Updated: 10/17/02

Once a member of the famed gothic metal outfit Tristania, Morten Veland left it all behind, starting his own unique project. The name of this band would be Sirenia and it would continue on where Tristania's Beyond The Veil left off. Veland and his fellow co-conspiratorws are true musical visionaries, and their debut Napalm Records release At Sixes And Sevens should establish them as a force to be reckoned with. Read on to learn more about the mighty Sirenia, the break from Tristania, and possible tour info as well...

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sirenia, and how long the project has been together?

My name is Morten Veland, and I play guitars and sing in Sirenia. A new Goth-metal band from western part of Norway, Sirenia has been up and running since January 2001.

Ultimately, what made you decide to leave Tristania -- did you have an idea to start your own project while you were in Tristania? Do you still keep in touch with them?

When it comes to the split with Tristania, I didn't leave - I was kicked out actually. There were a few people in that band who got more and more obsessed with making money instead of music. And as a direct consequence of this they decided to kick me out in order to take over my part-role as a songwriter in the band. Just another example of how certain people are willing to walk over dead bodies for money. I'm not judging the whole band on this, cause actually it only concerns 2 of the members. At first after the breakup I though it was hard to bear, cause I've always burned very deeply for that band, and it was pretty much everything for me at that time. But after a little while I actually realized that it was for the best this way, due to different personal reasons, but nowadays I'm just very focused on Sirenia. And I think it's really inspiring to work with new people, and I sort of feel that I have something to prove to myself, but also to all those who might have appreciated my work with Tristania. I got the idea to found Sirenia the day I parted ways with Tristania, and I still have some contact with Kenneth and Rune..

Where did you find the other members of Sirenia?

All members of the band are from the Stavanger area, from the south-west of Norway.

Can you give me a little background information on Fabienne Gondamin -- how did you meet and what made you decide to use her for female vocals? Will she be performing shows with you as well?

When it comes to the female vocals on the album, they were sung by the French singer Fabienne Gondamin. Since we didn't manage to find a steady singer for the band before we entered the studios in France, Fabienne had to step in as a session singer. We auditioned for singers while we were in the studios and Fabienne was one of the first ones we tried out, and we knew right away that she was the perfect choice for this album. She has a lovely voice that just fits perfectly into our music and musical concept.

What was it like working with and making arrangements for the French choir you used on the album?

I think it's always really interesting to work with choirs, so every time I'm recording an album this a part I always look forward to. I compose all the choir-arrangements at home, in my home-studio. Then I print it all out on notes and bring it along. So it's a rather fixed situation in the studio, I just hand over the notes and the educated singers just sings it like it was composed. Very inspiring to work with such eminent and highly professional musicians.

So who exactly is Sirenia and why did you decide on that name for the new band?

For this very moment the lineup consists of me (vocals, guitars) and Kristian Gundersen (guitars, clean vocals) and Henriette Bordvik (female vocals). Our former keyboardist just retired, due to a personal life crisis, so we wish him all the best. This will however not affect our song composing since I have been composing all the keyboards myself until now. Furthermore we have Pete Johansen (violins) that will perform live with us as well. And at this very moment we're auditioning drummers. Sirenia is a Greek-mythological name based on the sirens who lured men into death with their overwhelming beauty and wonderful singing.

Where did you get the ideas for some of the lyrics on At Sixes And Sevens?

The ideas for the lyrics on the album I get from things around me, for example from movies I watch, books I read etc. But the biggest source of inspiration is just life in general, everything I go through is more or less inspiring me to write both music and lyrics.

What do you think of the World Of Glass release?

To be honest I wasn't too impressed by this album. I miss a lot of the good old feeling and atmosphere in those new songs. Personally I prefer Widow's Weeds and Beyond The Veil, but taste differs.

When you came out here to California to play with Tristania, what were your impressions of the show and the States?

The only show I ever did with Tristania in the states was at a festival in Los Angeles. I really enjoyed myself over there, and I'm already looking forward to play in the US again. The audience was wonderful and I really enjoyed the entire atmosphere.

Any chance of having Sirenia come out here to play? Have you performed any live shows at all yet?

There are plans at this moment for a tour with Sirenia and Vintersorg in Canada, USA and Mexico. The tour will take place in February, so watch out for the tour-dates.

What do you think of the state of the current metal scene in Norway?

To be honest I'm not so very updated on the Norwegian scene right now. I mostly listen to music from the eighties and early nineties, so I haven't been buying much new music lately. But as far as I can read there are still new interesting bands popping up over here so that's always good to hear.

Who is the foxy girl on the cover of At Sixes And Sevens? Is that Fabienne?

The girl on the cover is a Norwegian model. She was picked by the designer to represent a Siren. We are very happy with his choice.

What are the future plans for Sirenia?

Our future plans are now to tour and play a lot of gigs, then we'll hopefully do a lot of festivals in the summer. And in the autumn we will hit the studios again to records our follow-up to At Sixes And Sevens.

Do you have any messages for metal/Tristania fans who might be interested in checking out Sirenia?

Hail to everyone out there, if you like the old Tristania-albums and atmospheric metal in general, please check out our album. See you on tour.....


SIRENIA: Their Official Home Page!
NAPALM RECORDS: The Record Label for Sirenia!
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