This long-running Norwegian metal act is about to bring its epic, symphonic-heavy sounds to our shores for the very first time in a 12-year, six-album career. But it’s not the great distances they will have to travel to get here from the frozen Scandinavian North that is causing them the greatest trepidation, although those are hard enough to handle. It is something else altogether, according to lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Morten Veland, who’s speaking from sub-zero temperatures in the frigid northern winter.
“[Touring Australia] is something that we’ve wanted for a very long time,” he begins, “but it’s been difficult to make it happen in the past. It’s on the complete opposite side of the planet, it’s as far as we can possibly travel. It’s a long journey and it’s a very expensive journey, that’s one of the reasons it hasn’t happened in the past.
“It’s snowing here now, and it’s a few degrees below zero,” he laughs. “It will be good to leave this winter and feel some heat in our bones. As soon as it gets above about 25 degrees, I’m starting to get out of my comfort zone!”
And despite the warmer temperatures he’ll experience here, and the relative brevity of their schedule, Veland still has very high expectations of our country. “I’ve seen a lot of Australia on television. I know that it’s an absolutely beautiful country – quite unique and different from the rest of the world. Something I have great expectations for. I know that while we’re down there our time schedule will be pretty tight, but I hope that we have a little bit of free time on our hands to be able to see some of the country”.
The band has waited a very long time to get here, and has only two shows in which to leave an impression on Aussie fans – one in Melbourne and one in Sydney – so Veland promises they’ll be going all out to make the gigs memorable ones. Sirenia will be playing an extended set and covering as much ground as they can from their extensive back catalogue.
“We will definitely give everything we have; give everything in our power to make these two shows great ones for our Australian fans. We have a long set, so we will play a long show. We will play songs from all of our six albums. It will be a great event, and we aim to make all our fans happy – whether they like the old stuff or prefer the new stuff, we will play it all.
“Of course, we will have more of a focus on the new album, but it’s always been important for us to play material from all our albums, and try to make as many people as possible happy.”
That latest album, Perils Of The Deep Blue, has been out since June. As a band in a usually quite maligned subgenre of metal, especially amongst ‘true’ metalheads, Sirenia are quite used to seeing negative reviews of their records, and those by other female-fronted gothic metal acts. This time, however, Veland has been pleasantly surprised by the general reaction the new album has received.
“As far as I’ve seen, all the reviews I’ve read on the internet have been mainly very positive. I’m always prepared for getting mixed reviews, like most bands I would guess, but something I’ve really noticed this time is that almost everything I’ve come across is very positive. So that’s a really cool thing to see.
“We put so many hours and so much hard work into it, and after having the album complete and looking at the final product, I really felt great. I thought we did a really great job, and we were able to take it to the next level. I think we grew a lot as a band on this album.”
BY ROD WHITFIELD