Interview with Sandra Oliveira (vocals) by Jeremy Carpenter.
Blame Zeus is among the more creative names for a band that I have heard, how did you guys come up with it?
"Blame Zeus" is actually an expression for the inevitability of life. When something goes wrong, or if shit happens, who can you blame? We should live our lives the best way possible, and achieve greatness through our own effort and hard work.
Tell me about some of your musical influences. Is there any vocalist out there who you hoped to somewhat 'model' your singing style after (while still making it your own)?
I can't name just one influence; there have been a lot of great vocalists I’ve learned from. It all started with Alanis Morissette, but Fiona Apple, Jeff Buckley and more recently, Maria Brink from In This Moment, have also inspired me to discover my own voice.
You guys seem to blend elements of melodic metal and modern 'rock n roll' in your music very well, to make a great sound. Do you feel that it is important for an artist to incorporate multiple genres into music to be able to open themselves up more as musicians?
When we create new music we don't really control what genre it will be, we just let it flow, but yes, it is important to be open minded, to try new stuff in your songs, to never be afraid to experiment, even if it's not metal or rock enough. That variety of sounds also helps when reaching a wider fan base.
While female fronted (by you), Blame Zeus seemingly has a different style than many other 'female fronted' bands have. Many fans and artists themselves seem to have differing opinions about the term 'female fronted metal'. How do you feel personally about 'female fronted metal' being used as a genre?
I feel that Female Fronted Metal is a bit different of other metal types because of the singing style – more lyrical or classical – and not only for having a female vocalist. I don't think we fit in that category, because I'm more of a rocker, but we respect other people's opinions about it.
Are there any lyrical themes you particularly like to write about and include in your music, if so what are they?
I usually write about what I feel at the time, or about a subject that I'm thinking about. I don't know why, but normally something melancholic, sad and enraged comes to surface.
Though I haven't yet seen you live, in videos it does seem you bring a great energy to the stage. What would you say goes into being a good 'stage' vocalist, bringing an extra element in live performances that you can't bring to recordings?
When on stage I feel what I'm singing about, I'm really passionate about our music so I just naturally incarnate the words. It’s also very important to communicate with the audience; let them in, let them take the show and the music for themselves. The main advice I can give is: on stage just let yourself go, be completely free and just feel.
Your voice has a great combination of harmony and badassness at the same time, which compliments your music very well. Did you intend for your voice and music to bring forth a soothing feeling to the listeners?
Yes, in songs like Accept or Bed the objective was to make the song grow, start with smoothness and grow into an energetic and even angry tone towards the end. Rock is like that: you must growl but have a little honey sometimes.
How important is 'uniqueness' to you regarding your voice. Is/Was it a goal of yours to have a voice that is very distinctive and recognizable to those who have heard it?
I guess I never thought much about it… it just is. As a professional singer and vocal teacher I work my voice and research new exercises and techniques to better myself, but the timbre is something you can't really manipulate.
How important is it for a vocalist to be willing to be 'vulnerable' while performing? Do you think that largely contributes to there being emotion in their voice?
Yes, but it is not, in fact, a case of vulnerability but, as I mentioned in the 6th question, of letting go of fears and doubts and connecting with everyone around you. So you're not really vulnerable… you are in control and comfortable in total freedom.
What is coming up in the future for Blame Zeus?
We're going to perform live until the end of the year and hope to release a second album in 2016.
Is there anything I haven't covered that you would like the readers to know?
We hope to continue reaching as many people as possible, so we invite everyone to listen to our work, share it and follow us! Thank you!