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Morten Velan, 2016

From Scandinavian cold and lonely lands, today we focus on Sirenia. The Norwegian band, which made to finish recording the new album despite of unfortunate events (the leave of their singer during the recordings).

While we’re waiting for the review of Dim Days of Dolor, which is gonna be published in the next days, we can enjoy the interview with Morten Veland: founder, guitarist, writer, EVERYTHING of the band.

Let’s start with Dim Days of Dolor. Could you tell us something about this work? I am talking about the creative process, the sounds and the idea behind this work.

I think it is a very strong and diverse album. Most of it was recorded in my own studios, like we have done on the last 5 albums. We also recorded some parts in Sound Suite Studios in France, like always.

I still write about a lot of the same things as before; however, I try to renew myself from album to album in the way that I write the lyrics. After writing more than 100 songs over the years it gets harder and harder to find new things to write about. I have been writing a few songs about Norse mythology lately and that's something that I did not write about in the past. We have done some remarkable changes with this new album.

The most obvious difference if of course the change of singer, Emmanuelle has added a new sound and touch to Sirenia's music. The diversity is bigger than before, and I also think that the performance level has been raised a lot. We have also changed mixing and mastering engineer for this album. We have worked with Danish producer Jacob Hansen for the first time. I think that he has really perfected our sound and taken the band to new heights as well.

Furthermore, I also think that the song material is really strong and diverse, and there are some cool new elements on the album that have not been done in the past. I feel quite sure that the Sirenia fans will really appreciate this album.

Would you like to briefly introduce us the songs and their meanings, and maybe tell us which one is your favourite?

There are eleven songs on the album. These are the titles of the songs:

  1. Goddess Of The Sea
  2. Dim Days Of Dolor
  3. The 12th Hour
  4. Treasure n' Treason
  5. Cloud Nine
  6. Veil Of Winter
  7. Ashes To Ashes
  8. Elusive Sun
  9. Playing With Fire
  10. Fifth Column
  11. Aeon's Embrace

In addition, there is also a bonus track, we did a French version of the song 'Aeon's Embrace'. I really love how that bonus track turned out, I actually ended up liking it better than the original.

I never felt comfortable explaining my lyrics though, to me that always felt like tearing down something I spent years building up. I always preferred to leave it up to the listeners to interpret my songs. I mean the whole magic and mystery of the words would be gone in the blink of an eye if the artist would give it all away, in fact I never understood artists that did so. I really love all the songs on the album, and I think that each of them has earned its place. But songs like Treasure n' Treason, Goddess of the Sea and Dim Days of Dolor are amongst the favourites.

How did you manage the absence of a singer while you were recording? Was the leave of Ailyn influencing the working process and release?

We parted ways with Ailyn during the recording sessions of the album. At this time all the compositions were finished, so it did not really influence the process. I mean the whole situation got quite chaotic for a while, and we certainly feared that it would have a negative impact on the process. Luckily for us Emmanuelle wanted to join Sirenia, if not we would need to start with auditions etc., and that would have taken a lot of time and for sure it would have resulted in a vast delay on the album release. The previous two albums though got delayed several times due to Ailyn's health problems.

Can you tell us something more about Emmanuelle Zoldan and her choice as Sirenia singer?

We have been working with Emmanuelle since 2003, so we go back a long time and we have worked a lot together on every Sirenia album since 2003.

I have always been a fan of her voice and loved all her performances with different bands she's collaborated with over the years. She is a very diverse singer that can handle a lot of different styles, be it classical, opera, modern style, rock, jazz - whatever really. She is very good at interpreting the songs and putting a lot of emotions into her performances. She is also very serious about her work she has many years of experience as a professional singer. Furthermore, Emmanuelle has a very nice personality, and she really got along well with the whole band from the very beginning.

Do you plan to perform in Italy soon? How is your relationship with Italian fans?

We just did a European tour, unfortunately there were no dates in Italy this time, but I think that there are good possibilities for that on the next tour. Our plan is to make a new tour in fall 2017 over Europe.

The relationship with the Italian fans are great, I have good memories of the times we played in Milano, hope to be back next year.

What about you other musical projects (e.g. Mortemia ), how are they going?

I have had Mortemia on pause for some time. However, I have some new songs in the works so there might be possibilities to hear new Mortemia stuff next year. Sirenia has always been my first priority, but whenever I have some available time I like to work on different musical projects too.

I Sirenia sono sempre stati la mia priorità, ma quando ho del tempo libero mi piace lavorare anche ad altri progetti musicali. 

Would you like to add something that has not been touched by my questions for IronFolks readers?

I would like to wish all our Italian fans merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope to see you on tour next year. Love you all!

Mariapia Campanella
Antropologa pugliese di nascita, svedese di adozione, mi diletto a gorgheggiare nel microfono quando non devo salvare renne che cercano di buttarsi sotto il mio treno. Prediligo il gothic e il symphonic, ma ho un debole per le band capellone anni '80 e per le cornamuse a festa fino all'alba.