EWINIAR is a new band from Croatia, consisting of Marin and Katarina Tramontana (husband & wife). They have recently released their independent debut album Burning The Night, which has received plenty of great reviews and following. In this interview Marin and Katarina talk about their influences, as well as various aspects of their new album. *Check out my previous review, as well – check out the links below.
- First, can you tell me a bit about the band name, what it means or where it came from?
Marin: Ewiniar is the name of the Micronesian god of thunder. Since we share a love for rain and heavy rhythms it seemed very interesting to us. Also, it does not suggest a style of music that we play, so we have extra freedom of expression that is very important to us.
Had you been making music together prior to this, and how did it evolve in to Ewiniar – the sound and direction your album has taken?
Marin: We were both in a few bands that played mostly covers, but we wanted to go in a different direction and start something on our own. That’s how the idea of Ewiniar was born. It all started with a few demos, but later we realized we wanted to make a complete project. We weren’t targeting a specific style; we were just looking for a sweet spot between our musical possibilities and our musical tastes and I think we achieved that on our debut album.
What influences have you both as singers, musicians, songwriters? [favorites of each, as well as a few favorite albums each]
Katarina: I adore music and I understand it very broadly so I have been and still am influenced by artists from different genres. It’s definitely not easy to pick some favorites from everything I listen to, but let’s say these are artists I’ve been listening to for years: Paradise Lost, Dead Can Dance, Depeche Mode, AIR, The Sisters of Mercy, Nick Cave and Vangelis.
As for the albums, the choice is also not easy as I could choose many of them. The first that come to my mind are: Type O Negative – October Rust, Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Tiamat – Wildhoney David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive, Mark Lanegan – Blues Funeral, Nightwish – Century Child.
Marin: I can say that that I grew up with classic metal bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Slayer and I still like them very much, but later I discovered some of the bands that Kate already mentioned and that was my way to go. My albums would be in no particular order: Type O Negative – October Rust, Paradise Lost – Icon, Amorphis – Tales From the Thousand Lakes, Alice In Chains – Dirt, anything from Dead Can Dance…
Can you tell me a bit about how songs were put together — what they started with and how they developed?
Marin: Usually, I have a bunch of short ideas, that can be musical part or some vocal line and everything starts from there. From there I add new things, while trying to keep the flow of the song. Sometimes it goes smoothly, sometimes I need to rearrange songs multiple times before the balance is reached. Once song is musically done, I am forwarding it to Katarina for the lyrics. Our roles are fairly divided. I make the basic construction of the songs and the vocal lines. Once the song is ready, Kate works on the lyrics, in the end we work together on the vocal arrangements and details.
What influences or inspires the lyrics or lyrical topics? Any stories behind any songs you can tell me about?
Katarina: I write about everything I feel, see and hear. Sometimes inspiration comes from my own experience, and sometimes it’s from other people’s experiences. Sometimes it’s just a feeling I draw from a book I read or a film I watch. Honestly, I tend to over-analyze everything, so from that tendency comes the inspiration for the lyrics I write. As for the context, I don’t like to say what the song is about but I prefer the listeners to interpret as they want and find their own meaning in it. But, since you ask, I can tell you a secret that the film Scream for me Sarajevo was a great inspiration for me while I was writing the lyrics for the song Mother.
Do you plan on playing this album live? If so, presumably you’ll be adding players to the band for live shows.
Marin: Regarding live gigs, we were slowed down by corona virus situation, but once everything goes back to normal (at least to some extent), we will hopefully be able to be active in that way, as well. Of course, we want to perform live, but until the conditions for that are met, we will continue to release new material as duo.
Did you have a hand in choosing the album’s artwork? and can you tell me a bit about the cover? [what’s it about and about the artist who created it]
Katarina: Artwork was done by English artist James Hutton. In search for something that will be interesting and suit our style we found his sketches and drawings on social networks and immediately fell in love with them. His works are brilliant, mostly in occult folk style with pen and paper. There is no specific message behind the cover, it is more like a glimpse of the visual atmosphere that can be heard in our music, mix of the good and evil, hope and sadness, dream and reality sharing the same space, or in this case, burning fingers of the hand.
What is the hard-rock / metal scene like in Croatia? And the music scene there in general? Any fellow Croatian bands you’d recommend to rock fans?
Marin: I would say that Croatian scene is not too big, but those who are there are very passionate about what they do. Before COVID-19 it was just fine, concerts were being held very often with good communications between the bands. There are always some enthusiastic promotors who are willing to push scene little bit further, but unfortunately, Covid made everything worse and there are lot of bands quitting these days. The bands I would recommend are: Act of Denial, Kryn and Manntra. These are great musicians; you may even know some of them.
Have you started thinking about or writing a follow up album? When might that happen and how might it differ?
Marin: Our future plans are to be active as long as possible and to produce new songs and albums. As soon as we were done with the debut album we started to work on new songs, so I can say that it is already in progress, but for now we are still promoting current album and hopefully later in the year we will be able to talk about follow up album with more details.