Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
Kate Nord: I’m a classically trained vocalist making fantasy-inspired metal accompanied by a symphonic orchestra. Kind of like an Enya meets Metallica kind of situation!
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Kate: I grew up in Finland in the ’90s when the metal scene was exploding, but I started out by studying classical music. My brother was playing in a bunch of different punk rock and metal bands and to me, that was the coolest thing ever!
I was writing songs all the time but only really had a way to record something once I moved to Italy in 2011. Then I made a collaboration with the band Noveria as their lyricist, and those guys had access to actual studio gear – and that’s how I got started with recording!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Kate: Well, there are many – Metallica and Children of Bodom showed me heavy guitars, The 69 Eyes showed me moody ambiances, Gjallarhorn and the Chieftains showed me the beauty of traditional music and Enya showed me how the traditions could sound contemporary! The mixing of symphonic elements with metal is something I particularly enjoy with Nightwish and Symphony X.
I’m also a big fan of folk tales and their Art Nouveau-era illustrations. Not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien and his literary works!
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Kate: When I first started with classical vocals and learning about the greats in the opera genre, I had this silly wild dream about performing at the Metropolitan in New York… Today, I’m living my later and more realistic dream, since I’m living off my work as a musician!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Kate: I write my own music and do my best to stay curious and be a better composer every time! As for themes, I look to medieval ballads, folk tales, and my personal life experiences. Oftentimes
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Kate: As I’m primarily a recording artist and also an independent artist, my main thing is to try and be present online on the various social media platforms and spread my music on the various streaming services. People keep telling me that I need to get on TikTok but I can’t quite wrap my head around it yet, maybe I’m old, haha!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Kate: I don’t believe that downloading music should be seen as this big bad wolf of music consumption. Your true fans are going to want to support you, and they will do so by buying your music, your merchandise, or your concert tickets. I support the music I love, and I truly believe anybody who really gets involved with a band and its music would want to do the same!
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Kate: There are many… right now I’m studying the aria “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” by Saint-Saëns, it has these delicious chromatic elements in the melody and a really epic payoff at the end! I’ll need to study a lot more if I’m ever to replicate such a masterpiece.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Kate: I used to be full of pet peeves and prejudice towards other musicians, both dead and contemporary ones, but nowadays it seems to me that the more I study the more I feel like a Jon Snow – a lot of the time during my studies I’ve noticed that lacking a completely open mind is more likely to hold one back than help oneself to move forward and get better. Hey, maybe that counts as a pet peeve on its own!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Kate: I had the chance to play a few times with Alberto Rocchetti and Claudio Golinelli, the keyboard player and the bassist for Vasco Rossi, who is the king of Italian rock music since the ’70s. Gigging with such rock stars can teach more than years of studying!
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
Kate: My debut album, “Compass To Your Heart’s Desire”, is coming out on December 16th! I’m looking forward to the release date with excitement mixed with terror. Well, it’s time! I’m really happy about how the album sounds and the compositions, and it’s going to be interesting to see what reactions it might receive.
PD: Tell us about your plans for the next future.
Kate: I’ll be back to the composition and writing phase with plans for new music in the new year – It took me years to finalize Compass To Your Heart’s Desire, however, I feel like I’ve finally found a formula that works really well for me and I can’t wait to get started with a follow up to my debut release!