Interview by Vard AmanTo rise from the sea of Female Fronted Symphonic Metal and stand out as a band that is both of an exceptional quality as well as something that is distinctly different from the rest takes quite an act; and Lanewin, from St. Petersburg, is just such an act. They are fronted by Anna Belaeva – a multi-talented, versatile and highly imaginative vocalist; if you listen to their newly released masterpiece “Eclectic Tour”, you’ll hear what I mean. I was honoured to interview her recently. Hi Anna, welcome to FMW! First of all, tell us a bit about your singing career before Lanewin? When did you start singing? What inspired you?
Hi! I’m glad to be here and answer your questions! Honestly I didn’t have any singing career before Lanewin. I started singing at the age of 18 and immediately formed Lanewin, because I was not able to live without music and singing. What inspired me? Well, one evening heard amazing song that my friend sang to me. It was Nightwish’s “Sleeping Sun”. I was so impressed by that music, that the same day I listened to all their songs, and straight after that I started listening to music, before that day I didn’t listen to it. And several days later I tried to sing with Tarja’s voice, and soon realized that singing is what I want to do in my life.How did Lanewin form?
Well, several days later after I first tried to sing, I tried to sing in front of an audience of my friends. They liked it so much that they convinced me to proceed singing. 2 weeks later I found musicians and we formed a band. Through years this band had lots of changes and finally it turned to be what Lanewin is now.Before you were called Lanewin, the band was called Infinity. What was the reason for the change?
Infinity was too overused, we decided to have more unique name and changed it right before releasing the first album.What does the name “Lanewin” mean?
Well, first if you look closer, it consists of 2 words – Lane and Win, which logically leads to meaning of ‘road of victory’ or something like that. But second meaning is really hidden. It’s the name of ancient Diavian festival, tradition of the worship of the Sun. People were celebrating the fact that the Sun is shining in our world – let’s say it with simpler words.Describe your sound for those of us who haven’t heard you. And how has it changed over the years – most specifically, between your debut album “Autuua” in 2010 and your new one “Eclectic Tour”?
For those who don’t know us yet (I hope that it will be changed soon) – it’s symphonic metal with female vocals. If you know what Nightwish is, you’ll have approximate understanding of the sound. But with very funny melodies, happy and positive lyrics. About the change through the years. Well, we obviously started using more complex arrangements with really awesome orchestral sounds. Also we have more electronic sound influences. The whole concept of music became more positive, melodies became more catchy. But for me it’s not the change in music that is so vivid, but the change within the band. Every member of our band grew up, progressed through these years, and the progress of each individual made the progress of Lanewin itself.Tell us all about your new album, “Eclectic Tour”.
First of all, it’s really the teamwork of our band. Every member of Lanewin contributed their soul and heart in the album. Maybe that’s why we called our album “Eclectic” – everybody put part of his spirit in it, so all songs are very different, unique – we have fun and bounce songs like “Never Give Up” and “Are U ready?” (thanks to our guitarist Dima, who is always serious and responsible person, but when it comes to creating music – his songs are the happiest), we have really epic and grand songs like “Eclectic Tour” (that’s our keyboardist Kaiser’s thing – to make such epic songs that I imagine ancient warriors when I listen to them). Also we have really lyrical songs like “Hello” (our drummer Alex express his deep and sad emotions while composing them, obviously). All these different songs are united by incredible orchestral and electronic arrangements that are made by Kaiser with the help of our wonderful bass guitarist Denis. And, of course, on the top of this “cake” are catchy, happy melodies and positive inspirational lyrics (that is my job, la-la-la). We’ve worked together very hard and really hope that you like what we created.
What are your thoughts about singing in English vs. singing in Russian?
In Russian it’s harder to sing. When I compose the vocal melody of the song, the lyrics comes to my mind immediately, and it always comes in English. When it will come in Russian, I will write a song in Russian (I put two “will” in this sentence intentionally).Going by Youtube footage of your shows (I’ll hopefully see you live one day… one day… 😛 ), your shows look very energetic and you move very gracefully on stage. Have you done any dancing training, or does it all come naturally?
Thank you! You’re very kind! I didn’t have any dancing training, but I love to dance and did it in childhood a lot.How was your tour with Delain?
It was incredible. Delain is one of my favourite metal bands and to perform with musicians that you admire is an honour. I was very nervous. Will audience like us or not? Maybe people won’t like us – I was thinking like that. But hopefully audience was great and very supportive and welcomed us really nice.Have you ever played outside of Russia / CIS?
Lanewin didn’t, but I did. =))) It was super!Oh? Tell me more.
Well, it was really small concerts where I just sang, but audience’s reaction was amazing. I did it by the way while travelling. I love to travel, a lot!!!Do you have any plans to make a music video in the future?
I usually don’t tell anyone about my plans =))) It’s a secret =)What part about playing in band do you like the most, and what part (if any) don’t you like so much?
This question made me think =) I like the most – recording in the studio, playing live gigs and giving autographs and talking to people who like our music. Also I like creating art-work for our albums, and making design for a website. I don’t like – managing social networks, and all managing stuff I have to do. I really would be happy if someone helped me with that.Moscow vs. St. Petersburg…
St Petersburg is an amazing place to visit, for tourists especially. It has amazing architecture and atmosphere and is one of the most beautiful cities in the world (I travelled a lot so I can compare). Moscow is a city where you have much more job and career opportunities (well, big city).What do you do when you’re not singing? Do you have any special hobbies or interests?
Singing is a very small part of singer’s life nowadays. You need to make contacts, you need to manage your project, band, create music, design your clothes, you need to do a lot of stuff. So I usually make some design for my band’s pages, update website, social networks, manage sales, contact with concert managers and so on.OK, that will be all for today, thanks for chatting with us! We’ll talk again soon!
Thank you very much for your questions, and I hope to see you soon! For you who read this – thanks for reading (a lot of thanks!!! =))) – and now check our music!!! Really!!! =))) With love and best wishes, Anna =)
Anna’s single photo by Katerina Tsygankova