Döxa is a very unique Spanish Metal band fronted by an Egyptian member. They have created their own style and become very famous. Who are they? What’s their story? Let’s find out and enjoy reading this special interview.
Döxa, what’s the meaning of this name?
DINA: Victor came up with the name actually. It’s a very fitting name and has a rich history behind it. Döxa is a Greek word; in ancient Greek it means opinion. In Modern Greek it means glory, so it’s a nice mix of both meanings and it fits our music and the messages behind it. Coincidentally, I was living in Greece too when he made up the name so it’s a homage in some way!
So how does the story begin?!
VICTOR: Well, I moved to Madrid in November, 2006, after leaving the Spanish band “Darksun” for personal matters. I was searching for people to play with, and that’s how I met Dina, in Madrid. We didn’t find the right band for us, so we decided to start one. I started calling a lot of friends who were living in some other parts of Spain and Döxa became a real project during Spring 2007. The first who joined us in our efforts was Juan “Txendo” Rodríguez, a guitarist, old friend and ex-band mate from Asturias, North of Spain. So the three of us are the main members of Döxa!
DINA: I was studying in Madrid at the time and I tried my luck in finding a couple of bands, but nobody was really into the same musical style as I was. Introducing himself as a keyboardist, I met Victor who had very similar musical tastes and I didn’t only gain a great friendship, but an amazing musician! Through him I met “Txendo” and the rest of our guest musicians.
Tell me more about your music genre…
Victor: Just like many musicians, we dislike labeling our music. But we also know we are not inventing anything absolutely new, so we like to think of our music as Symphonic Metal. We like heavy guitars, keyboard arrangements and also making good melodies, so we think it can be named “Symphonic Metal” but our music is so chaotic and unpredictable to be defined by just two words. It’s better if you just listen to us with an open mind. Just check out our MySpace.
Dina: It’s too limited to label anything. Also each song is very unique, in terms of the messages it shows and the different styles and themes that are involved in it. We chose this genre because we are all big fans of the symphonic metal scene. It’s a genre that has classical and modern influences, both in musical and thematic elements so it gives you, as a musician and listener, so many ways to connect.
Did the guests that joined Döxa assist the band in composing the band’s music or did they just perform their parts?
DINA: All the songs were composed by Victor. Txendo took care of all the great guitar work you’ll hear on the album. Dani worked with Victor on the orchestral arrangements, but that’s about it. We did of course rely on each musician to give his/her personal touch thanks to their talented improvisations. Of course, you can find more details inside the album’s booklet.
As there’s an Egyptian member in the band, did that affect the composing and the music of the band with her culture and touch?
VICTOR: In fact it had a great effect on the recordings. We are working right now on a song to be released later on in 2010, via internet or maybe a CD single, it is completely inspired by the Middle Eastern poetry, and Dina herself wrote some lyrics We tried to include in the song “Once… and for All” but it was not possible. Also her special touch is present during the whole album, and we truly appreciate it. “Once… and for All” wouldn’t be so special for us without Dina’s vocals and her understanding of our music.
DINA: Well, I won’t give away too much information about our upcoming release but I’m certain it will really appeal to the heavy metal scene in Egypt and the Middle East. So many metal bands try to make the Middle East meet heavy metal, but you never see an actual native working on the material so a lot of the songs you see on the market are really superficial. This upcoming release is true to its tribute to the many riches of the Middle East.
As a Symphonic Metal musician, are you into other music genres?
VICTOR: Less hip-hop, absolutely anything you can imagine, from Classical Metal to New Age music, from 70’s and 80’s Pop-Rock to modern Metalcore, from Bach to Vangelis and OSTs. We are very open-minded, to make music without the constraints of a pre-defined style or limited musical resources –but yet from a melodic metal perspective—that is the main goal of our adventure.
DINA: I became really interested in singing about 10 years ago when I did some Broadway musicals in my schools and shortly after that I was introduced to bands like Kamelot and Nightwish. This made me pursue classical singing, but I also have a good background in modern singing thanks to the musicals so I use whichever style is more appropriate depending on each song.
What about your album “Once… and for All”, what is its main theme?
VICTOR: Although it is not a concept album, most songs on “Once… and for All” refer in one way or another to the state of human civilization right now: its flaws and its virtues (if any). Some have an optimistic point of view about that, but others absolutely don’t. For example in “The Spirit of Mistletoe” we talk about Mother Nature finally reacting to mankind’s selfishness in a brutal way, but “A Drop of Eternity” is all about the mysterious force that sometimes helps you believe that maybe there’s still hope for us all. There are also quite ironic songs like “An Evil Song for Mrs. Goodness!” inspired by Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine”. We also like literature: “The Devil in Love” has something to do with the writings of French author Cazotte, and “A Very Strange Agony” and “To Die Only Once” were inspired by the famous “Carmilla” of Sheridan LeFanu.
I have been informed that you have no label or producer, how did you record this album?
VICTOR: It’s true: we don’t have a label supporting us right now. We did it without a label because we didn’t want to wait for any label to answer our requests. Also at the moment labels usually are not interested in supporting new bands, so why try? We said: “Let’s do it ourselves!”, and we are proud of the results, which are absolutely professional; most people get astonished when listening to “Once… and for All” because of that. But we indeed have a producer. It is our friend Dani G. who recorded and produced the album at his Dynamita Studios in Spain, and we gave him all the help we could with his work. It was something like “Hey, dude! We have these!”, and he said “I love the stuff, let’s get it recorded”. The process was very hard as you may guess, but the album finally is available at our online store and you can order it through Dina if you’re in Egypt. If now, with “Once… and for All” in our hands, there is a label interested in our work, we are at their disposal. If not… that’s also fine, we’ll continue working on our own.
I know that the band’s members live in different countries and I guess this is kind of a problem, how will you get over it and how do you see the future of Döxa?
VICTOR: It’s difficult to plan anything because of that, but now we are focusing on the second album, and we’re starting with the new material. We expect to go live in Spain for some gigs with the help of fellow musicians in Madrid. At the moment it is impossible to go live with our current line-up but we expect things will change sooner or later.
DINA: I don’t see it as too much of a problem because we all share the love of music. I plan on bringing Döxa to Egypt as well, and I’ll be looking for musicians with the same interests in Cairo. To prepare for “Once… and For All”, I rehearsed with Victor before leaving Spain and rehearsed on my own while in Greece. I flew back to Dynamita Studios in Spain and recorded my parts. Where there’s passion, there always is a way!
What’s the message you want to deliver through your music?
VICTOR: Be honest to yourself. Don’t waste your life because you won’t have another chance to live it, and above all, always be responsible for what you do. We know it doesn’t sound very comfortable to most ears, but that’s our “Döxa”: our opinion.
DINA: Döxa touches on many aspects, but every element is born from a certain passion for something. So… always follow your passion and keep an open mind.
A word to your fans?
DINA and VICTOR: From the bottom of our hearts: thank you. You made and still make it possible.
RE: Thank you!