QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Stela Atanasova (Metalwings)

written by Marko Jakob

Pix666: Hello Stela. Thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys of Metalwings?

Stela: Hello. Thank you very much for the opportunity. I feel great these days. I can’t wait for June 11 to present our new album ‘A Whole New Land’.

Pix666: Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. How did you meet and what was your inspiration to become a musician? What kind of music does Metalwings make?

Stela: I formed Metalwings 10 years ago and many of the band’s first members have changed since then. In fact, only the pianist has been with me since the band’s creation. I’ve been a musician for as long as I can remember. My other colleagues have also been playing for many years and they are all metal heads.

If you haven’t heard of us before, you’ve probably come across one of our most famous songs, Crying of the Sun, which already has over 28 million views on YouTube. Our style is symphonic metal, but many of our fans think that there are elements of power and gothic metal. With the new album, which will be released on June 11, they will hear elements of progressive metal as well.

Pix666: Besides singing, you also play the violin. When did you learn that and do you also play other instruments?

Stela: I graduated from music school with viola and opera singing, as well as piano. Then I continued my education, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer technology in music, which has helped me a lot now that I am composing songs and making orchestral arrangements for them. Nowadays, if you are a musician, it is almost mandatory to be able to play or sing in addition to be able to do countless other things in order to cope with the development of your band.

Pix666: What are your current favourite bands?

Stela: At the moment, I would say Epica because they won me again with the concept and sound of their latest album.

Pix666: You’ve been on the road with Metalwings for about ten years now. What have been the best experiences and milestones so far?

Stela: The best moments are when we’re on the road, just the guys and me. All adventures – fun and not so pleasant, make our band even more cohesive and lively. I think that in order to make good music you need to like the people with whom you share your passion and it is very important to build a close relationship with them. But of course, the most amazing moments are the ones we share on stage in front of our fans.

Pix666: A few weeks ago your new single ‘Monster in the Mirror’ was released. How were the fans’ reactions to the song so far? Where did you shoot the beautiful video clip?

Stela: From what we’ve received as feedback so far, I think our fans really liked the song and I’m very happy about it. ‘Monster in the Mirror’ is a prelude to what to expect from our new album, so we chose it as a single to present as well as possible what lies ahead. We shot the video at the Euxinograd Palace – one of the few remaining preserved palaces in Bulgaria.

Pix666: Even your older video clips are great clips with millions of views on YouTube. Who is part of your film crew and who comes up with the ideas for these clips?

Stela: On each video so far we are working with the director Peter Tomov. Separately, with each new video, new people join the team. These are Ivaylo Stanchev, Kalin Iliev, Hristo Petkov, as well as Maya Borisova, who is an artist and photographer and in our last video she played the role of the beautiful artist.

Pix666: Do you actually look at all these statistics about how often your music is listened to and in which countries…?

Stela: In fact, I do not take this statistic so seriously because it is very dynamic and constantly changing. Sometimes I check it just out of curiosity about which part of the world they listened to us from, but in general I don’t pay attention to such statistics.

Pix666: Your new album ‘A Whole New Land’ will be released in June. What can fans expect on the album? What makes the album different from your previous releases? Is it already possible to pre-order the album somewhere?

Stela: Our fans can expect a very different album in every aspect – that’s why the name of the album is ‘A Whole New Land’. Our songs are much more complex, from a musical and compositional point of view. The arrangements have much heavier guitars and drums. Last but not least are the beautiful orchestral arrangements, as well as the inspiring lyrics. Yes, the album can now be pre-ordered via iTunes.

Pix666: When you release an album, you want to get out on stage right away and blast the songs at the audience. …but the pandemic unfortunately still has us in its grip. Despite everything, have you already made plans for a record release show or a tour?

Stela: We are already planning a show on June 11, where we will present our new album live to all our fans, here in Sofia. After that we have an invitation to participate in a festival here in Bulgaria. We are expecting other dates in the summer, when I hope we will have the opportunity to present our new songs live.

Pix666: How important are live performances for Metalwings and how big are the financial losses for your band due to the Corona Pandemic?

Stela: As with any band, live performances are extremely important. The circumstances were such that we had not played concerts for almost two years, because we were preparing the album, then 2020 came and things changed radically for the musicians. As for finances, we suffer mostly from the fact that we have no shows, but in general I am hopeful and I think that this situation will slightly restart the system and maybe, now or later, things will start to improve for independent bands, like ours.

Pix666: How big is the metal scene in Bulgaria and how well known are Metalwings in your home country?

Stela: The metal scene in Bulgaria is relatively big – there is a large audience for this style of music. Several major festivals are held here every year. As for our popularity – I would not say that we are as popular in our own country as outside it. But I hope this will change in the future.

Pix666: What is the current situation in Bulgaria and especially the mood among the people?

Stela: I would say that the current situation here has not affected people so badly. In general, people have been living normally for several months – we have not been affected so seriously by the pandemic and I think people are feeling well here.

Pix666: Do you have any wishes and dreams for Metalwings for the future – in which countries would you like to play, which festivals or locations do you miss and with which bands would you like to go on tour or share a stage?

Stela: What I wish for myself and Metalwings is to get the attention of true connoisseurs of metal music. We do not strive for quick popularity, but we strive to win people’s hearts. Of course, my biggest dream is to start doing longer tours, to more destinations and one day, to start receiving invitations from big festivals to share the stage with bands like Nightwish, Dimmu Borgir, Epica.

Pix666: As a musician, you certainly spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to get your mind off things – are there any interesting hobbies that you pursue?

Stela: Apart from the obvious things you listed – I like to read books, walk in nature or just sit on the beach, in my hometown Burgas and enjoy the sea. It charges me and inspires me the most. I use my little free time to remain silent and enjoy the moment.

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

Stela: Be prepared for something new and truly epic – our new land is coming on June 11th and I’m sure it will take you on the wings of music, to fabulous lands and forgotten dreams.

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the new album and stay healthy!!!

Stela: Thank you for this wonderful interview! Best wishes from entire band!



photos © by Metalwings