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"I am grateful to be alive and for all the teachings I have received" - Interview with Cadaveria

2020. december 29. - Jurancsik Eszter

Singer of Italian black metaller Cadaveria, Raffaella Rivarolo, went through a difficult period. In the summer of 2018, she announced she was suffering from breast cancer and the band suspended music for a while. Raffaella recently announced that she had been cured of this terrible illness and said yes to our interview request - thank you again, Raffaella!

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You recently released your song Matryoshcada, the video clip of which has become very
special and stunning. What is the song about and how did you feel when it was made?

Matryoshcada is a journey into the phisical and spiritual transformation I went through
during my illness. The treatments I received to recover from cancer threw me into a
surreal and even mystical dimension. My body was falling apart: hair, eyelashes,
eyebrows. The skin was thinning and part of me was taken away by the surgery.
Emotionally it was like being on a roller coaster for a year and more and never getting off.
In this delirium I found a new me, which was probably hidden inside the “previous me”. I
really felt like a Matryoshka doll that can be opened many times until she reaches the
indivisible core, my soul. In the video I wore my old and new clothes to show this
transformation and had two Matryoshka dolls created, representing the past and the
present. The song title plays with the fact that in the metal scene friends call me Cada
(diminutive of Cadaveria), so it is entitled MatryoshCADA instead of Matryoshka. This is
the most important song I've written in my entire career. I transformed a great pain into
art, a great test of life and resilience. I am proud of what I have become through this
experience.

 

Your fans know you were diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2018. This disease
affects a lot of women every year. You told that every girl and woman should have her
breasts checked regularly. How did you experience surgery, chemotherapy? Obviously,
these have unpleasant side effects. Can you tell us a little more about this? How did your
story begin?

It is a long story and its beginning is very unhappy. I discovered a lump in my breast while
I was rubbing the moisturizer after the shower. I had just had a mammogram which
showed nothing irregular so I trusted my gynecologist and did not investigate further. A
few months later, feeling that the lump was always present and bigger, I repeated the tests of my spontaneous will and I discovered I was right. Meanwhile the cancer had grown and
there were two more malignant nodules next to it. My story therefore stems from an initial
diagnostic error and teaches me that I must always trust my instincts. Nonetheless, I have
faith in traditional medicine. I entrusted myself to a center of care of excellence and I first
had 5 months of chemotherapy infusions to reduce the nodules, then I underwent a
mastectomy anyway because given the initial situation and the aggressiveness of the tumor
it was not possible to remove only one breast piece. Subsequently, as the histology showed
that there was a residue of the disease, I did another 6 months of chemo in tablets by
mouth. I felt like I was in a movie, an endless nightmare. I had sessions with a psycho-
oncologist to overcome the trauma, I shared the experience publicly to be able to process it
faster. Despite the enormous fatigue (exhaustion and pain) given by the therapies I always
did physical activity, I walked a lot and I started meditating and doing yoga with
awareness. These practices have helped me a lot. I must say that it is still not easy today.
Breast reconstruction makes me presentable, but the consequences are enormous: from
the lack of sensitivity to having to stretch continuously, to always massage to oxygenate the
tissues and make sure that the prosthesis does not contract. These are things that
unfortunately I have to deal with every day. Okay so, I am grateful to be alive and for all
the teachings I have received. It is an experience that I do not want to forget because I
want to keep in mind the wonder of the gift of life every day.

Your sister, Eleonora, has started raising money to fund your further treatments,
medications, and tests. What did the doctors inform at the end of the tests?

At the moment I am in the follow-up phase which will last another three years. I've just
done more tests and the doctors say they can't see any abnormality in my breast and there
is no metastasis to the rest of the body. They do not tell me that I am healed because with
cancer you can never know, but nobody in the world has a guarantee on life, so we might
as well learn to live in uncertainty. Yes, my sister, an angel! Followed me throughout the
process. She created the fundraiser because to speed up the time I had to pay visits and intervention, in a private regime, and I went to meet substantial expenses. I thank once
again, as I did at the end of the Matryoshcada video, all those who donated to help me.

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How has your thinking changed now that you have been healed? Were you afraid during
the treatments?

I have found that there are several types of breast cancer. The type I had is called
"triplonegative"; and is the most aggressive form. When you go on google and look at the
triplegative survival rate, you're scared. I learned to look at the glass half full instead of
half empty. Yes, there are statistics but each of us is variance, I am not my cancer, I am not
my histological and I am not the statistics. I am me and I react differently than anyone else.
So in the meantime I live and then we'll see. Meanwhile, I started to believe in
reincarnation so what I don't do now I will do in the next life.

