Interviews

Eleine Interview

ELEINE230325

Hey, hello!

Madeleine: Hello, hi, Rikard is just having a very quick pee. We been having many-many interviews, like you know, every 30 minutes. He was like…

Please, take your time!

M: I was like: yes of course. He’ll be here in just a minute. Very nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you too!… Sorry, I can’t hear your voice…

M: You can’t hear me?

Now it’s okay – there was some network connection problem or I don’t know…

M: I understand. How do I pronounce your name?

My name is Zsolt. This is an old Hungarian name actually – it’s quite hard to pronounce it: Z and S in the beginning of the word is like Jean or Jacques…

M: “Zsolt” It’s hard: it’s a challenge, but it’s very cool!

I know, I know – I’m sorry for that!

M: That is great, all right. I’m sure he will be here in just a minute, but… I’m Madeleine, anyway!

It’s okay, thank you – just take your time please!

M: Yeah, it’s very good. It’s been a lot of good talks. You’ll be the last for today – I’m looking forward to it!

Me too! And thank you very much for coming, it’s always good to talk to musicians and understand your life and understand your ideas about music! It’s an honor!

M: I really appreciate that! We appreciate a lot, you know! It’s always nice to talk about it – it’s an interesting process after the album has made, you know, to actually talk about it because…

R: So sorry, hi!

M: I told him you went to pee. And this is Zsolt, I’m trying to practice on saying his name.
R: Zsolt?

Yeah, my name is Zsolt, and actually I’m from the Hungarian metal webzine kronosmortus.com, and it’s very nice to have you here and thank you very much for the opportunity to interview you!

M: Thank you, we have to be here!

It’s always a pleasure – and let me start with just a simple question: How was your day?

M: Oh, very good actually! I’ve been a little bit tired, but really good – it’s been a lot of work!

R: It’s been a good day, yeah, a productive day.

M: Very productive! How was yours?

Mine is OK, thank you very much. I’ve been at work, and now I’m at home, and this is the quiet part of the day here.

M: Lovely!

R: Awesome!

Your band exists since 2014 if I’m not mistaken! Could you please tell us a little bit about the formation of the band, the beginnings, and also the evolution of the band? What kind of difficulties did you experience during your lifespan?

M: Do you have a couple of hours?

Oh yeah, I have unlimited time!

M: I’ve saved a lot of it for the biography in the future.

R: Oh man, like… it’s always a struggle to do what you feel is right. They will always be naysayers, and you always meet people along the way that say: they want what you want, and you have a common goal. Then you start working with them and it appeared that you don’t have it. So, I mean, how would I start it? Like basically Madeleine and I got in touch, and we wanted the same thing. So, we founded what is now known as Eleine. And over the years we’ve had some line-up changes and that’s very natural – as I said: it’s not for everyone. And we always went down the path that we create what feels right. And that is also why you can hear a natural evolution and progression within our sound. So, it’s… if you listen to the first album, up until… well the upcoming one that comes on July 14th, you’ll actually hear some kind of process also within that. Which is quite interesting.
M: And it has nothing to do with line-up changes, because… it’s been me and Rikard are writing songs along, but I mean it would be weird if we wouldn’t evolve during the years, right? I believe it’s very important that you live, and you learn and even if it’s very heavy things that you might experience sometimes, there’s always something to learn from it. And I’m very happy that we chose from the very-very beginning to talk about this. But we said that at all times we will never ever put our egos first. It is always about the best for Eleine, and what is best for us as a band you know. And that’s the actual name Eleine and there has never been any space for any kind of ego within Eleine. And I’m very proud that we’ve really been sticking to that, you know? Because we’ve had this very-very clear focus all the time. It’s been easier to work, you know? It has!

I see! Taking the quality of the music into account, it’s been clearly evident to me that you’ve been – at least according to my opinion – an underrated band so far. Fortunately, your careers are about to take a big turn, because you’ve been picked up by Atomic Fire label so you… there are quite big opportunities that became available to you. I would just like to ask, how different have the band’s days been since then?

M: Since the beginning?

Since your contract with Atomic Fire.

M: Oh well, it’s been… I mean, it feels like we’ve leveled up in the actual work, I got to say, we are even more in touch, we have a product manager for example, and she’s, you know… I used to say that she’s my girl, I love her – she’s doing such a great job. She works a lot with Epica as well.

