“Producing ourselves gave us total freedom”

Dark Divas in a chat with Ad Infinitum frontwoman Melissa Bonny about the new album “Chapter II – Legacy”, inspiration and artistic freedom.

Ursula von Dark Divas


29. Oct 2021

Ad Infinitum
Melissa Bonny

Melissa, almost a year ago we also met online to talk about “Chapter I – Revisited”. Almost exactly a year later, we're sitting here talking about your new studio album “Chapter II – Legacy”. That was fast.

Melissa: We just had a lot of time because we couldn't go on tour. That's why we decided to continue writing new songs. We also didn't want to release an album and then disappear until touring became possible again. It was clear to us that we would just continue with new numbers. It was also the only thing we could do without depending on other factors.

Without Covid, “Chapter II – Legacy” would not have been released so quickly?

Melissa: Definitely not. We published “Chapter I – Monarchy” in April 2020. “Chapter I – Revisited” came in December 2020. And now comes “Chapter II – Legacy”. We wouldn't have been able to do that with a busy tour schedule.

So you had enough time to be creative. Nevertheless, where do you get the inspiration you need?

Melissa: We write the songs together. Everyone brings something to the table, we inspire each other. And with the lyrics, our main inspiration was a historical figure: Vlad Dracula.

Why did you choose him?

Melissa: We discussed a lot about which character could be the inspiration for the album. He's just an exciting character. For some people he was a folk hero. For some, the opposite. When you say Dracula, most people immediately think of vampires. We thought there were so many aspects to this personality that we could write and talk about. That made it the perfect subject or inspiration for the album.

So the album title Legacy is also a reference to Vlad Dracula?

Melissa: Yes, too. But the title should also be understood in connection with us. Legacy is something that remains even after death. This applies to Dracula – but of course also to us. For us as a band, the album is part of our legacy. Hopefully it stays and inspires future generations.

The first track on the album is called “Reinvented”. Have you reinvented yourself?

Melissa: No, it's more about history repeating itself. Whatever is happening right now – in politics, everywhere – it will happen again. At other times, in other situations, other generations will experience it - but it will happen again.

In your label's announcement it says that you're going beyond the boundaries of symphonic metal with this album. What is that supposed to mean?

Melissa: We challenged ourselves in a different way this time. We wanted to use our skills a little differently. The first album was created in a different way. At the beginning I wrote the songs alone, without my bandmates. They weren't even in the band at the time because the whole thing started as my solo project. I also worked with producers back then because I couldn't do everything on my own. The ideas came from me, but I don't have the skills of a guitarist or a drummer. I needed support - and the guys only came along later, when the songwriting was already halfway through. The boys had an influence on the album - but the direction was already set. That was just different this time. We wrote everything together. And: We decided to work without producers.

How come?

Melissa: We wanted an album that was 100 percent ours. We wanted to push ourselves to and beyond our limits. The result is something that is still symphonic metal. But you hear things that you wouldn't normally hear in symphonic metal - or at least that I haven't heard yet. We've become harder and darker musically. At the same time more modern. Metalcore influences are also there. If you get these accents right, it adds an exciting aspect to the music without completely changing the sound. We still sound like Ad Infinitum.

What was it like working without a producer?

Melissa: Since the four of us all worked together this time, we said we wanted to be confident in our abilities. We wanted to see if we could produce a whole album on our own. A producer gives you a certain level of security. He has everything in view. A producer guides you. As much as we love our first album, some things were very formulaic. We wanted to prove to ourselves: We can do this on our own. The total freedom you then have is a good feeling. We wanted to make this album completely ours. Feeling like the band created this together.

Image of Diva

Melissa Bonny

Melissa Bonny (* January 23, 1993, in Montreux) is a singer and songwriter from Switzerland. She is the frontwoman of Ad Infinitum and The Dark Side of the Moon.





23. Jan 1993


Will you continue to produce yourself in the future?

Melissa: I think so. Do you know why? We really liked the result. We had respect for it at the beginning. We wondered if the album would be good. Whether it will feel like an album and not just songs we packed together. Now it's an album from a single source. Yes, I think we will continue to work like this. It feels very good.

Are you growing more than before? Did you have to train that hard?

Melissa: Yes, I growl more. But the clean vocals still dominate. For me it made sense to use growling more. It fits the overall energy of the album very well. Increased vocal training wasn't necessary, but I was more exhausted than usual after the recordings. (laughs)

Let's talk about working together in the band. Last time you all worked remotely. Is it still like that?

Melissa: That's right. Something has changed because we played at festivals and met each other, including for the recording of our online show. We know each other much better now. But we always each work from home and that works very well for us.

What did the recording process look like this time?

Melissa: Nik (Niklas Müller) recorded the drums in his studio. Adrian (Adrian Thessenvitz) recorded the guitars in his studio. Korbi (Korbinian Benedict) also plays the bass. I went to Jacob Hanson Studios to record the vocals. For mix and master we all met at Jacob Hanson.

There will be an online release show on November 6th. Can you give us some insight into who or what we can expect?

Melissa: We're playing the entire album "Chapter II - Legacy" plus a few tracks from "Chapter I - Monarchy" and some acoustic numbers. We also invited four guests to the show. Alea (Jörg Roth) from Saltatio Mortis, Madeleine (Liljestam) from Eleine, Hans (Platz) from Feuer Schwanz and Linda (Laukamp) from Eklipse.

Why these four?

Melissa: Plans for the show began during Covid. We therefore focused on people who live in and around Germany so that we can implement the plan. We wanted to have a guitarist with us. Hans (Platz, Feuer Schwanz) was our first choice. We also wanted someone to perform Afterlife with me. For the album we recorded the song with Nils Molin from Amaranthe/Dynazty. For the release show we asked Alea (Jörg Roth) from Saltatio Mortis. We had never worked together before and we really wanted to do it. He is a brilliant singer and a great person. Linda (Laukamp) from Eklipse was recommended to us by a friend of Korbi. I knew her from working with Kamelot. I've wanted to work with Madeleine for a long time. We have been in contact several times.

You just mentioned Nils Molin and Afterlife. He sings the duet with you on the album. How did this collaboration come about?

Melissa: The collaboration was brilliant. Originally we had other plans. Your album “The Dark Delight” and ours “Chapter I – Monarchy” both came out around the same time last year. We were thinking about being single together. But that didn't happen. But we always had Nils in the back of our minds. Once we had the demos from the album, we chose which number would best suit his voice, but which number could also work as a duet. The collaboration was really great and we were of course even happier about his collaboration on the video. That was even more fun.

The videos for Afterlife and Unstoppable are very fiery.

Melissa: Filming was great. It was very cold, but the flames warmed us (laughs). My high adrenaline level also played its part. When you see the set being set up and you watch the flame artists at work, you realize: "Wow, this is really happening right now." We spent the night in a castle (editor's note: Magic Castle in Seefeld , Tyrol) and the flames lit up the entire area. That was magical. You forget the cold and just perform, feeling the vibe.

Do you have a tour planned?

Melissa: There are two, maybe even three tours planned. But I can't say more yet. A lot of things have already been postponed. We have to wait and see how Covid develops.

We have already reached the last question. The last sentence of the album is “I carried on” – how about you, are you continuing and will we see you here again in a year with “Chapter III”?

Melissa: Oh my God. (laughs) In a year, I don't know. A lot will depend on our program again. Whether we can tour or not. I would say: one year might be a bit too optimistic. But we'll definitely carry on.

Anything else you want to say to your fans on Dark Divas?

Melissa: Just that we're excited to present the new album and hope our fans will love it as much as we do.

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