By Jonathan Matthews
We had the chance to speak to Marcela Bovio, one of the singers of Dutch Symphonic Death Metal band MaYaN. We spoke about their upcoming album ‘Dhyana’ and the songwriting process.
SR. You guys are about to release your album ‘Dhyana’, how are you feeling about that?
We’re very excited! For me in particular, this is the first album where I am collaborating as an official band member. I’m very excited, I got to do a lot of the songwriting for myself and some of the other singers. This album is really elevating MaYaN’s standards to a whole other level, in every way. We spend a lot more time fine tuning the songs and the songwriting process, we tried to take the mixing to a higher level as well. On this album we have the Symphonic orchestra of Prague, which is just out of this world. We’re definitely very excited to share it with the world.
SR. It’s quite a task to record an entire orchestra, how did that come about, and how did you make that happen?
Well, we are all really big fans of epic music and film soundtracks, and big orchestral sounds. Jack, the keyboard player of the band, has a lot of those influences for the arrangements that he makes. We thought it would be fantastic to record with a real orchestra. But of course, MaYaN is not a band with a huge budget, and doing that is very expensive. We came up with the idea of holding crowd funding for that, and a bunch of our fans helped us to raise that money, it was amazing. It was really cool because we were doing the album with nuclear blast anyway, and the fact that so many people came together to help us bring our music to another level. The whole process has been very exciting.
SR. MaYaN is a very large band, do you ever have any issues making that work on stage or for rehearsals?
I think it’s really cool, we’re still figuring out how to make everything work on stage. The bands has five singers and five instrumentalists. It’s almost like a game of tag, one goes on stage for a bit, and then we switch as we sing different parts, it happens quite naturally really. The most difficult part is going on tour, because we need ten beds just for our band, so if we’re touring with another band, there’s not a lot of space left for anyone else. That’s one of the main logistical challenges that we have.
SR. You’ve released a music video for the title track ‘Dhyana’, can you me a bit about that?
It’s a track that stands out amongst the album, because it’s a ballad and it’s very mellow. Mark came up with the idea of having a video with just the ladies from the band, we wanted to make something very peaceful. The song is about overcoming difficulties in your mind, and to be able to live in the present moment. We came up with a story where Lara and I are friends, then she dies, and then I’m mourning her death. Through her memory and her spirit, she’s trying to help me pull through. At the end, we’re all very happy and living in the moment.
SR. Have you got any more music videos for this album in the works?
We have, actually. There’s two more in the works, for our heavier songs. We also have a lyric video out for the song ‘The Rhythm of Freedom’. It’s one of my favourite tracks from the album. It has a lot of different elements that I really like.
SR. Can you tell me a funny story from one of your tours?
When we were touring in Germany, we spent a few days off that we had in Munich. It was fantastic weather, really sunny and warm, so had some very fun days together. We went to a brewery in the middle of the city, and we had a beer drinking competition, to see who could drink a whole litre of beer. The guys all drank about half a litre each, but myself and Lara won the competition, we drank a whole litre. We felt very proud of outdrinking the boys. *laughs*
SR. Do you have a favourite track from the new album?
It’s really hard to pick, I love different elements of every track. ‘The Rhythm of Freedom’, which is the one we have the lyric video for, is really fantastic. We also have a track called ‘Satori’, which is basically just and orchestral track with Lara singing with her beautiful opera voice. It gives me goose bumps every time I hear it, I feel like it should be in a movie.
SR. A lot of your music is very cinematic, have you guys had any songs featured on movies before?
Not yet, but I hope we do one day. I know that Jack would really love that, that’s basically one of his main musical goals. It would be amazing.
SR. What kind of music did you grow up listening to, and how has that influenced your songwriting style?
I like to listen to a lot of different things. I know it sounds a little bit cliché, but I grew up with classical music. My parents put me and my sister in music school when we were very little, I think I was about four or five, so I grew up with that throughout my childhood, as well as a little bit of pop music. When I was in high school I started listening to rock and heavy rock, and then slid into metal. I listened to everything from glam rock to black metal. After high school I moved onto Progressive rock and Jazz, as well as Latin American music, which is where I’m originally from.
SR. Were there any artists in particular?
If I have to name some of my all-time favourites, There a bit obscure, but one is The 3rd and the Mortal from Norway. They used to make very beautiful doom metal, with female vocals, but they don’t exist anymore. I also like Leprous from Norway, as well as Muse and Bach. Some Australian bands as well, like Toehider and Caligula’s Horse, I think they’re super fantastic. It’s really wild Progressive rock.
Follow MaYaN on social media or via their website to keep up to date with everything they do. Check out their new tracks from the album ‘Dhyana’, give them some support and we could see them touring in Australia soon.