Interview by Miriam C.
Attempting a solo career is never an easy choice, especially for those people who, in some way, has symbolized a band for so long. After having parted ways with her current previous band, Amberian Dawn, Heidi Parviainen has felt the need of starting her new solo career and, thanks to the huge support of her own fans, one of her dream came true: the Finnish singer proudly introduces her new solo project, called Dark Sarah, and she also reveals some little ins and outs of this hard task of standing out in such a complex music panorama and she tells also how hard was to achieve this goal, who has requested a couple of years before turning into something real. Today Femme Metal has the pleasure of talking again to Heidi Parviainen about her new music project called Dark Sarah.
Moi moi Heidi! Welcome back! Mitä kuuluu?
Thank you, hyvää kuuluu!
Nice to hear that! Let’s start our chat with a very simple question: first of all, what has pushed you to part ways with your former band, Amberian Dawn, in order to create this new “music babe”, in other words your solo project?
We just simply grew apart and it was the best solution to part ways. No bigger drama involved.
What about the name Dark Sarah? Is Sarah a sort of your feminine alter ego?
It could be that yes, even though it is purely fictional character. Dark Sarah is the protagonist in the story that the music tells about, I am kind of acting her part. First there is Sarah a young woman who is left at the altar by her about to be husband. She almost breaks down but instead something wakes up inside of her and she changes to her evil side persona Dark Sarah. The album tells about the battle between these two minds and has story like features, true and fiction.
Researching for the story that accompanies the concept of this record, “Beyond The Black Veil”, I’ve read that everything started when Sarah has been left at the altar by her ex-husband, the one that she was going to marry. Where did the idea of basing a concept like this come from?
Well, the idea came from the first song I was writing lyrics to. It was “Save Me”. I got the visual picture in my mind of a woman walking in her wedding dress in the woods and singing “save me”. Then I knew I wanted to write her full story, of how she ended there and what has happened and what will happen. The refrain in “Save Me” is in major but the story is sad, I felt that she had maybe lost her mind and so the dark side of her needed also to be brought to life as Dark Sarah. I thought the name actually suited really well for the project too.
Delving into it, I’ve thought that Sarah was a sort of a “more modern” version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde: behind that naïve and pure girl, there’s a “dark” person who wants to take revenge since she suffered a wrong, an injustice by that man that has left her at the altar. How would you describe this character?
She is murderous and fierce with no remorse, she is the total opposite for Sarah. She is insane. 😀
In this record we also find the guest appearance of two greatest friends of yours: Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica) and Manuela Kraller (ex-Xandria). What has pushed you to chose these two guests? How do you usually chose the people you like to cooperate with?
I met the girls already many years ago on a tour together, then we discussed about maybe doing something together in the future. The opportunity came with Dark Sarah. I asked the girls to play a part in the story. I’ve asked personally to Tony to join us. Because the guests play a part in the story, for me it was important to build the story well around the characters they are playing. The story becomes much more meaningful and colorful when there are more characters and in dialogue with Sarah. I also think about what characters I would maybe need and think about the options for guests and their singing styles. Tony was the perfect choice to play the Moon and Inga the Queen of no good and Manuela the Fate.
At a closer look, the artwork of the record shows off the symbol of the god of Sun (Ra), indeed we can see his eye on the upper side of the cover. I assume there’s no relationship with this symbol and Sarah and just because of this I’d like to ask you to explain the meaning of this symbol.
Actually the horus eye symbolizes protection. The Horus eye appeared on Sarah´s eye in the beginning of the story when Dark Sarah made her first appearance. The symbol protects Sarah by not changing to her completely.
You’ve described this project as “cinematic metal”. What could you tell us about this “label”? Why have you chosen this “label” to describe this solo project of yours?
The music has movie and theater music features, so I thought the “label” would best describe it.
You’ve been able to create this record also because of the massive support you had from your fans and because of the crowdfunding campaign you launched on Indiegogo. What kind of feedback did you have? Isn’t that hard for an independent singer/artist to try to release an album without any support from labels nowadays?
It is hard. The business itself has become even harder, there are a lot of bands and more to choose from than ever. Also because of the digital era the artist can share their music better than ever before. That is both a good and a bad thing, good in that way that more bands can make their music heard and people share the word around and bad because more and more people download the albums for free from torrent sites without paying for it. Being a relatively small and new artist crowdfunding was my saviour to get the album ready and out for the public. I have received very good feedback and I couldn´t be more happy. I really hope my fans will keep on supporting the becoming album too.
I know that maybe it’s too early to tell but is there any plan to bring this project live on stage?
We have many plans but so far not so many gigs have been confirmed. Let´s hope there will be more
Will you publish some other release for Dark Sarah?
I have started to arrange things for the next album and I hope it could be out within a year or a little bit more.
Thanks for your time, Heidi, and thanks for having allowed us to interview you today! As our tradition wants, we let the interviewee the chance to share her final words with our readers… and we hope to see you very, very soon!
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