DARK SARAH – Feeling Golden
October 5, 2018, 10 days ago
Fulfilling her quest. Former Amberian Dawn singer Heidi Parviainen has completed the trilogy of her albums under the guise of Dark Sarah with The Golden Moth (released September 21st via Inner Wound Recordings) being the conclusion to the story dubbed The Chronicles. Members of Sonata Arctica, Delain, Xandria, and others have guested on these adventures, but The Golden Moth stands as the most theatrical and cinematic of these symphonic metal records, especially with the addition of JP Leppäluoto to the official lineup and the appearance of Nightwish, Diabulus In Musica, and former Ensiferum members. Parviainen took BraveWords behind The Golden Moth, if another adventure is in store for Dark Sarah, and what inspired this grandiose story.
BraveWords: How do you feel The Golden Moth compares to the two previous albums musically?
Heidi: “The Golden Moth is even more theatrical, the guests sing this time both in the same song and also the album is a nonstop album and has been composed through.”
BraveWords: JP Leppäluoto has a strong, cinematic voice and brings much character to the songs; was it planned to have him join the official lineup or did it just happen?
Heidi: “I asked JP to join Dark Sarah after working with him on the previous album on ‘Dance With The Dragon’ track. So it was planned and he is a very welcome addition.”
BraveWords: When you first started Dark Sarah, did you have this whole story mapped out or did it just naturally progress from album to album?
Heidi: “I had an idea of building a continuing story around Sarah´s character from the start but I decided to make a trilogy when I was writing the second album. The story always develops along the music writing process so it was not completely ready, although I have had synopsis ready for the next album on really early stage. At the moment I already have a synopsis for the fourth album so the building process starts quite early.”
BraveWords: Where did the inspiration for the story come from? Was it all in your head or did something spark the idea?
Heidi: “The spark for the idea came to my mind when I was writing the lyrics for the first song, it was ‘Save Me’. There is this woman walking in the woods in her wedding dress and singing ‘save me’. I thought I need to write more about her and what has happened to her and how her evil alter ego is born. Then her name ‘Dark Sarah’ became the name of the band. Sarah means actually a princess, so Dark Sarah means a Dark Princess. I get inspiration from everywhere- they can be pictures, movies, songs, book - everything really. Mostly I get a visual idea, a mental picture of the mood and surroundings, first in my mind and then I start writing the plot and start composing.”
BraveWords: When putting the songs together, were you trying to fit the music into what was already written lyrically or did sometimes the music dictate what was going to happen? How do you like to write the songs?
Heidi: “I start with writing the synopsis for the story. Then I start composing. Sometimes the music guides me with the mood and it inspires me to write something more in the story. So they really walk hand in hand, music and the story. I make the lyrics in the last stage of song writing, but I have made a time line to the demos where they could sit in the story. Then we start working on the songs with the producer and then I make the lyrics.”
BraveWords: Marco from Nightwish, Zuberoa from Diabulus, and Netta all guest on the album; why did you want these three and how receptive where they to the idea of being on the album?
Heidi: “They were the ones that I really wished for these roles because of their unique voices. Since ‘The Gods Speak’ is sort of an ensemble, we needed to fill it with a tenor voice and a mezzo soprano voice. I am a lyrical soprano and JP is a baritone. Netta´s role is slightly different role that we have seen on Dark Sarah´s albums before since she is a fortune teller and only playing the accordion in her parts. We were really lucky and happy since they were all very willing to come. All of them are friends to someone in our band so it was also easy to get in contact with them.”
BraveWords: Any particular track or tracks that stick out to you?
Heidi: “Not really because the whole album has become a one big song in my head. All the songs play a big part in the story and have their own meaning and mood. They are actually really different from each other and therefore hard to point out just one. But I do love ‘My Beautiful Enemy!”
BraveWords: The Golden Moth finishes this trilogy of albums, where does Dark Sarah go from here? Does a new adventure await?
Heidi: “New story line and something really cool is happening, I can tell you that! I´m already writing new material for the fourth album and have discussed with the producer about it too and we have things quite well planned in terms of music and atmosphere. Schedule is not ready yet but I´m first focusing on the story and the songs. Let´s see where they will take us! I´m really excited.”
BraveWords: Any plans to bring this to the stage?
Heidi: “You mean on a theater stage? I would love to! It would just need a big pile of money and right people around us to make it happen! I´m all in!”