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Avatarium’s Jennie-Ann Smith talks riffs, darkness and all that jazz.

Better known in her native Sweden as a singer in the worlds of jazz and blues, Jennie-Ann Smith was a newcomer to metal when she joined Avatarium in 2013.

 

Led by Candlemass legend Leif Edling, the Swedes have a new album, The Girl With The Raven Mask, and a debut UK show in London this month. We spoke with Jennie-Ann about her blues roots and the unerring power of heavy metal…

Was the move from jazz and blues to metal easy for you?

Jennie-Ann: “Oh, I think so. This is my first entry into hard rock, but growing up in the 80s in Sweden I heard a lot of that stuff. I’d say this crossover is a happy one. If you track down what the guys in Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Rainbow were listening to all those years ago, you’ll find they were fans of jazz and blues. So we’re going back to the roots in this band and I feel very at home.”

Is life on the road in a metal band different from your other experiences?

“When I’m there onstage it’s so emotional and there’s a real connection with the audience. It’s very powerful. I remember the very first time we played live, I walked onstage and there were all these big, tough guys in the front row and they were crying! I’d never experienced that before. I was stunned. I thought, ‘Should I hug them now?’ Ha ha ha!”

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