Kari Rueslåtten – Awaken the DreamerSunday, 6th April 2014
Dead Rhetoric: It really took you this long to jump on Facebook, eh? Some people are starting to jump off – like myself and fiancée.
Rueslåtten: Yeah, as an artist, I think I’ve been really shy and haven’t been that much on the internet. I didn’t want to read stuff. I’ve been quite shy. It was a new world for me, but in terms of exposing your music, the internet is the place. You have to deal with it. People don’t buy CDs like they used to. You have to with it.
Dead Rhetoric: It’s a big change from when you were doing the band 20 years ago. With a click of a mouse, you can have a full album.
Rueslåtten: It’s great. I remember back then, I wrote so many interviews with pen and paper and sent it off. It’s a different world. [laughs]
Dead Rhetoric: I love two songs dearly on the new album: “Hide Underneath Bridges” and “Hold On.” What’s your perspective on these?
Rueslåtten: I think in many ways, “Hide Underneath Bridges” sums it up. It was one of the first songs that came to me on this album. I just felt like it’s about that…when I started playing the piano again that autumn, I didn’t know if I had a voice anymore. I hadn’t been singing – I’ve been singing lullabies to my children – but I hadn’t been singing, singing and I had definitely had not been making any songs. It was definitely a flow of energy – like meeting any old friend. It felt really great. It’s also about looking for your inner voice.
Dead Rhetoric: You had Tuomas [Holopainen] from Nightwish help out with “Why So Lonely.” He’s always name-dropped The 3rd and the Mortal as a primary influence on Nightwish, so, what was it like working with him?
Rueslåtten: To be honest, I didn’t know about that. Like I said – I had been quite shy, but I met him and the Nightwish guys about year and-a-half ago to one of their concerts in Trondheim. I was invited by their promoter in Norway, who is one of the guys I knew from The 3rd and the Mortal days. [laughs] I got a text from him saying, “Do you remember me? I’m now promoting Nightwish in Norway and the guys would like you to come down and meet them.” I was like, “What?!?” I came down and watched the show and it was amazing. I met them afterward and talked to them and they were so friendly. Tuomas said, “You’re not making music? You need to think about it.” So that was quite inspiring to go on making songs. These guys are my age and they have families and they’re doing this. Later, when I started making songs again, I decided to do that 3rd and the Mortal cover, so I asked Tuomas. That’s how it followed. He was really great to work with, so positive and down-to-earth, and, a really great musician.
Dead Rhetoric: Were you surprised when he mentioned you guys were an influence?
Rueslåtten: When I first heard Nightwish, I was like: “Hmmm…this is a concept that is familiar.” I was singing much more operatic on the Tears album, other than I do now. That’s so charming and it’s so great to know that you inspired somebody to do that stuff.
Dead Rhetoric: Female singers are a lot more prevalent than they were 20 years ago. Back then, it was basically you and Anneke [van Giersbergen] from The Gathering. How do you see the female in metal evolving?
Rueslåtten: I think that it’s to me, it’s important that it’s not a token. It should be a person that there’s for the love of music with the guys, making it happen, making the whole thing together, not just somebody “Oh, we should have a woman in the band!” No, it should be a great singer. Hopefully that is the case.
Dead Rhetoric: There’s the issue of some of these singers being more eye candy than anything.
Rueslåtten: That’s the word. Then you just undermine the whole idea of the female voice in the genre. There’s so many excellent singers out there, and also it’s important that if as a listener you have a feeling that this is a fabricated band, and not authentic, you lose interest.
Dead Rhetoric: I’m curious of the odd reactions you received in ’94 when you put the album out then.
Rueslåtten: Everybody asked the question “What is it like to be a woman in this male-oriented scene?” It wasn’t an issue; we were all equals. I had been a part of the metal scene for so long, so they saw me as one of the guys. [laughs]
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