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Sorronia Interview

Sorronia Interview
September 2014


Hungarian-based symphonic metal band Sorronia is causing quite a stir within the symphonic metal community, and with good cause: not even 3 years since forming and just within months of releasing their debut album, the band has already toured with notable names on the scene such as Tarja Turunen; which is no small feat for bands with twice their seniority or popularity. Sometime amidst all the crazy touring, I got a chance to chat with Anna, the band’s vocalist, about not only the tour with Tarja, but everything else from the story behind their unique name all the way up to what they’ve got in store for us next.



Questions about the new album/the band:

C.:  This is your first album! From the time the band first started to now, how long did the process take (to record the album)?

Anna:  Yes this is our very first release. The album making took up all the time we can say, since we were recording the songs during several studio sessions. For example the first attempt was “Enemy of Yourself” in November 2012 due to [making] the video clip.

C.:  What was the recording process like? In what ways was it different from your expectations?

Anna:  I can say that it was different from our expectations in one way: It was a bigger experience and a better feeling than we thought before! [Laughs] We were very happy to work with the guys from Utopia Studio [in Hungary]! Their support and help were high above our expectations. This was an unforgettable period for us. Everything just turned out excellent and went smooth.

C.:  What was it like filming your first video [for “Enemy of Yourself”]? Again, how did the reality differ from the expectations?

Anna:  We didn’t have too much time to film the music video. Also, it was the beginning of the winter season; therefore the weather was turning to very-very cold. It was a foggy, cold and rainy day. There were no problems with the indoors filming but the outdoors…! We had to travel around Budapest in the cold. Had to visit several places for the clip. It was a great and interesting challenge for us but we liked it! It was funny running around in a skirt on the streets while everyone was wearing winter coats.

C.:  What sorts of things did you learn from recording this album that you’d like to utilize when it comes time to make your next album?

Anna:  It was a great experience for us. I think every studio recording session is a new challenge for everybody. With new tasks, ideas, solutions. We learned lot of things we want to utilize in an upcoming release.




Questions about touring:

C.:  You just finished a tour opening for the legendary Tarja; you cite Nightwish as one of your major influences, so how has that been for you? Have you had the chance to meet her? Can you tell us any stories about her that fans would like to know (that aren’t too personal, of course!)?

Anna:  It was a great pleasure for us to support Tarja during her “Colours in the Road 2014” tour. We had a very strict schedule to arrive to the locations, load in, etc. […] There are no “special” stories I can tell. Everyone was trying to relax and prepare for the shows. We had the chance to meet her and her band. They were very nice and supporting. Well, we had some “delays” with the show in Udine, Italy. We were heading to the venue from Switzerland through Austria and had no snow problems at all on the road so we arrived in time. We were surprised that Tarja’s team did not arrive [at] the theater in time. After 2-3 hours they finally reached the venue. They were trapped in the snow and had some problems on the road. They were like, “Hey guys, did you also have snow problems?” – We were “Hey, what do you mean? We were here for [the last] 3 hours!” [Laughs] We were happy they arrived safe.

C.:  How has touring (in general) been so far for you? What are some of the things you like/don’t like about it? What are some of the ways you keep your voice in shape on the road?

Anna:  We have travelled about 14,000 kilometers in half of a year. That meant several hours of sitting and useless time spending for us in the van. But this is just a “general” draw back for every band. Every kilometer worth it to make the shows and reach out to new people out there. We’ve seen fantastic cities, landscapes and met awesome people along the way. To keep myself in shape I drink lot of tea because of the cold season and wearing coats and scarves even if it feels 40 degrees just to avoid any illnesses and problems.

C.:  Now that you’ve been to other countries besides your own, how is the audience’s reaction to your music in those other places compared to at home?

Anna:  We have visited several great places during the tours. Every place was unique, awesome, and held new challenges for us. We had great support from the people abroad and we would like to keep up visiting more and more countries in the near future.

C.:  What other bands do you hope to tour with in the future?

Anna:  I can say that we would be very happy to support any bigger bands. OK, it would be strange to support a death metal band for example [laughs], so I say that if I have to choose 1 or 2 bands from our genre than we would be very happy to support bands like Nightwish or Epica. Who knows what may come in the future? We have no exact plans for it.

C.:  Now that the tour with Tarja is over, what is next on your tour schedule?

Anna:  We are working on our tour schedule for 2014. Currently have a few announced shows for example we will grab the chance to visit the UK in November. We already had a great show in Vienna in April and two other shows here in Budapest in May.

Questions about “the scene”:

C.:  How is the metal scene in Hungary? Is metal very popular, or is it hard for metal bands to get noticed? Are there very many bands like yours?

Anna:  The metal scene in Hungary is very interesting. I think there are several good bands, but it is hard to get noticed; though we have several very good festivals which are great and can be a big opportunity for bands to play at one of them. Also there are some good clubs where you can play. Metal isn’t the most popular genre at Hungary I think. There are several bands from every type of genres.

C.:  What are some of your favorite newer bands? What recent albums are on your playlist right now?

Anna:  I’ve got to know a new band called Arion from Finland and I’m waiting for their album to come out so it’s on the top of my list. We also had great shows with other newcomer bands and some of them are really, really great; we got albums from them and we also gave them ours so there are so many new albums I can listen to!

C.:  What advice can you give to young girls out there who are looking to join a band or form bands of their own? What kinds of things have you learned that you would like to share with them?

