Norwegian Metal band TRISTANIA, fronted by Vibeke Stene, will release their fourth album, "Ashes", through SPV Records in January. Fresh off a highly successful European tour with THERION and TRAIL OF TEARS, the band will support NIGHTWISH across Europe in February. Guitarist and main composer Anders Høyvik Hidle spoke to Garry Sharpe-Young of Rockdetector.com about launching a female-fronted metal band onto the U.S. market.
Rockdetector.com: "Ashes" is being launched at a time when the NIGHTWISH / EVANESCENCE / LACUNA COIL factor is very high. Do you have any concerns about that?
Anders: "Personally, I don't. TRISTANIA sounds nothing like those bands at all. We have our own style. I don't have a problem with it at all, though. I know some people do have problems with more commercial bands, just because of their success, I guess. I see no point in being disrespectful of someone's music because they do something different to you. We toured with NIGHTWISH and for us it was great because it opened doors and gave us new fans certainly. I see the things in the magazines and TV about EVANESCENCE and NIGHTWISH and I think it's great. If younger metal fans are looking for gothic bands with female singers, TRISTANIA can offer them something new. I don't think people want copy bands so that is good for TRISTANIA. We're a bit more extreme in what we do and we have three albums now that show people we have our own style."
Rockdetector.com: But you know that because of Vibeke you are going to be marketed that way?
Anders: "Well, maybe but it doesn't matter. The music matters and metal fans that are new to TRISTANIA will get a nice surprise."
Rockdetector.com: Are you not worried the whole marketing focus will be on Vibeke?
Anders: "Ah, I don't know. Vibeke is part of the band. Yeah, I think we are prepared for all that but so long as people hear the record I guess it's OK. We already have a lot of fans that know TRISTANIA. We want to keep those fans and get new ones."
Rockdetector.com: And in February you tour Europe as support to…
Anders: "NIGHTWISH! Ha! Yeah, I know. It's cool. We're very happy about it because we know we will win new fans. It's the perfect tour for us at the right time."
Rockdetector.com: I've noticed that even before the record is out the band is being presented in a new way.
Anders: "I agree, I noticed it too. You know, I think it's young journalists. We still talk to all the journalists who know us already from the albums before, but there are new guys coming in and you can see how they are thinking. It's OK. There are a lot of fifteen year old nu-metal kids getting into this whole scene now too. It's good because they were into nu-metal, now they are into gothic rock bands with female singers. It has to be a good thing because those young kids now get to hear what a guitar is supposed to sound like and how someone can really sing! For us in TRISTANIA it's all good. We know we sound different so it will only help us."