INTERVIEW: Gogo Melone (Luna Obscura)
Gogo Melone is a known vocalist, a member of the Greek atmospheric death/gothic metal band LUNA OBSCURA and a professional digital artist. Metal Divas had the opportunity to learn more about her personal project “Black Silent Vision“, find out the latest news from the LUNA OBSCURA camp and talk about life and music in general. Here’s an in-depth interview which we hope you will enjoy!
Metal Divas: LUNA OBSCURA turns 13 years old this year, congratulations! I know you guys have been working for some time on a conceptual album, as your sophomore release, so could you give us an update?
Gogo: Thank you! Maybe we feel more like 9 years old because we actually started to play as a real band after 2004. Before it was more about to build the idea and record some music. Anyway, regarding the new album, we’ve been working on the new songs for quite long. We have managed to record some things but we don’t know exactly when it is going to be ready for release since we are having a period of major changes in Luna Obscura plus we’re looking for a new label so it’s very important to do other things first in order to be able then to continue.
Metal Divas: What’s the theme and the direction of the band in the new album? Has it been almost 5 years since your debut album, what can we expect?
Gogo: Well the basic theme lyrically is about a tragic story of death and life after and by saying life after I mean for those who are left behind. The audiences are going to make a sorrowful trip here and one in another unknown dimension. All this has been dressed with very beautiful, sick and melancholic music. Melodies with a lot of feeling that you won’t easily forget.
Metal Divas: Being a Greek band and considering the financial dexterity in the country for the past few years, would you say it has something to do with the delay of the release? It must be hard, right?
Gogo: Yes, every Greek is facing the crisis and it’s hard sometimes but our delay has to do with our previous label which was the UK Casket Music/Copro Records. We had a contract with them for 2 years distribution on the album “Feltia” and our deal included payment for CD prints (which we gave it) plus 50% of the profits with sales reports every 6 months. Unfortunately we paid them a ton of money for fake promises and the album re-released with a delay of one year. We never got any sale report, never send anything to magazines and webzines for press support even if we called and email them about those things several times and few months later they started to ignore us so we completely lost the contact. Now that the contract has been ended, they are still selling our album and get 100% of the profits so if anyone is interested to buy our CD’s please do it only via www.lunaobscura.net or simple download it. Any complaint or lawsuit can be done only in the English court but of course we are not able to do so. As you can imagine this entire sad story, the waste of money and the money that we never took back went things far behind and reduced our interest for the new material. But now we have a major need to start over…
Metal Divas: Gogo, let’s talk more about you for a bit. You are a very busy individual with many collaborations. In early 2012 you started working on your personal album. Please tell us more and share any details.
Gogo: I had a strong need of making something new and experiment a little bit so I started to write dark and melancholic melodies highly influenced by film music, gothic and ambient. This work will also include guests appearances, the first one will be my good friend Eric Hazebroek, guitarist of Stream of Passion who has wrote an amazing melancholic song for me and the second one will be a duet with an extremely talented vocalist and personal favorite but I won’t reveal his name until we finish the recordings. I was planning to make the release earlier but with my graphic design job which is so hard sometimes, I couldn’t manage my time well so I lost the winter season but if everything goes well, “Black Silent Vision” will be ready till the end of the year. In the meantime, a digital single is almost ready to be released this summer.
Metal Divas: You’ve said in the past that you did not take any musical lessons professionally, however you have a lovely voice and I really like it. What do you do to keep it in shape?
Gogo: Thank you very much! That’s true. I never took any professional lesson, however I don’t urge people to do the same because everything is better when you have technical knowledge and when you know how you can use your voice without destroying it. I try to warm up my voice with simple techniques and rest it for long periods. I don’t smoke, I’m not a big alcohol drinker, I drink a lot of water, workout a bit and sleep well as much as possible. Thankfully I didn’t do any damage so far but after some years, maybe many years the voice will change anyway so I guess that few professional lessons will help to maintain in time.
Metal Divas: Besides music, you are also a very talented digital artist and graphic designer. How important is art to you and what kinds do you like?
