During this interview with Emmanuelle Zoldan, Sirenia's singer, she speaks both about the details of their latest album "Arcane Astral Aeons", and her integration into the band: 

1) To begin, what do you feel about the release of the last Sirenia album « Arcane Astral Aeons »?

Very well and we are already really enthusiastic because the release date of the album was October 26th and we already have had very good feedbacks. Both fans and journalists are enthusiastic. So it’s very positive.

2) This is your second album with Sirenia. We can say for this one that you were able to participate fully to the process of creation?

Yes, absolutely, fully is a big word but on that album, I was personally able to participate in the writing of the lyrics on two songs. In particular, part of the French lyrics in the song “Desire” and the entire text of the song called “Nos Heures Sombres” which is entirely written in French. And I was also able to suggest my melodic lines so it’s a very good thing and I am proud of it. The boys were also able to participate in the creative process by suggesting guitar solos on some songs.

3) Where did you get the idea to integrate French lyrics ?

To be honest, the idea didn’t come from me but from Morten who has a particular affection for this language. Morten really likes France and French. So it was the occasion, given that the lineup today includes two French members, it’s important to show a little “French” side  on this album. So, the idea came from Mortem initially.

 4) This album seems to be more varied, between the use of French, some sounds are more punchy and electronic , we feel it had something more ?

It’s a varied album, there are a lot of songs that share the same spirit and color, there’s something for everybody who listen to this album. It’s really heavy, I think this album is heavier than the previous “Dim Days of Dolor” in general. It goes from songs that are very heavy, to songs that can be considered as more Pop Metal, which are more catchy with pop melodies. But in any case it’s very varied and there really is something for each listener in this album.

5)  We can say that it allows us to regenerate a little, because in Symphonic Metal it’s complicated to find new things:

Exactly, especially for a group like that which has such a long longevity . Sirenia has existed for a long time and has been able to renew itself as the albums have progressed. I think it is also Morten’s strength to know how to always renew his compositions.

6) For this album you collaborated with the producer Jacob Hansen, how did this collaboration happen?

We had already worked with Jacob Hansen on “Dim Days of Dolor”, it was someone we wanted to work with again because we were already very happy with the mix on the previous album. We really appreciated his work, he’s someone who has a pretty phenomenal ear. So I didn’t personally take part in that step of the work because Morten went alone to Denmark for the mixing. He kept us informed progressively about the process of the songs . We had already talked about what we wanted on the songs before. Finally, he is the one who travelled alone to Denmark.

7) To fund the album you did a Pledge campaign, can you explain this initiative ? 

The record industry being what it is today, living only from the sales of records is extremely complicated for all bands and whatever their notoriety. So today,  it is unfortunately becoming financially complicated to fund an album. The sales are more difficult because of the download and everything around it. So, for the first time on this album we called on the participation of our fans, to be able to work with Jacob Hansen. It was really our priority and it’s one of the biggest investments we’ve made for this album. We are extremely grateful because our fans have played the game and were more than generous. This allowed us to access the production of this album as we wanted in the first place.

8) Can you tell us more about your career? You were in the choir years before becoming the main singer of the band?

It’s a funny story, we’ve been working together with Morten since 2003. So we met in Marseille because he regularly came here to record albums. When he needed lyrical voices, he asked the studio director to recruit singers from the conservatoire, people who went to classical singing classes because they really needed lyrical voices. They came to do their « market » at the conservatoire and that’s how we collaborated for the first time. Morten called me regularly for all the albums he recorded there. But the studio director also called me, so I recorded for different Metal bands too. It has become a small annual habit to record there. I recorded from 2003 to 2018 with Morten on all the albums and we kept in touch. I followed the evolution of the group a little bit. And after the choir recording on “Dim Days of Dolor”, Morten asked me: “I have something to ask you. We have a concert date that we can’t cancel, and the singer can’t do this concert. Could you possibly replace her as vocal lead? I accepted with a lot of enthusiasm and things went so fast. And after that they asked me to join the band, it’s true that I didn’t hesitate for long because I already felt very involved in the band for many years so for me it was something quite logical in fact.

9) So did your integration in the band go well with the fans, how did you get accepted? Because when a new singer arrives in a band you can see that some fans are a little reluctant :

Clearly my coming was very incredible, but we expected it, we already knew it. The boys warned me that it wasn’t as simple as coming with your own band, your own songs. We replace someone who was already there, for eight years in the case of Ailyn. She had already replaced someone who was there before her. It’s a band that’s known for its variations of lineup. So, of all this I was aware from the beginning, I knew I was going to encounter the reluctance of some and it was the case. Most people welcomed me with open arms and others were very reluctant even violent in towards me. I’ve even received insults. But I took it with a philosophy. And I can understand, I think it’s complicated, people need stability and attach themselves to an image. I think that myself as a fan of some bands, I might have had a bad experience with the change of a lead singer, it’s a normal reaction. But it took some time for people to accept me, for me to be able to earn my place in the band and to find my marks on stage because,  you have to create a sort complicity with the others on stage and in people’s heart too. So it took time, but people understood that I had things to say. There will always be those who accept, those who don’t. But today I feel 300% in my place and I receive very, very positive messages every day. It’s the best gift ever.

10) Finally let’s talk about touring, Sirenia had the opportunity to tour in a lot of places, do you have a date in particular that has marked you ?

I think we all agree to the fact that the most incredible place for us is South America in general: Chile, Peru, Bolivia … The hospitability there is extraordinary, there is something happening. There is an attachment to Symphonic Metal witch is quite important and they are very invested when they love a music and the musicians, they don’t do it halfway. We really felt welcomed in a pretty incredible way. I think that most of the crowd knew the lyrics of each song by heart without exception. And maybe better than me on some passages because I had just joined the band, and I knew if I had a lapse memory, I could catch me by reading on the lips of the audience. It was incredible and it was very supporting, you can feel all this energy and all love. So yes, South America was an extraordinary time of the tour.

For more information :

photo credit : Béranger Bazin