‘CLICK INTERVIEW’ with Psy’Aviah by Side-Line / Inferno Sound Diaries

‘CLICK INTERVIEW’ with Psy’Aviah

Set up and driven by the creative spirit of Yves Schelpe, Psy’Aviah is already active…

Posted by Side-Line Reviews on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

INTERVIEWER: Side-Line Reviews (Inferno Sound Diaries), by Stef Coldheart
DATE: 22nd June 2016

Set up and driven by the creative spirit of Yves Schelpe, Psy’Aviah is already active since 2004. The band has been inspired by numerous influences becoming a kind of sonic chameleon or simply a pure sonic ‘pop’ enigma. Electro-pop has been often the basis of their work while multiple influences like electro-clash, trance, electro-rock, trip-hop and even dance have been explored. The new opus “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” released on Alfa Matrix again is a new sonic exorcism of new influences while featuring multiple and talented guest singers. Time for a chat with Yves Schelpe.

‘I ALWAYS WANTED TO INCORPORATE STYLES AND NOT PIN MYSELF DOWN TO JUST ONE GENRE’

Q: What were the main ideas and purposes when starting the writing of the new album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”?
Yves:
After writing the 6th album “The Xenogamous Endeavour”, which came out in 2014, I was suffering from ‘blank-paper-syndrome’ or commonly known as writer’s block. I did make music, but I just had no connection emotionally to it. The turning point came after watching the movie “Interstellar”, the atmosphere really inspired me and kickstarted the first song “Alcubierre Drive” (look at our video), in which both the music and lyrics are my personal soundtrack for the movie. After that the process shifted gears, most of the other tracks are also loosely based on the movie, yet, if you don’t know it you won’t notice it – as every lyric can be translated to the ‘real world’. I like it that they have this double meaning.

Q: So what is this new album dealing with and what’s the deeper meaning behind the title?
Yves:
The title refers to several things. The most obvious is that this is my seventh studio album. “Sorrows vs Stars” alludes to the fact that the songs are sometimes positive, and sometimes totally depressing, just like life. The album itself is of course inspired by the events and atmosphere of the movie “Interstellar” as I mentioned before – but each and every track can be interpreted as if it would happen in the ‘real world’.
“Alcubierre Drive” for example deals with lovers, people, friends, slowly growing apart – whilst “Stronger” is a song about rising again after a deep fall. Every song has each own unique story to share.

Q: You again worked with multiple guest singers (and a lot of male vocalists this time). I can’t imagine it’s possible to get a similar connection with a guest singer instead of a band singer so how did it happen and how did the recording and production of the vocals happened?
Yves:
You’d think it isn’t easy to connect, but when recording and preparing to record I always have lengthy mails or sometimes skype or telephone calls with the vocalists so that we connect and understand each other. As I write most of the lyrics myself I do also explain what’s behind it, record a demo guide vocal for them to interpret.
This makes it so that the sound stays true to my songwriting ideas. It’s actually the very same way I worked before with a ‘fixed’ singer, the only upside now is that I have a lot more creative freedom and a range of talented vocalists who each have their unique strengths.

Q: I got the impression every new album by Psy’Aviah sounds like a new sonic travel where you explore different influences. How do you see this evolution as composer and master mind of the band?
Yves:
It’s a deliberate choice from the inception of the band. I always wanted to incorporate styles and not pin myself down to just one genre, as it limits my songwriting and storytelling. I think it’s because of listening to bands like Faithless, Moby, The Chemical Brothers, Praga Khan and Soulwax – who showed that you don’t have to keep to just one genre. A mix of ambient, trip-hop, dance anthems, aggressive tunes is possible and keeps it fresh and more interesting for me as well. Whilst I do mix up the genres, I always try to keep that certain ‘Psy’Aviah’-sound though.