R: I love her husband!

M: Yeah, totally – he’s such a great guy! But it feels like we’ve found our home in a way, because everyone is so… that is the same thing: as I just mentioned that we are not putting our egos first in Eleine, it is so noticeable that no one at Atomic Fire is there to fill up their ego. They are so passionate about music – I mean that is why they created Nuclear Blast. They did that, you know, back in the 90’s, they built it up, they were just beautiful music nerds, like loving metal and what not, and now they’re doing this as passionate as they were in the beginning! And I admire that so much! And they have been so welcoming, and it is just so easy to work with them. It’s never a problem – you always just “look, how can we solve this?” It’s never: “hey, don’t try to tell me what not to do and what to do” – it was always just like in sync. And I appreciate that. We all appreciate that. We feel safe with Atomic Fire.

R: Yeah. And the release we have coming up on July 14th “We Shall Remain” is the first full length album release, so we can only really answer that question after the fact. Really. But up until now, it’s been great, and we’re looking for to continue working with Atomic Fire.

I see thank you! Last year you’ve released a special EP: one can hear the acoustic versions of your favorite songs on it. How did the fans react compared to the previous three albums? What made you record that album? How much time – let’s say – did it take for you to decide recording it?

R: The reception of the acoustic EP “Acoustic in Hell” was really great. People really loved it!

M: Not that I expect, to be honest… It actually turned out better than I imagined that it would do, if I’m gonna be very honest…

R: I thought it would be so lame, and I thought it would suck so bad, when we first thought of doing that. But like, at the end sounds awesome! And performing it live: super good! And that is the reason why we did it at all: it was because Sonata Arctica.

M: Yeah, it was because Sonata Arctica, this Finnish power metal band. They invited us to be special guests on this acoustic tour “Acoustic Adventures”. And that was supposed to take place on ’21, and that was mid-pandemics, and we were like okay, we have just released “Dancing in Hell”, let’s do it! It is a challenge, right? So, we kinda just said “yes”, then accepted, and then we started to think, how are we supposed to do acoustic songs… Wow! Because it’s… we have majestic arrangements and very chuggy riffs, but we just sat down and just talked about. We promised ourselves to keep the core essence of Eleine, right? And I mean, you got yourself a 7-string acoustic guitar…

R: Yeah, that is the first thing we did. We bought 7-string acoustic guitars…

M: I love it! And we kept a very raw sound, like, you know: very groovy. I’m very happy how it turned out, and I have no regrets. I’m very happy that we did the entire tour, the entire release. I know that it will always be like one of the special releases within our discograpy, you know? It will always be there, and I’m happy that it is. So early on, as well!

R: I feel it’s great to have this obscure, weird little release, like in the middle of the entire thing, like “holy shit, that’s acoustic!” And between all the blastbeats….

M: As I’ve been saying to so many like you know, if you if your grandma does not like metal at all – give her this! And people have, and it’s been very appreciated, and somehow, they have actually started to listen to full metal songs, as well, so…

ELEINE_cover230325

I see! Your new album as you said already entitled “We Shall Remain” will be released in July. June or July?

July.

It will contain as far as I know ten powerful, awesomely dark songs with monumental melodies, crushing riffs and insane vocals. It can easily mesmerize the listener! What would you say about the songs, who would you recommend them to?

M: Who would recommend the songs to? Well, I got to say that… yeah, it’s a very good question! I would never say that I would just recommend this for people who like this or this band. There is so much within the songs that I would say: if you love metal in general – go ahead! Okay? If you don’t like metal, I gotta say that we have a lot of fans that are actually not into metal, but somehow, they seem to like our music – why? I don’t know. But we take it as compliment of course! But I would say if you like metal in general: give it a chance and listen to it! That is what I wanna say. Because or else you just risk at putting yourself in different boxes. I don’t want that! Because yeah, you can say it’s a symphonic metal, but I can say that I don’t think we sound like many other symphonic metal bands. I think we differ a lot because we have, I guess, we have some different influences. So, I don’t want people to be well, scared, of giving it a listen! Give it a shot! You know… There is some death metal, some black metal, some thrash metal, you know, there is old school metal as well, so… Give it a chance!

R: Oh yeah, it’s like a sandwich.

M: It is! A big sandwich!

