Interview with musician Graziella Vacklen

Meet Graziella Vacklen who, among other roles, is a Maltese mum, singer, guitarist, songwriter and chef living in Sweden.

Tell us your story – how did you end up in Sweden?

It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time, to move from Malta to Sweden. I was ambitious and wanted to get our music out, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy in Malta so the band, Scarlet Drop, relocated. Not a huge hardship seeing at the time, I just got married to the bassist in the band who is Swedish. It got us contacts to record in a decent studio which got the attention of a producer in Germany, who wanted to record us and then that got us an agent who booked us at all these huge festivals. It really was so much fun, but it does get tiring when you have an intense weekend with flying, playing the show, doing radio interviews, TV interviews, fans wanting to talk to you after the show and then heading back home with so little as 3 hours sleep and then work the next day on top of all of that…crazy!

Does your life resemble the life described by movies about rock stars?

Haha! Nowhere close. I’m afraid as busy as we were with our band, we never really made enough money to live off it. We paid bills with our regular jobs, when we weren’t on the road playing, using all our vacation leave to be on tour or weekend shows. It’s not as glamorous as most people think, but it certainly put a light on our everyday regular life. We always had a goal and something to look forward too. We got to travel to most parts of Germany and Sweden, Austria, Egypt and Malta. I’m quite content with that.

Are you a “Rock Mommy”? Do you plan on bringing up your baby like Madonna or Gwen Stephanie did?

I think every parent has a plan on how to raise their kids, and it usually reflects their own childhood. I do my duty as a good mother to play a lot of metal at home hoping my son will like it too (LOL) but I’m really into much more than metal. Jazz, chillout, classical music are just a few examples on my playlist.

Do you work out a lot?

A few weeks after my son was born, I began to work out twice a week. I’m really into squash. I just recently joined the local squash club, meeting new people and training with squash coaches, it’s loads of fun and it’s also “me” time from my new life as a 24/7 mum! An hour of that crazy sport and you’re done! Before I was pregnant I was at the gym 2-3 times a week and band practice was also a work out when we were rehearsing “stage performance”, especially before concerts/tours. You’ve got to move on stage when you play metal, standing still is boring and we wanted to be contagious for the crowd. It’s an amazing feeling when crowds sing your songs back to you and move in unity with the music.