Anna:  First of all, you should never fear about what the future will bring. If you would like to form a band, do it! It is really hard but if you really want to, you can do it just never give up. And that’s the most important part: never give up and always believe in what you do. It sounds like a cliché but I think so many bands lose this kind of thinking along the way and although I absolutely understand it, without this, I would never be able to continue. Also, never fear to learn and learn. Music is a wonderful, mighty world full of beauty and you can always learn new things. Enjoy every second of it; although to start a new project is sometimes more than hard! There will be so many other things you will realize and learn by yourself during the way, it would be a long talking but I’m pretty sure that there are a lot of things I still have to learn and experience too!

C.:  Bands like Nightwish and Within Temptation are pioneers in your genre of music; they have opened so many doors that have made it possible for bands like yours to find their own success. However, because those bands are so huge, there seems to be a dismissive attitude towards the newer bands sometimes as well; that whole attitude of “I’ve heard this all before”. Have you found it easier or harder to win over the audience because of this?

Anna:  Yes, that’s absolutely true that you can often read comments like “I’ve heard this before”. I’m very happy that we didn’t get too many comments like this so far. We experienced during our tours that most people are interested in new music, new sounds and they are very open for everything and if they like what they hear then they will support you. I always say that every genre was found once but there is always a way to show something new. I was speaking with other musicians from bigger bands and also from newcomer bands and they also said that they experienced this, mainly in symphonic metal where “every band is Nightwish” according to some people. I don’t think so that this is true although Nightwish is an amazing band and I respect their work. This “I’ve heard this before, there is nothing new in this genre anymore” thing is the perception of a part of the society and not the music we are talking about at this point. Of course, there are bands who aren’t good, there are bands who are so similar to others or who are copying a bigger band but when you hear something new and good and you read the comments that “I’ve heard this before…” or something like that, you know that sometimes it is harder to convince people than anything else in this business. Sometimes I feel that some people don’t listen to the music. They have an opinion no matter what even if they haven’t heard the band but we can’t change these people’s opinion and I’m not so sure that we have to. Music is also a language, and it finds its way I think. I’m so thankful to the people who give a chance to the newcomer bands, who support them because this means a lot.

Questions about “early history”:

C.:  Tell us a little about your band’s beginnings; how you got together, when you joined the band, where the band gets its name, etc.

Anna:  The story has started when I met with István, our keyboardist after our first e-mail [correspondence]. We both liked symphonic metal and wanted to form a band and follow out our dreams. Here I have to mention that before Sorronia we had another melodic metal project. So then we started to work together, started to write songs together and we were searching for members who would fit in with our ideas, who could do a project with heart and hand. Then we found them. It was like a dream, when I first met with the whole band I had a strong feeling that this is it. We started the work on the songs together and recorded our first single, “Enemy of Yourself”, in November 2012; and shot a video clip for it in December. In January 2013, we recorded 4 more songs and started to send out our demo to the labels. In June 2013, the band signed with Bakerteam Records. We recorded 4 more songs for the album so our first full-length album was complete. In October 2013. this album [Words of Silence] was released in a world-wide deal. About our name: Sorronia is a fantasy name. It came from the English word “sorrow”. It symbolizes our world, our feelings, happiness, sorrow; everything that we are.

C.:  When did you first start singing and for how long (if at all) did you take vocal lessons?

Anna:  I started singing when I was 6. I studied at a singing primary school where I learned singing, music history, music theory, classical music. Later I continued my studies at a high school’s department of music. During I was studying there I started to take singing lessons at a private singing school. Then I realized that I would like to learn opera singing so I started to take private singing lessons from an amazing opera singer and singing teacher. I’ve been learning opera singing for 3 years.

C.:  When did you first start listening to metal music and what were some of your favorite bands when you first got started? What other types of music do you listen to?

Anna:  I first started to listen to metal music when I was 16, but I’ve already listened to some lighter rock bands before. My passion for music comes from a young age and since I started my studies with classical music, I was amazed by symphonic metal genre when I’ve heard it for the first time. I suddenly realized that this is something special to me. My favorite band was Evanescence when I was younger. I also liked Deep Purple, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down and later I got to know Nightwish and it became my favorite metal band. I also like Epica, WT, Xandria and so on. I like listening to classical music, Hungarian folk music, Celtic music, opera, film soundtracks, country and rockabilly and so on. Would be hard to mention everything I like to listen to.




Silly/trivial questions:

C.:  Of all the singers on the femme-metal scene, which one would you most like to sing a duet with?

Anna:  It’s a really hard question; there are a lot of great female singers out there in metal. From symphonic metal I would say Floor Jansen or Tarja Turunen. I also would be really happy to do a duet song with Alissa White-Gluz.

C.:  If you could have a “guest musician” join you onstage for one night (one performance) —any musician, living or dead—who would it be, and what instrument would they play?

Anna:  It would be Johnny Cash and he would sing and play guitar! :)

C.:  If you could trade places for one day with any famous person (doesn’t matter if they are musicians or not); you had to live their life for one day and they had to live yours, which one would you choose? (Remember, that person would be taking over your spot for a day, meaning they have to get onstage and perform as you, so choose carefully!!!)

Anna:  It would be the actress Stana Katic.

Future plans/last words:

C.:  What’s next in store for Sorronia? Already thinking about the next album?

Anna:  Yes! We are working on new songs and we have plans for a new album. That’s the most important plan for us now.

C.:  In closing, what would you like to say to your fans or to people just discovering your band through this interview?

Anna:  I would like to thank you guys for your amazing support you gave and you give us! I’m so happy to be a part of this! I do this with all of my heart and to get your feedbacks mean a lot to me! Thank you very much!

C.:  Thanks so much, Anna; it was a pleasure working with you!!!

Anna:  Thank you so much for this amazing interview! It was a pleasure for me!

For more information about Sorronia, visit their official blog.