Interview with Jordan Von Grae (Carmeria) and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
JVG: As a band, Carmeria very much falls into the realm of Symphonic-Goth Metal. We’re greatly influenced by the bands within that genre, and it just so happens that our compositional styling naturally tends to gravitate towards that sound.
As an individual artist, I’d describe myself as a singer-songwriter/creative director, with a diverse background in rock and metal.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make
JVG: I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, and have been around music my whole life. My parents always played a lot of KISS, Queen and Meatloaf when I was growing up, which is where my love for the theatrical element of rock and metal stems from. When I was 10, I saw the movie ‘Rock Star’ with Mark Wahlberg and was just totally sucked into the world of heavy metal as a result. I decided then and there that writing and performing music was what I wanted to do. I’d spend hours on the computer looking through forums to find new bands to listen to, and began to really find my identity within the rock and metal community, and it’s various subcultures. I started writing music in my teens, experimenting with multiple instruments and collaborating with like minded people. I started playing around the local pub/club circuit in bands the moment I turned 18, and began releasing music with the groups I was fronting. In my early 20’s I undertook 2 years of classical voice training, and a few years later completed a music degree majoring in composition and music production. I have performed all over the country in many different genres over the years, but have really found myself as an artist in my current bands (Carmeria, and Bad Moon Born).
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What
do you like to write about in your songs?
JVG: There’s a myriad of factors that inspire me to write music, but a large part of that comes from being in love with the creative process. The ability to facilitate an artwork from the first idea to the final product is such a rewarding experience, and I’m constantly driven to create new pieces as a result. Musically I draw a lot of influence from the artists I admire, which is quite hard to document due to having quite an eclectic taste. As a vocalist, I can probably narrow my influences down to 5 singers; Roy Khan (Kamelot), Jeff Buckley, Russell Allen (Symphony X), Ville Valo (HIM), and Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria). Lyrically, I’m quite drawn to writing about my life experiences through a poetic lens, with emphasis on my state of mind through those events. I also enjoy weaving dark narratives into my lyric writing from time to time.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
JVG: I’d love to be able to travel the world with the bands. The idea of performing our music in other countries is incredibly exciting, and is something we’ve been working on for a very long time. As a band, we’d also love to be able to make a living off our art one day. I think that in itself is the ultimate goal.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
JVG: Towards the end of 2019 I toured Australia with my other band (Bad Moon Born), supporting Buckcherry and Hardcore Superstar. Playing to that many people in a different city each night is such an incredible experience, and I’m very much looking forward to doing it again once the world opens back up. Another worthy mention is the first time I sat back and listened to the album master for Carmeria’s upcoming debut record, Advenae (due May 14th). Having spent 6 years working on it, it felt pretty surreal to hear it complete, in it’s entirety. I’m very proud of what we’ve created and I’m really looking forward to the future this band.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists
emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
JVG: It’s quite a challenge promoting this kind of music in Australia, as the target demographic for Symphonic Metal is largely situated in Europe and America. That said, social media has definitely helped level the playing field, as we’re now able to reach those parts of the world more easily. We also have a brilliant management team who assist us in keeping on top of the best way to market our sound, using these tools.
With so many new artists emerging, the competition is definitely there, but I feel it helps drive us to work both harder, and smarter.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
JVG: Our booking agent (Destroy All Lines) handles all of our shows and tours within Australia, which takes a lot of the pressure off of us in that regard. We handle all of the promotion ourselves in consultation with our management team (Hard Drive Agency). We have a few shows coming up, and are starting to look at booking a nationwide tour for September in support of our debut album.
The performances we have coming up include:
April 10 | Scream It Out Festival (All Ages) – Sydney, Australia.
Facebook Event: https://fb.me/e/1Ugj0BAbn
Ticket Link: bitly.com/screamitouttickets
May 29 | The Factory Floor – Sydney, Australia.
Facebook Event: TBA
Ticket Link: TBA
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
JVG: Whilst I can appreciate the convenience and accessibility of online downloading and streaming platforms as a listener, services like these make it incredibly hard for artists and musicians to get by financially. Independent artists usually fund their projects out of their own pocket until they’re able to garner enough of a following to pull off a self-sustaining business model, which is quite difficult to achieve. When you’re only making $0.00348 per stream (In Spotify’s case) despite spending thousands and thousands of your own dollars bringing your creation to life, it can often tax your creativity and can really burn you out financially. Personally, I’d hate to compare the money I’ve poured into various projects over years against what I’d earned back from streaming and download platforms. All that said, there’s quite a large movement now fighting for fair pay for artists/musicians, so hopefully we’ll start to see some changes soon.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JVG: It’s quite difficult to pick just one. There are so many songs I wish I’d written haha. Carmeria are currently working on an acoustic cover of A Sailorman’s Hymn by Kamelot, and it’s had me fall in love with the song all over again, so for the time being I think I’d say that wins. Either that or Catch the Rainbow by Rainbow.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
JVG: The music industry is quite a difficult field to navigate. There’s not much in the way of artist protection, and unfortunately there are quite a few people out there who take advantage of artist’s naivety when it comes to the business side of things. Unfortunately, in Australia there’s also not a great amount of interest or support for the arts, which makes it difficult for musicians to flourish in an industry that’s already fraught with challenges and obstacles. We’re still a fair bit behind other countries in that regard, so if I could change anything it would be the governments perception towards the value of the creative industries in Australia.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
JVG: Carmeria are about to release our full length debut album (May 14th), so we’re currently busy behind the scenes putting all the finishing touches on everything. We’ve also started songwriting and are in the early stages of developing ideas for album 2, so I really can’t see us slowing down any time soon. I’m also in the midst of releasing an EP with my other band, Bad Moon Born, as well as songwriting for a solo record that I’ll be working on towards the end of this year. Whilst I’m absolutely flat out, I’m having a great time with the creation and release process.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
JVG: You can learn all about the band by following us on our socials, and can buy our music and merch through the links below:
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/CarmeriaMusi…
Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/carmeria
Twitter | https://twitter.com/carmeria
Merchandise | https://shop.carmeria.com/
Bandcamp | https://carmeria.bandcamp.com/
Band/Artist location – Sydney NSW Australia
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Last Fm
Check our page for Carmeria