INTERVIEW: Gina Bafile – Darkyra

Interview by Dan Catania


Dan talked with Gina from Darkyra about their return to the scene and their band’s influences and more….

Metal-Roos: On behalf of myself and the Metal-Roos Crew. It’s great to see Darkyra announce their return. How excited are you to be back in the metal scene?

Gina: Thanks, Dan, I’m ecstatic to be back and to be working with such talented local musicians. It’s something I really didn’t think was going to happen after being away from the music industry for so long and I almost gave up searching for musicians to get Darkyra on the road again.

Metal-Roos: What have you missed most about not being in the metal music scene?

Gina: The thing I really miss most about not being in the metal music scene is not being able to connect with other likeminded musicians and metal enthusiasts. The Perth Metal community in general has a very supportive network that embraces diversity of the different subgenres.

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I really missed belonging to such a community. Aside from that I really love the expressive outlet, that rush of pent-up nervous energy and adrenaline when I step foot on stage.

Metal-Roos: How is the local metal scene now compared to back when Darkyra was performing and recording their music from your point of view?

Gina: There seems to be a lot more curiosity of Progressive and Symphonic Metal and I’ve noticed there are a lot more female musicians within the local metal scene, some of them fronting some exceptionally heavy bands. Primrose Path is one that comes to mind. At the very beginning of Darkyra during the recording process it was almost impossible to find local musicians with the production knowledge for all the orchestral components, which is a major part of the Symphonic and Cinematic style music which is why Darkyra began initially as an overseas collaboration.

Metal-Roos: What was the biggest challenge to get Darkyra back to a full band line up?

Gina: The biggest challenge was trying to find a keyboard player. There seems to be only a hand full of these in Perth and they’re usually involved in a zillion projects. I was amazed when Nikki Dagostino (little miss squeeze box) was interested in the music and offered to be on board.

Metal-Roos: Darkyra music reminds me of Nightwish (Tarja Turunen era). Is it fair to say that Nightwish was one of your biggest influences with Darkyra?

Gina: Nightwish was definitely a band that got me into music and singing in general. I’ve always been a huge Tarja fan.

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I’ve seen all three eras of Nightwish. I can’t say that they’re my biggest influence though as at the time of writing Dragon Tears, I was quite heavily influenced by Edenbridge’s album Shine. I also listen to a lot of Kamelot too. Karma played a big part in the writing style of the second Darkyra album ‘Fool’ where I was aiming for the whole Game of Thrones sound on a lot of the songs.

Metal-Roos: How have your musical influences changed since the last Darkyra album that we will hear with the new material?

Gina: My music influences are still predominantly the same. We are at the very early stages of writing and have only just begun working on the first song now. This time things are very different as there’s an entirely new team of musicians involved in the writing from the very start of the album. So it is only inevitable that we will draw on all of our influences as a group. Sure, you will hear keyboards and orchestral elements, especially electric violin. I’m guessing the drumming might get a little beefier with Dan Grainger’s input and perhaps the guitaring style might differ from the usual Symphonic Metal chugging. We shall see when we finish, there’s the possibility of a song with two simultaneous bass players.

Metal-Roos: How is the new material coming along? What timeframe does Darkyra hope to get
the new material release?

Gina: As previously mentioned, we have only begun working on the first song now. We are looking to have this complete at the start of the new year and hopefully with a video to accompany this. We are certainly not in any rush as the music is the most important part and it’s not something that can be rushed.

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It will take some time as a group to get into sync with each other.

Metal-Roos: What do you hope the new material will bring that will be different to the past Darkyra Records?

Gina: In the past, Darkyra was always labelled a solo project. I’m pretty certain that the new release will rectify that label and we will be seen as a band and not just the vision of one person.

Metal-Roos: Darkyra is in the process of doing some gigs in the next 12 months. Which places are you planning to play in and what are you most excited about playing live again?

Gina: Yes, Darkyra will be performing over the next 12 months. The gigs will take a lot of careful planning as there are seven of us so stage space will need to be high on the priority list. Also, with a lot of different elements going on in the music itself, we will be paying special attention to the engineering side of things so we will be a little selective as to which venues we will perform as we really need to focus on maintaining both the visual aspect as well as the high production sound. We are definitely open to any festival offers that come our way or If Nightwish decide to visit Perth again we of course would put our hand up to open for them.

Metal-Roos: Finally, what would you like to say to your supporters and fans who have stuck around and believe in yourself and Darkyra?

Gina: I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that encouraged Darkyra to keep going and believed that Perth needs a Symphonic Metal act. I’d also like to say thank you to the Metal community, especially to some of the members of Western Front that rallied around in support to help spread the word when Darkyra was looking for musicians. Without you It wouldn’t be happening.