@=@=Imperia ------ inteview, biography, discography, photos, news



photo (c) Seraphictine


'Mysted By Desire' (audio)

Imperia Line up

Helena Iren Michaelsen
(Vocals and choirs) , Steve Wolz (Drums) , John Stam (Guitars) , Gerry Verstreken (Bass) , Jan "Orkki" Yrlund (Guitars) ,
Audun Gronnestad
(Keys/Studio Synths/Guitar)

Session Musicians on "The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh":
Arien Van Weesenbeek (Drums), Henri Sattler (Guitars)


Imperia biography - line up profiles

The name Trail of Tears will ring a bell by most of the metal fans around
the globe. Since singer Helena Iren Michaelsen left the band some years
ago, many people wondered if she would return to the metal scene at all.
Therefore it's not a big surprise that a lot of metal heads showed a big
smile on their face when they heard the news about her new band IMPERIA.
Imperia can be defined as an Atmospheric Metal band with strong opera
Anybody who has heard her previous recordings (in the aforementioned
Trail of Tears, but also the project Black Horizon) will perfectly
understand that this genre fits perfectly well to her strong and emotional
Helena collected some fine musicians around her who have build up their
skills by playing in various bands for years.

Jan "Orkki" Yrlund

Native Country: Suomi Finland (Tampere)

Instrument: Guitar

Zodiacal sign: Taurus

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Custom '75, Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty" '90, Fernandes "Super Grade" Goldtop, Charvel Mod 5, Fender La Brea Acoustic...

Equipment: Rocktron Piranha, Rocktron Intelliflex, Mesa Boogie 50/50 Power Amp, Samson Concert IV wireless, Korg dtr-1, Marshall cabinets and some other guitars, basses and keyboards to collect dust....

Has played with the following bands and on these recordings:
Prestige: "Attack Against Gnomes" (CD/LP '89), Prestige: "Veijo" (EP '89), Prestige: "Priest" (MS '90), Prestige: "Selling The Salvation" (CD/LP '90), Prestige: "Parasites In Paradise" (CD/LP '92), Two Witches: "Vampire's Kiss" (CD '93), Lacrimosa: "Schakal" (MCD '94), Lacrimosa: "Inferno" (CD/LP '95), Lacrimosa: "The Clips 93-95" (VHS '96), Two Witches: "Bites And Kisses" (CD '96), Lacrimosa: "Silent Clips" (VHS '97), Ancient Rites: "Fatherland" (CD '98), Danse Macabre: "Totentanz" (CD '98), Ancient Rites: "The First Decade" (CD '99), SinMasters: "Seducer" (MCD '00), Ancient Rites: "Dim Carcosa" (CD/LP '01), SinMasters: "Crashing Down" (MCD '01), Danse Macabre: "Eva" (CD/LP '02), Danse Macabre: "Matters Of The Heart" (MCD '02), SinMasters; "Seduced" (CD '03), Ancient Rites: "And The Hordes Stood As One" (CD/DVD '03), and various other singles, EPs, clips etc...

Other bands / Projects: Angel, Danse Macabre, SinMasters, Burana 357

Absolute highlight gig (own / other band) : With Prestige all the Lepakko gigs & Ruisrock '92, With Lacrimosa the whole "Inferno"- tour, Gothic Wave Treffen & Zillo Festival '95, with Rites Dynamo Open Air '99, Graspop Metal Meeting '99, the gig in Tel Aviv in Israel in '01, tours with Deicide etc, with Danse Macabre the summer tour of 2003 etc...

Favourite bands: Everything from black metal to dance. All time favorite bands like Ratsia (Fin) & Stiff Little Fingers...

Personal quote: Amor Vincit Omnia

Civil life: Musician, Graphic Artist, Art-Historian, Organizator The Cave Of SatyR

Likes...: Wine, women an' song...

Hates..: Empty bottles and crappy music...

John (let) Stam

Native Country: The Netherlands

Instrument: Guitar

Zodiacal sign: Capricorn

Guitars: Ibanez JS 1, Ibanez JS 1000 / Yamaha Dorp 6

Equipment: JCM 800 Marshall amp and Marshall speakers, effects: Rocktron, Nobels, Ibanez, Zoom distortion

Has played with the following bands and on these recordings:
Orca, Iron Fist, MAC-11, Imperia

Other bands / Projects: Angel

Absolute highlight gig (own / other band): The Metal Grand Slam tour (2001) with After All, Non-Divine and Wicked Mystic

Favourite bands.: Meshuggah, Nevermore, Stuck Mojo.

