Hi Anabelle, I hope you’re well! As a first step, could you please introduce yourself to us?
Hello! I’m Anabelle, vocalist/musician, lyre player and composer from London, UK. I’m known for being the vocalist in Veile and for my work with Cradle of Filth and Devilment.
You have a strong musical background, academically. However, what has been your touch with extreme music while you were evolving as a musician?
Extreme music was a huge part of my life growing up, particularly as a teenager. I’ve never considered myself to be an angry person, and I realised in my adult years that this was because I was using extreme music to vent. I often found this style of music to be very cathartic, it was like a friend that was always there to help guide me through my feelings.
With that being said, what was the first time you came across the doomed world of heavy metal music?
It’s always been in my life: my dad used to listen to bands such as Metallica and Iron Maiden…so the seed was planted from a very young age to explore this world of music!
Let’s talk about “The Ghost Sonata” and Veile!
My favourite topic! Veile is a blackened horror metal band with myself on vocals, guitarist Charles Edward Alexander Hedger [MAYHEM, R-KOMPLEX] and drummer Frank Skillpero [ai.GOD DETHRONED, THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT]. We released our debut EP, ‘The Ghost Sonata’ at the end of August this year. Veile brings to life the chilling atmosphere of bygone times with blackened horror metal arrangements and lyrical themes from witchcraft to dark folklore. Our onus is storytelling, so the vocals and music are character and narrative led. Lyrically, my intention is to unveil tales from a different perspective, particularly exploring voices that have been ‘veiled’ in history.
If someone browses through your social media pages, especially on your Youtube channel, they will find some lovely, dark pieces of music written by you, such as “Awaken”, “Carpe Noctem”, etc. When did you write these and what was the main influence behind them?
Some of the pieces I’ve published have been knocking about for a while, but I only mustered the courage to post them this year! I often get swept up in my own worlds and feelings and will use music to channel these. There is often a dark beauty to them. I have a bit of a ‘mad genius vibe’ when I’m writing (minus the genius part!). I leap out of bed when I’m falling asleep suddenly inspired, or I’ll be out walking and get an idea and need to ‘get it out’ before it disappears. As for the titles of the tracks, I find the pieces name themselves – just like in Harry Potter, the wand chooses the wizard!
In the meantime, you joined Cradle of Filth and did a great album with them, “Existence Is Futile”! How did you get in touch with them in the first place, were you a fan before getting on board?
Thanks! I was involved in Devilment briefly, so Dani Filth was familiar with my writing and vocals. I’d say I was a casual listener…I couldn’t tell you the names of every track or the year each album was released.
Let’s say, that you are abandoned in an island at the moment, and you only have five records to hold on with you for the rest of your life. Which would they be?
Oooft! This is a tough question, I’m awful with decisions…would it be cheating if I took compilation albums? haha!
Musicians have been going on a lot as a whole for many decades, with things getting highlighted in 2020, with all touring having to be paused, concerts to be cancelled or rescheduled to an unknown future etc etc. Except for Covid 19, what has created that tension among musicians within all this time, that eventually led to the “Support Art Workers” movement, with crew members getting on the road to protest etc?
The pandemic has been a tough time for creatives. For a lot of musicians, our main income is from touring, so having this resource no longer be viable, means it has been a struggle for many financially (myself included). There is sommething too about live music being an experience, one that resonates with both the body and mind. Part of our job is visercal; we seek to connect and share our craft and reciprocate with emotion. It is a special experience, and for me especially, it is where I feel alive and have purpose. To not be able to share in that, along with financial worry, has been rather difficult.
Do you think that when Covid 19 will be over, it will be a time where musicians will learn to step on their ground a bit more, especially those for whom music is not a prime income?
I’m sure many of us are ready to get out there and hit the road! They say that with absence the heart grows fonder, so I imagine the second touring is viable most musicians will be wanting to get out there. Most musicians I know (at all levels) have some kind of day job or do things on the side anyway. I hope the last couple of years has ignited the passion for music making, creating and experiencing for many.
Also, there has been a big growth of political awareness among younger ages as well, that has been defining musical waves. Does that worry you, or makes you think good of younger ages that are involved with such social matters?
From my experience practicing ethnography, I find that all these elements are intertwined, whether we see it or not. Music is a sophisticated network, and as it is created by humans (debatably!) it often reflect back societal constructs in some form or another, such as politics. We reflect them through us and our music and vice versa, so it is always there. I think we are feeling safer now to be more reflective and this is a positive step.
Older musicians claim that touring life was back then nothing that it is today. With that being said, younger musicians are a bit more privileged on the road rather than in the 80’s, or the 90’s. Agreed or disagreed?
Alas, it couldn’t say as I wasn’t there! I can imagine that there different challenges in both generation. For one, not having the frequent use of the internet as a source of promotion in previous years. At the same time, I find that this can often be restrictive too, as even though accesibility is increased, there is an overload of information and we’re constantly trying to keep up with a virtual world.
How does Anabelle Iratni spend her time at home, when not browsing through sloppy burb meme pages?
You’ve caught me! haha, I do spend a lot of time looking at bird memes and videos. I like to spend my time with my feathered children, I have lutino cockatiels and budgies. They’re very amusing, I don’t often need to turn on the TV! Mostly, I spend my time. composing and singing.
What does your calendar hold for the days and years to come?
Alas, it is all very uncertain with COVID-19 restrictions and travel at the moment. I hope to tour with Veile in the near future. We’re currently working on new material so we can have enough tracks for a live set, that is rather exciting. Make sure to follow us for updates!