Interview by Miriam “NocturnalConcerto”
Not only known for her mesmerizing and fairy-like vocals in the mediaval act Blackmore’s Night, now Candice Night has decided to go solo for her debut album “Reflections” and in this specific occasion we have decided to lodge her thoughts about this project.Hi Candice, first of all thanks for accept our interview and after how are you? Hope your little Autumn is ok! So, we are here to talk about your first solo album “Reflections”, how was its genesis, when have you started to nail down the first lyric?
I guess I first started writing the lyrics for this album the same time I wrote the music. In 1995 I was in the studio writing lyrics for Rainbow and also for our Blackmore’s Night songs, which at that point I didn’t realize were going to go out for the world to hear. Ritchie and I just thought we were writing those songs as an escape from the rock world and the corporate stranglehold it was going through at the time. So, I was coming out with a lot of ideas and at one point I told Ritchie I needed more music to set the words to. He was so caught up in what he was dong at the time he told me to go write my own. So, I got a used piano that had been in a family for generations that was out of tune, but needed a home and I sat down and all at once “Black Roses” came out. The words and the music all came out at once. “Alone With Fate” came after that and then “In Time”. For some reason my writing process seems to be different than when I write with Ritchie for Blackmore’s Night. Music and words seem to flow together when I am writing by myself. I write the skeleton of the song, just piano and voice.
“Reflections”: does this title for you has a special meaning or there’s any specific reason for the title?
After all these years of writing songs many of my own songs wound up collecting dust on a shelf for years unless Ritchie decided to use them on a Blackmore’s Night CD like “Now and Then” or “Ivory Tower”. So after compiling these songs for so long it felt like the reflections of the moments in which I wrote them, looking back over the years. Perhaps reflections of myself at those times.
Honestly I listen to different types of music so I guess I get inspired by other artists unconsciously. “Dangerous Smile” originally was a haunting ballad but then I changed the sound to be more reminiscent of a Kelly Clarkson song when I heard that sound. “Gone Gone Gone” I wrote and then modelled the sound after Joan Osborne’s “Spiderweb”. “Black Roses”, “Alone With Fate”, “In Time” and “Now and Then” all just came from that piano. I once saw a figure standing behind me when I was writing a song on the piano at about 2 am. It must have been a ghost because no one was really there but I always seem to get Eastern European sounding songs flowing from me when I write on that piano. They all sound like haunted songs when I place my fingers on the keys.
If you should point out a musical difference between Blackmore’s Night and your solo album, what should be? I wrote the music as well as the words on this CD and did the arrangements. Obviously on the Blackmore’s Night songs Ritchie usually does 100% the music and arrangements and I am 100% the words and the woodwinds. But to people who are unfamiliar with either project, I guess some of these songs have a country feel, some have a contemporary feel, some an Eastern Europen flavor, some are ballads. It’s a variety while still having the continuity of melody throughout. Can you speak a little about the lyrics about “Reflections”, what’s the main theme and what’s your favourite of them?
I tend to be a bit of a romantic so love is very important to me. Not even strictly the love I’ve experienced but the fantasy of it, the loss of it, the hope of it. Of course nature is always a recurring theme as well. My favorite song changes with my mood of the day. Lately I like to listen to “Robin Red Breast”, “Hush the Wind” (those 2 are my favorites to drive to on a hot summer day with the windows down) and “Black Roses”– which I always find very haunting. I’ll be shooting the video for that one soon.
If you should define your album in 3 words, what would be and why? Haunted, romantic, escape but I have to admit that I always find that music is the ultimate form of expression and to confine music to 3 words or to 1 genre is so suffocating. As a creative human being. I find that depending on what time of day it is my emotions are different, my favorite color is different, my inspirations are different so music expresses all the different emotions, genres, colors and flavors of my life. I never understand putting music in a nice neat box of a title or genre. It’s all about not having limitations or boundaries! Who will help to perform the music on stage? And have you already an idea of what will be your solo show on tour – I think about location, stage outfit? Will you play some reportoire from Blackmore’s Music too?