Favourite guitar player: Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, Steve Vai

Favourite movies: The Green Mile, A Littleman Tate

Favourite food: Pasta´s, shrimps, anything with chocolade or garlic, apple pie

Civil life: Owner of a restaurant

Hates..: Our drummer Steve...

Likes...: Women, music, rioja wine...

Helena Iren Michaelsen

Native Country: Norway

Instrument: Singing (trying to :-)

Zodiacal sign: Twins (firesnake)

Has played with the following bands and on these recordings:
Trail Of Tears: (When Silence Cries demo '97), Trail Of Tears: Disclosure In Red (CD '98), Trail Of Tears: Profoundemonium (CD '00), Black Horizon: Infinity Of Chaos (CD '02)

Other bands / Projects: Angel

Absolute highlight gig (own / other band): Dynamo Open Air. 013

Favourite bands.: The Doors, Black Sabbath, Bjork, and so many more :-).

Favourite movies: Lord Of The Rings, Nell, Bridges Over Madison County, Troy, Gladiator, cartoons...

Favourite readings: Don't even read the newspaper he he. But Donald Duck is cool while waiting at the dentist or something.

Civil life: Single and free jabbadabadu

Hates..: Rules, politics...

Likes...: Freedom, traveling, horseriding, walks in the forest, making songs and do performances of course, watching a good movie, eating wokkels he he, partying in the metal bar the Ster, dancing, diving, rafting. WINE jammie. Adventures...

Gerry Verstreken

Native Country: Belgium

Instruments: Bass

Zodiacal sign: Virgo

Guitars: 2 x VIGIER Passion 5-string (endorsed) basses, Ibanez SR-405 5-string, Alembic Europe 4-string bass

Equipment: Ashdown ABM 900 (endorsed), 810 speaker cabinet (endorsed), Ampeg B4R, Laney 12"monitor, Korg DTR 2000, Shure ELX-14 Wireless system, Boss ME-6B, EBS Octabass, EBS Multicomp.

Has played with the following bands:
Chemical Breath ('93-'95 and '96-'99, released two CDs "Fatal Exposure"and "Values"), B-Zark ('95-'96), D-Tribe ('96-'97), Excess Of Cruelty ('98-'00 - the CD "Under The Ivy Of Ithamar"), Battleheart ('99), Manic Movement ('00-'04 with various recordings / videoclips), Imperia ('03 -). Also has played with: Inferior, Marky Ramone and the SpeedKings, played as a session bassplayer in Dutch guitarchampionships etc....

Recording credits:
Legion of Metal / Faces of Death (Demo) '88, Punisher (LOM) / Agathocles (Split singel) '90, Manic Movement / Future Dreaming Self 2001, Manic Movement / Slide (Videoclip) 2001, Stranglehold / World part II '03, Death Metal.be (Manic Movement) / Face Your Underground II (Sampler) '94, Prejudice / Domination of Chaos (Suffer) '94, Tribute to Death Can Dance (Imperia) '04, Imperia / The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh '04.

Other bands / Projects: Angel

Absolute highlights: Wacken 1994 with Chemical Breath, Vooruit (Gent / B) with Manic Movement, Graspop 2002, Eurorock 2002

Favourite bands.: At The Gates, Arch Enemy, all Goteborg metal bands, Danzig, Pantera (RIP DIME), DORO, Sisters of Mercy, The Cult, Bad Brains, Upset Noise, Soul Asylum, Linkin Park, Old Metallica, Ozzy, Screaming trees, Smashing Pumpkins, Deep Purple, 60's and 70's music etc....

Favourite movies: X-Men, Van Helsing, action, adventure and sf- movies

Favourite readings: Bass-, Tattoo- and Metal magazines

Personal quote: The world is not coming to you, you need to show how far you can go.

Civil life: Working in a Beerfactory and father of a sweet nice daughter THAILA, my biggest reason of life

Hates..: Drunk people who don't leave me alone, people who wants to show off and speak with a lot of air without any meanings.

