Interview: Angtoria

mit Sarah Jezebel Deva vom 7. September 2011 via E-Mail
Sängerin Sarah Jezebel Deva – bekannt aus Bands wie Cradle of Filth, Angtoria und auch als Solo-Künstlerin – hat gerade ihr neues Album The Corruption of Mercy herausgebracht, welches sich ingesamt recht guter Kritiken erfreut. Doch wie immer passiert auch bei der professionellsten Produktion manchmal in letzter Sekunde noch die eine oder andere Panne, wie etwa ein Zurückrudern beim CD-Cover. Doch das Problem war keinesfalls ein Designfehler oder, dass der Layouter dem Zeitplan nicht hinterher kam. Nein, das Problem war ein ganz anderes …
Außerdem berichtet uns Sarah über die Zukunft ihrer Band Angtoria, ihre musikalische Entwicklung über die Jahre und mit verschiedenen Bands, sowie über die anstehende Tour, welche sie zunächst in United Kingdom und anschließend dann auch in den Rest Europa führen wird.
Viel Spaß beim Lesen!

Das Interview:

Alex: Hi Sarah, how are you doing? What´s up right now?
Sarah: Hello! I am good, just doing the evil house work & I am cooking dinner for the husband as he gets home from work in 1hr. Not very exciting huh ;)
Alex: Please tell us something about the album „The Corruption of Mercy“ you released in June. How was the creative process? Have there been any interesting experiences?
Sarah: As you know, A Sign Of Sublime, the first album, was released and as far as I am concerned, 80% of it was bad. It could have been good but due to files going missing, over editing and "someone" just not giving a damn about it, it didn't turn out how it should of. I toured, it went ok but the tour was BADLY planned and extremely unprofessional.... whilst trying to pick up the pieces, I KNEW I had to do a new album, that it had to be so much better, cleaner, clearer and better planned. Dan Abela, who owns Escape Route/Legacy London Recording Studio's was the poor guy that attempted to mix the metal tracks on that album, we have a saying in the UK, "You can't polish a turd", very true when it came to the mess that album was left in, well, Dan and I became good friends and I asked him if he wanted to write the new album with me and he said yes. I wrote songs, he wrote songs, we wrote together, even our bass player wrote a track. It was written and recorded over 1 year and we took it slow for a reason. Interesting experiences? I saved a few spiders lives ;) We were just focused, we could have been abducted by aliens and anally probed and we wouldn't have noticed because we spent so many days and nights just sitting, thinking and writing.
Alex: How do you proceed when composing songs in general? Do you have any tips for young songwriters?
Sarah: We just sit, write, think, smoke, sit, write, think and record! We of course go back and forth with idea's but we just write. Tips, honestly, do what makes YOU happy. Do not try to sound like a certain band because they are "big" right now, just be you. if something does end up sounding like a riff from a Metallica track, so what, do not get paranoid and think you will be accused also of ripping a band off. There are millions and millions of riffs out there and sooner or later, riffs will start to sound like another riff. Just have passion in what you do and remain true to yourself. Its your music, no one elses! And so what if someone slags you off and calls you name, at least YOU are trying to do something with your life... do not let people destroy or influence the writing process or your confidence, its a hard business and world out there, so, be tough
Alex: Which track from the album do you like most and why?
Sarah: I just can't answer that at all because I am so pleased with how this album came out compared to "A Sign Of Sublime". The production was a hundred times better, the passion, the song writing and the energy, I am just so happy with the entire album. Sorry.... ;)
Alex: Due to some problems with the artwork of TCOM the release date had to be postponed. How did that happen?
Sarah: The record company was worried that having a half naked woman on the cover would cause the album to be banned from shop shelves! Sadly, like the Angtoria album, the image isn't about "tit's and arse", there is a much deeper meaning behind those images. I and the record company knew, but they didn't want to take the chance and that is completely fine :)
Alex: What reactions about the new album did you get from fans and the (international) press so far? What didn’t work out as planned and what went extraordinary well instead?
Sarah: I know its getting good reviews... some people do not like it and some adore it but we can't please the world! Its easy to say something is bad or lacks passion when you haven't a clue about how the product was made. Its easy to say bad things about music when you can not play or write your self, so I just remember every one has an opinion but our fans are what matter, our real fans. We have a face book page and we talk to all our fans and answer all questions, we love it that way. When people tell us what they think, we listen but above all, the artist, the product maker MUST be happy, just like you as a reporter, you know what hard work you have put into these questions, so therefore, it doesn't matter if someone says its good or bad, its what YOU think that matters. We are not unhappy with one part of the album... nothing is perfect and we do not want perfection, we aim for passion! I think we got that in this album.
