An Interview with Project Renegade’s Marianna Florou

The frontwoman discusses how the band captured their distinctive sound and hints that a new release is just around the corner!

Following the release of their debut album, Order Of The Minus, last year, Project Renegade have already begun to turn heads in the metal community. 

Conveying an early 2000s sound with their hard-hitting riffs and enchanting vocals of frontwoman, Marianna Florou, the Greek band are also using their platform to shed light upon the injustices across our current society. 

With motifs including war, racism, famine and the pollution of the natural world, the band are striving for something more than mere pop-rock hits. Creating a message of unity for their listeners, the members are aiming to change the world around them.

Now, speaking with the band’s vocalist last week, Marianna Florou discusses the history of Project Renegade, the artists that inspired their unique sound and what to expect from the four-piece in the future!

Scroll down to check out the full interview!

  1. In your own words, how would you describe Project Renegade?

“Our sound could fall under the general term of Alternative Metal. What really defines us is the groove that I believe you can find in all of our songs. Other than that we like to mix a lot of different elements in our music since we listen to a lot of different stuff. You can hear Ambient, Electronic, Orchestral, Industrial and Nu-Metal references in our music.” 

“I don’t wanna say the usual “we don’t like to label ourselves” but it is really hard for us to describe with one genre what we do since we don’t compose music in order to follow a certain genre. We want to express ourselves, our personalities and since we are multidimensional as people that is also reflected in our music.”

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2.  How did you meet and come to form the band? Did you meet because of the pursuit of a career in music or did you know each other beforehand?

“Ody and I know each other since we were seventeen years old. We have played in a lot of bands together and, at some point, we decided to start our own band that will surpass the jamming [and] spread our message of unity through diversity.”

“After several line-up changes we met Nick K. through an ad we put on searching for guitarist and we clicked instantly since he is a very good team player. [The bassist,] Jay is Ody’s friend from a previous band they had some years ago and he was the last one to join the family.”

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3.  Who were your musical influences when it came to pursuing a career in music? Were there any particular artists whose sound you thought stood out?

“Like I said, we have a lot of influences. From Metal to Pop, RnB, Hip-Hop and Classical music. We are big fans of the late 90’s-early 00’s metal scene since some of our favorite bands are RATM, Korn, Rammstein, Limp Bizkit, Evanescence, SOAD. We are also big fans of Devin Townsend, Gojira, In This Moment, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage and a lot of others.”

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4.  What is your aim with Project Renegade? For instance, do you all withhold a clear vision on what you’d like to achieve or do you simply pursue the career due to the love of music?

“Ten or twenty years ago, I could say that we have a very clear vision of what we wanna achieve. Touring, albums, festivals etc. Nowadays, the music industry and the world have changed so much and everything is so uncertain that you cannot bet on anything and anyone. So I would say that we do music cause we love it and because it’s our passion- our way to exorcise our demons and to have fun.”

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5.  Your singing style has been said to make metal more accessible to wider audiences… is this something you’re conscious of (trying to make your music appeal to as many listeners as possible)?

“Thank you very much for this question! It was never a matter of accessibility, it’s just the way I sing and my personal taste. It’s simply what I like to do and what I want to create musically, what expresses my thoughts so far. Maybe in the future I will also try different things but generally, this is who I am and that is the core of what I want to give in our music.”

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6.  You have had comparisons in the past to Evanescence. Were they an inspiration for you and do they actively have a direct influence on your style?

“Of course, I like Evanescence and we also had the honor to play with them a year ago! I believe that the comparison is made because we both use clean modern style vocals over heavy music.”

“I get why people compare new bands to the ones that are established: in order to relate easier to them, but I believe that everyone is unique and that each band has its own place in the world if you take the time and dig a little bit deeper into the music!”

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7.  In your debut album, Order Of The Minus, there are motifs of war and tyranny but also of hope and perseverance. How did you decide on this?

“You know the world is a pretty fucked up place for the most part of it. There are wars, threats, poverty, famine, pollution, injustice, racism and a lot of other plagues that are causing our realities to collapse little by little every day. Therefore, we wanted, through our music, to send a message that we can fight all those negative things if we accept each other for who we are.” 

“The only hope for change lies with the people and we need to get that message somehow to them. So we wanted to make our music a vessel that will convey that message to whoever wants to listen to it. For us, art and music need to represent something meaningful.” 

“Plus, these are all thoughts that are on our minds as young people who live in the modern world and believe that something should change for the better. They are our worries, our hopes and dreams reflected on our lyrics!”

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8.  Do you think we can expect to see more of this theme in your future releases?

“I’m sure that these thematics will show up in one form or another in whatever we do next, cause they are things that still trouble us. In what way exactly I’m not sure and I believe that the next songs will be a little bit different, a little more raw I think but this theme is always on the background for us.”

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9.  Speaking of which, have you got any new releases lined up for us in the near future? What are your plans for the sound in your upcoming work?

“The quarantine gave us the time and space to fast-track the composition of our next album and right now Ody is in the studio recordings the drums for the new songs! I don’t know when we are going to release it though considering the situation with the pandemic right now. But we are working on it day and night and I believe that it will push our sound further.”

“For me the new songs are unfiltered, heavy, they do not hold back and we took some chances with them, especially me vocally, that I believe will surprise our listeners. I am really happy about the new album and cannot wait to share it with the world!”

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Order Of The Minus is out now and available on all streaming platforms.

To check out our review of the band’s debut album, click here!

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