Let us start with an introduction of you as musician, vocalist and composer. How did you get fascinated by music? How did it all start and developed to find your destiny in doom metal?
Well, I was singing for few years with a melodic death metal band named Luna Obscura and I was doing guest vocals to other bands and friends around for some time as well. I got a break from music for few years, which wasn’t really my decision, but I think in the end proved to be a good choice because it helped me to find what I really wanted and if I wanted to be called musician any longer. I don’t have a huge background in doom metal music, but I’m big fan as a listener and at some point I was sure that my personal taste would lead me to that direction. It just feels right to do it.
When and how did Aeonian Sorrow come into being? What were the initial plans for musical direction and inspiration for the band when you started writing this music?
The band officially started its journey in September 2015, but I was doing some things before that. To be truly honest, at that time I wasn’t really planning to create a full band, as I was writing music alone and let’s say “experimenting” with the sound. I didn’t have clear inspiration, I would call it blind because I just sat down on my computer to play piano and I took things from there. Then the first idea came and was to create a very ambient and funeral music with piano, violin, growls and female clean vocals. I soon realized that the songs I was making needed something extra, so I changed their form, call other musicians to join and here we are today.
It is quite a diverse and international collective with people from Greece and Finland. How come?
I could say that happened intentionally to go work with musicians from Finland. For example with Saku and Taneli; we are friends for few years so it was an easy choice to record music with them. Both are great musicians and very familiar with the doom metal sound as they have their own other bands like Red Moon Architect and Ghost Voyage which by the way I recommend you to listen as well.
Since you are the main composer here, what can you tell about the writing process for this album? From which moment in the process others were involved?
The only thing I can say now about the writing process is me screaming and going insane until the end of it. You see, to be a composer without having a big knowledge of how to write things from a computer, was definitely the biggest challenge I had to face myself. I was doing things and learning at the same time. I remember I was talking with the drummer, saying that I’m working on another song and that song was coming back in days or weeks after. In the end we all managed to take things from zero point and work with them; so now that I can finally listen the entire thing, I feel extremely proud with the outcome. As for when the other guys started to involve, I had few demo tracks with me and made a post online that I was “cooking” something very doomy. Saku, the drummer was the first who saw it and texted me. He wanted to know if I would need any help with it, so I instantly said yes and I started to share my demos with him for recording the drums. Few weeks later, I spoke with Taneli for the guitars and started to play ideas I have and later I asked Alejandro and Pyry to join. Was a very slow process at the beginning, but I don’t think we could have done it in any other way.
Talking about the lyrical contents… who’s in charge of that and can you go a bit deeper into the sad themes or songs you like to tell something more about?
Yes, I’m in charge for the lyrics too. This album and all of the future music we are going to make is about the eternal suffering of a man or people who live in a world where everything and everyone they knew has gone, either by death or general parting, but somehow cannot be forgotten. The lyrics are enough messy, sad and chaotic in order to not giving an end and that’s because this is how someone feels when he has buried himself into sorrow or other certain situations and not let it go. This isn’t an album of hope but totally the opposite and I really hope for the audience to feel that agony and pain as well.
As I understand the album was recorded in Saku’s studio, the drummer. So tell us about this experience at the Deep Noise Studios…
Saku is a very great musician and producer to work with and I feel very lucky for having his help and support all this time. Deep Noise Studios has nothing to be jealous by any big studio out there and it’s doing amazing work with recordings, mix and mastering. About Aeonian Sorrow, everything went perfect and as we wanted it to be. Personally I believe that I became Saku’s worst nightmare during the whole process, because I’m a very demanding person and selective to what I need but in the end we had success and didn’t kill each other (chuckles). I definitely recommend his work with blind eyes.
In addition to the juicy grunts and your beautiful voice, there’s quite some ethnic chants and kind of moaning vocals. Are there guest vocalists or did you manage to produce this by both of you (you and Alejandro)? In this respect, are there guests on the album?
Actually there are no guest vocalists on this album and no clean male vocals, but only clean female which were made by me. Even at the very last song of the album ‘Ave End’, Alejandro made all growls and that took a while until we’re done because he’s not living close by, but in the end everything went very well. The kind of ethnic chants you noticed are a vocal direction that brings the spiritual side and atmosphere around Aeonian Sorrow music. Now the reason my vocals are not always keeping the same soft way of singing and going from very low octaves to very powerful is because I’m very much in love with the ethnic side. Even the place I come from is full of tradition, so it’s natural to sing that way and also quite unique for a doom metal band. It gives character. The only guest appearance we have and needs to be mentioned is on the guitars of the track ‘Under The Light’ we hear my very good friend from Shape Of Despair, Jarno Salomaa.
