2016 Imperia interview with Jan Yrlund
Imperia is a true multi-national symphonic metal act with members hailing from four different countries. The band is fronted by the powerful and intoxicating voice of Norway’s Helena Iren Michaelsen and driven by the songwriting and riffage of Finnish guitarist, Jan “Örkki” Yrlund. Setting the foundation are Germany’s Steve Wolz on drums, and Belgium’s Gerry Verstreken on bass. This winter marks the release of the band’s fourth full-length studio album, Tears of Silence. Metalholic recently caught up with Jan Yrlund to chat about the record and much more.
Living in different countries slowed the process of creating the band’s newest record, but unlike Imperia’s previous record, 2011’s Secret Passion, where the band never met together at all to record, on Tears of Silence they felt it was important to be in the same room together.
“This time we wanted to do it a little bit different because [recording Secret Passion] was not that much fun in the end because part of making music and recording is that you are together and that you share the views and opinions. So this time we did it differently. I wrote the music as usual but we all traveled to Germany to record. It was much more of a band effort this time.”
“For a band like we are it makes a huge difference. Many bands rehearse together. They write songs together, they jam together, but we are not like that at all. The music is almost ready when we have the demos done. It just has to be arranged to our band. But the songs themselves are ready. But what happens in the studio, you start to record drums and the drummer comes in with ideas, and that is much more fun to do together. Sometimes those opinions make the songs much more dynamic and real—in a way. It doesn’t sound so synthetic anymore. It’s just cooler to record together.”
Tears of Silence was designed to be more simple than Imperia’s last effort which had more progressive elements and as Yrlund shared, was not really built for live performances and was more of a studio effort.
“This time we wanted to take a step back and write more straight forward metal songs. More straight metal songs. More simple structures. And then again have maybe more real guest musicians and stuff like that appearing on the album. As a whole I think it’s compact, even though it’s a very lengthy album as a whole. It makes sense from start to finish.”
You can check out the full interview below as he talks more in-depth about the album, including the artwork which he once again designed. He also talks about his passion for graphic design (his day job), and some of Helen’s lyrical content for the record.