Birthday: 14th September
Fiona first joined Apparition in 2006 as a vocalist, working closely with David for around nearly 3 years, before taking a break for 5 years. During this time she continued to support the band – even doing a guest vocal of ‘Salvation’ live in 2012 in the UK – before later returning to join the line-up as vocalist in Summer 2014. When asked about her inspiration to join, and return, she says:
“Back in late 2005, I had been looking for a new project as a singer and came across Apparition. After listening to the material, I was intrigued and got in touch with David and after a great chat with him, we met to jam some songs and I formerly joined in 2006, which was the start of a great few years of performances and studio work. For me, David’s ideas were interesting and provided a great blend of metal and melody. I really appreciated his energy and enthusiasm for the music, and life in general, so I was keen to work with him. In 2009, I took a break from fronting the band, including spending some time living abroad and undertaking further study. In 2014, as Apparition were without a vocalist at that point, David asked me if I was interested in doing some shows during the Summer. Once those shows were done, there was no turning back with such a great line-up in force with Amy and Ash also joining around that time, so we began writing again. When Kull joined with us in 2015 to work on the new album, it just made great sense and I’ve always enjoyed working with Kull on other projects as he has some great ideas.”
Reflecting on her musical influences, Fiona has often spoken of being a ‘playlist’ person, enjoying a variety of artists and styles, particularly when seeking inspiration to write and perform. Recalling those that she often returns to, she reflects:
My influences are always evolving particularly if you look a look at my ‘recently played’ list as it stretches back decades highlighting many influences. My parents were greatly into progressive rock and heavy metal during the 60s and 70s, so I feel that has been an important influence for me, combined with my mother’s appreciation of the orchestra and with my father’s love of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Queen and Bon Jovi. My father was born in Ireland and I have many fond memories of my grandparents, foot-tapping along with various ditties. So, it has all had an impact for me; right from dancing a jig or a reel as a kid and climbing on top of the dining table to sing along to all sorts of pop, prog and rock, to belting out metal and indie vocals in the car and working up a sweat in the gym to industrial metal, dance and trance beats or dancing the night away to classic metal or the ‘Motown’ sound. But I also often enjoy chilling out and listening to atmospheric vibes, epic classical scores and various traditions of folk and world music, especially by the water, preferably at sunset when I feel at my most creative.
Mood and situation are certainly an influence on what I listen to, but I often tend to come back to the music of Rammstein, AC/DC, Sevendust, Scar Symmetry, Paradise Lost, Nightwish, Amorphis, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Within Temptation, Linkin Park, Korn, Rob Zombie, Lacuna Coil, Bon Jovi, Queen, and The Stone Roses, as well as the compositions of Arjen Lucasson, Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard, John Williams and Trevor Morris. For their passionate voices and commanding presence, I particularly admire Freddie Mercury, Tina Turner, David Draiman, Bruce Dickinson, Sharon den Adel, Myles Kennedy, Annie Lennox, and Floor Jansen. I also admire the distinctive voices of Geoff Tate, Christian Älvestam, James LaBrie, Adele, Tarja Turunen, Cristina Scabbia, Amy Lee, Elvis Presley, Seal, Skin, Sinead O’Connor, and Corey Taylor. …And not to forget that overall sound; producers that inspire me include Desmond Child, Jens Borgen, Tony Lindgren, Joost van den Broek, and ‘Mutt’ Lange.
Overall, as a singer-songwriter, I think that my most powerful influences have come from my upbringing combined with the experimentation that musical collaboration has brought over the years, such as with my good friend Linus Chen (guitarist/songwriter, The Shadowplay), as well as my fellow songwriters Kull and David of Apparition, and Gus of Fallen Arise – all of whom have been hugely influential in my development as a singer-songwriter, and also have become great friends over the years.
Equipment: Sennheiser eW G3 935/945 Mic | Shure Beta58 | Sennheiser eW G3 IEM
Fiona’s life philosophy:
“Cherish the good times and the simple pleasures in life. Make as many memories as you can: travel, experience, listen, learn and give. Take chances and be the change you want to see in the world. Work hard and hope for the best for everyone that you love, and be for them during their worst storms, and most of all – follow the craic!”
