The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
INTERVIEW SIRENIA MOORTEN VELAND NOVEMBER 2013

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2013 - SIRENIA - MOORTEN VELAND

 

SIRENIA'S MOORTEN VELAND TALKS TO THE ROCKPIT

ABOUT THE STUNNING NEW ALBUM AND NEXT WEEK'S AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2014

 

SIRENIA comes down to play Australia for two dates in December. Those lucky enough to be in Melbourne or Sydney should go and check them out. If you love your Symphonic Metal with just the right amount of darkness SIRENIA is a band for you. We discuss that tour as well as the new album PERILS OF THE DEEP BLUE...

 


Mark: Hi, Moorten, its Mark from The Rockpit, in Australia, how are you?

 


Moorten: I am fine thank you.

 


Mark: You are coming to Australia for just two dates, why such a short trip this time?

 


Moorten: It is a short trip; we are doing two shows in Sydney and Melbourne, we wish it was longer, but it is our first time in Australia, so we thought doing the two big cities in Australia was the natural thing to do. Hopefully next time we come back, we hope to play a few more cities.

 


Mark: That sounds good, the venues that you are playing, The Factory Theatre in Sydney, and The Corner Hotel in Melbourne are great venues, so I’m sure you’ll have a great time. You’ve just recently finished a large tour, which has taken in Norway and Russia; will The Australian shows be your final ones for the year?

 


Moorten: Yes they will be the last shows of this year, I can’t think of a better way to end this year, we have wanted to come there for many years, but it was always difficult, with the long journey and the high costs of getting there for a Norwegian band, but we can now actually travel on the planet this end!! It takes about 33 hours to get there.

 

Mark: It will be interesting for you coming over to our warm summer weather. Can you tell us about the Sirenia live show, listening to the album it’s a wonderfully rich, orchestral sound, how do you manage to translate that in to a live show?

 


Moorten: In the live shows we try to afford the songs as close to the sound as we can, we have only four members in the band; so, we have a recorder which plays the orchestral parts and the choirs, so the sound is with us on the road also. We try to make the live experience, in the cities; you have to listen to us play when you get there and hear the songs. Travelling, for me, without those sounds it wouldn’t sound like Sirenia, it would be something completely different, and for me it is such an important part of our music. It would be great to travel with a big orchestra and a choir, but it is definitely not possible! We have been doing this since we started the band in 2001, and it’s been functioning well, so I am happy with the way we sound live.

 


 

 

Mark: The new album, “Perils of the Deep” has such a rich and varied sound to it, how has the band’s sound progressed over the years, with 6 albums and various EP’s and singles under your belt?

 


Moorten: Yeah, we started out as a classic typical gothic metal band and I think our first two albums were typical of that kind of style. By the third album, we found that we needed a bit of change, we had explored what had changed in that genre, so we took everything in a different direction, a more melodic direction, we made the songs shorter, so they stuck more in your mind. With the new album now, I think we’re heading more towards the past again; we are going back to how we originally were with Sirenia. There is a little twist on it, and a modern sound to it.

 


Mark: It’s an interesting sound, and some of the songs that stood out for us were the Norwegian language songs, “Stille Kom Doden”, please excuse my pronunciation!! That is probably my favourite song on there, and it’s the longest one on there, it’s a complete epic. Can you tell us a little bit about that song?

 


Moorten: Yeah, I think so too. I have been playing around with the idea of writing a song in Norwegian for a long time, and it has never happened. I find it difficult to write in my own language, it’s like English, for example, there are endless possibilities for every word you have different words for each meaning. There are a lot of poetic, beautiful words you can choose from, and they work very well for singing. But, in Norwegian, it’s totally different; there are a lot of consonants, it’s a lot of dialect, we don’t have a lot of poetic words, so it sounds very direct and brutal. So, it’s very hard to write in a poetic way. I guess I spent more time writing the Norwegian tunes, than all of the other songs. But this time I just decided, ok, I’ve got to do it, I want to do something different with this album, and so I forced myself to do it, and it took a lot of time and energy, but at the end I was absolutely happy with the result. It’s a long song, about 13 minutes; it’s definitely the longest song I have written, but I didn’t sit down with the intention of writing a long song, it just came naturally. I was writing and just constantly coming up with new ideas, and the song just kept getting longer and longer! In the end, I thought let’s just forget about the time and focus on the music.