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Q: You once posted an interesting quote about the reason(s) you stopped playing live with Psy’Aviah. I think it’s an interesting point to share with us and what’s your opinion about the subject right now?
Yves:
I still think it’s true, there’s a lot of promoters that don’t take their job seriously. In the end it then always reflects on the band when the sound is off, the lights don’t work, the soundcheck settings weren’t recorded, or the PA just walks out… And there’s a lot more. You might argue it’s part of the job, but in all honesty, I loathe that part and it lacks of professionalism.
Mind, I’m not talking about all promoters, but it’s always a gamble what you’ll be facing. Hence we’re always double prepared with our own mixing engineer, etc… Part of the reason might also have been a lack of motivation of the previous ‘live band vocalist’ to continue to push and go for it.
But, surprise, surprise, after three years (our last gig was with Praga Khan at ‘Anciennce Belgique’), we’ll be back on stage on September 9th, 2016 at ‘Kinky Star’ Ghent with a new live band: Marieke Lightband on vocals (winner of several singer/songwriter awards, and has massive experience outside the ‘scene’ as well), my favorite live guitarist Ben Van de Cruys and me behind the keys. Very much looking forward to this new journey! And bookings are open at http://www.psyaviah.com/contact/live-bookings/.


Psy’Aviah live September 9th @ Kinky Star Ghent / Dark Entries Night w/ Karl Hefner and Hugh Lagerfeld + Afterparty

13432277_10155017115468009_3990144802525286056_nAfter the announcement that we’ll be playing live again, here’s our first show already, at Kinky Star Ghent as organised by Dark Entries Night. Check the facebook event page to rsvp!

What? Dark Entries Night XV with Psy’Aviah and Karl Hefner & Hugh Lagerfeld
Where? Kinky Star, Vlasmarkt 9 in Ghent
When? Friday september 9th, doors at 8PM, first show at 8.30PM, afterparty with dj Der Verfluchte Engel at 10.30PM
Entrance? Free! More money for booze!
Route to Kinky Star (Kinky Star, Vlasmarkt 9 in Gent)

Psy’Aviah will be performing LIVE again, available for booking Fall/Winter 2016

Wonderful news, we are preparing for live performances again, starting from Fall/Winter 2016 Psy’Aviah is again available for booking request. Check our booking page for more information http://www.psyaviah.com/contact/live-bookings/.

Introducing the all new live band line-up: starting with the newest member Marieke Lightband (known from her solo work, and the band KOALA – as well as being a violinist and guitarist), Ben Van de Cruys rocking the guitars and Yves Schelpe on keys, knobs and electronic-wires. Having played for various audiences and crowds in the past, in venues like Kultuurkaffee, Ancienne Belgique, VK Concerts, Paard van Troje (NL) etc.. – as well as special semi-acoustic tours & performances for FNAC and AXXA Bank, we have a strong live experience and are ready to bring that back again! Check our booking page for more information http://www.psyaviah.com/contact/live-bookings/.

Yves Schelpe on keys at Ancienne Belgique
Yves Schelpe on keys at Ancienne Belgique
Marieke singing live at CC Lucthabl
Marieke singing live at CC Lucthabl
Marieke singing at CC Luchtbal
Marieke singing at CC Luchtbal
Ben rocking guitars in Ghent
Ben rocking guitars in Ghent
Ben playing guitars at Ancienne Belgique
Ben playing guitars at Ancienne Belgique

Brutal Resonance labels “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” as great, telling you to GO BUY IT!

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Brutal Resoance ‪reviewed‬ our album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”!

Their conclusion was that “With the amount of talent on Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars, there is bound to be something that you will enjoy. If not, then you might just have a serious lack of taste. Go buy i“. Read the full ‪#‎review‬ here: [ http://www.brutalresonance.com/review/psyaviah-seven-sorrows-seven-stars/ ]


If you haven’t ordered or listend yet, below are plenty of options to get the album!

Reviews & Mentions

Where to Buy/Listen?

