Interview with Monica Barta / Kratos

Gothic Metal

Hello Monica! Thank you for accepting this interview! Can you tell us few words about you and your band, Kratos?

Hi! Thank you very much for your invitation!

The band was formed in the fall of ’96 by Daniel Dron (guitar and vocal) aspiring at bringing his idea about gothic metal style on the Romanian scene. Of course, he has never thought to play or compose a specific metal style but he has simply drawn his own feelings on the musical stave.

The first noticeable release was “The Essence”, a demo composed and recorded in 1997. After the release of the demo, several radio and television interviews followed which led to participation in metal festivals around.

By 1999 we were already a well-established and known band in Romania. It was now time for our first LP. “Looking behind the mirror…” was released in mid ‘99 and immediately we started a set of tours to promote its music in Romania and abroad. Some notable events were the Tiamat opening act in 2005, 2008 Summer Nights Open Air Festival in Austria as well as concerts with Umbra et Imago, Rotting Christ and Suicidal Angels to name a few. We have released three singles: 2002 – Reverse Effect, 2010 – Beyond Knowing and 2013 – It’s Empty II.

All this time, we also had some lineup changes. Daniel Dron remains the band lead and he is accounting for almost all the Kratos compositions. I joined the band in ’99 as female vocal and since 2012 I’m also the band’s bass guitar player. Iustin (guitars) and Catalin (drums) completed the Kratos lineup also in 2012 so I believe it was a good year for the band.

Your band comes a long way since your first demo, in 1997. How would you sum up this journey? How did you style changed and evolved in time?

A very interesting journey; we have seen the rainbow on this road, we were hit by storms, we stopped, we went ahead, we have laughed, we cried, we fallen apart in stellar dust then we came back to life but there wasn’t a second to think or to feel anything else than moving forward. In the end it is all about the emotional intelligence and its complexity. We, the human beings, have the extraordinary ability to express all our experiences and feelings. What is more beautiful than showing all these, through art, no matter what kind of art it is! What is more challenging than self-analyzing your evolution over the years! I believe, that as the years pass, everyone evolves as a human being thus all that is created by human beings evolves too. I think this is what happened with our music too; with every step it has turned increasingly more but still keeping the basics elements. Atmospheric passages became darker and overall the music became more incisive.

Probably a tough question, but which one from you past concerts is the closest to your heart?

Yes, indeed! It is a tough one!  Each time, a beautiful connection is created between the crowd and the band so every show is unique and special.

But, if I have to think a particular one, personally, I keep in my heart, the incredible feedback that we have received from the crowd from Iasi, after our show in March 2015, in a small but incredible welcoming bar called “The Gate Bar”. It was absolutely astonishing when the people told us simple and sincerely: “Your show was a fairy-tale!”.

Can you introduce us in a couple of words your latest release, Arlechino? How was it received by the public?

I actually see two questions here; at least this is how it reveals to me and I’m very glad to talk about the concept of our “Arlechino” album. It is focusing on the drama, life contrasts and inner struggles of the soul, a psychological puzzle “like an Arlechino act”.
The lyrics are focused on the three evolutionary phases of the human spirit.

First one exposes the lie, falsehood, hollowness, deceitfulness and strong egos which are causing suffering to others.

The second phase creates an image about the positive part of humanity, the good we are able to exhibit and the inner power of free will.

The third and final phase represents the ether, universal, macro-cosmic stage.

Without limits the human is the Universe and The Universe is rolling into him.

 

In fact, the album is a transposition of universal evolution of the human spirit. Each song represents a different face of the human being but in its entire the album is a window to the Awakening of the human consciousness; from selfishness, malice, “humans playing with other souls”, the whole picture turns to the role of the people on this planet, the achievement of the spiritual level.

The entire concept it is absolutely perfect transposed in the cover and all the artwork  design for this album by Costin Chioreanu. He understood immediately our ideology and created the character “Arlechino” from the album cover. Every single line, every color used, the position of the character with the bloody wings are related to our lyrics. He practically, included in a single design the entire album ideology. From our point of view, “the creation” of Costin, is the work of a maestro. We love Costin! He is a very special artist but also a very special person.

The album is released under the Finnish label Inverse Records signature and the material is distributed in physical format in most European countries but also in digital format on the most important digital sales places.

 

“Arlechino” was rated very well in the European metal magazines; in countries like France, Holland, Germany, England, Czech Republic we were rated with 8,9 or 10 points. It is encouraging to see that your release is appreciated and understood. We have, also, tracks from this LP, published on the CD’s from some metal magazines, even in Portugal.

This interview is a part of a series that presents outstanding women in underground music scene. Can you tell us what it’s like to be a vocalist in an underground band? Are there any differences of treatment, compared to men?

Ha ha…not only vocalist but also bassist in the same band!

What is like?! It’s awesome!!

No, there are no differences compared to men! Only that, in our case, it’s not me lifting and carrying the anvil. My dear anvil!

I feel sorry for the guys every time we need the anvil for a show. The anvil is outrageously heavy and it is a real force movement to handle it; I constantly receive complaints from my bandmates. But, that’s the life! Ha ha…

Thank you for your compliment!

Nowadays, there are many outstanding women in the metal scene and I have a deep respect for all of them. Whether women or men, it’s about the team; every band is a team and overall the entire metal scene is a team. So I feel lucky and blessed to be part of this extraordinary team. I love you all!

When can you see your band next, live? Any future plans?

We have some nice future plans on the “screen” but let’s keep them in silence for the moment. All will be announced at the right time. Stay tuned!

What good albums did you discover lately and you would recommend to our readers?

We listen a lot of music of different genres. We haven’t a specific “pattern” and we prefer not to surround ourselves with a particular genre. Our favorite music ranges from epic, movie soundtracks as well as grind, death, black.

Lately, I have nurtured my soul with a lot of epic. Regarding the film music, which genre I love, some years ago I had the great opportunity to work with the the guys from Two Steps From Hell for two songs “Deck the Halls with Blood” and “This Is Oh My Dear” from their album “Halloween”.

But also, I’m a big fan of metal and extreme metal. I need metal music in my life!

 

I could not say: “I recommend this and this” because there are tones of awesome stuff and a lot of metal or non-metal genres. Everyone has its own preference and every heart vibrates to a certain rhythm. Just enjoy the music! The music is all around us even in the rustle of leaves and the whisper of nature.

Thank you very much, Monica, for your time. If there is anything more you would like to add, please do.

Thank you! Honestly, it has been a great pleasure to be here!

I am very honored being part of this interview!

 

“Arlechino” invites you at:

www.kratos.band

www.facebook.com/KratosBand

www.youtube.com/KratosOfficial

 

Stay true to yourself and to others!

 

Photo credits: Florin Matinca

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