- First I would like to let you know that there is a small but quite strong interest in your music in Korea probably due to its positively constant introduction by a fan named "Kaljabee". I would also like to thank you very much Adrian for agreeing to do this interview so your fans can get to know "Chalice" better. Please say hello to your fans.
Greetings to you Anarchist and to all reading this. It's inspiring that there is an audience and an interest in our music in Korea and we sincerely hope this continues to grow with the release of our next album.
- Would you please introduce yourself and the other members of Chalice? (age, heritage, jobs, etc.)
Chalice consists of Adrian (drums), Justin (guitars), Shiralee (vocals/keyboards), Alana (flute), Mark (bass) & Sean (guitars). Most members of the band are aged in their early to mid twenties. I'm currently studying a degree in medical radiations, Justin is a guitar teacher, Shiralee is a professional make-up artist, Alana is doing an Honours degree in music, Mark studies sound engineering & Sean works for a telecommunications company.
- How has the response been so far in Australia and around the world?
The response both locally and abroad has been most encouraging. Naturaly it takes time to generate momentum and recognition but generally the reaction to this first album has been very positive.
- How did the members of Chalice come together and how long has this line-up been together?
Chalice was formed in January of 1997 by Shiralee and myself after I responded to an ad she had placed in a local music store. Sean and Mark joined the band in March 1998 and Justin and Alana were added to the line-up around the end of 1999 so this present collective has been in existence for approximately 18 months now.
- I notice a very strong Celtic sound in your music and the CD jacket. Were you influenced by strong Celtic roots? I would like to know what the background of Chalice's music is.
Shiralee has been strongly influenced by the music of the Celts and as she is the primary songwriter it is natural that such influences are noticeable in our art. I think our music incorporates a diverse blend of classical, metal, medieval, world and progressive music, these influences forming the background or serving as the principle inspirations from which Chalice collectively grew.
- Would you classify your music as Gothic metal or something else?
I would classify our music as something else. As we continue to develop as a band I feel we move further away from the category of Gothic Metal or at least what I understand that genre to be.
- Your music sounds more emotional and classical but less tense and gloomy than any other Gothic Metal bands due to probably your monophonic keyboard playing and ethereal female vocal. Was that your intention for the album? Have you ever thought about trying to play a Doom-death style with growling like My Dying Bride?
We didn't have any particular intentions for "Chronicles of Dysphoria" other than to capture our sound at that given point in time. The use of grim male vocals has been suggested to us on occasion but is something we've never wished to pursue as we're quite happy with our present overall sound.
- Whenever I listen to your album I feel a vein of progressive metal, especially in playing style and arrangements even though it's less technical than progressive metal. Do you like progressive metal bands such as OPETH?
I can safely say that we all consider Opeth to be an outstanding and groundbreaking band that have set new standards in terms of both performance and composition. The progressive element you speak of is considerably more prevalent in the tracks written since "Chronicles..." and this will be illustrated through future releases.
- Chalice is always compared to "The 3rd and the Mortal" and "Theatre of Tragedy", even though I don't agree with this. What are your thoughts on these comparisons?
Whilst it is flattering to be compared to such quality acts we hope there will come a time when we have established ourselves sufficiently as an individual entity to render such comparisons obsolete.
- Shiralee, your vocalist, has excellent vocal skills. Did she ever study singing formally and who is her favourite vocalist?
Shiralee had years of private singing lessons and spent some time at one of the music conservatoriums here in Australia. Her favourite vocalist is Loreena McKennitt.
- I heard that Shiralee sang for the Finnish band "Shape of Despair". How did this come about?
It didn't! This is news to us hehe...
- Although it may be impolite, I have to say "Chronicles of Dysphoria" has quite a similar sound throughout due to similar instrumental arrangements. Are you totally satisfied with your end result or do you have any regrets?
In hindsight there are always things one laments to a certain extent but it's all part of the learning process. The album is really a representation of the first chapter of this band and it's an honest depiction of where we were and a reference point of sorts. Our forthcoming release is quite a departure from "Chronicles..." but then stagnation is deplorable.
- Personally I am really impressed by your lyrics. They have a very deep thoughtful feeling to them. Did you ever study English literature formally (such as poetry) or is this a natural talent?
Thankyou...that means a great deal. I was most fortunate when studying literature at high school and university to have mentors who generated enormously my passion for the language and inspired me to challenge myself as a writer and in general.
- You make a reference to Oscar Wilde as having written the lyrics to "Requiescat". How did it come about?
Ah, 'twas Oscar himself who first broached the subject of collaboration over a quiet mead or two in that capital inn down on... - of course I jest. Shiralee actually obtained much inspiration from the poem and a song was born as a consequence.
- Your lyrics are deeply thoughtful and beautiful but sad and filled with desolation and loneliness at the same time. How does this relate to your personal philosophy of life?
It doesn't to be honest as morbidity is something best avoided. For better or for worse I have a propensity to write at the most foul and brooding of times and thus various lyrics are merely an embodiment of a transient mental state, a brief fragment in time that should not be misconstrued as some permanent introspective indictment.
- What are your thoughts on religion?
Chalice never has and never will be a medium for religious speculation.
- Frankly I've rarely heard about the Australian Metal scene. Could you tell me how the Australian Metal scene is going and how Chalice fits in with it?
Many very talented bands reside within what would be considered the Australian Metal scene and it's unfortunate that the rest of the world is aware of only a few. I'd highly recommend that people check out bands such as Stargazer, Astriaal, Earth, Mournful Congregation, Alchemist, Elysium, Vanishing Point, just to name a few. I'm not too sure how Chalice fits in to this healthy scene as there are very few (if any) bands playing a similar style. All I can say is that there is generally a high degree of mutual respect between bands and individuals and we support and network as much as possible. Australia is devoid of a population large enough to successfully accommodate vast egos and cliques and I think most of us are aware of this.
- Where is Chalice aiming to get as a band musically and lyrically?
In all facets of the band we are constantly striving to push the boundaries of what we would have considered possible when we first began this journey.
- What kind of music do you usually listen to? And what's your favourite album?
Personally I listen to various styles of metal, any progressive music I can find, experimental electronic and so on. My favourite album...good question! I doubt I could isolate one. I would say Cynic (Focus), Dream Theater (Awake), Emperor (In The Nightside Eclipse) and Arcturus (La Masquerade Infernale).
- Do you have any final comments?
Our deepest gratitude to you Anarchist for the interview and we wish you all the best. We'd also like to thank the aforementioned "Kaljabee" for their support. Our next album, "An Illusion to the Temporary Real", will be released later this year. Anyone wishing to contact the band is welcome to do so via our surface mail address (Chalice, P.O. Box 173, Parkholme, S.A. 5043, Australia), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or via the temporary website (http://thechaliceroadie.cjb.net).