Whenever we mention the name Sinergy in a conversation with a metal fan, it’s always a “love them or hate them” reaction. Either they are called “the worst of the kindergarten metal bands” and despised deeply, or they are called a new star of European power metal and praised to the skies. Definitely, the band that causes so much controversy is worth everyone’s attention. We did our best to catch up with Sinergy’s lead singer Kimberly Goss during the band’s brief visit to Moscow in late April, and succeeded in doing so the morning after the gig.

MetalKings.com: So, how do you like Moscow?

Kimberly: Oh, it’s fantastic! When we arrived at the train yesterday, I was so excited, and when they picked us up in the van I was taking pictures of everything. Our promoters told me, “Don’t worry Kimberly, we’ll go walk around tomorrow!” I said, “No I don’t care!” (laughs) I was taking pictures of everything! Yesterday was such a long day. We had a signing session with lots of people, and we had a very nice Russian crew helping us. And the gig was great! Just before the gig I became so tired, I felt like I’m gonna die, but as soon as I went onstage, I was like “Yeah!” And the audience made me wake up, it was really fun.

MetalKings.com: Is there any difference between the audience in Russia and in Finland or other European countries?

Kimberly: Yeah, many of the countries are different. The Russian audience was very very good. They’re all good in a different way, you know what I mean? In Japan, everybody is jumping. In Mexico, everybody is stagediving and crowd-swimming. In Finland, everyone’s headbanging. They’re all good but in different ways. Yesterday the audience was really cool, we liked it very much. I was having so much fun! It was probably the most fun I ever had on stage. I don’t know why, it just was!

MetalKings.com: OK, let’s talk a little bit about your latest album “Suicide By My Side”. As far as I see it, it’s a little bit darker, both musically and lyrically, than your previous records. Was it something that you wanted to do after “To Hell And Back” or something that you wanted to do from the very beginning but could not do for some reason?

Kimberly: It wasn’t something I wanted to do from the very beginning. Maybe it was something I wanted to do instead of “To Hell And Back” lyrically. Lyrically speaking, when we made our first album I wasn’t feeling bad! (laughs). There was nothing bad to sing about. Musically speaking, this is how I would want us to start from the very beginning, but that just didn’t happen. I think there’s no band that exists today who can still listen to their first album. Even though fans might like it, to the band it’s like “Oh, no!” We feel like we’re getting so much better all the time. Musically speaking, yes, I would have liked us to sound like that from the beginning, but lyrically, I would like to base my lyrics on how I’m feeling at that moment. If I’m feeling happy, usually I sing about fiction stuff, nothing serious. (points at her “Xena The Warrior Princess” T-Shirt).

MetalKings.com: My next question is about the album’s title track. There has been a lot of discussions about the influence of lyrics on people. When you sing something like “kill me now and send me to my grave”, aren’t you afraid that someone might perceive it as an instruction?

Kimberly: No, not at all. I think the fans are smarter than people think. In my opinion, it’s like this: before I started making music and making lyrics, I was listening to music and reading lyrics from other bands. My Dying Bride was the band that I really liked, it was sad, depressing, blah blah blah. And when I was sad, the last thing I wanted to hear was “La Bamba”! (laughs) I wanna hear something else that’s sad, that has the same feel that I have. So I think people who have these negative feelings, the only thing that’s gonna happen is that my lyrics are gonna help them. In fact, I have gotten a lot of fan mail since the new album came out, people saying, “Wow! Your lyrics are so helpful for me to get through the hard times”. And that’s cool. I knew it was going to be that way, I don’t think that any fans are gonna kill themselves from this, they’re not that stupid. And if they’re gonna do that, then they would do that anyway. That’s just like that whole stupid shit when people were blaming Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne for suicides. But we’re not as big as Judas Priest or Ozzy Osbourne, so I’m not even worried about that. (laughs).

MetalKings.com: The track “Remembrance” is dedicated to victims of the September 11 attack on the United States. Did that attack have any influence on the record?

