Ahead of the release of Dark Sarah’s excellent debut album Behind The Black Veil, we caught up with Heidi Parviainen, the brains behind the project, to find out a bit more. See what happened below!
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
My name is Heidi Parviainen. I am the former Amberian Dawn singer and my new cinematic metal project Dark Sarah was formed in 2012 when I left Amberian Dawn. Dark Sarah is a concept and the name comes from the frame story which tells about Sarah and her evil side persona Dark Sarah. My band is Erkka Korhonen-guitar, Sami-Petri Saloin- guitar, Rude Rothstén- bass and Lauri Kuussalo-drums.
Next month you will be releasing your debut album Behind The Black Veil. Can you describe your writing and recording process?
We started already planning the album and the style first with only one song. It was Save Me. This song also cleared up the idea in my mind about the whole concept and the story, the lyrics I wrote for this song brought up the devided personality of Sarah. Most of the songs on the album is written by a young Finnish composer Emy Frost. I told her about the story and she wrote the music based on the idea. Then I made the lyrics and Mikko.P.Mustonen made arrangements and orchestrations. The music is built to support the story.
Were there any songs that were more of a challenge to perfect?
Not really. Everything was so well produced before we started to record. Some songs developed more in the studio than others.
Which song are you most proud of?
Save Me, because it is the key to the story. It is my first song as a solo artist and my first own music video was filmed for it too. Many good memories are attached to that song, that way it also is the most significant one for me personally.
What made you choose the musicians you did to perform as your band on the album?
My dear friend Tommi Kuri, originally from Amberian Dawn, who tragically passed away on new years eve this year helped me to find musicians for Dark Sarah. First my friends from Amberian Dawn, Kasperi Heikkinen (U.D.O) and Jukka Koskinen (Wintersun) recorded the first two songs before the band was officially formed.
On the album you also collaborated with Manuela Kraller, Inga Scharf and Tony Kakko for three of the songs. What was it like working with them?
I have been really fortunate to have the opportunity to work with these fine artists and wonderful, warmhearted people. Manuela flew to Finland for recordings and second time for the video shootings and we had a lot of fun. She is my dear friend. Stefan Scmidt from Van Canto composed the song for me and Inga Scharf and they recorded their parts in Germany, so the working process was a bit different in that way. Tony and I met the first time in the video shootings in the wintery forest in Finland. He is also a kind person and a talented singer. We had really much fun shooting the video.
Any interesting stories from the recording studio?
Violent Roses was really fun to work on. First we recorded the lead vocal lines and then a lot of backing vocals with very different sounds- if you listen carefully you can hear the choir of evil flowers in the background who have very different characters. That was something I had never done before, we laughed a lot and I fooled around in the recording studio while making weird singing sounds. I could almost see the different flower characters before me, they became so alive.
Have you got any plans for some live shows in support of Behind The Black Veil?
Yes we have. We have already booked few shows. We have a album release show in Finland in June and in October we’re ggoing to perform in Sheffield UK. We’re now also trying to arrange other shows too.
If you could play anywhere in the world, on any lineup, where would it be and with what bands?
Oh wow, there are so many but at the moment I would like to squeeze in with Sonata Arctica and be able to perform our duet with Tony for a really large audience.
And finally if you could put your name to a product, what would it be?
Dark Sarah Silver Tree Casket – when you die and will be cremated, your ashes will be buried with a seed of a silvery willow. In time the seed starts to grow and you will transform into a silver tree. What a nice idea, I would want to become a tree too! 😀
Read our review of Behind The Black Veil here.