For example ‘Thanatos Kyrie’ happens to be a very intense, dense song. What is it about and what can you tell about its birth?
Indeed, it’s very intense and with very intense meaning. ‘Thanatos Kyrie’ are Greek words and you can hear them both in a funeral sequence. The first word means “death” and the second one “Lord or God”, so let’s say that both words together give a meaning like talking about the death of someone to God. Now the reason I gave this title is because this particular song represents and describes the whole state and atmosphere of the entire album. The lyrics are the apology of a man who speaks about his personal burden, but he also speaks for other enslaved individuals as well. These are the words of appeal and despair toward the God he believes, and as no one answers back and things are coming to an end, the last words are about his final conclusion which is “The only thing left above the earth, this world is sorrow”.
‘Forever Misery’ was launched at the world as a single, there is a lyric video for it now, but you are going to shoot a music video clip for it I think (or other song). What about visual plans?
Well we have chosen to film ‘Thanatos Kyrie’ first and probably later we will make another song too. The clip is going to be filmed in Greece around the end of March, having all funeral and dark atmosphere it needs, but do not except to see any band in a typical head banging action. All I can say is that is going to be very special.
You are also creating artwork, the cover art for Aeonian Sorrow as well. Can you tell a bit more about this other passion of you?
Yes I work as graphic designer for more than a decade now and doing all kind of graphics for album releases and merchandise. As I said earlier, I don’t really have a big musical background, but as designer I have worked with bands and labels worldwide like Insomnium, Wolfheart, White Empress, Red Moon Architect and many more. For those who would be interested to have a look, they can visit my official portfolio at this location.
How did you actually get involved in Clouds?
I was fan of Clouds for three years until I met Daniel, the singer. This guy is probably my man’s version on earth, as he’s very multitask and never stops working on something new, either music or art in any form. At some point we found having a lot of common friends from Finland and as I knew he’s drumming for Shape Of Despair, I made him listen to Aeonian Sorrow and the song I was working on with Jarno. He got very speechless with the whole thing and after he made me listen a couple of new songs for Clouds, he asked me if I would be interested to have a guest appearance on ‘Destin’. Obviously I said yes with no hesitation and then I got the most beautiful song to work with, made lyrics and vocals for it and that’s how ‘In This Empty Room’ got into life.
Are there still other projects or bands you are involved in?
Well my main priority now is Aeonian Sorrow and then Clouds because we are working on the new album as well. However, I do have other projects on but until some things are done I can’t say anything.
You are from Greece and moved to Paris, work with Finnish musicians… so I think you are a cosmopolitan girl. Can you tell something about your roaming over this planet and its reasons and drive?
Indeed I have lived in France for a short period of time which was great, but now I’m back to Greece and travel in Europe almost every month. I would say that I’m very much a restless spirit, who was living for a long time in a safe zone. Over the years I have come to the point that the luck and beauty of being an artist is quite valuable and the only way to develop your artistic level, your worries and philosophies is by getting as much information as you can and use them for doing things that can complete you as a creator. Things that mean something first and maybe in a second phase can leave an impact to others as well. That’s why I feel it is important, that need to see new things and seek for inspiration.
What are the plans for the near future?
For sure we are going to focus and promote our album, do some gigs around Europe and later on going to continue writing songs for the next release.
Your first live gig ever will happen in Belgium. We are looking forward to that. Please tell something more about plans on playing live…
We are extremely happy for doing our first gig in Belgium alongside The Wounded, The Prophecy, Darkher, Abigail and Kaunis Kuolematon. For me is not the first time I perform in the country, but for sure it feels very special to be able to do that with Aeonian Sorrow. As for other gigs after that, we are trying to arrange a small European tour around October – November with other two bands but can’t share more details now…at least not before it’s official.
If there is something else you’d like to add, please feel free to do it here…
Yes, I’d like to invite the fans of doom metal music to check ‘Into The Eternity A Moment We Are’ album and support the band’s purpose of making even more great things. It’s definitely a very special record that everyone should have in his collection, so visit our official store at www.aeoniansorrow.com and get your copies, t-shirts, hoodies etc.