Epica, After Forever, Kamelot, Aina, Avantasia... Here's a never-ending list of projects in which this American artists was featured, as a songwriter or as a producer. Yet Amanda Somerville does not only turn up like a bad penny in the melodic metal scene, she's also a higly appreciated singer-songwriter and this has become clarly evident with her latest solo album, "Windows". On the occasion of some Italian gigs in the month of march, we reached the blonde singer to chat with her about her musical activities. Article by Marco Belafatti
Publish on: 23/03/11 Hi Amanda, how are you doing? I hope everything is fine with you!
Hello back and thank you for asking; I’m doing great.You're back on tour, aren't you? Where are you now?
Actually I’m mainly working in the studio these days, but I do have some shows coming up. You've been working with so many artists in these years, but now you're back on your own. What is your favorite dimension in music: solo carreer or collaborations?
I’ve always been a solo artist and freelance musician, so actually nothing has changed in that regard. I enjoy all kinds of work relating to music and like expanding my horizons, however when music is in your heart, your own art is your biggest love!Are there any other artists you'd like to tour or collaborate with?
I’m always open to new possibilities! And now a burning question. I think in Italy you're mostly known as the “guest singer of this famous metal band” or as the “vocal coach of that metal vocalist”, so you must be considered as a real metal artist by the audience. However, your solo album “Windows” gets very far from this musical genre. Do you think there's any mismatch in this?
Having worked for years in the metal scene now, it’s only logical that people associate me with that genre and believe that I, myself, am “metal”. It’s true that I am that, but I come from a pop/rock/singer-songwriter background and that’s what my solo music has always been. It’s funny because people who have known my solo work are always surprised that I’m involved with all of these metal bands and projects, so it actually works both ways. I wouldn’t say there’s any “mis-match,” I simply have a broad range of musical spectrum in which I’m active.How did you get into the metal scene? Was it hard for you to leave your home country and begin a new life in Germany?
Big changes are always hard, but they also force you to adapt and help you to grow, as long as you’re open to it. Sascha Paeth was my first connection into the metal scene. I met him through a mutual friend who suggested the Gate Studios as a place to record a few songs. Sascha liked what I was doing and asked if I would sing on his then-current album he was recording, Virgo (with Andre Matos). Then the ball just kept rolling!Ok, let's focus on your solo album. “Windows” is a rather diverse work. Where did you get inspiration for your songs and how long did it take to compose and record it?
“Windows” took more than 6 years in total because I was so busy doing so much other work in the music scene that I only had time to work on it on the side. Inspiration for songs for me comes from anything and everything, but is mainly based on personal experience and emotions. Sometimes I’ll have a dream or think up a story or be inspired by someone else‘s experience, as well. Just out of curiosity, if you had to choose one single track to be the most representative on this album, which one would it be and why? My personal favourites are “Mayday”, “Moth” and “Carnival”...
It’s difficult to choose one track as “most representative” because the album is so diverse. I’m happy to hear you have favorites! I was quite impressed by “Inner Whore”. How did you come up with such a strong title?
I was in a particularly cheeky mood, I suppose.You've been recently featured in a rock project along with Michael Kiske. What can you tell us about this experience?
It was quite an honor to be featured alongside such a highly-respected figure from the scene, but most of all it was a lot of fun and again something new. I love new challenges and getting to work with new people. What musical genres are you interested in and what kind of artists do you usually listen to?
I listen to ALL KINDS of music! It really depends on the mood I’m in; anywhere from Eminem to Enya can lift me up or help me relax. Music is the ultimate companion in supporting a mood or emotion, in my opinion. A lot of the times, since I work with a lot of heavier music, I like to unwind with something softer, like Norah Jones or Sting.An even more personal one: who is Amanda Somerville when she's not in the studio or on stage?
I’m actually the exact Amanda Somerville that you see on stage, in my video blogs, in other people’s concerts or DVDs; what you see is what you get!You will play live in Italy in a few days. Are you excited? What shall the fans expect from your shows?
Of course I’m excited to come back to bella Italia! The shows I’ll be playing there are a great representation of who I am as a musician and will feature a large spectrum of the music I’ve written over the years, ranging from my solo music to projects I’ve been involved with like HDK and Kiske-Somerville. It’s going to be a musical safari!2011 has just started: what can you tell us about your future plans? Are you already working on new material?
I’m ALWAYS working on new material! There are big plans for this year and, though I can’t divulge the details just yet, I’ll tell you that it involves Italians in a big way.Amanda, thank you so much for this interview. It was a real pleasure! Please, leave a message to all your Italian fans and SpazioRock users. See you next time!
Grazie per tutto e ci vediamo, ragazzi!!! Rock on.http://www.spaziorock.it/intervista.php?&id=325&eng=1