METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Avienne. So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. How are you? How are things going?
AVIENNE KIUTTU: Things are going well! Lots of great new things happening with Vintersea, so it is an exciting time to sit down and talk with you.
MPAP: You have just had some big news recently, your band released "Illuminated," the first single from your upcoming album, but before we go any further, let’s first introduce your group to everyone, shall we? Vintersea is a melodic metal band that hails from Corvallis, Oregon that combines the essential elements of black, death, and progressive metal. What else do we need to know about you and your band?
AVIENNE: We take our craft and our music very seriously, but we’re all pretty silly behind the scenes! We’ve known and played with each other for over 5 years and have become like a family. That gives us a lot of material when we give each other a hard time!
MPAP: Now let’s talk a little more about your new single "Illuminated" and video that accompanied it. For those that might not have seen or viewed it yet, please tell us a bit about it if you will?
AVIENNE: It’s ultimately a song about breaking free from the societal restraints, and not giving up when the odds are stacked against you. We’re so excited to release the music video that accompanies the song. I hiked the Oregon countryside at night in a long dress and walked on snow barefoot - you just have to see it to believe it!
MPAP: Will 'Illuminated' also be the working title for the new release, or is that just for the single?
AVIENNE: We will be officially announcing the album title and specific release date in the next couple of weeks, but we can tell you that you are onto something there!
MPAP: So, how much of the record is complete, and what else can you tell us about it, especially if you have a release date in mind?
AVIENNE: The record is complete as of just a couple of days ago! We worked with Gabe Johnston of Falcon Recording Studio to record and mix the album and worked with Troy Glessner of Spectre Mastering to master the record. He has recently worked with artists like Devin Townsend, August Burns Red, Becoming The Archetype, and Disturbed, and he did an incredible job capturing the enormous sound we are aiming for.
MPAP: Where was your mindset when you began the lyric writing process for the new release? Do you scan the news headlines? How does a song usually develop?
AVIENNE: Before we begin the writing process, we discuss as a band what the theme of the album should be, followed by determining each song’s theme and message. The music is usually written prior to the vocals, but sometimes songs can be written on the fly when we’re 'in the zone'. It is important to us that each of our songs can be interpreted on multiple levels - from deeply personal to globally conceptual, all within the same framework.
MPAP: How long does it typically take you to write a song?
AVIENNE: Some of our favorite songs came together in a matter of days, but most of them take shape over a period of months with a lot of intense work, consideration, and debate. Usually the collective vision comes together after a couple of weeks!
MPAP: How do you feel you’ve grown as a singer and also as a band member have evolved since your first full-length 2017s Gravity Of The Fall compared to the soon to be new release?
AVIENNE: Each individual member of the band has developed and grown in both skill and style, and I think that really shows in the newest release. I love having fun with my vocal style, and I certainly got to explore different facets of my voice in the new album. As a band member, I think my relationship with the band has only grown stronger over the years, and that has made our songwriting more cohesive.
MPAP: Describe your breakthrough moment in Vintersea? What stands out to you being in the band the most?
AVIENNE: When we started to receive messages from fans saying that we inspire them, or that our music brings them through tough times, I knew that being in this band was bigger than what I thought it would be. It still makes me smile and even tear up when I hear that the music we write brings a lot of happiness and strength to our listeners. Of course, other bands’ music does the same for all of us, and we are proud to be a part of that lineage.
MPAP: What has been your biggest challenge as a band, and what do you do to overcome it?
AVIENNE: Dealing with the guys’ smelly feet in a hot van while touring! Haha, I kid I kid. They’re actually quite clean folks. To be frank, I have faced negativity being a woman in a metal band. There are people out there who see it as a crutch or don’t think that a woman has as much to say in the world of metal. With the support of my brothers in Vintersea, I have put my focus and channeled that energy into improving my craft and becoming the best vocalist and bandmate I can be, and I won’t be slowing down any time soon!
MPAP: You are going to be opening for Jinjer and The Browning this coming November 2nd in Portland, Oregon. Will there be any more dates after that, or should we expect a tour announcement in 2020?
AVIENNE: 2019 turned out to be a year all about creating. We put together an album we are extremely proud of, and now it is time to get it out there and support it. In that spirit, we expect 2020 to be chock full of great shows around the Pacific Northwest, and hopefully a regional run or two! It’s hard to say what the next year will bring, but we hope to see you all on the road.
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Avienne, for doing this interview. We look forward to the new release and what Vintersea does to finish out 2019 and beyond. Any last words for all your fans out there before we bring this interview to a close?
AVIENNE: We sincerely appreciate all the support that we have received so far, and that we have a lot of exciting things to share with our fans with this coming album! So definitely keep your eyes and ears peeled for our next single, "Illuminated," and our second full length album coming out in August 2019!
Avienne Kiuttu/ June 18th, 2019/ Interview #149