ANDRA ARIADNA & ACHIM SCHREINER (Interview)

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Another new and quite promising musical project might be ACHIM SCHREINER (Blood Red Soul, Woodlark, Rainbow Walker Project, Achim Schreiner Band), who is certainly no stranger to us, joining forces with romanian singer and “The Voice Of Romania” contestant ANDRA ARIADNA (Ka Gaia An, Invictus, Scarlet Moon, An Theos, Recursive Delusion).
The two have just released “Unfading Skies” which is a bit of a fusion of early Nightwish elements with 80s hooks! It made me curious so I wanted to know more and Emily spoke with Achim & Andra this week. Here is what they had to say:

ACHIM SCHREINER/RAINBOW WALKER

SR: Achim, you are always working on new things. Not even two months ago you’ve released ‘Symphony of a Memory’ with BLOOD RED SOUL and you are again working with new people on other adventures! Tell us about it and what’s new!

AS: Well, actually we already starting going through the musical and lyrical ideas we have gathered for what will become BRS 2, for which we have no title yet. The lyrical concept is very interesting and promising, though I cannot reveal at this time what it will be about. I’ve been already busy with the music for some of the songs and our singer, ELLIE KAMPHUIS, is already working on great lyrics and melodies. Ellie is currently relocating to Australia and in the meanwhile I have already started to record some guitar tracks for the new WOODLARK album that will come out this year as well. It will be already the fourth album and EINAR McCARTHY and myself are really trying to create something special here. He has already provided me with a great bunch of ideas and has already recorded vocals for one of the songs. By now we just call it WOODLARK IV, as we have no title for it by now. Then FIONA CREABY and myself will work together again as well, as it was a brilliant experience working with her on two songs for the last BLOOD RED SOUL album. She’s not only a colleague but also a very good friend of mine, so working with her is always extra-special. We are already going through some tunes I wrote for her, but at the moment she is pretty busy with her own bands APPARITION, who just released their new album “The Awakening” and also she will soon be in the studio recording the new FALLEN ARISE album as well. So she always busy and for one simple reason, as Fiona is just extraordinary.
My next solo album is currently a bit postponed or let’ say it will take a bit of a backseat, as I have also recently teamed up with ANDRA ARIADNA, with who I have already released one song (and video) called “Unfading Skies”.

SR: This is what I going to ask you about in the first place. How did you get together?

AS: Actually I was talking to a friend about singers in general and he recommended me to check out a certain singer on YouTube which is what I did. It was ANDRA ARIADNA. You could immediately tell that she is a real talent with a huge voice. What I instantly liked very much at her voice was this “rock vibe”, this sort of “edge” she has in her voice and which distinguishes her a lot from most other singers who do similar things. They often have this beautiful clear and clean voice and tone, some even have incredible operatic skills as well but most of them are no real “rock singers” per se. If you look at Floor Jansen or Amanda Somerville, for example, they can sing just anything as they have this “rock edge/vibe” in her voice that enables them to even sing Classic Rock/AOR kind of style music and it works brilliantly with them! But it usually doesn’t work when rather clean operatic singers try to sing rock. They can sing it, but in my opinion it doesn’t work, most of times. It just doesn’t sound right. With people like Floor or Amanda, you can do these things though. And Andra Ariadna pretty much reminded me of Floor when I listened to her and this impression got more, the more different things I heard her sing. Ariadna is a very versatile singer and she grew up listening to many different things, singing many different things and this is the best teaching you can ever get. So I contacted her and we have spoken a lot since that, about music, singing and many more things.

SR: You didn’t waste any time..

AS: Yes, as things just were just so natural and organic from day one. Actually I had two songs for a “one-off”, one I created for Ariadna and another one for another singer who has since withdrawn from the project, so I gave the second song to Ariadna as well. What can I say? Working with Andra Ariadna is just amazing as she is such a nice down-to-earth person and really open and friendly soul to get along with. There is no vanity or that kind of aloofness that you bump into much too often when working with other people. It was all so easy and she did a brilliant job right from the start. I heard her singing the songs and instantly thought “that’s it”, as it was singing it exactly the way I had envisaged it. She just nailed it right away. Also we have a brilliant and warm communication, which is something you don’t always have with band members and which becomes increasingly important to me.

SR: That sounds like the right people have met!

AS: Absolutely! It was very soon clear to me that this is much too good for just a “one-off” sort of collaboration, so we spoke about a possible project together and she was absolutely happy about the idea and up for it right away! So we will do that and we will create more music in the same vein as with “Unfading Skies” and “Pretended Love” which is the title of the second song which will be released soon as well. The name of the project will soon be announced by us.