R: No, by really! If you had a bad sandwich sometime, it’s not like you say: I don’t like sandwiches! Try another fuckin’ sandwich, dude!

M: Like ice cream, you know…

R: Ice cream sandwich.

M: No, not ice cream. It’s like any sandwich. You cannot say that you don’t like sandwitches just because you tried one that wasn’t as good. Yes. It’s the same thing!

I understand. Talking about different tastes I must admit that I’m usually into rougher black and death metal, but as you can see it, I was still blown away by the shredding on your albums, the down-tuned bass and the purity of the female vocals at crazy highs. Have you by chance met many similar fans who prefer softer or even rougher music and still love to listen to your music?

R: Oh definitely! As you yourself, like first off, and then as Madeleine said, we’ve met… we have fans that don’t really listen to metal. Otherwise, we have fans that like almost only listens to the darkest, the heaviest shit. And then they also like us. And we’re like: interesting! Very interesting! Because we always create what feels right to us, and that apparently speaks to very many! So, that’s a very good thing, but we will always continue to create what feels right to us.

M: Yeah. I agree, because I also listen to, well, almost exclusively both black and death metal, you know, if I don’t have this Rammstein mood that I have right now. That is what I listen to, that’s my influences, you know? But I like doing what comes naturally. And I guess, Rikard has his like thrash metal, and old school metal influences as well…

R: And video gaming!

M: And video gaming is a huge part, and together we have the anime and movie interest. So, it’s like this big mess of so many influences! But I always take it as a great compliment that one people say: oh, I usually don’t listen to metal, but I like you, and as yourself, usually I like black and death metal, you know. I’ve heard that so many times! You know, very cool dudes coming up like, you know, I usually only listen to death metal, but I fuckin’ like you guys! It’s nice, you know? I take it as a huge compliment, because that means that we have done something, you know, to bring out something to the listener! And I like when people actually get out of their box, open their eyes. Because I am that kind. I like to stick with my black and death metal bands, and usually don’t listen to new things, and that is what I do on my Twitch streams: I like to check out new music videos that people recommend. Many times, I notice that: oh shit, this is good! And I would never have experienced it, if not. It’s very interesting! I appreciate you sharing this!

I didn’t know that you have a Twitch stream – that’s good to know! Thank you!

M: Yeah, we both stream on Twitch!

Also, talking about the album cover art. The album cover art always adds a little something extra to the release. I don’t want to exaggerate, but what we see is perfect. Actually, I really find it awesome! Did you have more than one version on mind or did the artwork immediately come together in your thoughts when it was created?

M: It was… came together pretty fast. When I start to work on it… usually it’s like that when we do artworks that I start, and I make a, well, maybe the foundation, you know – either if it’s a Photoshop mockup, or I do my horrible drawings, doesn’t matter. Usually, it just comes up when I start to think about the songs, on the processes, everything. It’s just coming up a picture, you know. And I put it down. And in this case and a couple of cases we have been working with Néstor Ávalos, who is a great artist – usually I just hand him the mockup, you know, or the horrible drawing, and we discuss. And this time it went pretty fast actually to put it together. Same as “Dancing In Hell”. What’s like everything fell into place. And there’s so many parts of the artwork – there is a part of the album – for us everything goes hand in hand. You know, everything for the music videos, to songs, to how we look and act on stage, to the artwork. The artwork is an extension. I want you to look at the artwork and get a feeling of how maybe this is what I can expect? You have the battlefield, the sacrifices, the rising person, you know, standing up…

R: The Eleine symbol!

M: The Eleine symbol, exactly. So, thank you! It means a lot! The visual aspect is very important to us, it goes hand in hand with the music.

I see! Going back to the music for a little while – we could probably mention the name of those quite well-known bands like Epica or maybe Nightwish: but your music is – as we already discussed it – is somewhat different from them. I just mentioned them because they’ve managed to achieve enormous success and I think you should get there too, because your music is awesome! Do you think it’s possible, or do you at least have that kind of desire to get there where Nightwish is, or Epica is right now?

M: Yeah, for sure!

R: Sure, definitely!

