Nocturnal Euphony International


Review and Interview 2008:

Brought together by a love of gothic literature and Metal PYTHIA are a group of classical and Metal inspired musicians who believe that music is a lifestyle that should be lived only by the brave and true of heart. Lead singer Emily Alice Ovenden is perhaps better know as a member of the No.1 selling classical act the Mediaeval Baebes and Classic FM favourite Celtic Legend. Drummer Marc Dyos and Guitarist Ross White are from one of UK’s foremost Thrash Metal projects ‘Descent’ and with Richard Holland on Keys, Tim Neale on Lead Guitar and Andrew Corfield on bass, PYTHIA are set to steal the Gothic Power Metal crown in 2008. The name PYTHIA is taken from ancient Greece. The Pythia was the priestess at Apollo's oracle in Delphi who operated as a vehicle for Apollo's will. This is a fitting title as Ovenden’s lyrics explore the darker side of life, love and passion, dancing between this world and a world filled with gods, goblins and ghosts. In a world consumed with religious conflict and political confusion, it is time for a new era is musical reverence, is it time to worship at the shrine of the Serpent Goddess.

Band Members: Emily Alice (Vocalist), Ross (Guitarist), Tim (Lead Guitarist), Andy (Bass), Marc (Drums), and Richard (Keyboard)

Origin Country: United Kingdom ******

1. PYTHIA hail from London, how has the band been received so far?

Emily: The band has been received incredibly well. We have started to build a really strong fan base, which is the most important thing. Ross: Yeah response has been really positive from everyone who has heard our stuff or seen us live so far. Its still early days as we are still finishing off writing for the album so haven’t done many live shows yet, but we can’t wait to do more when the opportunity arises. Tim: I was pleasantly surprised! Playing in the saturated London rock/metal scene for years can leave one a little jaded, but the interest and great fans we gained from the recent gig with Tarja (x nightwish)) alone was overwhelming, a real good start to our plans for world domination.

2. Has there been much opportunity to play outside the country?

Emily: We have been offered some tours in Europe later in the year but at the moment we are concentrating on writing and recording our album, once that is done I expect we will be performing in as many different countries as possible. Personally I am at my happiest when I am on the road, so I’m looking forward bringing PYTHIA to the world.

3. I am very intrigued by PYTHIA, and am especially interested in your live show. What can fans expect when they come out to see you live?

Emily: We are a very full on live band. We do not compromise. You will see a band that is fully committed to the performance. There may be swords, there maybe goblets and costume changes but our performance will always be about delivering the music with a fearless heart. Ross: We are an energetic band, no standing still looking at your feet around here! I’d say we are pretty tight and heavy live and quite an aggressive and as Emily said ‘full on’ live band, especially for this area of metal (female fronted bands). We are much more into the power, the energy and the soul of the music than just being posey rock stars, so plenty of headbanging and sweating onstage! Tim: I think live is where you put your money where your mouth is. Too many bands that I have loved on CD have disappointed live since I got into music My main thing since I became a musician was the ability to not only recreate what was recorded, but to add another angle and blow some minds…. I’m sure PYTHIA lives up to this!

4. Emily, you are also in two other musical projects, please tell us a bit about them.

Emily: I am also in Mediaeval Baebes (UK No.1 selling female classical act) and Celtic Legend (Celtic classical project focusing of Mythology) and Ross and Marc are in Descent (death thrash metal), Tim is in Faith of the Few (Southern rock) and Andy also has other projects in the works. We’re very lucky to be able to stretch our wings musically but I think I speak for everyone when I say PYTHIA is very special.

5. I see that you have an official costumier. That's not something most people can say. How did this come about?

Emily: Dornbluth of German make dresses for me, for performance and photographs. They are beautiful dresses! My look is important as it is a way to help express the music visually and I am lucky to being able to work with some amazing photographers like Hayley Madden and James Sutton who help me realise my ideas. It’s not unusual for performer to be asked to indorse products but in this case I phoned up Dornbluth and asked them if they would be interested in working with me, as I loved their gowns, happily they said yes. I’ve also worked a lot photographically wearing dresses from Uptight (, these are such beautiful dresses, perfectly made but I can’t sing live in a corset, you need a lot of air for this music! Dornbluth dresses are perfect for on stage.

