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Mary and Osten (Tristania)

Interview with Mary and Osten from Tristania
by Harry Papadopoulos at 26 April 2008, 4:43 PM

It was almost one month ago when TRISTANIA visited Athens in order to perform in MMD Festival, in front of the Greek audience. Just two days before the live, I found Mary and Osten at their hotel for a little chat and here are the important things we talked about.

Is this your first time in Greece?

\[Mary]: Yes.
\[Osten]: First time for me too.

So, since you are going to stay here for a couple of days, are you going sightseeing?

\[Osten]: Yes, we are going to stay for five days and probably we are going to see Acropolis etc tomorrow.

I see…So, Mary, it’s only four months that you joined TRISTANIA. Can you tell METAL TEMPLE’s readers how did you feel when you did learn you are going to be their new singer?

\[Mary]: Oh, I was very happy, because that was my goal at that time and I was wishing for the band to call me back, just for an audition day; they did it and I’m so happy.

And in previous years you played with ALRIGHT and REEL FICTION.

\[Mary]: Yes, but it was long ago when I was in Sardinia. I think that I was 23 years old at that time, but I quit just after two years. That was my first Metal band and it was my first contact with Metal music, which was nice because I learned a lot.

Osten, did you have many women singers for an audition?

\[Osten]: Yes, we received 60 or 70 demos and we picked out 10 of them, ten voices that sound promising and we had three girls for an audition. It was obviously Mary, one Norwegian girl and one from Sweden.

Was Mary your number one choice? I mean, when you listen to her singing you said Ok, she is the one!?

\[Osten]: Yes, we were all very eager to invite Mary to Norway to do a real audition. She has something special in her voice, that can contribute and make the sound of TRISTANIA even bigger than it’s been before.

Mary, did you know anything about TRISTANIA before you join the band?

\[Mary]: Yes I knew the band before. But I didn’t listen to their albums too much, before I join them. But I had the opportunity to enjoy TRISTANIA’s music more and more after a while, when I started to listen to the songs.

Which are you favorite songs?

\[Mary]:Well I like many of their/our songs. At the moment the ones that I have in my head are Down, Lotus and also I reall like Beyond The Veil and Libre, Sanguine Sky, Heretique, Tender Trip On Earth

…and, Osten, your favorites?

\[Osten]: Well, I like A Sequel Of Decay, Beyond The Veil and also the latest album and of course the older songs that we play a lot since they are partof you…Anyway, you may like the older songs but you get stuck to the new stuff like Shadowman, Lotus and Libre.

Osten, what happened with you previous singer? What’s the story behind her breakaway?

\[Osten]: Eh…she decided that she couldn’t stand the whole thing and touring so much. The rest of us were eager to go on. So, we agreed to split ways Well, the timing wasn’t good, because we had just released our latest album. But you can’t force anyone to do something if they don’t want to, if you know what I mean. And even that she was the frontwoman of the band, she didn’t make things easy, so it’s been a break for all of us. It’s been more than a year since we did or last show. So with Mary we can start all over again…

…It’s like a new start for the band?

\[Osten]: Yes, it is in a way.

Let’s go back to you Mary. You are from Sardinia?

\[Mary]: Yes, exactly. It’s weird, eh (laughs)?

Why do you say that?

\[Mary]: Well, my people just wander why a Norwegian band called a girl from Sardinia to sing for them (laughs). But at the end, music is what matters.
\[Osten]: Mary also chose to move to Norway, which is really a big step for her. She showed dedication and we appreciate that, because we wouldn’t ask something like that from her.

Well, on the other hand, wouldn’t it be difficult for the band if you were in Norway and Mary in Italy?

\[Osten]: Yes in a way. But we have the Internet and she could come to Norway one or two week’s earlier form the tour for rehearsals. It could work just fine, but it’s a big dedication and I don’t know if she knew what she was doing moving to Norway…
\[Mary]…eh, I just…I don’t know. Probably some may find it crazy. But just because I dedicated all my life to music, I would do anything for that, as I did. Anyway, it’s not a big deal if I was in Italy because I’m used to record at home and use my computer and send files and everything. So it wouldn’t be a problem. But it’s even better now that I live in Norway, because we can meet and we can work together on the songs…

(Interrupting)…and being in the same studio…

\[Mary] Exactly! And I don’t have to spent money for flight tickets (laughs).

Is the show in MMD festival your first one with TRISTANIA or not?

\[Mary]: We had the first one in Ukraine last week. I was really happy and excited. I tried to do my best and as a band, we had the right feeling from the start. But we are going to be even better in the future.

