6 questions to LUISA VILEVIK from 6th awakening

Luisa is also known as Lovisa Lundmark and she is a mom, a singer and a grunter in Swedish melodic death metal band 6th Awakening. She used the name Lovisa at the start of the band back in 2001 and somewhere after 2012 she decided to change her name, not sure what the reason for that is.

With the 6th Awakening, she recorded three demo’s, the first one in 2003, the second one in 2004 and the last one in 2006 and in 2012 their debut full-length Psycho Path came onto this world. Followed by the Järtecknen EP in 2014 and in the nearby future the band will release a new EP with the name Hamn.

With time, the music has evolved from melodic metal to a more deadly sound.

When did you start singing and why did you want to sing?
In high school I attended an aesthetic program focused on music. I played the clarinet and the piano and it was mandatory to sing in the class choir. But it wasn’t really until after I finished high school that I got involved with the music I truly loved and actually listened to. My path crossed with other members of what was to become the band “6th Awakening”. In the beginning the idea for me was to sing with attitude and feeling with the ground in heavy metal, but over the years the sound of 6th has changed and hardened, to land rather towards death and black metal. First I sang with classic technique using growl only as an effect on one song. Soon after that I started to practice and seriously develop the growl technique. The vocals on the full-length album “Psychopath” contains about 50/50 regular vocals vs. growl. Today there is no regular singing at all, only growl, as can be heard in the latest release, the EP “Järtecknen” and the upcoming EP “Hamn” (to be released in the 6th of June, 2016).

Who influenced you the most at the beginning of your career and who are your current favorites?
In the beginning, I listened a lot to heavy metal bands and artists like Manowar, Helloween, Alice Cooper, Skid Row, Ozzy Osbourne, and W.A.S.P. The one of those that really got me hooked from the start was Manowar, I went to many of their shows and I knew all their songs. some of their lyrics are questionable in terms of attitude towards women, but I really loved the music. Today I don’t listen as much to heavy metal, more to different kinds of death and black metal, hardcore punk etc. A few of my favorites right now are Raised Fist, Satyricon, Dissection, Sabaton, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility, In flames and Naglfar.

What other types of music would you like to sing?
I love singing and growling in general and I appreciate good music in a lot of different genres. I have, for example, sung at a lot of weddings. The next wedding mission for me is in July a few weeks from now. Besides listening to metal, I also listen a lot to Hip-Hop/R&B and in a few cases pop songs has captured my ear. Songs I’d like to sing in that department are for example Sias “Chandelier” or Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors”. But I’d like to spice them up a bit, perhaps using growl in some places or at least a more “raw voice”. It’s important for me to sing in tune but with a personal voice expression. I really don’t enjoy a too soft and mushy expression, like wailing.

What is the highlight of your career?
The highlight this far is when 6th performed at Exit Festival Serbia 2014 on the Explosive stage. To get to play with the amazing musicians and characters that were in the band that year on an open-air festival that had just won Best Major Festival at European Festival Awards was truly something. We were very well looked after by all the people working around us at the festival and by Tmina/Grom Records. The performance went great and we had the audience with us in spite of heavy rain throughout most of the gig. Right there in the middle of the set, the rain had diminished to the point that the pyrotechnist suddenly dared to launch the flamethrowers. A warm and huge flame of fire appeared right next to me on the stage, I’d say the highlight so far was that very moment.

What was the funniest moment in your career?
We always have a lot of fun during the recording of new material, it’s an intense and rather special situation. Sometimes it feels like the people in the band have some kind of family relationship where we can both end up in unexpected conflict because of different but strong beliefs mixed with a strong sense of care for each other, and we share the same sense of humor. A fun moment for pretty much everyone in the band except for me was on our way to perform at Croatia Open Air Festival in 2012. Normally I am a responsible person, so this is not entirely typical for me. I had partied most of the night before, had in that condition managed to delete my alarm instead of activating it which made me oversleep and almost miss the flight. Once on the airplane, I wore dark sunglasses as some kind of living example of a worn out rock star. The others laughed at my self-caused situation, and now afterward, I can do the same! =)

Tips for people who want to start singing like you do?
For the most part, I am self-taught both in rock vocals and growl technique. To dare, according to me, is what’s key. When I found my technique (confirmed by a speech therapist as really good and not harmful to my false vocal cords (the cords you should use for the growl technique)) I just went all in with an attitude and used power from my entire body while relaxing the cords at the same time. It’s hard to explain in words, but I feel that my own body has guided me to find a technique that lets me play with sound in a lot of different ways. To growl is not to use just a one-dimension sound. You can, for example, change how high, how dark, how scratchy that it’s going to sound. Also, remember that your voice is your own, we’re fundamentally different, to begin with. I’d say, find someone that can teach you if you can and if that’s what you want, or try to find the technique yourself or by browsing the Web. Just keep in mind that growling should not make you hoarse or hurt, then you’re probably not using the right technique and in the long run that can damage your vocal cords. Be sure to find a good technique then just have fun and find your own sound and expression.

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