With Poison Sun a new heavy metal act from Germany is trying to make a first impression on the metal world with Virtual Sin. The band is based on heavy guitar riffing and Martina Frank's voice. Time to learn a bit more about Martina Frank and Poison Sun!
Martina, in the past you been doing backing vocals for some bands, when did you first consider starting a band? And please tell us a bit about your musical background!
When I was a little girl of thirteen, my father taught me the song House Of The Rising Sun (Eric Burdon ) to me. Soon, I wanted to make music in a band and therefor I created songs with bass guitar and other instruments on tape deck to play it in a band. Later I found it easier to join different rock bands in my hometown as singer and create my own tunes over their guitar riffs. But at that time they didn't like my guitar - folk picking-style. I refused to sing cover songs, but I realized that this is the best way to get engaged to play music on stage. And indeed it helped a lot to get experienced with live concert situation. So, you can see, from the beginning it was on my mind to sing in my own band.
You and Herman are the core of Poison Sun. How long did it take to get the band together and write the songs?
When Herman composed some of his songs for Loyal To None, Victory and Accept he asked me to help out to sing his vocal ideas above his new songs. Therefore we noticed how perfect my voice would fit on top of his songs. From this point on the idea was born to do a common project one day.
It became true in Feb. 2010 that we finally started to compose the first songs of Virtual Sin and entered the studio to record some of this new stuff. It turned out great and so we looked out for drum and bass. As Stefan and Flo had been friends with Herman for long times, he knew they were the perfect musicians. The band was complete.
I guess you had to take the Accept schedule into account, was it difficult to find time to work on Virtual Sin? How long did the recordings take?
As I said we started in Feb 2010. Cause of Herman's activities with Accept it took some time more til we had composed and recorded the 10 Songs of Virtual Sin. The mix was finished in the end of August 2010.
The album is called Virtual Sin, like one of the tracks. What is the virtual sin for you?
To be a sinner means to me doing things, which are not allowed, but often just these things will bring you fun. The real (virtual) sin - in my opinion - is to destroy things that you love. This conflict means the title of the CD.
Who was responsible for the artwork?
The idea was born because of an early discarded band name: 'wings on fire'. We liked the story of Ikarus, which burnt his wings, because he had highflying ideas. It's a only matter of your point of view that this picture also fits to Poison Sun. And aside from this, Poison Sun contains the story of the sun seeking bud who is burnt by the candle in the night. So, when a party is going on and buzz is ruling the night. Just imagine the second you are leaving the bar and hit daylight again. That's the moment of Poison Sun.
It seems that videos get more important again, so for which song(s) would you like to do a video clip?
I like songs with a story in it and I use to imagine my songs in pictures. It could be RedNecks. I often see that dumb self convinced, a little fatty guys dancing and stumbling totally drunk with their red sweaty faces around a big fire. But the more interesting video clip would be the aggressive attraction between Hitman and his female admirers.
The cover version of Excited was a bit of a surprise. One of your all-time (non-metal) favorites?
I think we pimped it up to modern times. It's party music. But as I am in different mood, I like to hear different music - it could be Zakk Wylde or Whitney Houston, K.D. Lang or Clawfinger.
What inspires you when you write songs? Lyrics?
First comes the music - maybe a guitar riff, maybe the sound of some chord changes. It pushes me into a mood, which is responsible for the basically lyric idea. As I said, I try to find music and words which support and enforce each other to express a story or a life situation.
You have a deep timbre and a rough voice which works well with the songs - and is something totally different to the operatic vocal stuff which seems to pop up every day. But there aren't many female singers with a powerful voice, so many will compare you with Doro Pesch... A problem for you?
I listened to a lot of female voices with rough, deep timbre, but I don't hear it often in today's metal music. It's a pity. In fact a deep female voice has not the power as a male voice. It's easier to get through noisy metal music when you use the higher frequencies. Even the opera voices are trained to sing high and loud and its highly artistically. But to me as an old-schooled rock singer that way of singing could separate from emotion. I like Doro, because she had founded her own style being a metal singer.
What about live shows? Anything on the way?
In May, I think, there is break between Accept activities, to do some live concerts.
What are your plans for 2011?
Even now Herman began to hammer out some violent new riffs getting me to break out with voice and words. For sure 2011 we will come out with the second Poison Sun album.
Thanks to Martina for answering my questions. It looks like we will hear more of Poison Sun in 2011 - and might see them live... Playing some festival would definitely help to spread the word, but it's all wait-and-see now.