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Virginie Goncalves (Kells): Eths’ new interim vocalist

At the time those lines are being written, we’ve just come back from the Paris rock bar La Manufacture, where we spent a very nice moment with Kells, currently on tour with Tristania. The band was in the capital from a meet-and-greet with their fans. It was originally to take place at the Black Dog, but a fire in an adjacent building earlier in the evening all but killed the bar’s electricity. Kells had to move to La Manufacture, where we met our fellow Lyons denizens.

It was a good opportunity to ask Virginie Goncalves to share her first impressions regarding the mission she was entrusted with by Eths as a result of their emblematic frontwoman departure. Candice’s announcement has just been published on Facebook when we arrived (Virginie actually discovered it with us), and it would be an understatement to say that Virginie was already drowning under messages and reactions from all across the Web. Some of those actually happened to be extremely encouraging.

When we talked to her, Virginie was therefore slightly stressed out, and slowly growing aware of all the pressure now resting on her shoulders. But according to her, the announcement had been largely anticipated, since Candice’s decision was really made in early summer. Virginie has already been working closely with Eths for several months, planning the upcoming shows (starting in November). Regarding this subject, she mentioned the musical parallel that has often been drawn between Eths and Kells – unjustified parallel, she says. In this respect, she confesses to discovering most of Eths’ repertoire just as she learns to sing it. That shouldn’t make the challenge any easier…

In her own admission, Virginie has eight more songs to learn. Speaking of songs, we had to opportunity to listen to a demo version of “Adonaï”, from the band’s third album, III, with Virginie’s vocals. And even if the song was played on a smartphone, we’re really not worried about her ability to rise up to the challenge! In truth, from what we could hear, the result was most definitely coherent.

Even if she will fill in as Eths’ singer as long as the band needs her, Virginie insists on the fact that she does not wish to join Eths. The main reason is of course her involvement with Kells (in her own words: “Even if all the bands on earth stopped, Kells would remain!”), but she also doesn’t see herself taking on the responsibility of replacing Candice, who remains closely tied to Eths’ very image.

We will talk more about all this with Virginie when we welcome Kells in the studio. The band will take this opportunity to present their new drummer, Kevin Plutta (Virginie’s smile when she talks about his audition speaks volumes about the man’s musical skills), to flaunt the latter’s talents in imitating a kebab seller and to talk about a space-and-time-defying experience after space-cake tasting. What a program.

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