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Interview with Sareeta, violinist/singer from Asmegin and Ram-Zet. 4/14/05

How is work coming on the new Asmegin album, are you still planning to enter the studio this spring?

S: We`re in a writing process right now. The “basic-guys (drums, guitars, bass)” meet quite often to make the “shell” of the new songs, while the rest of us gets cd`s with these ideas- to work with on our own. The plan is to get together and arrange these ideas into songs when everybody have had their chanse to get into the ideas properly. This process takes time,-expecsially when we`re eight members in the band- but I guess around summertime we`ll enter studio again.

On “Hin Vordende Sod & So” you were only a session member. How did you get in touch with the band to do that, and what led you to joining permanently?

S: Well, Marius contacted me to ask me to help the ásmeginers with some fiddle on the HVSOS – album. During the studio-prosses it turned out to be a lot more violin, - and also vocals- than expected. As the album was released they needed someone to do my parts in the future as well, - both live and in future albums. So they asked me,-and since I loved working both with their music, and the people of Ásmegin- I said yes.

Now that you are a permanent member of the band, are you more involved with the writing process of the material?

S: Yes, of course. In the HVSOS I just did a job for the band and what pleased them, was ok by me.- And in that position you haven`t the right to tell thumbs up or down to any part of the music, like I do know. Also, now I get to make my violin and vocal-parts myself, of course- as any other band-member- in cooperation with the rest of the band. I love this! We are eight very different people making the music now, and it`s of course taking some time, but we`re gettng there.

Are there going to be as much, if not more violin and female vocals on this album than on “Hin Vordende Sod & So” now that you’re more involved?

S: Sure! I`m not halfway there to tell anything about how my parts are gonna be in the end, but I guess it will be some more, and also more various use of both my voice and violin...

I heard the new album title is tentatively titled “Tusind Tabte Siaeles Cacophonie” What does that mean in English?

S: Translated it means “Cacophony of thousand lost souls” The story behind the title is quite long,and the whole album will be a concept-album around this story,-so lets get back to that after the album-release...

How has it been working with all your band-mates, especially since you’re the only girl of the bunch?

S: It`s of course VERY, VERY hard to be in a metal band when you`re a girl. Most likely the hardest thing you can do. Then I got nobody to check if my make up is right, or whith boots to wear. And then I feel completely stupid…No, really... I am starting to get a little tired of this type of questions...I get along really good with every bandmember in both bands,and working with these bands is great.I really don`t think it matters whether you`re a boy or a girl.....

Let’s move on to Ram-Zet, where at least you’ve got some female company(S: Yes, that`s of course much easier, so I don`t have to feel so insecure when we`re around...). I heard something about a new album a while back, but then no updates for a while.

S: We finished recording in october/november, did the mixing at Bergstrands in November, and finished the master a couple of weeks ago. The album, which will be named “INTRA” is then just waiting to get out… We haven`t the exact release-date yet, but hopefully it well happen some day in the end of May…

What’s it like having to back up Sfinx at vocals instead having the lead female part, like in Asmegin?

S: I was contacted mainly to do the violin- parts in Ram-Zet, and that’s my “title” in that band. Sfinx is a great vocalist, and its just fun to back her up from time to time. Ram-Zet and Ásmegin are two very different bands –not only musically-, in which I play different roles. In this way I got to do a lot of different things, and that’s both interesting, challenging and healthy, I think.

Any tour news for either band? You know I’m dying to see both come to the US!

"I very much like bands that challenge your mind a bit."
S: For the moment, there are no tour-plans at all, unfortunately. We`ll see what happens after the two album- releases,but the respective record-companies have to give us some money first, you know. It`s all up to the big guys - as always. (I`m dying to come to the US as well - with both bands…)

You were also did session work on violin for a band called Pantheon I. I know two of their members are also in 1349 – what was it like being around two super-kvlt guys (laughs)

S: It was very spooky… maybe the most frightening experience ever- all because of the dark and formidable 1349-member… But since I am extremely frightening too, it worked out quite well..

Now to find out a little about you personally. Did you grow up listening to metal? If yes, which bands influenced you? If no, then how does a violin playing girl with no interest in metal get involved with one but not two metal bands?

S: This question is a little more black/white than real life, so I choose both options… No, I did not grow up with metal (except of course Metallica and other best sellers…), but more like grow into it. I had people around me that enjoined metal, and I liked it, but didn`tlove it- until... It suddely hit my heart. So, when I “woke up”, I ate everything, digging quite deep into the extreme metal genres.

The reason I joined Ram-Zet, was that I went to school with Sfinx some years ago, and when they needed a violinist who also could do some backing vocals,-AND could enjoy the genre- they contacted me. At the time I joined that band I had just had my first taste of metal, and by the time I joined Ásmegin as well, I was relly in love with the genre.

I have my violinistic background in classical music, and had never dreamed of being at the stage with a metal- band. But when I first started I discovered all the fun and challenge in playing metal and got more and more into using violin in metal-projects. Actually I believe that classical music and metal have a lot in common, but not too many people have that combination in their repertoar, so I kind of made up my own path.

As for inspiration, I believe you will always collect impressions of everything you hear. In my case there aren`t that many bands with violin, so there will never be that direct inspiration from certan bands, as so often for drummers/guitarists an so on.- And there is also very few metal-violinists to confer with, so I just try to keep my ears and mind open, and do my own thing.

As for the number of metal bands, I`d love to join alot of bands, but you have to make a choice, because of time and money-problems…In my opinion you also have to be 100% dedicated to the band(s) you`re in, so I think it stops at two active live and studio-bands, but I do some helping out then, from time to time…

What are some of your favorite bands now?

S: That`s the hardest question you could ever ask. My taste in music is very wide, and the favourites changes every day. In metal, I am most fond of the more extreme direction- and I very much like bands that challenge your mind a bit.. Here comes a list of some of the bands/artists I appretiate a the time, but I know I`ll forget some, and maybe I`ll discover some more tomorrow… well:

In the woods.., Mayhem, Sepultura, Type O Negative, Ulver (old),Devil Doll, Tool, Madonna(80`s), Slayer, Alice in Chains, Death, Korn, Muse, My dying Bride, Emperor, Kraftwerk, Opeth, Diamanda, Galas, Dimmu (new),Carcass,Loreena McKennit, Enslaved, Madder Mortem, Krøyt, Slipknot, Arcturus, Ved Buens Ende,Radka Toneff,Darkthrone,The Third and the Mortal(old), Metallica, Solefald, Scarve (new-fantastic band from France(I think)). And of course a lot of classical music.

Looking to the future, is there anything you would like to accomplish, musically or otherwise?

S: I would of course be very, very happy if I ever get the chance to quit working, and only do music. But as long as the payment in this genre stays at the same level (which at the moment is exactly nothing), I can`t really see how that`s gonna happen..

So, my only goal is that I get to do a lot more exciting projects, and mabey travel around a little bit with my bands. I am honoured that I`m in the position that I get to make, record and preform the music I love, so I enjoy every minute of it.

Well that’s all I have, thanks and good luck!

S: Skål!




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SareetaAsmeginVeritas5/4/2005



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