‘’When I was younger, I was constantly searching for music that could serve as an outlet for my more extreme emotions, and it wasn’t until I discovered extreme music that I felt adequately seen and heard. But the sad, angry side is just one facet of my personality, of course, and I didn’t feel like I could fully express myself as a musician and create truly human, three-dimensional music that adequately represented me without adding in other styles. My genre-flipping might make my music a little hard to pin down, but it’s ultimately a storytelling device that helps me tell more complete, three-dimensional stories. People can’t relate to flat, one-dimensional characters, so using different musical styles keeps the ideas feeling more real. I don’t want Exiled Hope to be a project that you need to be in a specific mood to listen to in my stories, and I can’t do that if I box myself into one specific style.
‘’My characters and stories are allegories for the ideas, experiences, and internal conflicts from everyday life that run around in my brain. They’re highly abstracted and dramatized through this fictional world, which makes it easier for me to “see” and work through them in a more concrete way. It’s a bit of a paradox because the abstraction makes my thoughts and feelings more concrete and “real” when represented in solid characters and storylines.
Sofia Frasz (all instruments and all vocals) is Exiled Hope an interconnected universe where the characters represent reality and our struggles. It is dark at times malevolent yet not without light. It defies categorization by interweaving Black metal , folk ,and power metal into something new and vibrant .‘’The Summoning” is a prelude to the new album ‘’Apocrypha’’ that continues within her own creation of the Exiled Hope mythos.
‘’It continues in the same setting/universe, but it focuses on a different character. Apocrypha takes place some years after Hope’s death at the end of the first album and follows a character who is torn between finishing the rebellion she started and following his own path (for better or for worse).
’The Summoning’’ is a heavier delve into doom and black metal. Can we expect more extremes as your music progress’?
‘’Absolutely! I love everything from heavy doom and black metal to ethereal, folksy ballads. Those extremes and everything in between are well-represented on the album, from heavier tracks like “The Summoning” and “Altar Of Moloch” to almost poppy tracks like “Dreamwalker.” These are all parts of my musical personality that blend together to make Exiled Hope, so I will continue to explore these extremes in future work.
How does ‘’Apocrypha’’ tie into your reality? it was originally meant as something read in private but now is more commonly known as suspicious or heretical. It sounds like this album is going to be quite the ride thematically.
‘’That’s exactly the intention. The protagonist doubts the nature of a world that tells him what and who he is in no uncertain terms and tries to discover his true self while being tempted toward darkness. He doesn’t want to accept what everyone tells him he is, but part of him wants to just give up on this quest for truth and alternate perspectives and embrace his dark nature.
Do classical elements influence your music?
‘’They absolutely do, I’m a huge fan of classical elements in metal. They make everything feel much more grandiose, ancient, and powerful, which certainly fits the characters in this universe.
It is said that light is borne from darkness. How do you deal with the juxtaposition of opposing forces and how you represent them in your music?
‘’That is exactly what this album is about! Ultimately, the protagonist is forced to make a decision: to use the power that comes with his demonic condition to fight the evil forces that threaten the city, or to simply accept that he can never be anything but evil since it is (supposedly) in his nature. Musically, I represent this by using different voices (clean and harsh, triumphant, and melancholic) to act as different characters in the story, and by using different musical elements (power metal, folk metal, doom metal, black metal, symphonic/classical) to represent different stages in the protagonist’s journey and emotional state.
The importance of metaphors with within the journey?
‘’Paradoxically, the metaphors make the ideas I’m exploring more real to me. It can be hard for me to get my feelings off my chest exactly as they are, so I abstract them into metaphors and storytelling devices to put them in a slightly less-intimate form that I’m more comfortable exploring.
How does one find their identity especially in the modern world? Where categories and individualism reduced to a mere hashtag?
‘’You need to get comfortable with loneliness if you’re going to find your identity. Not everyone is going to understand or like you, and it’s not your job to make people understand or like you. You could be the most perfect person in the world, and someone will still find a reason to dislike you, so you might as well spend time figuring out your own preferences, your own style, and your own values instead of trying to appease other people. Do more things by yourself without the influence of other people and without the pressure to “perform” for others, and you’ll start to understand your own values and preferences.
Does music allow you the complete freedom to express yourself freely and The importance of metaphors with within the journey?
‘’I think it does, but I would feel even more free with more musical skills in my toolbox that would allow me to more accurately express myself. There’s always room to learn and improve to create a more complete emotional experience.
You are also balancing a full-time legal career; how do you manage to do all this? It seems that the two things are at polar opposites yet make perfect sense!
‘’Takes good time management skills, ha-ha! You prioritize what’s important to you. They’re really not polar opposites when you think about it. As a solo artist, I’m in charge of every aspect of my career, which means I make sure I get paid. This means having solid contracts with collaborators and registering my intellectual property. Getting a law degree isn’t necessary to have a basic understanding of these things, but understanding intellectual property and entertainment law definitely helps. I also want to help other artists secure their careers by entering into solid contracts with collaborators and protecting their intellectual property, and in order to do this, you need to understand the music industry in depth.
Any other musical endeavours looming?
I’m currently finalizing the soundtracks for two short films, Hallowed Paths and What Happens After Midnight. I love film scoring as much as metal!
Top 6 albums of all time?
Oh, this is difficult…
1. The Scarecrow or Ghostlights by Avantasia, depending on my mood.
2. The Black Halo by Kamelot
3. Time by Wintersun
4. Emerald Seas by Seven Spires
5. Illuminated by Vintersea
6. Dark Passion Play or Imaginaerum by Nightwish