„Imperia im Interview“

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Imperia veröffentlichen am 26.03.2021 ihr sechstes Studioalbum „The Last Horizon“ über Massacre Records. Gegründet wurde Imperia 2003 in den Niederlanden. Mittlerweile sind Imperia eine internationale Truppe mit Mitgliedern aus Finnland, Norwegen und ihr neuer Drummer Merijn Mol aus den Niederlanden gibt sein Albumdebüt auf „The Last Horizon“.

Ich bekam die Gelegenheit ein paar Fragen zum Album zu stellen und habe diese prompt genutzt. Viel Spaß beim lesen! 😉

Imperia

Metal and Me

Dear Jan.  My name is Tobi. I run a Facebook page and a webblog.  On this page I post reviews of current albums, interviews, band presentations and reports about concerts that I visit with a wheelchair.  On the one hand, to tell other wheelchair users how the venue is equipped in terms of accessibility and on the other hand, how to best proceed to get tickets, which is usually not possible with conventional ticket portals.  Of course, I also rate the bands‘ performance.  Today I have a few questions for you about your new Album „The Last Horizon“.

But first of all, I want to ask you how are you doing right now?

Hey Tobi, good to hear from you and yes I’m doing fine, considering the general situation that is of course, but all well, safe and ok. Thrilled to have the opportunity to change a few words with you!

I have to admit that I first came into contact with „Imperia“ with „The Last Horizon“. I was immediately enthusiastic about Helena’s voice and how the Band manages to accompany it so well. How would you describe „Imperia“ to someone who doesn’t know you.

Thank you! The style of the band is a bit hard to put in just one category I find. Usually people like to put us in the Female fronted Symphonic metal category, but I don’ t see us that much as that. I hear more plain rock, gothic and perhaps even folk elements there. Obviously we do have a woman as our main vocalist, but these days it shouldn’t even be mentioned. A vocalist is a vocalist right. But yes, if you are into rolling goth influenced rock with orchestral and folkish elements, you probably won’ t get disappointed. We do have also heavier songs, but nothing really extreme.

And how are you when you think about March 26th, 2021?

It’s just great to get a new album released, already our 6th album. We’ve been together since 2004 which is a long time, and it’s still a great pleasure to make music together. Even though the times are tough now and there are no concerts, making music is as wonderful as ever. And nothing beats the feeling of having a new album out!


„Starlight“ ​​was the first single from your sixth Album too Release in February.  Why this song?

We first thought of releasing Dream Away as the first single and though it’s one of my favourites, Starlight felt like even more easy listening and even catchy song. And I dig those folkish guitar leads there a lot. Maybe it was chosen just because it is an easy introduction to the band.

How was working with Henrik Perelló and John Stam?

Oh great! I like to invite real classical trained musicians on the album whenever possible and Henrik is an awesome musician. I like his violin skills a lot and that really adds to the album. A solo violin is one of those instruments which are hard to replace with any samples. And he s such a talent. Not only does he play classic violin, but he can also improvise a lot in these called gypsy style, which is way cool. John Stam then again is our original guitar player, he moved to Caribbean Island of Bonaire a few years back so unfortunately he can’ t be active in the band anymore, but I like to invite him to play a solo on each album, just because he’s a great player and a friend. So on each album you will always find somewhere a lead from him!

What can we expect from your new album?

For me it’s the most epic album we have done and I would also so say that as a whole it is the most conclusive. We are very proud of it and hope our old – and hopefully new – fans will like it. so far the reactions have been great!

Albumcover


The new tracks are mostly very emotional, full of love, faith and hope.  How long did you write to them and how long did it take for them to sit.

Yes, you are right, I think Helena also really was awesome on this one and did put her heart in it, which you can hear on the lyrics and the vocals. We started writing the album two years ago, but the most songs were ready about a year ago. That’s when we started also recording. We had the album ready and mastered  already half a year ago, but had to wait for the release.

How many personell expierience are in these 14 Songs from „The Last Horizon“?

For Helena everything is very personal and she writes about real things that have happened to her. Most songs are about her daughter and how she misses her. Then there are a few songs that are more metal songs like the viking themed song To Valhalla I Ride. But in general the lyrics are very personal and I think you can hear it in her vocals.


Do you have a song that you particularly like on „TLH“?

I like Dream Away a lot. It’s a song that is older and that I have been really thinking of what to do with it, if it would fir Imperia or some other project of mine. But I’m glad we used it here as it is pretty much kind. of song I like personally a lot.


