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Bloodflowerz Interview

Bloodflowerz Interview
By: Rick Harper
With: Kirsten Zahn - of Bloodflowerz

Interview Info
By: Rick Harper
With: Kirsten Zahn - Lead singer of Bloodflowerz

Rick:  Could you tell us a little about your involvement with bands previous to Bloodflowerz? I understand that Bloodflowerz was not your first musical project.

I played drums in an all-girl-band since I was 14. Then I played bass-guitar in a band with the new Bloodflowerz-guitarist Siggi, and I was the singer of another alternative rock band, in which Tim, our drummer, and Markus, our guitarist, played too. They both played in some metal bands before. And Jojo also had a lot of experiences with bands before we met him in 2001.

Rick:  Bloodflowerz is a relatively new band, how did the group come together?

Kirsten:  We founded Bloodflowerz in 2001, after some of us played together before. We thought our different styles and inspirations would be perfect to create something special between gothic, metal, rock - aside from typical categories.

Rick:  Take us back to the first days of the band, what was the original goal or purpose of the band? Did you expect that just over two years later you'd have two full-length cds, and an EP out?

Kirsten:  Because we were engaged in different bands, tried and experienced lots of things, we had a clearer vision of what we wanted to do and reach. It was the purpose to play really the style we have in our hearts, not to do any compromises. For me it was important to create "a whole" which reflects all the heavens and hells live prepares for us. Music is the language of hearts and souls, it touches you as deep as love or hate does. It was an inner need to write songs and lyrics, to speak and cry out what I feel and think. .and of course to bring it to the "world"- means to play shows, record albums, so that many people participate on it. It was a wish to live the dream. And so great, that parts of it became true. But this is just the beginning.

Rick:  Bloodflowerz are frequently described as a goth/metal, goth/rock band? Is this a fair assessment of the band to you? I don't really find you typical of either category. How would you put the Bloodflowerz sound into words?

Kirsten:  This is in fact very difficult, but I think we don't need it. When nobody knows you people find and need categories to orientate, and of course we have elements of goth-rock or metal. But we are not that typical. And we as artists and as individuals need the freedom to take different elements to express our feelings. It's Bloodflowerz - bloody, dark, hard energy embracing soft, melodic, painful dreams. A struggle of good and evil fascinating through its dark gloom and hopeful shining lets no chance for escaping. Benediction and malediction on the way through light and darkness.

Rick:  Does the band's name in a sense pay tribute to The Cure? What does the band's name represent to you?

Kirsten:  The writing of Bloodflowerz is a kind of playing with the words. The word comes from the Cure, their last album was named Bloodflowerz. Within these two words all fascination and abyss, all beauty and beast of life are combined. Bloodflowerz, blood and flowers, represent the seemingly difference and contrasts. Flowers are the symbols of life and power, signs of the end of the winter. They are symbols of growing, energy and beauty, but also death, dying, transitoriness. Blood is life, the beginning and the end. It gives us the liquid to live. But it also stands for death and pain.  Both words show the cycle of live and death and all the aspects in between. We should not be satisfied with one perspective, cause when we want to look behind and really understand what we are and what's going on we need to integrate all light and dark parts.

Rick:  Our main interest here at Sonic Cathedral is female vocalists, rather than ask you the cliché "who are your musical influences?" question I'm wondering whom, as a female vocalist are you looking at and saying to yourself "I want to do what they do, I want to achieve what they have"? Realistically speaking.

Kirsten:  The reason why I started to make music was to show (even to myself) that I can and that I want to do it like the boys do J Most of my friends had a band and played an instrument. I just could look at them, but this was not enough for me. I had the wish to express my own thing and show them that music is not just boys fun. And I had some bands (like the Cure, Sisters or 7 Seconds) who touched me by the heart, they showed me a world of feelings, answers on my questions and ways through pain and disorientations. I saw my way in writing songs on my own and reflecting myself and surroundings in playing own songs. I don't have, or had, one person or band whom I want to follow. It is more the atmosphere and deep satisfaction, the truth and real heart which fascinate me. This is what I try to reach for me and the music.  When I think of it, there come two women in my mind, who had the power to got their way - Madonna and Björk.

Rick:  Festival appearances seemed to have assisted Bloodflowerz in getting your music and message out to the world. Can you take us back to the Summer Breeze 2001 Festival (which is how I first heard of Bloodflowerz) how instrumental was that gig to the bands success? Was it your first festival gig?

Kirsten:  I think so. We played very early in the afternoon, first time in front of a huge crowd. It was great and we knew that we want to have more of these experiences. But at this time we didn't have a CD. It was the time of the recording-process for our debut album and so the people had to wait till spring 2002. Playing on a festival is always very important, cause much more people get in contact with you, than on a single gig. It is the chance to present your music to a huge crowd, and every festival we played was good for getting in contact with a new audience.

Rick:  Is there a difference between the way you approach a festival gig as opposed to how you prepare for a club gig/tour? I've heard you describe playing live as "the orgasm of making music". Is one "orgasm" more electric than the other?

Kirsten:  Every show is different, cause of technical things and cause the people are different. We have to arrange with the situation, think about the set, the conditions and how we can reach the people. But then playing and performing is always something great, like diving into an absurd and fantastic world. What can be better than an emotional orgasm. when there is harmony with the audience and the band it is like dying and being reborn every second.

