[Interview] Exit Eden: metal strengthens pop

On the occasion of the release of their debut album I was able to interview Clementine Delauney, Amanda Somerville and Anna Brunner of Exit Eden. 

Paulina Łyszko: Hello. How did You come up with the idea of rearranging pop hits?

Clementine Delauney: Hi! Well, this all started in a studio, where the musicians involved - all metalheads - were exploring their song writing and imagining a way to have pop and metal meet up and enhance each other. So, they started to think about turning pop hits into metal songs!

Anna Brunner: : To be honest, this actually all started with an idea of our friends from the production company. Amanda and I sung the first demos and we both really loved the songs the way they were changed and produced. After hearing our recording the producers asked us, if we liked to make this project our own and we totally agreed. Amanda has an extraordinary beautiful voice and she's achieved so much already, I was thrilled to be in a band with her. She's been friends with Marina and got her to join and had heard Clementine with one of her bands, who also was up for this. So it got rolling from there!

Amanda Somerville: There are lots of songs I’ve wanted to cover for a long time. When this opportunity came along, it was a perfect match.

PŁ: Which of the songs from “Rhapsodies in black” were the most difficult to arrange? How did You picked up the songs for the album?

CD: Some songs did require a bit more of creativity, like “Unfaithful”, or “Fade to Grey”, as they were far from being rock hits at first! We stripped them down from their original arrangements and rebuild everything, even by raising the tempo. Regarding how we chose the songs, at the beginning, there was a huge list of around 40. titles, that everyone had thrown in. Songs we loved, songs we’ve always wanted to hear with metal arrangements. The choice was following some criteria: the songs had to sound massive and interesting once turned the Exit Eden’s way and we wanted the whole album to be diverse and yet coherent. We wanted each song to have its own universe, so it made sense to choose songs from a large period of time, from various artists, in order to end up with a rich and complete first album.

AB: Since the whole idea came from our music producers, they had chosen quite a lot of songs already. There are so many good songs out there, but some of them just have the wrong arrangement, or instruments, or – honestly - the wrong singer performing it. I am really glad to hear and read, that some people say they like our version better, than the original, 'cause this is exactly how I feel. Looking back now, we notice, that there are all kinds of songs from different styles, genres and eras, but they all work. I believe that we really do show, that every pop song can be turned into a great metal anthem.

AS: It was a collaborative effort. We had a fabulous production team working on the studio.

PŁ: Which song from “Rhapsodies…” is Your favourite? I have to admit that Exit Eden’s version of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” I like the most from this record.

CD: It’s a difficult question! “Frozen” is one of my favorite songs of all time and I’m very happy with our version. But then, if I consider the re-arrangement work we’ve done on the songs, I think “Unfaithful”, “Paparazzi”, “Question Of Time”, “Fade to Grey” got a totally new vibe.

AB: My favorite song actually is “Unfaithful”! It is so different from the original and has so much more power. I also love the acoustic cello in this song, it just gives it a special color and makes the song interesting.

AS: It constantly changes for me based on my current mood. Right now, it’s “Incomplete”.

PŁ: When I looked at the tracklist for the first time I thought that “Frozen” is connected with the Dinsney’s movie. I was completely surprised with the great version of Madonna’s hit – song which I really like in original. Were You afraid of picking such an iconic song from the 90’s?

CD: Afraid? No! Once you’re convinced, about what you are doing and when the result is not damaging the original song, but breathing a new life into it, then there is nothing to be afraid of. This song has room for heavier guitars and drums - this metal version of “Frozen” feels like a tribute to the original! Having Simone Simons on top and you have an epic version of Madonna’s song.

PŁ: How Your music adventure started in Exit Eden? Please tell me a little bit more about Exit Eden’s beginnings.

CD: We have to come back to the whole songwriting process. The adventure started in a studio and when the musicians and producers were done with the instrumental parts of the songs, they asked Amanda and Anna, who they are used to work with, to record some demos. When they listened to the results, they all realized it was too special, too unique, not to work on a full album and release it! So, once they had the idea of making an album, they thought about creating a band, that would have been more than just a regular coverband with one or two singers. They wanted the project to be more ambitious and invited two other singers in it: Marina and I! Then we, girls, took over a lot of aspects of the band - we chose our own name and took part of many decisions regarding the visual aspects and so on.

PŁ: How is it to play in completely female band?

AB: To be honest, I think it's great! I have always been in bands with guys, I'm used to being the only girl mainly playing in rock bands and being in a band with girls is special to me already. Plus these girls are great! It's just a perfect fit and so much fun. We all have different voices and it is fun to hear the other ones sing. And for the live performances we're backed up by 4 fantastic (male) musicians to balance it out.

PŁ: What are You planning after album release?

CD: We have a first show on September 22nd at Metal Dayz in Hamburg and then we will start discussing about further tour plans for next year!

AS: We’ve got our first live show coming up Sept. 22 and hopefully we’ll be doing more live shows. I’m finishing up a new Trillium album that’ll be out in early 2018, so that’s quite a bit of work with the songs, the mixes, photo and video shoots, artwork, etc. Lots of exciting things in music!


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