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DATE OF INTERVIEW: 2nd September 2019
METAL DISCOVERY: You had a new single released last Friday, ĎHigh in the Skyí, which I gather will also be on your forthcoming album to be released next year. Is that a pretty representative track of what to expect from the new album?
AURA: No, itís the only ballad from the album so itís nothing you can expect. Apart from the sound, of course - the husky vocals and the sound of the guitars and the solos - you can expect from the future album. But itís a ballad and itís such a touching ballad.
(Aura Danciulescu on the unifying essence of music)
"...music has no boundaries; music has no politics; it has no fucking religion. Music is love and this is what it should be."
Aura Danciulescu
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Photograph copyright © 2019 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
MD: It said in the press release, ďa powerful encouragement for the ones who lost hope. No matter how deep the suffering might be, love is always the answer and the healer for every kind of pain.Ē
AURA: True.
MD: Itís a very screamy track, in places.
AURA: Oh, you listened to it?
MD: Yeah, I was sent the promo as a download so Iíve listened to the three tracks.
AURA: What was your reaction?
MD: Itís great! The screaming - I wanted to ask whether thatís a cathartic thing going on there? You know, purging bad emotions as a way of healing?
AURA: First, when we made this song, it will be put in the story of the second volume of ĎThe Book of Scarletí. So, itís gonna have its place in the story, so Iím gonna play with a lot of things surrounding this song. But, talking literally about the song and its message, we wanted to make a video with ancestors and soldiers, lost in the World WarsÖ people who died for a thought; for an idea. But that video couldnít be done. It was too much - I couldnít gather an army of people for that video. The guy who did the video for us for ĎHigh in the Skyí used some videos from our shows and, somehow, mixed all the images with us in the back of the main image and seeing ourselves working so hard on the stage, having the happiness of the public while we were playing for them; laughing with them. So I thought this message is good for ourselves. Sometimes, you really have to remind yourself where it all began, and it all began inside yourself, of course.
So we wrote the song especially for ourselves, just to remind us that no matter how difficult it isÖ because it isÖ not everyone is prepared to play in a band; not everyone is prepared to go on the road; not everyone is prepared to invest their own personal life and things like that. And they leave. And then, when this happens, itís a war that we lose, and we have to get back on our feet, and itís exactly what the video for ĎHigh in the Skyí is - telling about ourselves and exactly whatís written in the press release, that we want to tell the public and our fans that we know it can be messy sometimes, and life is short and painful, and our parents will die, and families, and we grow up and have kids and things like that. But, what we understood so far, in every kind of way, is that music is everything that can bring you back to a balance. This is what Scarlet Aura does; this is what ĎHigh in the Skyí does. It gets you back on a track that, sometimes, maybe you didnít know it existed, because you are too blind to look into your own garden, and we want to give you the courage to look outside your garden. And to appreciate the world and appreciate life.
MD: Yeah. Good words!
AURA: Itís like this; we always have to remember.
MD: I think in an age of ever increasing reliance and addiction to social media, too many people get obsessed with themselves too much, and forget to look beyond the parameters of their own little social media universe, at the wider world out there. Like appreciating the phenomena that is nature, and all the simple pleasures life has to offer.
AURA: Do you ever ask yourself why? Because they were never permitted to look at themselves in this way. I mean, before having the selfie thing, when did we ever look that much at ourselves?
MD: I guess people are born into that social media culture now, so itís a given for kids now.
AURA: Itís natural. Itís the law of the jungle and the strongest will resist. Unfortunately, this is the universal law of each one of us. The important thing is that they, somehow, get back to music and, as we always say, music has no boundaries; music has no politics; it has no fucking religion. Music is love and this is what it should be. Whether itís black metal or doom metal or death metal, music is love. And the moment we are listening to music or at a concert, we are love.
MD: Exactly. And the shared, communal experience of love between strangers in a venue at a show.
