Check out the song: “Essence And The Moon”
I am a sucker for female-fronted metal bands so when I heard Shield Of Wings I was engulfed by their music. As I searched online I did not find out much about them so I was lucky to get a chance to ask lead vocalist Grace Meridan a few questions about the band, their EP Solarium and about women in metal.
Tell me the history of the band and how it took form.
Grace: The band’s concept was formed by James Gregor in early 2005, though Shield of Wings was created later during the spring of that year. From the beginning he wanted to have a driving symphonic element within the music, but was unsure of how to accomplish this due to his lack resources. From ’05 to ’09, a lot of relaxed demo tracking, and musical exploration occurred. In 2010, the band started to record its first EP Solarium and it was released right at the start of 2011. So here we are.
Where did the name Shield Of Wings come from?
Grace: It was originally the title of the bands first instrumental and later ended up to become the bands name.
Being the only female in the band how does that feel?
Grace: [laughs] Well, surprisingly I don’t even notice that any more. I think the dudes and I have kind of become more like a close-knit group, joking around with our tomfoolery but at the same time staying focused on our music. One thing they definitely have taught me is to see things from a different perspective. As a lady singer, I listen to mostly female fronted bands, but have been opened to music from various genres and have gained an appreciation for all kinds of styles.
Your EP Solarium has been out for some time now. How has the reception been for it?
Grace: Despite the fact that our album has been out since January, we really have not done too much gigging to promote it yet. Online sales have been doing fairly well. It is one of the most amazing feelings to know our EP has made it to various corners of Earth including Finland, Japan, a number of European countries, and various other lands distant to us. We are very excited to have an international presence.
What’s your favorite song on this EP?
Grace: While “Malady” will always hold a sentimental place for me being the first song I worked on with the band; I would say that “Carnival Mirror” has always been my most favourite to perform during concerts.
What is the writing process for this release?
Grace: After the songs are written, they are arranged by the band, and lastly the orchestral parts are composed.
You are to perform at Dame-Nation this summer, how does it feel being apart of a festival revolving around metal women?
Grace: It’s still a ways away, but I look forward to meeting and sharing the stage with a number of wonderful singers. Taking in a handful of bands at a normal gig is one thing, but eight female fronted metal bands will be a force to be reckoned with. As the slogan for Dame-Nation suggests, “Hell Hath No Fury!”
Do you feel that female fronted metal bands are really pushing the glass ceiling within the scene?
Grace: My perception is that Symphonic Metal is an up and coming music genre in the States. While bands across the Atlantic such as Nightwish, EPICA, and Delain have had successful launches, you just don’t hear of many musicians following the shared compositions of the female voice and metal in every day music here in the States. So be ready! I’ve always been a lover of this music and hope that we can be part of forging a wave of new metal-heads. It’s a about time, right!
What’s next for Shield Of Wings?
Grace: Detailed plans will be decided on in the near future, but new music is in the works and a handful of upcoming gigs.