Interview by Miriam C.After some painful band splits (we have already seen her in action with Axxis and Xandria), the German singer Kerstin Bischof has decided to going solo (helped by her husband – and former Axxis guitarist – Guido Wehmayer) with her first independent offering called “Project Ava”, that at the moment is only avalaible digitally via ITunes. Read what she says about this new musical adventure in the following interview. Hi Kerstin, first of all thanks for accepting the interview! It’s an honour!
Hi Miriam, thank you for the opportunity to talk about my musicAs an artist what is your background and influence and what is the fact that triggered you to become a singer?
There is no single fact that triggered me to become a singer. It was always an urge or a drive inside me and I absorbed everything musical around me. A big influence was Kari Rueslåtten when I was a teenager. Nowadays it’s artists like Tori Amos and my husband Guido Wehmeyer who inspire me the most. Continue reading »
Label: ATO/Hoop Recordings/PIAS
Review by Luisa Mercier
Sophomore album for Lisa Hannigan. After seven years spent beside Damien Rice (both in public and private life), the singer decided to start her own solo career and released “Sea Sew” which showed all her talent as songwriter and front-woman. She used to sing only the choirs in Rice‘s records, while here she is allowed to shine and her first musical effort was even canditated to a Mercury Prize.
The present record, “Passenger”, is the evidence of a finally reached musical adult age, a mature album that is strongly connected to the folk of her homeland (Ireland and UK tradition) mixing it with pop influences. Listen to the single “Knots”, for example. Her voice is sweet, soft like velvet and flies over the instruments, the violin in “What I’ll Do” is perfectly matched with her, while in the acoustic ballad “O Sleep” is paired with Ray La Montagne in an inspiring duet. Continue reading »
Label : Manhattan Records
Review by Luisa Mercier
Celtic Woman has always been a synonym for beauty, sweetness, quietness and a certain magic atmosphere. The present compilation has all of these qualities and it really has a soothing effect on your soul. The girls in Celtic Woman have thought of recording a collection of lullabies and put them all together in this release. Most of these songs have already been performed live by them, but they shine in all their calming melodies.
From the world reknown “Brahm’s Lullaby” who has accompanied most of us as children to “Hush Little Baby”. Other songs are taken from Disney’s classic movies as the opener “When You Wish Upon a Star” from “Pinocchio”, “Stay Awake” from “Mary Poppins” and “Baby Mine” from “Dumbo”. A nice way to go back to our childhood accompanied by the sweet vocals of the girls in Celtic Woman. “Goodnight My Angel” is a cover of Billy Joel, really heavenly, while the very successful “Over the Rainbow” follows and offers an enchanting duet. “Suantrai” is a Celtic-tinged song, the vocals soar towards the sky in an almost mystical atmosphere. Continue reading »
Maleficium Arungquilta – “Касание Сквозь Стекло” (“Kasaniye Skvoz’ Steklo” – “Touch Through the Glass”) (2011)Independent Release
Review by Vard Aman
I have written before about the potential benefits of searching harder and farther through Femme Metal’s vast underground; there are some real gems out there. And then sharing those gems with others… I run a group on Facebook for Russian and CIS female-fronted metal bands, and one day a user posted a link to a band they had discovered on the group’s wall; a band that I had at the time not even heard of before, but a band that has since then become one of my favorites. That link was to a band called Maleficium Arungquilta.
Maleficium Arungquilta are from Izhevsk in Russia. They formed in 2009 and their name roughly translates to a dark spirit or supernatural force that performs evil sorcery (or evil deeds, if you translate “maleficium” directly). Musically, they live up to their name; lyrically, they are more diverse than that, although it does play a part. The strength of this arungquilta’s musical maleficium centers mainly around two great assets: 1) their ability to create haunting, and very powerful and beautiful melancholic melodies and 2) the quality and ability of the band’s vocalists, particularly the lead vocalist, Lisa Karkina (Lisa Shadrina now… sorry guys). Lisa’s voice must surely be one of the most beautiful female voices around. Her timbre and control are superb, as is the clarity of her voice – you won’t need lyric sheets to follow her (if you understand Russian that is). She also sings with an emotion that lies beneath her exquisite vocal control but is still very much there – a calm outer surface that still gives away just enough to reveal, or allows one to sense the turmoil underneath. It is very effective, especially when the vocal melodies she delivers are such as they are. To add to her normal voice, she also possesses a powerful operatic voice that would put most operatic singers in metal to shame, and thanks to the band’s exceptional songwriting skills, they are used wisely. Lisa is backed up occasionally by the smooth and sonorous clean vocals of Maxim Gankov, and by the blackened shrieks and wailing laments of Alexey Kirsanov (I hope I have them the right way around). Alexey is a potent Black Metal vocalist. Then there is the backing female vocalist, Yana Lindarskaya, who is a similar vocalist to Lisa and whose operatic vocals, when she uses them, are just as powerful. On the song “Чернобог” off “Касание Сквозь Стекло”, where Yana sings the intro, she brings an added folk element to her vocals.
Interview by Si Smith
Flying the flag for Belgian metal are dedicated rockers Lovelorn, fronted by the attractively named Ladyhell (Kristell Lowagie). Melodic and passionate, they are determined to put Belgium in the centre of the map for quality metal. Links to groups such as Eve’s Apple (formed by Lisa Middlehauve) only serve to solidify their rock and metal credentials. Femme Metal cornered singer Ladyhell to probe deeper…. First thanks for talking to us, and welcome from all at Femme Metal. It seems that are a lady with many faces, as you are also active in other ventures. I believe you and Corpus Christi met for “The Road to Consciousness” project in 2009. Could you tell us a little about this?