Can you please tell my Followers what inspired you to Songs like „To Valhalla I Ride“ or the awesome Song „Only A Dream“?

To Valhalla I Ride wasn’ t ment to be a viking themed song in the beginning, but just a folk song, but when I played it to Helena, she really got inspired. And having viking roots as Norwegian, I think she got hit by Thors hammer or something, but suddenly we had way cool viking lyrics. I really dig that as I’m a huge viking & history fan. Only A Dream is a cool uptempo song, and the lyrics are about Helena’s personal experience. The song reminds me a bit of the most played song of the previous album, Fear Is Not An Illusion, it has the same kind of uptempo rock vibe.


A few words to the fans who definitely can’t wait to hear you live. Are there any plans about a streaming Event?

For us such things are almost impossible to organise as we live in four different countries – finland, Belgium, Germany and Holland. If we would do that, we would need to do it some how live from different locations. But obviously we have been thinking of that as many bands. Maybe we’ll do something special. It’s just such a shame that we cannot have any concerts to support the album, but we try to make more videoclips to compensate. But I do miss the interaction with the real audience.


How is it to you to stay in contact with your fans via social media in these pandemic times and to find out what the mood is like in the fans‘ camp?

I’ve noticed that we’ve been more online and talked with fans directly much more, posted more updates and pictures. I think that is the only way right now. We try to be active and luckily everyone in the band is into that.


How did you as deal with the restrictions in the meantime?  How much does it restricted you in your working life?

For me personally the restrictions haven’ t had app much of an effect. InFinland we haven’ t had a full lock down as in some countries, though the situation is getting worse. Obviously we haven’ t had any concerts and all the venues are closed. But as I work anyways from my own office as a graphic designer, the restrictions haven’ t really effected that. Except of course that because I mainly work for the music industry I’ve have had to concentrate more to albums than event promotion and posters as there are none.


How have you spent your time under Covid 19 so far?

Pretty ok over here. But the other guys have had it harder. Both in Holland and in Belgium there have been long lockdowns. Our drummer Merijn works in health care so he has gotten his shots now and can travel again, hopefully that helps us for making some more clips for the songs …

If you could privately go to a concert in this, sorry for the expression, shitty corona year, which one would it be?

Oh man, that is very hard to say! Probably I would go to ANY concert. I do like to photograph gigs a lot and usually you would find me in the Photopit of pretty much every metal concert in town, so that I miss. In October we had the last concerts here, it was Battle beast, the venue had only 50% capacity, sanitisers and all and lots of seats with a distance from each other. And it worked. I have not heard that anybody has gotten the cold from the concerts. I think it should be possible to let some music shows to go on under these conditions, but yeah I guess it is what it is and I’m by no means underestimating the seriousness the situation.

Is Heavy Metal and the Subgenres also a means for you to switch off everything in this hectic world, to Pause and just listen?

Yes, pretty much so. I do listen a lot of bands, due to my work too so I like to keep myself up to date of what is going on. Music really gives you a nice opportunity to really cut yourself off from the bad world out there, even fora while. Music is very therapeutical too and it will be interesting to see how this pandemia effects everyone due to the lack of live music and culture.

Wich Subgenres do you listen to?

I mosty listen to Gothic rock, some progressive bands and even thrash metal bands. I grew up with thrash metal and still dig those bands a lot

Get away from the music a little. What about hobbies?

I only have very little time to do anything but music and art, but when I do I like to photograph concerts, but also nature. I am also very much into mountain bikes and like to go out in the woods with my MTB at least three four times a week. Usually just for a few hours, but that is a perfect way to kind of reset your brain from work. Coming from Finland, the nature is always just around the corner.

A few words to your Fans out there in Germany and all the Others in the World?

I really hope the people will take a listen to our latest effort and we do hope that we beat the pandemia together, get back on stage and enjoy music also from the stage. Stay safe & healthy!

Thanks for the Interview.  Something that is important to me: Stay healthy and good luck for the Release of your Album!

Thanks a lot, appreciate! Greetings from the land of the thousand lakes!

Helena Iren Michaelsen | Vocals
Jan “Örkki” Yrlund | Guitars, Programming
Gerry Verstreken | Bass
Merijn Mol | Drums

Photos by Jan Yrlund

Ich hoffe, es hat euch Spaß gemacht, etwas mehr von Imperia über „The Last Horizon“ zu lesen! Meine Review zum Album findet ihr HIER!