Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new debut album entitled: “Black is the Colour”.
But could you please start off by introducing the readers to the band?
Arven – Hi there! For those who don't know us yet, Arven are: me, Anastasia Schmidt - guitar and main song writing, Carina Hanselmann - vocals, Ines Thomé - guitar, Elena Yatsula - keyboards and piano, Lisa Geiss - bass and Till Felden - drums. We started playing together in 2007 and released our debut album "Music Of Light" in August 2011. "Black Is The Colour" is our second full length album.
Could you please give us some info on the album: Where did you record the album and who has produced and mixed it?
Arven – We are happy to have recorded and mixed our album in the Baszment studio by the one and only Markus Teske. We had a great time in the studio, Markus is soo much fun to work with, he is very skilled and capable. When you have an idea, you will almost never hear from him "that's impossible to do", rather he will say "give me a minute" and you can be sure that you will like the result :-) In fact we are very happy with the sound and would like to thank Markus once again for the great work!
And now onto your new album track-by-track, what inspired you, and what do what to express with this song etc.
Arven – Believe is a solid up-tempo power metal song with a lot of fast riffing and a catchy chorus that is just so much fun to perform live. Your mood can't help but to get better once you listen to the song, so whenever you feel down just try out this one and you will immediately feel better, for me it works every time ;-)
02. Don't Look Back
Arven – I find this song quite difficult to describe, though it's one of my favourites on the album. The choirs in the middle of the song were fun to record together with our guest vocalists Beatrice Balthes and Stefan Schmidt and I enjoy playing the guitar solo at our live shows very much.
Arven – This one is rather playful and shouldn't be taken too earnest ;-) But be warned, the melody in the chorus might get stuck in your head for a while :-)
04. The One for Me
Arven – It's the hardest song on the album and also a special one, as it features Stefan Schmidt from Van Canto as a male guest singer. Together he and Carina do a great job in this duet, I particularly enjoy the vocals in the balladic interlude in this song. It's sung by a man and a woman in search of their other half. The music is written by me and the guitarist Benjamin Reiter from Awaiting Dawn and is a fast song with lots of guitar riffs, that I personally enjoy playing live very much. The lyrics, on the other hand, have a very "female" theme, we are a female band and I believe that a deep longing for love lies at the core of every woman, so that's what the song is all about and it personally means a lot to me. Besides it actually would be a cool song for another music video.
05. All I Got
Arven – An Arven Album wouldn't be right without a ballad and "All I Got" is a perfect opportunity for out singer Carina to show her beautiful end emotional voice. It starts with a soft and a bit jazzy piano and Carinas voice slowly comes in and sounds very sad and fragile in the beginning. For me it's a very personal song about lost love, I put a lot of emotion and pain into the song writing. In the second half of the song the music gets heavier, the feelings of pain and loss are expressed in a more wild way in the heavy instrumental interlude and the atmosphere gets more intense. The song ends once again with a soft piano playing by our Elena that takes my breath away every time I hear it.
06. My Darkest Dream
Arven – It's a song written by our guitar player Ines with simple and powerful riffing and a nice long guitar Solo in the middle, which is also performed by Ines. Enjoy!
07. Cercle D'Emeraude
Arven – This song is a folk style Instrumental with a catchy melody played by a violin that was composed by our piano player Elena. It's real fun to listen to and play, as it's rather fast and upbeat but also offers a couple of unexpected twists and combines a couple of different styles.
08. In Your Dreams
Arven – In Your Dreams is a light and positive Song about the innocence of the childhood, the thrill of discovering the world around you and the courage to follow you own path in live, wherever it might take you. The heavy instrumental interlude in the middle of the song is a bit of a surprise, as it's in contrast to the otherwise not so heavy music of the song. People who already listened to our first album know that I like to blend together quite different styles of metal, as I enjoy listening to different styles of metal myself and that's why I like to build in the contrast of heavy and calm parts in my songs.
09. Fireside Stories
Arven – This song is rather heavy and it has a little folk metal touch to it. If you like power metal music with choirs and catchy melodies you will probably enjoy the chorus of this song.
10. My Fall
Arven – This song is very emotional and intense and it's also one of the hardest songs on the CD with an added orchestral arrangement to create extra power, especially in the instrumental parts of the song. It's also written by Benjamin Reiter and me. It starts with the main theme played by the piano and the other instruments coming in one by one until the whole band comes in and the theme is played by an electric guitar which slowly increases the tension until the whole band falls silent in the first verse where Carinas voice is accompanied only by the piano and the bass. In the chorus again the whole band is joining into the heavy but slow tempo guitar-dominated part with Carinas very emotional singing. The climax of the song (and maybe even the whole album) is the thunderstorm-like fast instrumental interlude, which sounds quite heavy as it's played by tuned down guitars that are powerfully supported by a whole orchestra. It's my personal favourite on the whole album and if you would like to pick just one song to listen from this album, I would recommend "My Fall", I'm quite sure it wouldn't leave you indifferent!
11. Black Is The Colour
Arven – "Black Is The Colour" is a folk song cover that we arranged for a classical guitar, cello and male and female vocals. The Song also gave the title to the whole album because it describes the main mood of the Album so well, as it's rather dark and melancholic, so besides being a song title on the album it also fits perfectly in the overall album concept as albumtitle.
12. Ride On
Arven – Another folk song that we arranged for Arven, this time played by a piano and a classical guitar. The lyrics have a melancholic touch, the song's about parting ways and saying goodbye, so we placed it at the end of the album. But we are not saying goodbye for long, "the show must go on", so we are already writing songs for a next album and are thrilled to explore, which way our musical inspiration will lead us.
Tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?
Arven – The photos for the artwork were taken by a German photographer Niko Neuwirth and the artwork was created by Jan Yrlund, who already designed the artwork of our first CD "Music Of Light". We wanted the artwork to reflect our musical development, so we wished an artwork that looks more dark and earnest than the artwork of our first CD, but also represents the power and the delicate beauty of the music. We wanted the photo of the whole band to be on the CD Cover and with it comes the challenge. If you have a band and your already made the experience of making band photos you will know that if 6 musicians just stand there and look in the camera the photos would be rather dull. So we tried a lot of different standing positions until we came up with walking towards the camera side by side. We liked how it looked, as is represented the power of the music. That's how the photos for the artwork were created. Jan added the right light and background to the photos and edited them to look a bit surreal and that's the result that you see on our CD cover.
Any last words you want to round this interview off with?
Arven – I would like to thank our fans from all around the world for your feedback and support! We've been receiving so many emails and letters from everywhere, it's unbelievable! Thank you for the kind words and for coming to our shows, knowing our lyrics by heart and enjoying our music together with us, you are so great! See you soon and best wishes to you all for the new metal year 2014 :-)
Kenn Jensen, December 2013