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Interview with Godiva
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
First of all, thanx everyone at Volatile Weekly for reaching up to us and for this interview.
Well, we guess you can say that it was our passion for music in general and for the heavy metal genre that got us into music. Most of us already work in something else other than just playing music or working in the music industry and the band is like another job. One that we take very seriously.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
There are several things we like to do as individuals when we’re not playing, being some of them listening to music and reading. That really helps us to improve our range of influences and dynamics while playing as it helps to write both songs and lyrics.
How long has your band been around?
The band has been around for about 20 years now, give it or take it. All started in 1999, when a group of youngsters with lots of free time and a common passion for metal music got together.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
At present time we are based at Oporto, the biggest city in the north of Portugal and the second biggest in the country. Oporto has a very strong underground metal scene, so we had the opportunity to share a lot of experiences with producers and other bands. Although we agree that growing in this kind of environment was important to us, in truth we believe that we’ve always tried to find our own way and style, something that could define us as a whole.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Back in 1999, our sonority was quite different than it is today. In the early days we played a more death/black metal. The band’s first name was Lilith, actually. In those times we were more into some Celtic/Medieval writings and, one day, the name just popped up and immediately everyone thought “that’s it!”. Some band members at the time were drawn into this story of Lady Godiva and the values it represented, and it was done. We decided to switch the band’s name to Godiva, a name inspired by a strong female figure from medieval history or mythology.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
In more than two decades as a band, fortunately we can easily recall several memorable shows. Having to pick a couple of them, we believe the choice must be our performance at Laurus Nobilis 2018, a summer festival that grows year after year with amazing lineups. That was the concert of our return, after some years in some kind of sabbatical pause. It was a great show and it was our “we’re back and kicking” statement. The other one was on 2019, at Vagos Metalfest, one of the biggest metal festivals in Portugal, in front of thousands, with a live orchestra. It was an exhausting but truly rewarding work. You’ll be able to check out that performance soon in a live DVD.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Has we said before, there are several concerts and places where we’ve played. Some bigger than others, for sure. Nevertheless, we enjoyed every single one of them. Which one was special and unique and most of the times we were very well treated. As where we want to play that we haven’t already? Well, every place is a good place really, as long the terms and conditions are good for everyone involved. We are always ready to listen to proposals and analyze them.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Now that’s a very tricky question…So many names occur to our minds right now. Looking at our present sonority, maybe a gig with names like Septic Flesh, COF and Dimmu Borgir would be money well spent. Add King Diamond to the mix and it would be just perfect!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Believe, practice and be resilient. Key words if you want to succeed both as individuals and as a band. Did we already mention practice? That’s it. And, of course, keep your mind open. There’s always so much to learn and to explore.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Keep on going, no matter how shitty things look like. Believe and invest all your chips in your dream. Pursuit your goals fiercely and relentlessly.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Another hard question to answer. Maybe the track “Oblivion” from our 2007 EP “Spiral”. A very powerful track at that time that really had a huge and positive impact next to our listeners and followers. You can check it out on Spotify.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Well, it’s no secret that for most bands playing the new songs is always what they prefer. We are not the exception for sure. So, playing the songs that will be listed in our debut album “Hubris”, is perhaps more fun to us. Nevertheless, there are a lot of old stuff that we like to play, like “Traces of Irony” from our 2002 EP, or “Spiral”, “Hollow Within” or “Oblivion”, from our 2007 EP. These last three are, perhaps, the ones that the public request more often. Again, you can check out all of them, and much more, on Spotify.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Although you may have heard this from many bands, the truth is that we’ve always tried to do something different, something that when you hear it you can associate to Godiva. That being said, most of the times we try to mix a bunch of influences that thrives from each band member and fuse it in a way that everyone is pleased. Sometimes it’s not easy, but we manage to do it. “Hubris”, that will be out on the 3rd of February, was mostly composed starting from a bunch of loose riffs and a lot of studio hours, mixing and remixing. Our lead guitar player had a major role in the process, so we can say that this album has a lot of him in it. Our inspiration, especially for the lyrics, is the idea that newer times demand a whole different kind of gods to satisfy the actual human condition. And we wanted to create an allegory of the new modern man. The environment created in the music by the orchestral arrangements and the kind of riffs produced in the songs try also to reflect that, in an equilibrium between music and lyrics.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
All songs present in “Hubris” relates to the actual human condition, in a critical approach to modern society. The theme of the album is centered on exposing the truth and hypocrisy of our current era. The lyrics present an allegory of modern society, depicting the rise of new gods and truths through various forms of media, and what it means to be an individual in these chaotic times. We intentionally wrote the message in a straightforward structure, prioritizing the power of the message in a raw form, rather than using a poetic or more academic language.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We wouldn’t be a real band if we didn’t had disagreements, would we? Disagreements are a part of the process of having something in common. So, we did have plenty of them. Mostly of them turn out to be as result of the creative process and, usually, things evolved well and for the best, resulting on better songs and ideas. Others, unfortunately, were due to completely different points of view of what the band’s path should be and people just followed their own way.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
This is a question with a simple answer really. At the end of the day, we just want to keep enjoying our music and being able to manage for it to reach others, so they can, hopefully, share the same feelings and thoughts we did when we wrote them.
In truth we aren’t too concerned about the industry per se, although, of course, to have a good contract with a good label it’s something we desire. Still, we don’t want to be too constrained by it. We enjoy the freedom to evolve and we really cherish all moments that been in a band provides to you.
Recently we’ve released the videoclip for our music “Media God”, after we already had released the videoclip for the advanced single “The Meaning of Life” last December. Both themes will be part of the track list of our soon to be released album “Hubris”, on next February. You can check them out, and other content, in our official youtube channel: https://youtube.com/@godivaofficial.
You can also find us on social media, of course, like Facebook and Instagram, or you can check our website at www.godivaofficial.com/.
Follow us on Spotify to listen to some of our music.