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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This live interview with Morten Veland and Henriette Bordvik of the Norwegian gothic doom metal band Sirenia was done by Melanie Schuh and Matthias Altenhöfer at the Summer Breeze festival in Germany on August 20th, 2004. The live photo above is copyright of Silence.

As one of the founders and main song writers of Norway's gothic doom metal pioneers Tristania, Morten Veland would not give up music at all when leaving the band after five years in 2001. His new project was to be called Sirenia. They have now released two full-length albums and a new mini album is on its way for an October release through Napalm Records. The interview was supposed to have been with Morten only but because of some misunderstanding Henriette showed up first which is the reason for this being more like two interviews in one. [The Editor]

How was your trip to Germany?
Henriette: Oh, very good.

You´ll soon release your new MCD called „Sirenian Shores“. Are there any big differences between An Elixir For Existence and the new MCD?
Henriette: We were recording it at the same time. There´s some remix stuff on it and we also have a cover song. There is just one real new track.

Is the French choir again performing on the MCD?
Henriette: Yes. They are great!

Some fans asked for the lyrics of the choir part...
Henriette: I tried to get them out of him [Morten], but he´s not posting them at the moment. Maybe, if just enough fans get together, he´ll release them.

What´s your favourite song and why?
Henriette: oh.. heavy.. maybe Meridian ... I don´t know actually. I like heavier music. Actually I don´t listen that much to Gothic metal.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Henriette: A lot of old stuff like Guns´n´Roses and Maiden. But there are also Opeth, Dimmu Borgir and Vintersorg.

What´s the strangest/funniest thing that you ever experienced on tour?
Henriette: (laughs) Oh, you don´t wanna know. Sometimes there are very strange fans (laughs). The best part was our Mexican tour. The audience was amazing – crazy . We also did a European tour with a crazy bus driver who tried to kill us while we were sleeping. Freaky!

What´s the last CD you´ve bought?
Henriette: That must have been „Deliverence“ by Opeth.

You´re going on tour again with Atrocity, Leaves´ eyes and Battlelore in November.
Henriette: Our drummer Jonathan is on tour with his other band Trail of Tears at the same time. Actually we don´t know anything yet, but hopefully we can manage to do it somehow.

Do you think that it`s still to early for a live CD?
Henriette: No, I don´t think so. We´re thinking about a DVD and videos, but nothing is cleared so far.

You´ll soon release your new MCD Sirenian Shores? What was the idea behind? How did you come to the title?
Morten: The idea behind everything with the mini-cd was - well, I´ve done two full-length albums with Sirenia - and I wanted to do something different. On the mini-cd you have the title track „Sirenian Shores“ which is a typical Sirenia song and you have some other tracks. There is one cover version in there and there is some other special stuff. We wanted to do something different with it. I never talk too much about what I mean with my lyrics and titles because when I write lyrics I want them to be open, so that everyone who is reading them can get his or her own meaning out of the song. So for me it´s meaningless to spend a year to write a good lyric, and then go out and say „I mean this and that“. Then just everything falls to pieces.

But it´ll be a mini-cd with 5 songs and it´s gonna be some typical Sirenia stuff in there and a few small surprises. And that´s why I choose to do a mini-cd because if I do a full-length album, it´s typical Sirenia stuff all the way. But for a mini CD there´s always room to do something special.

Where did your inspiration come from?
Morten: Oh it comes from almost everything around me – all kind of things that can have impact on me or make an impression. It can be everything from watching a movie that can give me something or listening to music, things happening around me in my daily life, for example, reading a book, can inspire me to write music.

What do you expect from the fans concerning the MCD because you´ve just said that it`s different from the full-length albums?
Morten: The reactions can be different. But I don´t think that our fans will be disappointed. There are songs which are in typical Sirenia style. There is for instance the cover song that non people will expect - Wow, are they doing this song? But we made it into our own version, so it sounds like Sirenia. It´s some other song that people know from somewhere else.

The French choir is again performing on the MCD. How did you come to the idea to involve these classical elements? Do you listen to classic music in your leisure time?
Morten: A little bit, not so much, actucally. When I´m writing music I always need challenges, otherwise it gets boring. I think it`s interesting to compose choir arrangements, to make up all the different melody lines and the harmonies, to set up some string arrangements - very exciting. I am always very attracted to the melodic side of metal. I want it to be powerful and raw but at the same time it should be very melodic and atmospheric. That´s why I choose to combine all these things.

On both your full-length albums you have an instrumental song. Will there be one on the MCD?
Morten: Maybe – maybe not...(laughs dirty)

Come on, tell us something!
Morten: I mean on the MCD there are, as I´ve already mentioned, 5 songs. They are all songs with vocals and everything. The last one is a kind of outro, but there are vocals in it as well... So you´ll have to wait and see!

Did you again write all the songs alone?
Morten: Yes.

Can you think of anything else than being a musician?
Morten: (thinks) A pornstar maybe (laughs) For me music is my main interest. It means a lot to me. I really like working with the band, creating new songs. I can´t really imagine a life without music. It would be meaningless for me.

Do you have any advice for young musicians who want to be as successful as you are ?
Morten: The only advice I have is just to do what they think is right for them. Play the music you like, not what anybody else expects you to do! Do your own thing! When you´re doing music you must feel comfortable with what you´re doing. So do it in a way you´re happy with it. Then maybe you´ll get somewhere.

Which song would you like to be played on your funeral?
Morten: (thinks) That´s a difficult one (thinks) I really never thought about that. ...No idea actually...

What´s the last CD you´ve bought?
Morten: It was a Motörhead CD, an old one that was missing in my collection. Most music I listen to nowadays is older kind of music from the 70´s, 80´s, early 90´s. Motörhead has been one of my favourite bands from way back.

Thank you for the interview!


Links of interest:

Sirenia
Napalm Records
Summer Breeze