Interview by Claudio Grippi
After a two-year break from their album “Altitude”, the first lead by the new singer, Autumn are back with their 5th album called “Cold Comfort”. Marjan Welman, the current singer of the band, took the time for an interview here at Femme Metal where she talks about the album, its concept and the future plans of the band.Hi Marjan, how are you?
I”m fine, thank you!
Let’s start immediately with our interview. “Cold Comfort” is your second album that features your voice fronting the band. Are you satisfied with the outcome?
I”m very happy about the outcome. I”ve always felt like a part of the band but I’ve never felt so at ease with all of the guys, like right now.
For me, it feels like the songs are more diverse and personal. The lyrics are a bit more ‘in your face’ and I tried to put more dynamics into the vocal lines. Can you explain our readers the reason why the band chose “Cold Comfort” as the title of the album?
I think the title really suits the overall feel of the album. It’s a personal, moody album which can get quite dark at times. All of us went through a turbulent time. The album is about rising above this, or not
Well, let me tell you, this record is incredibly beautiful and more progressive-oriented. It seems more accurate, emotional and detail-oriented than “Altitude”. A step forward indeed. Do you think it is intentional or does it reflect the natural evolution of the band’s sound?I think it’s a little bit of both. We always want to do something extra and try new things but for this album we really tried to be more diverse and experiment with different moods. I”m just glad it came across.
Can you tell us how the band went through the writing process for this album?For the most part, we write the songs individually, then we send them to the rest of the band. Whoever has an additional idea, he adds it and then sends it to the rest of the band and so on. This goes for the music as well as the lyrics. We do sometimes get together to work on stuff as well. I read the band is extremely grateful to you as a band member because you brought a breath of fresh air. What was your personal contribution to the songwriting process? By nature, I”m not much of a composer. I’m always full of ideas, but when it comes to processing them I get stuck easily. I’m too much of a chaotic, haha! For this album I did get inspired a bit and I worked on “Black Stars in a Blue Sky” and “Truth Be Told” with Mats. He has the ability to understand what I”m rambling on about and put it into actual lyrics. I think this album is a masterpiece and your voice is extremely soulful, elegant, refined with an amazing magnitude. What are the main singing influences that have inspired you the most in these years? Thank you very much! Well since my taste in music is very mood driven, I listen to a lot of different music and therefore have a lot of influences. As long as there’s something ‘real’ (to me) in there, I dig it. I love emotional music. Right now I listen to a lot of Fink. I also listen to a lot of blues, stoner and Motown! Choices, choices!
In your opinion, are there any differences between the way you sing in “Altitude” and “Cold Comfort”?
Oh yes, I can hear I”m more relaxed and confident to step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to explore more sides of my voice. I think it worked but I always want more“Alloy” is one of the best songs I have ever heard together with “End of Sorrow” and “Black Stars in a Blue Sky”. They are so deep and intimate. Can you tell us something about the concept, the lyrics and the ideas behind these songs? The songs and lyrics do have a specific meaning to us but the power lies within the fact that listeners can have their own interpretation of it. For example take “End of Sorrow”. On the first spin it may look like a romantic song. But you can also ask yourself if the storyteller might be a little obsessive about a happy ending. Maybe he or she can’t let go/accept the fact that something is over. What are the band’s future plans after the release concerts in the Netherlands? Well, we really enjoyed the shows we did so far. It feels good to be on stage together again. We had so much fun! Furthermore, we’re working on a few shows in Germany and are hoping for a tour or maybe some festivals over the summer. Last year you toured with The Gathering and it appears that you are great friends. Are both bands planning to tour and play together once again? Oh yes, it was so much fun. They’re a bunch of sweeties! About touring with them, I would love to but there are no plans that I know of right now. Epica is currently looking for a band to tour with in Europe when the new album is to be released in March 2012. Would you like to go on tour with them? Of course we would love to! If we were their support, people would be in for an evening of various musical styles. Just the way we like it!
Speaking again of The Gathering, who are currently in the middle of their songwriting process, can we expect your voice to be featured in one of their songs just like it happened with Marcela Bovio?
Haha, you would have to ask them! We are almost coming to the end of this interview. Can you express your point of view of all the tracks in the album by shortly review them?
I think it”s a bit difficult to write about the songs individually, since “Cold Comfort” was written as one complete concept. I’d rather read honest listener reviews than to reveal the secrets up front.The songs we could not listen to were the bonus tracks. What can you tell us about them? The songs are called “Changes for the Bitter” and “The Mute (Inhale)” and they fit the rest of the album seamlessly. “Changes for the Bitter” is a sturdy rock song around an odd-time signature. “The Mute (Inhale)” is part 1 of a mini concept with “Truth Be Told (Exhale)”. I would recommend listening to them together for the full experience of the concept. We thought about these songs for a long time but feel they stand better on their own. Marjan, thank you so much for your precious time! Is there anything left you would like to say to our readers? You”re very welcome and oh yeah! Buy the album, love it and come to our shows, haha!
LinksMarjan Welman : MySpace * Twitter