ESC+Plus has talked to Erwin Franz and Juris Kreilis, members of Catalepsia, candidates of this year’s Latvian national selection for Eurovision. The band will perform “Damnation” in the first Supernova heat to take place today.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Latvian national selection for Eurovision 2016!
Erwin: Hello Tony and thank you for your interest to make this interview.
E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Erwin: To make it short, the first steps to found this band were made in 2005 but there has been a huge mess in our line-up replacements as well as shorter and longer breaks. I am glad that we finally have a stable line-up and that we recorded and released our debut album last year. 2015 has been the most active year for Catalepsia so far. We have played gigs in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as well as we got two awards as “The Best Latvian Metal Album 2015” and “The Best Latvian Metal Vocals of 2015”.
E+: What impelled you to take part in “Supernova 2016”?
Erwin: Our goal is to present us for as many people as possible even those who do not listen to metal and this was a great opportunity, so we decided to step in. I believe we can attract mainstream music lovers as well since our music is melodic and full of contrasts.
Juris: I agree with Erwin in this one. Heavy music scene is growing larger and larger. Basically, if one watches Eurovision there should be an options from different styles of music to choose.
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the heats? Did you expect it?
Erwin: I personally was nervous about it because I did not expect the organizers to select us. Since metal music is not that popular in Latvia, it was a huge surprise and I am happy and grateful to everyone who supports us.
Juris: For me it was a great surprise. I was not expecting it. We have worked/practiced for quite a long time, that’s why I am very pleased to have this opportunity.
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Latvia?
Erwin: If such a miracle happened, it would be the top of Catalepsia’s career so far. Spending life as a musician is my biggest dream and this is one of the ways how to get closer to it.
Juris: It would mean a lot. I mean – you are representing your country. This would be a great moment in our lives.
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Erwin: Actually, the song was made 5 years ago but we didn’t make it work at that time. When we heard about the opportunity to participate in “Supernova”, I was trying to compose a new song but then I remembered about “Damnation”. I think it’s a good track to introduce us to a wider audience. The music was written by me and Juris. It is basically about a sorrowful ending of a relationship.
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Erwin: First of all, I think that Eurovision needs a change because it is not as great as it was back in time when ABBA and Celine Dion participated in this contest. I think it needs a different approach and a different no cliché music and I think we can bring a new vibe with our songs.
Juris: Exactly. Adding more spice to this contest. We are different. It will be something different than usual.
E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “Supernova 2016”?
Erwin: Like hell we have. We have been silently working on it for a while and hope to make a great show on the 7th of February.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?
Erwin: To be honest I tried watching it a couple of years after Lordi won and then I just started to feel not that interested in it since I don’t like pop that much. However, I enjoy Loreen’s vocals. She sounds magnificent.
Juris: I have been watching Eurovision for some years. Lordi were nice, something different as well. I have been listening to ABBA as well. From 2014 I liked The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm, nice acoustic song.
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Erwin: I would love to make a doom metal song with Mr. Lordi. I think his voice kicks ass. I still enjoy Lordi records.
Juris: Would be nice to play/sing with ABBA as they are not performing anymore.
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
Erwin: Besides Eurovision we plan to play some gigs here in Latvia as well as abroad and, of course, open air festivals in summer. In the same time, we will start to work on our second album and we definitely want to make a music video.
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Erwin: Thank you for taking your time to read this interview and stay true and honest. Life is too short to make the wrong choices and listen to people who do not support your dreams. Every failure made in order to achieve your goals is worth of it!
Juris: Thanks for the opportunity you all have given to us. We will try to show our best and blow off the roof.
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!
Erwin: Thank you Tony for the interview and take care. We wish you all the best!