For Selena and Sin - 16/12/2009

FOR SELENA AND SIN, founded in 2004, is with no doubt one of the future major names in the scene of female fronted metal bands. Performing a unique mix of metal, rock and pop, FOR SELENA AND SIN have found their own distinctive sound right from the beginning. With their first demo (‘Draining’, 2005) the band showed such potential that it wasn’t a great surprise when a record deal with the Dutch label Mascot Records was signed.

 

In 2007 FOR SELENA AND SIN recorded their debut album ‘Overdosed on You’ in Studio Watercastle with producer Arttu Sarvanne. The album was highly praised by media in Finland and abroad. Following the album’s release, the band toured through Finland, Europe and Russia.
 

In 2009 FOR SELENA AND SIN head to Studio Underground in Västerås, Sweden, to record their second album ‘Primrose Path’. The collaboration with producer Pelle Saether brought out the more energetic and diverse side of FOR SELENA AND SIN. The new masterpiece features 12 catchy songs, including the Kylie Minoque cover song “Confide in Me”. A music video was shot for the first single, “Psycho Lover”!

 

 

It appears there is much to talk about, here you can read what guitarist Pasi Kolari had to say about the new album.

 

Two years ago we talked about your previous album ‘Overdosed on You’, can you give us a little update of what’s been happening since that release and could you introduce the new bandmembers?

 

Pasi: After the release of our debut album we spent a lot of time on the road. We played a lot of shows in Finland but also in Europe. Feedback was something we didn’t expect, even though we knew we had recorded a strong album. But our songs were being played on the radio and the album reviews we received were really good. So I am satisfied and I can’t see any other way to make things better. We have a new guitarist called Martti Pohjosaho. He was initially meant to act as a session player for the shows, but everything worked out really great, so he asked for the chance to stay in the band. After ‘Primrose Path’ our former bass player decided to focus more on a different way of life. He was replaced by Aapeli Kivimäki who plays guitar in the Finnish death metal band called Soulfallen. Both are great guys and it’s cool to have professional players in the band.

 

How did you launch into writing material for ‘Primrose Path’ and how much time did you spend on the songs?

 

Pasi: When we started writing new songs, things went quite smoothly. We had written some basic concepts for the songs a long time ago, but when we booked a studio for the second album, we had about 6 months’ time to get the rest of the songs ready. I’ve never wanted to make songs a 100% ready before studio sessions. I like to finish guitar solos and some other stuff in the studio and check what kind of mood we have at the time. Basically we had about 70% of the songs ready when we entered the studio.

 

Which approach did you choose to create this album, did you go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your previous other works, or something all together different?

 

Pasi: The main idea was to create more energetic songs. I didn’t want to make same kind of album again. It was quite hard to play the slow songs off the debut album on stage. I’m not saying that people were asleep during our shows, but it was almost like that, hahah…We like to play live, so it’s great to finally add a little faster material to our set list.

 

How can we imagine you work on new songs, what's the typical writing process like for FSAS?

 

Pasi: I think we work in the same way as many other bands. Someone has an idea for a verse or a chorus and then we check these riffs in the rehearsal room and start building a whole song around it. For example the way I write songs is quite simple. I take a beer or a couple more and start playing. Sometimes good stuff comes out of it, sometimes it’s only shit. But I don’t need any special mood for the writing process.

 

 

After the release of your debut album you experienced some line-up changes. Did these changes influence the new songs?

 

Pasi: This is a good question…I was really surprised when I realized how tight these guitarists sound. So our method and concept stayed stable even when we got a new guitarist. I don’t see any special influence on our music.

 

What comes first, lyrics or melodies?

 

Pasi: Melodies come first and lyrics afterwards. It’s easier to write songs in this way. Even when we have lyrics ready for the studio, we always make some line changes etc…If I remember correctly, we had a couple of songs without lyrics when we entered the studio and we completed lyrics during the recording sessions.

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Primrose Path’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Pasi: We wanted to make faster and more catchy songs and get more of a rock feeling on it. We decided to record the album as far away from home as possible this time to get a peaceful ambience. Sweden was the right place for us.

 

Could you describe the implications of the title ‘Primrose Path’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

Pasi: The idea for the title came from our singer Annika. Like our debut album title ‘Overdosed on You’, ‘Primrose Path’ is  also just a name for the album. We don’t have title songs on our albums. For me there’s not any special meaning behind the name and it doesn’t walk hand in hand with the songs. But it is simple and works as a title for the album. 

 

Can you give us a little background information on the songs, is there a story behind them?

 

Pasi: The last couple of years I have moved a little in another direction than the metal scene and I have listened to different kinds of music. Maybe this has something to do with our new songs, because you can hear some elements from different music styles. Ok, there’s not any reggae or anything that doesn’t fit with rock music. But, for example some guitars solos could be taken from the 80’s hard rock and some songs are composed in a little bit of a pop/rock format.

