Sep 01, 2011Mary and Elizabeth interviewed by Metal Shock Finland

Questions in bold

Hi Mary and Elizabeth, I’m Tarja. welcome to Metal Shock! How are you doing today?

Hello Tarja, thank you we’re doing great!

To start, my personal compliments to you, Elizabeth, you’ve a great growl. When did you find out this “way of singing”?

Elizabeth: Thank you very much Tarja! Well about 2 years ago I was listening to Opeth and as always I wanted to sing along so I just tried out sounding like him and then this weird kind of growl came out, I recorded it and to my astonishment it sounded pretty much like him. Later when I met Mary in Frantic Amber with the first version of Bloodlust it was mostly clean singing and a little growl. She then asked me “can you make it all growl?” I must admit that I was a bit freaked out and scared but I said I would try and I went home and researched youtube and just started experimenting with my voice to try and find the right sound without pain. This I then developed and now I’m here still evolving and making it better as I go along.

Is it difficult to growl the whole night long? is it you to do also the clean vocals, or will there be any?

Elizabeth: No, not really. I do my best to take care of myself and my body because my instrument is inside of me so it’s important that I feel good and healthy. Yes there are clean vocal parts and I can easily switch between growl and clean.

You are about to go on your second tour in Russia. Last time you had 4 dates there at the beginning of March, can you tell us more about it?

Elizabeth: It was amazing! The fans there were screaming and went wild during the concerts so it was really fun and just plain awesome!

Mary: We can’t wait to come back and obivously the promoters didn’t either. That’s why we are going again already now in September and this time for eigth gigs. It will be our first headling tour and we of course are thrilled about it!

Mary, you formed Frantic Amber in 2008, with the idea to have a band that could deliver more attitude and brute force than what is normally seen in all-girls-bands. Can you tell more about the how everything started?

Mary: I had another female band before Frantic Amber, it was called Vision and played 70’s and 80’s hard rock more then metal. I always wanted to form an female fronted metal band because metal is the genre closest to my heart and also because of the lack of females in the metal music buisness. Frantic Amber was started 2008 but didn’t catch speed until 2010 when I left Vision. After that it didn’t take that long until the core line-up was complete. We were quite surprised ourselfs that it went so fast. Sandra had just lived in Sweden a couple of months before I found her on an online alternative community and Mio I knew from earlier projects so I invited her to a jam with us. In less then two months (March 2010) we were a full band.

How the audience has welcomed you, as an all-female metal band?

Quite well actually! We are so grateful for the enormous support fans have shown us so far! We are all hard working ladies and it’s nice to see that it pays off!

What do you think, comparing to male metal bands, does the women-power rule better on stage?

Elizabeth: This all depends on the people and personalities in the band rather than the gender of the members. In Frantic Amber it’s always been natural to us to go on stage, go crazy and just give all we’ve got!

Your debut 5 track EP, “Wrath of Judgement” was released earlier this year, how the things are proceeding? Where can you find it?

You can find it digitally on sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. through a small record label called Bluefreya Music in Australia. The physical CD available at ginza.se and cd.se.

How would you describe the EP and its songs and sounds?

Elizabeth: It sounds like the beginning of the era of Frantic Amber! It’s hard and heavy with lots of feeling. I write the lyrics from my own personal experiences, thoughts, feelings and such, so all the songs are really close to my heart.

Mary: The EP “Wrath of Judgement” was meant to be our first demo and was recorded a year ago. It’s the bands first steps to create the melodic and heavy sound we want. We have envolved since since then and I believe that our next EP (with release moved to early 2012) will show that. We will try some of the new songs on the Russian audience next week, we are thrilled to hear there response!

To form an all-female metal band is a brilliant idea, and your band members are of 4 different origins. Why this choice or was it a choice? Was it easy to find the members?

Mary: I don’t know about brilliant, it’s all but easy to both find female muscians and to keep them together. You need to have a mix of personalities to make a group of people to work. And there are so few females in rock music that it’s hard a mix with chemistry therefore it usually takes time to form a band that works.

Elizabeth: That we have different origins was more a coincidence then a plan. During my studies at The Royal Swedish Ballet School I found Mary’s ad and after I graduated I decided to stay in Stockholm and continue with the band. Sandra was also living in Stockholm temporarily but decided to stay for the band and Mio had already a life here because she moved to Stockholm with her family when she was a child.

 

Give us a brief presentation about each member and their roles.

Elizabeth: Vocalist and our lyrics writer. Writes music and has the reponsability our new web shop with orders and logistics.

Mary: Rhythm guitarist and band leader. Takes care of most of the promotion, bookings and administrations. Also responsable for the bands creative design, webadministration and finances.

Mio: Lead Guitarist and our main songwriter. Also takes care of our song and music rights.

Sandra: Bassist and a good social promotor. She does promotional trips to other cites and countries.

Everybody writes music.

Drummer: vacant.

Where comes from the band’s name?

Mary: It’s a mix between something furious ‘frantic’ and feminine ‘amber’. The word ‘amber’ has several meanings and the meaning of the two words together doesn’t say anything. That’s why we believe it’s a good name for our band. When we have reached our goal ‘frantic amber’ will to people only mean the band ‘Frantic Amber’.

Tell about the writing process, and from where you take your influences and song-topics?

Elizabeth: It oftentimes starts with a riff. From there the song pretty much takes its form. Mio has been writing the drums and organizing a lot. We all give each other feedback and come with ideas and when the song is complete I get the track and write the lyrics. Again we have a round of feedback and fine-tuning and when we all are satisfied with our new song, it’s done!

What are your future plans?

Mary: After the Russian tour in September we have some gigs booked in October, one showcase gig at the music fair Musician’s planet in Stockholm and on gig at a two day cruise to Riga at the Rock Bitch Boat. Other then that our focus will be on the next EP and our newly started cooperation with Ralph Santolla as producer. We started working with him during his stay in Stockholm and we will continue when he comes back to Stockholm in the autum.

Now, the word is yours, what are your greetings to our readers?

Thank you Tarja and Metal Shock for this interview, and to all our fans and friends: we want to say a huge thank you – we so appreciate your support! Hope to see you all in the headbanging crowd soon!