When you announced that you were ill, you said that cancer was taboo in Italy. However,
you took on your almost bald head and smiled at that particular picture. How did your
family, friends, band mates receive the fact of your illness?


No it's not a taboo for Italy it's like that all over the world. how many women of the
American star system have breast cancer and tell it only AFTER they have experienced
the disease. They appear to the public healed and more beautiful than before. Few have
the courage to put their face to it, and this is because society wants us all beautiful and
successful and apparently healthy. Well guys, I discovered that there is a parallel world of
sick people, even very young ones, who crowd the hospitals. I've found that people get
shocked if you walk into a bar bald and bloated with cortisone. For them you should stay
at home, hide. All of this is more horrible than cancer itself. How did people react? Some
helped me a lot, others (including my boyfriend) disappeared. So I cleaned up friendships.
A great renovation.

Did you think of your illness as having a spiritual cause? Do you believe in holistic
approach of health problems?

YES! We have to heal our inner wounds in order not to get
sick anymore.

What about music right now? Are you planning to release a new album with the band?

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I want to go through the music step by step as I did with the disease. I stay in the here and
now, I don't make long-term plans, I don't want to get anxious. I do what I feel with the
rhythms that I allow myself. For now, we will be releasing many singles digitally. The first
was Return, the second Matryoshcada. Next one will come soon. Each is a separate
chapter, with graphic and video concepts. Then it will see what happens. For this, people
who want to listen to us are invited to follow us on Spotify and to subscribe to our youtube
channel CADAVERIAofficial.

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Interview with Marcela Bovio

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Marcela Bovio became known as the frontwoman of Dutch band Stream of Passion in 2005, having been a singer until the band disbanded in 2016. 

Since then, she has also done solo work, showing her talent in so many projects. There are difficult months behind Marcela as she was attacked by a serious illness, cervical cancer.

In our interview with her, she also talked about her health and musical plans!

Dear Marcela, thank you for saying yes to the interview. There are hard months behind you, your fans know you suffered from cervical cancer, but according to the latest information, you have defeated the disease. How are you now?
I'm doing pretty good! Slowly recovering my strength and feeling better every day :) I feel very blessed.

In 2016, Stream of Passion disbanded after 11 years of work. How did this affect you and why did the team’s career end?
A point came when we felt we had reached all we could do with the band in the circumstances we had back then. So we decided to "quit while we were winning", instead of going on without feeling we weren't evolving any further.
You once called the music you play on your solo albums chamber music. Do you have role models from this genre?
Classical music is one of my great influences. A lot of what I do is heavily influenced by composers like Bach, Purcell and other baroque composers.
You started singing at the age of 17 and you also play the violin. What led you to this career? Did you want to be a singer as a child?
Yes, I've loved singing ever since I can remember. I actually started taking music lessons when I was 5, so from that age on I had music around me. 
For almost four years ago, you were also a member of Anneke van Giersbergen’s band VUUR, which you left because of musical differences. You are currently also a full-time vocalist at MaYaN, sharing the vocal parts with Laura Macri. The band is very multicultural, you have Mexican roots, Laura is Italian, Merel, Mark and the other guys are Dutch. Is it easy to work together?
It is, actually! I think a big part of that is that there's strong leadership in the band; Mark and Frank really steer the musical decisions, and that helps us all collaborate much easier. 
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Please tell us a little about your new project! You founded your new band last summer, Dark Horse White Horse with Ruben Wijga and Jord Otto. How did the idea of playing music come about?
After I left VUUR, Jord joined MaYaN for a couple of shows while Merel was away. Back then we were talking about how much we thought it was a shame that it didn't work out with me and VUUR; he then told me that he had been writing music together with Ruben, and he asked me if I wanted to try to write some vocals and lyrics for the songs. He showed me some of the tracks and I was hooked! So we started writing together since; a lot of things happened in the meantime, but I'm happy to say that we will be soon releasing a 5 song EP that I'm very excited about :)
Your sister, Diana, is also a singer and you have been a band member on the Mexican team Elfonía for a while, but she also worked with Stream of Passion. Will you work together with her again in the future?
I would love to! We already did a song together for my latest solo album, "Through Your Eyes", and that was magical. She now has a very busy acting career in Mexico, but I sure hope we get more chances of singing together.
We informed that the music of Dark Horse White Horse will be more heavier than what you have done so far. But what kind of album can fans expect? What genres will be on it within the metal?
I think it's a combination of symphonic and very technical, modern metal. It's heavy, very busy, sometimes dissonant and strange, but also atmospheric at some times.  
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How do you see the situation of female metal singers? Many people think rock and metal are male-oriented genres, but more and more women are singing or playing on instruments. What do you think about this?
There's still of course more men making metal than women; but I think the more of us women that are involved in the genre, the more young girls will be inspired to make this kind of music. I think a future where more and more women write and perform metal music is an exciting one!
Thank you for the interview, we wish you a lot of success Marcela!
Thank you so much! The pleasure was all mine :)

 

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Interview with Annette Annabell Ignis from Mysteria Mortis

Talented band, talented singer!

