QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Elyn Vandenwyngaert and Yannick Maris (GALLIA)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello and thanks for your time. Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music do you make?

Elyn: With Gallia, we like to call our music cinematic metal. We felt as if „symphonic“ didn’t cover it anymore – because it goes further than that.

Yannick: It’s a full-on cinematic experience, a movie soundtrack with metal added to it.

Pix666: Recently the new Gallia album ‚Obscura‘ was released. How have the reactions to the album been so far?

Elyn: Absolutely incredible. Friends, family and fans have been thrilled with the result, and the reviews of blogs and magazines are praising the album. I couldn’t be happier.

Yannick: The reviews have been amazing so far! We wanted to make an album with a bit of a movie-feel, and we’re thrilled that that has come across.

Pix666: Did you play a release show on the occasion of the album release or did you even plan a tour?

Elyn: Yes, we’re playing our Obscura Release Show on October 8th in Club9 in Koersel (BE). Because we have full creative control over this show, it’s going to be epic! We get to support our music with a big light spectacle and visuals.

Yannick: We also have a short tour planned with some local gigs. It’s not the biggest tour, but it will be fun!

Pix666: What influence did the Covid pandemic have on the work on album? Were there any difficulties?

Elyn: I think it gave us some room to work on the album – there were no shows planned and life stood still for a moment, so we had some time to really dive into the writing process.

Yannick: Yes, in a way it gave me the freedom to put more thought into the writing and he songs. There was no pressure, no deadline. I believe this really worked out great for us.

Pix666: What problems do you see in the long term due to the Covid pandemic, but also due to the currently dramatically increased prices throughout Europe. Many fans no longer buy tickets in pre-sale, some tours are currently being cancelled again – is that a danger for smaller bands from your point of view? 

Elyn: It’s possible that the entertainment industry will suffer from this – organizing shows will become more expensive, causing ticket prices to go up. Many people might not be able or want to pay for live shows anymore. But I think the live aspect will become more important than ever. As a society that is becoming lonelier and more depressed than ever, coming together to enjoy music, have a good time and connect with peers will be a vital need of many.

Yannick: That’s true, and a lot of revenue comes from live shows and merchandise. So I can imagine it will become harder for bands to continue making music.

Pix666: What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media and music streaming?

Elyn: I love that it makes music accessible to everyone. Also as a musician, it allows you to put your music into the world and reach a wide audience and build a fanbase. It did kill the CD sales though, so musicians have lost a big source of income. It’s up to us to be creative and still earn a living as artists.

Yannick: It has become so much easier to discover new artists and even connect with them, which in my opinion is a huge advantage for the bands as well as for the fans. Music streaming also makes new music much more accessible, although it pays a lot less than for example CD’s.

Pix666: How many CDs or vinyl would you have to sell as a four-piece band to make a living and how many music streams do you need for the same earnings?

Elyn: We’d have to sell at least 1100 CD’s every single month to provide for 4 people.

Yannick: In streams, we would have to reach 7 million streams each month to be able to live a modest lifestyle.

Pix666: You have been on the road with the band for about 8 years – what have been the most beautiful and unforgettable moments and experiences for you so far?

Elyn: I think releasing ‘Obscura’ has been my proudest moment so far, I stand behind this album so much and I think it will get us very far – at least I hope so! Also, I met Yannick when I joined the band, and we’ve been together for 5 years now. So because of Gallia, I met the love of my life!

Yannick: Of course, meeting my partner in crime has been pretty great! Other than that, seeing the band form into what we’re now and releasing an album that we’re really proud of is a dream come true.

Pix666: Do you have dreams and wishes for the next couple of years with your band?

Elyn: I would love to perform for a large audience at a big festival, like Graspop or Wacken. That seems like an incredible feeling. Or maybe open for Nightwish or Epica! I hope through the next few years we can expand our fanbase, perform at cool places and work towards our next album!

Yannick: I think we have found our sound now, so building on that for our next album is something I’m really looking forward to. Getting to perform our music on some big festival stages is next on my wish list!

Pix666: What do you do when you’re not into music – do you have an interesting job or extraordinary hobbies?  😊

Elyn: I am into travelling, so I’m trying to build a business that would allow a digital nomad lifestyle, so I can travel the world while working! I also love acting, I have done some local musicals and national TV commercials.

Yannick: My life is 90% music! When I’m not writing for Gallia, I’m running a music studio. I’m mixing, mastering and orchestrating for other bands on the one hand and writing music for film on the other. Non-music related hobbies are watching movies, reading and playing chess.

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Gallia, that you would like to share with the fans?

Elyn: We’re not done spreading the ‘Obscura’ awesomeness! In the week of 10 October, we’ll be releasing our brand-new music video for ‘Chaos’. We’re also finishing up a fantasy book that we wrote with the story behind ‘Obscura’, every song on the album translates to a chapter of the book. So look out for that!

Yannick: In the upcoming weeks and months, we will be playing a couple of gigs in Belgium to present “Obscura”. After that, I imagine there would be a little break so we can rest. In 2023 I will start writing the next album!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with your new album and have fun on tour!



photos © by Gallia