Sirenia's Morten Veland Dives Into The "Perils Of The Deep Blue"
Band Photo: Sirenia (?)
Staging quite the comeback after "The Enigma of Life" was panned by fans and critics, Sirenia's newly released full-length "Perils of the Deep Blue" by contrast is seeing a much more positive reaction.
The new album ratchets up the epic level, with more metal and more symphonic elements intertwining with some truly stellar song writing this time around.
Band mastermind Morten Veland was excited to discuss the changes that took place on "Perils of the Deep Blue," seeing a re-energized band utilizing new instruments and upping their game on the vocal side.
See what Morten had to say about the construction of this album and when you can expect to next see Sirenia live in the full interview below.
xFiruath: Can you give me a brief rundown on what’s been happening with Sirenia in-between “The Enigma of Life” and the recording of new album “Perils of the Deep Blue?”
Morten: We've been spending our time touring and working on the album. This year we even put all touring on hold to focus 100% on the album. I think that has paid off and we have a very strong album.
xFiruath: On the recording of the album, where did it all take place and how did the process go this time around?
Morten: I feel that we have grown a lot with this album and perfected our musical concept and expression. I tried to take the orchestration up a notch on this album, and I think I made quite some improvements with my arrangements. In my opinion there are some clear differences between the new album and the previous one. First of all the production this time is more powerful and metal than ever. The songs are longer on this album, the longest one is even 13 minutes. So we dropped the 4 minute songs and went back to more complex arrangements and structures. We also gave the growling more attention on this album, so I am growling on almost every track on “Perils of the Deep Blue.” Furthermore I think that Ailyn did a great job with her performance, she has improved a lot and she is singing better than ever. She brought a lot of variation with her voice this time, she sings in a greater variety of styles. Her voice has also gotten more powerful and she express herself with more emotions in her performance. We also did two songs in Norwegian this time, which is the first time for us. I think that those two tracks turned out quite special and stands out as something very different. I also learned how to play a few more instruments so I could bring some new sounds into our music, so on this album I also play ukulele, mandolin, theremin, harmonica, melodium, and some different flutes. I put a lot of focus on making a different Sirenia album this time, I wanted us to sound fresh. The typical Sirenia elements are still there, but I think that we have renewed the format and the expression. I wanted to create a unique Sirenia album with a great variety, I wanted every song to be something special and unique. Most of the recordings were done in my own studios, we also recorded some parts in Sound Suite Studio in Marseille. In the end the album was mixed and mastered in Dub studios in Oslo.
xFiruath: The cover artwork is very distinctive – who did that and how does it connect with the music?
Morten: The cover artwork was done by Anne Stokes. I think it is an amazing piece of art, I came across it on the internet when I was just surfing around. My first thought was that this artwork would be perfect as a cover for our new album. I was thrilled when we got the permissions to use the artwork, I think it is the perfect artwork for our band and our music. The artwork represents a lot of the themes and subjects from the album.
xFiruath: Were there any guest musicians on this album?
Morten: We worked with the choir from Marseille, this is the choir that we worked with on every Sirenia album. I feel that they have become an important part of our sound by now. Furthermore we worked with a singer named Joakim Næss, he performed the vocals on the song “Ditt Dndelikt,” that was one of the Norwegian songs we did on the album.
xFiruath: You recently released a video for “Seven Widows Weep,” which to me seems like a good choice with how epic that track is. What’s going on in the clip and what was the filming process like?
Morten: We shot the videoclip for ”Seven Widows Weep” in Serbia with the Icode team. It is the same crew that did our first two videoes. The guys at Icode worked out the script for the video which is based on the story in the song. I always feel a bit uncomfortable making videos, but we had a good time there. We did all the shots with the band in one day in a bluescreen film studio. Later on they also shot all the takes with the actors, and afterwards they spent about a month on the postproduction. I think the guys did a great job with the video. We love the way it turned out. I think it serves the song perfectly.
xFiruath: Do you have tour dates nailed down in support of “Perils of the Deep Blue” and will you be hitting any Summer festivals?
Morten: We will not do any summer festivals this year, we put it on hold this year to focus 100% on the album. We aim to come back strong for next year’s summer festival season. We will start touring again in the autumn. We already set up a small tour in Russia and more dates will follow soon. We will announce the shows on our websites as soon as they get confirmed.
xFiruath: Does Sirenia still have more time on its current contract with Nuclear Blast now that this album is complete?
Morten: We signed for 4 albums, so “Perils of the Deep Blue” will complete the existing contract.
xFiruath: What’s going on with your other project Mortemia these days?
Morten: Not much going on with Mortemia at the moment. I have some new ideas and a couple of songs lying around, but right now I do not have time to do much with it. I focus on Sirenia these days, but maybe I will have the time and opportunity to make a new Mortemia album later on.
xFiruath: What’s happening in metal lately or in the near future that you personally are really excited to hear?
Morten: Not much I guess. Haha. Well, it is always exciting having a new album out, so for me this is the most exciting stuff these days.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to bring up?
Morten: Cheers to the Sirenia fans out there. Hope to see you on tour soon!
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