So, I believe you are satisfied with Mary’s performance in her first concert?

\[Osten]: Yes, we are very satisfied. She is a very good frontwoman and we like that. She gives new energy to our live excretion as a band.

Searching in the internet, I found out that you did some athletics and you were in sports in the past.

\[Mary]: (laughing) Oh, yes…well I always tried to enjoy life. From drinking beer with friends, to athletics. I loved sports and I always played something and trying to be… active.  Some og the sports I did was hammer throwing, judo, volleyball and apparatus work.

Let’s go back to TRISTANIA. Do you have any new material ready for your next album?

\[Osten]: Yes, we are working on the new stuff right now . So we will do a few shows now and then a small tour just to heat up and then we will hit the studio again to record the new album. An extended tour now is out the TRISTANIA’s plans. Just some festivals and…

(interrupting)…except ’MMD’ festival, as far as I know, you will play in ’Inferno Festival’, ’Gotik Treffen’ and ’Masters Of Rock’ and then that small tour you are saying.

\[Osten]: Yes, we will play in those festivals and then make a small tour. Just after that, we are going to concentrate recording our new album.

So you don’t have any new songs completed at that time?

\[Mary]: No, because we are practicing a lot and we have those concerts up ahead. Right now we are trying to gather the best ideas in order to make the album. It’s nice because working all together is going to be good for the band in order to record a very good album.

 So, how is life on the road with those five guys? I believe it’s something new for you.

\[Mary]: Well, I love it! I’m the sixth one in the tour bus (laughs)! Of course I have a feminine side, but I really enjoying being with the guys. I don’t think it’s so important showing your feminine side all the time, with trying all the time to be the princess. The important is to have fun. All of us. And it’s nice. They care about me and they are really nice persons so I couldn’t be luckier than this.
\[Osten]: Well, some bands, when they are on the road, they are partying all the time and other stuff, but TRISTANIA was never like that. We always had a female member, so I think subconsciously you behave in a way that does not offend anyone.

Do you have any funny stories on the road or when you came here in Greece, that you wish to share with the readers of METAL TEMPLE?
(both laughing hilariously)</br>

I believe from you reaction that you have one or two?

\[Mary]: We have tons of funny stories And that’s because we are trying to have fun just by being ourselves.  But nothing that we can share. Most of them are inner jokes.

What should the Greek Metal fans expect from you during tomorrow’s performance?

\[Osten]: What should you except from us? Well first of all to have a good time! And what I hope is that people will experience a good and fresh live band that has the intention to entertain everybody. And we heard a lot of good things about the Greek audience and that they will appreciate what we’ll offer them.

Are there going to be any changes as far as the songs concern or we are going to listen to them exactly as you know them from your albums?

\[Osten]: Well there are some changes in a couple of songs and I hope that they will work.

Mary, do you fear that many of the TRISTANIA fans are going to compare you with the previous singer of the band?

\[Mary]: Well, I don’t care. I’m proud of what I am, my talent and the musical experience that I have. And further more, they don’t know me. They have to see me on stage and discover me. And for me it’s really important for the fans to listen to me, listen to my voice and get to know my personality, not just staring at me. At the end, I’m not afraid to be compared with anyone as far as music concerns.

\[Osten]: When we were looking for a new singer, we weren’t looking for a copy of Vibeke. We were looking for something new and we think tha Mary has what it takes. I know that we could find a singer that sound almost as good as Vibeke but it wouldn’t be a step forward for the band. TRISTANIA always changes from album to album and we’ll continue those changes. Some people like, some other don’t. If you don’t find new challenges, then you might as well stop. If you are going to make the same album over and over again it’s not interesting for anyone.

This is a question for both of you. In the last few years, many bands have a frontwoman. Do you believe that this is just a fashion?

\[Osten]: Well, I don’t know. There are three or four bands that have a female singer and are popular, but I think there are different stories behind each band. At the end, no I  don’t think that it’s just a fashion.
\[Mary]: I agree with Osten.

Mary, Can you tell us some bands with a frontwoman that you really like?

\[Mary]: Well there is one band that I really like, ANIMAL ALPHA. I think that their singer is one of the most impressive singers I’ve seen, full of energy on stage and a great personality.

Well, that’s about it. Thank you both for this interesting interview and I’m looking forward to see you on stage.

\[Mary]Thanks for the interview. I really enjoyed it. See you at the festival.
\[Osten]: Thank you Harry. Looking forward to playing in front on the Greek audience. See you on Saturday.


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