Actually I don’t think I’ll be touring on it. I’m just so happy to see it out there in the world, that means so much for me. And with the recording of the next Blackmore’s Night CD and the tours we do there isn’t much time left.
Your solo album will be published by Minstrel Hall Music on 30 Sept 2011/3 Oct 2011, I should suppose that’s your label, why this decision? Will the next Blackmore’s Night album will be published on this label?
I think if you like melodic music and want an escape into a fantasy world that will allow you to get away from the stress and pressures of today’s high stress society and cyber world, you will like our music. It’s for people who are independent thinkers, not those who follow trends and fashions pushed on them by radio or MTV or what ever is “in” now for 5 minutes. It’s for people who know better and follow their hearts and brave their own path through the woods, those who prefer candles and bonfires to ambient lighting. Prefer the sounds of ocean waves or crickets or owls to techno electronica fake drums. Those who read romantic novels about another time and place. If you see yourself within those pages our music may be for you. We totally aware that you are a lovely multi instrumentist, which ones of those you have used on your solo album and if should pick up a favourite instrument which should be?
I did some work with my recorders but many of my instruments are double reed woodwinds that have a much ore renaissance or medieval sound than the music needed this time around. My favorite instrument is still voice. But the soft sounds of recorders or the gemshorn is a close second.
Your are a superwoman, Candy! How you can able to be a mom and in the mean time an artist? How you organize your time?
Aren’t all women superwomen? Multitasking and taking care of everything all at once? I think it’s all about prioritizing. Realizing that you are human and you may not get everything done and there is always tomorrow to finish up things. Not guilting yourself if you don’t get time to finish or if you get tired. And having people around you that will help if you need it and not being afraid to ask for help too. Moving to an another topic, let’s talk about Blackmore’s Night. First of all, what was the sparkle that make you love the Renaissance music and costumes? Ritchie introduced me to Renaissance music and I thought it sounded like the soundtrack to nature. Walking through the woods listening to that music totally transports you back to another time. I loved the visual imagery of the fantasy of it and tried to emulate it in what I wear. Got my corset at a gothic shop and had a dressmaker make it up in a bunch of different color velvets for me. Got my skirts at a Renaissance faire. So the costumes came together finally after years of collecting things from different places and making them my own. I admit that I totally love your stage costumes, who’s the creator of it? Or you do all by your self? The ideas are my own, I then find people to create them for me in fabric I send to them and I collect pieces as I go along and put it all together. Putting your look together is such an individual thing, it reflects you and your personality. How’s going the Autumn Sky Summer Tour? Any funny stories to share about this tour?
It’s going really well. We have sold out almost every night and each night is a different set list and we have a great time with the audiences and in the castles we play in. Funny things happen each night, but one of my favorite memories is when I brought Autumn out on stage in front of 2,000 people and she waved to the audience, strummed her daddy’s guitar, conducted the band and then didn’t want to leave the stage! Would not let go of my neck when I tried to bring her back off stage. She’s so comfortable under the lights, around music and in front of people. You would think a 1 year old would be scared in that situation! Not our girl.
What are the next Blackmore’s Night planes? We’ve already recorded 1/2 of the next CD and will be recording a DVD at one of the venues this year for release next year. Now, we’re at the last question dear Candy, it’s dedicated to a brand new fan that wants to discover Blackmore’s Night, what album do you advice to start from?
My favorites are always the last ones we have done as they are a current representation of where we are now, so I would recommend “Autumn Sky”. But they are all strong CDs and like looking at a snap shot in time as to where the band was at each point. They all have their own merits. For holiday music, “Winter Carols” still wins my heart. Well, Candice, greet as you want our readers/fans and so really thanks for your avalaibility! I hope to speak with you soon for the next Blackmore’s Night album!