~ Album of the month by Coma Music Mag’s Oontzcast (listen here)
~ A real contender for album of the year, CHAIN D.L.K Magazine 5⋆ review (read here)
~ Complete and sonically stunning album, Intravenous Magazine review (read here)
~ Radio Interview on 4ZZZ FM, Dark Essence Radio Show (listen here)
~ Side-Line Magazine track-by-track interview (read & listen here)
Streaming / Downloads
~ Spotify, iTunes / Apple Music , Bandcamp, Amazon MP3, Deezer, and more…
Physical CD’s
~ Alfa Matrix records, Poponaut, FNAC, MediaMarkt, Bol.com, and more…
~ Or ask your local recordstore!

Music Videos related to “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”

Not What I Expected

Never Look Back

Lessons from the Past


…and more music videos coming soon!

Psy’Aviah releases studio album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” featuring guests Kyoko Baerstoen, Roeland van der Velde, Mari Kattman and many more… #TripHop #ElectroClash #EDM

Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars (album cover)
Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars (album cover)

Two years after “The Xenogamous Endeavour”, I’m back with a new album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” – a journey that started after drawing inspiration from the 2014 movie “Interstellar”. The album will take you through the varied landscape of electronic music, from triphop filled with lush pads and warm vocals from the likes of Ellia Bisker (of jazz band Sweet Soubrette), Kyoko Baertsoen (Lunascape, ex-Hooverphonic) driven by deep basslines and electroacoustic drumkits – as well as introduce ambient moments, with poetry and electronic ballads with vocals of Pieter Van Vaerenbergh (Metafuzz, Zelon) and Diana S. (Junksista). Synthpop, both introspective and soul searching with emotional vocal performances of David Chamberlin (Entrzelle) and Mari Kattman, to the more powerful kind with nods to harder dancy synthpop, electroclash with powerful vocal passages of Roeland van der Velde (Model Depose), singer/songwriter Alvin River, Andrew Galucki, Bernard Feron (Combat Voice) and Addie Nicole (Halocene). Breakbeat lovers and acid fans will also be treated with a melange of both hard hitting psytrance influenced moments mixed with electroclash and the vocals of both Miss FD and Fallon Nieves. But listen and judge for yourself on our soundcloud page (soundcloud.com/psyaviah), or on the album’s bandcamp page, where we offer all tracks in full preview / streaming.

We live in a world where we sample music and, but I urge you to at least once listen to the album from the first to the last track. As the tracklist is specifically balanced and chosen to offer you this rollercoaster of sounds, emotions, energy and soul – a varied mix of electronic music, but with the typical Psy’Aviah touch I always give to the songs. Written & produced at my homestudio in Antwerp, mixed by Mitia Wexler (at wxlr.mx studios) and mastered by Geert de Wilde (at the IC 434 / Skyshifter studio). Out now, on April 15th, worldwise via Alfa Matrix records on all major digital platforms (such as Apple Music / iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, etc..), online cd stores (ECI, bol.com, elektronaut, FNAC, MediaMarkt, etc…) and your local record stores (if not there, just ask at the counter).

Reviews & Mentions

Where to Buy/Listen?

~ Album of the month by Coma Music Mag’s Oontzcast (listen here)
~ A real contender for album of the year, CHAIN D.L.K Magazine 5⋆ review (read here)
~ Complete and sonically stunning album, Intravenous Magazine review (read here)
~ Radio Interview on 4ZZZ FM, Dark Essence Radio Show (listen here)
~ Side-Line Magazine track-by-track interview (read & listen here)
Streaming / Downloads
~ Spotify, iTunes / Apple Music , Bandcamp, Amazon MP3, Deezer, and more…
Physical CD’s
~ Alfa Matrix records, Poponaut, FNAC, MediaMarkt, Bol.com, and more…
~ Or ask your local recordstore!

Music Videos related to “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”

Not What I Expected

Never Look Back

Lessons from the Past


…and more music videos coming soon!

Intravenous Mag calls “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” a complete and sonically stunning album

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Intravenous Magazine ‪reviewed‬ our upcoming album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”!

