Hello Amanda, at first how are you? Thank you so much for accepting my request for an interview. We read you are about to become a mommy this year in summer? Right? Was it planned or a surprise for you?
-I’m doing great, thank you! And you’re very welcome; thank you for your interest in my doings. :-) Yes, I’ll be a first-time Mom the beginning of July and Sander and I are very excited. It was actually a “planned surprise”; we wanted to start a family sometime soon, but we didn’t think it would happen that quickly!
Did you have a good start in 2015? Any plans to do an european tour beside Rock meets Classic?
-I’d say 2015 has started out as a pretty special year. So far, I don’t have any further touring plans for this year besides RMC in March and April. April 17th, the new Kiske Somerville album will be released and there will be a lot going on surrounding that. In May, I’ll be in the US again, then I’m pretty sure I’ll be a bit busy come the summer & fall!
I can speak for myself if I say I can’t wait for the new Rock meets Classic show, I will visit the show in Bamberg or Leipzig because it's near my hometown. Are you looking forward to the next RMC tour and what is so special when you hear RMC?
-That’s great you’ll be there! RMC is a fun tour for me to do and totally different than touring with my own music - even though I’m in charge of the choir, it’s a whole lot less responsibility, yet still a good opportunity to do what I love to do, be in front of an audience and have a nice time.
Are you now working as a vocal coach for someone or do you only sing for yourself in your bands?
-I just finished doing some coaching for an up-and-coming German band called Aeverium who were recording their first album. I still do coaching occasionally, but I don’t give vocal lessons. I only do studio work and I enjoy the diversity in my career, being active both in the spotlight and behind the scenes.
What is your favorite song you have ever sung somewhere and why?
-I’m not so much a “favorite-one-thing” person. I think my favorite songs to sing are my own, just because they’re personal to me and it’s so fulfilling to be able to perform my own creations.
Let's talk about the last year 2014, can you remember one special moment in your life and why is this moment so special for you?
-Getting married to my amazing husband (and longtime music partner) in July and then finding out our family was going to get bigger pretty soon after that were definitely my personal highlights of the year!
Some of our readers would love to know if you are planning a new solo album and of course if you come with Trillium to Germany soon?
-My solo album has been in the works for much longer than planned, but it is in the works!!! :-) Since I’m so busy with so many different projects in music, it unfortunately affects the amount of time and energy I get to spend on my own music. But my diversity in my involvement in music is the reason why I’ve been able to have such a long and successful career in it. Plus, once I’m a Mom, I don’t have to worry if I don’t tour for a while because my career isn’t solely based on performing. But - YES! A new solo album is coming and also another Trillium album. As for performances in Germany, perhaps that’ll happen once the new album is released.
Because I’m a big fan of yours, I saw you have cute dogs, so for me as a dog lover (I have 2, too) I would love to know why you choose dogs as pets and not for example cats or rabbits?
-I’ve had Shetland Sheepdogs my whole life. I did have cats (2 Maine Coons, who went to very good friends, so I still get to visit) and love all kinds of animals, but being a world traveler puts a damper on how many domestic animals I can have. Blitz is an excellent, easy traveler (as were my other Shelties) and always flies with me to the US, for example; he’s traveled all over the world by plane, train and car. Cats and rabbits just aren’t such good (nor accepted) travelers, unfortunately, and I couldn’t stand leaving my animal friends constantly behind.
My favorite song is ‘’Trillium- Coward” because I love the lyrics and the video, I know it's long time ago you recorded this song, but now I have the chance to ask you what the background of this song is. Maybe you can tell me and the readers what the meaning of this song is?
-“Coward” is about accepting the bad things that have happened to you committed by someone you thought was on your side. Turning the other cheek and going on with what you believe in, doing what’s best for yourself and trusting that karma and fate will come back to that person at some point (even maybe in the next life) is empowering. It’s about letting go of anger, which is a cathartic process.
Do you have a favorite singer or band? And which singer would you love to sing a duet with?
-My all-time favorite is Paul Simon. His songwriting and delivery are so unique, timeless and tell beautiful stories. I’d love to sing a duet with Tori Amos, Elizabeth Fraser, Debbie Harry or Stevie Nicks.
Are you nervous before you go on stage and, if that's the case, what do you do against your nervousity? Do you also have any rituals before you perform?
-Mostly I’m just excited to get on stage; I love it. Sometimes I’m a little nervous, though. If it’s a first show or I have to play piano, for example. I try to stay calm and take deep breaths. I don’t really have any set rituals other than being able to take my time to get ready. I do not like having to rush. Wishing everyone involved a good performance right before going on stage is essential to me and sets a good and positive team vibe.
Does it happen frequently that fans approach to you while you are shopping (Do you like shopping?), wanting your autograph or a picture?
-Sometimes. Funny enough, it almost always happens when I’m traveling somewhere that’s business or music related; in trains or at airports, which is totally fine because I’m usually in the mode already. When someone comes up to me while I’m grocery shopping or doing something totally daily and normal, it kind of freaks me out!
I saw you really love to interact with your fans. Do you try to meet fans after every concert or before?
-Usually after because I like having my time to get ready for a show. But I’m happy to meet people at any time and I am always grateful that they’re there to see me or whoever I’m performing with!
What is one of the strangest things a fan gave to you as a present or for signing?
-I’ve actually been asked to sign people’s breasts before, which is very strange! I’ve gotten many lovely presents from fans, but nothing that’s particularly weird. :-)
What was your inspiration to live in Europe, especially Germany?
-I’d been coming to Europe on vacation since 1995 and always loved it. I initially moved to Germany because of a relationship, but stayed because of music.
If you weren't a musican, which profession would you carry?
-Probably a therapist or a doctor. I love helping people and I think there’s so much value in healing professions.
What do you think about the expression ‘’female fronted metal’’?
-I have to laugh, actually. It’s pretty sexist, though I can understand how the term came about due to the genre being traditionally heavy, hard, male-dominated and considered to be not so “femininely compatible.” But there’s no female-fronted rock or female-fronted jazz, etc., so it’s kind of silly if you see it from that perspective.
Which question would you love to answer but nobody ever asks it? So now is your chance to answer this question =)
-Haha! I can’t really think of anything at the moment.
What would you say to me, our readers and your fans from all over the world?
If you had a question for me and my partners, ask and we will answer you in our next issue =)
-I’m just grateful every day that I’m able to have this wonderfully amazing career in music and it’s all because of people being and staying interested in what I have to say, in lyrics or simply singing into a microphone or doing an interview like this. So, thank you!
Choose this one you prefer:
Coffee or Tee?
Pizza or sushi?
- Pizza; I don’t eat any animals that once lived in water! Makes me ill just to see or smell it and both of my Grandmothers are the same way.
In movies, love or horror?
- BOTH :-) Love when I’m by myself or with friends or family; with my hubby, it’s definitely horror!
Romantic or action?
- Also both
Summer or winter?
- Winter, as long as there’s snow (and not the damned gray, rainy winters of central Europe!)
House or apartment?
Phone or letter?
- Depends on the circumstance
Thank you so much for taking the time and for answering all my questions. Good luck with everything.
-You’re welcome! Thank YOU for your support - best wishes!