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[non-industrial] 13 Shadows - interview (2013)
August 25th, 2013 | E-mail interview by NINa | Submit for an interview | detailed review | Read other Fabryka interviews

NINa: For some singers, a clear and strong voice comes as a natural talent, but other people need to take a lot of lessons to train their voices well. What's your experience with singing?

Denise Donahue: I don't really see myself as a singer... more of a composer who happens to sing my own stuff. Singing actually comes with a lot of fear and loathing for me. I've never had any formal vocal training, or informal for that matter. I do the best I can with what I have. If I had any money I would be more than happy to take some lessons!... Hint, please help a poor tortured artist out and buy a song or two! I really focus a lot more on my instrumentation and composition. That's where I feel my strength truly is, and it's also what I most enjoy.

NINa: You have a debut self-titled album out and you have probably been working on a new release. Where do your ideas for songs come from? Are you inspired by daily life, literature or dreams? Finally, is there any song on 13 Shadows which you found to be the most difficult to put together during the creative process?

Denise: I've got quite a bit of material that is waiting for me to record. Most of the songs I write have a personal meaning to me, but I have often been inspired by a movie or a book or even other songs. Often I hear music in my dreams and when I wake up I'll try to record it as soon as I can before it's lost. I think that it can sometimes be a mistake to explain every song too much. Hopefully, people will listen to my songs, love them and allow them to have a meaning all their own. It bugs me when I've been listening to a song for years and it means something to me then I find out that the song is about something totally different than what I envisioned.
"Slide" was my torture song. I can't even begin to tell you how many changes it went through. Even now when I am practicing I am making changes to that song and pretty much all the others as well. They are in a constant evolutionary process.

NINa: What's your view on subcultures such as goth, industrial or metal? Do you identify yourself with any of these now or you did when you were teenage? Do you see identifying with a subculture (with its philosophies, manifests, favourite music, artists, fashion, etc.) as something that helps or, quite contrary, limits individual development?

Denise: To me genre doesn't matter. I've found from teaching piano, that I many times like the chord progression and melody of a song, but when I later actually hear it I may not like the production. However, if I like the chord production and melody....the bare bones of the song...... then I like the song... regardless of production and genre.
I don't identify with any particular subculture nor did I as a teenager. My musical taste vary to such a degree that it would be impossible to identify with one subculture. I have no problem at all with anyone that identifies with any of these subcultures, but I find it to be limiting for myself. Often I label my music as Alternative/Industrial/Goth. The only reason I ever do that is simply because when I post my music online and am demanded to list genre, those are the closest choices in the drop down menu. I suppose I would actually describe my music as eerie cinematic industrial alternative....... rock? I think a lot of music fans could possibly have much broader horizons if they just listen. The death metal fan might discover they like Himalayan Dub Step Yodeling if they give it a chance. A good song is a good song, it doesn't matter what the subculture or genre may be. I tend to lean towards the darker aspects of life, but if something bright and sunny catches my attention I'm going to listen to it and maybe even dance around a little bit.

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Pictures come from 13 Shadows archive, all copyrights reserved by their respective owners. Questions proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński.
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