Everbody should know of SIRENIA by now. Answers from Emma. Anders Ekdahl ©2021
How involved are you in the song writing? How do you keep coming up with new ideas?
-Morten is coming with the songs already written, composed and arranged, and we arrive a bit later in the process, adding our ideas in terms of interpretation. I write French Lyrics for some songs originally written in English by Morten. All along the creative process, Morten send us the files of the songs, we talk about them, sharing our ideas and feelings;
Coming up with new ideas, album after album, especially for a band that is existing for such a long time can be challenging; That’s why it’s important for a band to take the risk to go out of its comfort zone, exploring new artistic directions, sounds and atmospheres, to offer on every single album a fresh and new facet of the band, but staying faithful with its identity.
Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and how do they affect you in your music making?
-I’m a great fan of Freddie Mercury, he’s probably the one who had the greatest influence on my musical choices; His incredible range, powerful and emotional voice, his charisma, his versatility and the way he used classical influencies in his music has been very inspiring to me. Bohemian Rhapsody has been a musical revelation for me the first time I heard it. Melodic pop, opera and hard rock in the same song that was incredibly rich and breathtaking! I love mixing genres in music, and it’s certainly coming from this.
If you were to choose what kind of stage environment would best suit your music?
-In Austria, The Opera Festival of Bregens is known for ist huge stage floatting on the Constanz Lake. The audience, that came by boat can admire the breathtaking show from the shore. I imagine the same kind of concept in Norway, with a huge floatting stage on the black deep Fjords, aurora borealis in the sky and majestic drakkars in the back! Perfect for Sirenia! Haha!
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
.I’m part of these boring people who are never satisfied with what they do!
But I have to say that this time, it’s different. This album is very special to me. Of course there’s a lot of things we did differently this time due to the covid situation, (the technical impossibility to record the Sirenian choir for example was very frustrating for us) but regarding the circumstances, and all the challenging situations we had to face all along the album making, I have to say that I feel more than happy with it. Sometimes, difficulties push you to dig deeper in yourself, and to find new interesting paths, and the results sounds in the end like a real „birth“ or „rebirth“ somewhere.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Things have evolved a lot since Sirenia beginning in 2001. Today, we have more and more options for promotion with web and a great choice among different platforms, but on the other hand, there is more and more bands as well, and reminding visible in the mass is challenging. The difficulty for a band is to continue to generate interest over time.
Touring is one of the best way to reach a larger audience and make new fans, being very active on social medias is extremely important today as well.
To me artwork can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A good Artwork is fundamental for sure. It’s the first impression people have about your work, It has to generate interest at first sight and people have to be immediately captivated by it, to feel the need to listen to the album. It’s important the art cover reflects the atmosphere of the songs and the identity of the band as well, using specific codes. I love when an artwork is full of symbols, and „feed“ the reader with details to think about, to analyse, to interpretate, like an Artwork in a museum does. An album cover has to give some clues about the album content.
Has this whole Covid-19 crisis changed the way the scene acts? Has it become more camaraderie?
-We are going through a very destabilizing period, everybody’s on the same boat, everywhere in the world, facing the same shitty situation of being deprived of touring, the same questionnings about the future, same difficulties, and it looks to bring musicians closer and more sticked together. Inside our own band, that welded us together even more. Not a day goes by without talking to each other. I think it’s when you experience the lack (of people you like, of the life you had before) that you realize how precious it is.
It could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is your experience with the live scene?
-I‘m not sure… I believe that a lot of people still know how much nothing can replace a live performance and I think „real“music lovers are conscient about that. The best example I could give is the actual situation with the covid. People is suffering a lot of being deprived of liveshows, we received a lot of messages about that, nobody can be 100% satisfied with only livestreams and youtube videos. The sound is often bad, and the live vibes can’t be felt. Live performance is an incomparible experience, as much for the crowd than for the bands. We all miss it so much. I think we couldn’t feel this missing so strong if people were that disinterested from live performances.
What does the future hold?
-Better times I hope
Nobody knows yet when touring will be possible again, but we work hard to be pretty ready for this long awaited day! We still have a lot of projects, fingers crossed everything will happen soon.