Wandering through the world of social media, I came across an advertisement of an upcoming power metal band from Sweden. Vengeant was its name and the cover of their soon to be released single made me think of bands like Operadyse, Rhapsody, etc etc. Surprise, surprise, the lead singer was no other than the talented newcomer Danae Komodromou from the band Scarlet Desire (https://ladyobscure.com/kinslayers-lair-presenting-scarlet-desire/). So, without hearing any music whatsoever, the sole fact of having Danae as their vocalist kindle my curiosity. After a few messages and mails with Emma Elmen, their manager, I got the chance of making a little Q&A with the guitar player and founder of the band, Christoffer Holm.
LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
[Christoffer]: Hi, this is Christoffer Holm, co-founder of Swedish metal band Vengeant.
The band was formed in 2020 by me and our manager Emma Elmén, the band lineup consists of me (guitar + bass), Danae Komodromou (vocals), Alfred Fridhagen (drums) and Dennis Eriksson (rhythm guitar).
We are an international band, due to our vocalist being from Athens, Greece.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up? [Christoffer]: Luckily, we are still in the startup process, with no cancelled tours or other tragedies that plague many established live-bands at the moment.
Generally, we have been less affected by the pandemic than most.
LOMM: On the other hand, you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
[Christoffer]: Indeed, we have a 5 track EP which will be released this year and the first single “Angel’s Battle Cry” is due soon, February 12th!
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre? [Christoffer]: This is a tricky subject to answer. As we haven’t released our first song yet, the “recipients” haven’t had an opportunity to give their feedback and opinions on the music and therefore it has been up to us to define how we view our music through the lens of the creator.
This point of view does not always coincide with the experiences of the listeners, so it will be exciting to analyze feedback from our fans after February 12th.
For now, we label ourselves as “Progressive, Symphonic Metal”.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
[Christoffer]: The 5 upcoming songs are all inspired by the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering.
Each song Is inspired by one of the five sources of magic (mana), the first single “Angel’s Battle Cry” is inspired by the white mana.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
[Christoffer]: I am immensely proud and happy with the final product of these 5 songs.
There is an enormous amount of time and effort put into each and every one of the songs, this isn’t something I (as the songwriter for these 5 songs) threw together on a weekend, but rather a “slow cooked” meal handled very delicately and with patience.
The “sound” I was looking for with this band has in my opinion been nailed and all I can say as far as improving upon things moving forward is the fact that we now have the finished “blueprint” of our sounds and thus we should be able to analyze and reapply the best parts of our sound moving forward.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
[Christoffer]: No tours with this band yet. I have personally played many big tours earlier in my career, so I am hoping to bring Vengeant in front of our audiences in physical form in the future.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
[Christoffer]: We will be promoting and following the release of our 5 upcoming songs, as well as writing new material in the meantime.
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
[Please insert name]: The lyrics and themes are all inspired by the 5 unique colors of mana in Magic: The Gathering, I have written all the lyrics for the songs with support from our manager, Emma.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
[Christoffer]: These first 5 songs are all composed by me.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
[Christoffer]: That’s a tricky question as well, I am sure about the bands I listen to the most and one could think that our sound would logically be most inspired by those bands, but I’m not sure that’s the case.
I’ll leave it up to the listeners to decide, however I’ll list that some of my favorite bands are Symphony X and Galneryus.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
[Christoffer]: Actually, I was 15 at the time and it was the first time I played the video game “Guitar Hero 2”.
I had never registered the fact that it’s actually an electric guitar that made all those cool sounds in the heavy metal music I listened to until I was holding that plastic guitar controller and strumming out the notes myself.
That’s when I realized I had just found my calling… I bought my brother’s guitar and amplifier the same day.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? [Christoffer]: I love learning about and writing music.
Also, there’s no better therapeutic medicine for my soul than picking up the guitar and letting my emotions run through the strings.
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing? [Christoffer]: If I weren’t a musician, I would probably still work with audio and music production as an engineer.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
[Christoffer]: In this case, I see a correlation between the two.
If music is made from the heart and real, unchained emotion is free to shape the soundscape, the receiving end should be more likely to respond well, thus it is ironically so that the creator must trust in their own abilities and intuition more than catering to a certain popular trend or specific demographic.
At least I believe this to be the case for Heavy Metal.
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
[Christoffer]: No one in specific at this moment, although I am open to collaborations theoretically.
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with? [Christoffer]: Any band with a sound which is close to ours and who can conduct themselves professionally as musicians.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why. [Christoffer]: If I could only choose one, it would be Wacken Open Air.
I have been there three times these last years and seen the gigantic opportunity for bands there.
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones. [Christoffer]: Symphony X – Paradise Lost, Galneryus – Angel of Salvation, and to finish off with a controversial one in regards to myself, Cannibal Corpse – Evisceration Plague.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess? [Christoffer]: Many, many CD’s. I have always had the philosophy that if I don’t buy albums from the artists I love, why should anyone buy my music in the future?
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
[Christoffer]: We are based in Landskrona, southern Sweden. The metal scene and music scene in general is incredibly competitive in Sweden, as most people know we are among the biggest exports in music in the entire world for such a small population, so the bar is set high.
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with? [Christoffer]: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Michael Romeo (Symphony X), Syu (Galneryus), Paul Anthony Romero (video game composer) and myself from the future.
LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career? [Christoffer]: My very first gig ever. It was with a high school metal band, we were performing at a youth center and when we arrived, the sound guy was supposed to supply backline equipment, but it soon became evident that this person had no idea what heavy metal was.
I’ll never forget his comment when I asked about the guitar amplifiers – “what is distortion”?
Needless to say, it wasn’t a huge success.
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know? [Christoffer]: If you read the interview all the way through, thank you! I think you’ll be interested to know we release our very first single “Angel’s Battle Cry” February 12th!
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time!