HI! WHO ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? HOW ARE YOU? Hi! I’m Jennifer Parkin from AYRIA. I’m in Toronto, Canada and I’m currently fine. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND CONGRATULATIONS FOR THE ALBUM “FLICKER”, I HAVE ONLY HEARD POSITIVE RESONANCE SO FAR. DID YOU EXPECT THAT? DO YOU GET MUCH FEEDBACK, MAYBE EVEN FROM EUROPEAN FANS? Not yet. The release date for “Flicker” was just recently (October 10th) and I actually don’t even have my own copy yet! They are being shipped to me from my label in Europe as we speak. So, I’m expecting some feedback to start rolling in soon. I’m a little bit nervous but also excited. It’s always nice to get positive feedback about work that I’ve put so much of my heart into for so long but it’s a bit nerve wracking to put your work that’s so personal out there for others. I’m proud of this though. YOU HAVE BEEN SINGER OF EPSILON MINUS FOR A FEW YEARS, WHAT IS, FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR OLD PROJECT AND YOUR MUSICAL PRESENCE NOW. EPSILON MINUS was so long ago to me that I seem like a different person to be honest. I knew nothing about this “business” when I was starting out and my input in EPSILON MINUS was much more minimal. I had freedom to sing about anything and write vocal melodies and parts but that’s where it ended. Now I’m 100% in control for music, image, art, shows. It’s a lot more work weighted on me but it’s my own and I love it. If you mean the difference musically, well it’s hard to say exactly. I guess EM was more techno-geared and AYRIA is more of a fusion of many different genres that I’m influenced by. WOULD YOU EVER DO ANOTHER PROJECT WITH OTHER INDIVIDUALS OR ARE YOU FULLY SATISFIED WITH ACTING INDEPENDENT? I just completed I guess what can be considered a side project called ISIS SIGNUM out on Advanced Synergy Records. I sang on several songs for this release. I am happy to work independently but I need collaboration too. I plan on collaborating again in the future, too because working with others I feel challenges me. They might write songs in a style that I would never think to do and I have to come up with interesting vocal parts. I enjoy both, but I like vocal work the most. Sometimes songs are so personal I only feel comfortable working alone but I like when the ideas from more than one head can come together to create something beautiful. HOW DID YOU CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE ALFA MATRIX ROSTER AND HOW ARE YOUR LABEL EXPERIENCES SO FAR? I actually can’t remember it exactly. I know with EPSILON MINUS, we were submitting our demos to all the labels at the time and Alfa Matrix was an up and coming label with – I believe – only 4 bands on it at the time! They also really liked female vocals, so they really liked our style. I was also friends with Len from IMPLANT from before that and I remember him mentioning this label in particular to me. I enjoy the label and working with them has been great. It’s sometimes hard to work with a label that I’ve never met in person and from so far away but that’s also what works at getting good exposure. “FLICKER” SHOWS A FAVOUR FOR MINIMAL MUSIC AND SOUND ARRANGEMENTS WITH A TOUCH OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY. DOES THIS REPRESENT YOUR PERSONAL UNDERSTANDING OF MODERN HARD ELECTRONICALLY MUSIC OR HOW EBM SHOULD SOUND TODAY? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OUR FUTURE-POP-ERA AND THE INFLUENCE FROM TECHNO? I’ve always preferred minimal music. Just good catchy bass synths and a fun beat and good vocals. I don’t necessarily think all EBM should sound like that, but personally I often prefer it. Sometimes less is more and you don’t need 6 thousand layers of synths to get your mood and song writing across. I still enjoy the techno influence, too. I don’t have that much of it represented on Flicker but the opening track is very danceable with a Benny Bennasi meets ECO feel to it. I’m pretty open minded, when it comes to genres of music. I’m picky within the things I like though. YOUR SONGS STAND FOR MOST DIVERSE INFLUENCES OF MUSICAL PERIODS LIKE OLD-SCHOOL-EBM, 80`S ELECTRO-POP OR MODERN ELECTRO-CLASH. DO YOU PREFER ANY SPECIAL STYLE AND WOULD YOU GO BACK IN TIME IF YOU COULD TO CELEBRATE IT? I would love to go back and be a teenager in the 80’s. There was so much discovery in electronic and new wave music. Even pop was defining itself into this crazy over the top androgynous image driven industry. But I’m also happy being right in the now as I think a lot of good stuff is happening in other genres too. Anyway, like I said above, I’m extremely open minded when it comes to music. I love harder EBM and grew up liking bands like NITZER EBB, NINE INCH NAILS, MINISTRY, KRAFTWERK but at the same time I was obsessed with softer poppier bands like DEPECHE MODE, THE SMITHS, MADONNA, BLONDIE, etc. I just like good song writing to be honest. Now I’m still all over harder stuff still but other interesting electro punk & clash scenes are still enticing me with their catchiness. I just can’t choose one style and why should I have to. Diversity is the key to new ideas I think. ARE YOU COMPOSING YOUR SONGS WITH ORIGINAL ANALOG SYNTHESIZERS OR BY COMPUTER? A combination of both. I have a lot of soft synths but there were also many real synths used on this album. For the audio geeks reading this out there a few brands we used actual synths were the Korg MS2000, Waldorf Q, Yamaha CS6r, Technics WSA1. v01d/Joe Byer, who I worked with producing the final sounds had access to this amazing studio with lots of fun equipment EBM IS USUALLY DOMINATED BY MEN, HOW DO THEY REACT TO A FEMALE RIVAL? They tremble in fear that I will steal all the chicks! Haha! No, really I don’t see myself as a rival. I’m just trying to be creative alongside my fellow musicians. Being a female, I guess I kind of fit into a smaller niche, too, but I really wish my sex didn’t mean such a big deal. It’s not the bands out there that make me feel this way. It’s the people that keep saying “I just can’t accept a female singer on electronic music”. I’m left like “What the hell do you mean and where have you been living the past 20 years?” In the area of tolerance of new ideas, this genre is actually way behind other ones in certain regards. But this is really only about 10% of the people I deal with. I don’t see sex as an issue at all. Again, it’s song writing and delivery. I don’t care if it’s a man, woman or a kangaroo! Bring it on. YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY A VERY BEAUTIFUL PERSON, IS THIS CHANCE OR RISK IN THIS KIND OF MUSIC BUSINESS? COULD YOU BE DESCRIBED AS THE PINK OF THE ELECTRO SCENE? I am not beautiful! I guess I have a girlie cutesy image but most of the time, I’m quite strange looking! ;P Well, I can honestly say looks didn’t mean a damn when I got signed to Alfa Matrix. We didn’t submit any photos with our CD so we were signed on sound alone! I think image can help a bit when it’s honestly your own but no one’s going to keep buying your albums just based on an image if there wasn’t something more to it. Anyways, thanks for the compliment I guess I don’t think I’m like PINK though. She’s cute looking but scary. CANADA IS THE NATIVE COUNTRY OF MANY INDUSTRIAL HEROES LIKE SKINNY PUPPY OR FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN PRESSURE TO BE HEIR OF THESE BIG IDOLS? DID YOU EVER MEET THEM PERSONALLY? AND WHY IS CANADA BLESSED WITH SO MANY GIFTED ARTISTS IN THE ELECTRONIC GENRE? No I’ve never met them. Canada is a HUGE country and most of those bands were from the West Coast I believe in Vancouver. I constantly get asked about them in interviews and get compared to them just for the sheer fact that they are from Canada, too. I’m honoured to be placed up in the same regards to these Canadian electronic legends but I really think we create vastly different things in the big picture of it all. I can’t answer the question about Canada being blessed with this kind of talent! We are a very diverse, artistic and open minded country I think? Plus it’s cold for more than half a year so there’s not much else to do but stay inside and write music (“Flicker” was done almost entirely through the winter of last year!) ON THE COVER OF “FLICKER” AND ON YOUR HOMEPAGE ARE MANY BRIGHT COLOURS, THIS IS NON TYPICAL FOR THE BLACK SCENE. DO YOU DO THIS FOR PROVOCATION/ DECEPTION OR IS IT JUST YOU PERSONAL TASTE? Completely a personal taste but I also hate clichés. I didn’t want the same covers that everyone else has done a million times. I went outside the genre of goth or industrial for inspiration. The inspiration for the 2 disc limited box set was actually the “Fight Club” DVD NOT LONG AGO, AFTER MANY CONCERTS IN THE USA YOU HAD YOUR FIRST GIG IN EUROPE. HOW WAS YOUR FIRST LIVE CONTACT WITH OLD CONTINENT? I loved it. It was actually in Cardiff Wales at a festival called Interzone. Then I went sight seeing in London and it was amazing! I had never been to Europe before. I wish it wasn’t so hard to get European gigs set up though! I want to come back to play more! In North America, promoters just email me saying “Want to come play our club in “any town” America” and I just say “YES” because I love doing shows so much! WILL YOU TOUR GERMANY IN THE NEAR FUTURE AND WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT OF AN AYRIA LIVE PERFORMANCE? I would totally love to! Promoters out there: if you’re reading this now and want to have an Ayria show, just email me!! IF YOU HAD FREE CHOICE: WHICH ARTISTS (ELECTRO OR NOT) WOULD YOU LIKE TO TOUR WITH? I would love to play with so many acts! This question is unfair! Ok, how about (ok, even if it doesn’t make any sense musically).. ROTERSAND, MIND IN A BOX, APOP, FEINDFLUG, ZEROMANCER, GOLDFRAPP, PZYCHOBITCH, COVENANT, DEPECHE MODE, CHEMICAL BROTHERS, FRONT 242.. the list goes on but these are bands I want to see live right now! COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRIVATE AYRIA – WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS, YOUR HOBBIES, YOUR OBSESSIONS? This would be my personal ad: I love Rollerblading, Sushi, CSI, Sci-Fi novels, dancing at clubs, movies, chocolate, watching John Stewart at 11:00 pm, The British series Spaced. It’s weird, I haven’t had very much time for most of these things lately with my job and all the music activities but I plan to get back on track (especially with the chocolate!) THE LAST QUESTION! IF YOU HAVE ONE WISH FOR YOUR FUTURE, WHAT WILL IT BE? I want to travel to Europe again I guess is my biggest goal. I think a full tour would be the ultimate wish! THANX FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STRONG RELEASE! NEO/ KARSTEN Thank you so much! This interview was really fun to do! I appreciate your support of my music a great deal!