“Music is in our hearts. It’s our passion in life” – interview with Levinia

Well, melodic metal bands usually come from Scandinavian countries – well, we found a gem from sunny California. “I noticed that there’s a huge difference in the popularity of sub-genres. For instance, in the United States, metalcore is extremely popular, meanwhile, in Europe, the metalcore scene isn’t so huge. It can be argued that melodic, symphonic, and power metal are way more popular in Europe, meanwhile, in America, those types of bands are not as popular. I like the fact that all over the world, there are a variety of sub-genres which are more popular than their counterparts, it just depends on where you go” – answered Casey Artus, the bassist of Levinia when we asked them about the differences between American and European metal. Check out the full interview!

“Dylan and I were in a band named Aerius together, after a mutual disbandment, we decided to take a hiatus from the LA Power Metal Scene. So, we moved on to form Levinia. This was in 2016. After we wrote and recorded the instrumental tracks for our demo EP, we realized that we needed to bring on a vocalist” – told us Angel Pinon, the lead guitarist, then Dylan Suierveld (drums) took the word.

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Dylan Suierveld (drums) – photo by Crystal Stoney of Crystal Stoney Photography

“We had a few promising attempts, but they all seemed to fall through in the end. However, we then found Court, online. She recently had left her old band FifthLaw (aka: Bless My Stars), and was looking to join a metal project, where she could really show off her voice. She fit with the sound and took our music into a more Symphonic Metal direction with her classical vocals. After we had completed recording the vocals on our demo EP, Alluring Fear, we found Casey. After he joined, he changed our sound for the better.”

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Casey Artus (bass) – photo by Crystal Stoney of Crystal Stoney Photography

“After Casey joined, we released Alluring Fear, and immediately went on to writing and recording our official debut EP as a band.

We did this with our new producer Charles ‘Kallaghan’ Massabo. Court had worked with him before on her solo music and thought he’d be a great fit for us as a band. And the rest is history!

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Angel Pinon (lead guitar) – Photo by Crystal Stoney of Crystal Stoney Photography

Music is in our hearts. It’s our passion in life. We love metal and good music in general.

As artists, we all dream of playing awesome shows, meeting amazing people, and in the process, growing as individuals. Just like any other true music lover, inspiration hits every one of us through the music and stories of other artists, bands. In our journey as a band, it is our hope that we inspire people with our music and vibe, whether it’s in our recordings, live events, or just being ourselves.

We come together with ‘demos’ which we all write on our own. When we look at the bigger picture, it helps us write riffs, and backing instrumentals, as well as vocal melodies. Catchy melodies are mostly what we aim to write. We tend to view every other instrument as secondary with the vocals being the main point of attraction. The point of view of the audience, listeners lets us maintain a level of understanding, too much going on can deviate their attention. We also do have individual tasks to accomplish, but sometimes you can write a riff on the spot and get carried away with the writing process. Overseeing the process is the task of our producer, Charles, who brings together all our ideas, skills and vibes, keeping in mind all our crazy personalities.” – added by Angel.

Usually, we do interviews with European metal bands, so we were curious about that how much is metal popular is in the US, and how they see: as an American metal band do they have less or more opportunities than the European ones? “Metal within the United States, is not popular in mainstream media…” – stated Court Henson, the lead singer of Levinia.

CourtHenson_Levinia
Court shared a fun fact of the recording process: “When I recorded vocals for the Demo EP, I recorded them with our producer, Charles in his studio. When I was recording a take of the chorus for the song, Alluring Fear, I had a very funny experience. The first line of the chorus is ‘I won’t give up my fight, ‘til I’m dying.’ Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t properly enunciate the correct vowel sound for the word ‘fight’. I was in my zone and was more focused on hitting the high notes. After thinking I had recorded a perfect take, Charles stopped me and asked what the lyrics were. I responded with, ‘I won’t give up my fight’. Charles then soon relayed to me that it sounded like I was saying, ‘I won’t give up my fart…’ ” – Photo by Crystal Stoney of Crystal Stoney Photography

“To be honest, it is frustrating, and a challenge for us at times. There are a lot of music fans, radio stations, media outlets, or even musicians here in the United States, who would never give us the time of day. All because we sound different than an artist who’s extremely similar to what’s heard on the radio.

We do have fewer opportunities than a lot of European bands, since we are new to the scene, and play in a genre which isn’t as celebrated. That being said, however, we have found success in the American underground music scene. A lot of online and hard rock stations have been more than willing to play our music! Which is beyond amazing!

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Fun fact: The artwork for the single, Liberation (see above), came from a worn out tarp in Dylan’s backyard.

The lesson we’ve learned is when we surround ourselves with people who truly appreciate our dedication and hard work, we will always be successful. 

The metal market in Europe is so much more abundant, and is constantly flourishing! Our European fans have been absolutely amazing to us! Therefore, we are aiming towards gaining more of a European fan base. I know we will always find success in Europe! Personally, I have noticed that the European metal scene, embodies a lot of classical elements within their music. It’s so refreshing to listen to a really catchy guitar riff, and just think of how similar it is to a Mozart Sonata, or another famous classical art song or aria.”

Levinia

Inspiring things

Dylan: “I know all of us are inspired by many unique things and some of us enjoy the same bands. It’s a lot easier to compare ideas if we all have similar tastes.”

Court: “Musically, I am inspired by the following bands: Epica, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Amaranthe, Kamelot, Nightwish, Arch Enemy, Celtic Woman, Joan Jett, and Alice Cooper. Things I am most inspired by include, literature, (particularly, Gothic Romance/Victorian, Horror, and Shakespeare), travel, different cultures, Anime, my emotions, and mental health.”

Angel: I am musically inspired by Elvenking, Alter Bridge, Insomnium, Bullet For My Valentine, Kamelot, Slipknot, Nightwish, Iron Maiden, Lacrimosa, Rata Blanca, Arkona, and Amaranthe. Things include horror, art, cars, and cool stuff.”

Dylan: I am inspired musically by bands like Gojira, Bullet For My Valentine, Sabaton, Amon Amarth, Keep of Kallessin, Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Kalmah. Things I am inspired by include, epic riffs, beautiful scenery, and even my mood can have an influence on me.”

Casey: Musically I like, Trivium, Underoath, and Norma Jean. Things include small towns, substance abuse, and want to make it in the music industry!”

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