Interview by Laura MedinaWhat do you get when you mix five female musicians, one male drummer, heavy guitar riffs, and enchanting, mesmerizing beautiful melodies, you get Arven! Arven is the female-fronted melodic-metal band from Frankfurt, Germany that just released their sophomore album, “Black is the Colour” that is out now via Massacre Records. I had the complete and absolute pleasure and honor to chat with Carina Hanselmann of Arven to discuss Arven’s new album, her memorable moments on tour, her three wishes for Arven and much more. Hi Carina and welcome to Femme Metal Webzine! Thank you so much for allowing us to interview you today! I hope you are doing well today.
Hi Laura, thanks a lot for this interview. I´m fine, thanks !Would you mind telling our readers a little about yourself and your band, Arven?
Yes, of course: I think I´ll start with the band: It´s a band consisting of 5 girls and a drummer. We have released our 2nd album on August, 23rd, it´s name is “Black is the Colour”. To me: I´m the singer of this band. I sing as long as I can think (laughing), it´s a great passion of mine.You are classical trained vocalist, if I am right. How long you have been classically trained for and where did you study your vocal training? If I might say, you do phenomenal singing in both styles of classical and metal.
Thank you for this compliment. Well, I was having classical training for 7 to 8 years, I studied in different music institutes in Frankfurt, in the “Dr Hoch´s Konservatorium”, and also I had a teacher from the “Musikhochschule” in Frankfurt. So for a very long time, before Arven or when the conclusion of the band starts, I was trained classically. But more and more during the band-building-process I wanted also to sing different, to improve myself in other styles of singing.What is the meaning behind your band’s name Arven? If I am not mistaken, it sounds like the Arwen, the elf princess character from the Lord of the Rings/novels and movies.
Yes, reminds of the Elf princess. I don´t know how this name was created, because I joined the band when this name already was to choose. I think Anastasia brought it into discussion. I liked the name. It reminded me of mystery, but it also sounded very feminine and it was good to shout for our fans, because of the 2 syllables (laughing). That´s very important! 😉Arven was formed in 2006 with the intention to create a full female fronted metal band. Today your band line up consists of five female members and one male member. Can you tell us about the search and journey for a drummer that would lead you to Till Felden?
It was very difficult to find a good drummer. First we searched for a female drummer by hanging up papers flyers all around Frankfurt and making some announces in the internet. But the girls which came to us didn´t impressed us that much. When we invited Till to come to us we were totally excited of his playing and of his personality. He is a very nice and talented guy, and he is hard enough to cope with 5 women in a band (laughing).What can we expect to hear in your latest album release “Black Is the Colour” that is out now via Massacre Records?
You will hear a lot of melodies and orchestra, but It won´t be as folky as on the first album. The music is more progressive and harder, but also mixed with a lot of classical influences from us.Arven is defined as symphonic, power, melodic metal filled with catchy melodies, lyrics, heavy guitar riffs. What can you tell us about the band’s songwriting process for this album?
On the first album Anastasia and I wrote the lyrics. Now in this album it was mostly Anastasia who wrote it. It came by coincidence, because the right words came into her mind concerning the songs.Can you explain to us about the lyrical themes/subjects or topics that are present in your music?
We wrote about everything that is important to us, what comes to our minds. In this album we had experienced some ups and downs in our lives, we thought about the meaning of it all, about relationships and that´s why many of our songs tell of this. The main theme of this album is “Life can be difficult and hard-but you will have to go on for this pain will make you to another person and it helps you to improve yourself”.“Black Is the Colour” is your second full length album release since your debut album “Music of Light” and features heavy guitar-riffs, catchy melodies, head-banging joy. Who in the band is responsible for composing the music?
The composing was not only made by Anastasia this time. Our guitarist Ines as well created the song “My Darkest Dream” and our pianist Elena composed “Cercle d´Emeraude”, an instrumental song. Anastasia also composed the songs very often with a friend of ours, Benjamin Reiter. He has got great ideas concerning creating new melodies.
Carina, what are some of your favorite bands or singers of all-time?
Oh, wow, I really don´t know how to start: First of all I like Floor Jansen a lot, because she has the best mixture of classic and rock in her voice and she is able to combine it perfectly in her technique. Second, I like Simone Simons from Epica; I simply like the sound of her voice. As well I like the singer of Opeth, Mikael Akerfeldt, because of his ability to vary between clean sound and growling.What was your most memorable moment on stage with Arven?
Very hard question, I liked most of our gigs a lot. I liked the moments at the beginning when we stayed on the stage and were absolutely surprised about the positive reactions from the people in front of the stage. I am personally touched when little children come to me and want an autograph, that´s so cute.Arven is going on tour to support Van Canto for three shows in France and Germany on their Tour of the Brave 2014 with Winterstorm in February and March of 2014. What can we expect to see on stage during these three shows in France and Germany? Will there be any special plans that you can tell us more about?
We are planning the programm yet 😉On the topic of Van Canto, Arven recruited Stefan Schmidt of Van Canto to guest star on your album. He sings a powerful, electrifying duet with you on the song, “The One for Me” taken from “The Black is The Colour” album. How did you approach Stefan about being a guest vocalist on your new album?
That was very easy because we have known each other for years. He was visiting one of our shows years ago. Afterwards he came to us and says that he liked our songs a lot and wants to support us a bit in composition. So we worked out “Raise Your Cups” from the first album in the studio. When we were searching for a duet partner we thought about Stefan and thought that he would fit perfectly.I cannot stop listening to the song ‘The One for Me” taken from you “Black is the Colour” album. It is such a beautiful, moving duet between you and Stefan (Schmidt). Could you talk us through the writing behind this particular song?
The songwriting was mainly from Benjamin Reiter. I like this song, it reminds me of In Flames in some parts. Great! (laughing)“Believe” is your newest single that is taken from your “Black Is the Colour” album. Can you talk us through the concept behind the song as well as the official video that is out now via YouTube?
Anastasia composed this song and presented the melody to us. We sat together in the rehearsal room and were excited. We loved the power of this song and the meaning behind it. When we are playing it we always are in the best mood. Therefore we decided this song to be the song for our first video. The production of the video was also very exciting. It was the first time for me and I was surprised about how many people had to work for the video and how long it took to have it finished. At the end of the day I was totally exhausted and when I came home I fell into the bed and slept for hours (laughing).If you could have three wishes for your band, Arven, what would they be?
First wish: That we will stay together in this constellation. I have seen from many bands that it´s very hard to find good musicians that have the same goals and whose personalities fit together. And I´m very happy that we found each other.
Second wish: I would like to play also on a bigger stage, for example in Wacken, that´s a great dream of mine.
Third wish: We like to be more successful also in other countries and tour around the globeHow would you describe your band’s music and sound?
It´s not so easy to describe our sound. I would say: We sound melodic with classical and metal influences in a very interesting way.Do you have any special live festivals, special performances or concerts planned to promote “Black Is the Colour”?
We are planning some things for next year but they aren´t all fixed yet. So it´s a little secret (laughing).Any final words you would like to say to our fellow readers, your loyal fans and everyone else reading along? Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with us at Femme Metal Webzine today! It was a pleasure once again to speak to you and wishing you all the best of luck and more!
Thank you too for this nice interview. Some words to our fans: Thank you so much for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to grow and create new music. And for everyone who doesn´t knows us: Watch our website www.arvenmusic.com . Rock on!