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Rebecca Lou Armstrong (Stella Blackrose)

Interview with Rebecca Lou Armstrong from Stella Blackrose
by Rebecca Miller at 11 February 2013, 12:04 PM

Female fronted bands are getting more popular as time goes by and get their righteous deserved place in the halls of Heavy Metal. STELLA BLACKROSE, hailing from Denmark, bears no exception as they have made quite a statement with their second album "Death & Forever". Rebecca Miller had a girl-on-girl chat with Rebecca Lou Armstrong and talked about interesting stuff and showed to us that she is a sweet, easy-going and down to earth person.

Hello there Rebecca, how are you? It is great to have you for this interview for Metal Temple.

Thanks for having me and thank you for the really nice review of our album! Much appreciated!

This record sounds like it was a lot of fun to make, which I think comes across in the music, but did you have any expectations of how it was going to turn out?

It really was fun! Through the process of writing and recording the album, I've been laughing, crying and smiling, just as much as I have been angry, drunk and highly emotional. So yeah, it has definitely been a wild ride all the way. If there is something I've learned from life, is that there is never anything that turns out the way you expect. So I guess I have learned to let the music lead the way and to hopefully find something special in the process… - And I’m also quite blessed to be in a band with some really talented guys.

Your voice is amazing, and the highlight of the album for me, is it all natural of have you had training?

Thank you! I started singing gospel when I was a tiny girl and I've also had private training in my teen years, but I'm not really schooled that much. I might not have been the perfect student, since I've always been told not to sing so loud and obviously that’s never been easy for me. Haha!

How do you think women are perceived in the Rock and Metal world?

Well, there will always be some asshole telling you that women don’t belong in this world… or wanting you look and act like a sex kitten to sell records. I've had people close to me, wanting me to be that person, but luckily they are not a part of my life anymore. For me rock music is about being mad and free and it’s the ultimate empowerment for me. So Girls, if you’re reading this: Be fucking brave and have the guts to stand up for yourself.

Being female myself, I know that it’s more difficult to be taken seriously in this sort of genre, so you have a lot of respect from me – but have you encountered any difficulties being a female vocalist?

In general I experience a lot of support from my male colleagues and our record label has also been very supportive from the beginning. When we started out in 2006, I was just a 19 year old girl and I felt quite insecure about how I might would be perceived.. I knew that people would judge me, my sexuality, my gender.. Everything really. But along the way I have grown really comfortable into my own skin and even though I still meet cynics who think a girl like me doesn't belong in here, I'm not going to let it bring me down. In this industry you need sharp elbows to make it and its tough love out there, no matter the genre and no matter your gender. Belief in yourself and your talent will get you anywhere.

I’ve once had a man come up to me after a concert, complementing our music and then added “Except I would like to hear it all one more time just with male vocals”.. You know… What Can I say…At the end of the day it’s just fuel to my fire.

Do you ever get compared to other female-fronted bands? If so, what do you think about this happening, since male-fronted bands don’t all get compared to each other?

All the time! First I must say that there are some really talented and bad ass chicks out there, who do a great job at defending all of the female rock singers! -But with that said, I've also been compared to almost every one of them. I mean it’s funny, that some people feel the need to fit us all into the same category without looking critically at us as individuals. I’ve been compared to Amy Lee (evanescence) like a billion times, and don't get me wrong it’s not that I mind it being compared to some awesome rock singer , but when I get the feeling that the only two components in the puzzle are “female” and “rock” -you're gonna lose my attention. It’s just offensive to me as a musician and especially as a woman.

What are the dynamics of the band? For example, how does the album writing process usually go?

It’s very different from song to song, but typically I write the lyrics, Trygve writes a riff and then we all join forces and start building together. Sometimes a song is altered ten times or more.. and sometimes we get it right in the first punch. I think it’s important to have fun writing and exploring the music. We have a really great chemistry in the band and a good amount of mutual understanding.. None of this would be possible without that.

Where do your influences come from, both vocally and musically?

Growing up being a kid of the 90's I've naturally listened to a lot of pop and rock of that time. I was quite the tom boy when I was 11 listening to Suede, Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Skunk Anansie, Blink 182, Rage against the Machine etc. In my teens I got more acquainted with the harder genres of rock and the underground punk scene.

Vocally the range of my influences is really wide. I don't divide them into genres and also often look towards the popular music. I guess I'm a huge geek when it comes to vocal technique and I'm always drawn to singers who bring something new and interesting to the table. It’s really about feeling a sense of honesty and emotion in the voice.. Something fragile and mad. Just to name a few great singers I would say, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Anouk, Phil Anselmo, Chino Moreno, Karen O, Skin, Jessie J, Janis Joplin, Fiona Apple and even Lady Gaga. But like a said, male or female, pop or rock.. It has no importance to me.

Lyric wise I'm really inspired by old school poetry….like e.e. Cummings.

Who would you most like to do a tour with?

Skin from Skunk Anansie has been one of my biggest influences. Her energy, technique and raw power are simply amazing and her live performances are never less than great. Going on tour with them would definitely be a dream come true.

What’s next for STELLA BLACKROSE?

We just started writing again! I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to get back in the studio with the boys. We will also be going on a tour around Denmark this spring, so be sure to look us up if you're in town. But hopefully we will be crossing the borders some time in 2013 as well.

Any final words for our readers?

Let your ambitions scare the shit out of you.

Rebecca, first of all thanks a lot for taking the time for this interview. I was thrilled to review your new album and I really hope everyone will embrace it. Good luck on the road ahead. 


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