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Conor Fynes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Conor Fynes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Eluveitie
    Posted: 23 Jan 2013 at 12:51am


With the release of a new album and successful tour with Wintersun and Varg in their recent history, one might say Eluveitie are doing very well for themselves. At the forefront of the so-called folk metal scene, Eluveitie really bring the folk elements to the spotlight in the live venue. Although the sheer number of musicians on stage can take some getting used to, the band does a fantastic job of bringing their studio work to life. On this most recent tour, Eluveitie played their new album “Helvetios” from start to finish, and though part of me would have liked to see a few more of my favourites from the rest of their career, they did not disappoint, and the album-centric setlist gave their performance a sense of flow not often heard in a live venue. Vocalist/Hurdy-Gurdy-ist Anna Murphy and drummer Merlin Sutter were kind enough to answer some questions about Eluveitie, their music, and their insights into history.

Introduce yourselves!


Anna: Hello, I'm Anna of Eluveitie.


Merlin: And me! I'm Merlin!


You label yourselves on your website as part of the ‘New Wave of Folk Metal’… What does

this term mean? Are there any other bands that you think fit this label?


Merlin: I remember we decided to use this term around the release of our first full-length album.

Myspace asked for some sort of headline, and at that time I was into some of the "NWOBHM"

bands that we're "in" back then. Mostly though we played folk metal, but did not identify

ourselves with any of the other bands in the folk / pagan genre, and on top of that had an

aversion to the latter term.


What was the story behind the formation of Eluveitie?


Anna: When Eluveitie was born I was still an unpoular greasy-haired kid at school, but our

mastermind and frontman Chrigel started it all, originally just as a mere studio project. This all

happened 10 years ago when he gathered a bunch of musicians to record the first EP “Ven”.

It was received very well, only better when they started playing live shows and so eventually

“Eluveitie” went from being a project to an actual band. Quite a lot of line-up changes happened

throughout the years and since about 4,5 years we're in a steady formation.


What is the songwriting/composition process like for Eluveitie? I imagine the incorporation

of heavy folk elements makes your process a little different than the average metal band.


Anna: Chrigel is and always has been the main songwriter of the band. Since two albums now

Ivo Henzi has become more and more involved and has started to write full songs as well as

incorporating some awesome riffs here and there. Apart from those two I'd say I am the most

active one in writing accompanying melodies, some tunes here and there where Chrigel is still

looking for ideas.. I write most of my vocal lines myself too, and some lyrics. So I'd say it's

easiest to put it this way: Whenever Chrigel is missing something or looking for an idea, we step

in. Apart from that though everyone is responsible for his own part in the end, e.g. Meri will still

work out her violin parts, and Merlin is doing his thing on the drums. Chrigel's the boss though!


There seems to be a disproportionate number of metal bands who deal with subjects from

history and mythology, as well as singing in ancient languages or their native tongues. Do

you have any thoughts on why this might occur more than with say, pop or indie-rock?


Anna: Those pop-indie-rockers just don't pay attention in history class I guess ;) And let's

be honest, (most) metal bands just don't want to sing about love and politics because it's 

already being done way too much and it doesn't fit either. Or should Manowar have gone with

“Wonderwall” instead of “Gates of Valhalla”? 

Live, you have been playing your latest album “Helvetios” from start to finish. What was

the reason behind going for such an album-centric performance?


Anna: We just thought it could be a cool idea. mainly because we can tell the story of Helvetios

from beginning to end live too, like it is on the concept album.


Merlin: Yes, that's the main idea behind it. Also, we really wanted to do something special here -

around the release of Helvetios we had the incredible chance to go out on a North American run

with Children Of Bodom - however, that was shortly before the release and we only played a 45-

minute set, so we felt our North American fans deserved something special this time.


How do you respond to the way the album’s been received at large by fans and press?


Anna: We accept different opinions and in the end there's not much you can do except read or

listen to what other people have to say about your work. Some like it, some don't. Of course

we're happy about positive reviews, it's natural. But we put more energy into actually creating

something than reacting to what happens after it's done.


