Interview with Elvenking (December 2007) (Интервю Eng)
Italian Folk/Power Metal act ELVENKING has nowadays very interesting time - they celebrated 10th Anniversary and released 4th album. Damna, the vocalist of the band, answered few our questions.

You have changed quite much since the beginning of your music career. What do you think now about fantasy, Tolkien, elves and so on? Or you have to keep your roots because you have this band name?
We have always been fascinated by fantasy and especially its dark side. Personally I still read fantasy books apart from the classics, when they deliver original and interesting stories. Of course in our first days we were very influenced by fantasy stuff for the lyrics, nowadays we have moved our interests a bit, also because we just couldn’t repeat ourselves and talk about the same things all the time.

What was the latest book you read? :)
The last book I read was Laurell K. Hamilton's "The Killing Dance" from the Anita Blake saga and I'm starting to read Simon Beckett's "The Chemistry of Death".

Your band is 10 years old this year. Did you celebrate somehow this anniversary?
Yeah we did an Anniversary Show the same night we did the Release party of "The Scythe". Actually we wanted to do something greater with more songs we don't play since years and with the addition of Jarpen for one night on stage. But Jarpen unfortunately refused and for time reasons we couldn't add many old songs.

Once you said in interview that you like experiments in music and artworks, is it still the same or you found the style you like and want to keep it?
With the last two albums we achieved a personal style that we're pretty confident with. Of course our philosophy remains the same. We are a band in constant evolution and even if some features will always remain in our music, we will always develop our sound and change a bit, experimenting new solutions.

Who is on the cover of your latest album, "The Scythe"? Or it's not real person?
I don't know!! You should ask the cover artist! :)

Wasn't it your idea about artwork of the album?
Of course the main idea was ours, but Gyula, the artist, came with this wonderful art. We usually give him some ideas and tips and then he comes with the final result.

I see, you liked work in Finland, as you mixed and mastered already second album there?
Yes, we were really satisfied of how things worked for "The Winter Wake" and we decided to return to Sonic Pump and work again with Nino Laurenne for "The Scythe". This time he also came to the Italian studio to set the sounds for the bass and guitars and the result is amazing.

As you have all these orchestral and folk elements, choirs and so on, I have next question. What is the most difficult for you at concerts and tours? How do you handle all this stuff live, just through keyboards?
Elyghen plays the violin and the keyboards and that's a big part of our "orchestrations". Lately we have started using a very small amount of pre-recorded tracks to complete a little bit the songs and deliver on stage exactly what's on the album, but it's all about some small synth parts, some choirs and the few string quartet tracks.

Have you ever wanted to try to work with orchestra & choir live? :)
It would be nice, but I think that at this point of our career it wouldn't make much sense.

Do you think that appearance of the band is important? Many musicians go on stage in usual clothes and try to make promo photos "as in life". Your point of view on this subject?
It's very important to have an interesting look and a great stage. It's not all there, but a good appearance and a good live stage surely add more to the music. Look at bands like Iron Maiden (for the stage stuff) or Kiss (for the appearance) and it's quite clear how much these things add to the band imagery. We always try to have a "band-image" with clothes and stuff and for the live stage we use banners with the albums art... we will surely come with something more... unfortunately space and budget are great enemies of good-looking stages :) we’ll see!

You have actually less and less folk elements in every next album. Why is it so? Some critics think that it's bad – what is your opinion? In one "The Scythe" review it was said that Elvenking is almost dead and risks becoming an average power metal band. Comment this, please :)
Well as I already said we are band in constant evolution and every album is going to be different from the previous ones. It may be heavier, it may be more folk… whatever! As long as it sounds fresh and original and as long as it pleases our own taste. The people that say that this albums lacks of Elvenking's "style", or that Elvenking is dead are probably all young teenagers who are following the folk metal trend... of course they're young and they have still lots of time to understand! If they don't like us, there's plenty of death-folk bands to listen to... a lot of them sound pretty much the same, so they should be pleased by that. Elvenking is really more than a folk metal band, we have always been a melodic metal band and the folk part is only one of our many influences. I'd also like to point out that our folk metal roots come from the early bands like Sabbat or first Skyclad and not from the later trend. And to tell you truth I can't see for example "The Winter Wake" being "less folk" than "Heathenreel".

I am cruel person :) I will ask one more question about bad "The Scythe" reviews. In another review you were accused in using emo elements and in making commercial compromises, bringing mainstream. Your comments on this, please :)
No problem!! :) That's cool, I mean if people thinks that we're sounding commercial it means that we should sell million copies in the near future... If that's the case... We'd be very happy! Ahahah. Cutting the bullshit, in our genre and in a small band as we are, there's very no space for this. We are not gaining anything from all the "compromises" that people think we do. We just play what we want and the songs in "The Scythe" are what Elvenking really want to play. No shit. If our new songs make us gain new fans we are really pleased about it! At the end, apart from doing good music, the goal of a band will always be of living with music, of doing this as a job, of gaining new fans and do great gigs… so all this people that say that we're making compromises haven't really understood us and music in general. When I was 14 I used to say, "hey that band is getting commercial just because has some electronic stuff in their new album"… I was young but I immediately realized how wrong I was. Probably these web-critics should only grow up a bit!

By the way, do you try to read all the reviews in printed- and e-zines? Are those opinions important for you and do they influence on you?
We try to read all of the reviews we can, to see how the album is received by the professional press (the printed magazines) and by the amateur one (the webzines). The constructive opinions are very important to us and usually are made by professional writers. Some points on the songwriting, on the production, etc. Of all the reviews where they say things like "there's no folk --> this album is shit" we just laugh about them. It's clear that there's no positive critics, but just some fans complaining because the album is not sounding like they'd want to, etc. That's no professional stuff at all and we don't care about that type of review.

What do musicians of Elvenking do in life except music? Somewhere you told that you work, if it's so – where?
Yeah we all work, some in the office, some as architects, etc.

Your most unloved question from journalists :)
The ones where they say that they don’t feel the Elvenking "feeling" in our new album. "The Scythe" is 100% Elvenking feeling as never it has been before!

Can you tell any funny cases from you concert or studio life? (not those which are on your website in your profiles!)
Uhh that's difficult... there are many funny moments in our band-life! We usually have lots of fun in the studio and during our gigs… The one that comes to my mind in this moment is during our last concert … but it's quite obscene! It's better not to mention it! Ahahah!!

Do you know any Russian bands?
Unfortunately I don't know much about your scene. Maybe you can suggest us some good bands!
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14.дек.2007 | просмотров - 3188 | комментариев - 0


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