Aonia are on our radar, they even played one of our (legendary) gigs. Not many bands can say that… Frostival looked set to be as big as Download and Hellfest put together at one point, but alas, it didn’t work out.
The CB Spotlight is dusted off and fired up:
Band Name : Aonia
Home Town : Sheffield
Year Formed : 2010
Current Lineup : Mel and Joanne – vocals; Tim – keyboards; James (‘Carrot’) and Przemek (‘Slick’) – guitars; Matt – bass; Dave – drums.
Brief History :
Aonia is a 7-headed, 14-legged creature, wielding two ‘sopranos with balls’ as vocalists, shredding twin axes, symphonic keys, and driving drums and bass. An operatic/progressive metal band, Aonia has been compared to artists such as Therion, Avantasia, Nightwish, Epica, and ReVamp.
Having released a single, “Violet Hours,” on 18/11/17, the band is charging ahead, recording their debut album, which is set for release on the 6th of October, 2018 at AoniaFest. An ambitious work, the ten tracks will feature up to five vocalists – including some exciting guest appearances from Blaze Bayley (Blaze Bayley, Wolfsbane, Ex-Iron Maiden) and Iliana Basileios Tsakiraki (Enemy of Reality).
Following the band’s 2014 “Sunchaser” release, Aonia completed a short UK tour with Alwaid (F). Aonia also organised their first festival, “AoniaFest,” which is set to return on the 6th of October 2018 at the Corporation in Sheffield. They also played the Dames of Darkness Festival and SOS Festival, and Jo and Mel were invited to record backing vocals on Blaze Bayley’s “Infinite Entanglement” trilogy.
The band hit a bump in 2016 with the departure of their drummer and bassist, but were brought quickly back up to full strength with the addition of Matt and David. In 2018, the band completed their first tour of the European mainland with Alwaid and won the Sheffield region’s Metal 2 the Masses Competition to play Bloodstock Festival.
A big congratulations from Cackblabbath to you on securing a slot at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. Has it sunk in yet?
Mel: Not at all. Every time something happens – the Bloodstock announcement, seeing the logo on the page, etc. – it feels a little bit more real, but I think I’m stuck in ‘To-Do-List Mode’ at the minute! It’ll probably hit me just as I’m about to set foot on that stage.
What can we expect from your set, why should people come and check you out?
Jo: We can guarantee that you won’t have seen anything like us; you will have so much fun and you will remember us.
Tim: Really big boobs.
Mel: Tim! Behave! Our music is very intricate and we’ve got lots of interesting melodies and harmonies going on. Our performance has always been very artistic and accomplished – so, we’ve really worked on making our stage show something special and memorable, to bring it up to the same standard as the music we write and perform.
Give us your best sales pitch…
Tim: That’s the boobs again!
Mel: Damnit, Tim! Seriously, come and check us out on the New Blood Stage. We’ve got two lead vocalists and two backing vocalists, plus keys and two guitarists, so it’s like Spaghetti Junction for melodies. Our amazing rhythm section holds it all together like an iron fist. Our songs are powerful and memorable, and we do everything in our power to make sure that everyone leaves an Aonia show feeling happy and energised.
Are you the party hard type of band, or will it be all serious and focused, well at least until after you’ve played?
Dave: We don’t party hard at all; we party calmly and sensibly. There will be a bit of seriousness, but most of us will be making a weekend of it and will have plenty of time to enjoy the festival in between serious things.
Jo: 50/50…We are never serious but we ARE professional so will be staying focused until after our set and then partying hard on the Sunday.
Tim: Both – we pride ourselves on our dedication and professionalism, which means I shall be partying before, during and after the gig. (I once drank a bottle of whisky during a 40 minute set.)
Mel: You bloody won’t.
Who else are you looking forward to catching at Bloodstock (assuming you will be making a weekend of it)?
Tim: All the bands I can – Nightwish, Gojira, Mr Big and Feed the Rhino particularly.
Dave: Too many to mention – there’s the big names everyone wants to see of course but some of the best moments are seeing bands you don’t know anything about and being amazed by someone completely new and fresh to you. Got a gap in between the bands on main stage? Go check out something new on Sophie or New Blood; you’ll probably see some of us there.
Jo: Nightwish, Luke Appleton…
Mel: Oh yeah, Luke Appleton’s a must. He’s such a talented musician and such a nice guy. For me – Nightwish with Floor is a DEFINITE. I love her. Orphaned Land were phenomenal last time I saw them down in Leicester, after their mind-blowing set at Bloodstock. On the New Blood tent, Sellsword, definitely – they put on such a great show and are so talented. Plus Cadence Noir on the New Blood tent; they’re so different, so memorable, and so entertaining to watch.
Describe your music to those of us who have not yet had the pleasure of hearing your racket?
Tim: Awesome – a fusion of technical and operatic metal with some NWOBHM thrown in for good measure. Oh, and did I say, REALLY big boobs!
Mel: For the love of…
Dave: Just another band, really. I mean, who hasn’t seen or heard at least a dozen seven-piece, dual female soprano opera singing, keyboard soloing, proggy but rockin’, 8-string guitaring, all-guns-blazing metal bands this week? Oh, you haven’t? Well maybe you should.
Right, tell us something interesting / amusing / stupid about the band :
Tim: Before we go on stage we all draw lots and the one who loses has to show their knickers whilst we are playing. Jo still hasn’t realised I have a system whereby I can make her lose at will.
Mel: Tim! Would you just –
Dave: We have just come back from our first quick trip around Europe – our first proper ‘tour’ as a band. One might assume it was all Jager-bombs, crazy nights and hung over mornings? Actually, it was more triple-scoop ice creams, napping in the van and going for morning jogs. Rock and effing roll!
Jo: Also, apparently, our egos are bigger than our boobs.
Mel: They totally are. I guess for me one of the more amusing things was that I was asked if I ‘put on a fake American accent to sound more rock and roll.’ I AM American! It’s just how I talk!
Who would be your fantasy tour-mates ?
Mel: Well, we’ve had it twice already with Alwaid – really nice people who are passionate about music, caring, and they really looked after us on the continent. I’d love to tour with FyreSky or Dakesis, as they’re both bands I really admire. On the pie-in-the-sky end, Sabaton, Rammstein, Within Temptation…
Tim: Girls Aloud and Little Mix.
Mel: …I’m done, dude.
Jo: Avantasia, Therion, and Nightwish.
Dave: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show Live.
And what would be on the rider?
Dave: Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters.
Tim: Well, I quite like the odd glass of sherry, fishfinger and salad cream sandwiches and personalised, gold plated, toilets with built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Jo: Peppermint tea and Vocalzones! Ooh and Gin for after!
Mel: An alibi for when I finally snap and murder Tim. A new keyboardist with 8 hands to replace what Tim does live. Vocalzones, real ale, and a fluffy kitten to pet and play with while I get ready.
Band Website : http://www.aoniaband.co.uk Facebook URL : http://www.facebook.com/aoniauk
Cheers and see ya’ll at Bloodstock!