banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

A Dirty Dozen with MARINA LA TORRACA from PHANTOM ELITE – December 2020

| 9 December 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Dutch/Brazilian metal act Phantom Elite have announced that their sophomore album, Titanium will be released on January 22, 2021. Phantom Elite is a relatively new metal band fronted by singer Marina La Torraca (Exit Eden, live vocalist for Avantasia) and features songwriting and production from former After Forever guitarist and producer Sander Gommans. Marina and Sander together with Max van Esch (guitars), and Joeri Warmerdam (drums) are set to unleash an incredible slice of contemporary sounding heavy metal music in their sophomore album “Titanium”. Sonically, the band is a perfect combination of symphonic, progressive, alternative, and heavy metal.” We get vocalist Marina to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I think the sort of music we make, especially now in Titanium is very rich in details, so there’s definitely a lot to find out each time you listen to it. The hidden nuggets are for everybody to find out. 🙂

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

When I was 14 I discovered heavy metal and that’s when I fell in love with music. Right away I wanted to have a school band with a friend of mine, so she started learning bass and I tried to learn anything possible, starting with drums, going to guitar… but eventually I found out I could actually carry a tune pretty well with my voice, by singing along with Bruce Dickinson.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Yeah, Iron Maiden was the first band that introduced me to heavy metal. It was love at first hear! There was (well, at least a certain) heaviness, a lot of energy and amazing melodic but powerful vocals – same stuff I dig until now. They were releasing Brave New World back then, so that’s the album that got me into it. But I went pretty fast to Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, and all their discography.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

If I’m answering this for myself and not as a band: It’s always hard to name just a few, because we’re always learning and adapting… but I think the first influences are still pretty strong with me. So starting (again) Iron Maiden and Bruce Dickinson, Angra and the great André Matos (RIP), Evanescence and Amy Lee. I also definitely learned a lot from my girl Amanda Somerville, got my progressive veins from Dream Theater, have a lot of Lady Gaga, and definitely a lot of musical theater going on.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would have loved to collaborate with André Matos, but sadly that’s not possible anymore. I have this thing in my head to sing a duet with Tommy Karevik from Kamelot (whose voice I love). Hope I’ll make it happen at some point, let’s see!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

As Phantom Elite: with this album we really started showing a modern, pretty heavy djenty take on symphonic, melodic metal.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Haha, funny enough we are having a band meeting right now! And Max van Esch is for sure the first to crack out the guitar, but not the acoustic one. Joeri Warmerdam is usually doing the cooking and we’re all getting the beers (alcohol free for me though!).

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Oh, wow… let me think… for sure I was a bit starstruck when meeting all the Avantasia guys back in 2016. Many of them had been childhood idols of mine.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

For me it’s contributing creatively to the world and having the opportunity of  touching, helping, inspiring people through something so powerful that is music. I actually have a degree in architecture and also work as a graphic designer, so that’s my other job if not being a musician, haha. My introvert side also loves working quietly alone in front of a computer.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I’m not really tired of answering it, but I always have a big issue with “name your favorites” questions, haha. I always forget important people, songs, bands, albums, etc. I’d love to get more questions about the lyrics. That because I put a lot of work into it and personally think it’s a very underrated part of a good song, starting with the title.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Hmmmm, I’m not entirely proud of everything I’ve produced or performed over the years, but I wouldn’t change it, since all of it was a great learning experience. Sounds cliché, but it’s just truth.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I think it would have been amazing to check out the recordings for A Night at the Opera! Would be awesome to see the creative process and the studio work of doing all that in analog. This record is very meaningful not only to me, but to the whole industry because it achieved the break of many paradigms AND the songs were huge hits at the same time. And I personally am a sucker for theatrical influences in rock and metal.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Of course all musicians miss playing live and I’m not an exception. It’s really sad not to be able to connect with your audience face to face. But other than that I just feel like, even for an introvert like me, going places and having social events is suuuch an important part of life and creates motivation for so much. Humans are not made for this sheltered loneliness, but it is what needs to be done in the current situation.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad