Angelica Rylin is best known as the front woman of Swedish melodic metal act The Murder Of My Sweet, but her debut solo album ‘Thrive’ sees her go all soft rock on us. Woody caught up with Angelica to discuss her new album and sound.
I think most Fireworks readers will know you from your symphonic metal band The Murder Of My Sweet. Your new solo album ‘Thrive’ is very different in style and is a more straight ahead melodic rock album. So what inspired you to do an album in this style?
Serafino Perugino of Frontiers Records approached me with this project about two years ago. He asked me if I was interested in recording a solo album and together we started looking for songs and songwriters that would fit our vision. Melodic rock / AOR is what Frontiers do best and it's also the kind of music my parents and older sister listened to when I grew up so it felt both natural and exciting for me to sort of go back to my roots and make an album in this genre.
Why did you choose ‘Thrive’ as the title of the album?
Thrive sums up the state of mind that I'm in at the moment. I'm writing and recording music full time. I'm growing as a vocalist, I'm having fun and I'm exploring my musicality.
Has the album turned out as you had hoped and are you happy with your vocal performances on it?
I'm very happy with the result. I wanted to capture the energy and the fun times we had writing and composing the songs and I wanted to show my fans a broader side to my vocal abilities. I feel I have pushed my limits in some of the songs and really gotten up there on some powerful high notes. But most of all I've had a great time doing it.
I was very excited about hearing the album as I know from TMOMS what a spectacular voice you have and was extremely keen to see you tackle my favourite musical genre! I wasn’t disappointed and you have thrown in some really stellar performances and some truly great vocal moments. I kept thinking of some of the female pop/rock diva’s of the ‘80’s – like Jennifer Rush, was it your aim to emulate and aspire to those performances and styles on this album?
Yeah I think it was probably. I mean these stars of the 80's are spectacular and it's been great being in the studio and recording somewhat of a tribute to that era. I wanted it to be a modern AOR album but keep the kind of melodies and phrasing that you would hear at that time. It's a special spirit and feel to these kind of albums and I hope the fans will feel that we've captured it.
Knowing your background I had thought this might be a dark edged album but it isn’t, were you conscious of making sure this album was very different to TMOMS as you were making it, or was it never an issue?
Right from the start I decided to make these two projects different from each other. Otherwise it may as well have been another TMOMS album only under a different name and label. I wanted to showcase a slightly different side of me but without confusing my fans. We will keep on making albums with TMOMS and hopefully I'll get to do the same as a solo artist too.
You worked with your TMOMS band mate Daniel Flores who produces ‘Thrive’, did working with someone you know so well help you and increase your confidence whilst recording the album?
Absolutely! Daniel and I have built up a very close relationship and he has been my musical mentor right from the beginning. He can read and interpret both me and my ideas so well. He takes my scrabbles and helps making them into beautiful songs.
You were heavily involved on the song-writing on ‘Thrive’, was this something you insisted on so people wouldn’t view this as another cookie cutter Frontiers assembled project? Or was it just a natural evolution of the songs during writing and recording?
I think almost every artist who releases solo albums with Frontiers send in their own songs but in the end it's about picking the best ones for the album. I had a close communication with Mr Perugino about the goal for my album and we listened and discussed the songs that were sent in. Eventually we ended up with a bunch of strong melodic rock songs and of course I'm super happy that the ones I wrote made the cut.
Can you talk to us about a few of the songs on ‘Thrive’, any stories behind them or why you like them?
With TMOMS many of our songs are story based and have a deeper undergoing meaning so on Thrive I wanted to write straight up, non complicated love songs and focus more in trying to capture the vibe and the energy of our sessions. The lyrics either stems from my own experiences or my idea of love. Sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it's really hard. It can make us do strange things or it can be paralyzing but most of all we can't go without it.
I know this is a project album so I’m probably hoping for something that’s never going to happen here, but will you do any live shows showcasing your solo songs?
That is something I would like to do very much. I guess we'll have to wait and see what kind of response I'll get from my fans but I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed for some venues or festivals this spring and next summer.
Is there any news about The Murder of My Sweet do you have any new music or live shows coming up with them?
We are writing and composing for a third album as we speak. It will be kind of a dark, rock musical called Beth out of Hell and the story will pick up where we left you with the last three songs on Bye Bye lullaby, Waiting for the 27th, Black September and Phantom pain. It will be epic.
If you do a follow up album to ‘Thrive’ what musicians and song writers would you love to work with on it?
I am very happy with the involved musicians and songwriters on Thrive so I wouldn't mind working with them again. It's a privilege to work with other musicians and it's a great way to learn and become better in what you do. If I'm allowed to dream big then I would love to get a chance to work with Michael Cretu or David Foster just to name a few.
Is there anything else you would like to add or say to our readers?
I hope you will love this album and if you do then please support me by buying it and following me at www.facebook.com/angelica.rylin and hopefully I'll get to see you on tour!