Corpus Christi had composed all the tracks of his concept album “The Road to Consciousness” and he was in search for male and female voices. He contacted me, I listened to the songs, and I said yes, I thought the tracks were great ! Later on, we met at the studio to record the songs, and we had lots of fun. We had the same view and ideas about music, we both had no band at that time and we decided to start Lovelorn.You are also an active member in the Eve’s Apple community. For those who are not yet aware, how does Eve’s Apple work, and what role do you play in it?
Eve’s Apple is a community founded by Lisa Middelhauve. The goal is to join together professional female singers, so they can communicate, but also to help newcomers. We also write articles, express our ideas, give some hints, interact with fans. We don’t have a specific role, but we are all working in areas that we like or know better. For example, I’m better at promotion, so I’m trying to help as much as I can in that field.Your singing career has taken many turns too, from Skeptical Minds to Valkyre to guest vocals for Psy’Aviah. Have you come to a place where you know for sure what your voice is and how it should sound for Lovelorn?
I learned that I cannot sing the songs composed by others. I really need to sing my own songs. Because I wrote it, they perfectly fit to my voice. I have a voice that fits rock, gothic rock, but certainly not symphonic metal ! Yes, I think I know exactly how it should sound. In Lovelorn, I just make it sound like me, myself and I, and no one else !Put simply Lovelorn tells stories about love; what is it about love that makes it great material for such a wide variety of songs do you think?
Love rules the world ! It’s a subject that everybody can experience, you can tell 1000 different stories about love ! Love is not only about passion between a man and a woman, it can also be love for a god, for your family, for your friends, for nature…. anything is possible.A track of yours was included on the World of Glass Compilation. Do you think these compilations are important in these days of downloading? Do you feel it gained you any publicity?
Yes I think it helped us, I’m sure some people who listened to the compilation discovered Lovelorn. There are still some people curious about new bands, new projects and who are not brainwashed by commercial radios and TV stations. As a band, we also made friends with other bands on the compilation, yes that compilation was not made for nothing !I love your definition of your genre on your Facebook page – “alternative, rock, metal, electro, ambient” – well, that suitably walks over such a wide range of genres, how on earth do you decide what to record for any particular track when it comes to composing?
I can’t find a good definition for our music style, that’s why I’ve put so many !! ah ah !! If you have any opinion about which style we actually make, be my guest ! We don’t decide, it just comes naturally. I couldn’t really explain the composing process. Corpus Christi is coming with ideas, I put my voice on top then, we make adjustements. Sometimes we decide we want to put some electronic. It’s usually because I want to give a mysterious « atmosphere ».
Why is it important to you that the band members have pseudonyms – the other two being “Hindi Rose” and “Gabriel Arkangel”?
It’s not important ! It’s just for the fun !! Playing music, going on stage … it’s another part of you, another side of your everyday life, … so why not have other names ?So the EP “An Intense Feeling of Attraction” is now out. The first track is “Save Me”. There are a number of songs (even in the female-fronted genre) called “Save Me” or “Save Us”. What do you think your song has to separate it from all the others?
I can’t remember any other song called “Save Me” but I’m sure it exists, you’re right. Everything has been done and said in music, it’s kinda difficult to not repeat it, and find something new. This song “Save Me” could be different because of the voice, of the atmosphere, and the nice melody…Track two is a more laid back affair with minimal backing at certain points. What is the story behind the title “Sagarmatha”?
It sounds different, because I came with the vocal line first, and Christi had to adapt behind it. I also composed all the electronic parts, to make it sound a bit oriental like the title of the song. “Sagarmatha” is sanskrit for “mother of the Earth”. This song is about the damages we’ve done to the Earth and the end of the world.“Cold” has quite a distinctive choral line. Where do all the ideas come from for a Lovelorn song – the musical and the lyrical ones? Do the ideas come from any specific band member or does everybody contribute?
It depends, it comes from me or from Corpus. We take what’s best ! “Cold” is coming from me. I had that whole singing line since years in my head and I already tried to make it sound nice, but it was not possible, but Corpus made it possible! Thank you !!! During rehearsals, the other members become active for the live parts; they also suggest bass lines, drums, we are very open, the purpose is not our ego, but to make the best song possible.The electronic side comes out more in the drumbeat to “Something Wrong”.Was it difficult to agree on how this song should sound, or do all band members have a clear vision of where the band is going at any one time?
We are a new band; so I would lie if I’d say we have a clear vision of where we’re going. We are new so we try things, if it works, that’s great, if it doesn’t we leave it behind. We are composing a lot and we are getting more and more certain about what we want to hear and what we don’t, so that’s good. “Something Wrong” has many fans, it’s touching a broader audience and it still fits the EP, so we are more than happy with the result !By contrast your final song “Little Princess Euphoria” has a more guitar driven basis, and sounds like it would be great live. Have you had many live performances of your material yet?
Live performances is the next step. We had some and we are still working on getting more. We are lucky and we have booking agencies that are helping us in the process. “Little Princess Euphoria” is great live, we experienced it on stage and every week at rehearsals, we have loads of fun with it !Flight of the Valkyries festival is upcoming in the US for this year and I believe you have a chance to play there. How can readers vote for you if they would like to? What would it mean for Lovelorn to be a part of such a festival?
Yes, we were surprised to be on the list of the nominees, it was unexpected, so we are doing our best to get more chances to go there. People can vote for us here . It would be nice to be part of that fest, i don’t know how big it is, but we will play if we are invited to !Finally, thanks so much for talking to us. Have you any final words of wisdom for us? Anything from your heart?
No wise words, just enjoy life !
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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