Their conclusion was ‪#heartwarming‬ to read after putting a lot of heart & soul into this album:

This seventh album is perhaps the most complete and sonically stunning album in the Psy’Aviah back catalogue to date. Once again Schelpe has pushed the boundaries of electronic music and continued to explore and experiment with different approaches and it has once again paid off for him. Simply, this album shows why Psy’Aviah is one of the stand-out names on the Alfa Matrix roster.

Thanks a lot wwww.intravenousmag.co.uk for this very nice review, I’m blushing ^^. Read the full ‪#‎review‬ here: [ http://www.intravenousmag.co.uk/2016/04/review-psyaviah-seven-sorrows-seven.html ]

Shout outs to KONER,@Alex Dalliance, Liquid Divine, Cutoff:Sky and Girlflesh as they’ve been noticed by the reviewer for having delivered stellar remixes. Also mentioned are the crisp sound, for which I again thank Mitia Wexler of @wxlr.mx (mixing) and Geert de Wilde of IC 434 (mastering).

If you haven’t ordered yet either wait until April 15th to order via online CD shops, Fnac, bol.com, Spotify, iTunes etc.. – or pre-order them via these links:
> Download via Bandcamp: http://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/album/seven-sorrows-seven-stars-bonus-tracks-version
> CD: http://alfa-matrix-store.com/psyaviah-seven-sorrows-seven-stars-CD
> 2CD (With Bonus Remixes): http://alfa-matrix-store.com/psyaviah-seven-sorrows-seven-stars-2CD

Radio Interview by Australian Radio 4ZZZFM / Dark Essence Show

YvesSchelpe2

INTERVIEWER: Dark Essence Radio Show (4ZZZFM Australian Radio), by Josh Guinan
DATE: 28th March 2016

Josh from Dark Essence (Mondays 10pm-12) chats with Yves from the Belgian alternative electronic act Psy’Aviah. Their seventh full-length ‘Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars’ comes out 15 April 2016 on Alfa Matrix.
The songs played in this interview are: Never Look Back (feat. Ellia from Sweet Soubrette); Lessons From The Past (feat. Mari Kattman); Face To Face (feat. Roeland from Model Depose); Not What I Expected (feat. Fallon Nieves); Stronger (feat. Addie from Halocene); Starstruck (feat. Diana from Junksista); Wild Ride (feat. Miss FD)

“Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” got *****s from CHAIN DLK Magazine!

PSYAVIAHThe first ‪#‎review‬ of our new album is in, by ‎notorious‬ / ‪infamous‬ Chain D.L.K. Magazine! Yiha, we got 5*stars.. Read all about it here: [ http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews/?id=9120 ]

Here’s a quote I really enjoyed reading: ”

‘Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars’ is a real contender for album of the year. Yves’ synthwork and production is stellar, and the album flows very well through its peaks and valleys. With such an array of talented vocalists and great writing, there is never a dull moment.

” ~ Thx a LOT Steve Mecca & Chain DLK for the review!

If you haven’t ordered yet either wait until April 15th to order via online CD shops, Fnac, bol.com, Spotify, iTunes etc.. – or pre-order them via these links:
> Download via Bandcamp: http://alfamatrix.bandcamp.com/album/seven-sorrows-seven-stars-bonus-tracks-version
> CD: http://alfa-matrix-store.com/psyaviah-seven-sorrows-seven-stars-CD
> 2CD (With Bonus Remixes): http://alfa-matrix-store.com/psyaviah-seven-sorrows-seven-stars-2CD

Presenting the new album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” for Pre-Order

SevenSorrowsSevenStars_800x800 April 15th will open the gates for a new world “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars”. This seventh album called for a new approach, thematically drawing inspiration from the 2014 movie “Interstellar”, life and musically opening a gate of wonder and euphoria with a unique blend of triphop, electroclash, eurodance, synthpop and eurodance while staying true to PSY’AVIAH’s deeply emotional core in both sound and lyrics.

