Katy Decker

Mena Brinno

Where Opean meets the arts of Gothic and Symphonic Metal, always a pleasure to find something emotive cuttng through the Metallic shards of the music. MENA BRINNO, a one among many, has been able to increase the interest reflected out of this kind of unison, espcailly with the aid of their vocalist, Katy Decker. Our Kati talked with Decker about the band, the band's latest effort and more… 
By Katarzyna Zakolska
July 16, 2013
Katy Decker (Mena Brinno) interview

Hello dear Katy, how are you? Thank you very much for the time to this interview for Metal Temple.
​ Hello! I'm grateful for the chance to talk to you guys!

What is the origin of the name, Mena Brinno? Any historical means involved?

Yes, Mena Brinno translates to 'Moon Fever' in old gothic. I write almost all my songs first in my imagination when I'm awake in the middle of the night before actually sitting down to 'compose' them so I tried to think of a title that would transmit this feeling.

Let's talk about your new album and head straight to the tracklist, which of the songs do you find as the best example of what the band is for you?

Probably 'Captive Soul' or 'Princess of the Night'. They are two examples of the areas we like to explore. One is the blend of orchestral and symphonic elements..(ie strings and Fausto Miro on flutes- a wonderful live instrument addition) with the heavier aspects of metal. While this has been done over and over again..I found it interesting to write such tormented feelings in my lyrics and somehow find a positive feeling in this song( It resides in a major key through much of the piece). It seems rare to make a piece in female fronted metal that has a 'positive' mood but somehow this piece seems to encompass both. I feel joy in melancholy music..it's extremely cathartic.  I have experienced deep grief and suffering in my own life and I have a need to pour that out into my music. Nothing can take the place of releasing that pain through creativity.

Songs such as "Serpentine Lullaby", "Princess Of The Night" and "Blackmail" really made this experience quite enjoyable. What can you tell about these particular songs? What have been your inspirations to write those?

Well, "Princess of the Night" was really a reflection of the suffering I have experienced as a person who never really felt about to identify with others. I have gone through so many experiences attempting to be part of something. And I never have been able to. I've always experienced a sense of isolation and only have been able to express myself through music. That's what that song is about. I think many people who listen to this type of music could probably relate to those feelings… "Serpentine Lullaby" was inspired by the desire to reach my little son through stories and magic. He suffers from a neurological disorder and is difficult for me to reach… Except through music. "Blackmail" was my first attempt at writing a truly dark romantic metal ballad. I fell in love with this genre when hearing dark ballads…that was the initial thing that pulled me to want to be part of it. Songs like "Lethean River" by Tristania, Raven of Dispersion by Tristania and "Kairos" by Into the Woods.

How you can describe the overall work over "Princess of the Night"?

A hypnotic and dreamy record that represents the darker and more painful aspects of the personalities that makes up this band. Our last record was a lot more fun!(Wicked Polly).

Can you share some of the most memorable moments of the album's making?

I was extremely pregnant through much of this record and realizing that my son was very ill. It was the single darkest time of my entire life but I somehow pushed through. I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone the truth of what was going on. It was not a fun time in my life to say the very least. With the help of Mark Prator of Red Room, and my awesome band mates who really are an unbelievable bunch, we did it. .and I think you can feel the pain when you listen. It's a unique experience.

What are the chief themes that have been leading you while writing lyrics, in particular on "Princess of the Night"?

Isolation, death and oh yes…romance.

Do you have any plans to cooperate with a real live symphonic orchestra on future albums or maybe live ventures?

I'd love to do that. But realistically speaking it may only be with the help of some live musicians…

Listening to this album, I hear influences of NIGHTWISH, EPICA, WITHIN TEMPATION or EVANESCENCE. Are you, or any of the members, are fans of these particular bands?

I personally like Elis, Therion, Forever Slave the best of the genre. However all the bands you mentioned are wonderful in their own right. Doug and I have both listened to all of those bands except maybe Evanescence.

You have a rare background of a professional opera singer & holding two degrees in voice training / studies. You left a promising opera career to pursue Metal almost a decade ago. Looking back, was it a good decision?

Absolutely. I was NOT happy in the opera world. It is much too rigid of a musical genre for me to be happy in…not to mention you are unable to write for yourself. I have learned more about music while being in a metal band than I ever did at the (two) conservatories I attended. That may be a radical thing to say. But most music schools entirely neglect the improvisational aspects of music and create stilted performers. I think my performance on this record was a lot more emotional than the last two and maybe I'm finally finding my true 'voice' as a metal singer.

What are your main influences as a vocalist?

I love the singer in Forever Slave, Lunascape(big influence for me), Hayley Westerna, David Bowie.

What are the future plans of MENA BRINNO?

We are starting working on another album and would love to plan a short tour to Europe… Most of our fans reside there.

Which is you're the biggest dream personally as a member of MENA BRINNO?​

To continue to grow as a musician and a human being through my music.

Thanks for your time on taking this interview. I wish you all the best and hope to see you live on stage one day. Do you have any last words that you wish to convey for the readers?

Stay tuned for touring information!!!!

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