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' Gabby
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PostSubject: Bravewords Interview   Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:41 am

It starts talking about Kiske, but the whole interview is with Amanda Wink

KISKE / SOMERVILLE - The Wish List



By Carl Begai

Former HELLOWEEN vocalist Michael Kiske’s career has taken a beating in recent years due to his long-standing – some might say foolish – decision not to return to his roots. On the other side of the spectrum, singer Amanda Somerville has become one of the most sought after vocalists in metal over the past six years. Enter PRIMAL FEAR bassist / co-founder Mat Sinner to bring them together with an armload of songs penned with bandmate Magnus Karlsson, all in the interest of forming a new project. It’s a venture that was meant to stand apart from Primal Fear and Sinner got his wish, showcasing Kiske in an environment he has visited sparingly over the last 15 years and giving Somerville a chance to branch out even further.

Sadly, Somerville went through massive personal upheaval during the making of the album, yet she managed to see the production through to the end.

“When we were writing the songs and doing the recordings, yeah, that was right in the thick of it all,” she says. “I guess it was a sort of metamorphosis during that time and moving on to a new life. It was really good for me in the end because I was able to channel all those emotions and all that energy into the recordings and the songwriting process. You hear it from musicians all the time, that when they’re happy they write shit songs (laughs). I think the album turned pretty good because I wasn’t exactly happy at that time.”

Somerville entered the project as a hired gun enlisted to play off Kiske. Not a big deal for someone that has come up through the metal ranks working in the studio with bands like Epica and After Forever, created a rock opera with an ensemble cast, and has become an integral part of the Avantasia family.

“Well, I’ve always been a dreamer,” she explains. “I was always that kid, off dreaming about being locked up in a castle tower and being rescued by some knight in shining armor, so it’s never difficult for me to put myself in different roles. This was exactly one of those scenarios where I was having fun getting dressed up and playing the princess locked up in the castle tower (laughs). They didn’t have all the songs done but Mat contacted me and said ‘Hey, we’ve got this project with Michael Kiske, we’ve got some cool songs, would you be interested in being the female part of that?’ I asked him to send me some demos so I could get an idea of the kind of music it was, and I thought it was pretty cool so I signed up (laughs).”

Given her songwriting ability, it’s hard to believe that Somerville would be willing to restrict her creative involvement on the album to her voice alone.

“(Laughs) Well… there are two sides to that. There’s the Amanda that’s very cooperative because I’m hired to do a job, and then there’s the side of me that wants to get creatively involved to a point that I say ‘I’m not singing that.’ In a project where I sing on 12 songs, that’s the part of me that is bound to come out (laughs). And because I’m also a vocal producer and a lyricist, there were definitely some lyrical parts where I told them it would be better if we did things in a different way. I basically sang what was there, though, and Mat was really relaxed about it. It was a good, organic process.”

“What made a big difference for me was that when Mat first sent me some of the material, I had been talking to Sander Gommans (HDK, ex-AFTER FOREVER) about writing more songs together, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Especially since Sander has this metal influence and this album was supposed to be metal-compatible. I asked Mat about adding something creatively to the album and he told me that if we had songs we should send them along. We sent four songs and three of them are on the album. For me getting those three songs on it made all the difference from just being a hired voice to really being a part of the project and seeing it as my baby, too.”



In spite of being rooted in ‘80s melodic metal, the songs cleverly sidestep the all-out cheese that particular era is famous for. Diehard Kiske fans may be put off by the lack of Helloween-isms, but in the end it’s some of his best work in years. For Somerville it’s another facet of her schizophrenic musical personality.

“It’s got a nostalgic touch to it,” Somerville says of the album. “I think a lot of metal albums that come out of Germany have some sort of ‘80s feel to them. There are a few songs on this album that border on that dangerous cheese dip you mentioned (laughs) where you come out all sweet and sticky, but somehow it’s… yummy.”

She admits to being stoked about having the opportunity to work with Kiske on a complete album after years of doing projects here and there. If and when the proposal for a second Kiske / Somerville album is tabled she’ll gladly sign on.

“It was fun for me to finally be able to actually sing with Michael, even though I had to work with him around a couple corners since we were in different studios.. We'd done some projects together over the years but I’d never actually sung with him on a song together. I think that even though our voices are very different they blend together really well. Even though we recorded in separate studios it sounds natural. Our timing was a bit off in places and we laugh about that because it’s like ‘Shit man! I was trying to sing along to your lines but you have a totally different rhythmic feeling than I do...’ (laughs) But, I don’t like it when everything is always totally cut and polished; I think it’s interesting to have little variations where you can hear the different characteristics, because our differences compliment each other as opposed to grating against each other. I thought it went really well.”

Looking beyond the album, Somerville is involved in upcoming tours with AVANTASIA and ROCK MEETS CLASSIC. Plans are also being ironed out for a follow-up to her 2009 solo album, Windows.

“Sander and I have been talking about it seriously and in detail, so I think I’m going to get some demos together and shop the music around. I wouldn’t change anything about Windows and the way I did it, and I’m glad that I released it independently as opposed to bending over and letting a record company do whatever they want with it. I want to find a decent label that’ll offer a good deal so we could really make something out of it, because playing my own material live is my ultimate goal.”

“I write different kinds of songs across the board so it’s going to be diverse,” she adds, “but I don’t think it’ll be quite as all over the place as Windows. I do want to streamline the sound a bit, yeah, but I can see myself releasing other albums where they might be more pop or jazz oriented as a general direction. I get bored when I listen to an album that is the same all the way through, so the next album will definitely have a lot of diversity, but it’s not going to have a metal song and then a pop song and then a new age song back to back (laughs).”



http://www.bravewords.com/news/147305
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PostSubject: Re: Bravewords Interview   Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:14 am

Thanks for posting this Gabby Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Bravewords Interview   Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:11 am

You're welcome! Very Happy
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