Pre-orders start as of today at the Alfa Matrix Bandcamp page & post a review if you want – or order the physical CD at the offical Alfa Matrix store. But you can also wait until April 15th when “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” will hit every digital download & streaming platform (e.g. Spotiy, Apple Music), as well as physical CD stores (e.g. FNAC, MediaMarket, etc..).

Excellent 5-ST★R Reviews

Intravenous Magazine summed up the new album as “perhaps the most complete and sonically stunning album in the Psy’Aviah back catalogue to date. Once again Schelpe has pushed the boundaries of electronic music and continued to explore and experiment with different approaches and it has once again paid off for him. Simply, this album shows why Psy’Aviah is one of the stand-out names on the Alfa Matrix roster.”; whilst CHAIN D.L.K gave it a full 5 out 5 stars and concluded that “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars’ is a real contender for album of the year. Yves’ synthwork and production is stellar, and the album flows very well through its peaks and valleys. With such an array of talented vocalists and great writing, there is never a dull moment”. But please judge for yourself and pre-listen on bandcamp or on our soundcloud (also embedded on this page).

Aside from the new directions Psy’Aviah takes, there are of course there are still here some songs which defend the more “sorrowful” part of the album and reminds us of PSY’AVIAH’s darker side: like for example “Alcubierre Drive” featuring once again lush guest vocals by Kyoko Baertsoen (ex-HOOVERPHONIC, LUNASCAPE) and her unique timbre fitting so well this blend of trip-hop rhythms and EBM basslines; or yet the melancholic and moving “Looking Back” and the very expressive voice of David Chamberlin (ENTRZELLE).

But “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” definitely has this kind of interstellar shining touch, connecting dots together and offering a very unique kind of modern synth pop with an upbeat futuristic twist reinforced by another impressive selection of guest vocalists, with this time a clear progression towards more male vocals than on past releases. Take for example the alt-pop “Frozen” which is fusing energy and soul with stunning vocals by Andrew Galucki, or yet the more house / 80’s e-pop approach on the dancey “Liberosis” and its driving synth lines, club beats and awesome voice of Alvin River, the loud e-pop “Face To Face” with Roeland van der Velde (MODEL DEPOSE), or yet the addictive body-pop song “From Another World” with Bernard Feron (MED, COMBAT VOICE…).

Besides the more moody and almost “PSY’AVIAH classic” songs like “Lessons From The Past”, with one of Yves’ favorite partners in crimes for years now: the talented singer Mari Kattman, but also the minimal and semi-acoustic “Opia” with Pieter Van Vaerenbergh (METAFUZZ, ZELON) as well as the band’s last single and video clip song “Never Look Back” with Ellia Bisker (SWEET SOUBRETTE);

Yves Schelpe of Psy'Aviah
Yves Schelpe of Psy’Aviah

we find harder and straight industrial-dance compositions evoking the band’s early and more aggressive period like on the dreamy club hit “Peace Paradox”, the more chaotic and cyber distorted breakbeats of “Wild Ride” feat. the unmatched Miss FD, a club trance inspired pop track “Stronger” with vocals this time by Addie Nicole (HALOCENE), as well as on “Not What I Expected” that is a sort of frontal floor-packing track with incisive synth lines, hypnotic grooves à la PRAGA KHAN lead by strong female vocals with attitude by Fallon Nieves.

Pre-Order

Physical CD

Getting back my Musical Mojo… #NoInspiration #BlankPaperSyndrome

The story of how “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” was born
Behind every (favorite) song is an untold story
Behind every (favorite) song is an untold story

One of the worst things that can happen to a musician, besides hard drive failure or losing an instrument, is the “blank paper syndrome”. No inspiration. The will and urge to create, but, left there without any inspiration…

After finishing the album “The Xenogamous Endeavour” I was met with this syndrome for the first time. Well, I’m lying, I had periods of being uninspired before, but this time it kept on going for months! Every drumbeat, bnasslines, synthesizer melody or lyric I wrote sounded dull and unemotional for me. It had no soul, it was clear that I lost my mojo…

 

