Second album 'Queen of Light' from
this multi-cultural band will be released shortly; we have put together a few
questions for themů
'Queen of Light' is your second
album; maybe you could start off and tell us a bit about the background for
- I founded the band in 2003,
starting off with a demo which I took with me when I moved to Holland. I then
started looking for labels and band members. The first album was released on
Ebony Tears from Holland. After this release there have been some change in band
members, and the band now has the "right" members. We are really like one - all
members working in the same direction.
How have the reception been so
far - have you been overwhelmed and surprised? And how did your first album 'The
Ancient Dance of Qetesh' do on the small Ebony Tears label?
Very good reception so far on the new CD. It's the CD of the Month in a Belgian
magazine. We are really happy with this. All journalists so far have been
overwhelmingly positive, we see that as a great honour. We don't have the sales
figures for the first album, but I think it did pretty well - at least all most
concerts were pretty full.
If you should choose one song,
which represents the essence of Imperia on the album, which one would that be
and why? I would pick "Fata Morgana", because I think captures your style in one
song pretty good, but also displays a lot of variety.
Imperia, in my eyes, represents variety. Therefore I would say that you cannot
get the full impression from one song only. My personal favourites would be
Mirror and Queen of Light.
Being such a multi-cultural
band how does that fit into the mould of being a band? Band practise, writing
songs etc. must be very hardů
Actually it's working quite well. We cannot rehearse as much, meaning that thing
are pretty intense an fun when we meet. We normally rehearse once or twice
before concerts. Everyone rehearse at home, and no one would like to be the one
showing up at a show not knowing his lines. Jan and Audun writes the music,
coordinates with each other via Internet. When they have something ready, they
forward it to me. I then develop the vocal line and writes the lyrics. It works
just fine doing it this way even though we are in different countries.
How important is the lyrically
side of Imperia - and what has inspired you on 'Queen of Light', besides the
birth of your child?
It is very important, and it's all personal. The lyrics are important when
building the CD's atmosphere. Everything is about things that happened to me the
two last years.
If you had to describe your
music to a complete musical ignorant - what would you tell him?
Our music is in a category of its own.
You have a very unique and
distinct voice; people will naturally draw parallels to great female metal
vocalists like Sharon del Adel and Tarja Turunen. How does that makes you feel,
and who has personal inspired you as a vocalist - I do hear some Kate Bush
(might be totally wrong)?
I'm not too
happy with being compared to anyone actually. Although those two you mention are
great vocalists, I do not think we have too much in common. Some have compared
my voice to Tori Amos, Nina Hagen and Kate Bush, but I have no intention of
trying to sound like anyone else - I have my own voice.
Tell us a bit about the album
First of all, the cover is made by Jan Yrlund, our guitarist. The front picture
is meant to symbolize new life. The light that I'm holding is a symbol of the
child I was giving birth to 6 months ago. Most of the pictures in the booklet
are nature photos from Norway.
We are very happy with how it turned out.
What do you consider to be the
biggest accomplishment for you and Imperia, not necessarily sales wise? What are
the strengths and where can Imperia improve?
The many positive reviews we have seen, fans that support us and of course
playing in Heineken Music Hall would all be accomplishments that we treasure.
Also being booked for the Tuska festival in Finland this summer is great. The
strengths would with no doubt be the bunch of people in the band, the constant
strive to play and make the music. We are good friends, and that's really
important. On the improvement side, we could need some more groupies, hehe ;-)
How did you get the name
Imperia, and is there a story behind it?
We started off with the name Imperium, but decided to change to Imperia. It's
still a "strong" name, but with a feminine touch.
Do you have any touring plans
for 2007? Any chance we might catch up with you guys at some stage during the
festival season here in Europe?
We have confirmed Tuska in Finland and Female Voices. Most of the festivals are
booked already. There are a small tour in the US most probably coming up, as
well as shows in Germany, Portugal and most likely Holland and Belgium. Make
sure to visit our website or Myspace page for latest concert info.
I was wondering - could you
name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life - and
Giving birth to my lovely daughter, Angel, was a really positive thing for me.
She is 6 months old now, and really lights up my life.
Which five albums would you
bring on your iPod to a deserted island?
Doors, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Imperia ;-), Angel ;-), and some Norwegian child's
music for Angel.
Which album(s) have put a big
smile on you face and has made you bang your head in 2006/7?
The latest Rammstein album was great!!
Is it possible to get by as a
musician in Norway? Do you all have day-time jobs besides Imperia?
I'm a single mother, that's job enough at the moment. Most of us have daytime
jobs besides Imperia.
I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this
information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you.
Any final words you would like to round off with?
Thank you very much for your support. We would like to greet all our friends and
fans for buying our CDs and coming to our concerts. You guys give us the
inspiration and energy to keep going. Also, I hope all the issues about our
environment with global warming and everything would change to something
positive - we should all make an effort for the next generation.
Interviewed by Kenn.