This year, Victoria K released their second album, “Kore.” “Kore,” by far one of the best releases of 2022, takes us on a journey through Greek mythology as Victoria K explores the story of Persephone. We had the pleasure of speaking with Victoria Knight and asking her about the new album and her thoughts on various topics, and of course, things got nerdy. Check out our conversation with Victoria Knight of Victoria K.
Hello there, Victoria. It’s wonderful to talk with you again. How are things going for you?
It’s great to be back! Things are going very well for me and all of us in ‘Victoria K’!
You recently released your second album, “Kore.” I’ve already heard great things about it. How do you feel about how it was received?
So far, the reception for ‘KORE’ has been great. We’ve been keeping up to date with reviews and articles, and it is safe to say that so far people have taken a liking to the album. I can’t be more grateful for the current love that ‘KORE’ is receiving and can’t wait to see where it grows from here.
That’s great! How would you describe the evolution of your music since your debut album “Essentia”?
I think that it has changed as my music tastes have. During the massive lockdown when I wrote the album, I was listening to a lot of heavier bands like, Lorna Shore, Ice Nine Kills, Eluveitie and Spiritbox, as well as bands like Lacuna Coil, Opeth and Cellar Darling who have a more symphonic/prog style. So, I think that the music on KORE has reflected this, and has come out a lot darker, heavier and with more of a prog sound. I have also tried to take influence from my heritage and Greek culture, using instruments, sounds, and language from traditional Greek music which is what I grew up listening to. I this way, KORE has grown into a more original sound from what Essentia was, and it feels like what Victoria K really wants to express.
Amazing! 😀 You must have done a lot of Greek mythology research to be able to conceptualize your music around the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. What aspects of Greek mythology piqued your interest the most?
I learned about the hymn when I was in high school during a Greek class! I have always been interested in mythology; this is why I wanted to create the album around one of those stories. I remember going in depth into the story and reading the original text to try to get the most authentic version, since there have been many interpretations since. I remember we spoke to a scholar who I met in Santorini, Greece in 2016 named Yannis Pantazis, who makes ancient instruments and studies these original texts. He gave me a really solid understanding of ancient Greek music, culture and the text itself. I found the musical aspect of the culture to be one of the most interesting things. I discovered a lot of forgotten modes, melodies and rhythms that aren’t used in modern music and tried to add touches of this into KORE. We also spoke to a translator to help us with the ancient Greek dialect in the songs, as well as taking parts of the original text and singing those. I really enjoyed learning more about ancient culture and storytelling, I think it is important to keep these ties between the ancient and modern world.
That’s brilliant and wonderful work.
Time for some nerdy questions! I will set up some alternate universes with different rules and ask you something about it. Ready?
Yes! I’m a self-proclaimed ‘nerd’ so this sounds fun!!
In a universe where you are the queen of a country, what would be the first law you’d make?
This one took a lot of thinking about to be honest. There are so many rules that can be put in place to better society. I personally would rule that everyone regardless of race, gender, social class or sexuality gets an equal chance at life, for example: everyone gets the same pay (depending on the job), everyone can get the same level of schooling and we all get an equal opportunity to be able live a free and financially stable life. I feel that this is important because there are so many disadvantaged individuals out there that are stuck due to circumstance and can’t find a way to turn their life around.
Great law. In a universe where humans can choose either to be able to teleport from one place to another or travel back and forth in time, which superpower would you pick?
Definitely time travel! I would love to travel to the past and be able to experience different cultures and time periods, such as the renaissance where art and culture were at its peak! Where I can experience things I love first hand, such as paintings by Boticelli and music by Guilliame Du Fay. I would also like to travel to the future and see what it holds.
This one I think you’d like; In a universe where you’re a goddess from Greek mythology, would you be on the Trojan or Achaean side in the Trojan war?
Well, considering the Trojans abducted Helen from Greece and the Acheans were somewhat clever by using a horse to invade the Troy and bring her back, I would as a Greek goddess have to side with the Acheans.
In a universe where money does not exist, but instead, people pay for things by making other people laugh, how rich would you be considered?
Oh dear, to be honest I don’t know. I feel like I am more the subject of a lot of jokes haha! If that counts then I’d make quite a bit of money! I do tend to make people laugh though just by turning up, so you could say that I would be considered reasonably wealthy but not rich.
In a universe where the senses of taste and hearing are mixed up together, what food would you imagine your music would taste like?
This one is such a good question! To be honest I have thought about this a lot and I have come to the conclusion that it would taste kind of like a blueberry/raspberry pie with a spicy cinnamon. I don’t fully know why this is just what I came to. There are some mellifluous tones and warm sweet textures in Victoria K, especially in the string sections and harp sections. However, the spice (cinnamon), comes from the heavier sections, and sudden tonal shifts in the music.
That’s one great analogy! In a universe where songs come to life and become humans after being recorded and released, which song from “Kore” would be your best friend?
Oh wow, ok, well a lot of the songs in KORE are quite dark so I don’t know how many of them I would actually end up talking to. For example ‘Mother’s Garden’, is about a mothers deep and tragic lamenting pain when she loses a child, so in person, she would almost be like a poltergeist or a vicious spirit. However, I think either ‘Persephone’ or ‘A Divine Revelation’ would be my best friend, only because they both encapsulate strong feminine spirits, and have a strong sense of identity. They’re both queens as well! I think either of them would be my best friends, or we would be a killer trio!
Thank you for playing, Victoria! I hope you enjoyed that!
There are many things you need to do when you release an album other than the music itself. What were your favorite and least favorite parts of the process of releasing “Kore”?
Well writing the music is probably the first section, as well as coming up with the concept and doing all the research. There are a lot of meetings, about production, the sound we want and the final product. In the music aspect itself, there are lots of steps that stem from the initial writing process, such as: pre-production, post production, demo making, charting, recording, mixing, mastering, finalizing and refining. Aside from that aspect there are a lot of decisions to be made creatively about the visual aspect of the album, and about creating the whole aesthetic. I had a lot of fun doing this for KORE, as I had a very strong vision in mind. I loved drawing up referrals and discussing ideas with the artists who worked on all of the artwork, to create something new! I also enjoyed coming up and experimenting with colors, storylines, outfits, concepts and looks for the music videos and photoshoots. Along with all of this creative work, there is also a lot of marketing work and planning that goes on behind the scenes that no one really speaks about. This is all done via working closely with our record label Rockshots Records, in order to get the best out of the album release.
Thank you for giving us this interview, Victoria. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much FemMetal for having me on this interview again! It’s always a massive pleasure. I’m sending my love to your whole team and to anyone who has listened to KORE! You can stream the album everywhere now!