Two years after of the successful Dim Days Of Dolor album with Emmanuelle Zoldanand and the bands first U.S. headline tour, founder and mastermind Morten Veland talks about the ninth SIRENIA album:Arcane Astral Aeons.
IMM: HI Morten, thanks for answering some questions for the new album. It sounds a little heavier than the previous yet still has Sirenia sound. Are these songs all new written last year or any holdover’s from previous albums?
Morten: Most of the material was written during the last two years, but there are a very few ideas that are older. The oldest idea actual dates something like 20 years back. It was an old riff that I really liked, but up until now I never had the right song for it to fit in.When I had been working on the song ‘The Voyage’ I discovered that it would fit perfectly for the mid section of the song.
IMM: You wrote all the songs yourself and did have input from the band for lyrics, topics and arraignments?
Morten: Most of it was written by myself again, but I had some cool inputs from Emma with the French lyrics. Furthermore Nils and Jan Erik contributed with some fantastic solos for the album.
IMM: You intended to go for a heavier sound yet still has the chorus sound for some of the songs?
Morten: Production wise I really feel that we were able to achieve what we set out to achieve with this album. It’s the second time that we work together with mixing engineer and metal producer legend jacob Hansen. I feel that we have a great cooperation, and he really helps us making our vision come to life in a best possible way. The production and the song material is really heavy, but at the same time very melodic,dynamic and atmospheric like a Sirenia album should be.
IMM: What does the title reference?
Morten: I could talk for some time about the title, reflecting on my thoughts behind it, but in my opinion that would only ruin the whole mystery of it. I never fancied the idea of the artist reviewing his own work. I prefer to leave that up to the fans and listeners.
IMM: Who did the art for the album and what the cover references?
Morten: The artwork was done by Gyula Havanczak. It is the third time that we work together, and this is yet another cooperation that we value a lot.It is a pleasure to work with Gyula, and he really understands what we look for in an artwork. I am really satisfied with what we have achieved together so far.
IMM: Discuss some of the songs starting with first single and video “Love Like Cyanide”?
Morten: ‘”Love like Cyanide” is a song that stands out on the album, in my opinion. I think it is the first time that we use elements from power metal for example. I think that Yannis did a great job on the vocals and added something fresh and new to the Sirenia sound. I find the song very catchy and melodic, as well as dynamic and full of contrasts. I also like the black metal like mid section that completely changes the atmosphere of the song for awhile, before returning to the original sounds.There are also some great harmonies on Emma’s vocals. This is however something that I put a lot of focus on for all our songs.
IMM: Also “Nos Heures Sombres “, “Asphyxia “, “Glowing Embers”?
Morten: ‘Nos Heures Sombres’ is a song we did in French, Emma wrote the lyrics for that one. It’s also a very different kind of song that stands out on the album. I love the groove and atmosphere of this song, the structure is kind of basic, but the emotions carry the song very well on its own. Every tiny detail is absolutely intentional.
“Asphyxia” is a song that is kind of original in my opinion; it has a modern and fresh sound to it, some cool and groovy riffs and some great atmospheres. It is very melodic and catchy too, and one of the new songs that we have already added to our set list on our shows.The fans seem to really enjoy it when we play it live.
“Glowing Embers” is the last song of the album. It gives the album an epic ending. I also find the acoustic intro of this song very nostalgic. The choirs play a very important role in this song and they set a very dramatic touch to the song.
IMM: I noticed there is no bass player even when performing live was that intention though there is bass sound?
Morten: I switched to bass earlier this year when Nils joined the band. Nils is an amazing guitar player and I really enjoy playing the bass live. I have been playing bass on albums for 22 years, so I am very used to the instrument, but it was something new for me to play bass onstage. It felt a bit weird for the first couple of shows, but now it feels as natural as anything else.
IMM: Are there plans for another North America tour for 2019 as headliner, direct support or both?
Morten: We are looking into some options at the moment. Nothing is certain right at the moment, but we hope to be back soon. We love touring overseas.
IMM: Another quality music and always to expect that from you. Thanks for your time.
Morten: Thanks a lot! Much appreciated.