6. PYTHIA is a gathering of musical influences from many styles How did this band manage to find common ground?

Emily: It all came very easily to us. The first song we wrote was My Pale Prince and it’s still a favourite. I feel that fate has brought us all together; there is something very magical about the band and the way we interact musically. Perhaps we all played together in past life! Tim: Total agreement, I must visit my spiritualist for a past life regression! I have always tried to blend styles and the different angles we all come from to create the melting pot that is PYTHIA make it constantly exciting, we never get stuck in a musical rut. Emily: We sound like a bunch of hippies! Ross: Yeah, nothing was really pre planned, it has just kind of all fallen into place. Members came along at just the right time and our sound has just kind of happened very naturally. Marc: It helps that we have all come from different music backgrounds, but also that individually we each have quite varied tastes in music.

7. What is most important to you when writing new music?

Emily: For me it is lyrics, I must tell the story of the song. Somehow my sanity depends on it, if I don’t write music and lyrics I start to feel uncomfortable in my skin. ?We talk about the Serpent Goddess on our website and I think most people think that is me, but it is not. The Serpent Goddess is the muse of the band and I must give her voice! I am merely the channel for the Goddess, the PYTHIA. I have never felt as if I am writing the songs, I have always felt the presence of something else, feeding me the words. Pass the Tequila someone! ?? Ross: For me it’s about setting a good solid song base for Emily to weave her words over. I try to get good riffs, plenty of energy, atmosphere, some variety (don’t like it when bands song all sound the same) and leave enough room for Emily and Rich (keyboardist) to take the song in other directions if they want. Tim: Solos, solos and guitar fills!!!! Seriously, I think the most important thing is the piece as a whole. A great song can be ruined by too much or little of one element. Marc: As Ross says, keeping songs varied is a key part of our writing process, and we feel that we have covered ground that few female fronted bands have ventured into.

8. Are the songs written by the band as a whole?

Emily: We all write as a band, but the original idea normally comes from Ross, who has some exceptional harmonic ideas, which normally set me off on a lyrical and melodic journey. Ross: I usually come up with the initial ideas, riffs etc. record it down, send it to Marc to work on drum ideas, then we record the drums and send the ‘song’ over to Emily to start work on lyrics, melodies etc. Sometimes the original structure stays the same, sometimes it gets chopped and changed around, whatever works best for the song, once there are vocals on it we start adding bass, lead guitar and keys and hopefully we end up with a great song we are all happy with. Most of us in the band have home recording facilities so this way of writing (emailing mp3’s back and forth) seems to work best for us.

9. This band seems to have a good sense of humour, do you think it is dangerous if a band takes themselves too seriously?

Emily: I don’t think music should ever be a joke but what’s the point of doing anything if you can’t have a laugh. Marc and Ross are the kings of puns and doing photo shoots with them is a nightmare, as we just end up laughing all the time. Ross: That’s another good thing about the band members is we all have similar sense of humour. When Tim joined the band he commented to me that the band seems laid back but professional and I think that pretty much sums it up, its important to all get on and have fun together but when its time for writing, recording, playing live etc its time to be professional and deliver the best you can, and that’s what we try to do. Tim: Especially in our genre of music, there is a tendency to buy into your own crap. Being very English about it all, we are all aware of our failings and strengths, and take the mickey out of both as much as humanly possible! (especially where any opportunity to rip into Andy as much as poss!) Andy: Tim's just jealous that I have the biggest beard!! Emily: You should always take the music seriously but never yourself.

10. What is the next big goal from PYTHIA?

Emily: Making the best album we can and doing some kick arse shows! Marc: Trying to find the world’s greatest cheesecake manufacturer!

11. Where can fans find PYTHIA merchandise?

Emily: From our website




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