Visions of Atlantis’ Clémentine Delauney’s interview
Written by Kevin Tanza on July 16, 2021
Clémentine Delauney is one of the most talented vocalists in the European Metal scene and she has been making waves in the last couple of years with the band Visions of Atlantis, where she has been able to make a name for herself since she joined the group back in 2013.
The band’s 2020 release, the live album A Symphonic Journey to Remember, shows the band playing some of their best songs with a symphony and is another example of a band that is in a constant state of growth. But I will let Clémentine do the talking for me in that regard.
It was a really friendly conversation and it was a pleasure to have her on MusikHolics. I hope you can enjoy this interview.
First and foremost, thank you for doing this, Clémentine. It’s great to have you here. How are things going with you these days?
Hello! Well, I’m really excited as I’m about to start a new chapter of my life, leaving France and moving in to Udine, where Meek from Visions Of Atlantis lives! I decided to make this big step to ease my creative life as well as getting closer to the band and I can’t wait to get there!
What are you currently working on?
I’m putting my things together before I leave France, and soon we will be rehearsing with the band as we have 3 shows this summer, which feels totally unreal…!
As a musician, how are you dealing with the many different challenges that the pandemic has caused?
I accepted the situation very quickly. I took the chance to have some time for myself to focus on my own personal development. As a band we focused on writing a new album and since we had time too, we came up with the best production, going even beyond our expectations! We can’t wait to release it and start touring again for sure but, we used this time to get better at writing our music so we didn’t suffer too much as a band!
Visions of Atlantis’ Release My Symphony on the A Symphonic Journey to Remember concert.
2020, despite the obstacles, saw Visions of Atlantis release a live album with an orchestra, A Symphonic Journey to Remember. Really recommended to our readers. What are your thoughts about that concert?
We took a lot of risks to be able to put this show together. It was our first live being recorded, our first time with an orchestra, our first time playing some of the Wanderers songs live, our first time with a different light engineer, our first time with so much pyrotechnic elements, our first time changing clothes in the middle of show… So many things could have gone wrong but we handled everything and had a blast! I think it’s the first time I’ve even seen our bass player being nervous when he generally never is haha! It’s a real special show for all of us and we are proud to have been able to do this.
I have read a lot of Metal musicians say that working with an orchestra and doing arrangements can be a bit of a nightmare. How was the experience of working with an orchestra in that show?
Well, this orchestra prepared the arrangements on their own and we trusted them. Our orchestrations aren’t the most complex ones either. We trusted them and trusted the process and in the end, there has been some editing like there always is on recorded live shows, especially with an orchestra as it’s an organic assembles compared to a Metal band playing on a click, but we are very happy with their performance and overall result and quality of that DVD!
You have been a singer for more than ten years. What do you think are the most important lessons that you can learn in the music business?
It’s important to find the balance between what you want and what a project needs in order to be viable. Sometimes both aren’t compatible. It’s important to be respected and respect others in their personal boundaries. It’s important to be flexible, understanding, patient but also assertive, objective, confident. It’s important to evolve with the context, to let things go and new things in. Music, art, it’s like life, nothing is written in stone…
And as a singer, what do you think are the aspects of being a vocalist that are not discussed enough?
We sing with our own emotions, we are one with our sound and instrument. That’s the huge difference between a singer and any other instrumentalist. The person is fully involved in the performance, not just the body. Everything, from body, mind, to heart and spirit, is involved in a singing performance, at least, for me! As a woman I’m also affected by hormones of course, which make my voice almost useless for several days a month…
In what aspects do you think you have changed as a vocalist throughout the years?
I got better! And I got to accept and embrace more aspects of my voice. Our new album will be a good way to show more versatility from both Michele and I and it’s very pleasant to be able to sing in so many different ways.
Focusing on Visions of Atlantis, I’m curious to know what your creative process as a band is. How do you guys come up with ideas for songs and how do you take it from there?
We’ve been working with the help of external song-writers for the last 2 records and it’s the same with the upcoming one, except that this new album will present more songs written by Michele! Having more time during the pandemic we managed to write more songs ourselves, and each one came in in different ways. For instance, one of the new songs came to Michele in a dream one night! He woke up in the morning and he sang every part to his Dictaphone haha! I wrote one song coming from a piano theme I had written and then I developed the rest of the ideas in the studio with Michele. Some of the songs are collaborations between him and our new producer Felix Heldt.
