May 31 2012

Mary interviewed by CMAR – Croatian metal and rock

Questions in bold

Mary, could you tell me more about Frantic Amber members and band’s history?
The band as it is now actually started in 2010. Because it was not until then the sound was found and the core line-up of the band (Mary Säfstrand, Elizabeth Andrews, Sandra Stensen and Mio Jäger) was settled. I had Frantic Amber as a project before that, since 2008, but it was in March 2010 I found the right members and really could start working as a band. The funny thing is that in the end of finding these members, it occurred that almost everybody came from different countries. Elizabeth is from Denmark and was only in Sweden to go to ballet school. Sandra is from Norway and was only living in Stockholm temporary for a change of scenery. Mio moved to Sweden when she was a child with her family, and she was actually the only one living here permanently except for me. Both Sandra and Elizabeth had planned to soon go home but they both decided to stay in Stockholm for the band.  A year later we tried out this drummer for live and session jobs, Erik Röjås, because our female drummer left us for another band. The more we played with him we really felt we found the perfect drummer for us, and he kept growing into the band. Sooner or later, we felt simply didn’t want to play without him and he felt the same, and then he became the final part of the Frantic Amber line-up. 

You had 2 tours in Russia already, successful gig at Sweden Rock Festival as well, as a new band, how do you feel about that?
We are really grateful for the attention we got already and even though we work our asses off we consider ourselves lucky to been able to go on small tours without having a label or booking company behind you.


How was recording of your first EP “Wrath of Judgement”? Ralph is helping you out with the production of the 2nd EP, announced for spring 2012. Tell me more…
The recording of Wrath of Judgement was a pain in the ass because we were doing it by ourselves and didn’t know very much of recording. We redid guitars like two or three times on some songs just because we kept finding better and better guitar sounds. Now we have Ralph who help us very much with sounds and recording, but he don’t let us get away easy, we work hard on the songs and that is partly the reason why it’s been taking so long. And because of the hard work on the songs and that we been able to write songs along the way, we feel that we rather put the extra amount of energy and time to do an album instead. So the plans with the second EP are actually cancelled in favor for the fullenght album instead.


How did you come to play guitar? What is your 1st experience with it?
I started when I was 16 when some of the girls I knew where forming a hard rock band. I never thought of myself as a guitarist before that because I was always this math and science girl. Actually I had gotten to start studying math and physics at college before I realized my heart was really about music.


Do you think that it’s hard today to record a metal album in Sweden, to get a label?
In one way it’s harder to get the money for it, neither of the labels has money for new bands. But in the other hand it’s so much easier to record yourself and a lot cheaper to do make your own studio.


Where do you personally find inspiration for the music?
I listen to a lot of music, often different kinds of metal but also hard rock and other music genres. But we all have different inspirations in the band, and actually Mio is our main song writer. It’s hard to say any specific bands have inspired us but the general Gothenburg melodic death metal scene has influenced us for sure.


You played at Wacken Metal Battle finals in May in Stockholm. Were you surprised with the nomination? What was your motivation when applying?
We had our hopes up because last year, we also were in the finals and we came second place, only one vote from going to Wacken. We didn’t know if we were getting a spot in the finals this year but when we did we were thrilled!


How was your experience on WMB? How was your show comparing to opponents?
All bands this year was really good! We kept looking at them and said: “They are killer! ..and they are killer!” When we got up we had a tech problem with our backing tracks. And before the show we were so nervous, and then the thing that couldn’t happen happened, and we thought we were late and just said: “Ok, we change the set list!” counting began and we started with our heaviest song that is killer without the backing tracks. Just before we went up on stage Mio said: “If something happens to the backing tracks I think we should start with this song instead of this song.” Everybody thought it was weird because we haven’t had problems with the backing tracks for so long but everybody just said yes. Then on stage when that happened everybody knew what to do. And actually in some weird way it made all the nervousness goes away. We were just angry because of the tech problem, so we gave it all we got. And… That seems to have made a good impression!


What are your plans for future?
Our plans is to keep working hard with playing a lot, writing better and better songs, record our debut album and of course loading up for Wacken!