About Me

Interview with Her Chariot Awaits

Her Chariot Awaits are a new band that brings together Mike Orlando from Adrenaline Mob and ex-Sirenia singer Aylin. We were talking to Aylin, who told us a little about this new project and about its most recent album.

M.I. - Her Chariot Awaits is a band featuring the artistic union between American guitarist and producer Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob) and highly regarded ex-Sirenia singer Ailyn on lead vocals. How did the idea of forming this band come up? How did this lineup get together?

It started with Mike, Michael Caplan and Frontiers. They were talking about starting a new band with a female vocalist. They were looking for a female singer and then it’s when Frontiers Records talked with Mike about me. As for the rest of the lineup, it was Mike who decided. As it’s a band based on NYC, we thought it would be a lot easier to have everyone living in the area, so when needed I would be the only one traveling from far away.

M.I. - How different is this band when compared to the other bands you were involved in, namely Sirenia and Adrenaline Mob?

HCA it’s very different than what I did before with my former band which I think it’s very nice as that forced me to go out of my comfort zone to try and learn different things on my way of singing. HCA has nothing to do with the “gothic sweet princess” image I had with Sirenia. I really loved that this band made me explore this other side of myself which shows a stronger and more aggressive woman.

M.I. - You are a very recent band and are launching your first album, although some members were part of other bands before. For those who don’t know Her Chariot Awaits, what else can you tell us about the band? How did the name of the band get chosen? What’s its meaning?

From the beginning Mike and I were exchanging name ideas. One of the days he told me he would like to use a “three words name” for the band. Actually, if I’m not mistaken, I think Her Chariot Awaits was one of the first names he told me he had in mind. Mike wanted to base the name on the female aspect of the band. So he thought about the way I dressed for Sirenia, with all that big “gothic princess style” dresses. That gave him the vision of a beautiful majestic woman getting into a chariot to ride far away. I guess you can see this as if it’s the change going from symphonic to a rock style from my part.

M.I. - How do you define your sound?

I would describe the sound of Her Chariot Awaits as a Hard Rock/Metal band. I think we’ve created a record that offers technical, aggressive, modern and very catchy heavy music.

M.I. - What inspired the title of the album?

We decided to self title the album, cause the best way to introduce ourselves to the world is via our music. A way of telling everyone: We are Her Chariot Awaits and this is our sound, this is us.

M.I. - How was the process of songwriting for this album? Was it a democratic process in which every band member participated? 

The songwriting was all by Mike. I help with some of the lyrics, but mostly everything was made by him. He send me the songs with a vocal guide so I could hear what idea he had for every song. Working with him was a great experience, he’s such a nice guy and a easy person to work with. He was very supportive during the entire process and very open minded to hear any idea or suggestions I had about the songs.

M.I. - “Dead and Gone” was the first single released. “Take me Higher” was the second single released and has a very powerful tune. What are the songs about? Who’s responsible for the lyrics? What inspires you?

Dead and Gone was inspired by Mike’s girlfriend. She wrote the story and Mike adapted it to make it into a song. It tells the story in the first person of how it feels to have been neglected and abandoned by somebody, in this case a biological father. It’s about the words the character, a woman, wants to express to make him realize how he made her feel, and in a way put an end to that character in her life and be able to move on.
Take Me Higher talks about how you need to find the strength from inside to keep going. To never give up, keep fighting cause that way, we evolve and become better version of ourselves. We need to learn from the past, to be able to overcome the future and reach our desires. You only fail if you don’t try.

M.I. - The album includes a cover of K.D. Lang’s “Constant Craving”. How did the idea of covering this song come up? Are you fans of covers? Have you got any more covers planned?

When we were talking about what kind of music we would like to have for HCA, Mike told me there was a track he always loved, so he sent me the pre-production of the track and I loved how he managed to turn it into a darker and haunting version of the song. I really like to hear when others make covers and I hope we can make some other covers in the future.

M.I. - The media has been doing awesome reviews of the album but what has been the reaction from the public to the album so far? Did it meet your expectations?

Yes, I’m very happy with the reviews I read so far. If I’m honest, at the beginning I didn’t know what to expect or how the fans would react, as HCA it’s very different than my former band and what the fans are used to hear from me. But after the album was released and saw people’s reactions I could finally breathe. I how after this virus situation we are living in the album couldn’t be properly promoted with the touring, but I’m happy people seemed to like it.

M.I. - Who thought about the design for the cover of the album? Who turned the idea into reality?

Mike had a very defined idea and the artist www.stanwdartworks.com translated it into perfection on the cover design. We are really happy with the result, we love it!!! 

M.I. - How did the different experiences contributed to this new album, since you have been in other bands before?

I guess working with other bands, helped me to include some sounds from my previous works on this new band. I think it’s always nice bringing something different into a style that makes  the band have something that distinguishes one from others.

M.I. - The album was released later than expected due to the coronavirus. How much has this virus affected you personally and as musicians?

The album was delayed by the record company for the obvious reasons of the pandemic, and of course we understood and agreed with that. 
I was in Spain visiting my family when the COVID-19 hit. The virus has been quite hard in Spain, but luckily for us, we were in a tiny village on the top of the mountains where is difficult to get anywhere. My biggest problem was that I have diabetes and asthma so I needed to be extra careful. As in many other countries we were forced to stay inside for almost three months. And being stuck up there for those three months without WiFi connection while we had the album release didn’t allow me to do much to promote and support it. The positive thing of being stuck inside was that it made me start playing piano again, something I stopped doing many years ago because of an accident I had at work and injured my wrists.

M.I. - Do you have any tour planned to present the new album, when it's safe to get back on the road? 

We have no touring plans yet, but I would love to start going out there and hit the stages with my band mates. I really can’t wait to finally being able to play live with them. We are all so looking forward to get out there and really launch Her Chariot Awaits properly.

M.I. - Do you have plans to come and play in Portugal?

For now there aren’t any plans for touring. I would love to play in Portugal, I’ve been there just once and I really want to have the chance to go back. I really hope all this situation will go to an end soon so we can start touring to fully support the band. 

M.I. - What projects are the band members involved in at the moment. What’s your top priority project right now? 

My top priority is HCA, but meanwhile I’ve been also working on some other collaborations, but sadly I still can’t talk about it.

M.I. - Do you want to leave any special message to your fans in Portugal?

I just want to say that I hope everyone is fine and safe. Please take care of yourself in these crazy times we are living. I send you all a HUGE thanks for all the support you are giving us and hopefully we’ll see you soon on tour (fingers crossed!!)
For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Isabel Martins