Anthology is a symphonic metal band from Slovakia. It was founded by guitarist Marián Gonda and ex-bass player Ján Kičín. They are classified by critics as symphonic and power metal. In year 2011 Anthology comes up with first EP called "Exitus". In 2014 they came up with album "The Prophecy". In 2014 they came up with album "The Prophecy". Under the mastering and mix has signed well-known Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan) Recording and production was taken by Vladimír Povala and mainly by Michal Jankuliak (EagleHeart). The album was breakthrough in comparison to the first album. Lineup on "The Prophecy" was: “The Prophecy” : Raylyn Shayde – vocal, Majo „Mathias“ Gonda – guitar, Miro „Morety“ Grman – guitar, Marek „Marc“ Štech – bass/ screamo, Martin „Maarty“ Solárik - keyboards a Peter „Pepo“ Pleva – drums. After the album was released, Anthology started to be known around the globe and achieves publicity not only in Slovakia but also in Japan, Denmark, Germany, Finland Canada, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, and in countries of Latin America. In December 2016 the band has released third studio album "Angel's Revenge". This album shows the band experimenting with lots of symphonic elements but also some more aggressive features with the addition of guest vocals provided by English death metal vocalist Connor Sanders.
Anthology Members :
· Ľubica Gavlasová (Raylyn Shayde) - vocal
· Martin Solárik – Keyboard
· Marián Gonda- guitar
· Martin Lofaj - guitar
· Miro Grman - bass guitar
· Peter Pleva- Drums
RK : First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview. Congratulations on completing more than a decade of musical journey. How does it feel to have been active for so long?
[Raylyn] : Thanks for the opportunity to have the interview.
It's great but at the same a very tough journey, especially here in Slovakia. Metal music isn't supported here as a mainstream/pop music. The opportunities to play in Slovakia are poor. We started to play more in Czech Republic than Slovakia. And our plan is to go further in Europe. We've worked very hard as a band every year and I must admit that despite all the difficulties it's truly awesome feeling. A lot of unforgettable concerts, a lot of new fans and friends around the band, a lot of beautiful places and also nice memories from the tour....
RK : Anthology has started their journey in 2008. Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? How did you first meet each other? Has anything surprised you about it all so far?
[Raylyn] : The base form of the band has been created in year 2008. At the very beginning of Anthology there was MajoGonda with the assistance of former member – bass guitarist JánKičin. At the time, other members have started to join the band. It was quite easy to find each other because we live in a close community. Like most beginning bands we started to play cover songs. But in 2011 a first stable lineup has signed to birth of demo “Exitus” and contained these names: Alexandra Hírešová – vocal, MajoGonda – guitar, MiroGrman – guitar, JánKičin – bass, Martin Solárik – keyboards and Peter Pleva – drums.
RK : What was the first song you played as a band?
[Raylyn] : As I mentioned, in 2008 when Anthology has started, we played a lot of cover songs. But honestly I don't remember exactly one first song. We played songs from Helloween, Children of Bodom, Avantasia, Nightwish, Apocalyptica and a lot of other bands. The first song of ours was never even recorded.
RK : How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?
[Raylyn] : A lot of songs were created at our rehearsals by improvising. Sometimes, guys play a lot of random melodies which are really great. Then we create other parts and instrument lines, but sometimes it is not quite easy as you can see.
Also when Majo (lead guitarist) has an idea at home, he records it and then tries to create a song with boys at rehearsal. After that everybody adds something, we make up vocal lines; Martin creates keyboards and orchestral parts. There is lot of editing, and changing until the song is final. So improvising and composing are very important at our band and we do not separate them. We let them have a free process in the writing the songs.
RK : Let’s talk about your last album, “Angel's Revenge” released in 2016, which is a massive hit. Tell us something about the album.
[Raylyn]: Every member has done a great deal of work to put his part on the album. It was quite a lot of work but it has been definitely worth it. Michal Jankuliak (Eagleheart) was responsible for the production of the album, but I must not forget to mention VladoPovala who did editing of drums and recording of vocals. Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween) did the mix and mastering and we are all satisfied with the final result. The title song "The Revenge of Angels" is connected to the artwork of the album. With the growl and scream parts helped us Connor Sanders from the UK and it was a great opportunity to work with him. The Indiegogo Campaign helped us to pay for a quality recording and mastering.
RK : What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process?
[Raylyn] : We were super excited when we put all the songs together in this collection. We love every song, because it has a different magic, emotions, story, and message in it. The process of writing was great and smooth; we completed each other in our songs. Then, the process of recording, it is pretty tough but we made it. We created a great album and we are proud of it.
RK : The album ‘’ The Prophecy’ was the breakthrough for Anthology. How did it feel when you got so much support from your listeners?
[Raylyn] : The Prophecy album was released in 2014 and I remember we were quite nervous and excited as well. We didn't know what to expect from the fans because the album was a little bit different from the previous one "Exitus" and also there was a different singer.
The first reactions to "The Prophecy" album were all very positive. We've gained lots of foreign fans and that was also the reason why we have made the album in English. In this way we were not limited to Slovakian fans only, but we were able to spread our music to the whole world. We're very happy that our fans like the album.
RK : If you had all the money and time in the world, what song either yours or someone else’s would you love to recreate? What the video be like?
[Martin] :Tough question, and honestly I have no idea . I guess I would rather spend the money for creating a new song.
RK : Where do you think you are all happiest: In the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
[Martin] : This is an interesting question, but I think I can't choose one of the mentioned above. It is all part of the whole we love and that is why we are doing it. We enjoy composing and creating new music as it is something you can express yourself with. Recording part is also very nice, though sometimes it is hard, we often do it together in sessions and so we are having fun. After everything is recorded and published it is also a great feeling to see the fans responses and engagement. And at last, the stage performing itself is the last part of the whole which we love, if we have a great audience, there is no better feeling than knowing that fans love what you are doing.
RK : Since you are on the metal scene for quite a long time we are sure you went through many challenges. Was there ever a time when you simply want to quit?
[Martin]: I don't recall, ever wanting to quit. Of course we had some problems sometimes, but nothing that couldn't be solved, so no quitting .
RK : What advice Anthology would give to fellow bands when picking up a studio?
[Martin] : We don't have any special advice, but quality studio is very important. Listen to the references of the studio and choose wisely.
RK : Outside your genre, what music do you like?
[Martin] : Every member has a different taste. I (Martin) like various genres like symphonic metal, progressive metal, djent, epic orchestral music, classical music. Guys (Majo and Lofo) like also some heavier stuff like some black metal bands, Miro is a big fan of classic heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, and Peter loves progressive metal. Raylyn listens also various genres but symphonic the most.
RK : How has 2019 been treating you so far? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year and how close are you to reaching it?
[Martin] : 2019 was great, we played for the first time in Greece, it was a cool experience. This summer we are having a little break for personal reasons but our next goal is to release 4th album, which we are working on now, and planning to release sometime next year.
RK : Is there anything you want to let people know about, other than your recent album and tour?
[Martin] : After our spring tour in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Greece we take a little break from the concerts because we want to focus on writing new material. In autumn we are planning some concerts in Slovakia and Czech Republic.With the new album we want to focus more on Europe touring.
RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to build one single stage for all the artists, because we believe that artists are the most beautiful creation of God and geographical boundary can never break their unity and harmony. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your followers.
Anthology :Love what you are doing guys and keep it up!