Interview by Marc “Peston” Sels
Annika Jalkaven is the leadvocalist of the Finnish female fronted metal band For Selena and Sin. They started in 2004, and they have two cd’s out, “Overdosed on You” from 2007, and the recent “Primrose Path” from 2009.
Hello Annika. Can you explain the band’s name?
Hello you all! Our music is melancholic and that involves things like darkness and moon. In Greek mythology Selene was a godess of the moon and the idea for the band´s name came up from that. Finally band name was shaped as For Selena and Sin.
A Kylie Minogue-cover (“Confide in Me”) on a metal cd???
We wanted to have a cover song and I heard the original version from TV and thought this could be it. I suggested it to other members and we all thought this would be very interesting song to make a cover. We tried few different arrangements and came up to that kind of version.
Can you tell us something about the songs on “Primrose Path”?
Compared them to “Overdosed on You” the songs are more energetic and straightfoward. Also most of the lyrics were writen by Pasi and me. Theme´s in the songs are mostly about life in general; love, hate, disappointments.
And maybe a brief history of the band?
For Selena and Sin was founded in 2004 and I joined the band 2006. There has been few other changes in line-up during these years too. After our first album was released we started to do live gigs and now there´s almost 100 gig behind us. We have been touring two times in Europe and done some other foreingn gigs not to mention about those several gigs here in Finland.
You come from a city called Jyväskylä. Other bands from there are Machine Men, Swallow The Sun, Ghost Brigade… is there an extensive metal-scene?
Yes, we have an extensive metal-scene here in Jyväskylä. I don´t know the actual reason for that. This city is quite small and because of that every metal musician knows each other at least some how. When you know somebody who knows someone it broughts about new bands..
Have you got, besides music, some other passions?
Music is my greatest passion and I don´t have any other passions. I actually study as a nurse at the moment and that it is another important thing in my life right now.
Do you have any affinity with other Finnish female vocalists like for exemple Kaisa (Battlelore), Tarja Turunen, Leeni-Maria Hovila (Kivimetsän Druidi)?
If you mean am I related to any of those, I´m not. And I don´t perceive myself as a classical singer because I mostly sing with normal style.
There are many Finnish bands, too much to mention, but is there enough work for all these bands? And how is the concert-scene in Finland? (Festivals, concerthalls etc.)
Of course it´s not easy to get gigs, you really have to work for it. To those biggest and legendary concerthalls are only for bands who are really really famous in rock and metal scene. In the summer we have a lot of different kind of festivals but unfortunately the biggest festivals are reserved for the same famous bands that I told you before. Smaller bands may have opportunity to have gigs in the smaller festivals.
Do you prefer to play live or record songs in the studio?
We definitely want to play live because you can be in touch with the audience and have straight feedback from them. I do like the recording session, but it´s so different from the live gigs. Maybe live recording in studio would be fun!
Any weird stories from on the road?
When we were recording the “Primrose Path” album in Vasterås our friend was also hanging around with us. Our producer wasn´t there anymore cause it was night. We were recording some stuff in the studio and our friend wanted to go to bathroom and needed a key for that. We had only this one key that was suitable to main door of our rooms. Well, it took a while when we started to wonder why our friend hasn´t come back. We rang him many times but he didn´t answer. So we had to stay almost the whole night in the studio because our friend was passed out inside the house..We had no other choice than record music while we wait him to woke up.
What is for you the book, cd, comic, movie, concert and event of 2009?
I guess our first European tour was really unforgettable and of course the release of our second album.
Do you read critics about the band? And do they have any impact on you?
Yes I read them. First they´ve got really a big impact on me but now I´ve realized to take them more constructive than be pissed off out of them if some critic comes out.
What are the plans for the future?
We´ll do gigs as much as possible and maybe a tour abroad too. Also we start to write new songs and next year we´ll go to studio to record our third album.
Any “famous last words” for the fans?
Peace and love to everyone and greetings from Finland!