Catching up with an old friend Morten Veland of Norwegian Gothic Metal group Sirenia was a pleasant treat after first meeting a few years ago, He gave me a call to chat about the bands recently released album “Arcane Astral Aeons”. He begins by recounting that “I started work in my studio here in Norway, the composition parts and so on. Emmanuel (Zoldan) got more towards the end, by the time we start working with vocal stuff most of the compositions and such are more or less finished. So it was the same also with Nils (Courbaron) and Eric (Soltveldt, both on guitar). They also came in towards the end and added a couple of solos each for the album.”

Veland has a particular method when it comes to composition, he describes “I always do the compositions first then the lyrics, I found that for me it works best. When I start writing the lyrics, all compositions are more or less finished. I like to reflecting the feelings and emotions already there in the compositions musically. It’s one of those things that is getting more and more challenging with every album you know, at this point I’ve written so many songs that it takes a lot of creative thinking to stay inspired. Most of the time I write more indirect lyrics, use a lot of metaphors to make people think and write lyrics that are really open to interpretation.Those are the kind of lyrics I always really liked, indirect stuff that you have to give it a lot of thought try to figure out what it’s all about. I love that people can get very different meanings out of it.”

 

 

Arcane Astral Aeons is the second album with Zolan singing lead vocals, however her tenure with the band goes all the way to “2003, she was in the studio to record as part of the choir and we recorded also a cover version of “First We Take Manhattan” by Leonard Cohen, Emmanuel sang lead vocals on it. It’s been 15 years now and we’ve become really good friends over the years and two years back when we needed a new singer for the band it came very natural for us to ask Emmanuel, it was a very smooth transition. Not like getting somebody new into the band or something like that. We’ve known her and worked with her for so long, it felt really really natural having her as part of the band.”

 

Her influence on Veland’s writing is prevalent with her employment of the French language, “We have a song called “Desire” which we wrote together, I did the English parts and she wrote the French parts. She also helped me in a few places with translating lyrics into French. There’s a bit more of that on this album, after we did our previous album I really liked the way it sounded and the way it turned out so when I started working on this album I decided that I wanted a little bit more French on it.”

 

For this release, the band conducted a crowdfunding campaign which currently still has some great items available, check it out HERE “We put effort into creating a campaign with a little bit of everything so there is definitely some cool stuff to choose from, there’s also a T-shirt that is exclusive to the campaign.”

 

 

Sharing his views on crowdfunding, Veland looks back “I’ve seen the scene change so much from when I started out in the middle of the 90s and that change has been so immense, you never could even imagine. Trying to follow these changes and adapt to new situations etc, this crowdfunding thing is something that got more and more common over the last few years, I pretty much see every band now these days taking advantage of it. It’s a fact that the industry is basically earning less and less money and so the artists tend to get less and less budgets for their albums. At the same time it’s always been important to try to deliver stronger albums with each release but it gets more complicated and challenging if you’ve got a cut in the budget. So I thought maybe this crowdfunding campaign would be a great way to invite the fans to become a part of the process and in this way get enough funds so we’re able to work with the best producers, pick the best studios and ultimately be able to deliver a strong album. It worked out really well this time and I couldn’t be more happy with the production of the album and I’d say that our fans they have a great part of the honor for that. We feel really privileged and thankful for the support.”

 

In a period of general chit chat, Veland reveals what music he’s into lately, saying “I’m so open minded when it comes to music and I listen to so many different styles. One of the bands I started listening to very recently is a German band called Mono Inc, they’re a gothic rock band. There was a period where I would only listen to Gothic stuff coming out of the U.K., bands like Sisters Of Mercy, Fields of Nephilim, The Mission, Nosferatu, all this kind of stuff. There’s also an Icelandic composer named Olafur Arnalds which I also listened a lot to lately and of course I’m listening to metal bands like Dimmu Borgir, the new Satyricon album is great! A couple of the new Immortal songs which are cool and I discovered Beast in Black, we had their singer on one of our songs on the album.”

 

Veland departed the call extending a “Thanks to all our Australian fans for their support over the years. We hope that we will be able to make it back soon. Our stay was too short last time so to be able to see a bit more of the country would be would be amazing.”

Grab your copy of Arcane Astral Aeons HERE!