M: You know, it’s nice to stop sometimes and just see what we have achieved, you know? Still, this is our fourth album only – it’s still pretty early in that way, but we do have this goal. So, we’ve had this from the very start. And that is also what we have dedicated our lives to this from the very start. This is nine year of us now with Eleine, and for nine years we have been living and breathing Eleine. This is our life, you know? We give everything that we have. We have a lot to achieve! We have a lot of goals, you know? We do!

And talking about previous releases, to what extent are your previous releases still available? Are there any plans to republish them?

M: Well, we did. We have… all the albums are available. Yes. The first and the second one is at our own record label actually, because we wanted to own them, and wanted to re-release them, so to speak. And yeah, then everything else is on Black Lodge, up until the acoustic EP, and now “We Shall Remain” that will be at Atomic Fire. So yeah, everything is available so far.

R: It would be great to do a re-release something in the future, like put it on steroids and and go full-on with the orchestral release that I create today. That would be fun!

M: For sure! And now, so everything is available, and we will always try to make sure that everything is available at some point, you know?

In April you played live in Budapest together with Kamelot and Myrath. It’s a shame but I couldn’t be there and I’m still sorry for that.

We missed you!

Oh, Thank you! What kind of experience was it for you? How was that night? Do you still have some kind of memories about it?

M: Oh yeah!

R: Sure!

M: It was the perfect ending of the tour!

R: I’m gonna sneeze by the way…

M: It’s allergy. Insane amount of allergy is here right now…

I know what you mean…

R: I felt that coming.

M: I hear you.

R: Budapest was super great! Great stage, great crowd, great atmosphere – everyone was really happy!

M: The crowd was wild.

R: They were. They were on point. There are videos on YouTube actually, from people who filmed from the audience – it’s very nice!

M: It was a great gig. And actually, it was the perfect ending for that tour!

R: Definitely.

M: It really was! It couldn’t have been better, if I want to be very honest.

So, you were happy with the Hungarian crowd – that’s good to hear!

Oh yeah! We always are! We always have such a great time in Hungary, we really do! And it is always that we want to make sure that we’re going there! It’s not always possible for some tours, of course – there’s so many things that it depends on, but we always try to aim for it, because we always have such a great time, so…

That’s good to hear!

M: Yeah, we love it!

So, you had a lot of gigs in the last short period of time, because you had a tour in North America with Moonspell, and in Europe with Kamelot – how much energy did you get from the fans? How different is the band’s performance and vibe at the beginning of the tour compared to the end of the tour?

R: Oh, we always give a 110%.

M: Maybe it sounds like a very classical thing to say, but we do – you know, like each and every gig: doesn’t matter how many or few people there are, or how small the stage might be, or how big it is… It doesn’t matter! You always need to maintain that energy.

R: Right! I still got it because it was a long tour: it was… we did 23 gigs over 25 days…

M: In North America!

R: In North America, yes. Specifically in North America.

M: We’ve done like 90 gigs in the past seven months. It’s quite a lot.

R: It’s been a lot. So, holding in on North America, because it was very tight, 23 gigs over 25 days – and those two days that were off-days, were travel days. And we finished up the music video to “War Das Alles” during that time also. So, it was a lot of work. And I believe that the question would be: were we exhausted at the end? No. We weren’t exhausted in that way because we still went there, we gave it all, we did it, and the energy from the crowd was great. And then we got home and collapsed.

M: Usually I’m most exhausted in the beginning, before your body, you know, adapts to the energy you have to deliver every night. And during the days I don’t sit around. I run around all days fixing things, you know, I’m like this restless little squirrel running around. I guess you know, wanna fix things, and it is what it is. But you’re always getting so much – we’re always getting so much energy from our fans! Even if it’s like on social medias, or when we stream on Twitch or if it’s in our Patreon, if you know what Patreon is. It’s like a fan club. And we stay in touch a lot: but we’re always gaining so much energy! And I think it’s this beautiful exchange, because we hear from our fans that they gain so much energy from our music, and what we do and what we share, and I think that is the beauty of it! Like this two-way street, this exchange thing. And I said it in so many interviews, and I never mean to offend anyone, but I think if you as a band don’t even really care about your fans, first of all I think you kinda lost a shitload, because I think it’s pretty off if I’m gonna be honest, because you wouldn’t be where you are without anyone who listens to your music. But I actually think you’re missing out of something. You don’t have to be in touch with people every day – that is not the case – but if you see them as the persons, they are, they are individuals, being super exciting! They are holding their records, wanting to be signed, you’re missing out of something! I really think you do!