Merlin: I think the response has been great, at least from what I read - which, to be honest, isn't

too much - for similar reasons as the ones Anna named. I think what counts is that over 100

shows into the accompanying world tour, we're still happy with and proud of what we did with

the album!


Out of the whole of Gaulish and Celtic history, what drew you to the Helvetians and the

Roman expansion specifically as the story you wished to tell as an album? What lessons

would you like the listener to learn either historically or emotionally from the album?


Anna: Eluveitie has always had (more or less) the same source of inspiration: Gaulish history.

So you'll already find references to the Gaulish war on previous albums too. We had just never

written a concept album before and thought it would be a very great and especially very suitable

idea to tell the story of the Gaulish war in a chronological order. In a way, kind of like creating a

movie soundtrack (to which there is unfortunately no movie, hehe).


We do however not aim to teach or preach. We are glad if someone develops certain emotions

when listening to our songs or even learns some lessons from reading the lyrics, but we don't

want to set any guidelines, even if the lyrics are pretty straight-foward there's still room for

different interpretations which should be left open for the listeners.


Merlin: To that I'd only like to add that Chrigel, our main songwriter not only musically, but also

lyrically, takes a bit of a different approach which in my opinion is one of our main strengths in

this area: He write from the viewpoint of someone living and participating in the events we deal

with, rather than delivering history lessons.


The tradition of Oral Histories has largely been lost in most modern societies. Do you think

that folk metal is playing a role in reviving interest in these stories and, if yes, why do you

think this is important?


Anna: That's a very interesting viewpoint!


I have never thought about this to be honest. In general, I have no idea what I'm trying to achieve

with the things I do or why exactly I'm doing them. I think this “acting and living for the moment

thing” may be similar for Chrigel when he writes songs. The most important moment is when

inspiration kicks in and you're writing a song, you escape into your own world and the feeling

you get when that happens is not one I could describe. What happens after? No idea, who cares?

Let's see! Does that make sense? Probably not...


What advice would you give to aspiring musicians, trying to find their way in the world?


Anna: I honestly don't know if anyone would want any advice from me. Maybe I can just tell

you what I did in life basically... At some point (when I was 16 years old and still in school) I

said “fuck all this, I'm just going to do what I want, no matter where that leads.” And now I'm

here. And yeah, I have certain talents and gifts, but a big reason I am where I am is luck. And

I certainly can not tell anyone how to stumble across luck. So yeah, I don't want to tell people

to completely give up all responsibility and “follow their dreams” like I did, because that could

leave them in a massive pile of shit and disaster. All I can say is it COULD lead to something



Merlin: Practice! Find people that aren't lazy, at least one really good songwriter, and play every

show you can somehow get to.


What’s the metal scene in Switzerland like? I can’t think of too many other bands from

there, perhaps besides Coroner and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost…


It's small. Well, the country is small, so that makes sense. I'm not part of the scene nor do I pay

lots of attention to it, so I wouldn't know. I like Coroner a lot, best band ever. And you should

check out Blutmond, they have a really retarded name, but the music makes up for it big time!



Merlin: I have to admit, when I'm in Switzerland I'm usually at home, and when I'm at gigs there

I'm usually on stage...


Favourite beer?


Anna: Don't drink that stuff.


Merlin: Corona.


Favourite cheeseburger?


Anna: Don't eat that crap.


Merlin: Anything that's nice and greasy.


What lies in the future for Eluveitie?


Anna: A never-ending shiny path of rainbow-coloured awesomeness! I hope...


Merlin: What Anna said.


Final words?






Both: Cheers everyone and thanks for the support!


Cheers from Vancouver!


Anna: Cheers from Quebec, I liked it better in Vancouver. And thanks for the interview, very

cool questions. Don't get those a lot.


Conor & Astrid

Edited by Conor Fynes - 23 Jan 2013 at 1:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote UMUR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2013 at 2:33am
This one hadn´t been added to the interview index. Now it is: Tongue
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