Sister Sin – Rise of the LotusTuesday, 25th November 2014
Dead Rhetoric: How has Liv’s voice been since the vocal node surgery in late 2012? Are there new techniques/warm-ups she employs so that hopefully this doesn’t occur again?
Hiltula: She is fully restored since a long way back now! She practices her routines before every show, warming up her voice with different exercises. When on tour she is completely silent every other day or when she feels a bit gruff. It´s very important for her to maintain her voice, it´s her instrument and without it we could not do a show. She stays away from partying as well, and tries to rest as much as possible. It´s simply a tough job being a singer!
Dead Rhetoric: Where do you see the major differences between recording new songs versus performing for live audiences? Do you prefer one over the other – or gain enjoyment from each aspect when it comes to metal music?
Hiltula: We have always been a live band, ever since the start. Doing shows is the most enjoyable aspect of being in a band. Getting out there and just blast it in front of our fans is most rewarding! But of course, recording is fun too but in a different way. We see the part of recording as a stepping stone to go out on tour again and play new songs for people. It´s always tormenting to wait until the album is out. It´s always like, can´t fuckin wait for people to hear this masterpiece! Haha. But overall, playing live is the ultimate feeling in the world.
Dead Rhetoric: Have you had any strange or interesting fan encounters through the years? Which countries seem to be the biggest supporters of Sister Sin at this point?
Hiltula: It happens sometimes that fans travel half around the world to catch our shows. That is very interesting and heart warming of course. Sometimes people get very emotional at meeting us and it has happened a few times that they break into tears, which feels weird but is very humbling! The US is absolutely one of our biggest markets, we also do good in France, Belgium, Finland and Spain. Of course we also have a lot of fans here in Sweden.
Dead Rhetoric: How early on in your life did you know that music was going to be a major part of your daily existence? Did you have family support right from the start – or were there natural fears and doubts if you could really make a living as a musician?
Hiltula: When I was around 16 years of age I understood that I would always play metal in one form or another. I was 4 years into my playing at that time and I felt that this was my passion, the one thing that made life easier. It wasn´t until we started releasing albums with Sister Sin that I realized that this could potentially be a career and that somewhere along the line we could live off of this. Naturally we all felt nervous about it since we all had full time employment and we might have to risk that to be able to tour with no secure income etc. But we did take a chance and did sacrifice a lot to move forward, that´s what it takes.
Dead Rhetoric: Are there particular songs at this point in the Sister Sin discography that you believe you wouldn’t make it out alive by your fans if you didn’t perform them? Do you like to throw in special covers from time to time as well as a surprise, or rotate songs in and out of set lists?
Hiltula: We have a few tunes that we will probably play til the end of time: ”On Parole”, ”One Out of Ten”, ”Outrage” and ”Fight Song”. These are what you can call our ”hits” and that´s a good thing. It means that we have made an impact with these tracks, and that is purely awesome! We have recorded a few covers that we play from time to time, ”24/7”, ”Make My Day” and ”Rock ’n’ Roll”. We always rotate songs in the set list to try and make it more interesting from time to time. You can´t come to a place 6 months after you have played there and perform the same set, fans need something fresh!
Dead Rhetoric: Have you received any feedback from artists such as Motörhead or U.D.O. regarding the covers you did for “Rock N’ Roll” and “24/7” respectively? Are you thinking of doing another cover or two for special singles down the line?
Hiltula: We got some feedback from Udo himself on ”24/7”. He thought it was cool and that it sounded good. It was awesome to know that he had actually listened to it! Later we opened up for UDO on their European tour, we didn´t play ”24/7” in our set since we thought it would feel awkward. But after a couple of shows Udo asked us ”Why aren´t you playing it? Just blast it!” And so we did for the rest of the tour, we even had the former guitarist Igor come up and play it at one show which was great! Right now we are a bit fed up with doing covers since we have done a bunch, so we´ll just lay low with that and just focus on our own stuff.
Dead Rhetoric: I’m curious to know what your view is on audience etiquette when it comes to shows- especially in the case of picture taking/videos, and whether it’s a problem at Sister Sin concerts where people can’t just be in the moment sans the use of their cell phones/iPads?
Hiltula: We usually do not have a problem with people taking photos or filming. But it happens sometimes that people in the front row for example dedicate their whole time being at the show just to take pictures and try to communicate with us to pose and shit, that´s a bit boring since you then know that these people are not die hard fans but rather some type of photomaniacs. Take a few pics sure, but then, get into it and rock the fuck out instead!
Dead Rhetoric: If you had to only live with 5 albums from the heavy metal world, which records would you end up taking with you? And who would you love to tour with if money and ability were no object?
Hiltula: My 5 albums to live with forever would be: Judas Priest-Painkiller, W.A.S.P-W.A.S.P, Megadeth- Rust in Peace, Pantera-Vulgar Display of Power, and Accept-Metal Heart. To open up for Judas Priest or Accept would be a dream come true, I still hold on to that dream!
Dead Rhetoric: You are currently on tour headlining across Europe- how are these shows going, and what does your schedule look like over the next 6-12 months in terms of road work? Are there imminent plans for another North American run?
Hiltula: The tour is going great and many fans are coming out to rock with us, which is of course just awesome! After this run we are heading home to do some shows here. Early December we are going to Russia for the second time, can´t wait to get over there! And then some more shows in Sweden. Our plans for the following months are to stay on the road as much as possible and continue to promote Black Lotus and that definitely includes plans for coming to the US as well. So we have a lot in front of us, just how it should be!
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