SONJA PERENDA might be new to most of you but give her a chance to prove herself worthy and you might end up with a new favourite. Look her up on Facebook. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What was it that made you want to do it in your own name and not as a part of a band?
-It was just something that happened over the time. I’ve been part of different bands, but the music style they preferred wasn’t really giving me that satisfaction I wanted. So I started out with my solo performances and shows, and stuck to them. But I would still like to musically collaborate with other bands, it is always an adventure with a non-predictable result!

When you mix different styles as you do how do you end up with a cohesive mass of a song and not something that sounds like a glued together mix?
-That’s a good question! I had to think about that a bit. Well, basically I always try to give a composition what it specifically needs to transport the mood and the lyrics. Every song is like a mini role play. Sometimes, a song needs powerful operatic vocals like “Time has come”, sometimes a very laid-back soft vocal like on “Voice of Peace” (this one would definitely FAIL with a full classical interpretation!), sometimes a playful attitude like on “Victim of Miracle”. So I’m not really sure whether it’s actually the music styles I mix up so much but the vocal interpretation that varies a lot.

How do you find a style of your own? Is it through trial and error? When do you know if something works and not?
-A little bit of trial and error is in there indeed. Sometimes you have a great idea and get stuck somewhere in the middle. I know it works for me if I really dig a musical piece and enjoy performing it, have fun with the lyrics and vocal line and get goosebumps singing it. I must admit to have a big weakness for catchy melodies, sometimes simplicity is exactly the right ingredient. If a song becomes emotionally too much work and not so much fun to be finished, it is very likely just not working. Simple as that.

For somebody that is classically trained how hard is it to take that training and put it in a spontaneous context that rock/metal is?
-Ha, I’ve always been a rockin’ metal child at heart, this music is definitively my biggest love! I ended up in classical training simply because the classical way is what my voice responds to most. When I try to sing high notes in jazz style for example, I am very likely to feel some strain. If I just let my vocal chords take the high note the way THEY want, it becomes classical. My vocal chords’ choice, not mine! So I took several years of classical training, and as much as it helped my voice to gain a solid singing technique, the more and more I felt that as a main musical path, classical or opera would not be my thing, too much lack of headbanging attitude in there for my taste.

Where do find inspiration to write your music?
-Just like for most other artists, for me the inspiration really lies everywhere. Daily life experiences, personal crisis, nature themes, you name it. But I also found inspiration to be a flighty muse! If I am too locked up in my own daily business and stress, I can hardly be creative “on demand”. Keeping my soul open in spite of daily hectic is what gives inspiration the chance to fill my heart. Yet this is not as easy as it sounds.

I found you on Facebook. How much attention do you get from social media for your music?
-Surprisingly much actually. I am really a fan of social media because it gives us music lovers a chance to discover artists aside from the mainstream that the major labels promote. In fact, most of my personal favorite artists I have discovered by chance through Facebook, Youtube & Co. Same goes for my own music. There are, as I said, surprisingly many people per week who discover my music by chance and write me how much they dig it. The two songs I have been putting onto Youtube in December 2011 (Judgement Day and Silent Screams) went over 10,000 plays in a few months. THAT REALLY gave me big eyes!

Your album is a digital only release. What made you do it that way? Anything wrong with good old CDs?
-No, of course not! The album should have originally been a “classic” physical release as well. But I found that at that time, the costs coming with a physical release (pressing, mechanical licenses, booklet etc.) were just not what I could afford then. But the album was ready and I didn’t want to wait again…and wait….and wait…until I have saved enough money. So it went digital only; but I am planning a physical release of it sometime later this year as well. When the “Time has come” for that!

How pleased are you with the end result for the album?
-I wouldn’t have released it if I wasn’t pleased with the result! Of course, there are some minor issues of mixing/producing that should be made better next time. I see this as a chance to learn! It was much of an experiment and I realized how much I dig being involved in music production as well. Some years ago, I just HATED being in the studio and I just enjoyed playing live. But now I know I just worked together with the wrong people back then; no good vibes in the studio give a bad mood while recording. This album has the most proud and positive vibes I could give into it!

How do you protect your intellectual property from being mis-used/abused when it is up on Internet?
-Mainly through the classic associations like AKM or Austro Mechana (for Austria). But I’m aware that as soon as you put up whole songs on Youtube for example, it can be downloaded and you may never know what happens with the song then. And surely, the legal downloads/purchases suffer from that fact; but I see this as the shadow side coming together with all the advantages of online music marketing. Where there is light, there must be shadow too! For me, there is way more light in here. Yes, I may not earn as much off album sales as I should/could; and maybe someone somewhere in the world is stealing my intellectual property right now, who knows? Any promotion is good promotion, I try to see it like that! And: Working as a lawyer in Austria, if someone violated my copyrights, I would sue him until he cries!

Where do you intend to take this in the future?
-At least in your dreams, you should aim for nothing less than the sky, that’s my motto. In reality, my current steps are to form a band (which is not so easy because both personalities and musical tastes should fit together) and maybe to find a label to work with. Basically, I currently send my songs to anybody I can get a hold of; so be aware, you could be NEXT!

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