When the news about Vision Divine’s comeback was announced a few days ago, PowerMetal.no had to ask Olaf Thörsen a few questions. And yes: «who is the vocalist» were asked! If it is Fabio Lione? Well, read and find out!
In 2012 Vision Divine released its latest studio album (Destination Set To Nowhere), and in 2010 Labÿrinth released Return To Heaven Denied Pt. II. After that both bands were quiet for some time. What kept you busy up till 2017, when Labÿrinth returned with Architecture Of A God?
Olaf: I must specify, first of all, that Labÿrinth is a «weird» thing to explain: I left the band in 2002 and we agreed to finally release a new album in 2010, which I did, but there was no real plan to be back permanently and in fact that’s what happened until the release of «Architecture Of A God» in 2017.
The truth is that, back then, I felt I was done with music intended as releasing album after album.
I always stated, when I was releasing albums regulary, that I was doing it simply because I was feeling like doing it and that, for the same reasons, I would stop the day I felt like not ready for doing something new.
I never released something because «it must be done», so when that happened, I just took a break and focused on other things in my life.
At the same time, some members were too busy doing music with other bands and this is also something I don’t agree with. Because, it’s already hard to give 100 % to what you are doing, it becomes even more difficult, if not impossible, to do your best with your band if your head is busy doing more than one thing at a time.
And now Vision Divine is finally back! In the announcement you wrote «for good». Is that right?
Olaf: Yes, I can say that I’m finally feeling like having an amazing album ready to be recorded and this is the right time to come back and do the music we like, the way we like it.
What made you decide that you wanted to bring life back to Vision Divine?
Olaf: Some Things happened, lately. I had to take a decision about the whole thing, and honestly I even considered the idea that Vision Divine was over.
But then I had this new album which was coming to life; the songs are amazing, in my opinion the best I ever wrote, and it was a pity to see this band put in a dark corner while members were busy doing other things with other bands.
Ironically, the day Fabio [Lione] decided to quit, is the moment in which I took the decision to come back and release new music.
What can we expect from Vision Divine for the years to come?
Olaf: That’s a way too big question to ask! I can tell you that we have a new album, and a new lineup. We’re all eager to come back with new music and to play on stage.
We have fans from everywhere praising this news and we’re flattered. And of course we’ll do our best to keep this going and have fun all toghether.
What can you tell me about the lineup? Has there been any changes?
Olaf: Mike Terrana, who joined the band a couple of years ago for our live shows, is going to destroy the drums on this new album. I don’t consider him a new member, though, since as I told you he joined us some time ago. I’m very happy to finally see him drumming over Our music and it will be exciting, because he’s a real «number 1» drummer.
We also have a new singer of course, since Fabio decided to quit and focus on Angra (which I understand).
Yes, about that. I was going to ask you about the vocalist and if Fabio still was a member of Vision Divine. Could you elaborate more about why Fabio left, and who is the new vocalist?
Olaf: Yes, Fabio is no longer member of Vision Divine. That was his decision and something he announced through his Facebook page. I can’t tell you exactly why, because I simply don’t know, but I can of course imagine it had to do with being busy with Angra.
It’s a fact that, because of his high activity, the band had to stop for a long time, and even if it’s sad that he left after all these years, I think this is a chance for us to come back with renovated plans and with more possibilities for touring.
The new singer will be a surprise for everybody! I won’t reveal his name until the new music is out, because he’s what we could call an «underdog». He’s not well known and the few things he did in the past are not even close to what he’s capable of doing. So, I want him to be revealed while shining at his best.
For those who might have a doubt about it, I can remind them that this happened to me every single time I had a new singer, since I never called someone already known in the business, from the early days to the latest ones. When Fabio, Roberto [Tiranti] or Michele [Luppi] started singing with my bands, it was their very first experience with this music and later on they became so much loved and appreciated.
You can trust me when I say that if I choose this guy, it has to mean something and you will all be blown away – the same way I was!
That’s good to hear! So, when will the new album be released?
Olaf: The plan is to release the album early 2019, but we’re going to release a new video before December 2018.
I read somewhere that Vision Divine was supposed to be a solo project of yours, but that it turned into a full-time band after a while. Then you released the debut album, Vision Divine (1999), in my opinion one of the greatest power metal albums. What do you remember from that album and that time?
Olaf: Yes, that’s true. Vision Divine was supposed to be a «simple» solo album, to be released during a pause from touring with Labÿrinth. Things went clearly different and I couldn’t be happier now!
I remember that the first versions of the songs were completely different from how you know them now, since they were not originally planned for having vocals. So when Fabio joined I had to add riffs so that Fabio could add melodies. It’s been funny and weird at the same time!
Will the new focus on Vision Divine affect Labÿrinth in any way?
Olaf: I can’t tell you exactly, but not very likely. Labÿrinth are not a one man band. When we plan a new album we all work together and it’s much easier to have things done, so I wouldn’t say it can happen.
Regarding the live activity, again, our albums will be released at different times and it won’t happen that one band must stop in order to see the other play.
We basically live in two different space and time dimensions, haha!
And one final question: this one has nothing to do with Vison Divine, but someone you worked with in the past. In 2000 Cydonia released its debut album. What happened to Dan Keying and Cydonia? Is he still doing music?
Olaf: I don’t know much. I hear Dan every now and then, but it’s not because of music and we don’t speak much about it.
It’s a real pity that he never focused on that band as much as he should have done. I liked his ideas and his voice; a real talent.