2021 Rugpjūčio 21
"Neonfly": we always loved playing in Lithuania

On the 18th of June British power metal band "Neonfly" has released their 3rd album "The Future, Tonight". Band's guitar player and main composer Frederick Thunder talked about his latest release and remembered gigs in Lithuania.
- Hello. First of all I'd like to congratulate you on releasing the third album. The first single was published in spring of 2019, why did it take so long to hear the rest of your songs? Why is the break between your second album and "The Future, Tonight" more than twice longer than the break between the debut CD and "Strangers in Paradise"? Are you happy with the final result?

- Thanks! That's the big question of this album, and there are a lot of reasons. The single we released in 2019 was meant to announce our upcoming album together with a crowdfunding campaign to finance the recording costs, so we could work with Grammy-award nominated producer Romesh Dodangoda. The crowdfunding was a success reaching 121% of the original goal, and we hit the studio in October/November 2019, and finished the mixing and mastering in January 2020. Shortly after that we got a new management and started talking to labels about the album, everything was looking good, but then the pandemic hit, and all deals were off. After the initial pandemic shock, our management started talking to labels again and we finally inked a deal with "Noble Demon records" in November 2020. Then we started planning the release, and finally started releasing new music in February 2021 with our cover of "Venus", followed by the first album singles. As for the pre-pandemic delay… it just took a long time to write this album. I wanted to give the band a different sound and direction that would really define "Neonfly", and it's a process that took time and developed itself with each new song I wrote, taking me further each time into new territory and exploring new ideas. It wasn't easy to get there and it was a very exhausting process at times, but I'm definitely extremely happy with the result, and very proud to have got there in the end. Everything in this album is perfect and exactly how I wanted it to be. I think it's the best album we've ever done.

- "Neonfly" always was a five-man band (except for a short period at the very beginning, if I am not wrong). "The Future, Tonight" was recorded by four members. Will Mirko Fadda remain as a live musician only or you are looking for a permanent member?

- You're right! At the moment we're planning to remain as a 4-piece. Mirko has been playing live with us at most shows, and he's done a fantastic job, but we've also played shows with a couple of other people. We'll always be a 5-piece live, but this approach gives us the flexibility to work with different people and get inspired by what each person brings to our songs.

- You and Willy are the main composers in the band. Despite some line-up changes, did you still write songs together for your latest album? Or has the song writing process changed nowadays?

- It was more or less the same process. I write all the music first and then either Willy or myself write the lyrics, and sometimes we exchange ideas and write lyrics together. Occasionally Willy also writes some vocal melodies when I'm not feeling a specific part and I want him to try something to see if it works or not.

- "Neonfly" already had a few guest musicians on earlier albums, but this time you've invited Björn "Speed" Strid and Kaan Tasan. Can you tell us how you came up the idea to ask these singers to join your crew?

- I knew that I wanted some growling vocals on this album. In the past Paul, our bassist, used to do a bit of growling live on "Morning Star", and people seemed to love it, so I really wanted to include more of that on this album. I've also been increasingly inspired by a lot of modern bands, so it felt natural to include this type of singing into the songs. I've known both Björn and Kaan for years, so with both of them it was just a case of asking if they'd be up for it, and luckily they were!

- Did you play any songs from "The Future, Tonight" live before releasing this album?

- No, the only song we had the chance to play was "This World is Burning", since we released that in 2019, as you mentioned. We played 2 shows after that, and the last show we played before the pandemic was in Hamburg in September 2019, so there weren't any other opportunities to play anything live.

- Another new detail in your latest album - new band logo. Why didn't the old one appear on the front cover?

- It's not really meant to be a band logo, it's just a font. The artwork that we chose for the album cover, was already a finished and complete piece of fine art, by the great Korean artist NOMA, who also painted our portraits in his own distinctive style. We didn't want to ruin this fantastic piece of art by putting our big logo in the middle of it, in a style that doesn't match the artwork at all, so we felt that it was a better idea to choose a font for the band name and album title that would sit well with the artwork and make sense visually in the album cover. We may continue to use our old logo in certain situations, or perhaps adapt it for the future. Nothing's written, Just like our music evolves, so do the visuals that we use for the band.

- Usually artists are promoting their newest albums on social networks or through various internet websites. How was your promotion... in the streets?!

- Haha you're right! Don't get me wrong, we are doing so much online promo for this album, and we have a full strategy for that, but we decided to take to the streets as well on the weekend of the album release, because we wanted to have a visual, physical event to celebrate the release. The pandemic related lockdowns and restrictions pretty much stopped all live music events since March 2020, and since we couldn't plan a tour or a release show, we wanted to have a physical event that we could attend and publicise, partly for fun, and partly for promo. We also had a big party after that at "The Dev" in Camden, a great metal bar, if you're ever visiting London.

- The physical album has 2 bonus tracks. Please, tell us more about your collaboration with Dani Divine and why did you choose "A Gift to Remember" live version as second bonus track?

- "Venus" was a song that we recorded separately from the album. After the pandemic hit, we released a few acoustic covers, which were related to the crowdfunding we did in 2019. One of the songs we were meant to release was "Venus", and when I was doing the acoustic arrangement, I realised it would sound great if we played it with the full band, and gave it a proper metal treatment, giving the lyrics a dark twist and turning the goddess Venus, into an evil dominatrix-demi-goddess type of character, with a voice-acting section in the middle, and who better to play that part that the self-styled goddess of latex Dani Divine herself? The idea for the music video and everything else just popped in my head almost at the same time, so it was just a case of getting in touch with Dani, explaining the whole idea, which she really liked, so she was really up for it. We thought it was a really exciting thing to do as well, to involve someone who is known for her visual work as a model and social media influencer, and to include her not just in the visual aspect of things, but also in the song, and to do something different and creative with this collaboration. The whole thing was extremely fun to do, and Dani was a pleasure to work with! With "A Gift to Remember", we had the "Masters of Rock 2015" show recorded from the mixing desk, but we never used those tracks other than for "Morning Star" which appeared on the festival's DVD for that year. Since most people just stream music nowadays we thought it would be cool to offer something extra for those who would buy physical copies of the album. "A Gift to Remember" is one of our most famous songs, so it seemed like a great pick for this.

- "The Future, Tonight" was released on CD and on vinyl LP. Can your fans hope for a release of your earlier albums on vinyl too?

- Usually that's the label's decision. With "Noble Demon" it was clear from the start that they wanted to do a vinyl run of the album, which is great! I honestly don't know if we'll re-release the previous albums on vinyl, maybe for a special occasion or anniversary. We'll see!

- When we've been talking in 2014, two years after your first visit in Lithuania, you still had very fresh and bright memories about that trip to Zarasai. Now almost 6 years have passed since your second gig at "Roko Naktys 2015" festival. Do you remember this event and your performance?

- Yes, I remember it very well. I always loved playing in Lithuania. The weather wasn't so great in 2015, but we had a great slot at "Roko Naktys 2015", just below the headliner, and people braved the weather to see us play, which was really awesome. I really hope well get the chance to come back to Lithuania with this album!

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