Here’s another old interview from Funeral Rain Zine’s infancy. Posted to the FRZ MySpace back in June 2009, my e-chat with Ailyn from Sirenia was, I think, one of the first big stepping stones for myself and FRZ. Enjoy.
For people who have never heard Sirenia, how would you describe the sound of the band?
I would say Sirenia’s style is Gothic Metal or Symphonic Metal, but maybe people think otherwise. I never listen to music and say “this band’s style is that one, that other band’s got this other style”. Does it matter the style when the music is good?
What of the lyrical themes? Are there any themes that seem to repeat, or are they more of a story or concept?
Morten composed the tracks from the album as he’s always done with all Sirenia albums, so the stories behind each song are only known by him and he never reveals his inspirations. He prefers each person to give the meaning they want. So I could give you my opinion, but I don’t want it to be like a statement of the real meaning, so I’ll keep it to myself.
You are in a band that has a strong history, even before it’s current inception. You are in a position that requires you to follow in the footsteps of three other frontwomen, who each have their own fans. Do you find this daunting at all?
From the beginning I knew it wouldn’t be easy, because the band’s got former singers and some people prefer them over me, but I don’t find it annoying, cos it’s usual. Each person has their taste and some think they like more former singers, but I’m not Fabienne, Henriette or Monika, we all have our own unique style. My singing being different from theirs doesn’t mean I’m better or worse, just I’m different. I’m just trying to give my best, so my band is happy with me and the choice they made when they selected me, and so people can like my work and be happy with it.
You yourself have a strong history in music, singing ever since you were 15. Could you give us a quick rundown of your music career?
I found I wanted to be a singer when I was about 12, but I just sang at home. I played my favourite singers of the moment’s songs and tried to imitate them, and that’s how I began with music. At 15 I told my mum I wanted to be a singer, and I got enlisted to a musical school, but for personal reasons I had to leave after just one year. Then sometime later I sang every year in my home town in a show they made to get funds for Alzheimer disease. I’ve also participated in contests, both nationally and internationally. In 2007 I was in the first Spanish edition of X Factor, and I was booted off the fifth. When I was out of the show I worked with some musicians from Granada, but the project didn’t work out because they wanted pop and I wanted Gothic Metal. Just after I left this project, I got the chance to be Sirenia’s new vocalist.
How was recording the new album for you? Did you have time to get to know the band before recording, or were you pretty much thrust into the role?
The album’s recording was real fun. In the studio there were just Morten and I, and we had so much fun during the recording process. It was easier than I thought it would be. At first I was slightly worried because it was the first time I was in a studio to record something so important as a Sirenia album, but just as the music started it was easy. Morten’s music gives so many things so I just had to let myself go into what I was listening.
When we began recording I already knew the band members, because in the second audition they were all there. Also, before the album’s recording we had a couple of shows.
The first single from the new album, entitled “The Path to Decay” has a great video, directed by Patric Ullaeus. How was working with Patric for you and the band?
Working with Patric was really great for us, he’s a charming person and very professional. Also, Patric’s been on the industry for so long and he’s worked with many big bands, so he’s got a lot of experience in this. So for a band like us it was great to work with someone like him because he understands our vision of things. Even before seeing the results of the video shooting we knew we would be happy with the final result.
Other than the kinds of music you perform, what do you listen to? Are there any particular bands you’d like to namedrop as favorites or influences?
Since I began singing, I listen to all kind of music styles, I don’t like to concentrate in just one style. Listening to all this, I get the chance to learn things that I wouldn’t if I just listened to just one of them. There are a lot of bands and vocalists that I like, so I can’t start saying which ones or we would never end!
I’ve read that you happen to love videogames. What kind of consoles do you prefer, and what’s your favorite game at the moment, and your favorite game of all time?
I love videogames, but lately I don’t have time to play, but for long travels I usually take my PSP so I can get distracted. At the moment I like a lot of games, but my most favorite videogame from years ago is Final Fantasy 7.
I’ve also read that you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings, the books and films. What else is on your reading/watching list?
Yes, I am a big fan of The Lord of the Rings. Before the movies were shot I already had read the books a couple of times. I love everything that’s written by Tolkien, even I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve read each book or seen every movie. I like to read all kind of stuff, but I love fantasy books, with fiction, action, etc…