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Glittermortis - Interview

Interview with: VK Lynne (VK), Mary Zimmer (MZ)
Conducted by: T.V.

Glittermortis is probably still an unknown name in the music business, as they don't have an album yet, nor they have a song published, but the two main girls who are behind this project are well known names in the female fronted metal music. VK Lynne is known as a brainchild of Symphonic Gothic metallers Vita Nova, The Spider Accomplice, she's also involved in comunity of female vocalist Eve's Apple, as well in her solo career. Mary Zimmer on the other hand is the vocalist in recently reformed Heavy Metal band Luna Mortis, as well as a vocal instructor and member of Eve's Apple. The first one comes from glamorous Los Angeles and Mary from Wisconsin, now the two have found the common interest in music and are working hard to bring us new musical creation. Read below this interesting interview with both protagonists, where they revealed us a lot of the background regarding Glittermortis and other bands they are involved into. We were curious enough to ask even some personal questions. Enjoy!

T.R.: Recently you two started a new project together, named Glittermortis. What can you tell me about this collaboration?
VK: Mary and I felt an instant connection in Eve’s Apple. We are both very headstrong, and we both have a lot of creative energy. We knew we wanted to work together, the timing just was never right until now. About a month ago, I wrote a song that just seemed to fit us perfectly... so I contacted her, and she was interested in hearing it. Once she did, she was as excited as I was, and we decided to record it together and release it as a collaboration. But then we thought... why not give this a little more attention? Why not document the process and give the listeners an inside peek at the process? Thus "Tracking the Trade", our web series, was born!
MZ: VK and I had wanted to work together for over a year.  We originally wanted to do a cover, but she pulled out an amazing composition right when we both ended up having time to work on it.
T.R.: Where two of you meet and how was born this idea?
MZ:  We met through the amazing community of Eve's Apple.  It is a professional organization of female singers from all over the world who come together to raise money for charity and highlight the female voice.
T.R.: You have chosen a very original way of promoting Glittermortis, through some kind of video episodes "Tracking The Trade". Can you reveal some more background about this?
MZ: I have a lot of video editing and technical background and VK is really good at writing music, writing words and talking to the camera, so our strengths combined gave us a good basis for a web series. Plus VK had previously acted in a web series and I had made and edited all of the Luna Mortis studio diaries etc. It just came together really easily. We also wanted people to see us doing the business without a label and in a way that benefited both of us as musicians. A web series gave us the means to talk about these ideas with our audience...
T.R.: Some words about projects name Glittermortis...
VK: We wanted to call this project something unique, something that reflected the combination of our very different personalities… and Glittermortis certainly accomplishes that!
MZ: It was totally random and ridiculous and that's exactly why we chose it. It gets people's attention immediately, it has good search engine optimization and even if people don't like it, they can't ignore it.
T.R.: Still, where is it possible to hear your song in its entirety?
VK: Ah, patience... Soon you won't be able to escape it!!!
MZ: You can only hear snippets for now. In the web series videos - we are saving it until we're all finished recording it. Everyone will know, we'll make it very public when it's ready and out. You won't be able to miss it.
T.R.: Can you already say when can we expect an album from Glittermortis?
VK: Anything is possible... if there is one thing I've learned in this business, it's expect the unexpected!
MZ: I think that I have no answer for that at the moment. Both VK and I are super busy with multiple bands and musical projects and we are open to the idea of putting out more tracks together, I'm just not sure when we'll have time for it! But we aren't closing the door on it either, only time will tell!
T.R.: How would you describe the music of yours?
MZ: The music all comes from VK as the writer and I added a bit of the "style" being the producer. I would say very heavy, but like Alice In Chains, heavy guitars, dual vocals. Not like any band either of us has had or has. VK is a terrific writer and it is a great song for us both.
VK: Aw, thanks Mary! And yes, I'd say Alice In Chains is a good comparison. We both had that name in our minds when we got together, so it was appropriate that the song took that turn.
T.R.: Image vs. music... What's more important for you?
VK: I think the image comes out of the music, to be honest... At one time I had a manager who wanted to push me into this "image" he had in his mind... long blond hair, tight jeans, stiletto heels. It wasn't me at all. I felt so uncomfortable and like everyone could see I was a fraud. When I finally shed the manager and the heels and started letting my heart and creative mind spur my choices, my image began to morph into the circus you see in my pics, lol... But damn if it doesn't feel like me- finally. The outside matches the inside. So I think what's most important is to be yourself, whoever that is... and then you won't be able to separate the image from the music.
MZ: For me, definitely the music. However, whether an entertainer likes it or not, "image" is part of the package. Especially nowadays with images being the most prevalent form of media on the internet. People love something to take a look at. The artist who came up with our "Glittermortis" artwork was really fantastic and created some great images with a story behind them that really works well.   

