The Spanish singer Ailyn is well known to all the fans of female fronted metal for her bright participation in the Norwegian band SIRENIA. And now, finally, after almost four years of being on her own, Ailyn is back — on May 22 the debut album of the new project HER CHARIOT AWAITS with her participation as a lead vocalist is going to be released.
MetalGossip couldn’t miss the chance to talk to Ailyn who is always open and kind, and she told a lot about her new project, her life in coronavirus pandemic times, her cute little dog and much more.
MG: Ailyn, of all, how are you? How do you cope with these current hard times of COVID-19?
Ailyn: Hi dear. I’m fine, thank you. Well, I guess I’m handling as best as I can. All of this caught me in Spain visiting my family. When all the problem started I tried to rebook my flight to go back to Norway, but it was impossible, all my flights were cancelled. But I’m grateful as I’m with my loved ones and not alone somewhere not being able to go home. The only problem is that my boyfriend and my little dog are in Norway, so for now I can’t go back home to them. You know, the situation with the Covid-19 has been quite brutal in Spain, but we are doing our best. Here I’m trying to use my time wisely and be active with many things, right now being locked inside it’s very easy to get depressed and lose the days doing nothing, so I decided I would keep myself busy and found things to do that I love.
MG: Tell please how the idea of HER CHARIOT AWAITS came to life? Can you tell the story of your new project?
Ailyn: The idea of HER CHARIOT AWAYTS came to life when Frontiers Records contacted me. They told me they were working with Mike Orlando on a new band and asked me if I would be interested in working with him. Then they put me in contact with him and we had a talk about what idea he had for this new project.
MG: Where and how did the recordings take place?
Ailyn: The recordings took place at Sonic Stomp Studios in Staten Island, New York. At first the plan was for me to find a studio to record my vocals and send the files to Mike so he could mix it. But after giving it some time to think about it, we decided that it would be much better for the project if I could travel to New York and record at his studio so we could work together as this would make things a lot easier. I think it was the best we could do. It was a great experience working with Mike and also meeting Jeff and Brian, I had a lot of fun.
MG: Who is the author of all the music and the lyrics of HER CHARIOT AWAITS? Did you have any opportunity to influence the creative process with your own ideas and suggestions?
Ailyn: All the music was made by Mike, and then the lyrics were written by him, Danna Griffo and some parts by me. I really hope people like this album so we’ll be able to create new songs all together.
MG: How can you describe the style (genre) or HER CHARIOT AWAITS?
Ailyn: I would describe it as Hard Rock, Melodic Metal.
MG: Was it easy for you to work with vocal lines for HER CHARIOT AWAITS compared to SIRENIA? Can you say the new project has given you an opportunity to unveil your vocal talent from the different side?
Ailyn: Yes, it was way easier, as with my former band it was almost impossible to change a single note. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it, I really do as it was another person’s music and he didn’t allow anything to be changed, with them I was a mere singer. But with HER CHARIOT AWAITS even if Mike was the mastermind creating everything he understood that some things needed to be changed in order to use my voice in the best way and let it shine. Also working with Mike made me explore a new way of singing, and I loved that. I really loved that I was able to use my voice in a very different way than before. It was really fun.
MG: Ailyn, how do you feel, what style (SIRENIA’s or HER CHARIOT AWAITS’) fits better to you voice, vocal manner and skills and your inner world?
Ailyn: I think both styles fit me well and we can’t compare as they are both very different.
MG: Do you have any plans for future touring with HER CHARIOT AWAITS (or course, when this “coronamess” is over)?
Ailyn: Well right now with all the situation with the Covid-19, there’s nothing settled. But we really hope after life goes back to normal we will be able to tour the world, fingers crossed!
MG: Last time when we talked you’ve said there were some plans for your solo album. Do they still exist? Will you return to the idea of your solo album some day?
Ailyn: That’s the plan, but I put it on a side in order to focus on HER CHARIOT AWAITS, but I really hope someday I’ll be able to work on it again. Also I’m rethinking how the project will sound as my first idea was, not the same, but very similar to what we did in HCA.
MG: Can we expect any collaborations from you in the nearest future? Are there certain plans for that?
Ailyn: Yes, there’s a collaboration there waiting to be released. I mentioned it some time ago. It’s actually a collaboration with a Russian band, and I’m really looking forward for you guys to hear it, cause they are doing a great job.
MG: Let’s talk about your life during last several years. What have you been doing after parting with your former band? What was your life full of?
