Prognaut.com: Hello, and welcome to the Prognaut.com. Thank you for your willingness to take time to answer some questions. I know that you are very busy with the kickoff of your tour and all that goes with the release of a new album. So thank you.
Marcela: My pleasure!
Prognaut.com: What were some of the major changes that you and the band went through in between Embrace the Storm, and the new album?
Marcela: The line up changes that we went through with the band were definitely the biggest changes that we went through. With Arjen Lucassen, Lori and Alejandro leaving the band we didn't only have to find new musicians to fill in their positions, but also prove ourselves to the critics and audience that even after all these changes Stream of Passion would retain its sound and spirit.
Prognaut.com: What was different about the process of the making the two albums?
Marcela: For Embrace the Storm Arjen had of course the leadership of the band, so he proposed all the initial ideas. I contributed the melodies and lyrics and we all chipped in on arrangements, but Arjen was the one orchestrating the whole process. For this new album we needed to figure out a new way of working; so what we did is for most of the songs I would write the initial structure and melodies, record them at home (by that time I was still living in Mexico) and then send them to the guys for them to work on them. We put some demo versions together through the Internet, and later in the process when I moved to Holland we had the chance of getting together regularly in a rehearsal room, fine-tune the details of all arrangements and refine the song structures together. And that was the biggest difference I think; after working on the tracks together for so long we really got a live-band feeling out of them, which was precisely what we were looking for.
Prognaut.com: For me, the theme of Embrace the Storm centers on making the most of the learning we gain from the difficult situations we all go through. Embrace the challenge and let it strengthen your character. Is that a fair assessment?
Marcela: Yes! That is precisely what I had in mind.
Prognaut.com: How would you describe the theme of the Flame Within?
Marcela: The Flame Within is the inner strength, the drives, that pushes us forward into following our dreams and achieving your goals. In a way it represents what we went through by putting the album together, how we had to find that willpower within ourselves to carry on and make it through the obstacles we encountered.
Prognaut.com: I first heard your voice on the Human Equation from the Ayreon series. What were some of the highlights of your experiences while working with Arjen Lucassen on the Human Equation and the Final Experiment?
Marcela: Getting to know him and being able to see the way he works, writes music and assembles these huge projects was incredible. To me it was amazing how he can put together all these different styles and voices into one coherent and continuous piece of work; he just goes ahead and tries out new things if he wants to, not following "rules" or guidelines but just his own musical instinct. I learned a lot from the experience.
Prognaut.com: How was the experience of working with Arjen different for Embrace the Storm?
Marcela: In the beginning I was a bit stressed! He gave me a lot of opportunity to collaborate in a big part with the writing of the songs, which is a great honor but also felt like a big responsibility to me. We both didn't know what to expect in the beginning, but things just started happening and ideas began to flow; we both got more and more excited with the way the songs began to evolve, and we ended up sharing a lot of wonderful moments with the band.
Prognaut.com: What was the most memorable part of your experience working and touring with your sister Diana?
Marcela: Even though we've been both involved in music since we were little, we'd never had the chance to be on stage together, so that was really cool! Our voices fit very well together; and being sisters we can communicate very easily, something that was also fun to experience on stage, while interacting with each other and with the audience.
Prognaut.com: I read that at one time you considered a career as an interpreter. With your multi – lingual talents and your experience and interest in different cultures you must get allot of ideas and inspiration. Which have been the most interesting cultures and languages to study?
Marcela: Besides Spanish my native tongue I've also studied English, French, Dutch and a bit of German; I've got to say I've found them all fascinating on their own! I think a language, its grammar, how the words are put together and how people use them also tells you a lot about the culture itself; it's really interesting for me to find those particularities on the languages I've studied. Right now I've been focusing a lot on Dutch, because of my recent moving to The Netherlands. The language tells me a lot about the Dutch people and their mentality; it's very different to the Latin culture where I come from, but I really like it.
Prognaut.com: I read in your bio that you have worked with the band Hydra and you have your own band Elfonia. What are your plans for the future for both of these bands?
Marcela: Actually both bands have quit for a while now, so I'm concentrating on Stream of Passion at the moment..
Prognaut.com: I noticed on your website that A Picture of Dorian Grey is one of your favorite books. Is it the moral of the story or the characters in the book that interest you the most?
Marcela: Yes, the moral struggle of the main character really interested me, but also the wonderful imaginery. I still vividly remember how reading the part when Dorian first sees that evil grin on his face on that portrait sent shivers down my spine!
Prognaut.com: Net surfing is one of your hobbies. What are some of your favorite sites to visit?
