Markize is one of my favourite bands. A while ago, they very kindly sent me their cd, 'Transparence'. I fell in love with it. Alina is the lead singer of this French-Russian Band, and she is a lovely lass. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with her. The results are below:-
Alina, I have lived with the cd 'Transparence' for some while now and it is awesome! I really love your vocal style too. What made you get into the music business in the first place? and what by and large are your influences?
Thanks a lot, Dave! To tell you the truth, I started my studies at the conservatory at the age of 9, mostly courses of classical and modern-jazz dance, and music theory a little. I've been predestinying myself to a dance career even if I always adore music and singing (sometimes in the rain! lol), I've been tapping away, composing in my spare time but without coming to anything, because I've been dancing a lot, especially in ballets and operettas. Later, by the age of 19, I've got a wish to materialise my passion for music, and it was in December 2003 that I founded my band together with David Verbeck, and I could realise my ideas.
I have had then singing lessons and have been perfectioning myself doing it. My influences are very varied and not only fixed on metal or rock, I can name such artists/bands like Tori Amos, Dépêche Mode, Linkin Park, Deftones, Radiohead, Marylin Manson, Korn or Massive Attack.
Depeche Mode, I knew those lads in their younger years. A nice bunch they were too. Anyway, regards the band Markize, many people here in the UK may well have not heard of you. Can you tell us more about the band, the guys in the band and how it all came together?
Our band is French-Russian band, we exist since December 2003 and play a rock/metal with classical and dark shaded atmosphere, melacholical, between energy and atmosphery. The lyrics are in French, English and Russian. Here is David Verbeck as a drum player, Franck Chentrier as as rhytmic guitar player and Nicolas Thomas as as a lead guitar player. We don’t have a bass player at the moment but we’ll soon audionne one. We met all together in Paris, first David and me, we have founded the band , Franck joined us a little later and at last it was Nicolas who joined the band.
As a female in a still male-dominated genre, is there ever a problem with being taken seriously?
Humm… I was always feeling myself very well in a male world! (laughing) even if I certainly also appreciate a female company, sure that it’s not the same atmosphere. As to say there are two types of welcome in this kind of middle: either men pamper women and are galant with them because finally there are not still so many in the world of metal or, on the contrary, they have a male chauvinist behaviour ... but to tell you the truth, I have mostly met the first variant! ;)
Regards 'Transparence', how would you describe the music on your record?
It’s our very first album in which we put all our heart and soul, and, as to me, much of my life. Musically, it’s an alloy of metal energic moments but also of melancholy and magic atmospheres, and besides all, melodious - a contrast between softness and energy. Anyway, while composing, we have seen it from this point of view.
And can you tell us more about the songs on the record, and do you have any personal favourite songs?
I think that each track has it’s own universe, our album is rather varied. Up to me, especially on live concerts, my favorite tracks are: 'Mon Ange', 'Another Breath', 'Poussières de Vie' and 'Pozvani Mnie, Pozvani', even if I like all of them.
I do myself hear occasional Within Temptation and Evanescence influences on the record. although it is well and truly Markize. Was that intentional or was it just the way things turned out?
These are two bands that I love, so there would be certain influences there, but at the time of elaboration of our project in 2001 we have already decided our musical rock style with metal accents and with classical, pop, dark atmospheres and with catchy and modern guitars. Our demo disc 'Poussières de Vie', that was issued in 2004, already showed this belonging. Besides that, this comparison doesn’t bother us overmuch as far as it doesn’t prevent to appreciate our own universe :)
It so happens that Within Temptation and Evanescence are two of my faves too. Within Temptation are tops as far as I am concerned. Regards Markize, what was the studio experience like? Did you find recording most of the cd in English a problem?
The recording was entirely made in the studio of David, our drums player and sound engineer, so... at home! (laughing). Making most part of songs in English for me is rather a surprise for myself then a choice – while writing the language comes naturally to me, and here English came to me more then other languages. It wasn’t harder then all the rest, on the contrary, English is a beautiful melodious language.
And was the recording process simple or were there any major headaches :) ?
It was at the same time laborious and passionate ! It occured to us to make modifications right in the middle of recording (especially to me because I’m a perfectionist!) But finally, we are satisfyed by the result, and everythihg went off smoothly, very well. Theese are very good memories :)
By and large, what is the rock/metal scene like in France?
Finally, it’s very wide-ranging, one ranges many things in 'rock & metal' and it covers as much male as female fronted bands. I should say that among French bands that i personally appreciate in this musical stream, we have Pleymo, Watcha, Empyr or a female voice band Mypollux (with whom we will be playing on the upcoming 11th of April).
The UK has always been seen as the birthplace of rock and metal (The Beatles, Led Zep, Ozzy etc), but the scene here could be stronger. What are your expectations of the femme rock/metal scene as a whole in the UK, Europe and across the USA?
First, we would love to come to play in theese countries. Playing United Kingdom, USA and Europe is simply a dream. As to me, who have never been
to London, I would be really delighted to come there for the first time to play! :) Besides that, as we see it from France, there is an extraordinary open-mindedness that reigns particularly in England, and this taste for eccentricity that I personally find great. And yes, actually United Kingdom is a cradle of mythical bands, so we do hope it would be soon possible to come into this atmosphere.
Musically and spiritually who/what are your inspirations at the moment, and what sort of music are you listening to when you are chilling out or relaxing?
Unfortunately, I don’t really have time any more to listen to music because I spend a lot of time in composing, so while being out of this “wall of sound”, I rather need silence and calm. But nevetherless, I can’t stop listening to 'Blue Line' or 'Protection' by Massive to relax also to 'Computer' by Radiohead. They are part of my “albums of bedhead” and of relaxation.
And do you have any hobbies when not making music?
I still adore the dance so I try to have practice when I have small free time because music takes enormous time; also cycling, photography, and at my spare time I “play” a model (laughing).
I myself love photography! What band/artist would you just love to tour with and hang out with, and would you tour the UK/USA if given the chance?
I would love to tour with Within Temptation or Linkin Park :) These are two different universes in which I do recognize myself.
And what are your band's plans for the future regards recording a new cd maybe?
Yes, we are right in the middle of composing of the second album ! I’m really impatient to get this work finished!! This album would be more personal, it’ll come on stronger ... we have grown up and matured since 'Transparence' so it will be different but nevetherless keeping particular, own atmospheres of Markize.
Besides that, 'Transparence' is at stock shortage at the moment, the re edition if our album in digipack version with bonus is out this coming April, and we will be starting for a 22-date tour of concerts. We have just finished the shooting of “Mon Ange” clip-video that will be soon broadcasted.
New cd, I cannot wait! Good luck Alina in all your future endeavours. We at Ravenheart wish you and your band all the very best for the future. Finally is there anything that you would like to say to anybody across the world via this website?
Thank you so much, Dave for your kind support ! We would also like to say “see you soon!” to England and to rock/metal amateurs, whom we hope to meet when we’ll get the pleasure to come to play in your country!
Thanks Alina, it has been a real pleasure talking with you. Meanwhile folks, check the band out at www.myspace.com/markize
Dave Smith (Mar 30, 2009)