Interview with Chelson, founder, keyboardist and composer of Half Past Dark
In the days I was lucky to have an interview with Chelson, the composer-founder-keyboardist of the hungarian Half Past Dark band. I searched the band for the Autumn Gothic Festival.
Please introduce the band. When was it formed? What music do you play?
The band, Half Past Dark, has existed for about 2 years. Members have changed, we have been several drummers since then. We first started with Detti Bakos, the singer and we worked with the piano only. A song is a song for me when it comes to an instrument, so with a piano or guitar, etc. Then we were looking for members. Drummer, guitarist and chellist. There is no bass guitar, in this band, there is only a chellist.
I had a dream, a band with members from classical music such as Mónika Andrási, our chellist and musicians who come from rock and metal music and mix these two and it seems that this has been accomplished.
What does Romantic Metal mean exactly?
It means not too growling, not too crunchy, but melodious. Music can be any music. There must be melody that catches like a line that can be followed. If there is no melody, that’s not good for me. To be poetic, this can not be said in words because it has much more sense than words and it is difficult to define feelings with words, but romance is to be understood literally. I would define Half Past Dark as a Goth band, not as a metal band. The first album is now being made. The second disc will be a lot darker, and a lot Goth, so we’re going to this line.
How did you come up the idea to set up a band in Hungary?
I was born in France and I am Hungarian too. I’ve lived in 4 countries: France, Hungary, Belgium and England and I’ve been back for more than 15 years, and there is usually a band where they live. Globalization has already reached music, so no matter where you set up a band. This is not the point, but the point is how motivated you are and how serious you are doing and the quality of the music, because if something is bad, that is wrong.
You signed up for an international publisher. So are there songs in English too?
Rather, I would say that only in English. On the one hand, Detti feels better to sing in English, on the other hand I can easily speak English, English is better than Hungarian than French, which is my mother tongue which I grew up. In English has a swing, there is a rhythm, a rhythm you can not find in other languages. The rock is very good for English and it is more natural for me.
How difficult is now to become an international musician or to become famous?
It’s not the point to singing in Hungarian or in English. The point is, how much soul you put into it, the quality of the music, whether you like it or not. The Queen’s guitarist said that in a song that is primarily heard by the layman, 90% of the audience is more laic, but they can still worship music just like you and me. First of all, what do you hear? A melody, the song, the voice of the singer and the melody of the song. The rest are not so important. Hungarian lyrics in Hungary will obviously be better understood and better understood by what it means. But abroad, if you’re really on the international market, you will not be paying such attention. I do not think so much about the write it, then people will love your music and you can sing in Hungarian, English or Chinese, then they will be watching and reading what it is about. It does not matter what language you are talking about, the point is to tell your story.
How important is to make someone unique today?
This is not just about metal music, we do not even define ourselves as a metal band.
Half Past Dark also means that half dark or past dark so you can understand it as there is no number. That you say in English half past six, half past seven already means something, but in Half Past Dark you do not know exactly which side you are. I do not like these categorizations.
How unique is it? On the one hand there is chello in the first place, it gives its uniqueness that there is no bass, but there is chello. Which is far more romantic to me than a bass guitar. This is the romance of the ensemble, for example. On the other hand, Mónika Andrási play/played in classical orchestras, radio orchestra, and so on. She has learned classical music at the Liszt Academy of Music for 25 years and she teaches too, so she really comes from the world of classical music. On the other hand, she likes rock music, for example, a great fan of Rammstein.
When we expecting the album?
It’s not easy to promise because the publisher is abroad and slower than it’s home, but it’s a good showcase for us. We signed up with Glasstone Records because we felt that they are really wanted to work and coperate with us. We had 7-8 possibilities. We had several opportunities in Germany and several publishers from Wales, England, who also wanted to work with us and we could really choose and it’s a good thing and we were happy for them and we chose them because we felt they were very professional and they really wanted to work with us, they really liked the music, so they did not really just want it from a commercial point of view, but really.
I think it’s around February, but it will be not a physical album, but a digital album.
What bands/performers had/ have an impact on you and your music?
I can not speak for anyone, but for example Detti Bakos is a fan of Within Temptation, which has always been a great inspiration, but not just listening to such music, but if I raise someone, that would be the one.
Mónika Andrási, the chellist is a great fan of Rammstein besides classical music.
Csaba Hangódi, the guitarist, likes the real heavy metal, Iron Maiden, Helloween, the heavy metal bands of the ’80s and’ 90s.
I’m listening to a lot of music. I like Beethoven as well just like Evanescence, and I love Tori Amos, and it is very interesting that I read an interview with Evanescence’s singer Amy Lee, who told that Tori Amos was a big inspiration for her and me too. How interesting is it that in Amy Lee’s music I always found my brotherhood with mine, at least in the music of Half Past Dark, which I write to the band.
So I got the circle, I was wondered, but I was not surprised.
Thank you very much Chelson for the interview and I wish the band a lot of success!
I thank you for the interview and thanks to write about us. Thanks also in the name of the band!
The Autumn Gothic Festival will be in Dürer Kert, Budapest, Hungary on November 17, 2017!
Doors open: from 17 o’clock!
The official program of the event: