Interview to NELL SIGLAND - THEATRE OF TRAGEDY's vocals
Before the first visit of the band to South América, during its last world tour. THEATRE OF TRAGEDY will end their seventeen years of musical career after this tour...
Oxido: Hi Nell, it's a pleasure for us to make this interview with you. We want to begin asking you about the live álbum "The Tour Edition", is it going to be the final record of Theatre of Tragedy? What can you tell us about it?
Nell Sigland: It’s going to end up as a DVD. We will include the last show at Folken October 2nd. We did some filming on our last European tour this March, and will also film the South-America tour, together with the rest of the gigs that’s left to play before the end. There will be some cuts from that. Besides that, there will probably be interviews with the band-members from the current line-up. And of course we will put on some extra fun-stuff Final words…
O: This is an obvious question, but... why did all of you decided to finish the Theatre of Tragedy's story, after all these years?
Nell: Nothing lasts forever, so it was bound to end somehow, some time. I don’t think anyone imagined it end specifically this way. But for what it’s worth we reached and end through a natural and gradual process, and we are all still friends. I think we are all glad that the band ends in some cataclysm, but that we can work together still to make it a dignified end.
O: Which are your expectations about this tour, the last one, that will take the band to South América, and for the first time to countries like Argentina? What do you know about South American Metal fans?
Nell: We’ve been talking a lot about going on a South-America tour, and now it’s finally happening. (So it seems… Depending on Katla or lately whatever on Island ;-). Volcanoes have made it a bit difficult travelling by plane). Rumors are saying that the music scene in Argentina is supposed to be amazing, so we are really excited about going on this South-America tour, visiting Argentina. The band has played in Mexico before, but never in South-America, so this is going to be interesting…
O: We knew that the last concert will be in Stavanger, the natal city of Theatre of Tragedy. What have you planned for that night, and how do you manage to face the emotions?
Nell: I know it’s dangerous to get one’s hopes up, but I think it’s going to be an intense evening. Playing “our” (The whole band, except me) home town is always special, and this time it’s going to be even more so. We’ve heard of people coming from a long way away to see this gig, having already booked flights and hotels. So as funerals go, this is going to be a whopper. About facing emotions, Man; we’re Theatre of Tragedy
O: Do you consider Liv Kristine as an influence for your singing style?
Nell: No, (sorry Liv) but I can’t really say that. I had only heard a couple of songs by ToT before I joined the band, and at that time I was not really a huge fan of this whether beauty or beast kind of singing. Theatres old songs have really grown to me, and I try to keep the same vocal-lines and the same touch on those songs when we perform them. But I think that’s about as far as it gets. Liv Kristine sings well, by all means. But it wouldn’t be very interesting if we all sounded the same, right?
O: Which are the differences between "Storm" and "Forever is the World", the two Theatre of Tragedy's full lenghts where you sing?
Nell: When we started writing “Storm”, I think we really tried to and wanted to make a catchy rock-album (even though we never really spoke about it). Storm ended up with a lot of “poppish” and kind of compressed sort of rock songs, and I have to say we sat down and discussed the musical direction for this last recording. We all wanted to let the songs include more than just the vers-refr-vers-bridge-refr recipe. And then we came up with this. We all just wanted to make a good album, and the songs sums up where we are at this point. Maybe a little bit older, melancholic and darker? I have to say I think that Storm is a harder and more industrial album compared to the new one. FITW is mellower and has a dreamier and a sort of concept album feel to it. The songs have been put in a specific order to make it flow the right way.
O: What can you tell us about the "Addenda" EP? Was it any kind of posthumous gift to the fans?
Nell: It’s cool to hear your own songs in a remixed version. The more far from the original it gets, the more fun. A lot of nice remixes on this album. At this moment, my favorite one is “Frozen”. And, of course, quite some few had been asking for files to do some remixing, so we thought; heck yei, go ahead!
O: You were not part of Theatre of Tragedy when they started, but, do you think they were the true pioneers of the Gothic Metal style?
Nell: As far as I’ve heard, they were amongst the first ones, perhaps even the first, who mixed the beauty and the beast vocals the way they did. There were others too, like 3rd and the Mortal. But Theatre was really working with everything so perfectly; Ray and Liv – black and white, her thin voice and his growling, clothes, the old English language…I would call them pioneers. And then the coolest part about that, is they didn’t want to stop developing there. Because they needed the challenge, they started working on “Music”. Probably not the best move to do in a career kind of way, but to challenge themselves… yes.
O: Is there a saturation in the Gothic Metal scene, today?
Nell: I believe there’s saturation in music in general today. It’s so many band out there, lots of good ones, easy to make recordings, and easy to be played (you Tube, spotify, TV). And because a lot has already been done before, it’s hard to really break through. Might be the same in the Gothic Metal scene. When that’s said, I don’t think you have to do something new to “have the right” to be called a good artist. Making music is not about doing something new; it’s about making the music alive.
O: What do you think about the Norwegian Metal scene? Are there any bands that you specially like?
Nell: There are so many great bands today, and that goes for the Norwegian Metal scene as well. The quality is getting better and better, and there are so many…makes it hard to even follow. How far could you push the limit for naming it “metal”? I like both Apoptygma Berzerk, Jorn, Ulver and Audrey Horn.
O: Could you give your opinion about some female singers, your most known colleagues? By example:
* Tarja Turunen
* Sharon den Adel
* Simone Simons
* Doro Pesch
* Angela Gossow
* Annette Olzon
Nell: All great singers. Keep up the good work ladies. I quit the jazz-scene at the age of 19 perhaps, because of the heavy competition. And I was not mature enough. Music is about finding the music from within. If that’s your focus, why even bother criticise others around you? We should all try to inspire one another, and if you hear someone who doesn’t; walk away.
O: Finally, we're full of gratefulness to you, for your gentility and your time! And of course, we want to give you our welcome to Argentina... Do you want to add any final words?
Nell: Just a thank you very much! Looking forward to see you all in Argentina this summer. Don’t turn on too much heat; we’re from the cold North ;-)
Interview by: Javier Parente, para OXIDO.-
THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, official webpage: http://www.theatreoftragedy.com/
Current line up:
Nell Sigland, vocals
Raymond Rohonyi, vocals & programming
Frank Claussen, guitar
Vegard Thorsen, guitar
Lorentz Aspen, keyboards
Hein Frode Hansen, drums
Eric Torp, bass
Theatre Of Tragedy, CD 1995
Velvet Darkness They Fear, CD 1996
A Rose For The Dead, EP 1997
Aégis, CD 1998
Virago, EP 1999
Musique, CD 2000
Inperspective, EP 2000
Assembly, CD 2002
Storm, CD 2006
Forever Is The World, CD 2009
Addenda, EP 2010.