Alex: Why did you change from Rising Records to your current Label Listenable Records after the release of your last solo-album?
Sarah: Lots of reasons but all I will say now is Listenable can be trusted. They are well respected, they are professional and kind and care about music and the bands they sign. I am glad they took me back and took a chance on me and the band.
Alex: What about Angtoria? Listenable Records told us the band was on hold right now. What should fans expect about the band’s future?
Sarah: I do not know to be honest, I mean I bug Chris and tell him we must do something else but he is now a professional sky diver and he is a family man, still doing music but who knows. We are all doing differnt things BUT, when the SJD band plays live, we do play "Im Calling", "Do You See Me Now" and "God Has A Plan For Us All" and it works well!
Alex: Let’s take a short look at your biography! How did you get in touch with music? Was there any symbolic moment or event in your life?
Sarah: I always wanted to sing, from the moment I could do "la la la", I knew I loved to use my voice. I loved Drama in school and I went onto do Performing Arts in college. From the earliest age, I just knew what I wanted to do. I did a demo with a friend and I just asked about, looking to join bands and I ended up with COF, who were very very small and no one really knew them. I grew with the band I suppose. From doing COF, I met loads of new people and many jobs lead on from COF. I am lucky but its not as nice as people think. I suppose being with COF was a big thing in my life, always will be but doing Angtoria was a HUGE mark in my life, being able to sing real words ha ha.. to be able to express myself and sing and do something for me. I suppose that was the symbolic moment.
Alex: What kind of experience did you gain by working 14 years with „Cradle of Filth“ ?
Sarah: Oh dear... a few good ones and a few bad ones! I suppose I learnt never to trust and expect to be stabbed in the back. Being in a band is like being in play school, so much gets said about you behind ya back. I learnt to be as honest as possible and treat everyone, all session people as an equal, and thats something that never happened to me. I made some good friends on the road and I am grateful for that. My voice got me where I am today but the people who you feel helped me didn't! I had a lot of moral support from people who I never expected to get it from. I did however learn how to not give a damn what people thought and live my life how I think I should live it, without hurting others of course. You have one life, live it!
Alex: What do you prefer concerning (creative) productivity – working on a solo-album or touring with a permanent band?
Sarah: I love both to be honest. They both have their pro's and con's. I mean, when touring a band, you have so many sound issues, you eat badly and staying clean and getting sleep is hard! There is so much pressure to get things right on stage and it doesn't matter how good your sound guy is, if the building has bad accoustics, well, we lose! I love the interaction with people though when touring. I love meeting fans. With the album, there is a lot of pressure also to get things right but its a bit more laid back and relaxed. No real rush and we can take breaks when we like and if we make a mistake, it can be re recorded. I get a real buzz though being a front woman though! :)
Alex: Could you explain to our readers how your musical style has developed over the years?
Sarah: Well not many people know me or the music. They know me from COF or Therion but do not know my style, if I have one ;) I do what I like. What ever I feel like writing, I write, the rest of the band do not sit there with idea's of what band to rip off, we just do what comes naturally. I suppose its a question you should maybe ask me on the next album because maybe by then I will be doing Country and Western with a bit of rapping ;)
Alex: Do you have any plans for the future? For example any ideas as a next solo-album or an upcoming tour?
Sarah: Well after my honeymoon in September, We have a UK tour starting 15th October and in that time, we do plan to start writing the next album. Hopefully we will start touring the rest of Europe 2012. You can't sit about and wait, the scene is hard enough as it is and we do not want people to forget us.
Alex: Is there anything left you would like to tell your fans out there?
Sarah: Just please support us! Even if you are not a fan, give the album a listen and come and check us out live.
Alex: Thanks for taking the time for this interview, Sarah, and all the best for your future!
Moderation: Alexander Kipke

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