interview with Instanzia

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Have any of you played in other bands?  Nothing as serious as Instanzia, but we've all had a few experiences before for sure.

How is it that you started playing music? I started music after getting introduced to Guns N Roses and The Offspring when I was 11 years old. I'd always had sort of an interest for the guitar but that's when it really kicked. I wanted an electric guitar and my dad told me to start learning on his old acoustic guitar before he'd get me one. I learned and thestopped for a few years only to start again after discovering most of the power metal bands I love around 2003. It's then that I got more serious about it and learning theory and everything... I wanted to write some music!

What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? I'm Alexis I'm 29 as of may 2017 and I sing and play guitar. Francko, our drummer is 28, Alex our bass player is 26 and our new guitar player Jay just turned 20! 

Have you had other previous members? We've had several different musicians before we actually started playing live. Once we started playing live, we had a temporary bass player who was replaced by Alex shortly after. Apart from that, of course, we've had our former guitar player JC from 2010 until late in 2016.

What year did the band form? Difficult question. The project has been around in my mind and Francko has been a part of it for as far back as 2005. We've recorded some demos over the Internet back then, but the actual 'band' formed in 2010, after our first album was finished.

What's your style of genre? Style of music you mean? Power metal with progressive and symphony touches.

What inspires you? Life experiences, and the music I love!

How often and where do you reherse? We only rehearse when we have concers coming up so it means we can spend LONG without rehearsing.. really depends on the band activity. We rehearse at the music school where I teach guitar.

How have you developed since you started with the music? Not sure I understand this question. If you mean to ask if we've evolved as a band, it's a difficult question to answer since we've only had one album released so far. We've evolved as musicians on our own and I think it will show on our second album, yes!

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? In my personal case, not so much! I teach guitar as a day job so it's kind of related. Francko has a relatively conventional day job, while Alex is in college to become a radiology technician. Jay is in college studying music to become a pro working musician and he's also a guitar teacher where I work. 

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? I don't think we're big enough for that.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? Most bands like us have to finish albums on their own and then get them released either independently or via a label... We still intend to release our second album with the same label as the first one. Personally, I wouldn't like being on a major label and having multiple album contracts.

What made you decide to make this music? I loved power metal so much that I didn't see any other choice!

What are your songs about? Many are love songs, like so many other artists. Some are bout different states of mind, disappointment, etc. On our first album we also have a song about Erwin Rommel, called The Desert Fox. I'm not really proud of the lyrics on that one since I was young and a bit lazy when I wrote it, but we still love the song. For the second album I brought in some satirical elements to a few of the songs as well.

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I've written all of our lyrics so far. For the first album I also wrote all the music, but for our second album Francko has written two songs. We intend to share the songwriting in the future. Each will write his songs though, we don't think we'll write songs together. Of course I'll sill write the lyrics and vocal melodies unless Francko has very strong ideas about them. He usually doesn't touch on those aspects.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? Strangely I often start with lyrics so I have some vibes in mind. It all gets reworked a lot in the process though.

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Not specifically. Most musicians compose in front of their computers in this day and age I think!

Have you done any covers live? Yes, we've played The Power Rangers theme song, a Running Wild cover and an Avantasia cover live. Been a while though! We haven't had shows that were long enough to include covers lately.

What language do you sing in? English. Have you actually heard our music?

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? I think the most for a headlining Instanzia show was 105-110 and the least was like 20-30. 

What ages are most of your concert attendants? We haven't played much lately, but in the days when we played more, they were about our ages and we were around 22-25.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? With only one album out it's pretty much always the same stuff yeah! It'll change though!

Do you have a regular place you play live often? No

What was your first gig like? Pretty crappy! We looked terrible, we weren't very good at playing live and the audience was mainly our families and JC's friends who didn't have the slightest clue about power metal!

What was your latest gig? We opened for Delain and Hammerfall on April 21st 2017.

Have you had to cancel a gig? Nope, that never happened!

Where have you played live this year? In my hometown of St-Hyacinthe and in Montreal (the Hammerfall concert)

Where do you plan to gig the comming year? Quebec City and once more in my hometown.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We've started selling merchandise when our first album came out in late 2010. Only CDs and t-shirts.

Where can people buy your merchandise? At our concerts! And they can personally order our stuff by writing to us on our Facebook page.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? If only people actually did DOWNLOAD the music, I mean whole albums, it wouldn't be so bad. Most people only stream music nowadays and shuffle through so much music without actually remembering most of it or giving it an actual chance. So, in reality, if people actually did download whole albums and maybe still burned them on CDs, it'd still be better for the musicians than what happens today because people would know our music better and those who'd like it enough would probably buy the record anyway. Personally that's how I proceed and always have.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Because of streaming (Youtube, spotify) and sharing on Facebook and other media, most people are just overwhelemed by so much music that they become saturated. Music is becoming kind of like fast food.

What do you think of my work? Well, I've taken some time to scroll through your blog and saw that all of your questions are copy pasted. I think you should maybe do much less interviews and pay more attention to each band (listening to their albums, getting to know the name of the members). You could write introductions about the bands/musicians in your blog posts and actually customize the questions.

How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? I hope some people will find it interesteing to read, but to be honest, I'd like you to come back to me with a real live (instant messaging) interview once our second album is out so we could talk about it!

What have been your biggest obstacles? Self-doubt.

What advice would you give other bands or artists? We're not important enough to give advice to anybody. Maybe if I knew some younger bands personally I could try to help but I can't give general advice.

How do you get psyched for a gig? Bt visualizing it ;)

Do you have any new material? Yes. All of the stuff for our second album is written.

What are your web sites? At the moment we only have our Facebook page.

How can people reach you? Via that FB page.

What are your plans for the future? Releasing the second album and doing more!

Do you have something to add? Thanks for taking interest in our band and let's talk more in the future!

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