Joonas: No, because if you look in the record, you’ll see that we finished recording the album on September 10. We went home on September 11. We recorded from August 1 to September 10. The day we got home I saw it on the news and I was crying and I was at home for 10 days. Even Alexi (Laiho, guitarist and Kimberly’s boyfriend - ed.) was really upset, he never cares about news or anything, but this time he was really upset. I was just crying and I felt so bad. When I wrote that piece if had nothing to do with September 11, cause it hadn’t yet happened, but when it happened I was like “Oh, my God!” That piece was gonna be called “Remembrance” anyway, but it was meant to remember the person in the story of the album who committed suicide. But after that happened I wanted to dedicate it to the people who died there. Not just Americans, there are so many people from many countries.

MetalKings.com: Do you consider “Suicide By My Side” a concept album?

Kimberly: Yeah, maybe, a little bit. Eight of the ten tracks are linked together. There’s only so many ways that you can say, “Life sucks, I wanna die!” (laughs) I couldn’t fit the lyrics in 10 songs. “The Sin Trade” is actually about Xena, but only true Xena fans know it. “Shadow Island” is also a song that’s not linked with the suicide theme. But all the other songs tell a story.

MetalKings.com: Why are all your albums so short?

Kimberly: Because… why not? Ever since the CD has been around, people are getting too greedy. In the 1980s all albums were 30 minutes long, you know, and our newest album is like 38 minutes, so it has eight more minutes! (laughs) But even the new Immortal album is really short, shorter than ours. Who cares about the length? I mean, the point is the music. If we’re satisfied with the music that we made we’re not gonna be making extras. That’s the pressure that Nuclear Blast tries to put on us. “Oh, you have to have 50 minutes, 60 minutes!” And it’s like, “Fuck you, we write what we write, and we’re not gonna write some bullshit song just to fill up some space!” That’s stupid.

MetalKings.com: Can you tell us a little bit about the song “Shadow Island”? It’s very different from what you usually do. How did you come up with it?

Kimberly: Roope (Latvala, guitarist - ed.) write the music. And when I heard the music I told them I didn’t wanna use it for Sinergy. Not because I didn’t like it but because I thought that it didn’t fit with us. But then I was playing Playstation with Alexi, we were playing a game called “Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare”, some horror game, and I got inspired and I started to hear Roope’s music. I was like, “Yeah, cool!” And when I was writing lyrics, I thought, “I’m gonna make different voices, each is gonna be a different character from the game.” So it was like a little musical based on a Playstation game.

MetalKings.com: When you’re writing songs, what comes first, music or lyrics?

Kimberly: Music, usually. This is the first album where I did write some lyrics first and then the music after. That was the song “Written In Stone”, I wrote the lyrics first and the music after, usually it’s the music that comes first. Some people do it different, but if I’m gonna write lyrics, it’s gotta fit the music, the mood, you know what I mean?

MetalKings.com: What is “the fourth world”? Both “Suicide By My Side” and “To Hell And Back” have songs about this “fourth world”.

Kimberly: There’s a movie called “Heavenly Creatures’, it’s a Peter Jackson film, Peter Jackson did “Lord Of The Rings.” It’s a true story from the 1950s, it’s about two girls, they are best friends, they are like outsiders from the society, no one likes them. They create a fantasy place in their heads called “the fourth world”. They have this special bond, they’re so close. I just admired their friendship so much and their imaginations. They could both see this place, it was only in their minds. It’s hard to explain without seeing it, but… I don’t know, I was just fascinated by that whole concept, so I like to write about it..

MetalKings.com: The Russian version of the “Suicide By My Side” album has a bonus track called “Invincible”. Where is it from? Is it a Sinergy song or a cover version?

Kimberly: It’s a cover from the 1980s. There’s a pop/rock singer called Pat Benatar.

MetalKings.com: And where was it originally released?

Kimberly: I don’t know. Maybe it’s a bonus for Japan.

MetalKings.com: Sinergy participated in tributes to ABBA and Scorpions. Why didn’t you play those songs yesterday?

