After replacing their original lead singer, the lovely Lisa Schaphaus-Middelhauve with Haggard veteran, Manuele Kraller, The German gothicmetal heroes of Xandria have reinvented themselves a a symphonic power to be reckoned with. Guitarist Marco Heubaum shares with us what brought about this change.
What does ‘Neverworld’s End’ mean to you?
It´s a new start for us and it feels like our second debut album!
The meaning of the title is the demise of our dreamworld we had as a child when we grow up. We learn that the world will not be our playground where we can be everything we want to be and that it is a place ruled by greed for power and money and not by fairies and dragons. All we can do is keeping the key to our personal fantasy world and dreams.
With a new singer you’ve also changed direction into a more symphonic style , reminiscent of ‘Once “ era Nightwish? How so?
It was not our intention to sound like a particular “Nightwish era”, but this great band has surely been an influence when we decided to concentrate on what we liked most in our music: The heavy basis and the symphonic, cinematic atmosphere. Nightwish do this in a fantastic way, and we also wanted to do a great symphonic metal album, going as far as we can go into this direction at this stage we are, following our own way. So sharing similar destinations, even if not taking the same paths always, leads to a related sound. But that is ok for us, we take it as a compliment when people say “hey, I like you as much as Nightwish”, because we all like them, too!
Many other bands tend to go in a more compact, ,poppy style now, while you’re going in the opposite direction: a conscious move to go against the grain?
It indeed was a conscious move for us to be more heavy and complex, but only in regard to ourselves, we didn´t had kind of a “strategy” concerning what other bands do. Nevertheless we realized this development also and I think it is good to bring back some “original” symphonic metal!
How did you find your new singer, Manuela Kraller. Did you know her from her work with Haggard?
We had a public call for applications going and she sent us her demo material - that really blew us away! But she told us of being in Haggard only then, we didn´t know her from Haggard before.
What happened to the original singer Lisa Schaphaus-Middelhauve?
It just didn´t fit anymore, so she left the band.
In between you shortly also had another girl taking up the microphone but not for long? Did it not work out well with Kerstin Bischoff?
She is a great singer and I also think she is a really nice person, but at a certain point she realized that this is not what she would like to do in her life – what can you do, sometimes this happens. At least we didn´t start the recording of the album then, so we could go on with Manuela from that point on.