Interview by Miriam Cadoni
Even if the moniker The Waymaker is new, behind this name we can find some well-established artist such as the vocalist Christian Liljegren from the Christian neoclassical power metal band Narnia and Essence of Sorrow guitarist Jani Stefanovic. Finnish singer Katja Stefanovic, whose background features a past experience in the Christian melodic heavy metal band Random Eyes and several solo album published, completes the line up,. Following this, the band has recently released its self-titled debut via Melodic Passion Records/Black Logde Records. Let’s discover more over the band together with one of the singers from the band, Katja. Enjoy!
Hi Katja, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine, how are you and how life is treating you in this precarious situation?
Hi everybody, life is good and you know, it’s normal every day’s life.
First of all, for the readers that are still not familiar with The Waymaker, would you like to tell us how the band got together?
Well, Jani and Christian have a long history together because they have this band called Divine Fire. So, they know each other really well. And it was 2018, when they started to talk about if they should some do something together once again. Consequently, Jani started to write some songs and then The Waymaker started this way.
I’m also aware that you were the last to join the band. How Christian Liljegren and Jani Stefanovic happened to ask you out for being the third member of the band?
Yes, they asked me a bit later to join them when already they some material done. Actually, it was also Christian‘s idea. So, here I’m.
The debut “Kingdom of Heaven” will be released on the 9th October via Black Lodge Records. What can you share about its general production?
First of all, it was released the 25th of September in Europe and it will be published later probably in October, in Japan. So, my husband Jani wrote all the songs expect “The Rain of Your Love”. They worked together on the songs and the melodies.
I’m also aware that you have some previous in the music business and you have already published some material. How this past experience influenced in The Waymaker‘s music? Also, I’ll be curious to learn something more about your career in details because unfortunately, there aren’t many information available…
Currently, I’ve already self-released 6 solo albums and it features a different musical style from The Waymaker. It’s piano-based, really soft but I have been featured in many rock projects over the years. Also, when I was younger I was the lead singer in the melodic heavy metal band Random Eyes. Metal and rock music are music style that aren’t so new to me even if my own music is quite different. And about this, I have new a new metal project coming out soon.
Is this new metal project should be considered something musically close to The Waymaker or it’s something different?
Well, it’s something more different and it’s more pop-oriented but I think the message is quite the same of The Waymaker with a slightly diverse sound.
“Kingdom of Heaven” features the cover of Stryper‘s “Soldiers Under Command”. Why did you choose this song and in which way, this song does it connect with the other ones present on the LP?
Actually, it was Christian‘s idea to cover this Stryper‘s song because it holds a lot of meaning for him. I think he recorded quite an updated version of it and it fits quite well with the rest.
The production was handled by the Grammy award winning producer Thomas “Plec” Johansson. How was working with him and what did you learn from this experience?
Actually, Jani handled the production from the start until the final mixing and in this case, Plec handled only the master. Also, Jani has known him for a long time and to be honest, they are quite good friends. Throughout the year, Jani has worked a lot with Plec and in the past, he has mastered some my albums too. So, we know him and he’s very nice guy to work with.
Out of “Kingdom of Heaven”, there were released two singles “The Waymaker” and “Kingdom of Heaven”. What can you tell me about these songs in particular and why did you choose them as single?
Unfortunately, I didn’t choose them but the decision was taken by Jani and Christian and it was something that it was already chosen before I knew about it. I think they have chosen the songs that sound the best and that they like the most.
Instead, what about you, what are the songs that you prefer the most?
I think is “Kingdom of Heaven”. I really love the song very much.
At the beginning of this chat, you mentioned me that you are busy with your art business. Would you mind telling me how everything started, which are your main influences and how your love for the arts might influence your music?
I think the music and the arts go in hand in hand with each other. You know, both my music and my art express a lot about me. Instead for what I’m involved in my creation is something related to the contemporary abstract style.
In normal time, I would ask you how would you like to promote the album but first of all, I was wondering if The Waymaker is just a studio-based project or not?
Yes, absolutely. We would love to tour, it would be a lot of fun and I hope we get to play soon.
So, Katja, we’re almost at the end and with this please be free to say hi to your fans and our readers. Thank you.
Thank you for the interview and it was really fun. I hope everybody will stay safe with this stupid Coronavirus and I hope it’ll go away soon, so we can get to play gigs together.