Norwegian Gothic metal titans Sirenia are back with a brand new album that sounds closer to the heavy and bleak nature of debut At Sixes and Sevens and sophomore An Elixir For Existence than anything they’ve done in the past couple of years. It definitely seems like a return to form and even Ailyn (Vocals) feels that the record is far heavier than some of the others have been. I talked to her about the troublesome recording process surrounding the album, as well as her vocal influences, hobbies and her thoughts on the term “female fronted” when it comes to classifying bands.
Tell us a little about the new album, The Seventh Life Path. After having listened to the record, this has to be one of the darkest records since An Elixir For Existence.
I think it is an album that shows all the stages of Sirenia’s evolution so far. When you listen to the album you’ll notice that some of the parts lean more to the old style of the band, while some other parts are more similar to what we have produced recently. And of course there are also some new things here that fans have never heard from Sirenia before. I also think that the album is much heavier than the last few have been.
When Morten approached you with the new material, how did you feel about it? What is your opinion of the record as a whole? (I was reminded an awful lot of early Tristania.)
When Morten comes in with new material, I always feel very excited about it. It’s always nice to get new songs and start rehearsing and working with them. Of course it is Morten’s music and he composes and writes everything, but when I get the songs, I like to work with them a little and then when Morten and I are in the studio to record the first demo, I can show him some of my ideas and we’ll work together to try to see what works best for the songs.
What was the recording process like for The Seventh Life Path? Did you find it easier to record than previous records, or more difficult?
Actually the recording process was quite hard this time. It took us longer cause first, I lost my voice last summer and I needed a lot of rest before we could start, so we had to postpone the recordings for a few months. And then when we finally could start, I broke my left foot, so we had to postpone the recordings again… But after a few weeks we managed to continue. I just had to record the album while siting in a chair. (Smiles)
What are some of your biggest vocal influences and what first made you want to be a singer?
Maybe it will sound strange, but my biggest vocal influence was Mariah Carey. I started singing when I was eleven years old, and it was because I heard her song “Hero” and listening to her voice made me want to be a singer. After a couples of years my music taste changed a lot and I found another vocal influences in Loreena Mckennitt, Sarah Brightman, Enya, Moya Brennan and many others.
Nightwish’s Floor Jansen said in a recent interview that she was tired of the term “female fronted” in regards to bands. What are your thoughts on that?
Well, I really don’t know how to answer this question. I never really thought about that too much. For me, it is not important as to what people want to call the genre. Of course I agree with what she said. Seems like if the band has a female singer, it automatically becomes termed as “female fronted” even if the bands and the singers do diferent kind of music or singing. But actually I think the fans are free to call it as they want. I know what kind of band I play in and it has nothing to do with other bands style, but if people want to put all of us in the same category, then they are free to do it.
What sorts of things do you enjoy apart from music? What are some things you might recommend?
Books! I think reading is my second passion, I love to read and learn a lot of new things. It doesn’t matter whats the subject as far as I can learn something new. It’s what I normaly do in my free time. I’m a very creative person and I also like to sew, so many of my stage clothes are made by myself. I also really enjoy creating music, but for the moment these are just ideas that maybe in the future will see the light.
Will Sirenia be touring for the album? Where can we catch you guys live? Will you be playing in the US? There are certainly fans of real gothic metal out here that would love to see you play.
Last weekend we came back from our first show in the UK. For now we are booking summer festivals in Europe and we are also looking into some offers for an European tour by the end of the year. But it would be absolutely fantastic if we could get to tour the US. Sirenia has never played there, so I’ll cross my fingers and pray that hopefully we can finally go on tour there! (Smiles Excitedly)
Thanks for making such a wonderful album as The Seventh Life Path. This is easily the best Sirenia album I’ve heard in a decade! Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year and I’m more than thrilled to be able to promote it! (Eric May)
You’re welcome! We are happy you like it. – Ailyn
Click on the Seventh Life Path cover to stream Sirenia now.