Ailyn: At first, I took some time off as I had some personal wounds that needed to be healed after my mum passed away, and the only thing that helps is time. Then when I felt strong enough, I began writing again and started thinking about new projects. I did few collaborations, both live and in studio, and began preliminary work for a possible solo album before HER CHARIOT AWAITS opportunity knocked on my door.
MG: Can you advise our readers any book to read or music album to listen to? What have impressed you recently in literature, music, cinema?
Ailyn: I read a lot and I like almost all the books I read, but I’m sorry to say I didn’t find any book that really impressed me. About music, I listen to different styles depending on my mood, I’ve been listening a lot from 30 Seconds to Mars lately, but the other day I discovered a band called Red and I’m listening to their album called Declaration, I really liked them. About cinema, I haven’t been to any lately since I have been traveling and then the lock down happened so I can’t really say any.
MG: Well… maybe a bit weird question, but… how’s Athina been doing? ☺ Your followers in social nets can regularly see the pictures with your adorable dog, so can you tell about this little cutie?
Ailyn: Oh Athina is doing great! So sweet of you, thanks for asking! Haha yes, she’s so tiny and cute I can’t help taking photos with her all the time. She’s not too happy about pictures, every time she is doing something cute and she sees I take the phone she stops whatever she was doing, so I have to bribe her with some treats. Right now she’s in Norway with my boyfriend. I really miss them, it’s been 2 months already since I came to Spain and as things are right now here, it looks like I will not be able to go home before June.
MG: After almost 4 years what do you feel about parting with SIRENIA? Do you still feel regret about it? What lessons have you learnt from this entire story?
Ailyn: Well I’m fine. At the beginning I felt very hurt. I just wished they would have handled things in a different way, as they did things very poorly in a moment of my life where I really needed the support of my friends. I don’t regret anything. Being with them had it’s good and bad things, like everything in life. What I learnt from it all is now I know who are real friends, and who aren’t. As they say, some people are only by your side when things are good, but when something goes wrong they are nowhere to be seen. So I’m glad it happened so now I’m surrounded by people who really care for me.
MG: Do you follow your former band (I mean listening to their new music)? Many people say that without you it feels like a completely new band and it’s not “true” SIRENIA anymore. How do you think, do the lead vocals play more important role in the band being a kind of unique or the music itself determines the band as something recognizable?
Ailyn: To be honest with you, I haven’t listened anything after we parted ways. Everytime a band changes the singer, it takes a little while for people to recognize the new voice in the band. But after people get used everything is fine. In a band everyone is the same important, it doesn’t matter if it’s the singer, or the drummer, etc…
MG: Do you have idols in music, someone who inspires you?
Ailyn: Yes I do, I really like singers like Roy Khan and Jared Leto. Their voices are very unique, as soon as they start singing, immediately you know who that person is, and I love that from a singer, plus they are also very charismatic.
MG: For you personally, how much the stage outfits are important for you?
Ailyn: Well, you know I love sewing my own outfits. It is not like the stage outfit it’s the most important thing. During all these years I have learned that subject its very contradictory. If you take care of the way you look people complain and say you are frivolous and only care about looking pretty, but at the same time, if someday you don’t look perfect you start hearing comments about how bad you look and as an artist you should take care more about your image. For me the outfit is part of my show, and the important thing for me it’s to feel confortable on stage to be able to do my job.
MG: You live in Norway for a while now. What is the difference between Spanish and Norwegian lifestyles?
Ailyn: I would mainly say the weather, of course, but also the food. Traditions are very different. For example, we have trolls here ; )
MG: As we know, you have diabetes. What do you do, besides taking medicines, to feel healthier?
Ailyn: I eat as healthy as I can. Lately I’ve been training regularly and I don’t smoke and almost never drink.
MG: What do you think of talent shows (as once being a participant in one?)
Ailyn: Honestly, I like to watch them every now and then. It’s always nice seeing other people’s talent, but talking by knowledge I would never recommend singers to try their luck that way. Maybe many years ago talent shows helped artist to build their careers, but lately I think everything is just a lie. I mean, you get you “minutes of fame” of course, but after, when you are out it’s very difficult to keep yourself up to the expectations. Once you are on the talent show you become a product, while you’re a contestant everything is good. But as soon as it finished and they have used you, you are left by your own with no guidance or people who can help you keep going. I have learned a lot on me participating in one and not everything was good.
MG: And last but not least, couple of words to your Russian fans.
Ailyn: Hey guys! I hope you all are fine and healthy in this crazy times we are living right now. Please stay safe! And while I have the chance, I would love to thank you all for being there for me after all these years. I hope we will see each other again soon!
Many thanks to Lily Scarlet for her help with the questions.