From Metal Temple
To begin with, Rene & Esther, I want to thank you for taking time to answer my questions. This means a lot to me as a fan of Crimson Chrysalis.
When did Crimson Chrysalis form? And how did that come about?
I (Rene) rehearsed for a show round about 2008 and did a rock duet with a friend of mine. It was the first time I did a rock song -prior to that I only did Afrikaans acoustic rock and folk songs. Es (Esther) heard it and said to me you should do rock. “It fits you like a glove”. I said to her okay then, write me a rock lyric. She did and that is how we started working together. It was a total directional change but it was like coming home starting writing and singing this music. We kept on writing but it was only round the end of 2009 that we decided we are going to go for this and do a full album.
We realized we have to break away from “René”, because we wanted to communicate to the people that know me in South Africa; this was something different from what they knew. I loved the word “Crimson” cause it symbolizes passion, and Esther came up with “Chrysalis” – a figure of change/transformation (away from the Afrikaans music).
What was your support like back then?
I secured myself quite a following over time with the Afrikaans albums, but we knew we are in for an uphill battle with Symphonic rock in South Africa. The genre does not exist at all here. We are the first band from here ever to do an album like this. We have no support from the South African media, which is sad to us.
Has your support in your area changed since you first began?
We had a little bit of media attention when the news broke that Ravenheart music in the UK signed us for international distribution and promotion, but the SA radio still won’t playlist us. They say the music are too big, there are too many guitars etc. It is sad to us that music get judged by the amount of guitars , and that station politics determines what gets playlisted and what not. We’re sad that people don’t get the chance to decide for themselves, because the fact of the matter is that when people hear it, they love it.
Are there any times when where you live has hindered you in reaching your goals?
We both had established careers when we met and started this. Apart from that Es has 2 kids. So to just pack up everything and follow the dream is not realistic. But we are determined to take CC somewhere, and that is why we are busy with a 2 year plan to relocate overseas so we can get on international stages, and get the music of CC out there. It is not financially practical to tour from here anyway, because we are way to South – it would be too expensive. And to stay here is not an option – we don’t have a sustainable market here. We’ll build a loyal following here in time yeah, but our market lies abroad.
Is there any advice you would like to give someone out there who does live in an area that makes achieving their dreams difficult, for someone who might want to give up?
Firstly determine exactly what it is you wanna do. You cannot convince in a market, if you’re not even sure what that market is yourself. Ask yourself what it is that makes you different and utilize that – cause nobody wants to sign an imitation of someone else. Don’t create in isolation – you need objective input and by that we do not mean your family or friends, but people that are respected in the industry. Do your research very well – how can you compete if you don’t know what you’re up against? And remember, talent is the least – the people that succeed do so because of hard work. Talent was probably only 20-30% of the success story. We’re not going to say don’t give up – if you want it bad enough, and were born to do this, you won’t!
I would like to thank you both from the very bottom of my heart for an inside look at Crimson Chrysalis! You are an inspiration to me, following your dreams in the way you have! May your dreams carry you above and beyond your wildest dreams!