JUNE 19th 2015

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here with ISSA, who are about to release a new album.
1. Are you excited for your 4th release "Crossfire" through Frontier Music srl, Feb.20 Europe/Feb.24 North America ?

Hey everybody :O) yes I'm very excited for the release of "Crossfire". Its been an album in the making for a few years now, so it feels amazing finally to release it.
2. What can your fans expect from this album, will there be changes from the 3rd release, tell us what we can expect.
Well my 3rd release was a cover album, so it’s a huge difference in these albums. "Cant stop" was a little breather in between my albums and it gave me some time to write more songs and take my time doing so. "Crossfire" has lots of keyboards and amazing hooks and of course its all original material. I’ve worked close with the Martin brothers for some years now and during this time we have written lots of songs together - normally those songs get pitched for other albums, but as you go along you hold back on a few songs or in a pitch they didn't get chosen - or in my opinion they didn't hear the potential of the song - so you end up with a catalogue  of songs to pick from. Most of these songs where written years ago, and I'm so excited that I could be the one releasing them.
3. How did you come up with the name "Crossfire" for the album ?

"Crossfire" is a feel good track, but as the album was finished I got asked what song I wanted to do a video for, also the title track of the album. Well what can I say - most of these songs could have been a video/title song, so I left that up to the label to decide. It’s always nice to have another opinion and some other ears sometimes.
4. Norway is famous for it's Black Metal genre, so how does that affect you, or does it ?
Ah yes Black metal music is big in Norway but I would say it’s not very mainstream... Most of my musician friends are in metal bands and I've taken part in lots of recordings over the years within Metal music. I really enjoy it and they guys are - and I will say this with totally honesty - some of the best musicians I've ever worked with. Sometimes I do believe people think it’s not good just coz they don't like the kind of music - they are amazing!! As far as for me, I don't really feel any divide in the scenes - a lot of people like both metal and rock.
5. When you were in school, did you take music classes, ones that inspired you to do what you do today ?
Ha - I can tell you, when I was little my parents tried to bribe me off so that I could stop singing ha ha - they used to offer me money to do so. I loved singing and I used to have one of those cassette players - I used tape on the top of a cassette so I could record on them. Ohh my if I could only find some of them ha ha... I used to make radio shows and sing songs and so on - I think everyone knew I would be something within entertainment. When I got a bit older I started to sneak in at different karaoke clubs - I had a fake Id- and I think this how I started really wanting to improve myself. It’s a huge difference from singing in you're bedroom to standing in front of people. When I was 16 - I started to work for an Norwegian artist, I worked in the reception but I got the chance to work in the studio and also being part of his talent school - I can't tell you how cool it was to get you're first songs recorded - that was awesome. From there I did several cover bands and I used gig 2-4 times a week.. I would say this was a building block for the rest of my career. I did studio work and also gigging lots - my whole life was music at this point. All in all I would say life was my music class ha and I wouldn't change it for anything :O)
6. As a band, where is the furthest you have toured to ?
Oh my - well I have to tell you this story... I was in a cover band back in 2008 I think and we got this gig in Norway, well it’s as far North as you can get really, but never did we know what was waiting for us... this was a gig for a tribe up there and it was freezing cold, never mind we had the stage outside while they stood inside watching ( how strange) anyway... they offered us some shorts made out of reindeer - and of course I was looking silly at this, but just to confirm - half way into our set - I got the thing out and put it on - I've never felt cold like it... so there I was in reindeer shorts, 3 jackets and looking like a proper idiot.. anyway we went back to the owners house (the only hotel in miles had burned down) and we went to bed.. never knowing we had to lock the doors - it’s miles between houses - well what happened was that everybody had taken to their snow scooters and entered this guys house - drinking all his spirits up while I was sound asleep.. let me tell you - he was not a happy lad the next morning!!! back to you're question- I was supposed to do some gigs in Afghanistan at one point but due to ash- cloud it got cancelled- so I would then say Italy must be the furthest away ha..
7. Is there a place that is a dream city/town to be able to perform in ?
hmmm- yes I would love to play in U.S at some point - I've never been and I love U.S!!
8. Who creates the lyrics for the songs ?

Well when I work with the Martin brothers I would say we can all be part of the lyrics, saying that my bigger straight is probably melodies more then lyrics and after all they are English ha... so for the most they do the hook-lines while I might work on the melodies around it. Writing songs is all about what works...
9. What is the inspiration behind them ?
I think sometimes its all fictional - you might play more with words and sometimes it’s real feeling and messages in there... Only you was a real feeling song - it’s a very personal song.. those songs are the once that takes no time to write..

10. Is Issa the first band you have been in ?
I don't know if it counts, but I've been in several cover bands in my time, and I've also been part and done lots of guest parts for other bands, but I think I'm kinda my own band if that makes sense.. And of course when I did my first album it got more noticeable.
11. Was this something you dreamed of doing since you were a child ?
Ah yes it was - I used to watch all these big divas on TV and dream about that being me one day..
12. Who mixed/produced/recorded Crossfire ? How did you choose the studio ?
We decided to use John Greatwood as a producer together with James Martin. John had already done the previous Vega album so I think he was the obvious choice. John and James work great together and I think that made the making of this album a pleasure.. Johns Studio is located in London, UK so it was fun to be able to spend some time there...

 13. How did you pick the album cover ?
Well with this album I had the chance to do a photo shoot with an amazing guy called Ian Mcmanus... In basic he does lots of fashion shoots and magazine work.. I have a friend who is a make- up artist and she knew Ian and got in touch with him.. he's really amazing and takes unbelievable photos, we had lots of fun and tried out different looks and make-up.. after the shoot Ian picked out the best once and we went for what is the cover today...
14. You team up with Steve Overland on a dramatic ballad, how did that happen ?
I have always been a big FM fan and especially Steve Overland's voice , he has an amazing voice and very individual. When I recorded the album I wanted to make the song “fight fire with rain” into a duet - I knew I wanted Steve Overland to sing it so I managed to get his contact details from Steve price at ARFM. Steve overland received “fight fire with rain” and loved the song so we planed the recording from there. Now a few days later I got the mix of “raintown” back- and it just hit me then- THIS is the song - it just wasn’t enough with just me on it and I started immediately to work on changes so this could be turned into the duet I heard in my head. So after all this I had get back to Steve and show him “raintown” - he loved the song and shortly after we recorded the song as you hear it today. Steve is not just an amazing singer but an amazing person to work with. I’m so happy with the result and very proud of it to.
15. Actually there are a number of guests on this new album, why did you choose to have the guests for Crossfire ?

Ahhh - I love these guys - they are amazing! I’ve been lucky enough to work and hang out with these guys on my previous albums so when the album started to take shape it was a no brainer for me. I got in touch with the guys and they recorded their parts in no time at all.. and let me tell you it sound firkin amazing! I think I wanted to have some other peoples touches on the album and I could not have picked a better bunch of people...
16. Do you personally have a favourite song on this album ?
Well there are some songs that I play more then others - I love "Raintown", "new Horizon", "Only you", Long time coming" well as you see I can go on and on.. I think Raintown is amazing and also because I could do the song with Steve its even more exciting - ahhh all of the songs are great really so its really hard to pick ha..
17. Would you change anything in your career ?
Not at all - I don't believe in regretting anything - you can only learn from you're mistakes...
18. Is there anything you would like to add to the interview that you want people to know?

Thank you so much for having me, and I hope to be able to come to North America at one point and meanwhile keep in touch on - Facebook.com/issasite
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with us at Metaltitans, and we wish you much success with Crossfire. Hope to see you in North America one day.
Crossfire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCXvdpzCIo0