Photo by Elizabeth Sharpe (Ummagummamumma Live Music Photography, Instagram, web)

Brisbane’s premier Symphonic Metal force Seraphic will be making the journey to Melbourne for the first time in two years to co-headline Venus & Lilith: Worshipping Women in Dark Music! Led by the formidable vocal and piano talents of frontwoman Sam Al-Araji, Seraphic have been building an ever-increasing reputation for themselves with the release of their latest single The Monster Within, and a coveted support slot with neo-classical Power Metal legends Kamelot in 2018.

Most recently however, Seraphic played the Brisbane show of Venus & Lilith, and Al-Araji enthuses, “I’m absolutely stoked with how it went. Everything ran really smoothly. All the bands really smashed out amazing sets. The night had such a great vibe. And having Joyce (of Share the Dignity) there as well, I was really happy about that. It was just the cherry on the cake, giving it a real sense of occasion. And I just had a great time playing, and felt like we pulled off a great set, even one man down. It was a really successful night, all I wanted to achieve, and we did really well with the revenue – we made nearly a grand for the charity. It’s exciting!”

With guitarist Erwin Fabrianto having left Seraphic, Valhalore’s Lucas Fisher has stepped into the breach until a new permanent member can be found. Of course, he’s been a boon to Seraphic in the meantime. “In the live sense, it’s been going really well. Lucas has fit in really well. We’re in a space where we wanted to play some shows, there are all these great ideas for gigs and things we wanted to achieve, and we were regrouping and determining what we wanted to do for a permanent line-up. So it’s great to get someone like Lucas on board, even in a fill-in capacity. He’s got great guitar chops, he’s really dedicated, he’s contributed to the writing for our new album, which has all been going really well and has helped us to keep the ball rolling in the meantime.”

With regard to coming back to Melbourne, Al-Araji’s excitement is palpable. “We had such a good time when we last came down there two years ago. We found the crowds in Melbourne really receptive, they really get into it. It’s a really supportive environment, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with all these amazing bands and developing those relationships. Seeing all the great talent that Melbourne has to offer, and I already know there’s a lot there. And to meet new fans, continue building up our fan base and spreading the word, and all in the name of an amazing cause.”

As part of the line-up, Seraphic will be reuniting with former Brisbanites Flynn Effect, who are now based in Melbourne. “We’ve played with them a couple of times, but obviously never in Melbourne, so that’s going to have a lovely sense of occasion there. I love Flynn Effect, they’re such great guys, incredible musicians; every time we play a show with them, it goes off! So I’m really looking forward to catching up with them again.”

Seraphic will be sharing some new songs with Melbourne fans for the first time, and Al-Araji reveals, “It’s a majority of new or new-ish songs, songs that will be featuring on the new album. We were really vibing the new songs, and we’ve been working so hard on them for the last few months. We’re really proud of how they’ve shaped up, so we thought we’d use this opportunity to debut them and get everyone excited and hyped about what we’ve got in store.”

On the cause for the night, Al-Araji opens up with some heartfelt thoughts on what it means to support Share the Dignity. “It’s incredibly meaningful for me. When you start a band because you’ve got some great songs you just want to play for your friends, to people you know, to share your music, that’s great for a time. And music is such a passion for me, and sharing that with other people. But it got to the point where I’d developed my band enough that I started to think, ‘What are some other things that I can achieve?’ If I can bring joy through sharing art that I’m so passionate about, there’s more that I’d like to achieve with that. I want to make as much of an impact as I can. So on that level, it’s really meaningful that we can apply something that we’re proud of, that we’re good at, to actually make a difference to women who need it most. Share the Dignity in particular really does resonate with me on quite a personal level, because the stats for female victims of domestic violence and homelessness, and even just the level of education about female hygiene are pretty shocking. While there’s always slow improvements made, it’s still such a huge issue for so many women, and I think it’s something that’s really overlooked. So it’s amazing what Share the Dignity can do in terms of providing that education, providing that support, providing all those things that you don’t realise some women really need. So for me to be able to apply something I’m so passionate about, my music, towards a cause that is making such a crucial difference to the women who need it most – it’s the reason why we do this, to make that kind of positive difference. We’re honoured to be headlining these shows. It’s really meaningful and important to us, and to take the opportunity to show the power of women in our music scene as well. There are so many great things I feel we can achieve, and we are achieving with these shows. For me, that’s what it’s all about. That’s the endgame, to make it about more than just writing songs that I love.”