I guess it is like a melting pot, a mix consisting of all the kinds of music we like. The aggressive approach combined with atmosphere and good melodies.
I noticed you have a trio of individuals who do different vocal styles. What led you to do that? It sounds very cool.
Thank you! On our two first releases (Widow’s Weeds and Beyond The Veil), there were two main singers; Vibeke with her clear angelic voice, and Morten Veland with his grunts. Yet they used a variety of guest-singers. Some participated in choirs and some did solos on certain parts of the songs. It has become a trademark to use a lot of different vocal styles in this band. Veland split with the band in 2001, and I became a regular member as I got more involved in the creative work on our third album World Of Glass. Kjetil Ingebrethsen replaced Morten as a grunter during the following tour and soon became a steady member. I guess the main reason for using three singers is that it makes us able to do a vast variety of vocals not only in the studio, but also live.
Ashes is your fourth release. Can you tell me a bit about the album?
It is our first release since World Of Glass in 2001. As I mentioned earlier there have been a few line-up changes. We had changed labels (from Napalm to SPV) and had a break from touring. The actual recordings started in April 2004. We had an idea of wanting to make a more direct album. On all our previous albums we had used a lot of Latin choirs and stuff. Me becoming a regular member led to an intention to use more clean male vocals as well.
Where did you record it and how long did it take? Are you pleased with the result?
It took about 10 weeks and it was very demanding. We recorded it in a Norwegian studio called Top Room with Børge Finstad as co-producer. We are quite happy with the final result.
How do you feel that Ashes differs from your previous releases?
I think it is more direct and more guitar based than the previous Tristania releases. The absence of the huge choirs which we used a lot of, especially on World Of Glass gives room for a more “rock n' roll approach”. I think it suits the atmosphere on the album. There is an organic feeling to it.
What was the inspiration behind the lyrics?
I hate answering this question yet I will give it another try. On Ashes Einar, Anders, Kjartan Hermansen (our webmaster), and myself have contributed with lyrics. For me the main inspiration behind the lyrics is life itself. You know: Love/hate, politics, books I read, getting older, drugs, alcohol, and other sources of decay. Writing lyrics is a way of dealing with the dark sides of my personality. Things I feel, but usually don’t talk about.
You're shooting a video for "Libre". Can you tell us a little about that?
We got an offer from Mats Lundberg. He wanted to shoot a video for "Libre". We knew that he had done a video (for fun and for free) from the track “Heretique” from Beyond The Veil. We liked what we saw and decided to go to Sweden to do the video. We are very happy with it. It reflects the darkness and the despair in the song in a psycho-splatterish way.
Last year you did an extensive tour with Therion. You also toured with Nightwish in February. How did those tours go and what are your current plans?
Both tours went well, though touring with Therion and touring with Nightwish are two totally different things. Nightwish are huge in Europe now (or at least they were before they kicked Tarja out) and they have a huge production team behind them, so we got to play crowds up to 12,000 people indoors. The Therion/Trail of Tears tour was long and tiring, but still a lot of fun. I do love touring.
Any other thoughts or comments?
I just want to say that I’m sorry for spending six months on finishing this interview. I promise that next time you will have an answer sooner. We are currently working on what is going to be our fifth album which should be out some time during the first half of 2006. I hope you’ll check it out.