 


Mark: You must be pleased with the way those Norwegian songs came out, because our other favourite is “Ditt Endelikt”. There’s so much texture and depth to the album, you have the immediacy of “Seven Widows Weep”, which is the single with a video as well, but the use of the choir on songs like “Cold Caress” is absolutely staggering! Were you happy with how the choir sounded on the album?

 


Moorten: Yes, it’s the same choir we have used for all our albums, it’s a choir located in Marseille, France. They are really professional people; they have become more or less a part of Sirenia. It has never entered my mind to change these guys, I am so happy with the work they do; I couldn’t imagine a Sirenia album without this choir.

 

 

 

Mark: “A Blizzard is Storming” is also a favourite, just when you think you’ve heard the best song on the album that one comes along. Do you have any personal favourites?

 


Moorten: Yeah, I have a lot of favourites! We did a lot of different stuff on this album, the three Norwegian songs we did, turned out really great in the end, and for me they’re my personal favourites.  I also like the intro. It turned out really magical in the end, it really captures the listener’s attention, I’ve never done it before with Sirenia, because there is always a danger that it turns out boring, and the listener gets tired. But every time I listen to the album, I never skip the intro! Then the second song starts, “Seven Widows Weep” and it’s a huge contrast, and that was the effect that we wanted.

 


Mark: it’s strange you say that about the intro, as I normally would skip that when I listen to the album again! Bit, you’re right, it’s a wonderful piece of music. Now from our media pages, someone has asked, can music change the world?

 

Moorten: Change the world? I don’t know! But, I definitely think we get a lot of positives from music. It brings people together, and can give you lots of positive energy, and I think it brings out the best in people. Generally when you’re feeling down, you listen to music, and it makes you feel better, and at a party when you hear music, it makes you feel happier. I couldn’t imagine a life without music.

 


Mark: Looking back, can you remember the time when you thought you had to become a musician?

 


Moorten: I was always fascinated by music, since I was a little kid. My father was an Elvis Presley fan, and my mother was an Abba fan. Even before I could talk I was fascinated by the music, listening to it, and trying to sing along! It’s always been there, the fascination with music, and it’s been growing ever since. I was fourteen years old when I bought my first guitar, and decided I wanted to become a musician myself, it was at my religious confirmation, and I was sent a lot of gifts from family and friends, mostly money, and I thought I would buy a guitar, and start taking lessons.

 


Mark: It has definitely paid off! If you could have been a fly on the wall for the creation of any great album, at any point in time, what would it have been for you and why?

 

Moorten: I think I would’ve liked to be a fly on the wall when “Appetite for Destruction” was recorded. I have been a huge Guns ‘n Roses fan for years, Slash was my main influences when I started playing guitar myself. The first thing I learnt to play, was a Guns ‘n Roses song, a lot of the guitar playing at the time was all about speed, playing as fast as you could, to try and impress people, but Slash was all about the melodies. When you hear a good song, afterwards you go around whistling the chorus, and I went around whistling the guitar solos, it was so melodic and catchy. And that is the formula I have been working with; I try to write melodic songs that stick in your mind.

 


Mark: The Australian dates are only about three weeks away, so have a safe trip over, and we look forward to seeing you when you get here, and thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

 


Moorten: Thank you so much, we are really looking forward to coming down there, it’s going to be an excellent experience for us. We are definitely going to do all in our power to make two great shows in Australia.

 


Mark: That’s great, and hopefully we’ll see you on a bigger tour next time. Thank you and take care.

 

 

Moorten Veland spoke to Mark Diggins November 2013

 

 

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