Manora is a Symphonic Metal band from the Netherlands who have just released their debut album last month. Vocalist Mirte van der Ham shared with us her experience following the album release in this interview. She also got us more excited to listen to certain songs on the album as we played another one of my “nerdy” games.
Enjoy this interview with Mirte van der Ham of Manora!
Hello Mirte, how are you doing?
Hi! I’m doing well, thank you!
Glad to hear! You released your debut album last month. How does it feel to finally have your work out for the fans to enjoy?
It’s amazing to finally be able to share all that we’ve worked on for so long with the rest of the world. And also a bit scary of course, because you never know whether people are going to like the new songs. But so far we’ve only heard very enthusiastic responses, so apparently people like it ☺
Which songs on the album have the fans related to the most so far, based on comments and feedback you heard?
What’s surprising is that everyone we’ve asked seems to have a different favorite song. A lot of people like Wired To Obey, which was the first single of the album, and I also heard from many fans that they love Dreamshapes or Break Your Fall the most.
Since you’ve released a new album, and to get our readers who haven’t checked it out yet more excited to do so, let’s play a game! I will ask you to imagine a scenario and pick one song for each question. Ready?
Which song from ‘Brave The Storm’ would you use to introduce someone to your music?
Wired To Obey, because it’s the first single, has all the elements of what we want our music to be, and because it has a music video which I’m very proud of.
Which song from ‘Brave the Storm’ would you use to make a friend feel better if they’re down?
Dreamshapes, because it’s the most positive song we’ve written. It’s about being able to escape reality for a little while when you feel down, by doing something you love, which for me is disappearing into the fantasy realm of a book, series, movies or a computer game.
If aliens with superior tech invaded the planet, and it was found that their only weakness is heavy music, which song from ‘Brave the Storm’ would be the most powerful weapon against them?
I think the double bass drums in The Traveler could definitely blow them away.
If all the songs from ‘Brave the Storm’ came to life and became humans, which one would be your best friend?
Again, Dreamshapes, because it’s a happier song compared to the other songs on the album. I like to have positive people in my life.
If an archeologist discovers a working copy of ‘Brave The Storm’ 1000 years from now, which song would they enjoy most?
I think they would be very interested in Break Your Fall, because it is about world leaders taking advantage of their position of power only for their benefit, while not caring about issues like poverty, climate change, equality, etc. I think that would be very interesting for someone from the future to learn more about.
Thank you for playing, Mirte!
What is one music-related memory from your childhood that means a lot to you?
I have a lot of music-related memories from my childhood since my parents are also musicians, but one of my favorite memories is just singing “Sinterklaas” (a Dutch holiday) songs together, with my mom playing the guitar and singing harmonies.
The phrase “Symphonic Metal band from the Netherlands” is heard a lot in the Metal world. How did growing up in a country with musicians who contributed massively to the Symphonic Metal scene affect you as a musician?
It’s strange that although there are indeed many symphonic metal bands from the Netherlands, the genre isn’t really popular here. So when I first discovered bands like Within Temptation, After Forever and Epica, I had no idea that they were actually from the Netherlands. So I don’t know whether it actually affected me at all that these bands were from the Netherlands.
Have you ever been treated in a sexist manner? How would you have sexism and what advice would you give to young people who deal with any kind of discrimination?
Fortunately, in the metal scene, I have not really experienced much sexism, apart from people assuming I’m not able to carry heavy stuff on stage. But I, like most women unfortunately, have experienced catcalling and stuff like that. My advice for people experiencing sexism would be to always keep talking about it. Don’t keep it inside because you’re afraid people will think you’re overreacting, or because you’re ashamed. If you feel like the way you’re treated isn’t OK, tell someone.
Thank you for the interview, Mirte. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank you for this interview, and also thank our fans for listening to our music and especially all the people who contributed to our crowdfunding, because they really made this album release possible ☺