The 13th Floor is the latest imposing release from the popular Gothic Metal band Sirenia. Sea of Tranquility staff writer Scott Jessup recently had the opportunity to interview their talented main man Morten Veland, about the band and his thoughts on their new album for 2009.
SoT: Thanks for the interview opportunity- the new album is very impressive, I think it's great and should end up on many best of lists for 2009. How has it been received by fans and the media?
Morten: So far we have got a lot of positive feedback from both press and fans. My personal opinion is that 'The 13th Floor' is our strongest piece of work so far and we've really put our hearts and souls into this album. It's always exciting to see what the reactions to a new album will be, and it's always a relief when we start to receive the first positive feedbacks.
SoT: How do you feel"The 13th Floor" compares to Sirenia'a other albums?
Morten: The biggest difference I suppose is that 'The 13th Floor' is the first album that I have produced myself. And most of the recordings were done in my own studios. This was a very nice and relaxed way of working for me. Mostly when you are in another studio, you are always concerned about the time scedule. You have these deadlines and the price is constantly rising. When I work in my own studio it's more peaceful, and I can take all the time I need to get everything just the way I want it, down to every little detail. This was a new way of working for me, and I really got to push myself hard. I admit that I felt more pressure with this album as I had much more responsibility on my shoulders this time. I think that this new album covers it all. I mean that there is material on the album that has strong parallels to what we have done on all our previous albums in addition to some new stuff that the listeners might not have heard from Sirenia before. There's a lot of variation in there, and it feels like taking 3 steps behind and one forward in the same time. My personal opinion is that there should be stuff on The 13th Floor that will please all our fans, whether they prefer At sixes and sevens, An elixir for existence or Nine destinies and a downfall. This was my vision for this time, to make an album that would reflect what we had done so far musically in addition to adding some new elements as well.
SoT: There are some great performances from yourself and the other members,
Ailyn's vocals are very striking, you must have been pleased?
Morten: It is the first time me and Ailyn work together, and it's always exciting to work with new people. Working with Ailyn has been a great experience, she is a hard worker and she never gives up until everything sounds exactly they way we want it to sound. I am really happy with the final result and I am happy that Ailyn is a part of Sirenia.
SoT: How much time was spent on this album, as far as getting it to the release stage?
Morten: If we also count the time of composing all the material we spent close to two years on the entire album. In terms of recording, mixing and mastering we spent somewhere between 2 and 3 months.
SoT: Is Sirenia's fan base widespread? What countries would you like to get
more exposure in?
Morten: Sirenia has a solid fanbase in Central Europe and in South America, we would love to get more exposure in North America. So far we've never toured the states and that is something we've wanted to do for a long time. I really hope it will be possible this or next year.
SoT: What was it the drew you to this style of music originally?, I must say I find Gothic Metal so engaging, it's very emotional and it's also quite rare if other styles of metal make you feel the same.
Morten: I began my career in a rock band, playing music inspired by bands like Guns N Roses, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper. After a while I got into Metallica and then began to lean towards a more metal oriented style. When I first discovered the UK gothic scene I was totally hooked. Bands like The sisters of mercy, the fields of the nephilim and the mission dragged me towards all the gothic elements. Ever since it has only been about perfecting my way of writing music, because I had found my musical direction.
SoT: Any plans for a future live release?
Morten: Not at this point, to be honest I've never been a fan of live albums. I prefer high quality studio albums with fat production and crystal clear sound.
SoT: Who would you like to tour with?
Morten: There are lots of bands I would like to tour with. A North American tour with Evanescence for example would be amazing.
SoT: What's your favorite Gothic Metal album?
Morten: 'The 13th Floor'! Hahaha.
SoT: What other music do you enjoy listening to? And your favorite bands?
Morten: I listen to a lot of stuff, all kinds of music actually. To mention a few; Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Tiamat, The sisters of mercy, The fields of the nephilim, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Grieg, Garbage, The cardigans, Amorphis, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Depeche Mode and the list just goes on and on.
SoT: Can you tell us some of the musicians that inspired you?
Morten: Allrighty, here a few: Slash, Axl, Ozzy, Alice Cooper, Andrew Eldritch, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Nina Persson and so on.
SoT: Thanks for the interview, all the best in the future for yourself and Sirenia.
Morten: Thanks a lot, appreciate it !
(Click here to read our review of The 13th Floor)