AURA: Even when youíre alone at home, music is love and, in that moment, you become music; you become love; you become universal; you have the same language. You connect to nature and Mother Earth and to the other people, and thatís amazing. The bad things of society nowadays and older days, the artist exists always to remind people about these things.
MD: Thatís true through the centuries.
AURA: How can we forget that?
MD: Exactly. And centuries into the future hopefully, as well. But who knows, with the likes of Donald Trump.
AURA: [Laughs]
MD: I was going to ask about the long run of shows you had in China last yearÖ
AURA: Twenty six.
MD: How did that come about?
AURA: Well, it was crazy you just said about Trump. We should have had a tour with Angra in North America - thirty one shows. Four in Canada and the rest of them in the US. And we didnít get the artist visa.
MD: Oh no. Was that Trumpís change in policy?
AURA: Yes. We were so offended and never felt our rights more stepped on than that moment. Like, we are from Romania; we are from an ex-communist country. I mean, fuck off, give me the artist visa, we deserve that. In front of the entire world, after my parents and everyone had to go through a communist regime, and twenty five years of thieves who stole everything out of us in Romania and didnít permit us a normal life, I want to be an artist and you donít give me the visa. What the fuck is that?! So we were so upset. We had the ĎHot Ďní Heavyí release scheduled, which would have been released with the first show in the US.
MD: Which wouldíve been perfect timing for the release and tour to support the release.
AURA: Yeah, and you know how it is, itís not that easy to have thirty one shows in the US. A Romanian band whoís been playing for four or five years, right. So we were so disappointed and we said, ďOkay, letís recalibrate ourselves and letís find a way to release this album. So we talked to the booking agents that we work with, and they were waiting, so they prepared the tour in Russia and the tour in China. And, in an unexpected way, we got the visas really fast, with no problems, in Russia and in China. In Ukraine and in Russia, we had something like twenty shows, and then twenty six shows in China, and it was a mind-blowing experience.
MD: In a positive way?
AURA: In a positive way. Imagine China is huge and you canít see the sky because of all the pollution. You canít see birds; there are no birds there. It was difficult for the travelling part because everything was really far, but it was an overwhelming experience because we had people there who knew all our songs. They were fanatics and, somehow, we needed that, having our ego almost killed with not receiving the artist visa. To have them so eager to see Scarlet Aura and to see them sing the songs; to see Chinese people sing ĎFalling Skyí and things like that - for us, it was a surprise. We didnít even know our songs were on the Chinese market. Our manager knew, but we didnít know.
MD: Sounds like an amazing experience. You played at Rock Ďn Sat in your home country a few days ago. Looks like there was quite a huge crowd from the photo youíve posted online. Is there a healthy metal scene over in Romania?
AURA: Yeah, it gets better. It was not that good a few years ago but it gets better and healthier. I think the crowd coming to metal shows was a bit eager to buy a ticket and merchandise five to seven years ago than in the last two to three years, but now theyíre coming back. So, in Romania, thereís a great appetite for rock music. We had Bon Jovi play again, for the second time, for sixty thousand people. Thatís huge, right.
MD: Could you not get that support?
AURA: Actually, we were opening act for Bon Jovi in 2011 when we were Steelborn.
MD: Oh wow, in front of tens of thousands of people?
AURA: Fifty five thousand people.
MD: Wow, how was that experience?
AURA: We were paid ten thousand euros so we were the happiest band on the planet!
AURA: And we were taken care of by Bon Joviís crew and everything. Like rock stars, we opened our eyes when we saw that entire ocean of heads.
MD: Thatís the future for Scarlet Aura. Headlining in front of fifty thousand people!
AURA: Yeah, definitely! This is what we work for. We not only love as fans - Manowar, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or whateverÖ Bon Jovi is a little bit too soft for us, rightÖ [Laughs]
MD: Yeah, slightly cheesy!
AURA: Exactly! But we aim for that and we work for that, and this is why we donít have a moment without making music. Mihaiís writing songs non-stop. Life is not normal if we donít do what we love.