Danae Komodromou ( vocals) and Esa Mikkola ( instruments) are the musical force that is Scarlet Desire. Their debut single Cry For Your Name is the epitome of symphonic metal but is it so much more than that . The level of musicianship on here is astounding, searing metal with melody complemented by a voice from the heavens! Multi layered and textured this is a determined project that began with the bands name.
”For me, the strong desire to achieve my targets has always been the generating force for anything new. Being a huge fan of the gothic subculture, I used to listen to vampiric metal as a teenager, and the mystical character of the song "A Dream of Scarlet Nights" by Siebenbürgen really expressed my creative spirit. The name Scarlet Desire represents passion, romanticism and the obscure, things that define my perception of art and motivation. (Danae)
”We were thinking about the name and trying to come up with it for one evening in a pub in England, and in the end of the night the name was written on the paper and it sounded perfect to both of us. (Esa)
Cry for your Name is quite the debut!
”When I first heard Esa's music, I couldn't believe my ears. It was exactly what I have been looking for, but hadn't found anywhere up to that point. The metal sound coexisting perfectly with the romantic gothic orchestral elements, and mainly, the black metal harmonies he employs at certain spots, opening tunnels for further musical quests, just blew me away. Vocal lines, choral arrangements, lyrics and thematology emerged instantly in my head, and complementing what was already there had never been easier. (Danae)
”I composed the song before meeting with Danae, but she loved it and it was very easy to see that her vocals fit the song perfectly. It’s very easy to work with Danae and ideas just keep coming from both sides. We are currently getting the second single ready for releasing. It’s going well, and I think it will be an autumn release. (Esa)'
You both have formidable musical backgrounds how do you complement each other?
‘Having a classical background, but being a metal fan at the same time, seemed to be working well on Esa’s symphonic metal compositions. We have both always been interested in combining classical orchestrations with the rock sound and could be described as intuitive in terms of picking up certain styles and following specific lines.’
‘I have been playing piano since I was 7 and started taking classical singing lessons at the age of 10. Couple years later, I discovered the great symphonic metal bands and never stopped composing music of that genre since then. Although I have never played e. guitar or drums myself, the passion and strong desire to analyze and decipher the songs I liked lead into deeper understanding of the way such instruments were used in metal, and at the same time my knowledge on classical music and singing & love for poetry resulted in the creation
of almost complete symphonic metal songs.’
‘Esa added impressive guitar solos on my songs and I contributed with choral or/and orchestral arrangements on his. His musicality and instinct make him capable of composing, not only rock and metal, but also great classical and baroque – inspired sections which inspire for even further development and expression. (Danae)’
’It’s kind of a perfect team work. I have the knowledge of technology, recording, mixing and mastering etc. But my knowledge of music theory and more advanced things is limited. Danae has advanced theory knowledge and she has absolute ear and she can compose music and lyrics anytime very easily. Somehow we are a great team working on this specific type of music. (Esa)’
Does it take a long time to complete a track and you produce and record yourselves?
’We have had mostly challenges working in the same room over these years. We have done recordings in England, Greece and Finland. It has not been easy. But if in the future we can spend more time working in the same studio space, we can create songs very fast. We already have a big storage of material which just needs finishing. We record all demos ourselves. We also record vocals ourselves. But instruments have been recorded in a real studio with a professional sound engineer. (Esa)’
Will future songs continue in the same style or will other styles be used?
‘Each of us two listened to different bands and that has brought varying influences in our music. It is not possible to show all of them in a single song or album, therefore future songs will express different aspects of the band’s artistic expression. That, of course, depends on the listeners’ preferences. (Danae)’
’Future songs will be in the same style, but since we both compose material, some changes will come when more Danae’s material will be released. It will be a very interesting mix of both of our composing styles. (Esa)’
You also have some guest appearances?
We have a guest male vocalist Heikki Pöyhiä and orchestrations are made by the keyboardist of Kamelot, Oliver Palotai. And if needed in the future songs, we might use other artists also to help us. If there will be live concerts in the future, we can also try to use these guests there. (Esa)
When can we expect a full length album?
’It has been very challenging to work now because we live in different countries and COVID made it even more challenging. So I would say that an album could be released earliest in the end of 2021. More realistically 2022. (Esa)’
Danae your vocals are a pure head turner! You are a classically trained soprano? And how many octaves is your voice?
‘Thank you! I was trained as a coloratura soprano from the age of ten up to 16, when I got my vocal performance degree in Greece and then visited the UK for auditions. Just when I finished secondary school, I went to do my bachelors on vocal performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, a course lasting for 5 years along with the introductory course. 6 years later, I returned to Greece where I worked for 3 years and studied with the soloist Rossitza Troeva, who trained me as a dramatic spinto soprano. My vocal range covers 3 ½ octaves. (Danae)’
What drew you to Symphonic metal and not more traditional fields?
’I got into symphonic metal through Nightwish and Tarja Turunen. I saw them in live concert in my home town in 1999 and met them, and since then I have been a big fan and got into other symphonic metal bands as well. But I listen many other genres of music also. I’m into many different genres of metal and even into pop/rap music. ’
What makes you different from other Symphonic metal bands?
’Probably just our unique style of composing and the old school sound we have which is very dark and gothic. It might make older fans of this genre like us a lot. Also Danae has very unique and beautiful voice and she has a wide range of vocals which can be used effectively in some very high notes, both on recording and in live concert. (Esa)’
Why do you think it has become so popular?
’I think classical music has always been very popular for almost any people. And since symphonic metal combines classical orchestra with metal, but the vocals are not as “opera” as they would be in a real opera, it makes it maybe more pleasant for many people. And when it’s combined with metal guitars, bass and drums, it’s such a powerful and epic combination which can give you very beautiful feelings. ’
’I got into rock/metal music when I was about 12-15 old and later I got into more heavier subgenres of metal. I also played guitar since I was 12, and I started playing metal with a drummer in the age of 15. It just always gave me some beautiful feelings and I like the power and just the sound of it. (Esa)’
’My composing is influenced by my traveling to Lapland, Norway and Sweden a lot I think. I have seen so many landscapes with lakes, seas, mountains and forests, that it probably gives me inspiration for composing epic symphonic metal. Also I have watched hundreds of movies and a lot of TV series etc, which probably also influenced me. I have also been a big fan of Hans Zimmer’s compositions and I have listened a lot of them. (Esa)
ESA how many instrument's do you play and with your experience does the songwriting process become easier?
’I can play guitar, keyboards, bass and drums pretty well, but guitar is my main instrument. I’m sure I could play some other instruments too, but I haven’t really had chance to study them a lot. It definitely helps the songwriting a lot, because I can program drums already pretty close to the final version at home with a computer. I can also play demo bass guitar and guitar and play some demo orchestras by myself for demo songs. That way songs are already pretty much complete when they come to Danae for vocals. From there we just need to produce them and change them to be more professional. (Esa)’
’Next will be the release of the second song this autumn. After that we need to start working on the third song. After this global situation gets better with concerts etc. We will try to organize also live concerts in the future when we have enough ready material. But so far we will just keep releasing songs and contacting labels for a possible record deal. (Esa)’
Your individual top 6 albums of all time
Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 1
Dimmu Borgir - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant
Cradle of Filth - Dusk and her embrace
Nightwish - Wishmaster
Children of Bodom - Hatebreeder
Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill (Esa)