Kimberly: Cause I don’t like those songs. I didn’t even wanna do them, that was the guys who wanted to do them. I don’t even like Scorpions, sorry, and I said that if we’re gonna do any Scorpions song, it has to be “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, because it has some special memories from my childhood. But I’m not a Scorpions fan, I don’t like Claus Meine’s voice. And ABBA… I like ABBA very much, but on our cover version the music is great, but my vocals are terrible, I don’t like it because I don’t sound natural. I can’t explain, but I sound like shit. (laughs) On Sinergy songs I sound good, on cover songs I sound bad!

MetalKings.com: : Is it why most of cover songs were sung by your band members yesterday?

Kimberly: Actually no, because I can sing those songs really good. (the day before Sinergy performed Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile”, Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon” and Judas Priest’s “Hell Bent For Leather” - ed.) I just needed a break.

MetalKings.com: Have you ever thought about re-recording something from “Beware The Heavens” with a new line-up?

Kimberly: No! No desire.

MetalKings.com: You got a new drummer in the band, Janne Parviainen, can you tell me anything about him?

Kimberly: He rules! Roope used to play in this band called Waltari, and he is also the drummer of Waltari, but he just quit last week! (laughs) That has nothing to do with Sinergy, he had some personal problems in his band. Roope knew him before, I knew him too, but I didn’t want him in the band. I knew he was a good drummer, I met him a couple of times at the bars, and he seemed like a jerk, he was drunk and kind of rude. And I was like “No, I don’t want this kind of guy in the band!” But then we were stuck, we needed somebody, and he’s so good, and I was like, “OK, we can try him out to see if his personality fits in.” Now when he’s in the band, he’s really nice. When I met him before he was always drunk, at the bar, but now I see him when he’s sober, when we’re rehearsing and stuff.

MetalKings.com: What happened to your previous drummer Tonmi Lillman, why did he leave the band?

Kimberly (looks around to see whether any band members are listening): He’s a troublemaker. A nice person, but….

MetalKings.com: A kind of personal question. Why did you move to Europe from America?

Kimberly: Music. I got an offer and I took it.

MetalKings.com: Only because of that?

Kimberly: Yes. First Norway, then Sweden and now Finland.

MetalKings.com: Have So you got an offer to join Ancient, right?

Kimberly: Yes.

MetalKings.com: Why did you leave them?

Kimberly: Because they suck! (laughs)

MetalKings.com: You also played in Therion for a while. When did it happen? How did you get to know Christopher Johnson?

Kimberly: I used to have a fanzine, and I interviewed Christopher the way that you’re interviewing me now. After the interview he asked me if… I have told him… actually he knew before… well, I can’t remember! He needed somebody to play keyboards and sing some opera stuff on their next tour for the “Theli” album. I said, “OK, I can do it.” I was like 18 and I was really excited. And I did it. That was in 1996. We toured with Amorphis and everything just happened from there.

MetalKings.com: What do you like more - touring or recording?

Kimberly (pause): You know what? This is what I say: the only thing that I like at all is about this whole business is to be on stage and then meet the fans, and that’s it. I don’t even like touring. This (show) is fine, because it’s just one gig, but I don’t like long tours with Sinergy, because with Sinergy I can’t get drunk, I can’t smoke cigarettes, I can’t even talk. I have to shut up and save my voice for the night, because I use so much energy on stage and I don’t follow any rules, you know, singing and vocal rules. I should, but I don’t because when I get on stage I get too excited and all the rules jump out of my head. Yeah, the only thing I like is being on the stage, maybe you could see that I liked it, it was so much fun, and meeting the fans. Besides that, I like to be home and play Playstation.

MetalKings.com: You are taking part in the Warmen project. How did that come out?

Kimberly: Janne (Wirman, Children of Bodom keyboardist and Warmen leader - ed.) just said, “You wanna sing?” I said, “OK!” He’s my friend, obviously, we have a connection because of Alexi.

MetalKings.com: Do Warmen ever play live?

