Dark Sarah just released the 3rd installment in their trilogy, ‘The Golden Moth’, and what a fantastic album it is! Out of all the new releases I’ve heard this year, not many get a perfect score. ‘The Golden Moth’ did and is easily one of my favorite albums of all of 2018. So I had to chat with Heidi Parviainen about the new album, where they’ve been and where they are going.
If you’ve not discovered Dark Sarah yet, you absolutely must! You can see the review of the new album in our October 2018 YesterdazeNews Magazine issue here. This band is set to take listeners on an epic, cinematic, symphonic metal musical experience that will leave listeners wanting more. For those who’ve not heard the other two albums in this trilogy, listen to them. I actually suggest listening to them first in order to truly get the full experience and journey Dark Sarah takes you on. Here is the order; ‘Behind The Black Veil’ (2015), ‘The Puzzle’ (2016) , ‘The Golden Moth’ (2018).
I love musical journeys that allow fans to escape from their daily lives and truly be thrust into a different dimension. This is exactly what this entire trilogy of albums does. So please, discover the masterpiece that Dark Sarah has put together for you!
Check out the video for Trespasser:
Without further delay, let’s get to the interview. Thank you to Heidi Parviainen for taking the time out to talk to us here at YesterdazeNews!
Diane Webb for YesterdazeNews: You are a classically trained vocalist and pianist, where did you do your studies and do you play any other instruments?
Heidi Parviainen: I have studied classical singing at the conservatory of Helsinki and now finishing my singing and pedagogue studies at Metropolia in Helsinki. I play piano and a little bit of recorder.
You also train vocalists. Which brings you the most joy? Performance, teaching or both but in different ways? Please explain.
I love teaching and from another education I´m also a class teacher. Nowadays I only teach singing and I really enjoy it. However I would love to do more shows and concentrate more on performing and composing.
You’ve been part of Agonia, Iconofear and Amberian Dawn. What did you learn about yourself and your performing abilities with those bands before you set out on your own to create Dark Sarah?
I started in a metal band already in 1997, it was a death metal band, I played keys and sand backing vocals. Back then I had no idea about the metal world and how wide it is and how many different genres it includes. During the ten years with my first band I learned more and more about my favorites and grew up as a musician. I also grew up to be a singer and front a band. But the real instructive years that planted the seed in me of who I am now, was the years with my second band Amberian Dawn. It was the first “big boots” I needed to fill. But the biggest personal and artistic growth has happened with Dark Sarah.
How has music changed for you coming from other bands and going into your own project?
I think life itself and your experiences in life add layers in you. You become an entity built by what you do with your life. They all mold you to become the person you are at the moment. Everything that has happened in my life, good and bad, has made me who I am now. And because music has always been really attached to me, it has also changed and grown with me.
Check out the video for The God’s Speak:
The Dark Sarah albums have been huge, dramatic and cinematic productions. What brought you to develop this project with this style?
The drive, the need to create. Passion to music and bringing out the pictures and stories I have in my mind.
As a child and as you were growing up, did you read a lot of novels that may have influenced this project?
I did! I actually read more books as a child than now. Simply because of lack of time and many years of studying. I have always loved fantasy books (too many to mention!), Steven King novels, especially his novels, Edgar Allan Poe. The one I particularly remember really well and I´m sure it has effected my work nowadays is when I read The Hobbit of J.R.R Tolkien for the first time. I listened to meditation music that had rainforest theme same time. The experience I got from the music and the story attached got me hooked! Magical.
Why did you decide on a trilogy of albums?
One album was not enough to write the whole story. Actually it is always really hard to pick up the specific moments from the story that will get highlighted and be written to songs. There would be so many more juicy ones to tell with music too!
Were all the albums or concepts of the albums written at the same time then recorded later or did they evolve and get written over the past 4 years?
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. I start with writing the synopsis for the story. Then I start composing. Some times 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.
Check out the video for Sky Sailing:
Who did the writing on ‘The Golden Moth’?
I have written most of the songs with our producer Mikko P. Mustonen and JP Leppäluoto and Perttu Vänskä has also done some writing. The lyrics and the story is written by me.
How long did it take to record ‘The Golden Moth’?
We were quite effective this time with scheduling the recordings. They were done late 2017, all together about few weeks. I sang a lot of choirs on my own for this album and some of them were still recorded early 2018. The album was ready in February 2018. Unfortunately we needed to postpone the release because we got a new management that needed some time for prepping the promotion.
Did you have any issues while recording the album like, a song that just wasn’t working or coming out how you wanted it?
We had a really good pre-production and everything went really smoothly. Some lyrics were needed to be left out to keep it more simple.
The fans love what Dark Sarah has done on the last two albums, what reaction do you hope they have with the new album and is there anything unexpected on this album they should listen for?
I hope this third album will bring the trilogy together by answering to some open questions and bringing clarity to what is going on. The whole trilogy story has been published on our website, I strongly suggest people to read it through to get the best experience. I also would really advise to have a peaceful moment and listen the album through at once. The album is composed through without gaping, you will get the best out of it by listening to it completely.
Find Dark Sarah on Spotify:
I’ve listened to the new album, first let me say that the music and the contrast of vocals is simply brilliant! It’s larger than life. I really enjoyed this third album. You have a number of guests on the new album, Zuberoa Aznarez (Diabulus In Musica), Marco Hietala (Nightwish) and Netta Skog (ex. Ensiferum). How did you decide to bring them in to work on ‘The Golden Moth’?
Wow, thank you! The guest play the roles of gods here. Marco a god called ”White Beard” and Zuberoa a goddess called ”Iron Mask”.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 Skog´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.
Tour plans: What are the tour plans to support the new album?
Our management is working full steam to get us shows in Europe.
What do you think will follow the trilogy? Single concept albums or possibly a new trilogy in the works?
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.
What’s been your greatest accomplishment thus far personally as a musician and for Dark Sarah as a band?
Getting a trilogy made and released by crowdfunding and getting a strong fan base that is all the time growing. We are still and independent band. For me personally it has been a huge work starting from story, compositions and managing all the business behind Dark Sarah. I´m really proud of this achievement.
Last question, what would you like to say to all of your fans?
Hope you will enjoy this music journey with us! You are very welcome to join the team of Darklings!
You can find Dark Sarah online here:
For more info in Inner Wound Recordings: