BOREALIS: "The feeling we get when someone messages us how much they love our music or how it got them through a tough time means everything to us"

Even though Canada might not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking about metal music, there are a bunch of fascinating bands and artists around. BOREALIS is clearly a name one could have already spotted over the past years, and the announcement of their new album “Illusions”, which will be out on October 7th, 2022 via AFM Records, led to excitement around these parts.


Glad about the opportunity to welcome them on our journey, which takes us once more to the Northern fields:

Hey, thanks for making time to answer my questions. Could you please introduce yourself and Borealis to our readers?

Hey, thank you for the interview. Sure :-) My name is Matt Marinelli, and I’m the lead singer as well as guitar player for the band Borealis. We’re a melodic metal band based out of Canada. 

You’re set to unleash your new album “Illusions” soon. How do you feel about it?

Yes, and it’s been a long road haha. We always say we’re not going to wait so long between albums, but it’s always years... 

We’re very excited about this release. There are a lot of new elements that we’ve never had before, plus some fantastic guests. I truly believe this is our best one yet.

Let’s take a look at the stunning cover artwork: What can you tell us about its origins and how does it reflect the album thematically?

Yes, Giannis ( @remedyartdesign ) killed it! 

We didn’t want to be as direct as what we had it for "The Offering", where you knew exactly what the album was about just by looking at it. You’ll have to see the complete booklet to get the full experience, but it shows mixed emotions, from hope and peace to being lost. 

We gave Giannis full control, and he did such a wonderful job on it; we couldn’t be happier.

Absolutely. Huge fan of his art as well, so I'm looking forward to see what's waiting inside :-)

Regarding the conceptual idea, “Illusions” is the sequel of your great record “The Offering”. Could you dive a bit into the story with us, please?

Sure. This album takes place years later. All the surviving kids are now trying to deal with what they experienced. Every kid feels differently about the situation: Some are stuck in that moment, and others are angry that they weren’t chosen to be sacrificed.

Music-wise, the sound of “Illusions” is epic yet varied, and unmistakably Borealis, but you also managed to evolve by bringing in new elements. Could you briefly describe your writing / recording process please, and what did change for the new record?

I think the biggest change was adding Vikram Shankar to the album. We’ve been following him for years, and just love everything he touches. We sent him the songs and just let him create his magic. He’s an extremely talented man, which also shows on "Illusions".

Our writing style has always been the same when it comes down to how we do it: When a song is finished, it has a bit of every band member in it.

How did you come up with your wonderful band name, and is there a deeper meaning behind it for you?

Sadly, there’s not a deeper meaning to it. Our original bass player was driving one night, saw the Northern lights and thought "Borealis" would be a cool name. Haha, I’m sorry, I wish it was a more exciting story.  

Haha, nothing to apologize for ;-) Indeed a cool and also very fitting name. Let’s talk about Borealis live: What was your most memorable show so far?

Every tour we’ve done was very memorable and has been so much fun to do. If I had to choose though, I’d say the tour with Evergrey. As you can probably tell they’re a massive influence on us. What made it so memorable was how great everyone was on that tour - It was like a giant family trip. Zero egos, lots of laughs, great music, and everything well-organized. Hopefully one day we can tour with them again.

How would you describe your local music scene, and is there anything special about it? Did you notice changes over the past years?

The rock and metal scene has improved quite a bit here. It’s still nothing like in Europe, but we’re trying haha. 

The most difficult thing here is the exposure: There are so many amazing Canadian metal bands that just don’t get noticed. But I think it’s getting better though. 

What can you tell us about your future plans?

Right now, just getting the album out, and starting to plan a tour in 2023. Nothing is booked yet though.

So we better keep an eye on your socials the next months :-)


Before we wrap things up, do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?

Just thank you for everything. The feeling we get when someone messages us saying how much they love our music or how it got them through a tough time means everything to us.

Oh, ya buy the new album :-)

That's the perfect closing. Thanks again for your time, and all the best for you and the release \m/