Likes...: Beautiful women, being on stages and being myself, living in my own world

Favorite food: Pasta, chocolate, ice cream

Favorite drinks: coca cola, Baileys, Red bull, Bacardi Breezer

Favorite country: Exotic places where it is nice warm and dry, never had the change to travel, I want to see white beaches, palm trees and blue water

Gerry Vestreken endorses ASHDOWN amplifiers and VIGIER bass guitars

Stefan "Steve" Wolz

Native Country: Germany (Cologne)

Instrument: Drums

Zodiacal sign: Pisces

Equipment: Drumkit : Yamaha 9000 recording (cherry-red) Toms 10", 12", 13", 14", 16" Bassdrum 22". Snare : Sonor Designer 14". Cymbals : 14" Zildjian A-Custom Crash 16" Anatolian Crash 18" Anatolian Crash 16" Wu-Han China 8" Zildjian K Splash, Ride 20" Istanbul. Hi-Hat 14". Footpedal: Pearl Eliminator twin-pedal. Other hardware : Pearl & Yamaha. Drum-Stix: Pro-Mark 2b

Has played with the following bands and on these recordings:
Dakria - Immortal Silent Heaven (1997), Deinonychus - Insomnia (2004), Bethlehem - Profane Fetmilch lenzt elf krank (1999), Bethlehem - Schatten aus der Alexanderwelt (2001), Bethlehem - Mein Weg (2004), Silencer - Death - Pierce Me (2000)

Other bands / Projects: Bethlehem, A-Rise, Angel

Absolute highlight gig (own / other band): Hard to say...I really enjoyed concerts like: Imperia - 24.09.2004 P60 Amstelveen with Autumn. Imperia - 03.12.2004 013 Tillburg with Asrai

Favourite bands.: Sentenced, Bolt Thrower, Charon, Dark Funeral, Slipknot, Ill Nino, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Dream Theater, Dry Kill Logic, Meshuggah, Hatesphere, Soilwork, Vomitory, Unjust, Nightwish, Korn, The Haunted...

Favourite movies: Seven, Lord of the rings I, II & III, The Ring, Instinct

Favourite readings: Tagebuch einer Totgeburt ;o), I like to read music,
computer & newsmagazines

Personal quote: Live and let die; carpe noctem, Jeder
Jeck is anders ;o)

Civil life: Educator in a home for kids

Hates..: Intolerance, Ignorance, animal tests,...

Likes...: Open minded people, dirty jokes, animals,...

Audun Gronnestad

Native Country: Norway

Instrument: Keys/Studio Synths/Guitar

Zodiacal sign: Scorpion

Equipment: EastWest SO/Stormd., Sonic Implants, M-Audio, Charvel/Jackson, Digitech, BBE, Behringer

Other bands / Projects: Angel

Favourite bands.: Dimmu Borgir, Dream Theater, Nightwish and the likes (AF/WT etc.), Sirenia, Astral Projection, Man With no Name, also love the work of Stravinsky, Korsakov, Zimmer, Shore and Holst

Favourite movies: LOTR, Gladiator

Favourite readings: Satire

Personal quote: Det er bedre aa hoppe i det enn aa drite i det

Hates..: Narrow minded people...

Likes...: 5 quiet hours in front of my DAW

E-mail: If you need any orchestrations, don't hesitate to contact

Source: Imperia website


"The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh" (album)

"Angelchild" (2004)


"The Lotus Eaters"
on Dead Can Dance tribute compilation (Black Lotus Records 2004)

"The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh" on Sangre y Fuego compilation (Sangre y Fuego nr. 7/2004)

Listen to ...
Taken from
"The Ancient Dance Of Qetesh" album:

Mysted By Desire
Into Paradise
In My Mind

"Angelchild" (2004)

'The Lotus Eaters'

. Imperia


Helena Iren Michaelsen : " Everyone has his or own package that they carry on their back and that they fill with their personal experiences. We all carry along that package throughout our lives, because that package is what makes us the person we are today. My package, my world, started in my birthplace: a very little village in a countryside region of Norway. We lived in a very big house, three flours, with a family of four children. The place was a really, really small community. Completely deserted, situated in the middle of the woods. I cannot say that I had a happy childhood. The first years of my life were filled with much pain and sorrow. There was a lot of violence in my home."
Source: Lords of Metal , by Ferdi

Lykle: Do you listen to other gothic metal bands or do you prefer different music ?
Helena Iren Michaelsen : " I listen to absolutely everything. No borders. Depends on my mood. As long as it's got feeling i think it's good music. How is the response to Imperia so far? Very good!!! Of course there always are people who try to put you down, especially if you are different to what's normal, hehe. But as long as you believe in yourself and what you're doing there is a chance to come between someones dream and goals. "
Source: Gothtronic, by Lykle

Imperia more info

Imperia e-mail

label, sales, distribution
(The Netherlands)

Imperia Tour dates
Geert Baelus:
Tel. **32 / (0)14 / 59.34.12
Mobile: **32 / (0)473 / 78.80.11

Booking: The Netherlands
Booking: Belgium (Flanders)
Booking: Belgium & France

advanced technologic sound magazine
2005 March issue 135

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