Russian Mysteria Mortis was founded in 2011, they mix melodic death and folk metallic elements. We interviewed the young singer of the band Annette, get to know more closely! 
Thank you Annette for undertaking the interview. Please tell us about yourself, where did you come from, when did you start doing music and who inspired you?
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Hello, dear! Ok, this story was started in my school times. I always wanted to sing and one day be a rockstar. Of course, i tryed to make my metal-band... and only in 2011 i founded "Mysteria Mortis". Our way is very hard, because to find here good musicians is almost impossible. That's why i changed a lot of musicians. This is small city, and i didn't find good enough drummer, that's why our Farty is from Irkutsk. It's three days in train to us. Other musicians lives here, in Komsomolsk town. Of course, i always wanted to play music like Nightwish do, and some other bands: Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Periphery. We try to collaborate together progressive music and MDM...
Many of metal singers are attracted to classical music. Do you have any idols from classical music?
Of course we can talk about classical music as good example for me! I am very like to listen Bach and atmosphere in his music inspire me very well!
Your band have released two albums so far. When is the next one expected? Are you planning a tour after the end of the coronavirus epidemic?
I hope that new album our fans will meet in autumn. Now we already recording it in studio. It's very hard now, because we lost a lot of money, our tour was canceled because of coronavirus. And we receive some financial help now from our sponsors and friends, who are became already like a part of band, and we working hard for make new songs. Be sure, you will see our album.

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Nowadays, there are plenty of performers and bands collaborating with others. Is this planned?
Yes, we planning to collaborate with somebody soon, but first only for recording and i want to keep it in little secret �. I am also very open for famous bands, who need singer for helping them to record their songs with my voice. But to be honestly, i am dream from teenage time to collaborate with Amorphis like Annekke did! I love so much these guys!
Thank you for interview Anette! :)

Exclusive interview with Ailyn

She talked about Sirenia, health and her plans!

Ailyn, who was the lead singer of Sirenia from 2008 until 2016, has given our blog an excluisve interview. 

We received the shocking news in last July that you and Sirenia will go on on separate paths. How did you feel during this period and how are you now? How did you spend your days after this negative happening?

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Facebook/Ailyn

At the beginning I felt a bit lost. You know, for many years I was Sirenia's lead vocalist and from one day to another I was not their singer anymore, so it felt a bit weird when I have to add the "ex" before vocalist. When Morten told me I was out of the band I wasn't surprised at all, I saw that coming a long time before, but well, he chose to kick me out at the worst moment of my life, and I was not expecting this movement coming from a person I considered to be my friend and I thought he considered me his friend too. I guess for some people friendship is just a word without meaning and business goes first no matter who you push out of the way, so as you can imagine, at that moment I just felt very dissapointed... But honestly I have to admit that at that moment the pain I felt about losing my mom was too big so when he told me, I said ok and I didn't think much about it, I just accepted his decision. After all Sirenia is his band, not mine, as he reminded me some times before. I'm not going to lie saying everything is ok and doesn't hurt, because it does. I just wish they did it in a different way and possibly we would still be friends. I worked very hard for a band that was not even mine for almost 9 years, so when some fans send me emails to tell me "Oh look what they are saying about you", I read some of their new interviews and it's quite shocking and painful to read they say I was not doing my job for the last 3 years... I did, but Sirenia didn't have shows and as every single person in the world, I have to pay my bills, so if Sirenia didn't play that means I need to find a job cause I don't pay my bills just by saying "Hi, I'm Ailyn from Sirenia". If he as the boss and the one in charge of booking shows didn't do his job, I was forced to find a job to get some income. So after he gave me the news I just lived my life like normal. I went to work, went to my choir, my singing classes, so things were more or less like normal. I moved over :)

As far as we know, after the sudden death of your Mother, there had been problems with your diabetes. We are so sorry for the loss of your mother, please accept our condolences! Is your condition better now? 