R: Don’t forget the struggles you went through to get to where you are, right?

M: Exactly!

R: I mean, I can always say maybe someone else has had a lot easier than we’ve had. Because there are so many naysayers, there’s so many naysaysers like putting you down, pushing through, and then you get to the point where people start to listen to your crap music. And then people like it even more, and you get better, and you reach even more people. You start to inspire people with your perseverance, and things you’ve been through your life. And then you at this point where you have a large fanbase who loves what you do, gives you support, and feels the support that you give them through what you create. And that is a beautiful thing you should never forget that without them you would be nowhere my friend!

I see! Just a side not: do you have a cat there?

M: Yes! He’s boring a little bit so I thought that maybe I should, you know, caress her, But, she’s sleeping very deeply.

R: There’s another cat right here.

What’s her name?

M: This is Thofsa, and we have another one here, and her name is Diesel. Very ladies.

Do they spend a lot of time with you?

M: Oh yeah, whenever being home, yes, of course! Diesel, she always likes to be here.

R: They are always where we are.

M: They just wanna cuddle, you know? Eat a little bit, take a shit and cuddle. That is it, you know?

R: Eat and sleep.

The normal way of cat operation. What can we expect in the future from you? How busy and joyful will be the forthcoming time for Eleine?

Well, we have a lot that is not official yet. We have just signed some papers for upcoming adventures, so to speak – but the closest thing coming up now is the album release. We will go to Germany, to the EMP Stores for signing sessions, free for everyone. And in August we have a couple of festivals, and after that we have some things that will be announced, we’re very much looking forward to it! And if you’re looking at the bigger picture: we are here, we’re working hard and will continue to do so. We have very big goals to achieve. And we wanted to have fun along the way! We want to inspire, if possible, along the way. And one thing that we actually love is to see how persons, like individuals, our fans grow within this. They, like our fans, they – this community they start to call themselves the “Eleine Legion”, and that was a huge compliment! It was so sweet to see them start doing this. And we’re so proud to see this community grow! This fanbase’s growing like it does. And I see individuals within this, how they grow. Like for an example, to explain myself: I know so many of them are introverts. They like to be home, they maybe don’t have any friends, I can recognize myself a lot, you know? All of a sudden, I see them connect on, like the Patreon Discord. You know, they start to talk with each other and chatting and all of a sudden, they meet up before one of our shows, and go to see the show together and hang out for a bit, you know. You don’t have to be best friends for life, but they have someone that shares the same interest. And I just see, how many of them that are growing as individuals. For me, that is extremely rewarding, and I know that it is for everyone in Eleine to see that. This is very beautiful!

R: Definitely.

M: It’s one of these moments when you stop for a little bit and see what is happening. And just know that OK, that’s the beauty of life, right? Because at the end of life, everything we have is memories. And I think it’s so important to remember, because it’s so easy to forget, you know?

Yeah, I understand. People like to go out of their shells if you trigger them. Thank you very much for your answers! It was really a pleasure and an honor! Do you have a message for the Hungarian fans?

M: Oh, well, I cannot say right now exactly when we will be back, but as always, we encourage everyone to keep an eye on the actual website, because social medias…. – is what it is. There’s so much happening, right? It’s so easy to miss out. Usually I say: follow the bands you like on BandsInTown, keep an eye on the website, because we always put everything on the website. The tour tab, you know. So please keep an eye there, we long to be back in Hungary – I can tell you that. As I said: we always had such a great time. So we long to be back. Please continue to stream our music like you do, buy the music if you want to, and if you can. The new album will be out, and we’re very proud of it! And we really hope that everyone will appreciate it.

Thank you very much and thank you very much for your time – it was a pleasure to meet you and I wish you all the success and joy for your future!

M: Thank you! It was lovely to chat with you, and we really hope to see you at the next Eleine show!

I will definitely be there!

M: That will be so much fun to me to meet in real life! So thank you so much for having us!

Thank you, bye-bye!

M: Take care! Bye!

R: Bye!


www.eleine.com
www.patreon.com/eleine
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www.instagram.com/eleineofficial
www.twitter.com/eleineofficial
www.youtube.com/eleineofficial

The interview was taken with Madeleine & Rikard on 14.06.2023.

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