SR: Do you think it can interfere with BLOOD RED SOUL and your other plans and projects?

AS: Not at all. If I’d think it would, I wouldn’t do it. Simply put. Actually the music that Ariadna and I are creating is really different to what I do with BLOOD RED SOUL, which is more the typical symphonic rock sort of thing, while with Ariadna it has more of a more classical rock edge to it, so to speak. It is a different thing and you can tell that right away once you listen to both. So it doesn’t take away anything musically from BRS in the least. WOODLARK is a different world anyway, different music and with a male singer and my upcoming music with the great FIONA CREABY will be different as well, as Fi and I plan a different style of music to what I currently do with Ariadna. So again, it doesn’t take away anything from any of the other projects.
Also it is quite obvious that most other members of the abovementioned bands are doing other projects as well and it all works smoothly. As long as you can keep a certain level and keep it professional there is no limit, except for time and creativity.

SR: That sounds very promising! We are looking forward to what you come up with regarding ANDRA ARIADNA and your new project then! Good luck!

AS: Thanks a lot, much appreciated and thanks for the support always!

ANDRA ARIADNA

SR: Andra Ariadna, where do you come from and what brought you into singing? Was music an important part of your family? When did you start singing?
AA: I come from Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. Singing has always been my passion, but my story began when I got a microphone as a present and I decided to create my Youtube channel, Andra Ariadna, back when I was 15 years old. I started recording covers and that’s when I realised that singing was not just a hobby and I wanted to take my work to the next level. My grandfather played the saxophone in the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra, but I never actually got the chance to spend time with him, as his relationship with the rest of the family was not very strong and he unfortunately passed away a few years ago. I believe I inherited his passion for music.
SR: Are you in other active bands currently or do you rather work as a solo artist/vocalist?
AA: I am currently working as a solo artist because I want to focus on my master’s degree, as well. Singing in a band requires a lot of time and effort and you have to take into account everyone’s schedule. As a solo artist I can manage my time more easily. This is my last year at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures (University of Bucharest), as I will graduate with master’s degree in English Linguistics this summer. I do my best to manage my time as well as possible because music is a huge part of my life. I’ve confirmed my participation at this year’s edition of “The Voice of Romania”, so I’m also taking time to rehearse my songs for the auditions which are held on the 24th or March. Even though I have no expectations from the contest, I want to seize the opportunity to grow as a solo artist, to improve my stage presence and to overcome my stage fright.
SR: In which bands have you been before?
AA: The first band I’ve had the pleasure to work with was INVICTUS (a symphonic power metal band which was also known as SCARLET MOON back then). Over time I was a guest musician for the epic folk metal band AN THEOS, I sang in KA GAIA AN (a pagan folk metal band and we also released an album called “Neamul Dacilor” in November 2016) and I sang in RECURSIVE DELUSION, an experimental metal band. With all of these bands I’ve participated at different concerts, contests (Great Battle of Bands, for example) and festivals in different cities of Romania. This was an amazing experience for me!
SR: Did you have any formal training in singing? I’m asking because you sound very skilled to me. Did you study singing?
AA: Saying that I sound very skilled means a lot to me, so thank you! I didn’t have the chance to have a full formal training in singing. I signed up for singing lessons at a specialized school in Bucharest, but I couldn’t finish them because it was the last year of high school and I had a lot to learn for the final exams. Even though I had to give up on the idea of following formal singing lessons, I never stopped singing at home. I usually rehearse about 3-4 hours per day and I love it. To be honest, a day without singing is a wasted day for me!
SR: You just posted a song called “Unfading Skies” and one more is in works. You have never been working with Achim before, so how was it to work together on music?
AA: Working with Achim is one of the best things that happened to me in my musical career. Our project means a lot to us. He is such a talented musician and a great person, he is devoted to his passion, he knows how to treat people, he always gives you a positive vibe and he never makes you feel like you’re not good enough. I couldn’t ask for more! Have you ever experienced those moments in life when you just know that something is meant to happen? Well, for me, this is one of them and I feel grateful.
SR: Are you looking forward to create more music in this kind of vein with Achim? Or was it just something where you say “one time was enough, I wanna move on”.

AA: One time was definitely not enough! We can’t wait to create more music. I was indeed very happy when Achim told me about the project he has in mind and I feel like this is the right thing to do!

There is definitely something to look forward to after listening to their first song! Thanks to ANDRA ARIADNA and ACHIM SCHREINER for this interview!

Check out “Unfading Skies” on YouTube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwfdPlwcPeE

Interviews by Emily Stratton (ES/SR)