Interview by Claudio Grippi
Femme Metal Webzine got the chance to interview Eilera, a French artist who was able to draw the attention of the Finnish label Spinefarm Records, releasing under this label their first studio album called “Fusion” in 2007. Her new album “Darker Chapter… and Stars” is divided into two parts that lead you through a journey of personal discovery where different worlds coexist and interact harmoniously.
Hi Eilera, thank you for your time. How are you?
Hello dear. I’m good, thank you. I’ve had a much relaxed Sunday and I’m now answering your interview with HIM’s “Venus Doom” playing in the background. All fine
First of all, the title of the new album is “Darker Chapter… and Stars”. Why did you choose this title? Why is this chapter ‘darker’ if compared to your previous albums?
This title refers to the two main characteristics of this album: darker than my previous work, in its music and in its lyrics, yet filled with positive energy. I wrote and composed this album during a darker period of my life. I thought I should use this challenge that life was offering to me: use this darker energy and create something positive out of it. It was thus the perfect opportunity for me to pay a homage to the roots of rock and metal. I have always opened new doors with my songs and pushed metal music to its limits. This time the challenge was: make songs that would honour the roots of Rock and Metal, in my own style.
Why did you choose to divide the album into two parts? Is there a particular reason?
Yes there is. When I started working on this album I had decided to explore the possibilities of the digital world. I wanted eilera.com to offer an exploration game for its visitors, with photos and a story associated to each and every song.I also decided that the album would first be released digitally only. And in order not to be cut from our public for too long again, we would release one part, then tour, then release the second part, and play more shows. After that we released a special limited CD edition that can currently be bought in French shops, or via the websites of Season of Mist and Levykauppa äx.
I listened to the album and I really liked it as I found different worlds coexisting and living harmoniously. It was a real pleasure listening to this record. How long did it take you to write this album?
Nice. Your reaction is a reward in itself to a loooong working process. It took me several months, five to six I would say, to write the album. Some of it I wrote in Helsinki, some of it I wrote in France. For the first time I had decided to focus on humans instead of nature. Hence the 11 stories with this female character at the heart of each of them. This woman you can see at the back of the CD cover and on the opening page of eilera.com.
I am very curious to learn more about ”Fly”, “Celtic”, “Passport Please”, “At a +- Roads” and “From Pink to Black”. What can you tell us about these songs?
My intention with “Fly” was to make a heavy song that would sound like a standard of metal music in the Metallica tradition, invite Max Lilja to play his brilliant cello-metal for me again on top of it, and add the power of the Ocean to it in a much personal way. I wanted to make a song that could sound like a classic and fill it up with the pure freedom and power of the Ocean. There is a strong anti-formatting message to it. “Celtic” belongs to the filmic tradition I’ve been evolving into from the start. It is a ballad, a moment of peace and beauty.When you hear it you can feel the Blue Mountains of my homeland around you, a big source of inspiration for me. Whenever I need a moment of rest, or when I need to go back to the essentials of Life and forget about the rest, the mountains are always there for me. An ocean of blue mountains, like waves of the Ocean, heart of the Celtic tradition. “Passport Please” is pure, row energy. Violent and fun at the same time. It cuts into the air like a metal blade. It is the most punk of the songs. It is meant to slap you in the face whenever prejudice might get a grip on you. I like the very modern catchy side of it. I think this song is a good combination of my early songs in “Facettes” with the “Darker Chapter… and Star” sound. I had an idea in mind for “At a +-Roads”: combine what I love of a Western cowboy film soundtrack with a heavy sound. Make it groove, make it my own. Create a space of imagination for whoever might be working at his desk with headphones on his ears, fancying that he/she is riding a horse in the wildness… The song is about freedom of the earth versus religion. “From Pink to Black” is about the questions that any of us might ask oneself when our heart has been broken. This is the oldest subjects of all for a song and yet a subject that will never die. We all fall in love, we all get hurt, and we will all fall in love again. For this song I wanted a sexy groove. I wanted to fill it with “americanization”. Europe and USA in one song, uniting on an international subject.
I read you started playing music when you were twelve. How did time change your way to make music?
It has not changed much really: I still compose and play in a spontaneous way. When I was in music school I used to boycott music theory because I could not stand the “organization of freedom” it represented to me. Today I have found a balance, this might be the change: I accept the extreme organization and precision that recording demands, but I have not given up on my freedom in making my songs.
Before embarking on your current project, you were part of a melodic death metal band called Suspiria, soon after renamed Chrysalis. Do you still have some melodic death metal influences when it comes to songwriting?
I think so, yes. I dislike the obvious yet I still use and love my roots. In my own way.
If compared to melodic death metal influences, are there still any electronic influences from your side project called Bliss?
Yes, definitely. I love electronics. They are less present in “Darker Chapter… and Stars” than in my previous CDs because there was less space for them there. It was an album for more classical instruments, especially for big walls of guitars, fat bass and voice.
In your opinion, what are the main, straightforward differences between this album and the previous one?
It sounds more like a band album. It is more masculine. Less experimental; more traditional. It sounds more live. A sort of metal Lord of the Rings with muscles and magic, written by a tiny woman.
What are your plans, career goals or aspirations that you would like to achieve as a singer and as a band?
Make songs for as long as I breathe on this earth, sing them to people for as long as I have a voice. I feel like I’m only at the beginning of this adventure.
Are you already working on news songs for a new album?
Yes, I have a few on the side. I can feel the excitement of the next album already. Full of light after this darker chapter.
Do you think your future sound will go towards an heavier or more melodic direction?
More melodic. I think that after this chapter I’ll be done with the heavier sound for a while. I have been through the extremes, from the lightest to the heaviest. The next album will be that of balance.
Is there a question that no-one asks you that you wish someone would?
Actually you have killed my frustration with your interview: before you I had not had an opportunity to speak about my lyrics. So, merci dear.
Well, Eilera, thank you very much for your precious time! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Keep supporting music and the metal scene! Keep the passion alive. For it will keep you alive. See you!
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