Interview by Alessandra Cognetta and Miriam C.We have been following Sirenia for quite a few years, here at Femme Metal. We saw the Norwegian band created by mastermind Morten Veland evolve and develop their own style, which, in time, made them a distinguished protagonist of the symphonic metal scene. The recent release of their 7th full-length album “The Seventh Life Path”, which provides further evidence of Sirenia’s worth, gave us the chance to ask frontwoman Ailyn a few questions about the album and its conception, giving us an overview of the band’s own path throughout the years. Hello and welcome to Femme Metal, Ailyn! It’s a pleasure to have us with you. Let’s start with the big news: Sirenia‘s upcoming album “The Seventh Life Path” will be released almost all over the world on the 8th May, so how are you and the band living this important moment of your careers? What has been the reception so far?
In this moment, we are very excited! The album is finally released so we are looking forward to see people’s reaction.There is plenty of reviews around for those who want to know more about the album in detail, but I don’t think there’s one made by the very people who created it! How would you review “The Seventh Life Path” in your own words for our readers who still (and I strongly suggest to make up for that as quickly as possible, because they’re missing on some very good stuff) haven’t had the chance to listen to it?
I think it is an album that shows Sirenia in all the stages so far. There is some parts that are more typical “Sirenia old style” and some stuff that is more similar to what we have produced recently. There is also some new things that the fans did not hear from the band before. Some of the songs are very heavy, some of the more heavy stuff Sirenia ever did.This is your fourth full-length album with Sirenia. How much has your life changed since you were announced as the new singer back in 2008?
Well, actually I think my life didn’t change too much… I’m still doing more or less the same things and I still have the same friends plus some new ones, of course. The big difference is that now I live in Norway.Morten Veland usually takes care of most of the writing duties, lyrics included. As a singer, how do you approach the songs during their creation and recording? How does the band work from this point of view?
As you said, Morten is the one creating everything on Sirenia. When he is more or less finished with the idea he sends me the songs, so I can practice them at home before going to his studio and recording a demo. Before going to the studio, I try to work with my vocal melodies and when Morten and I are together in the studio I show him my ideas, so he can decide if he likes some of my ideas or not.
You also joined a Norwegian choir in 2012 and I must say the improvement on your voice is astonishing! Listening to the album, I’ve seen it shine on a whole different level from before, I was gladly surprised! What did you learn from this experience and what kind of choir was it ? On the album trailers you mention it’s a classical choir, so I wonder what kind of repertoire you worked on.
Thank you! Yes, in summer 2012 I joined a choir but in early 2013 I had to quit because of health problems and a busy agenda. To be in the choir was a great experience and I really miss it. It was a classic choir and I loved to sing there with all the girls, sometimes it’s also nice to sing without being the “face” of the show, mixing your voice with other people’s voices.“The Seventh Life Path” features once again lyrics in Spanish translated by you, Ailyn. I’m always interested in seeing how different languages mingle together in music, so how did you and Sirenia work on the “multi-language” aspect of some songs? What were the reasons behind the decision to implement different languages?
The idea of making translations in other languages came with “The Enigma of Life” album. When we recorded the first demo I asked Morten if he wanted me to make the translation of some songs. At the beginning he was not too convinced, because he never heard his music in another language, but he told me we could try. I’m Spanish so I just thought “why don’t we use that?”. We also have many followers from South America or Spain so we thought it was a good idea. And as in “The Enigma of Life” album we included two songs in Spanish for “Perils of the Deep Blue” and we thought it would be great to do it in Norwegian, too. For our new album “The Seventh Life Path” we also did some translation, this time we translated the ballad of the album in Spanish, Norwegian and Japanese.The album features cover art by Gyula Havancsák, who was discovered by chance by Morten. Was it a direct influence on the album during the composition or more of an illustration of the album concepts that came afterwards?
I think Gyula Havancsák did a great job by catching the atmosphere of the album and displaying it in a beautiful cover. In this cover it is possible to find a lot of the feeling of the music, and it deals with a lot of these subjects.What’s the most challenging song of the album for you (or your favourite, as the two often seem to coincide)?
Maybe I could say “Contemptuous Quitus”. It was the most challenging song for me because I’m not an opera singer. I’m working with my voice to improve and sing in different ways, but that song was a bit out of my range, so a bit more difficult to sing. I really like this song, but I would not say it is my favorite 😉“The Seventh Life Path” marks, after 8 years of collaboration with the German label Nuclear Blast, a new partnership with Napalm Records. Would you like to tell us more about it?
Sirenia had a 4 albums deal with Nuclear Blast that we fulfilled. When the time came to negotiate a new deal there were several companies that was interested in Sirenia. I think Napalm Records offered Morten the best terms for recording the next albums, so I guess it was an easy decision to sign with them. The fact that Sirenia have been working together in the past was a positive thing as well.That was the last question, Ailyn! Thank you so much for your time, we wish Sirenia all the best! You can leave your own message to fans and readers here, if you want.
Thanks for the interview! I would like to say thank you to all the fans for being always there and for all the support! Hope we can meet soon on tour!