XANDRIA :  interview with Lisa Middelhauve 


phoner by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___May 2007


organized by Focusion.de, gryphonmetal.ch/Matthew Haumschild 



Salomé - The seventh Veil









GM: I was curious, first off, behind the name Xandria for the band.

ML: Oh, this is such a boring story <laughing> Xandria was just any name that came into the bands creator or leader Marco. It was in the mid-90’s, and I think he told me he was sitting on the toilet while thinking of a band name. It doesn’t mean anything special but we found out that Xandria is the Egyptian name for the city Alexandria and that it’s pronounced “handria” and there are Russian horses and porn actresses named Xandria but we didn’t…<laughing>


GM: I understand you went in and recorded with the Italian band, “The Dogma” how was that?

LM: Yes I did, it was in January and it was so much fun but I only met the singer. It was a bit sad because I had the rest of the band on the phone before and they sounded very funny and quite friendly and I would have liked to have meet them all. But it was jus the singer and he was just a cutie too. It was fun too because they work in a completely different way than what we do and it’s always interesting how other bands work.


GM: Now, with “Salome – The 7th Veil” you and the band went into a completely different direction, was that what you were going for?

LM: Oh it was great that you say so, but I think we didn’t plan to do it, when we thought about where to go and what to do with this album we immediately just wanted to not have any limits, we didn’t want to limit our expression, we didn’t want to limit our production didn’t want to limit our style and so there’s pop songs and so there’s rock songs and even bad bad growl parts like in “Firestorm.” We just wanted to everything we wanted to and that is what the plan was. But we are quite happy with the result that it sounds more like rock music and not so much trashy gothic style.

GM: Well, I rather enjoyed it; I was quite shocked when I heard it.

LM: Well thank you! It was the first time for us to produce on our own and we are very proud of it.


GM: How on Earth did you all come up with “Sisters of the Light?” It sounds so different than any other song I’ve ever heard.

LM: <laughing> I’ll tell you the true story. You are the first person I am telling this to. I don’t know if you know of the band Tanzwut they are a German band with bagpipes and stuff, and this style is very popular in Germany or in Europe. And we were on tour with them four years ago, it was really long ago, Marco was sitting at the computer and trying to write a song that sounded like this bagpipe music and he just wanted to joke around and he just showed me the song and he said, “Hey that’s the new Xandria sound” and I was listening to it and I was really shocked and I said, “Nooo! You don’t mean we should this, it’s so disgusting it’s so cruel I don’t want it!” and then he said, “well you’ve got to try out something because really want to have it on the album.” And he was just joking around and I was so I just believed what he said and I was trying around with my voice try to make something out of this song and then I showed him and he said, “Oh wow! Lisa, you really did it! It was just a joke but now it sounds really good!” And so everybody was trying out to make something out of this song and finally there was “Sisters of the Light.” But it sounded as a joke! <laughing> 


GM: That’s funny and that’s my favourite song on the album!

LM: Everyone in Germany you know, everybody says that we are gothic but that is only one of many styles we do. And all the “true gothic” magazines all come to us and say, “but it’s so…happy. How could you make such a happy song?” <laughing> And we just say, “well, we’re not just sad all the time.” 



GM: Your duet with Mika from Entwine, how did that come about?

LM: Yeah, we got to know Entwine personally from the Ravenheart tour it was 2004 I think. And we stayed in contact. The bass player of Xandria and Mika are close friends and we had the song, “Only For The Stars In Your Eyes” and before we had any of the vocals the working title was “Finnrock” because it sounded like a Finnish rock band and we were just joking around like, we need a Finnish singer for it, like Ville Valo or Mika. But there is this collection of money we would have to spend the money for plane tickets from Finland. Then we said, “Oh well shit, we have to ask him, this would be so nice so we asked him and it was such a big surprise for Mika was in Germany at that time and just one hour away from our studio and so he came to us and we had a funny day with lots of Red Wine and when he was ready with working with the song he looked at me and he was really drunk and he said, “well what can I say, I’m Finnnnnnnish…” <laughing> He’s such a cutie and he’s just so short he’s up to my chin! And I am standing next to him and I feel like a giant.   