Going through the motions

I reverted to playing games, from Tomb Raider (reboot), Dragon Age: Inquisition, Project Cars, F1 2014, Diablo III : RoS (ps: add me with battletag lerenard242#2134) and immersing myself into that world. Along with watching the weekly Co-Optional (gaming related) Podcast of Totalbiscuit, Dodger and Jesse Cox. I immersed

Playing Tomb Radier (2013 Reboot)
Playing Tomb Raider (2013 Reboot)

myself in programming at work, learned new technologies. Did a lot of walks, running and I also watched a lot of movies with my girlfriend. In essence I took a step back, I hadn’t fired up my DAW for serious work in about 6 to maybe even 7 months.

In the beginning I was very stressed, I also said that “The Xenogamous Endeavour” was the last album I ever made, and I would never be able to make another again. Gradually though, by emerging myself into the other worlds of gaming, programming, nature and movies (especially movies) made me forget about that stress – I was enjoying other parts as well.

 

 

 

Lightning strike

And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, me and my girlfriend decided to watch “Interstellar“. Not knowing much about the plot or the movie itself we dived right in. I was totally immersed by the cinematography, the shots, the pace, the sounds, the visuals, the acting, the story, the atmosphere.. Very little movies stay with me – I only have a few. The Professional (Léon), The Fifth Element, Moon, Ex Machina and, now ofcourse, Interstellar as well.

I couldn’t get the atmosphere the movie left behind out of my head. I was constantly reminded about certain scenes, the overall feeling and images. It inspired me so much to fire up my DAW for the first time in months. Out of that grew the first song of the album “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars“, named “Alcubierre Drive ft. Kyoko Baertsoen” – a direct reference to the movie. I wanted to capture the overall feeling of the movie in this track I was making, both in sound design as in the lyrics.

More On Alcubierre Drive

The thriving basslines and big pads were for me the dramatic and slightly melancholic feeling I had when watching Interstallar. Alcubierre Drive’s lyrics are a description of the father / daughter relationship throughout the movie. Yet, I wanted to make sure that people could experience this without having seend the movie, so I made sure that I transposed the lyrics to the “real world”, so they can be enjoyed and understood without needing to have the full background of the movie. See this YouTube clip that combines both scenes from Interstellar, the music of “Alcubierre Drive” and the lyrics to illustrate what I mean with the fact that I’ve created my own personal “soundtrack”.

Keeping momentum

I couldn’t get enough, after that first track I started making about 10 songs which were directly related to either the feeling and atmosphere, or specific scenes. I effectively made my own personal soundtrack to Interstellar. Before I knew it I had all the demos and ideas ready, they only needed to be fleshed out – which takes a long time, but I knew I had my mojo back. I knew I could make enough songs out of this.

Keeping Momentum, Recording, recording, recording ideas...
Keeping Momentum, Recording, recording, recording ideas…

I never turned back to see the movie though, I wanted to keep momentum and not overanalyse the feeling I had… Going with the flow I had due to the memories that remained stuck in my head. Part of them real, part of them maybe a bit altered.

Lessons learned

Taking a step back, not thinking about music, doing other things cleared my mind. And like lightning bolt, Interstellar sparked my imagination again and delivered me a framework to work in. Out of a few exceptions all the songs on “Seven Sorrows, Seven Stars” are directly referenced to the movie, yet I always made sure to transpose the lyrics to the world we live in, or project them to my own life – so that it’s both a personal soundtrack for Interstellar as it is a reflection of how I see the world and what I experienced the past years… I picked “Alcubierre Drive” to illustrate the point, but as I said, there’s numerous other tracks on the album that directly relate to the movie – or to a specific scene.

Inspiration is a weird one. When it is there, it’s sometimes too much to handle, when it’s lost it’s almost impossible to get it back. This experience made me realise that now I can draw inspiration from everywhere – and that when it doesn’t come immediately, I shouldn’t worry or stress too much. Eventually a lighting strike will hit me again to kickstart another creative period!

What are your methods to get back your “creative mojo” or to break out of the lack of inspiration loop?