Princess Ghibli

All posts tagged Princess Ghibli

By Carl Begai

Back in July, Blood Stain Child vocalist Sophia – hailing from Thessaloniki and dividing her time between Greece and Japan – announced her departure from the band after only one album. Her reasons for leaving are her own, suffice to say that it was a two-year rollercoaster ride of ups and downs that inevitably brought her to a crossroads.

With four albums under their belt when she joined the band, and going on to record the Epsilon album as lead vocalist alongside bassist/male singer Ryo, Blood Stain Child afforded Sophia a certain amount of notoriety from the get-go. Some folks will argue, however, that her involvement on the first Princess Ghibli album, Imaginary Flying Machines – an anime-related metal-oriented soundtrack released in April 2011 – boosted her credibility as an artist and paved the way for future musical ventures. With the Oscar-winning Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) being the most respected anime company on the planet, their support of the project was the stamp of approval fans needed to buy into it. Thus, between Blood Stain Child and two Princess Ghibli albums, Sophia has made a name for herself.

The split with Blood Stain Child will be addressed at a later date. For now the focus is on Princess Ghibli and her role in several Touhou Project-related songs.

With regards to the Ghibli albums, Sophia’s involvement was attributed as to Blood Stain Child’s affiliation with Coroner Records and Disarmonia Mundi mastermind Ettore Rigotti as it was to her ability to speak Japanese.

“Well, actually it was thanks to Ettore,” says Sophia. “I don’t think language skills had much to do with it. Or did they? I never thought about it (laughs) Anyway, although he had a good network of acclaimed artists to choose from, he asked me to do it. Little did I know about the level of success those albums would enjoy. The first album is still #1 in the metal genre at Amazon and the second album (Princess Ghibli II: Imaginary Flying Machines) was #1 on the charts of a major TV channel in Japan.”

“If it’s Ghibli, it’s bound to have a certain level of guaranteed success,” she adds, “but I don’t think anybody expected the popularity that spread like wildfire even before the official release. The first album was sold out on pre-sales, so when the actual release took place many people couldn’t find it anywhere in Japan, so the company had to rush for a second print (laughs). Everybody, even Mr. Goro Miyazaki himself (director and son of studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki) loved the result, so the second album was a natural outcome.” Continue Reading

By Carl Begai

One thing Blood Stain Child guitarist Ryu can never be accused of is a lack of creativity. Just like his constantly evolving image – one needs only to glance through promo pictures from the past eleven years for proof – Ryu’s musical vision continues to widen with each album. For the band’s fifth record, Epsilon, he did what nobody expected and added a female lead vocalist to Blood Stain Child’s ranks; his two-part replacement for the departed Sadew. Bassist and original vocalist Ryo is back up front as well, but the present focus is ultimately on Greek singer Sophia, who plays the melodic contrast to his death metal growls. This has added a completely new dimension to the band’s recognizable trance metal sound, raising eyebrows and dropping some jaws as Epsilon continues to circulate. As expected, not everyone has accepted the change with good graces and Sophia has quite naturally been singled out as the cause of the so-called “problem.” She sees no reason to be concerned, however, as her new bandmates would have left her recordings on the cutting room floor had she proven to be incapable of carrying the songs.

“I guess you thought much deeper than I did,” Sophia remarks. “Don’t forget I’m a typical Sagittarian, looking for adventure and new experiences. Also initially, Ryu asked me to ‘sing on a few songs,’ so I basically considered it a participation rather than becoming an actual band member. A couple of months later, though, while I had already started working on the songs he’d given me, Sadew left, so the band had no lead singer anymore. That’s when Ryu simply asked me ‘Do you wanna be the lead singer?’ I was like… (pulls a shocked expression). Before I could even answer firmly, he told me ‘Welcome to the band, everybody’s waiting for you in Osaka (laughs).” Continue Reading