Seraina Telli – Solo artist

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Singer/guitarist – Seraina Telli

Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall

Thanks to Stephan Burmeister at Flying Dolphin Entertainment UG for setting up the interview
Thanks to Metalville Records for providing the promo pictures.

 

Swiss-born singer, guitarist, song writer, Seraina Telli (ex-Burning Witches) now has a solo project that she formed with drummer Rico H. (Stoneman and AnnaLux), and bass player Alice Lane Pandini (Emigrate). Her new album, SIMPLE TALK, came out on Metalville in October 2022.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Telli about the new album, why she chose to crowd-fund it, why she calls her music in your face rock, as well as her choice to cover “Fever”, and much more. I also tried to clarify if this endeavor is a solo project or a band. Interestingly, she didn’t want to talk about her time in Burning Witches but regardless, read on to see what she had to say…


 

Hi Seraina thanks for taking the time to conduct this interview with Metal-Rules.com today. Are you ready to begin?

Hey there, looking forward to answering your questions.

Solo artist

When did you first get the idea to create a solo project?

The idea started in 2021 when I was writing a song that actually was supposed to be a collaboration with the band AnnaLux. I started to write, and the lyrics and melodies were just flowing out of my mind right to the paper. In the end we decided that the song fits me so well that I should write more songs like that, and so the idea of the new project was born. The song I am talking about is “I’m Not Sorry”.

Was it important to you to be a solo performer and not part of a band?

I am part of a band since I am playing with a band. It just made sense to give the band my name since it’s my music.

You’re playing guitar in this band. Was that something you did in Burning Witches or did you stick to vocals back then?

Check the videos and find out 😉

When did you hook up with Rico H (Stoneman and AnnaLux) and bass player Alice Lane (Emigrate)? Were those guys your first choice of co-workers or did you have others in mind?

Rico H isn’t just the drummer of this band. We produced the songs together and he was also involved in the song writing. He actually played a big part in the decision to start the SERAINA TELLI project. We found Alice Lae on Instagram. Her looks and playing were a great fit so we asked her to work with us.

Do you consider your work as a solo project or a band?

It’s both.

You sure have a cool look going on with your semi-colored hair. Do the colors represent anything?

Green and blue are simply my favorite colors and purple – like my guitar 🙂

Debut album SIMPLE TALK

When did you start to work on material to the album and have the pandemic affected your work in any way?

I started to work on the first songs in 2021. The pandemic affected the work to the extent that we had time to work in the studio since we were not able to go on tour. We made something good out of a bad situation, so to say. 😉

Did you write all of the material on your own or did you co-write together with anyone?

As I said before I worked closely with Rico H. We made the arrangements together and he brought in a lot of great ideas to complete the songs.

Did you deliberately want to move away from the heavy metal sound you had going on together with Burning Witches?

I don’t care much about genres. I just write what I feel good about, and it turned out to be “In Your Face Rock”.

Why did you include a cover of the “Fever”, a song originally made by Little Willie John back in 1956?

I have liked that song since the time I was studying Jazz at the Music school in Germany. One day I just jammed it with my electric guitar and made a (very bad) demo of my idea. We were talking about putting a cover song on the album and I rediscovered this version. The whole team liked it and so it was decided.

Where there any songs you wrote that didn’t make to the final edition of the album?

Yeah, there are more songs that just didn’t fit to the overall concept. We are now working on some of the ideas so maybe they will find their place on the second album.

What are the longest songs “Remember You” 4.21, “Soldier of Fortune” 4.15, and “Take Care” 3.59 about?

“Remember You” is a song about a broken friendship and how it’s important to go on and remember the good times.

“Soldier of Fortune” is a love song. It’s a story of a person who saved another’s life just being there.

“Take Care” is a message to the world: It’s important to take care of yourself, because if you don’t, other people have to do that. It’s a kinda selfish thing in my opinion and I have had a lot of experiences regarding this. In the end you can only help other people when you have your own “shit together”.

What’s the story behind the album title, SIMPLE TALK?

It’s simply simple talk. straight ahead in your face. 😉

How do you want the listeners to interpret the album cover, which is a picture of you?

Well, since it’s my band and my music it wouldn’t have been very appropriate to take a picture of someone else, haha.

Which other rock/metal acts do you consider yourself as laying close to?

Halestorm, Shine Down, The Pretty Reckless, Blackstone Cherry, and many more I probably forgot to mention.

Do you think fans of Burning Witches are going to like your music on SIMPLE TALK?

People who listen to SIMPLE TALK will like SIMPLE TALK. It’s so simple! 😉

I also read a statement describing you as wanting to motivate other women to believe in themselves, to be complete, and above all stay that way. Could you elaborate a little?

It’s an important thing for me to empower other women to be themselves and to be whatever they want to be.

At the beginning of September the video/single to “Modern Warrior” was released, which has about 27,000 views so far. Could you tell the readers a little bit more about the shoot and the message of the song?

We shot the video at a nice industrial place in Switzerland; it’s a place for artists. As you see in the video there’s a lot of graffiti and sculptures, which was perfect for the message of the song. “Modern Warrior” tells the story of, well, a modern warrior. Today we have to fight with different things than say, 1,000 years ago. We fight against things that aren’t obviously visible, like interpersonal relationships and so on, but I feel like a warrior sometimes and I guess that many people out there can relate to that.

Modern Warrior official video

 

If I’ve got it right, you crowd funded money through a WeMakeIt campaign and raised over 10,000 Euros, despite only asking for 6.000. That’s amazing! In other words you made a profit of 170%. Could you ever imagine that your fans are so loyal and eager to help you get the album out?

