Sea Of Tranquility's Scott Jessup recently interviewed Sirena's mainman Morten Veland regarding their excellent new metal album The Seventh Life Path and more.
SoT: The Seventh Life Path is an interesting album title, could you tell us the meaning behind this?
Morten: I always had a policy to not explain my lyrics or album titles. To me it feels like destroying two years of hard work. All the mystery connected to the songs would be torn away in the blink of an eye if I explained what lies behind them. I always preferred to leave it up to the listeners to figure out the words of the songs. But it is the case that I choose to make an album title to mark that it also is our seventh album to date.
SoT: How does that eye catching cover art relate to the new album?
Morten: The cover artwork was done by Gyula Havancsák this time. I think he did a great job by catching the atmosphere on the album and display it in a beautiful cover. I think he did a great job. I think it is possible to find a lot of the feelings of the music in this artwork, and it deals with a lot of these subjects. I never felt comfortable explaining my lyrics or work in any way, I always preferred to leave it up to the listener to interpretate my work. I feel that I remove the edge and remove all mystery attached the album if I go into detail about these things.
SoT: As I wrote in my review The Seventh Life Path has really grown on me, though I do really think that fans need to give this album more time to appreciate what you have recorded as there's a lot to digest. Do you agree?
Morten: Yes, I totally agree with you. With the last two albums I have headed towards a more intricate direction with longer songs and more progressive arrangements. There is a lot of details that the listeners needs to spend some time on to get into. It is a typical album that will grow on the listener the more they listen to it. Our albums number 3, 4 and 5 was more the kind of stuff that was straightforward, cathy and in your face, more accessible so to speak. On contrary the new one needs some spins.
SoT: How has the feedback been so far for the album?
Morten: We have gotten amazing reviews for the album so far. The feedback we got from the single seemed to be a bit mixed, but that's usually the case for most bands it seems. However when the fans and media could listen to the album as a whole, it seems as if they were really happy with the result.
SoT: I suppose you can't please everyone especially those who don't like change. But I do like the differences you have brought to this album, it's always great to hear a band trying different ideas, how happy were you with how it turned out?
Morten: That's true, it is impossible to make everybody happy. Some fans wants change and some fans don't want change at all, they want us to sound as we did on our first album. To me it do not make any sense releasing the same kind of album several times, I need to go forward in order to keep my interest up and to develope as a musician and songwriter. Sirenia's musical concept has always been about the diversity and about mixing rock and metal with a lot of different musical elements. I think the new album has a little bit of everything we have done so far and a bit new stuff as well. But all wrapped up in a modern production, and I feel that we have taken our technical skills to the next level as well.
SoT: You must be very pleased with the performances of all those involved?
Morten: Yes, it has been a lot of months of hard work, but in the end I was pleased with what we've been able to achieve this time as well. In fact I never give up until I am satisfied.
SoT: How long did it take to complete the The Seventh Life Path?
Morten: The songwriting process began about 3 years ago, even before the previous album was done. As soon as we finished «Perils of the deep blue» we began working out new ideas in the studio. So we obviously spend a lot of time and effort on our albums. I have my own studio available at all times, so that makes everything a lot easier.
SoT: Do you have any widespread tour plans?
Morten: We have some festivals set up for the summer, and we are aiming to do some longer tours as well. We'd like to invite our fans to check in our websites every now and then, as we'll announce more shows as soon as they're confirmed.
SoT: Which has been the most successful Sirenia album so far?
Morten: That depends on what you mean by successful, because that can be a lot of things. I could mention several albums that has done well all in different ways. «At sixes and sevens», «Nine destinies and a downfall», «the 13th floor», «Perils of the deep blue». It is too early to say anything about the new album yet, but the reviews so far has been amazing.
SoT: Which other bands give you inspiration?
Morten: I can find inspiration in everything from classical music, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, black metal and all kinds of stuff more or less. I am very open minded when it comes to music, I try not to put any boundaries on myself. Quality can be found in most genres if you look carefully enough.
SoT: Any plans for another Mortemia release ?
Morten: I do not have a new release planned yet, but I have a lot of ideas for a possible new Mortemia album. This might be something that I do something about whenever I find more time.
SoT: Thanks for you time and another impressive album.
Morten: The pleasure is on my side.