mercoledì 19 novembre 2014

Interview with SEVENTH SIN

With powerful lyrics, symphonic tunes and a beautiful voice, Seventh Sin (NL/BE) has shown , both on and off stage, that they belong in the top region of the female fronted metal scene. Influenced by many different bandsfrom many different genres, yet still with their own style.
Seventh Sin has self-released their first full length album ‘When Reality Ends’ on February 22nd. Now that the new album 'When Reality Ends" is released, they are ready to dazzle the crowd in any country. The lead singer Monique talks about their world...

LFdM: Hi Monique. I'm so sorry for our silence but me and my friends needed some  sunny days. But this break was been good for listen your new debut album "When Reality Ends" and I find it very very good! How do you feel today after the release?
Monique: Hi Michela, I needed some sunny days too, so no hard feelings. It was nice to have some time off, but it’s great to be back too.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you about Seventh Sin and our new album. Today I still feel great about the album. We’ve been working on it for quite some time and when it’s finally finished and out in the open, there’s nothing you can do but wait for the responses. And they are magnificent. I never dared to expect this kind of enthusiasm about our work and sometimes it’s hard to get back to earth and go to work in a normal day job again. Especially after our tour through the UK with the Austrian symphonic metal band Edenbridge last February. It took me over 2 weeks until I could fully focus on my normal life again. I’ve had the time of my life there, the entire band did. We had a taste of the touring life of a professional musician and we all loved that very much. 

LFdM: Each country has its own metal style, you are in between from Holland and Belgium, especially Holland is one of the most important country for symphonic metal, what do you think about it?
M: There are a lot of awesome bands and musicians in the Netherlands, that’s true, especially in the symphonic metal genre. I don’t know if every country has its own style, I think people create the music that they like, that means something to them, at least, that’s what we do. Of course, you are influenced by other bands you see and hear, so if you have access to a lot of symphonic metal it will find its way into your music.

LFdM: To play symphonic metal is not easy, not only because there are a lot of great bands doing that,  but because you need a good technical and historical knowledge about the genre. How propels a band like yours to take this path?
M: Symphonic metal is the kind of music we all love. Next to the symphonic metal influences, each band member has his/her own influences in other kinds of metal like trash, doom and even a little bit of death metal. When we are writing music we try to find a way to make this all to come together with the lyrics. We try not to overthink things to much, because that doesn’t work in the creative process, we have to let things happen when we’re writing music. That works best for us. We try to leave the analyzing bit to the reviewers and the audience. So, yes, you need to know your instrument, we all are still practicing to keep improving ourselves, but we don’t study the genre, we try to go with the flow.

LFdM: I was struck about your voice, how do you train it? 
Thank you! Actually, I sing all day long, or at least, whenever I can. When I don’t have the urge to sing, I’m probably ill. I’ve had about a year of singing lessons,  to be sure I’m using the right techniques so I’m not damaging anything. Apart from that, it’s years and years of practice.

LFdM: How much time did you spend working on "When Reality Ends"?
M: That’s a good question, I’m not sure, actually. We’ve been working and performing as a band for about 11 years now. We’ve released a mini-CD in 2006 and after releasing that album we started writing new songs again. We went to the studio in 2013 and early this year, we’ve released our new album. Between 2006 and 2013 we’ve had some rough times as a band. A few members had a burn out and all of our lives have changed drastically, from being a student to making a career, some of us got married, had children, built or rebuild a house etc. That made us shift our priorities for a few years. But….in the end, we still are friends, we love what we do as a band. When we decided to really start working as a band again, somewhere in 2012, we picked up where we left. We wrote some new music, but we also used some tracks we already had written before the rough times. We rearranged them to match the rest of the album and we started recording. So, I really can’t say how much time it has taken us. 

LFdM: How much importance you give to the lyrics and how much importance to the visual representation for a band like yours ?
M: The lyrics are quite important. Every song is a little story. In order to be able to touch the audience with our music, it all has to come together. The music and the lyrics have to match and I have to mean what I sing, or at least I have to be able to really get into the song. Otherwise it will not work. The visual part is important too. We’ve dedicated a lot of time to the artwork of our CD, our website and our merchandise, all designs have been made by Natasja van Poppel. Recently we’ve had Ingeborg Steenhorst design and customize stage outfits for the entire band, so the visual part is also well taken care of when we are on stage. Ingeborg has created outfits for a lot of bands and musicians I love (After Forever, Epica, Lacuna Coil, Floor Janssen, Simone Simons, e.g.), and I love her style, so that was a no brainer. 

LFdM: Could you describe the members of the band and their role inside it?
M: Of course I can!
There’s Ruben who plays the lead guitar
Then there’s Roy on rhythm guitar and growls, he also does a lot of lyric writing
Vincent is on synths and he did most of the arrangements on ‘When Reality Ends’ together with our producer Hans Reinders
Jaap Didden is our new bass guitar
Tjeu Theunissen is our new drummer
I am singing and most of the time I’m engaging in the lyric writing with Roy.
The fact of Bart and Wiro leaving is a new black page in the history of Seventh Sin. Also because they both were with the band since we started and we still are good friends. But now, the auditions are over and the band is complete again. 
All planned gigs are still on. We’re writing new music for a new album and our hopes for the future are high. 

LFdM: Did you have a real guide and influence for your approach in music?
M. I love to sing and I sing along with all music I like. So I’m influenced all the time. My big influences are Anne van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Agua de Annique, Anne van Giersbergen, The Sirens, etc.) and Floor Janssen (After Forever, ReVamp, Nightwish). They both have beautiful strong voices, they can really own a song and sing it passionately, they both have total control over their voice and they both kick ass big time. I would love to be working with one of them (or both) one day.

LFdM: What could be the real deadly sin in music today?
M: That’s a difficult question to answer! At this point it’s hard for us to get any gigs in our own country. A lot of venues did receive some kind of financial support by the Dutch government, but recently that has all ended. Now the bands that haven’t quite made it, don’t get a chance to be on stage anymore, because the venues can’t take any financial risks. If you already made it as a band, this doesn’t matter, you will get booked anyway, but bands like Seventh Sin that are not quite there yet, almost only stand a chance as a support act and there are at least 30 other bands fighting for that position too. So it’s hard to survive in the music industry. I know the government money is way better spend now on national healthcare etc. so I don’t think it’s a real sin, but it bothers me we have to fight this hard to even be able to perform when all I want to do is to be on stage. So, we are now focusing outside of our own borders too. We will be playing in Germany and the UK and who knows where else our music and our passion will take us.

(words, interview and english review by Michela, Dora & Alessia)

Seventh Sin consists of : 
Monique Joosten – Vocals
Roy Geelen - Guitar en Grunts 
Vincent Reuling– Synthesizer
Jaap Didden – Bass
Tjeu Theunissen – Drums
Ruben Smeets - Lead Guitar 

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