FemME Battle 2023: YLISIA

Can you tell us something about the name of the band? What does it mean and who came up with it?

When we were deciding on a name, George was pushing towards incorporating my last name or my birthname in the name of the band. He came up with Ylisia, which is close to “Elisabeth”, that is my full name. To me the name has an extra dimension because it is similar to the name of my parents firstborn who was stillborn (Elise). 

Can you tell us something about the history of the band? When is it established, are all the bandmembers still the same as when the band started?

Me and George met during the pandemic and started writing. He already had Martijn (guitar) and a bass-player lined ready to rock and roll. So all he needed was a drummer and a vocalist to help complete and finish the songs. When we clicked Eva (drums) came into the picture. After a few practice sessions the bass-player decided to priorities and dedicate himself to his other projects so the search began for Tim. We had some great people audition, but with Tim Hoogervorst we all felt like it was so natural and a great fit from the very first song we played. 

Please introduce us to the members of the band. Who are they and which instruments do they play? Do they have a musical background, etc. All the things you think are important or nice to know you can tell us.

Founder, musical mastermind behind Ylisia: George van Olffen. George has quite the resumé when it comes to music over the years. You probably know George from previous bands such as Secret Sounds, Moonflower & Kingfisher Sky. During and after these musical endeavors George spent a lot of his free time in writing his own compositions. He just never found the right people for the job to let the music really come to a certain height. Until now that is.

Liesbeth Cordia on vocals. Liesbeth writes every note, harmony and lyric she sings herself. When Liesbeth was 14 she joined her first band, at the age of 16 she joined Annatar and at 17 she entered a television show a lot of people might remember as she impersonated Sharon den Adel (WT) in the soundmixshow. Over the years she got to share the stage with great bands such as Epica, After Forever, Stream of Passion and Kingfisher Sky with her bands Annatar & Eve’s Fall. Before Ylisia she filled the spot of vocalist for a couple of months for the Belgian band Valkyre

Tim Hoogervorst plays bass.

His bass adventure started at the age of 14, borrowing a bass from his guitarist brother.

In 2014 he went on a European tour with “The Name” supporting Tarja at castles, theatres and huge venues. Tim is active in more then one band and shows his skills on both bass & contra bass. 

Martijn de Zeeuw plays guitar, he is a classically trained musician (conservatorium). He made name for himself in various bands in all different streams of metal: from trash, death to symphonic metal. 

She is young, smart and very talented: our prodigy on drums Eva Levina.  She played in The Peets & still sings and plays drums in student coverband “You Bet” whilst also studying her pants of for her Bachelor of Science Soil, Water & Atmosphere.

Eva had lessons from none other than Koen Herfst (Epica)! 

Who writes the songs? (lyrics and music).

Me (Liesbeth) & George. 2 songs we still play: “Tell Me” & “phoenix” where already written when I came in the picture. All the other songs had a basic composition written by George that I made my own, restructures, added vocals, harmonies & later we tried to perfect the songs with the rest of the band. Martijn is great in solo’s and adding the special “Martijn Sauce” on his parts. Eva & Tim perfected the rythm section only a bass and drumplayer know how to.  

Did you release some records so far?

No, but we are planning to release our first digital EP “UNDERNEATH” early 2023. The EP cover is designed by the famous Gogo Malone

Are you full time musicians or do you have other jobs also?

Most of us have full-time jobs or study next to making music. Liesbeth is fully dedicated on music besides her 5 kids. 

How would you call your music? Are you influenced by other bands? And yes, which one(s)?

Ylisia is a dutch symphonic metalband with influences of the 80’s & bands such as the (old) Gathering, Evanescence, Within Temptation, Stream of Passion but also Kate Bush.

(picture: Seth Abrikoos)

What was your most cool gig so far?

I think the one that stood out the most was Eendrachtfestival – Rotterdam @ Rotown. Especially for me, Tim and George it felt like old times to play for such a big and enthusiastic crowd. But it is hard to make choice as we also played a filled Baroeg with Imperial Age and this also was a blast with so many familiar faces in the crowd!

Is there a band you want to go on tour with? 

I personally do not have the ambition to tour at al as I like the luxury of my own bed to much. I just really enjoy to play in all kinds of venues with big or small crowds. For me it is all about having a great time and making a connection with both the crowd and bands we play with. But a big dream for me would be to open for Epica again. 

And why this band?

For me this just would bring back memories. Back in the day I had such great times with Mark (time era of After Forever) and Luuk that I would probably kill to do over.  

What do you think of FemME?

I love the initiative! Me and Ton go way back and right at the point where Eve’s Fall was at its height this whole thing started. Back then I never got the chance to play there because I quit around that time with making music. 

Are you looking forward to come to the Finals?

Yes very much so! We really look forward to see all the other bands and Gallia in particular. We are looking forward to a great evening!

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