Interview by Andy Axworthy

After releasing four successful albums in almost five years, the band Van Canto does not really need an introduction. Their ‘A Capella’ metal has drawn the attention of thousands of fans worldwide over these years. This interview is with Inga Scharf, one of the singers of the band, who talks about the brand-new album “Break the Silence”, her music inspirations and the future plans of the band.
Hi Inga! Thank you for your time. How are you?

Great, thank you!

What is the concept behind this album? Why did you choose “Break the Silence” as the album’s title?

“Break the Silence” is a sentence that fits perfectly to the band and to every member. Getting so much attention just with our voices and a drummer is unbelievable. And for this specific album it fits very well, too. When you’re working on a new album, although you play many gigs in the meantime, it feels like being very silent. So you’re looking forward to the release and the end of the silence, when the new songs break the silence.

What are the main differences between “Break the Silence” and the previous albums in terms of songwriting and singing?

I don’t think that there is a big difference between “Break the Silence” and “Tribe of Force”. Of course every new album reflects the evolution and development of a band, so “Break the Silence” does. But during the last CD productions including songwriting and live performances, we learnt how to compose songs for Van Canto, which can be performed live on stage and work.

There are three cover songs in the new album. “Bed of Nails” by Alice Cooper, “Primo Victoria”by Sabaton and “Master of the Wind” by Manowar. Could you tell us why you chose to cover these songs? Do they have a special meaning for the band?

After covering some of the greatest metal classics, it is very difficult to stop it. So we decided to cover songs on “Break the Silence” which are really great, but maybe not the evergreens in metal. However, they feel a little bit like our own songs because of the songwriting process etc.

It seems that this album is heavier if compared to the previous records. Do you think Van Canto is going towards a heavier sound in the future?

That’s a difficult question to answer because everybody sees something different in ‘heaviness’. Some people say we are heavier, others say we are softer because we don’t have that many double bass parts anymore. To us “Break the Silence” just feels very natural.

Your genre is called ‘Metal A Capella’. You are a group of talented singers. To what singers do you inspire the most?

There are a lot of singers that inspire me. Tarja Turunen, Toni Kakko, Mathias Blad for example, or many musical singers. But it’s very difficult to apply that to your own voice. I think it’s very important to sing with passion and not to trying to sound like anyone else. And of course every Van Canto member has different inspirations.

You are featured in the song “Anteroom of Death” by Tarja Turunen. How did this collaboration start? Did you enjoy working with her?

Of course I enjoyed working with her. She is one of the most successful female singers in metal and I adore her work so much! The collaboration came when she met us on Metal Female Voices Festival and asked us to join.

If you had the chance, with whom would you love to collaborate with?

As I said before, Tarja and Tony Kakko are one of my favourite singers, so I am happy that we already worked together. But a duet with Eric Adams or Joey Tempest would be awesome.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of having a band that is mainly composed of singers?

Being Van Canto, haha.

And the disadvantages?

A disadvantage is, that when someone gets a cold or the flu, it goes from one to another and you can’t stop it. 😉

How would you convince people who are not really into this metal genre to listen to Van Canto?

If people have to be convinced of a band, the best way to do it would be to invite them to a live show. With Van Canto this works in 99% per cent of the time 😉

What are the goals that you would like to achieve in the future?

It has always been good for Van Canto not to have specific goals, a masterplan or something like that. We’re just happy with what the band achieved and are looking forward to some new experiences.

You recently played with Amberian Dawn, Xandria, Serenity and Tristania at the Out of the Dark festival. Did you like playing with them? What can you tell us about this experience?

The tour was really amazing. Amberian Dawn, Xandria, Serenity and Tristania are great bands and lovely people. Sometimes it’s not easy touring with others bands you don’t know till then. But the tour was trouble-free. We enjoyed it so much and had a really great time. And of course it was great to tour with other female singers. At the end all of us were a little sad because the tour was over. I’d love to do it again.

One last question to go. What are your current plans? Are you planning to go on a European tour as headliners?

There will be a short headliner tour in Germany at the end of December and the beginning of January. Nothing more is planned right now but of course there will be more gigs.


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