Gogo: It is very important, I can’t be myself without freedom and creativity and with Art you can have both at maximum. My work is a mixture of dark digital art and photography, highly influenced by films, dark and gothic fashion, fairytales, the beauty of fragile souls and dreamy places. I was more into album covers, booklets and other commercial works for music but I would not say that I see a big future in this industry because the most of the physical CD’s have been replaced with digital formats. Labels don’t spend much anymore so the bands are less interested too in having the best album cover or booklet. It’s hard to be one-dimensional in graphics, artists have blessed hands so I think it’s better for all to do different things and get as many experiences as we can until we find something to define our future.
Metal Divas: Obviously you do this for a living, so would you say being a freelancer helps your career in music as being widely available to tour and such?
Gogo: No, it doesn’t help much but I don’t mind because I still do something that I love and have the chance to live my life from it. Music is an amazing way to express your emotions and have fun all the time when you don’t take things so seriously. I prefer to sing whenever I want to and enjoy it with a way that make me feel something instead of making albums every year with amazing productions but without soul on the music which obviously no one will remember after. I don’t want to fill my musical biography with bullshit and say that I’m playing there or there like many musicians do all the time. If I don’t feel anything about what I do and the music that I want to sing, then any tour or record will be disappointment and I don’t easily accept failure.
Metal Divas: Is it easy to combine both music and art in your life and do you enjoy both as much?
Gogo: If you separate things that I mentioned above then you can do both and actually enjoy it.
Metal Divas: Many female singers have told me that they would rather concentrate on their career, instead of having a family. What do you think? Career or family first? Is it possible to have both?
Gogo: I think it’s the same with every job but you must be a very balanced person to manage family and career. Honestly I don’t know many successful people who can do both things right without any loss. I would never sacrifice my family for any career because it’s not the most important thing in life. What’s the point of being the most of the time away from your family or making kids when obviously won’t grow up with you? I’ve seen many people waking up from the dreamy bubble years after and realize how many things have lost. It’s amazing to live in a bubble at 20 or 30 but is it the same at 40 or 50 with no family? I doubt it.
Metal Divas: Back to the music, you are a member of Eve’s Apple. How does it feel to be part of such community and has it been helpful for your career so far?
Gogo: I feel lucky because I met fellow musicians with amazing talent and great ambitions. It wasn’t easy before but this community is the first who managed to unite some of the female metal-rock singers around. We are now able more than ever to share our experiences, get to know each other, chat about everything (even silly things), make friendships and promote our music without competition. It definitely helped and destroyed a huge part of our self-centeredness. Now I hope more people to come over and support us.
Metal Divas: Correct me if I am wrong but you supported Leaves’ Eyes in Athens, Greece back in March 2012. Are there plans for any shows or is it too soon?
Gogo: No plans at the moment. It’s very important to proceed with the major changes and finish our album.
Metal Divas: How important is the visual part of a live performance for Luna Obscura? Most of the atmospheric/gothic metal bands have some sort of props to complement the music.
Gogo: All we care about is to give an emotional show and if you consider how positive and encouraging the messages are from those who have seen the band, I think that we have done an amazing job so far. To Luna Obscura shows, people can hear technical major sound which sometimes is better from the album version but some of us pay more attention to the emotions and the atmosphere of sorrow because this is what our music is all about. So visually we usually like to do what we feel that moment.
Metal Divas: Ok, let’s talk internet. You are very active online, do you use the internet on a daily basis and what do you think it brought to the table for musicians and bands alike?
Gogo: Internet and especially the social networks are obviously the new way of bringing people together from all over the world. So in matters of work and how you will promote it, I think it’ one of the best and clever ways which can give you fast results. I like to use it very often, sometimes more than I should and even if it has helped me a lot…. I believe we must be very careful. It’s very easy to fool around instead of doing serious work so be careful.
Metal Divas: Alright Gogo, I know you are busy so I will wrap it up here. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, much appreciate it. I wish you the best with your future plans. The last words belong to you.
Gogo: Well, thank you too for the amazing interview and Metal Divas. I had a great time. For those who are not familiar with our activities, you can find everything about Luna Obscura plus all the other social pages at www.lunaobscura.net and mine at www.gogomelone.com . Your support would be very important!
Luna Obscura is:
Aris Potonos – Harsh male vocals & Lyrics
Gogo Melone – Female vocals & Orchestral
Dimitris Papachristos – Rhythm & Lead Guitars, composer
Alexi Charalampous – Lead & Rhythm guitars
Stratos Kountouras – Bass
George Montes – Drums