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Darling Maurice
Darling Maurice

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PostSubject: Morten Interview with   Morten Interview with I_icon_minitimeFri Jan 07, 2011 3:29 pm

If hindsight really is 20/20 and looking back is still a bit fuzzy (thanks, Mustaine), then Sirenia’s Morten Veland must have one hell of a set of specs. After all, the man is largely responsible for ushering in the now overdone brand of symphonic, female-fronted brand of Goth metal with his old band, Tristania in the late 90’s. It’s no coincidence that the aformentioned band has jumped the proverbial shark since Veland’s departure in 2001, yet here is Sirenia in all of its pompous, popp-ity glory. How can you not latch onto this stuff?

With a new album in tow, the excellent The 13th Floor, Veland has a lot on his plate, but this is nothing compared to the work he had to do when enlisting new vocalist Ailyn (she of Spanish reality TV show fame) last year to begin work on the new album. Being the communicative fella, Veland took some time out to be subjected to Blistering’s quieries via email... 13th Floor is your fourth album - has Sirenia finally arrived with its sound?

Morten Veland: I began my career sometime back in 1992 and spent the few first years on developing the kind of musical style that I wanted to work with. Since then it has been all about perfecting this certain kind of style. In my own opinion we’ve been able to take a step up with every album and I feel that The 13th Floor is our strongest release to date. In comparison to Nine Destinies and a Downfall, the new one is more melodic and vibrant. Does that sentiment sit well with you?

Veland: I think Nine Destinies and a Downfall was the album where I took my song writing towards a much more melodic direction, and I feel that I was able to define this much more with the new album. In my opinion The 13th Floor is a much more diverse album, with greater variety in all aspects, especially the lead melodies. Were any of these songs written before Ailyn joined the band?

Veland: All the songs on the album were written before Ailyn officially joined the band. After we decided she was the one, I did some changes on some of the melodies in order to adapt them to her voice. Ailyn has a great voice-span and I wanted to make sure she was able to use it on the album. What kind of role did she play in shaping the album?

Veland: Being the singer, she is allowed me to use my creativity more or less uncompromised as a songwriter. In the past, I always had to work within the limits of the singer’s vocal range, but Ailyn can sing more or less everything I want her to sing, so she has definitely contributed to the fact that this album is way more diverse and melodic compared to our previous works. Ailyn is also a great person to work with, so we have a great cooperation in the studio. Was it difficult to blend in a Spanish-speaking singer with a bunch of dudes from Norway?

Veland: In the beginning we had a little communication problems, as her English was quite limited. But she is a hard worker and a fast learner so those problems were solved rather quickly. Our drummer speaks perfect Spanish as he is of Chilean origin, so that helped us all out in the very beginning. Personally speaking, I think she fits the band like a glove. She's soft, yet has such a melodious voice that it makes the heavy stuff heavier and melodic stuff more melodic. Is that what you were looking to achieve?

Veland: I totally share your opinion, Ailyn is everything we searched for in a female singer. She’s got the voice, the experience, the personality, the dedication and the looks and image to front a band like Sirenia. So we are very happy with the band situation at the moment. Lots of big hooks can be heard on "Lost in Life," and the "Lucid Door." To you, what songs best represent Sirenia circa 2009?

Veland: I think the song “The Seventh Summer” represents Sirenia pretty good, it has all the ingredients that is typical for our sound and style. “Lost in Life,” “The Path To Decay,” “The Lucid Door” and “Led Astray” is other good examples for our style and the melodic path we are heading down these days. You helped usher in the female-fronted Goth metal sound in the late 90's. How does it feel knowing there are about 8 million bands playing a similar style?

Veland: It feels pretty cool. When I began playing this kind of music back in ’94-’95 there were only a very few European bands in the scene, and a few people really interested. And I think my song writing in Tristania was an important part of shaping what was to be called Gothic metal. Over the years, I’ve seen the genre growing bigger and bigger, more and more bands began to perform this style, and more and more people began listening. Any bands of this ilk that interest you?

Veland: Not really, as I spend so much of my time working with my own music, I feel the need to listen to other stuff when I have time off. I mostly listen to rock from the 70’s and 80’s and a few metal bands from the 90’s. Do you ever compare/contrast your band to the career path of Tristania?

Veland: I parted ways with Tristania in January 2001. After the split I formed Sirenia and put all my time and energy into my new band instead. I don’t really know much of what they’ve been up to after the split. Fond memories/regrets from being in that band?

Veland: There have been plenty of both. Hahaha. Describe your methods/approach as being the band leader.

Veland: When it comes to composing, I have always been the bands composer and most likely always will be. Regarding all other band activities we try to work it out in a most democratically way. Finally, what's on the horizon for the remainder of 2009?

Veland: Most of the interviews and promo work for the album is done, so the rest of the year is set off to touring. We will begin touring in May, our first show will be in Moscow on the 10th, from there we go to Moldova, Ukraine and Poland. In the summer, we’ll do some festivals in Norway, Romania and Belgium plus some shows in Spain. Then we plan to do a full European tour by the end of the year. We also look into the possibilities of touring South- and North America. We will keep all of you updated via our official websites.

Dreams pass by silently, I see them waving back at me
All hope is long since gone, I guess it really never was there at all
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