Visions of Atlantis’ Heroes of the Dawn on A Symphonic Journey to Remember concert.
Every musician wants to experiment with their sound. How do you guys balance between trying different things and maintaining that classic Visions of Atlantis sound?
Everyone involved in the song writing process for our band agreed on a concept to follow. This concept is still quite vast but we all agree to stick to it and to present songs that would fit the big picture. Thanks god, we all love the big picture so it’s not a pain to write music for our band haha! When it comes to over genres and musical experimentations, we are all free to do something on our own aside Visions of Atlantis. We are not going to sabotage our project for selfish musical desires!
On your last two albums, 2018’s The Deep and the Dark and 2019’s Wanderers, you worked with the same producer, Frank Pitters, but I personally think Wanderers has a better production. Is there anything you did different in that album compared to The Deep and the Dark?
We all improved in between these two records, we also changed male singer and probably Franky evolved as well. I think we also started to give the idea up that we should sound like an old school band…
You write most of the band’s lyrics. Can you walk us through your creative process as a lyricist?
I could say a lot about this so I’ll try to sum up haha! Well, to me what’s important is to serve the songs’ musicality while growing the band’s universe and sharing personal thoughts and emotions. Most of the lyrics have a double meaning. You can read them for what they talk about or you can see the metaphor behind the characters and action displayed. I love to use the metaphor of travels and exploration to portray an inner adventure. Sea monsters being our personal demons and so on!
Visions of Atlantis obviously have a theme of fantasy in their lyrics. I’m curious to know if you are a reader of fantasy literature. If so, which books are your favorites?
Oh I truly loved the Lord Of The Rings back in the days! I read pirate and explorers stories too. I love ancient tales and poems. I love fantasy movies and series for sure 😉
Tarja Turunen, Clémentine Delauney and Chiara Tricarico
Obviously, being a musician of your stature, you have been able to record albums, tour and do concerts all over the world. Is there any particular moment in your career that is your favorite?
I have to say I absolutely enjoyed every minute of the week I spent with Tarja early 2020. I’ve had the pleasure to have been invited to be a backing vocalist for her for the 2 shows she played to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of her solo career. I had an amazing time with her cast and crew and the shows were very intense. I admire her a lot so performing together was such an honor and source of joy!
Kai Hansen and Clémentine playing Helloween’s Save Us in Wacken in 2017
And speaking of touring and concerts, I actually got to discover you (and by extension, Visions of Atlantis) due to your show with Kai Hansen in Wacken in 2017. How did you know Kai? Were you a Helloween and Gamma Ray fan?
We met on the 70k Tons Of Metal Cruise earlier that year and we quickly became buddies haha! He was looking for a female vocalist for his new record and offered me the part. It’s as simple as that. And no, I can’t say that I was a fan even though I knew some of their songs for sure but the most surreal aspect for me was to go from singing I Want Out from the crowd on the cruise deck in January to singing it again next to Gamma Ray’s singer as a backing vocalist on stage at Wacken the same year!
Looking back, how was the experience of doing that show?
It felt totally unreal to me. I even hardly realize what happened. He asked me to join them for the show a couple of weeks only before the show itself and I don’t think I realized back then, the size and significance of the musicians I was sharing the stage with…! It all went fine and I had a real good time and fun on stage, Kai is a real embodiment of Rock ‘n’ Roll!
If you could make an album with any musician, who would you want to work with?
I have to admit I never asked myself this question. I think I wanna make a record with Meek, for myself, let’s see what living in the same town will bring 🙂
Visions of Atlantis’ Wanderers on the A Symphonic Journey To Remember concert.
What can we expect from Visions of Atlantis in the coming months?
A new record, potentially a new tour which isn’t announced yet… We are coming back from this crisis stronger than ever with a record that is going to be a real game changer for us!
Do you have any project or collaboration in store for us as well?
We have started working on a new album with Exit Eden!
Thank you so much for doing this, Clémentine. It was great to have you here. Any last words for our readers? Where can we follow you and buy your music?
Thank you all for supporting your favorite bands during this time by buying records and merch… This is the only way we can survive when there’s no tour to finance our productions… You can find the Visions of Atlantis albums, vinyl records and even tapes, on Napalm Records’ online store and you can follow us on all social media 🙂