Musical Discoveries: Visions of Atlantis is a fairly young band. Can you tell us a little about the original formation and evolution of the group?
Nicole Bogner: We were all fascinated by the myth of Atlantis. Werner Fiedler, Mike Koren, Christian Stani and Chris Kamper decided in August 2000 to work on a concept inspired by the enigmas surrounding Atlantis. Later that summer, I joined the project and Visions of Atlantis was born.
With the recording of our first three-song demo in December 2000 and our live premiere with Edenbridge, we began our professional career. The reactions to our demo were tremendous and soon the offers began pouring in. In mid-august 2001, we signed a worldwide deal with the German label TTS Media Music/ Black Arrow Productions, who subsequently released our debut, Eternal Endless Infinity, in the summer of 2002.
In the summer of 2003, vocalist Mario Plank and keyboarder Miro Holly replaced vocal Christian Stani and Chris keyboard player Kamper in time for the signing of our new recording contract with Napalm Records.
Your sound is a lot like artists such as Nightwish. Would you agree?
I so want to say, no, we are not a Nightwish copycat! Nightwish are close friends of ours and we have played with them before. They have no problem with us, why should there fans? We do have a different style though!
Young bands need a kind of model and a source of inspiration, so that they can find their own style. On the first CD you can surely hear the influence that bands like Nightwish, Rhapsody, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, and so on had on us, but our second album hopefully sounds more unique and independent.
We are also influenced by classical music, musicals, operas and so on! I think that on the new album one recognizes more clearly the characteristic style we developed and that we are clearly no clone of existing similar bands.
What do you feel is the special thing that makes VOA unique from others in the genre?
We are not as dark as Nightwish. I think that we have a more positive sound and also Mario and I share the main vocal duties 50/50.
Your first album was re-issued in conjunction with the release of your new record Cast Away. Can you tell us about why VOA and Napalm Records decided to do that?
Thatís easy to explain. You see our old Deal with TTS Media Music ran out and EEI was sold so we had to re-release the first album so that it would still be available to new and old fans.
Cast Away is a really strong album. When you were recording the album, what kinds of goals did you have for the finished album?
The songs on Cast Away contain another story but it is very important for us, that, while our interpretation remains the same, the listener can connect his personal feelings and emotions with the songs. We also metaphorically tell a piece of life. That's why we selected for ourselves a mythic band-name, because fantasy and myth unite when our music is at its best. I think that when you write a song you already have a certain picture before your eyes and whichever band members identifies with that picture the most writes the lyrics for it.
How has the new album been received so far compared to how you thought it would be received?
I made no expectations therefore I am very happy that the album has been received so well!
How does Cast Away compare to the first album?
On the new album one recognizes more clearly the characteristic style we have developed and that we are clearly no clone of existing similar bands. Moreover we, and our music, have grown up a lot. We also had an outstanding producer this time around. One who had very good ideas and helped us to make the songs really great!
On Cast Away, we bring out our wild side but also our soft and melancholic sides more. It is very emotional and we worked outside of our borders. Not, that we think, our last album Eternal Endless Infinity was so bad, no, it was even good for the time-pressure in composing and recording. I just want to show you our development.
I really like how complete the packaging for Cast Away looks. The cover and music work perfectly together to create your image.
The artwork is very important for us. When you see a CD cover you build up ideas in your mind about the music. We try to have covers which represent our music best.
Is there a particular song on the new album that you feel perfectly represents where you are at in your musical career at this moment?
I think it's our Single "Lost." We have also a video for it. The song contains all the elements that we want to present.
Do you have any tour plans coming up for 2005?
Yeah! This year we have a South American tour with Edenbridge and Epica, a Mexico Tour, and a European tour with Elis We will also play at the Wave Gotik Treffen in Leibzig.
Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers?
Yeah, I hope we see you all very soon at a concert!