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This months Metal Maiden of the Month hails from Moscow, Russia. AINA BLACKTHORN  is the lead vocalist for all female extreme Metal band BLACKTHORN. They are currently working on their 3rd full length release.

Hi Aina and thank you for taking the time to talk to THE METAL PIT and for being Metal Maiden for February.

Hi! My pleasure. It’s a big honour for me.


aina3You are the singer for Symphonic Extreme Metal band BLACKTHORN. The band has been together since 2004 and have 2 albums released and currently working on a 3rd. How did the band come to be?

Me and the ex-members met at music school and decided to be a band and sacrificed everything else. Blackthorn was formed on October 31, All Hallows Eve. That certainly left a powerful mark on all aspects of our activity. Things were very different back then. Blackthorn had different members, a different sound, and our heads were full of different thoughts. Elvira joined the band in 2006 to replace the previous guitarist. Then we found Greta, Varaska and finally Less. Finally, we got things straightened out.

How would you describe the band to anyone who has not heard of you before?

Blackthorn is an all-female metal coven from Russia, Moscow Tenebrocity.  We are a Symphonic Hextreme act with sinister guitars, thunderous rhythm section, enchanting violin and otherworldly vocals. The concept we have is to spread witchcraft.  And no fucking inquisition can stop us.

What made you want to be a Metal vocalist?

Metal is the best thing that ever happened to me. Singing is more than passion; it’s something I do unconsciously, just like breathing, cause I need it to survive. So I just brought my favourite two things together. 


What vocalists do you admire or influenced you?

I’m really open-minded when it comes to singers. Great voice is a great voice, no matter what you sing. I do like Yma Sumac, Lisa Gerrard and Nuria Rial, they take my breath away. Mr Doctor of Devil Doll; he’s simply out of this world. My all time favorite vocalists in metal are Rose Hreidmarr and Vibeke Stene. Actually, there are just too many to name them all, but I’m not sure any of them influenced me. I’m more influenced by other things.


Your 2nd cd Codex Archaos was more aggressive then your first release. Was that done on purpose or just a gradual progression? It’s a natural thing. In fact we always wanted to play something like that from the very beginning, but we never tried to make a certain type of record. We just constantly grow personally and musically.


Blackthorn is working on their 3rd cd now. Can we expect any major changes in the bands sound or just continuing to build on your last album?

A little of this and a little of that. We’re going to achieve some new sound goals, but at the same time we will never forget our roots.


Tell us about your bandmates in Blackthorn?

My bandmates are Elvira, Greta, Varaska and Less. They are all mad, just like me. That’s why we can work together. I assume there are days when we want to kill each other, but most of the times we get along really well. It’s like a family.

Can you tell us anything about the new cd your working on?

First of all, now when we’re preparing the new album, we want it to be something different when it comes to the sound. It’s going to be a concept album, it’s just something that we had never done before. Lyrically and musically it deals with witches. It’s absolutely filled with feeling and atmosphere. I love it.


Outside of Metal what do you for fun or to relax? Cooking, reading or just going out for a run are my most preferred methods.

aina1What is the song writing process within the band? We never really changed the song writing process; I write the lyrics and our guitarist Elvira composes the music. She usually writes a song and then shows it to us and we all yell we hate it 🙂 Then we calm down, flesh out our parts and finally there’s a new song born. 



How would you compare the Metal scene currently to 5-10 years ago in Moscow?

Lots of good bands don’t exist anymore. It’s very different now with the digital revolution, it became so hard to sell records. Besides, it’s not so easy to draw people to metal gigs at all. When I was a teenage metalhead, all the venues were simply packed with metal worshipers; sometimes newly formed bands got 800 people. These days things are different even when it comes to big headliners... Not very  exciting.

There is many metal bands out there and nowadays many females in metal bands or all female metal bands. How do you try to stand out from other bands?

I think there are not so many all-female metal bands across the globe. Anyway, all the girls in metal have my full support. As for standing out from other bands, Blackthorn don’t really try to do it. We just carry our banner and we’re very proud of it. You may not agree with what I say, but I always thought we are special.  There’s something about us. Our music, the atmosphere we create, our mysterious Russian souls, after all, mwahaha.  

What bands inspired you to want to play this type of Metal music?

The same bands that got me into the darker side of music during my mid teens.

Emperor, Mayhem, Ancient, Dimmu Borgir, Tristania, Anorexia Nervosa, Moonspell, Cradle of Filth, Therion and many more. I’m not into some of these bands now, but they shaped my tastes and showed me the way.


You trained as a classical music singer. Do you think that has helped you as a vocalist even though your singing a different style?aina6

Yes, it has helped me a lot. In my opinion, classical training is the foundation to any type of vocal performance. Before I decided to become a vocalist in a band, I never took care of my voice; classical singing has taught me to sing in a healthy way, extend my range and most importantly, become a better singer overall.


What would one expect from a live Blackthorn concert?

Blackthorn is always impressive, dark and chaotic. Take it or leave it 🙂 Besides, women banging their heads always make a good impression, don’t they?

Any plans put in place yet on coming to North America? I think it’s difficult to get a show in North America, but I really hope that we can go one day. It would be great.


What do you find is the hardest or most challenging part of being in a Metal band?

Coping with the reality of music business is the hardest thing. By the way, forming a metal band in Russia is challenging enough.  


What advice would you give young females that are inspired by you or your band?

If you wanna be a metal musician, don’t think the fact you’re a girl will do miracles. A great look is not a guarantee that you will achieve success. It’s more about hard work, good playing/singing skills, self-discipline and self-development and so on. Never give up and go confidently in the direction of your dreams. The same goes for men, of course.


Thank you Aina for the interview and I wish you all the best with the new cd when its released. Thanks for your interest in Blackthorn. I hope you’ll like our new album!

aina4***All Photos used by permission of Aina Blackthorn***