Recounting her guest musical performances (studio and live), Fiona says:
“A great moment for me was being asked to perform guest vocals for Paradise Lost during their Russian tour in 2017; a truly amazing experience! I also am appearing as guest vocalist on a wonderful studio project by Blood Red Soul called ‘Symphony of a Memory’ written and produced by the very talented Achim Schreiner (also of Woodlark) which is due for release in late-2017.”
Fiona’s other current bands/musical projects:
“Besides Apparition, I am also the lead vocalist of Fallen Arise, a symphonic metal band from Greece, having toured with them since 2016 and due to release an album in 2018. I have also worked with Kull as vocalist for Kallanaris since 2008.”
Fiona on other instruments she hopes to learn to play:
“…I would like to learn how to play the piano and perhaps a little acoustic guitar too eventually. When I was very young I had lessons on the flute for a short time, and I wouldn’t mind having another go at that as some point too.”
Interesting facts about Fiona: “I am left-handed, and I also hold a professional doctorate”
Outside of the band, Fiona also enjoys: “Travelling; sunset chasing; walking; spending time with friends and loved ones”
When asked what got her into singing, Fiona says: “A dare… and a challenge “
Fiona’s musical history:
Fiona began her career as a singer in 2003, fronting Manchester (UK) based band Liquid Sky, leading the band at Bloodstock 2004 as part of the Femme Fatales Stage with exposure on Scuzz TV and various national radio stations. After developing a great friendship with members of Australian gothic metal band The Shadowplay during 2004, Fiona worked with the band for almost a year whilst they shaped the writing of their album in the UK, which included a demo review in UK Metalhammer magazine in late-2004. In 2006, Fiona joined Apparition after meeting David Homer (founder/bass guitar) and worked with the band for nearly 3 years (featuring on the Salvation EP and Ghosts of the Past). After 2009, Fiona pursued other interests, which included time spent living in Australia and completing a doctorate. Returning to the UK in 2014, Fiona re-joined Apparition and has been a central part of the band and song writing process for the new album (The Awakening). In 2016, Fiona also became a part of 6-piece symphonic metal act, Fallen Arise, which has included touring central Europe as support to Fates Warning, and touring Russia with Paradise Lost, where Fiona performed as guest vocalist with the band for their hit ‘Erased’.
Fiona on the rest of the band:
“For me, Ash is the ‘funny one’ and often has us all giggling but he is also very selfless, supportive and a great listener, and he has a way of lighting up a room with positive energy whenever he walks in; as a drummer, he is a true powerhouse, exceptionally fast, solid and creative and an all-round decent guy.
Amy is often seen as the ‘technical one’ to those on the outside, reflective of her talent and professionalism as a guitarist as she takes every song to hand and masters them on guitar in such skilful ways creating her own signature as she goes along; but beneath her professional and focused edge she is a fun and warm person who loves to learn new things and continually develop her musical knowledge – she is now learning the piano too!
For me, Kull is the ‘go-to’ guy of the band – never lost for ideas – he is a hugely creative person as a musician, a lyricist and as an artist with a way of capturing such imaginative depth in his writing; Kull’s talent for song-writing never ceases to amaze me, along with the many layers to him as a person. Having become a deeply valued friend over the last decade prior to him joining Apparition when we met through another music project (Kallanaris), Kull is definitely the ‘quiet one’ of the band and is very deep and thoughtful, but also hugely supportive and always up for a good laugh.
And Dave… definitely the ‘dad’ of the band at times, often brining a hug, a brew and a funny memory to cheer you up when you’ve had a bad day, but he is also ‘Mr Motivator’ acting for years as the driving force behind the evolution of Apparition; his passion for music and his hugely supportive attitude has been of great importance to me and others over the years and he has helped many emerging bands make connections and develop their fanbase. With a great friendship stretching back well-over a decade, Dave and I have been through a lot of life’s ups and downs together, supporting each other when the seas have been a bit stormy, and beyond a band mate, he is and will always be a true friend.”