T.R.: You two come from different musical genres, what does each of you two think of other one music?
MZ: I love VK's music - that's what sold me on her in the first place. She is a terrific vocalist and an incredible songwriter. I've also been fortunate to hear a bit of Vita Nova and some other things she's been working on which are in a totally different genre but her voice comes across just as powerful in metal as it does in blues. I am actually a fan of hers and enjoy listening to her music - sometimes there are people you work with and you don't like their other projects but that is definitely not the case for me with VK. 
VK: I love Mary's work... I am especially amazed at her awesome growl, that shit is mint! She is so skilled; her voice is truly her instrument, and I am a huge fan of the way she uses it. I'm excited to hear Luna Mortis kicking out the tunes again, and I'm also looking forward to new things Mary has up her sleeve...
T.R.: Luna Mortis just announced its reunion. What are now the future plans and are you already working on a new album?
MZ: Yeah, we are reuniting in 2013 and we have several plans that are unfolding this year.  Those plans do include some new music and of course new media- video (s), photos etc.  The band looks a little different after three years so we have a lot to update and get out to the fans. Live shows are at the top of the priority list because the fans have been waiting to see us out there again and that is what they want most of all. So, that will be some of what we give to them sooner rather than later. Everything else is a surprise.
T.R.: In a video "Tracking The Trade" you said some words about ideas for lyrics, but nothing specific. What are the things that you like to write about?
MZ: I'll let VK answer this one as at this time she's the lyricist for Glittermortis. I will say, however, that while I have a lot of production and technical experience I am not an experienced writer. In Luna Mortis, Brian wrote all of the lyrics and melodies up until the release of The Absence. I only wrote two songs of vocal lines and lyrics for that album and it was my first time doing it at all. I am currently writing vocals and lyrics for a yet-to-be-released project and it's going very well.
VK:  I tend to write about intense human emotions and how we attack, succumb to, or overcome them. Every single person experiences the common feelings (love, hate, envy, despair, etc.) in a completely unique way. There is literally an infinite supply of stories to draw from. I like to watch people and see how they respond and react to situations. And how I respond and react to them. All of that informs my writing.            

T.R.: Can you reveal some of your musical inspirations?
MZ: I don't know anymore... I have branched out so far into so many genres as far as what I listen to. I guess I will go into specifics regarding Glittermortis. The song is somewhat Alice In Chains sounding so I would say they were definitely an influence for me from a production standpoint. I modeled some of the things I chose to do with guitar tracking and arrangement to give it that heavy, grunge-y sound. 
VK: I am all over the board genre-wise. I tend to become a fan of a band or artist that I feel is putting their truth out there. Truth is the most intoxicating element to art... And the most feared. It's hard to bare your soul, with all its ugliness, but once you do... it becomes beautiful. Beth Hart, Nightwish, The Killers, Indigo Girls, Eminem, Carole King, Melissa Etheridge, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie.... all have had moments of pure immortality.
T.R.: You are also known as a singer in gothsters Vita Nova and metallers The Spider Accomplice. What can you tell me about those bands?
VK: Vita Nova is an international project that is centered around my partnership with Federico Salerno. We assembled musicians from bands and countries around the globe to create the record, including Maxi Nil, Gogo Melone, Helen Vogt, Iliana Tsakiraki, Grace Meridan, Kerstin Bischof and Babis Nikou.
The Spider Accomplice is my pet project for all my songs that don’t seem to fit anywhere else! It’s in the formative stages, but it’s already yielding some cool results. My time as of late has really been occupied by another band... but it’s a secret. But there will be a CD out very soon that I will be sure to tell you all about!
T.R.: And how did you get in touch with those Italian guys from Vita Nova?
VK: I was working on a song and posted on the Eve’s Apple page that I was looking for a producer, and Federico answered the call! The rest, as they say, is history!
T.R.: Can we expect another album from Vita Nova in the near future?
VK: Let’s get the first one out! We are very eager to get those songs to people, so that is consuming our thoughts right now.
T.R.: What about Eve's Apple?
VK: Eve’s Apple is where Mary and I met and where nearly all the guest artists on Vita Nova hail from. It’s a group of professional female metal/goth/rock singers and our goal is to support and educate. We are 45 strong and recently celebrated our two year anniversary at Metal Female Voices Fest X!
MZ: Eve's Apple is a professional community of female singers in the hard rock and metal genre. We support each other, collaborate with each other and help promote one another.  They are incredible women and it's such an honor to be part of such a talented group of ladies.
T.R.: What can you tell me about your special performance at MFVF (Metal Female Voices Festival) last year?
VK: It was magical. There were 16 Apples who performed in duos and trios and in a group number at the end, all acoustically. It really showed our unity and our abilities as singers to strip a song down and just sing it!!
MZ: I was not able to attend MFVF last year, but I was massively impressed with the ladies' pre-show performance. I watched the entire thing online and was completely blown away by all they did to prepare and they put on an incredible show.
T.R.: You said that Glittermortis's song is sounding similar to Alice In Chains. How much do you miss the 90's golden years of grunge music?
VK: I don’t miss them at all! I enjoyed the music, but I’m not one to dwell on the past!
MZ: I, personally, love the 90s and lots of music from that era. However, I am very glad the music industry is not in the 90s anymore because artists have more control over their careers and the ability to retain creative control due to the demise of record labels.
T.R.: Do you intend to shot a music video once the song is released?
VK: Hmm... that would be fun! No plans yet, but nothing is impossible!
MZ: Well, VK and I live 2000 Miles away from one another but if we could ever arrange to be in the same place again, that's certainly possible. Maybe we'll get lucky and someone can animate one for us!
T.R.: When can fans of you girls expect to see you two playing live together?
VK: Great question! Only time will tell...
MZ: Again, the whole living 2000 miles away being an issue, however, we are both going to make it to MFVF this year and perhaps we'll be lucky enough to have an Eve's Apple performance again this year and share the stage together! VK has also been doing concerts via Google + and that type of performance is certainly an option thanks to technology. 
T.R.: It's music your only occupation?
VK: Only? No. Majority? Yes!
MZ: Yes. I am a vocal instructor.                                       

