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Imperia

Op Bospop 2005 sprak ik met een uitgelaten Helena Michaelsen, ter promotie van het eerste Angel album. Maar Helena heeft ook een tweede band: Imperia, en daarvan is nu een tweede album uitgebracht, de opvolger van 'The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh'. Er blijkt heel wat gebeurd te zijn in het leven van de turbulente Noorse zangeres en dus was de tijd rijp om eens lekker bij te praten, waarbij het nieuwe album 'Queen Of Light' centraal stond. Of toch ongeveer.

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder gothic metal

band imageWhat happened next in your life?
I have become a mother seven months ago. I am not with the father though cause I had to leave because of his alcohol problem and violence but me and Angel, my daughter are very happy here in Norway living in the forest in a big house and we have a dog called Wolf. It looks like a wolf – it's a Swedish moose dog. She's going to have puppies with a Labrador so that's going to be some strange puppies I think. And my daughter is always smiling and enjoying everything new, he he

When it was time for a new Imperia album, new songs had to be written. What were the differences in that writing process; compared with the first Imperia album 'The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh'?
This time I was outside of the song writing that was done by Jan Yrlund and Audun Grønnestad. And I think the songs turned out better than the first album personally. More diverse and more catchy.

By the way, congratulations with your daughter! Of course this had an influence on the recording process. Please tell me about these experiences?
Yes, I recorded some vocals when I was still pregnant, but some songs got too heavy to sing with the big belly so I waited till she was born with the rest of the songs. When she was two and half weeks old, she was with us in the studio and I recorded the rest then with her on my arms (smiles). You can also hear her cry in the intro of 'Queen Of Light'.

The album was recorded at the Spacelab Studios in Germany. I guess that was a suggestion of Jan Yrlund, isn't it?
Yes - he he - but we also recorded the Angel album there and we were very satisfied, so we all agreed about to record this album there as well.

It took much longer than you expected, not only because of your pregnancy. What happened?
Black Lotus stopped their label, so we had to choose for another label. We got several offers but chose for Massacre Records because of a lot of good hints from others. Also their offer was the best.

How do you look back at the time with Black Lotus?
It was very good I think. They offered a lot of promotional support and good contacts. I think it was great.

You are living in Norway again. So, back to the roots, isn't it?
Yes, but there was a good reason for it as well, but it is good to be back.

Why did you call the album 'Queen Of Light'?
Because of my daughter - she is my Queen of Light.

Now we are arrived at the lyrical theme. Can you tell anything about the main things that inspired you?
The last two years of my life when I was locked up and beaten a lot by my boyfriend. He had a big alcohol problem and I was too weak to leave, also because of the pregnancy etc. but I got enough of it and left with my daughter for safety. It's about missing the freedom and happiness and missing the love of my life but the positive in it all is my daughter, Queen of light.

As Jan (Yrlund) is a multilateral artist, he also did the artwork. Can you tell a bit more about that?
Most of the nature pictures are from Norway and some ideas I gave because of the lyrics. I think he is a great art work man indeed.

The band is an international outfit. Isn't it difficult to work that way?
No, it makes it more exiting when we first meet again. And it keeps the spirit and the spontaneity alive in the band and we also never fight, he he

My feeling was that there is more “Angel” in the album. I mean, Imperia used to be the band for the metal songs, but now it is open for different styles?
I think it is Imperia but there is a bit change in the music cause of the different songwriters.

What are the plans with Angel? (the band)
Making songs and record and new album.

You are planned to play at some festivals this summer. Which ones?
We were too late for many summer festivals because of the late release date, but we will play in Finland in Tuska festival and later this year at the Female Voices Festival in Belgium.

Are there plans for a tour in the fall or so?
Haven't heard anything about that. Would be cool though.

This means your daughter on the road as well, or not?
No, I will have a baby sitter when we play festivals and concerts.

If there are songs or lyrics you want to tell something about, please go ahead…
I'll make it difficult for you, he he - the Norway song. It is about having the roots here and missing the clear lakes and fresh mountain air. And that it's here that I'm free....

What are your plans/wishes for the near future?
To have a lot of gigs and suddenly meet the love of my life on my road, hi hi hi...

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