After Dutch guitarist/composer/producer Arjen Anthony Lucassen had finished his latest endeavour, the Ayreon rock opera The Human Equation (2004), he wanted to do two things: showcase the many talents of Mexican singer Marcela Bovio, one of the vocalists on the Ayreon album, and form a band for the first time in 10 years.
The response of critics and fans to Marcela’s vocals on the Ayreon album was really great. People were simply blown away.” Arjen explains, “However, already when she was in my studio recording for the Ayreon project, I realized that she had many more talents that I regretted not being able to use at that time. So, hating to let a good thing go to waste, I decided to construct a project completely centered on her singing, composing and writing.
Marcela first registered on Arjen’s radar before the recording of The Human Equation, when she entered the contest run through his website in which the winner would get the opportunity to sing on the album. “When I first heard Marcela’s recordings, it sent shivers down my spine. To find a vocalist who sings with that much passion and power, is rare, very rare.” And Lucassen should know; in the past he’s worked with over a hundred different vocalists for his many musical projects.
I refused to start the project with a musical direction in mind, because I wanted Marcela to feel completely free to experiment with some simple acoustic guitar demos I had made. She added her musical ideas, and I went into the studio to work on the songs some more. Then the other band members added their ideas. The music had to develop as naturally as possible, as would happen with a real band, which was an interesting challenge considering that at the moment some band members live thousands of miles apart. The whole thing turned into one big world-wide jam session. Which is very unusual, exciting and a lot of fun.
To form the band, Lucassen used the Internet to tap into the numerous talents that reside all across the globe. A year ago, Dutch drummer Davy Mickers downloaded a special track from Lucassen’s website to enter a musicians contest, and used it to showcase his incredible drumming skills. And just recently Lucassen discovered Lori Linstruth, an amazingly skilled American female guitarist residing in Sweden, among the members of the online Ayreon Yahoo group. Completing the band are Mexican pianist Alejandro Millán and Dutch bass player Johan van Stratum from the Rock Academy in Tilburg.
The band’s creative juices flowed to and fro between computers stationed in all corners of the world – recording, writing and matching up musical ideas to form songs. The end result was as diverse and driven as each individual band member.
The music of the debut album, Embrace the Storm (2005) blends mysterious gothic vocals, metal guitars and atmospheric trip-hop, with haunting pianos and live celli- and violin quartets.
Arjen took Stream of Passion to the road on four separate occasions. The Embrace the Storm tour in 2006 (which was filmed for the Live CD/DVD “Live in the Real World“), the summer Festival tour, a trip to Mexico, and a short tour in early 2007.
Shortly after completing the final tour, Arjen left the band as had been the plan from the beginning. Guitarist Lori Linstruth and keyboardist Alejandro Millán left as well. Since then there have been other member changes, and the band has gone on to record another studio album without Arjen’s involvement. Visit the Stream of Passion website for current info on the band.