Welcome to the Afterlife
Michigan based gothic rock outfit, Upon Wings, is the child of frontwoman and vocalist Anne Autumn Erickson. Erickson’s haunting and emotive mezzo-soprano voice channels the spirit of Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes), Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) and Amy Lee (Evanescence). Her songwriting channels similar gothic and and ambient moods. Metalholic caught up with Erickson who was enjoying her spotlight on Sirius Octane’s “Women Rock” week. The lead off title single from her new EP “Afterlife” is receiving solid play on Sirius and numerous other radio outlets.
Erickson opened up about making “Afterlife” which will be released March 5 on Sword of the Spirit Records. She also talked about her path to music, influences, and much more.
Anne connected with guitarist/vocalist Brett Hestla (Dark New Day, ex-Creed) to work on the four track EP.
“I’ve been a fan of Brett for awhile,” offered Erickson. “He did great work with Dark New Day, and of course he toured with Creed as their bass player, and Virgos Merlot. He just has a great history there in the rock world. I wanted to collaborate with him on something. So I ended up getting in touch with his manager and I sent them some demos, and they took a listen and they said ‘yeah, Brett would like to do something’.
Erickson did not stop with enlisting the talents of Hestla, she also reached out to Kid Rock recording engineer and Grammy-nominated mixing engineer Glenn Brown who added keyboards and more. She also tapped producer and guitarist Kevin Jardine and drummer Peter Tzaferis of Slaves on Dope.
“Glenn Brown has been really awesome. He mastered the EP and he also helped with production and keyboards and synths on a few of the tracks. He’s from Michigan, so he’s someone I just got to know in the Michigan music scene. He’s always just been really great and it’s awesome to work with him as well. [Kevin Jardine] is such a great guitarist. When he actually recorded the guitars up in Canada and sent me the tracks, I was just blown away. His guitar work is so sick and he such a great soloist, so I was so excited to get him on this project. And Peter as well from that band, he’s a killer drummer.”
Anne had a goal in mind while recording the EP and part of that was to spend some time at producer Johnny K’s (Sevendust, Disturbed, Nonpoint) legendary Groovemaster Studios in Chicago.
“I’ve always wanted to record at Groovemaster. I mean there’s so much history there. Some of my favorite bands have recorded there like Disturbed, and Staind, and Three Doors Down and Pop Evil who’s also from Michigan. I was like man, if we could record there. So we ended up being able to book a room there for one day. It was really cool because some other bands were actually the same day we were there. Dan Donegan (Disturbed) was there working on some Art of Dying stuff and Alien Ant Farm was there. So it was just an honor to be there recording and making music with those guys in the building.”
Listen to the full interview with Anne below as she takes us through all four tracks on “Afterlife” and gives us some insight into who she is and what motivates and inspires her. You can also get a taste of the “Afterlife” below.