rio de Janeiro, has lived in Australia for some years (he was in a metal band there) and came to London to study drums at the BIMM (The British and Irish Modern Music Institute). Fun fact: his wife is Dutch and he recently moved to the Netherlands to focus on creating and brewing beer (which he’s really good at)!
Paul Allain, our guitarist and youngest band member! He’s from near La Rochelle in France. He brings in a lot of the weird rhythms and time signatures. He loves challenging Rodrigo and Marcin. As mentioned, he also plays lead guitar for ‘Sun Seth’.
Marcin Orczyk plays bass. He grew up in a little village in Poland near Poznan. He started out playing in hardcore punk bands and a blues rock band (!). He is self-taught and is very much influenced by funk and blues styles. You’ll never see him using a pick.
I (Aliki) grew up in Thessaloniki with my Greek dad and Kiwi mum. I started classical singing lessons at 16 and continue having them today! (I’m actually a soprano.) I started giving singing lessons in 2015 and, in 2016, I furthered my training at “New York Vocal Coaching”. My teaching focus is on distorted vocals, but I also teach classical and other styles of singing. Besides ‘Eight Lives Down’, I’m also the vocalist of the Greek extreme metal band ‘Desolate Plains’, lyricist and vocalist of ‘Tattered Pages’, and I recently started another extreme metal project with ‘AKA’, in which I also act as lyricist and vocalist. You can find all the links on my website: https://aliki.katriou.com/. I also previously recorded the EP “Immured” with ‘Cyclocosmia’ and directed a video for that as well
Which one of you is “responsible” for the songs (lyrics and music)?
(Aliki: In general, everyone is in charge of their own instrument and we all work closely together. That means, I write the lyrics and vocal lines. Our songs are a team effort!
Did you release any records already and can you tell something about them?
(Aliki): As mentioned, we released an EP in 2016 in the old formation. It’s called “May Cause Death” and contains 5 tracks. But we’re not playing any of these live anymore, since our style has changed a little bit in the last years.
We are currently recording a new EP that should be ready in a few months.
Are you full time musicians or do you have other jobs also?
(Aliki): I am a full time musician, my main job is teaching. The other guys all rock jobs. Paul and Marcin are both IT specialists (aka nerds ) and Rodrigo studied Media and Communication, worked different jobs, and is now setting himself up with what he does best: brewing great beers. You should definitely try some (http://www.strongant.nl/).
Conclusion: I am the luckiest band member!
Can you describe your music? How would you call it?
(Aliki): Noise! Seriously, we don’t know. We play metal, that much is certain. We’ll leave it to you guys to fight over the genre question.
Are you influenced by other bands? And if the answer is yes, which one(s)?
(Aliki): As a band we’re not really influenced by any particular bands. Rather each member, individually, has their favourites – and they are quite varied, which is a great thing for our sound.
Aliki: ‘Savatage’, ‘Slipknot’
Paul: ‘Pantera’, ‘Lamb of God’
Marcin: ‘Rage Against the Machine’, ‘The Prodigy’
Rodrigo: ‘Megadeth’, ‘Prong’
What was your most cool gig so far?
(Aliki): One gig in London, where we got a little mosh pit going – during our “ballad” song!
And, of course, the FemME battle in Düsseldorf, as this was our first international gig – woo!
Is there a band you want to go on tour with?
(Aliki): ‘Bloodtruth’ (because they’re fantastic, the singer’s tone is incredible), ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ (because they’re awesome and sober and seem like nice people), ‘Xordia’ (because they’re super nice and easy-going people that would be fun to hang out with)!
What do you think of FemME?
(Aliki): It’s a great idea and the organizers take a lot of care and are very nice to the bands. I’ve only ever heard good things about the competition and the festival itself. Taking part in the competition was a great experience, the atmosphere was very friendly and familiar but still professional. Ton and his team are doing a superb job in finding the balance between professionalism and friendliness.
Are you looking forward to come to The Netherlands?
(Aliki): Yeah!! I’ve never been to the Netherlands (although most of the band has, especially Rodrigo, hehe) and the metal scene is famously good over there, so it will be great to play there. We’re looking forward to meeting all the other bands and having a good time. Also, we were told by one of the FemME crew members that there is a Safari Park in Hilvarenbeek – we need to go there!
Is there anything else you will tell us?
(Aliki): We would like to thank you for this opportunity and for all your work around the FemME festival and competition! It’s great to be part of this and see that people care!
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