Ever since 2002, Swiss folk metal act Eluveitie has been fascinating with every release. It seems the words “monumental” and “Colossal” are ingrained in the band’s genes. Swiss metallers are set to release their sixth studio album ‘Origins‘ on 1st August via Nuclear Blast Records. With new members coming on board in the band, the eight piece folk metal band are all ready to let their new tunes hit your eardrums. We spoke to Päde Kistler regarding their new album and Eluveitie’s plans for the coming year
Metalbase India: Why did you decide to sing in Gaulish, a language unknown to so many of your listeners?
Päde Kistler: We just partly write lyrics in gaulish, it’s an extinct language of our ancestors and it’s interesting to scientifically work on this. It’s just to somehow get connected with the past more then just with the feeling, also with it’s language.
MBI: What draws you to the myths and histories of Celtic and Gaelic tradition?
Päde Kistler: First of all it’s not about the gaelic tradition, it’s about gaulish tradition. Gaelic is the culture on the British and Irish Island while gaulish is from the European main lands. It’s the tradition of our ancestors.
MBI: To name an album ‘Origins’ at this stage, quite at the peak of your musical career is rather puzzling. What inspired the name?
Päde Kistler: The whole album is about aetiological tales of Celtic tribes that’s basically why the album is called origins. It’s all about the origin of several Celtic tribes.
MBI: How did Miss Nicole Ansperger come to join the band?
Päde Kistler: She got told that we are looking for a new violin player from a friend of her that also was a friend of us. Unfortunately this guy died a couple of months ago due to a tragic accident.
MBI: While you certainly started out as the ‘New Wave of Folk Metal’, are you worried about other bands replicating your work because of your incredible success?
Päde Kistler: No, we do not worry about this. We hope that a lot of bands fusion their traditional music with modern music, doesn’t matter which style. There is a fantastic band from England that does a fusion of Indian music with Drum and Bass, Punk and Ragga. Actually one of my favourite bands ever. They are all from Indian heritage but grew up in England. They are called Asian Dub Foundation. So to know who you are you have to know where you come from.
MBI: You’ve just made history by being the first metal band to win at the renowned Swiss Music Awards, in the ‘Best Live Act National’ category no less, an entirely audience- voted award. Did that come as a surprise, or is that merely another feather to your cap?
Päde Kistler: Indeed, it was a great surprise. We never thought that this could be possible for a band that plays underground music. On the other hand so far, we are the most successful Swiss band internationally, so not to be big headed but somehow I suppose we also deserve this attention ;-). For our music it doesn’t really influence us, it’s just a nice feather in our cap to once get attention from the main stream music industry.
MBI: Is metal popular in Switzerland? I mean, is it, for the lack of a better word, mainstream?
Päde Kistler: No, not at all. It’s underground music. Countries like Finland have a lively and big metal scene while here in Switzerland Metal music is just underground. We somehow start to make it possible to bridge Metal and mainstream music here in this country. We get more attention through our success and that makes it possible for other Swiss metal bands to get attention as well.
MBI: ‘King’ has been very well received. I know Indian fans are absolutely in love with the song. Could you tell us a bit about it? You know, theme, composition, production…
Päde Kistler: You know, this questions are always difficult to answer. It’s about the high king Ambiciatus wants to serve his people and be the will of the gods. The lyrics are quite obvious about the topic.
MBI: How does one go about composing with a combination of instruments that essentially seem to create opposed sounds? How do you reconcile the electric guitar, the growl and the flute and the violin?
Päde Kistler: Actually in our opinion they do not create opposed sounds. I think metal music is like classic music played with modern instruments. Mostly a traditional tune is the base of a song and our riff master Ivo Henzi mostly creates the guitar riffs around the tunes. Of course, mainly Chrigel has a basic idea about every song, so the creative process is mainly done by this two people.
MBI: How important is it for someone to grasp the ideas and events you sing about to understand your music? What, in particular, does Origins deal with, thematically?
Päde Kistler: Well depends, if you want to enjoy the music you do not necessarily need to grasp the idea but of course it brings someone to a deeper understanding if the idea is known. The lyrics, even though they are about ancient times still have an actually significance. Topics like imperialism and war and how they affect the people are relevant as ever. Orgins, as the names says is all about the origins of several gaulishceltic tribes.
MBI: Will you follow up the album release in August with a tour?
Päde Kistler: Yes, we start the Orgins-World-Tour mid of Sepember in North America, after that Europe. More appearances are planned for the upcoming 2 year cycle in Asia, Australia, South America and wherever possible.
MBI: Any plans of ever performing in India?
Päde Kistler: Of course we would love to perform in India but it’s not upon us to decide, yeah let’s go to India. Basically a local promoter has to be willing to book a show, festival or a tour. We’d love to come back, our appearance at IIT Festival in Guwahati in 2010 is still not forgotten. So bother your promoters and we’ll come. I also have a special relationship to India, maybe sounds lame but I do Yoga which is a great practice for rock climbing, my main sport if I find time beside touring.
MBI: Do you have a few words for your Indian fans?
Päde Kistler: Thank you so much for all the great support we received from India. We’d love to come back to play for you guys. Hope it will be possible soon. In the meantime stay true, follow your ideas and live your life as intense as possible. Respect!
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