That was an amazing outcome, and I am very happy by the immense response and support of my fans & friends!

What kind of stuff did you offer the fans during the campaign?

Video updates, cards, cover songs, fan packages, shirts, etc. Many people also gave something without wanting a goodie for it.

Looking back, are you happy with the outcome of SIMPLE TALK or would you have done anything in a different way?

I am very happy with the album and everything around it. I am proud of myself and my awesome team; we created a great start and first album.

I’d say the album is jammed with extremely well-played melodic hard rock music and in my opinion it’s one of the highlights this year. Where do you find inspiration to create music?

Thank you! I find inspiration everywhere, every day. Music surrounds me and I would not have it any other way.

I Dare To official video (Lyric Video)

 

Do you plan to continue releasing solo albums?

Of course! I am already writing new songs; the second album is already in the works.

Up close and personal

When did you first begin to sing?

As a teenager.

Are you self-taught or have you taken vocal lessons?

Both. I have taken lessons and I also studied at a Jazz, Rock & Pop Music High School in Germany. I learned many things during my education, but how I sing and play today is a different thing. I always wanted to have my own sound so I tried many things out. My singing technique for metal and the heavy rock vocals are self-taught.

Do you have any role models or inspiration when it comes to singing and playing guitar?

I am a fan of many musicians and artists and am inspired by so many people all around the planet. I don’t really have role models. I had role models when I was a teenager, I guess but as I said earlier, I want to have my own sound.

When did you start to write songs and play guitar?

I started to write many years ago, but I didn’t like the outcome, haha. I had to learn more about music theory and stuff to get to a point that I liked my work. I started playing the acoustic guitar at the age of 20 if I remember right and I’ve been playing electric guitar for about two-and-a-half years now.

You’re also a vocal coach; do you teach at the moment? What’s the best part about working as a vocal coach?

I really like teaching and I still do it one day each week. I love to work with children; they are so creative! I also really like to coach singers of rock and metal bands, to survive without breaking their voices.

I read that you’re also a designer. What do you design?

I design most of my stage outfits and some jewelry out of used guitar strings.

Do you consider yourself primarily a singer or guitarist?

I am a singer and composer. I love to play guitar and piano but mostly I use those instruments to play my songs and to bring my vision across.

Past and present

You’ve got a really nice website but there’s not too much info about you or what you’re up to, or pictures of the band etc. Who runs the site?

My management did the website. Since it’s my “solo project” there is not much information about the rest of the band or my team. More info about me isn’t needed after you listened to my songs, haha.

At the moment your Facebook’s got about 5,800 followers. Do you think that number is going to increase with the release of SIMPLE TALK?

I hope so, we will see 😉

Besides FB and Instagram, are you active on other social forums? Do you think it’s important to be active online?

I am on TikTok now, just like the kids 😉

On your YouTube channel, you do covers as well as live Q & A’s with fans. How many followers do you have on YouTube and do you like that format?

I like to use YouTube as a social platform. It’s fun! I have over 2,500 subscribers and getting more every day.

Besides some scheduled live shows in the Fall, you’re going to open for CoreLeoni are you excited?

Yeah very! I can’t wait to hit the stage with my awesome band.

You’re also going to throw a release party at the end of October. Where is it going to be held and are you going to play live?

Yeah, I had the release show on October 23rd, that’s why my interview was delayed. Sorry for that by the way! We had an awesome party and we played the whole album and more.

Any plans on heading out on tour next year? Do you have any festival shows booked for next year?

We are already planning my first headline tour in Switzerland at the end of 2023 and some festival and tour dates as a support act are in the planning stage, but nothing official yet.

Do you think you’re going to come to Scandinavia and perform live?

I hope so! I love Scandinavia and I guess you have a great rock crowd there.

What’s the status regarding the pandemic in Switzerland at the moment?

It’s over here in Switzerland. I still have my mask in my backpack, but I haven’t worn it for a long time.

In what way do you think you can inspire young women to get into the hard rock/metal business? I think you’re the perfect role model for women who want to play harder music.

Thanks! 🙂

That’s important to me! I want to be an inspiration for young girls and show that it’s possible to do everything they want. It’s important that more women appear in leading positions in the whole music industry. Representation matters.

Do you have a lot of fans in North America and Asia?

I see many comments from US people which is great! I have fans from all around the world and now I’m working to increase the numbers.

I’m Not Sorry (Official Music Video)

 

What’s the status of the band Dead Venus that you formed back in 2015?

The Venus is still alive. We are playing some concerts this year and are planning to release a new song sometime next year.

On FB there’s two pages involving you: Seraina Tello – Past and Present, and The Dead Venus & Seraina Telli fan Club. Are you active in those groups?

These are groups made by fans of mine. I am not active in those groups.

There’s also a fan club at FB dedicated to you in Seraina’s BaTELLIon. How involved are you in that?

The BaTELLIon is a special platform for supporters and people who want to help and be part of my musical journey.

What would you like to say to the ones who haven’t heard the music of Seraina Telli yet?

Go and watch the 3 new videos on my YouTube channel. That’s the best way to get to know my music.

Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy SIMLPLE TALK?

It’s In Your Face Rock, it’s a Party, and I give you a “feel good” guarantee.

Well, that was all for me and Metal-Rules.com this time around. I thank you once again for doing this interview and I wish you all the best in the future. I really hope to see you live on stage in Scandinavia soon! Do you have any final words of wisdom to share with fans and readers?

Thank you very much for your questions. Stay colorful and see you on the road!

 

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