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HEART HEALER's Adrienne Cowan: "The four of us put in so much into levelling up our individual skill sets, and I think it's some of the best stuff I've done so far. There's a lot of pain on the record, more than there's ever been, but there is hope also."

Interview with Adrienne Cowan from Heart Healer
by Jean Francois-Poulin at 13 April 2021, 5:20 AM

In 2020 and 2021 you can pretty much expect the unexpected, the world of Metal was hit with the hurricane called HEART HEALER…another project from one of the hardest working musicians in all of Metal, the highly underrated Magnus Karlsson. In 2020 he put out albums with PRIMAL FEAR and FREE FALL and now you have this ensemble cast. This is the metal opera of the 21st century, Magnus is surrounded by some of the best female voices from all around the globe. The Heart Healer is portrayed by the magnificent Adrienne Cowan and Metal Temple writer Jean-Francois Poulin had the great opportunity of chatting with the SEVEN SPIRES siren about this exciting new project.

First of all, how are you and your family and band members doing in these troubled times?

Thank you for asking! All things considered, I think we're all doing alright. Adapting professionally came easy for some of us, but I must admit that adapting emotionally was a bit rocky. I hope you have been alright, too :)How did you join the Heart Healer project? Did you reach out to Magnus or did he contact you?

Magnus reached out to me initially via email, talking about an epic album featuring some iconic vocalists and live string players. From a fan and orchestrator point of view, I'm such a sucker for live string arrangements, and to have a chance to sing with Anette Olzon specifically was like – "Wait, I get paid to do this??"

How was the recording process with all the limitations and troubles concerning the pandemic era?

Honestly, it was very comfortable. I received the demos and the lyrics, and learned all of my parts during my daily cardio sessions - I was really big into fitness last year as a way to get out of my own head - and my guitarist, Jack, engineered my vocals in my home studio. It's how we normally work on Spires-related material, so nothing really out of the ordinary there :)Did you work directly with the other singers on the project or you mostly did your stuff at your recording studio?

Unfortunately I didn't get to work directly with the other singers, since I just did everything at home.

Have you worked with the other singers before this project?

Unless I've horribly forgotten some experience, it was the first time :)I feel you have grown as a singer since the last Seven Spires album and your voice seems much tighter right now with this project, is there something you learn to manage better?

Thank you so much! The vocals for the last Spires were recorded in late '17 (yeah… the process of mixing/signing/release took a long time!) and since then I started touring a lot more, had more time to practice instead of trying to finish my degree, and most importantly since early 2020 I started taking voice lessons with David Äkesson. He helped me a lot with relieving unwanted vocal tension, balancing my tone, polishing my technique which had suffered a bit from years of running on fumes… Everything about singing became a lot easier since working with him. I've had a lot of vocal coaches in my life, but he's the first one that really GETS me. He never tried to change me artistically, and we have a lot in common in terms of musical background, preferences, skill sets, he tours with his own metal band as well and can do everything from classical singing to screaming. Because of that foundation of immediate understanding, I spent so much less energy trying to explain myself and what I do, and so much more time just learning how to be better at it. I also consume a lot less alcohol these days, and due to the pandemic, I'm able to sleep a lot more than I would on tour, so I would guess those are big players in vocal quality too :)Any plans on doing shows for this particular project maybe in Europe when all of this has passed?

I haven't heard of any plans at this point, but it sure would be a blast to play shows with this group!

What does the Heart Healer character mean to you on a personal level?

It feels cheesy to say, but I actually really relate to the Heart Healer character. I love to help people, and in some cases in the past I've been the type of person to help a loved one with their dreams, put my own needs aside to the point of self-sabotage, while also refusing the help of others. Getting into character for recording was just a matter of opening the gates to my emotional dungeon, haha. That is not something that I typically get to do with songs that I didn't have a hand in writing, so it was a very enjoyable experience.

I know that you have been working hard and diligently on the new Seven Spires album, anything you can talk about at this moment?

Please understand that when I say this, it's one of the rare times I will actually say I think I did a good job with something: The four of us put in so much time and effort into levelling up our individual skill sets, and I genuinely think it's some of the best stuff I've done so far. There's a lot of pain on the record, more than there's ever been, but somehow, there is a lot of hope too. And, it's not about the pandemic :)You have worked with Avantasia and now Heart Healer, is there any other artist you would love to collaborate with in the coming future?

Dimmu Borgir is on my bucket list. And, though at the moment I have no idea how it could work, I'd love to collaborate with Adam Lambert.

What have you learned about yourself as a person and performer with all the lockdown and unrest we are living in right now?

I learned I was running from a lot of stuff by throwing myself into work and tours! That was a rough one to unpack - literally and metaphorically haha. I started seeing a therapist in Sept/Oct last year, and I feel like if I could stand the version of me that left tour life in March 2020 next to the version of me who will perform again when this is all over, they'd be two completely different people inside and out. I really didn't know how badly I needed to take a break like this. And, the obvious one – it reinforced what I already knew, that I was born to perform. So, yeah, it's great to have time to explore who I am when I am not onstage or sleeping, but until shows come back, I'll still be scrambling for some purpose in life.

What brought you to do a channel about gaming? Where did your love of video games come upon?

I noticed a lot of my fans and followers are into gaming, and it became a great way to keep in touch with the people who support me. Plus, I think the social aspect is a relief for everyone involved. We play every Sunday, and I think we all look forward to virtually hanging out and laughing with friends for a couple of hours. As a little kid, I used to watch my cousin play Super Nintendo games - mostly Mario titles and Donkey Kong Country, but it wasn't until the Gamecube came out and I got to play around in Starfox Adventures that I really fell in love with video games. Wind Waker was another important one from my childhood, Twilight Princess, a lot of single player fantasy/sci-fi RPGs.

You are giving singing lessons and giving tips online for the last few months, how much do you enjoy just showing people this aspect of your professional life?

I love it! Honestly, I'm just stoked to talk about my craft to anyone who will listen, all the better if it actually helps people with what they're working on. I don't at all think my way is the be-all-end-all holy grail of technique, and in fact I strongly encourage everyone to study with many teachers. But, I'm happy to share my approach to the craft with people if they specifically want to learn from me.

Is there anything you would like to say to the fans out there, a lot of people were really stoked to see you with Insomnium and Omnium Gatherum including yours truly, what can we expect from Adrienne Cowan in 2021 and beyond?

To those beloveds, I say: Hi, I miss you and I appreciate you! The Spires guys and I will have a TON of new music for you soon, and hopefully not long after that, we'll be able to see you again <3 Thank you so much for your continued support, it really means the world to us.


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Edited 21 March 2023

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