GM: Would you consider this CD a concept album?

LM: No definitely not. It’s kind of patchwork or a puzzle. Every song has got it’s own special meaning and there’s no specific musical context. Well…the concept is to have no concept. 


GM: How do you feel when you get compared to other bands with a female singer?

LM: Amused. I hated some years ago when we started. I wasn’t that self-confident and when people came see us they would say that Tarja Turunen but not that good and I was so sad about it because I just thought, “how could I get as good as the other singers?” And I think some years ago I just stopped thinking that way and I started thinking about how I can I be my self the best way and so I think now I am doing it. I don’t I know any other singer in this genre that are singing as deep and as high or in a rock voice or an opera voice, I am doing everything and I don’t know any other singer that’s doing this at least female singers. There’s loads of male singers doing this. Ya know, I love melodic death metal and I love it because the singers are doing so much, they are growling really deep stuff and they just have such fantastic voices like the Opeth singer, I just admire him. Deep in my heart I am a death metal fan! <laughing> I’m trying to do it just as they do it. Trying to do very very angry and doing very very nice. I am a bit paranoid about that.



GM: Now, that explains a few things, in “Firestorm” I heard this growling voice…

LM: I was that voice!


GM: Really? WOW!

LM: I’ve been doing it live for many years but I was never allowed to do it on an album and I fought for it and now everyone is happy and now I hear that they always wanted it. <laughing>


GM: Last year you went on tour with Visions of Atlantis, do you have any fond memories from that tour?

LM: There was a member of our crew, Daniel and he had a crush on Melissa (singer for VOA) and fell in love with her. Totally, his face would turn pink every time she was there and I think we only did 5 shows with them. And everyday Daniel would go up to me, “Can’t you talk to Melissa I am so in love with her, you know how to talk about love and these types of things can’t you find out what she thinks of me?” and I was like, “Daniel, no! I don’t want to be in the middle of this!” <laughing> And she was so nice to him because she didn’t know he was falling in love with her and she is just so nice to everybody and so I swear I could see Daniels heart bumping when he was standing next to her! But it was so much fun and Melissa…I just love this girl she’s so charming and I think she is one of the nicest persons I’ve ever met in this business and she’s rock & roll this is what I like when I meet other women in the business because there are so many girls that are so “diva” or gothic princess or metal princess and, “Aww this is so dirty,” and “Aw this is...no aww!” I just like girls that are just rock & roll and say something like “this room looks like it needs lots of work, but I don’t mind I don’t care I can dress myself and do my make-up on a toilet I don’t mind. So I like her for being so natural so grounded and so charming.


GM: Would you ever tour with them again?

LM: Oh every time! I would pack my suitcase and tour with them now! They are really nice people and real rock & roll


GM: “Game of the Tower” There is this tower. At the top of this tower, it could only fit two bands. And your goal is to be on top of this tower. However, miraculously, on your way up, you discover that there’s a problem, there’s three bands on top, and in order for you to fit, and you have to push down two of the three bands. The bands that are up there are:

Within Temptation, The Gathering, or Visions Of Atlantis

LM: Ah…oh damn! I would knock off first, The Gathering because they’ve been up there for such a long time and they have had lots of Rock & Roll and metal fame and now it’s our turn! Second then is, oh that’s so hard! The second is Within Temptation for personally I like Visions of Atlantis more and I think we would have more fun.


GM: Ya know, I asked Melissa that same question and she said Xandria would be the other band.

LM: Awwww this is so nice! If I were to marry I would marry Melissa!


GM: Thank you very much we hope to see you real soon on tour!



Matthew Haumschild   25.05.2007 


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