Thank you very much for your words, that's very sweet of you and I really appreciate it <3
Yes, when my mom died I got sick, my blood sugar got very unstable and I felt quite bad. But I'm ok. It was just the first weeks until I could make my blood sugar go back to normal. The diabetes is an illness that is very connected to the feelings, so many times is very tricky to control. The reason why I cancelled the show with Sirenia was not my diabetes, at the beginning the pain was so hard that I could not even sing, my voice didn't respond and of course I was not feeling strong enough to be on the stage without breaking up. Sirenia just used my illness as a fake excuse to get rid of me. If they were so concerned about my health they could have called me and ask me how I feel instead of doing everything on my back. Now because of their fake version everyone thinks I'm dying and I can't do my job anymore, so I'm having some problems because of that. I had diabetes since I was 7 years old and as thousands of people with the same illness I know how to live with it, we live a normal life and we work as hard as everyone else on our jobs, some times we feel worse and some times we feel better but we keep fighting. I never denied I had some issues while being on Sirenia, but I always fight and keep moving with my best smile giving the 100%. I've been on stage feeling great and other times not feeling so good on my stomatch and none noticed it and after the show, instead of running back to the backstage to drink and rest, I went out with the audience to give them the attention they deserve and went backstage when everyone was happy and had the chance to talk or get a picture or a hug!!! Sirenia say they didn't had shows and I didn't do my job for the last 3 years because of my illness??? Well, they forgot to mention some important details, like when I talked with my doctor and made him delay for a few months a very important eye surgery until summer 2015 because Sirenia had no shows that summer, or when I put on my high heels when my foot was not completely recovered after I broke it. I've been there always when Sirenia needed me to be and never said no to a show he booked. If that is not giving 100% I don't know what they want. I think they should move over and stop making things up about me, I'm not insulting them or making people hate them, I'm being very polite and I'm just defending myself, so as soon as they move over and stop saying certain things about me, the sooner I can stop defending myself and everyone will stop talking about it.

 

Many fans know about your diabetes, how do you manage to stay in shape? Does this require frequent medical examinations? When did you found out and which type has been diagnosed?

I have diabetes Type 1 since I'm 7 years old. That comes from my father's side, he had diabetes, my grandmother had diabetes and my dad's sister have it too. Normally it's an inherited disease.
To have diabetes requires to be more careful with everything you do. But I always had a normal life. I have to go to my controls every now and then to make sure everything is ok. If it's not, of course I need to go to the doctor more often. As longer you live together with diabetes, more chances you have to get some complications. As you all know I've had eye surgery on both my eyes and now everything seems to be more or less ok. I'm not going to pretend my health is 100% perfect, because it's not. I'm 34 years old and I lived with it for many years now. But I still have too many years to live my life fully and I'm not going to give up with my dreams. I chose to be a singer when I was very young and I'll be a singer as long as I can. Singing is what makes me happy. My doctor is one of the people that actually is encouraging me to keep going and fighting for what I want, cause he knows that singing makes me happy and when I'm happy my illness is easier to control. So I'm not letting anyone make me feel I'm not worthy just because I'm not 100% healthy.

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Facebook/Ailyn

 

We heard in January that you have been asked by Melted Space to fill the position of Clémentine Delauney during the Wacken Winter Nights. How did they choose you and was this request accepted well? Did you feel good during this gig?

As many of you know, I had a collaboration on Melted Space's last album, singing on 3 songs on "The Great Lie". When Pierre Le Pape was composing the album and he contacted me for proposing me to be the character Titania "the Fairy Queen" on the album, I didn't know them. But then I accepted and after I went to Paris to record my songs I became good friends with him and François which is who produced the album.
Honestly I had a great time! I travelled some days before to meet the entire band and have some rehearsals before the Wacken Winter Nights. They treated me like one of them since the beginning so that made me feel like I knew them for a long time. I really had a lot of fun with them, but besides all the fun they are very professional on what they do. I hope I can join them some other time :)

The news of a solo project of yours have been around lately. If this is true, what kind of music album can we expect?

Yes, it is true, I'm working on something, but right now is a bit difficult to describe what kind of music it will be. I'm focusing on the vocal melodies and lyrics. I have a lot of ideas. As I said I'm going to take my time on this, I don't want to run and make something bad just because I want to release a cd as soon as possible. I want to do a good job, maybe people will like it or not, but I'm going to try my best. I still don't know if it will be a solo project or I'll make a band, there's too many things to fix first before I can give some details :)

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How do you imagine your carreer in the future?

Honestly, I don't know :). I just want to make music and be on stage. I think I say it many times. I like the studio part, but what I really like is to be on the stage. Singing and sharing that time with the people who goes to the shows. So if I have to imagine myself on the future, I see myself on stages, I don't know if they are big stages or small ones, I just want to be up there doing music.

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