Kari, can you tell us any fun fact about the new album?
The first thing I made for the new album was the title - I decided that it was going to be called "To The North" before the songs were made, keeping the title like a guide when I wrote the songs.
What does the name of the new album, "TO THE NORTH"?
To me it means coming home, my aim is to give the listener a trip back home the way I see it, in the North.
From the album title, can we expect songs with influences of your Nordic roots? If afirmative, Can we expect any track sung in Norwegian?
Yes, as you know I have always been inspired by Norwegian Nature and traditional music, and that is very evident in many of the songs on To The North. No, sorry - no track sung in Norwegian :-)
What are you expecting from the gig with The Sirens in Trondheim with Nightwish, now that you know you are one of Toumas Holopainen's favorite singers?
It is a great opportunity, and also a bit like "closing the circle" as Tuomas has said he was inspired by the old bands of the three of us (The 3rd and the Mortal, The Gathering and Theatre of Tragedy). We are really looking forward to it!! Also, for me personally it is even more special as the gig will be in my hometown Trondheim.
Is there any story you may want to share with us about your visit to Latin America with The Sirens earlier this year?
The visit to Latin America was awesome!! I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to finally come to visit. It was like a dream come true - such a friendly and welcoming audience, it truly felt like I was coming home :-)
"To The North Tour" has confirmed a few gigs in Norway and Germany. Are there any possibilities of Latin America to be included? PS: Brazil loves you!
Aaw, thank you so much :-) Yes, I would very much like for that to happen!! I cross my fingers that it will be an opportunity soon again!
Besides your singer career and the project with "The Sirens", what are your plans for the future?
The first plan now is to release a new solo-album, To The North, October 22. And after that I will tour both this autumn and next year. After that I hope to start the making of my next album - I cannot stop now! ;-)
There are many metal singers working in other projects along with awesome musicians, like Arjan Lucassen and Devin Townsend. Would you like to work in some project with one of these musicians or even others?
I didn't do many projects earlier in my career, I mostly focused on my solo-albums. The Sirens project has shown me what a great thing working with projects can be. It was a lot of fun doing the live shows together with such talented and wonderful artists as Anneke and Liv, so that has made me very positive towards new projects in future too.
I was very thrilled when "Push" showed up in your setlist. How do you feel when you sing this song after all this time? Can we hope to see more old songs in setlist?
Thank you, yes it was great doing Push live again! I had forgotten how much fun it is to do more up tempo rock-songs ;-) For the coming tour I will definitely look into putting some old songs on the list, maybe some from my first solo-album Spindelsinn as well, as this solo-tour coming will be more acoustic.
Personally, i'm a vinyl collector, and I would love to have your albums in this format. Have you ever thought to release your work in this format?
Yes that's great, as I have made vinyl releases of Other People's Stories, Time to Tell and also of the new album To The North. We are also making a special 7" picture disc vinyl for the first singles of To The North.
We know that you'll sing "Turn, Turn, Turn" for the first time in OLAVSFESTDAGENE. A festival that will take place on July 28 and August 2nd in your city. Can you tell us something about this awesome festival?
It was a wonderful experience. The theme for the festival was "Time" and Turn, Turn, Turn was a song they invited me to sing as it greatly embraces this theme - it deals with the circle of life and that "there is a time and place for everything" as it says in the song.
After The Sirens' concert in Chile, I was very impressed with the darkness and power of some old songs played with a band behind. In another interview you said to me that you were very nervous about your singer career, but after the tour with The Sirens, do you consider recording something more dark and heavy?
Well, I am not sure what will come in future, but I do like dark and heavy songs too ;-)
Recently you've been in Liverpool recording the new album. How was the recording process and how is your relationship with the band members?
It was a very special session recording in Liverpool. Everything was recorded live in studio, and that added a special nerve to the tracks - we were all very concentrated and focused in the takes; you don't want to make a mistake that ruins the take for everybody else! The relationship with the musicians developed in a great way, they were all so warm-hearted towards the songs and embraced the songs in a wonderful way.
You recorded a video clip for the song "Why So Lonely" directed by Aksel Dalili. What is the concept behind it? How was the video shooting?
The video was shot in the surroundings outside Stockholm in Sweden, ending up with the shot where I am going into the water :-). Aksel and his team did a great job, very dedicated and hard working. The concept of the video was to try to put on film those emotions I felt when I was writing the lyrics and singing those lines - about love, life and death basically ;-)
Have you ever thought about recording some audio-visual material, as a concert on DVD for example?
We have thought of it, but the opportunity has not come yet. It is quite expensive to do that on my own, so we will see in future.
Will Turn, Turn, Turn be the only single with a video or we can expect more videos to promote "To the North"?
There will be a new single out very soon, August 28. - "Battle Forevermore" and we have made a video for it too!
What kind of music has you listened to recently? Can you name a few artists that you like?
Lately I have been listening to many different bands, as we are doing many metal and rock festivals in Europe just now with the Sirens, that has been inspiring to listen to. And I have been listening to Norwegian artist Anneli Drecker who has a new album out "Rocks and Straws" - it is great, she is an extraordinary singer. Also the new Nightwish album is wonderful, so many good melodies, and so much energy!
Kari, do you have a favorite song from your previous album, "Time To Tell", or older albums? For me, Trollferd is very meaningful .. I was very thrilled to hear it in Sao Paulo
It is hard to say what is a favourite because all the songs have a very special meaning to me. But, Trollferd is for me a special song, as it was the first song I made as a solo-artist after leaving The 3rd and the Mortal. I am glad you liked it in Sao Paulo!
Which metal singer or even from other musical styles would you like to make a featuring?
Oh, not easy - I will have to think about that :-)
My little page "tribute to you", will turn a decade in 2015. I just want to say that I will keep supporting your career for a long time, because of your great musical work through all these years
Thank you so very much, I really, really appreciate the effort that you put into it, it really means a lot to me. I am so glad to hear that, and I hope you will like the new album too :-)
Kari, thanks for the interview. Could you please send a message to the Chilean and Brazilian fans?
Thanks for the interview you too! Yes, of course - hello wonderful people of Chile and Brazil - hope to see you on tour again!!
Thanks again for your time Kari, hope to see you very soon!
Thank you - and likewise!! :-)