"All About The Album" - If you'd like to feature your band/album, email: urban
ISSA- The Norwegian whirl-wind and her 4th studio album "Crossfire". According to the press release the new release is a melodic rock fans wet dream with huge vocals, layers of keyboards and masses of guitars! Well it also inform us to "Fight Fire With Rain" (and not Fire as in the past with Metallica and Kansas) which sort of make sense when you think about it. Originally from Oslo. At 17, she began to work in the music business as a demo singer for various labels (pop, rock, you name it) and today she's based in the U.K. Find out more about the album and the band. Here's: ISSA
Kindly describe Issa to someone who's not come across you before.
Heya... yes my name is Issa and I'm from Norway, I'm releasing my 4th album with the title “Crossfire” at the moment. The style of music I do is melodic rock- huge choruses and catchy hooks and I would say if you like bands like Heart, Romeos Daughter and Roxette this might be something for you. I work closely with Tom and James Martin from the UK based band Vega so a lot of my work is together with them- also James Martin produced this album together with John Greatwood and I can only say it sounds smashing.
Your album is entitled 'Crossfire' can you explain the meaning behind this?
Well “Crossfire” is the video song for the album, and to be honest when the label asked me what song we should have as the video I had to leave it all to them as I just couldn't pick from so many great songs. “Crossfire” in the meaning of the song is similar to a crossroad- you're at the point of making a decision and you're caught up in it... - yeah if that makes any sense.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind prior to recording?
I think originally I said I wanted the old school feel to the album, but in all fairness as you make an album I think every song just takes its own shape in a way- but saying that I think every album just takes its own shape as you go along, you kinda work for the song. I would describe the album as more synth based and with huge catchy choruses mixed in with a John Greatwood production.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
This time around I did things totally different, John was put on the task even before Frontiers knew I was doing a new album.. its sounds a bit crazy but I guess I wanted to do everything myself this time. John is amazing to work with, he always listens to what you as an artist wants- and I think thats how it should be. He does of course say what he thinks and have input on what goes on, but I think James Martin had an even more input as he wrote most of the songs. Them together is a great team, they know each other and can sort out the details while I concentrate on the bigger picture haha.
Why are you performing this particular style of music instead of say Pop or Dance music?
In my time I've been in several cover bands and I've also done lots of guest performances for other bands. I think I discovered more what I liked to preform and sing during that time- and I loved the rock songs with high pitched notes.. It kinda gave you a release in a way- of course coming from Norway all my friends seem to be in metal bands so melodic rock is soft compared to that. I've done lots of studio work and mostly pop songs, but I think its just too “Nice” for me- I like a little more edge to things.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Usely it starts with the music and then melodies and lyrics- so I guess it depends on the music in the first place.. I work lots with Tom and James Martin and during the years we never really think in the ways of- we need to write a song like this or that- we just write a song and see where it gets us. Most of the songs gets on other albums and we never really hold back on songs, but sometimes you’ree left with songs that maby was pitched towards someone but theydidn’tt see the potential- thats the songs that you can hear on “crossfire” - its a backcataloguee of songs.
Please inform us about your favourite moments/songs off the album
Hmmm- I would say that when I got the finish mix back of “Raintown” well that was a moment! I've always been a fan of Steve Overland (FM) and to be able to do a songs with him was fantastic. Also there is nothing like getting the finish product in the post and play it on full ( get nabours angry) volume- now thats a nice feeling, just to see what you have spent lots of time and energy on.
What's it like shooting all those videos in Italy? Do you have a say about the plot?
Yeah its always a lot of fun shooting videos- its all about letting yourself go and not think about how silly you actually look. Riccardo who is the video director always have an idea beforehand, and I like it like that- I think its easier for him to see whats possible to do and how to do it then it is for me..
How would you describe the live scene in the U.K. for your kind of music? Can you find venues to play?
I think now that I live here I can say that I think the scene is bigger over here, and UK is a big music country so its always venues around, it wont make you lots of money but its a great scene to be in... The people are also amazing and very loyal. I'm planning a few gigs here in the U.K. to promote the album so keep an eye out on facebook/issasite for updates.
Once and for all. Which one of the Martin brothers are you married to?
Ha I could just as easily been married to both- you marry one but get the trouble of two hahah- I'm married to James Martin, he's the keyboard player in Vega.
Would you say that rock criticism is sexist?
Hmm not in the professional way, like magazines and so on, but it can be a huge difference being a woman in this scene. I can say I know the difference as James pretty much is in the same thing- he never gets- ohh I don’t like his hair or what is that dude wearing- that is the difference I think- you are judged much more on all the silly things, like what you wear and how you look and so on. Sometimes I've seen some comments that doesn't even say anything about the music... but when all that is said- 99.9% is lovely and fantastic people. It's two sides to everything and I think as a woman you stand out more...
How would you describe the CD to any potential new fan?
“Crossfire” is an album thats been 5 years in the making.. its an album full of huge catchy hooks and I think every song is as good as the other.. If you like melodic rock and even pop/rock you will like this album.. it has great songs and lots of time behind it- a great production and guest musicians that im sure you’ve already heard of...
Who are your influences and heroes/heroins?? (music-wise)
I listen to lots of music, and I think I always gets influenced -or you just learn things from albums that I listen to. FM has always been an inspiration.. they just have that magical feel and well what a voice Steve has.. “Heart”- oh my I love them- just fantastic, but also bands like Toto, Def Leppard, Aerosmith- oh the list can go on and on..
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do
Thank you so much for the interview- I hope you’ll enjoy the album and please come and say hi on my facebook site. Hope to see you all around soon.. xx
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom, (c) 2015 RockUnited.Com - Contact or simply send your answers to above address.
(c) 2015 RockUnited.Com - Contact or simply send your answers to above address.