The stereotype-smashing scream | Martyrium

Following the success of its inaugural edition last year, the female-fronted metal music festival Voices of the Succubi returns for a second helping at Chateau Buskett next week

Martyrium – organisers of Voices of the Succubi and an accomplished metal band in their own right
Martyrium – organisers of Voices of the Succubi and an accomplished metal band in their own right

How would you describe the reaction to last year’s – first – edition of Voices of the Succubi, and how do you hope to build on it with this upcoming edition?

We believe that similarly to this year, last year we were able to offer a variety which somehow everyone could enjoy.  Starting from the varied bands who have individually contributed with their own unique sounds and performances, the enticing and sensual performances by the highly acclaimed burlesque artist Undine La Verve, the enticing food options, the highly defined sound and lighting system, as well as the warm vibe created by our attendees who passionately expressed themselves through headbanging and through their involvement with our performers and artists, there was a very positive feel throughout the whole festival. Of course, we had our own fair share of hiccups along the way. However, reactions to the festival were consistently good and people seemed to have had a great time at the event.

Following last year’s edition, this year we decided to also have super model Dani Divine  presenting and performing at our festival, we also decided to keep the variety of music genres, ranging from progressive to Experimental, Symphonic, and Gothic metal and we improved our sound system in order to give our audiences an unforgettable experience throughout the whole event.

Finally, we also decided to collaborate with different sponsors and entities who in different ways helped us to improve the overall layout and organisation of the festival: Namely XFM who helped us to promote the event on radio, Band Aid music shop who helped us with all of our sound requirement and Storm H2O + coffein and Go & Fun, who have financially contributed to our festival.

Once again, the event will feature a large number of international acts. What would you say attracts these bands to Malta?

This year, Malta has seen an incredible increase in festivals headlined by very well known names in the rock and metal scene. With bands such as Orphaned Land, Krokus, Mayhem, and now Xandria (to name but a few), we are experiencing our little Mediterranean marvel. Maybe this Mediterranean magic, the warmth of the audience who get so much deeply involved with the performers on stage, together with the positive experiences that the bands experience when performing on our islands all add up and contribute at making Malta attractive.

Another thing worth noting is the fact that through their own hard work, Maltese bands are now managing to actually tour and perform abroad, making themselves known and heard overseas. With bands such as Beheaded, Victims of Creation, Weeping Silence and even through our own tours as Martyrium, different contacts are established, whereby talks related to the planning and to the realisation of  exchange of festivals happen. Finally, having popular bands such as Xandria headlining a festival, would always encourage other bands (both local and foreign) to share the stage and perform in a particular country.

What do you hope will be some of the highlights of this year’s edition of the festival? What can audiences expect?

Apart from the impressive musical skills of the various bands performing at the event, this years’ edition will also feature a Battle of the Bands within the festival itself, whereby the competing bands will win the chance to perform at FemME festival in Netherlands. As a result, our audience can certainly expect passionate performances from both up-and-coming and established bands with a varied selection of music. Dani Divine’s presentation of the whole event is also surely not to be missed.

Summer is a great time for music festivals in Malta – what would you say Voices of the Succubi brings into that equation that is truly unique?

Summer in general is a great time to experience the abrasive power of the feminine voice through the screams and yells of a neighbouring mother, who forcefully screams her lungs out at the young child or teenager who regularly sleeps in during the hot summer holidays. How many times have we heard this association with the angry feminine voice? Or how may times have we heard the typical man commenting about the ‘whining’ voice of a female acquaintance? More than any other festival organised locally, this festival aims at destroying the stereotypes surrounding the myth of the typical gentle, romantic, soft or screeching, witch-like voice. Instead it offers our audiences the opportunity to witness the free expression of any desired emotion through the complex and transitioning kaleidoscope of the feminine voice.

Finally, what would you say an event like VOTS contributes to the wider metal scene in Malta?

VOTS encourages fans from all types of rock and metal scenes, including Progressive, Gothic, Symphonic and so on... to come together under one roof and  one event. Uniting people from more then just one sub-variation. Hopefully, we also aim to inspire more female singers to come forth and fearlessly express themselves without any pre-conceived ideas of either ridicule or rejection. Yes, there’s a very good metal scene in Malta, and yes there is indeed a place for anyone who has something to say, even if you’re female and even if you need to maybe sometimes express yourself through growls. Bring it on!