 

 

Where do you get your inspiration for writing lyrics and can you tell me more about them?

 

Pasi: Lyrics are different kinds of stories from our personal lives. We wanted to keep the lyrics quite simple, so I think people will find out the red line. I don’t want to give too much background info, but for the example bonus track “Five Days In A Row” is a really sad and true story of how someone you have loved from your heart is fading away. Although the album contains stories like “Five Days In A Row”, there is also softer “rock-pop” lyrics to keep the balance.

 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to your lyrics apart from listening to the music?

 

Pasi: Of course it’s important, but there are always people who get the feeling from the music. Let’s think about the situation when a band plays live. Even though you can hear and understand all the lyrics, you keep an eye on how the band plays and the first thing you pay attention to is the music. It’s always positive to hear that someone has found something in the lyrics.

 

How did the recording process proceed, did you work differently this time than you did with your previous albums? How much time did you spend in the studio?

 

Pasi: This time we worked in Sweden. We booked a studio for 3 weeks and we had a chance to use it for 24 hours. Mostly we worked 10-12 hours/per day, so it was hard work, but also I felt it was more relaxing than our debut album recordings.

 

What do you think are the main differences between your debut album and your new album ‘Primrose Path’?

 

Pasi: If we think about the sound world, this time it’s heavier and the guitars are quite strong if you compare it to the ‘Overdosed’ album. I don’t want to compare the songs on the album too much. Basically both albums contain the same elements, melancholic music, but I think I could say ‘Primrose Path’ was recorded in a more professional way and the production was also a little bit better. But, I still love ‘Overdosed’ a lot, so it has a place in my heart.

 

The album was produced by Pelle Saether, what made him the perfect man for FSAS?

 

Pasi: He is a really cool guy, but he also wants everything to work out. You know, when you are working with him, you are working hard. Personally, I don’t like lazy people and when you have 3 weeks time to make an album, you have to focus on the recordings. He kept a tight schedule and that’s just what I like.

 

In which elements on the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?

 

Pasi: We had our own vision of the songs. His main responsibility was to take care of mixing and to help with the vocals. But, mostly he was a boss who kicked us to make our work even better and better.

 

Have you received any feedback on your album yet?

 

Pasi: The album was released in Finland and Scandinavia in October. We have received some feedback and it was really positive. But, it’s too early to say how it will go in Europe, as the album will be out in January.

 

 

Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?

 

Pasi: I am really satisfied with the result and I don’t see anything I would like to change. The studio technique is highly advanced these days and you can make whatever you want in a studio, but sometimes it’s better to keep it simple. Of course it allows you the chance to do things differently, but in our case the album is just how it was mean to be.

 

With two albums under your belt, how far has FSAS surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most rewarding part of being in the band?

 

Pasi: This is our second album and we are looking forward to pushing the band to become bigger. This means hard work, not only by band but also by the record company. As you know, these days albums don’t sell like they used to. I am happy that we have been playing a lot of gigs and we will continue touring, so I am sure it will help us to find new fans. I think it will be easier to answer this question when we’ve made our third album.  

 

What have been the highlights and low points throughout your career?

 

Pasi: It’s always hard when you have line-up changes, but so far we have survived them well. We have had 11 different people in the band, also counting session members. So, sometimes this gives you a little bit extra work to get things worked out. It’s hard to say what are the biggest highlights, but it’s always great to play outside of Finland and meet new people who like our music.

 

What makes FSAS different from the other ‘female fronted’ metal bands out there?

 

Pasi: Hard question… To be honest, I don’t like many female fronted metal bands, especially melodic bands with soprano singers make me feel bad. Even though we play metal and FSAS goes for this category, I see these days Selena’s more as a rock band who want to have a fun on stage. Sometimes rock ‘n roll life goes a little bit over the top on tour :)

 

What can we expect from For Selena and Sin in the near future, any live shows or festivals next summer?

 

Pasi: We will start a European Tour in January 2010. This will be part of our new album promotion, so let’s see how it goes. We are looking forward to playing in Europe again. After this tour we will make another new music video and play shows in Finland. There have not been any festival shows confirmed yet, but I am sure people will find us on the festival stages, too.

 

Is there anything that has been left unmentioned?

 

Pasi: I wish a happy new year to all readers! Don’t forget to check our new album and “Psycho Lover” video from our ‘Primrose Path’ album.

 

Thanks for your time!

Eugene Straver

 

 

 

Members:

Annika Jalkanen - Vocals

Pasi Kolari - Guitars

Martti Pohjosaho - Lead guitars

Teemu Oksanen - Keyboards

Aapeli Kivimäki - Bass

Taneli Sillanmäki – Drums

 

Former members:

Sini Pajunen - Vocals  

Kuha Sillanmiski - Drums

Mika Minkkinen - Guitars

Teemu Turkia - Bass

 

Albums:

(2009) Primrose Path

(2007) Overdosed On You