Rick:  What is your favorite song to perform live? For those of us who have not seen Bloodflowerz live, which song/s generate the best crowd response?

Kirsten:  This depends on the situation and the mood during the show. we have very different songs and everybody favorites something else. Normally I like every song, I am in it very deep, it is so important to really live and feel the song when you sing and perform it. I am the song, the song is me, absolutely.

Rick:  I see (hear) a light side and a dark side to Bloodflowerz, from what sources do you draw your lyrical influences?

Kirsten:  Life is the inspiration - all the wishes, dreams and visions, the pain and fears. Writing about it is like understanding what is and could be. On the last album I really could confront with all the light and dark facets we, as human beings, have to deal with every day. The fighting and embracing of differences is something you can find everywhere in Bloodflowerz. It is some kind of uniting light and darkness in one, of accepting and living the diabolical and the angel-like side of the soul .

Rick:  Likewise, I hear a light side and a dark side to your voice. Is there an inner "Diabolic Angel" that drives Kirsten Zahn?

Kirsten:  I am a diabolic angel, always flying between heaven and hell. I need the light such as the darkness. But I think everybody does. When you ignore one side you feel separated and sick.

Rick:  Do you feel that people are both more critical of you and more lenient on you because you are a female vocalist in a metal type of band? How do you deal with the contradiction?

Kirsten:  I think this is something women are confronted in all parts of life. When you go into the public, you can see it as a chance that somebody listens to what you have to say. It is important that everything fits together, the music and the message. The people need and want something to identify with, something interesting and true. Even if there are more women in metal-music nowadays it is still something special to the people. On the one hand people are more interested, they are attentive and like to get in touch with your music and lyrics. On the other hand they're very critical too. They have huge expectations and sometimes don't try to really listen to it. Sometimes they have one great name of a band with a female singer in their heads and think that everything is the same. I think the most important thing is to be and stay yourself, to give everything and be true, to be interesting and have something to say and give - then it doesn't matter if you're a girl or a boy.

Rick:  What are/were the differences between working with producers Roger Gruninger (Diabolic Angel) and Siggi Bemm & Dan Diamond (7 Benedictions. 7 Maledictions)?

Kirsten:  It was very different, but with both we had very important experiences. We learned a lot about ourselves and our music. Siggi and Dan work very rough and prefer the rocking style and sound. We recorded analogous. Roger worked digitally, and we focused the detailed work with keys and sounds. Working was great with both of them.

Rick:  In your view what are the main differences between your debut album Diabolic Angel, and your new cd 7 Benedictions. 7 Maledictions?

Kirsten:  Every album is the reflection of the current situation of the band and its members. You always go on in learning and experiencing and it is very important for your soul not to stop this process. So many things happened which made us happy, sad, angry and gave us new energy. While recording the last album and before writing the songs, we did it the way we felt and could for this time. For this album we wanted to go one step further. We had more time to think about the songs and focus on what they need to express our personal style. We are a very emotional band, and I think both albums create a very deep atmosphere. The main difference is that we had the concept before writing the music (the 7 mortal sins and the 7 virtues). So we could imagine the whole thing before, everybody could create a clearer vision of the songs.

Rick:  Is there more pressure you going into a studio to record a sophomore album than there was in the recording of your debut cd? Was the band conscientious of trying to avoid a second album let down?

Kirsten:  As I said it is always the reflection of the present situation. Of course it is hard, cause you know that the people have an expectation and you don't know before if they'll like it. But when you write and record new songs, you should not really think about it. This could hinder you in your creativity. We always try to write true and great new songs while believing in what we do.

Rick:  7 Benedictions. 7 Maledictions is a sort of journey through life, did you ever find yourself pressed to find the right lyric or melody line to fit a particular situation?

Kirsten:  Of course! I always have to be flexible with the words, cause in the writing process things can change. I need to have an idea, a vision of the meaning and content. Then mostly the words come to my mind like a blizzard. Like the melodies do. When I feel the mood deep in my soul it flows. But sometimes it is hard work. But this is like life - sometimes you have doubts and hindrances to overcome. This makes you more conscious of what you are and want to do.

Rick:  What impression/s do you want to leave a listener with who has just heard 7 Benedictions. 7 Maledictions for the first time?

Kirsten:  To feel it. to have the wish to listen to it again and again and find always something new in it.  Then to confront with all these situations and feelings everybody tries and has to handle everyday in life. There is always an opposite - like between light and darkness, between love and hate. and we as human beings have to find our way through it. The album shows the journey through life with all ups and all downs. Every song represents and reflects one sin or virtue and the music shows the emotions and lyrics in a very strong and deep way. Every sin or virtue can be a benediction or a malediction - it depends on what we make of it. The important thing is that we reflect ourselves on what we do or feel and don't ignore the things that make us fearful.

Rick:  What is in the immediate future for Bloodflowerz?

Kirsten:  Now we're working on our new album, but we let us time. During the last 2 years we played lots of shows, published 2 albums and made a lot of experiences. Now we need the time to write a new album, in which we can express all the things happened to us. We'll definitely stay Bloodflowerz. At the end of summer 04 we'll enter the studio and record the new songs. And before we hope to play some festivals and shows to get the right energy for working in the studio.

Rick:  Any final message for your fans?

Kirsten:  Keep your fire ablaze!!!