Kimberly: We actually played one gig, but I don’t know if we’re ever gonna play any more. It was like two years ago when the first album was released. I sang really bad on that gig, I was so nervous, cause I’m not used to sing with another band, I’m only used to sing with Sinergy. To sing with another band was really weird, I didn’t feel comfortable, I didn’t feel natural on stage.

MetalKings.com: What kind of music do you listen to at home?

Kimberly: I’m gonna be honest with you, though I’m probably gonna lose a lot of fans right now. I’m on tour so much, and when I’m on tour the only thing I hear is metal. And my mind needs a break from that. When I was only a fan, not a musician, I always said, “You can never have too much metal!” (everybody laughs) But when it’s your job… You play heavy metal every night, you tour with other heavy metal bands, you listen to heavy metal on the bus, heavy-heavy-heavy, metal-metal-metal, it’s like, “Oh no, where’s the peace?” When I’m at home I listen a lot to… (meditates for a moment) Bombfunk MC’s, HIM, Destiny’s Child, Enya, lots of stuff.

MetalKings.com: You know, when the news was first spread that you’re putting together a project everybody was expecting it to be black metal, but it turned out something totally different. Is there any chance that you will put together a black metal project in the future?

Kimberly: No way!

MetalKings.com: So you don’t like black metal anymore, do you?

Kimberly: Oh, I love black metal, but I’m a singer now. In fact, I was always a singer, but playing keyboards was something that was offered to me first, so I took that offer. I can’t sing in a black metal style, actually I can, but I don’t want to.

MetalKings.com: What does the name Sinergy mean?

Kimberly: Absolutely nothing! (laughs) Synergy with “y” has a meaning. But we have it with an “i”. You know, for me the name wasn’t important. The music and the band members - that’s what was important. And of course, you got to have a name, you can’t be like… “hey!” (laughs) So I was just looking in the dictionary and I couldn’t find anything cool. I wanted it to be one word, one word that didn’t sound silly, like Cradle of Filth… (laughs) One word, easy to say, it means nothing for us, it’s just a name. A lot of people think, “Oh, it’s a mixture of ‘sin’ and ‘energy’!” And I’m like, “OK, sure!” (laughs) But it’s not!

MetalKings.com: Is it true that Mat Sinner is suing you?

Kimberly: Yes, it is! (laughs) I called him “a modern-day Hitler” in a French magazine. But it’s true! Well, it’s not true, of course, he doesn’t slaughter millions of people, but he’s this kind of a dictator, really mean, really rude. When we were on tour with him… Oh, I don’t really want to talk about it anymore. They treated us like shit on tour, we weren’t allowed to eat, shower or do anything until Primal Fear did it first. If we got a good audience they cut off our lights. Sometimes they would start our intro before the doors even opened, so that we don’t have anyone to play to. So they were just really assholes. If was our first tour, and we won’t have a tour with Primal Fear again. I hate them!

MetalKings.com: How was it like working with Fredrik Nordstrom?

Kimberly: Good. He’s really funny. He’s always late, but he’s really a funny guy. I can’t say anything more.

MetalKings.com: What other female metal vocalists do you like?

Kimberly (after a long pause): You know, that’s a problem. I like a lot of female vocalists, but what is metal? You know what I mean? Tarja is a great vocalist, but she doesn’t sing metal, she sings classical, so she’s my favorite classical singer. I don’t know… Doro may be.

MetalKings.com: If it’s possible, can you please say a couple of words to your fans in Russia?

Kimberly: Of course! Hello! (pause) Good bye! (everyone laughs) I just wanna say that if the fans in other parts of Russia are even half as good as the fans in Moscow, then we will be happy to play anywhere in Russia, because we had a really good time. We love you all and we can’t wait to come back!

Roman The Maniac/Lynx, MetalKings.com

Beware The Heavens (1999, Nuclear Blast)
To Hell And Back (2000, Nuclear Blast)
Suicide By My Side (2002, Nuclear Blast)

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