Origin Country: USA/Germany
Band Members(Solo projects): Amanda Somerville - Vox & Keys; Sascha Paeth - Vox & Guitar; Miro - Vox & Keys; Olaf Reitmeier - Vox & Bass; Robert Hunecke-Rizzo - Vox, Drums & Percussion
Collaborations: * After Forever – Invisible Circles (2004), Remagine (2005), After Forever (2007); vocal coach, vocalist, producer
* Aina - Days of Rising Doom (2003); conceptualist, lyrical editor, co-writer, vocalist, vocal coach
* Andre Matos – Time to Be Free (2007), Mentalize (2009); lyrical choir, vocalist and lyrical editor
* Asrai – Touch in the Dark (2004): lyrical editor
* Avantasia – The Scarecrow (2008); vocalist
* Edguy – Hellfire Club (2004), Rocket Ride (2006); vocalist, lyrical editor
* Epica – The Phantom Agony (2003), We Will Take You with Us (2004), Consign to Oblivion (2005), The Road to Paradiso (2006), The Divine Conspiracy (2007), live session singer for USA Canada tour (2008), Design Your Universe (2009); vocal coach, vocalist, co-writer, producer
* HDK – System Overload (2008); vocalist, co-producer, co-writer, lyrical editor, engineer
* Kamelot – The Black Halo (2005), Ghost Opera (2007), Poetry For The Poisoned (2010); vocalist, lyrical editor
* Kiske - Somerville - KS (2010); vocalist
* Luca Turilli – Prophet of the Last Eclipse (2002); vocalist
* Mob Rules – Hollowed Be Thy Name (2002); vocalist
* Shaman – Ritual (2002), Reason (2005); vocalist, lyrical editor
* Virgo – Virgo (2001); worked as vocalist, lyrical editor
Solo discography: * In the Beginning there was... (Debut album, 2000) * Blue Nothing (EP, 2000) * Never Alone (EP, 2003) * Windows (Album, 2009)
http://www.myspace.com/amandasomervillemusic *** http://www.amandasomerville.com
1. Tonight we are speaking with the highly talented vocalist Amanda Somerville. Amanda thanks very much for taking the time to talk with us. For those who may be new to your music and list of prior work, you are not only a vocalist but also have worked with many other bands doing vocal coaching, lyric editing and many other jobs behind the scenes. Tell us how you first started working in the music business.
Hi there and thank you for having me! I actually started a long time ago, before I ever started working in the European metal scene. I've been singing for as long as I can remember and when I was 17 I was working in various clubs and at private parties DJ-ing, playing cover gigs, doing my own solo stuff and also singing around the Detroit area with big bands and jazz combos. I first worked with Sascha and the Gate Studios team in 2000, after I'd moved from Michigan to Germany. After that, things just snowballed from there and here I am today!
2. Now getting back to your personal discography, let's talk about your latest solo album "Windows" it's 12 tracks showcase your evolving style. Tell us about the writing of the album and what should listeners expect?
It's a very personal album. Actually, pretty much all of my songs are quite personal and have a special meaning to me. But Windows is an album that defined where I had been and where I was heading and still is a good representation of me today. As an artist, I'm constantly growing and evolving; that happens automatically because I'm doing so much and working with so many different people. I come from more the pop/rock side of music and Windows shows the beginnings of the influence the metal scene has had on me and my taste heading in that direction. The songs are so diverse and eclectic; here and there and everywhere, but that's how I am as a person and so I didn't want to make any compromises by tailoring it down only to one certain style. It's a very emotional album and the whole concept of it is about the difficulties in being a songwriter, how you open yourself and your innermost feelings for the whole world to see and do with what they will. "The eyes are the windows to the soul," so the saying goes. For me, my "windows" are my songs.
3. It looks as if you are keeping well busy, as I was happy to have just picked up your new album with Helloween vocalist Michael Kiske. Called Kiske/Somerville the new album is a complete set of duet tracks. How did you come to be involved with this stunning new project?
Why, thank you! It seems that Michael has the boss of a record company as a huge fan and a musician couldn't wish for anything better, I suppose! It all started for me sometime in the spring of last year, I believe. Mat Sinner called and asked if I'd be interested in doing a duet album with Michael Kiske and I was very flattered that I was on their list of prospective singers. I thought it would be great to finally be able to work and sing directly with Michael after a long time of kind of indirectly working with him on projects like Aina and Avantasia, so I was thrilled!
4. Many readers may recognize you from your guest vocal appearances or from the tour you did in 2008 with Epica filling in for regular vocalist Simone Simons. With that being said are you planning any solo shows or a tour?
I don't have anything concrete planned as of yet, just a few single shows here and there, however it's definitely my intent to tour as much as I can, especially for my solo music.
5. You have obviously been in high demand for your skills, what is the next big goal or project for you?
Well, there's always lots in the works, but there is a specific project in the works that I can' quite talk about just yet. You'll have to stay tuned! :-)
6. You are in a unique situation to not be tied to any particular band, style, or genre. So is there any limit to your musical interests and do you have a desire to ever work in a band built solely around your writing and singing?
I have a wide variety of musical interests and like it especially not to be limited to any one genre or style. I'm not so much a "band" person, so I don't see myself in a band, necessarily, but I never say never, so who knows? Still, I feel that I am quite fulfilled in writing and performing my own solo music and working with the various bands and artists that I do.
7. To what do you credit your interest in music and what has drawn you to work with a mostly "Metal" genre?
My entire family is very musical and according to my mother, I was singing before I was talking. My Dad is a folk singer / songwriter and my Mom plays flute, piano, saxophone and sings. I learned how to read music and play piano very young from my Grandmother, who is a classically-trained pianist / singer. So, it's simply in my blood and was always in my environment! As I'd mentioned, I got into working in the metal scene by meeting Sascha and the guys in the Gate Studio team and first singing on Sascha's and Andre Matos's project Virgo, back in 2000. From there, things just grew.
8. Of all your projects to this point, is there one in particular you are most proud of?
Everything I've done has a special place in my heart and has taught me new things as a musician and as a person. What's near and dear to my heart are, of course, my solo albums, especially Windows, but the project HDK that I did with Sander Gommans in 2009 really brought metal into my heart. Before then, I liked the things I did in the metal scene, but they weren't truly mine, if you know what I mean. Sander is very proud that he's the one who basically brought me over to the "dark side." Haha! And of course, most recently, I really love how the Kiske - Somerville album turned out.
9. What is one thing you would like fans to know about you and your music.
Well, basically, what you see is what you get. I'm a serious songwriter and musician, but as a person I'm a total dork (as you can probably tell from the video blogs, if you've seen any ;-). When I seem serious, I am. When performing or writing, I'm completely submersed in it. It's kind of like therapy for me and I'm glad I have that emotional outlet, otherwise I don't think I'd be a very fun person! And in every other scenario, I simply can't be any way other than how I am - namely, silly!
10. In closing please leave us with any final comments or thoughts, and thanks so much for your time.
Thank you so much for your interest and support and I hope to get out to your countries to see you all!