Interview with Carla van Huizen (vocals) by Jeremy Carpenter.
I personally think 'La Ventura' has a sound that is uniquely theirs; however it is hard to put it into words. How would you best describe it?
How about: Female Fronted Melodic Rock Metal?
I like the sound of 'La Ventura', your voice is also very distinctive to me. How important is it to you, is it something that you intentionally try and do?
Thank you for your complement! Well, not intentionally. This is who I am as a singer, my way of expressing myself through vocals. Yes, when listening to me live or the way I have grown per album, it will let you hear some differences, but all for the best. I sing to the best of abilities wherever and whenever. Studio is very different from live, but if I have done the job right: you will always hear it is me ;)! So…unique? Probably not, but 100% Carla: YESSS!
You have said in the past that it can be hard to overcome nervousness about a performance, however in videos or watching stage performances it does not seem to hinder you. How do you go about overcoming this anxiety?
I think there is nothing wrong with a bit of nervousness. It keeps you focused because it is always exciting to go on stage or to perform in front of an audience. Is everything in place and will everything go according to plan? Who knows... but when I sing my first notes and look at the faces in the audience before me, I get so much positive energy that the nervousness moves away immediately. Furthermore, it is really great to work with our well experienced crew, and to know that technically everything is in good hands.
How important is changing styles in your work over time? Do you feel that changing styles is essential to having quality work in a long music career, or would you be perfectly ok with keeping a similar, but great 'vintage La Ventura' sound throughout your music career?
There is a thin line between evolving and repeating yourself. A band obviously needs to grow and develop in order to exhilarate, because we all want to hear the chemistry in a song. It is a magical thing. You can hear when it is there, when everything is in place. The high standard of our specific sound is also very important for La-Ventura, since the quality on the White Crow album has lifted our music, we definitely will seek for a way to do the recordings the analogue way again for future albums.
In writing lyrics, how do you draw your inspiration? Is it important to you that the themes of the music be things that are personally meaningful to you?
Pointed out correctly! I won't write about things that are meaningless. I see it as an opportunity to share my thoughts and emotional experiences with people who listen to our music and take it all in including the lyrics.
You seem to have 'cleaner' vocals than many other metal vocalists, meaning it is easier to understand what you say (this coming from someone that often struggles to understand lyrics without looking them up first even from 'cleaner' vocalists). How important is it to you to understand lyrics in metal music, do you think it is a key in strongly appreciating a song?
Pronunciation is a key to be heard correctly, second "catchy" words and lines, which stick in your mind, helps as well. And last but not least: using words that speak to the imagination. Mixing all three, you will have lyrics which will be clear from the first time you hear them and will stay with you during the whole song. Singing meaningless words and lines won’t do it for me, but I do not wish to preach either. Let the words speak for themselves and draw your own conclusions.
Your band is described on your page as being 'female fronted metal' as your genre. How do you respond to claims that a band's genre/style shouldn't be defined by the gender of the vocalist?
As a band you will always be defined and as a fan you will always have to search for your favorite music regardless gender but female fronted seems to be hot at the moment, so why not use it to our advantage? With so many bands out there, it is wise to use the right tools, especially in your promotion. With the whole "female fronted" hype, it means we as La-Ventura can do more shows live, attract specific partners, but also find so many fans all around the world who are looking for this in particular. If after listening to the music, it is still not for you; well than gender does not matter right ;)?!
It seems you guys interact with your fans a lot (which I greatly appreciate). How much do you enjoy this interaction (both on Facebook, and at your shows), and do you feel it is important for you to continue to do this in the future?
Yes, we love to interact with our fans and social media are a very powerful tool for our promotion. It does take a lot of time and energy but how cool is it to see people getting involved in the band. It means a lot to see the effort rewarded by support from fans and music related business partners from all over the world!
Personally, 'A New Beginning' is my favorite La Ventura song, do you have a personal favorite of your songs, and if so what is it?
A New Beginning is also a favorite of mine! Time and Time Again gives me goose bumps every time when I sing it and from the new material there is already one that will be in the top three of all-time favorites! The song is called As I Lay Dying, somewhere on YouTube you can find some live clips of it. Let me know what you think of it, ok?
I like how you put this into words as your band's motto: 'Let’s make music that reflects the skills and souls of each member of the band and exhilarates on stage', seemingly a way of describing how you find your own uniqueness. Do you guys struggle to accomplish this for all of your members in the 'creative' process?
Not at all. We all have our own expertise to bring to the table. With the line-up we have now, it really shows that La-Ventura has grown and is at its best. Yes, in the band certain people have certain roles. One is more the songwriter than the other; one is more the finisher of songs than starting from scratch. One is good at capturing the drive of the song and translates it in steady grooves, so other parts and lines of the song can evolve. And for me; when the music speaks to me, the vocal lines come in mind thus the lyrics. This total package is the complete process on which songs come to life for La-Ventura.
In the future, what are some bands you would like to share the stage with, both underground or that are already major acts in metal?
Wow, that would be a nice list of bands and artists! Amaranthe would be cool for sure! But there are so many great bands out there, even like us, who are not that well known but still kick ass!
Is there anything I haven't covered that you would like the readers to know?
Keep following us on Facebook to keep updated about our upcoming mini-album and check the live dates which will be after the Summer! To all of you, thanks for your support and thanks for your time reading this interview! ROCK ON! Greetz from La-Ventura – kisses from Carla