T.R.: You two performed and collaborated with so many well and less known musicians... is out there still anybody that you would love to work with?
VK: Tons of people. I love to sing/write with others, and anyone who knows me can tell you that number one on my wish list to write with would be Tuomas Holopainen! I’d also love to sing with Beth Hart.
MZ: I of course would love to work with Devin Townsend. He's a musician who I've followed for years now and is at the top of my list.
T.R.: Do you intend to play all instruments and take care of all vocal duties in Glittermortis by yourself?
VK: No. Emily Zimmer is handling the guitar work, and Mary can tell you more about the other musicians...
MZ: Nope! VK and I are on vocals, my sister Emily Zimmer did the guitar tracks (she's a very talented and professional musician herself!) and I have two other great musicians from Wisconsin slated for bass and drums. Desiree Marszalkowski of the Everyday Motive on bass and Brian Van Wychen of the Ditchrunners on drums. All these musicians are excellent and will make this sound the best it possibly can.
T.R.: Which bands or what kind of music is right now spinning in your music player?
VK: All kinds. I really love The Killers new record, and also Kamelot’s latest. I’ve also recently discovered Thousand Foot Krutch, and I adore Delain’s We Are The Others... can’t stop listening to it!
MZ: Well, I listen to just about everything. Lately I have been checking out a lot of the FFM (female fronted metal) scene, Bare Infinity, Visions Of Atlantis, Stream Of Passion and tons more of course...
T.R.: The first album and the last one that you bought?
VK: First? That’s a long time ago!!! The first one I received was Like A Virgin by Madonna. Most recently, I finally picked up the soundtrack to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
MZ: Uh the first album I bought was Mariah Carey Emotions on cassette tape. Not metal at all but when you're a kid, pop is cool. Mariah is and was a fantastic vocalist at least...
The last one I bought was Infamous by Motionless In White because I do a guest vocal spot on the album.
T.R.: Do you prefer to compose music or to play it live?
VK: Each has its cachet. Right now I’m in a big performance cycle, doing a lot of acoustic playing. But in a few months I could be hibernating and doing nothing but writing... I go in waves.
MZ: I prefer to play live... I have never been a huge writer.
T.R.: Small club or large hall?
VK: Depends on the crowd.
MZ: Whichever, as long as it's packed!
T.R.: Before you mentioned that Nightwish are one of your influences. There is ongoing debate among fans of the band about who was their best singer. Who's your favourite: Tarja, Anette, or the new one Floor?
VK: Each has their merits. For me, it doesn’t matter who is singing, I hear the soul of the composer. And Nightwish is the only band, for me, that accomplishes that. Empuu could start singing lead, and I would still hear Tuomas’ poetic ‘voice’ coming through.
MZ: I have reasons to like all three. I have been a huge Floor fan for years, though, she's quite the singer.
T.R.: When can we in Europe expect to see anyone of you play live or to have a tour here?
VK: If it were up to me...?  Tomorrow, now, everywhere!!! But I have bands and players and finances to worry about, so I’ll just say as soon as I possibly can!!!
MZ: We may make an appearance at MFVF if we are so lucky...
T.R.: Some words about the local scene in your city...
VK: Frustrating, stagnating and stifling creatively. A lot of great artists becoming jaded by Hollywood bullshit.
MZ: There's not a huge metal scene in Madison (WI), but the bands that are here kick ass!
T.R.: Your favourite hobby?
VK: Trolling the thrift shop, then ripping, sewing, gluing and glittering things into my own unique VK Lynne life costumes.
MZ: Gardening and growing organic food.
T.R.: Thanks for your time and is there anything that you would like to say at the end of this interview?
VK: I am very grateful to the metal community for the generosity with which they have welcomed me over the last few years. I think some other ‘genres’ could learn something from the accepting and open-minded attitude that this particular community embodies.
MZ: Thanks very much for having us!

Facebook: Glittermortis, Mary Zimmer, VK Lynne