Marcela: I mostly spend my time on social networks catching up with my friends; I also spend a lot on time on the band's website and forum, and searching for new interesting bands or musicians.
Prognaut.com: Your song on the Gathering’s new CD, Pale Traces, is wonderful. What was the inspiration for that collaboration?
Marcela: I first got in touch with the band on a small tour they made in Mexico, when I opened their shows with one of my old bands Elfonía. When I found out they were looking for singers for their new album I sent them an e-mail telling them I would be interested in collaborating with them; they liked the idea and they sent me a couple of songs to work on. They wanted me to focus on my atmospheric, experimental side, so that's the kind of songs that we worked on together. I really liked the results, and I'm very happy to have had the chance to join them in this new era they're just beginning.
Prognaut.com: Street Spirit from Radiohead was a great choice. Your performance makes it sound like your song. Is there another song that you would love to sing or include on an album in the future?
Marcela: I'd love to do something by Muse or Tori Amos. But you never know; I think concerning cover songs the strangest ideas tend to be the ones that turn out the best, so we'll see what we can come up with!
Prognaut.com: How did you connect with Napalm Records?
Marcela: We first got in touch with them via Alex from Leaves Eyes, who I met back in 2006 at Graspop. They offered us a very nice deal, and from the start gave us great confidence with all their years of experience in the underground and gothic scenes.
Prognaut.com: Where is your favorite place to sing?
Marcela: Everywhere! I love to sing. Be it on stage, on rehearsal or in the shower.
Prognaut.com: How was the show July 19th? What were the highlights? Which songs sounded best live?
Marcela: It was nice! We had already gotten used to having at least one gig every weekend, and because the weekend before we didn’t have any shows planned we were already ridiculously anxious to go back on stage. We enjoyed every moment, but I think some high moments were the audience were more enthusiastic were “Street spirit” and “Games we play”.
Prognaut.com: I missed the CD release party. Please tell us how much fun that was for you and the fans to celebrate the release.
Marcela: For us besides a very happy moment it also felt like a big release. After waiting for so long to have the album released, to finally be able to start playing live as much as possible to promote the new songs just felt fantastic. It also felt great to see so many familiar faces from friends and family in the audience, including Arjen and Lori… It was just a great day!
Prognaut.com: You know I had to ask if you are planning a tour of North America.
Marcela: We have no plans at the moment. I sure hope we get the chance to do it eventually though! There’s so much from North America that I still haven’t seen… Would also be a good excuse to take a small holiday…
Prognaut.com: What is your favorite Monterey, Mexico restaurant? How about your favorite Dutch restaurant?
Marcela: Let’s see… In Monterrey there’s this fantastic sea food restaurant, Mexican style that I just love; it’s called “Los Arcos” and they make a shrimp ceviche that is just out of this world! And as for Dutch restaurants… well, there aren’t all that many Dutch cuisine restaurants in Holland, since I think the Dutch themselves prefer world cuisine… But I did have a wonderful Dutch style meal at the Holland Casino in Breda; it was beef tenderloin with a very nice sauce, some vegetables and some potatoes. Simple, but great!
(As you can see from my elaborate response, I’m quite a food enthusiast J)
Prognaut.com: As a prof I have to ask what was your major in college?
Marcela: I majored in Computer Systems Engineering.
Prognaut.com: Do you have any pets?
Marcela: Yes! A bunny named Pablo. He likes to chew on cables.
Prognaut.com: My wife wants to know if you plan to tour or have ever visited South America.
Marcela: I’ve never visited South America! But I’ve heard some many wonderful things about it that I really can’t wait to go there.
Prognaut.com: Is there a major concept album or rock opera in Stream of Passion’s future?
Marcela: I never plan my music so far ahead that I start thinking of a whole concept album… But you never know! Whatever inspiration brings, we’ll follow.
Prognaut.com: And do you believe, “truth falls below the ideal”?
Marcela: Yes. There is no perfection in the world, so ideals will always be above reality. Which is not so bad, because it also means we can always strive to reach a higher level. Being able to reach perfection would mean you have nowhere else to go, and that would be kind of boring...
Marcela, thank you again for your time and consideration of the questions. I hope we can do this again in the future!
Prognaut.com: Marcela did a very complete interview with Stephen Lambe which documents her musical history and the lead up to Embrace the Storm. Stephen’s interview served as a guide and a starting point to continue the story of Marcela Bovio and Stream of Passion. You can read the full interview here:
(Lambe, S., 2006). Marcela Bovio, Stream of Passion, Embrace The Storm, and Live in Rotherham, reviews and artist reflections. Retrieved 7/10/2009 from website. [link]
Interviewed by Prof on July 30th, 2009