Interview by Miriam C.
Personally speaking, every release by Austria’s Symphonic Progressive Metal masters Edenbridge represents an important event which has to be celebrated with an extensive interview. In this specific case, “Dynamind” is their tenth album and it offers a brand new musical approach and a more olistic approach. If it looks like all of the sudden I’ve became a new-age aficionado, just read with us this great interview and discover with us the truth.
Welcome Lanvall and Sabine, welcome back to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you and how life is treating you?
Lanvall: I think life is treating us fine which we have just returned from a week and a half tour in China where we played one of the biggest shows so far in Nanjing in front of 35000 people and some great club shows too. Tomorrow the album will be released and so many things were going on this year in a certain area and yeah, everything is great so far.
Sabine: That’s right. Sometimes I got the feeling that my soul doesn’t heal so fast especially after the tour in China because I got a jet-lag for 1 week [laughs]. Despite everything, it was a great thing.
So, Edenbridge tomorrow will release their tenth album “Dynamind”. What you can share about the overall production?
Lanvall: Well, it’s pretty much the same as what we did before: we start by collecting ideas and then, start to work them out and consequently, arrange them. The whole process can span throughout a long period and for example, it took me 18 months for the songwriting process. Of, course, when all songs are finished we can make a plan for the production and since we have our studios, we recorded everything there except for the drums which we used a different studio. When finally everything was recorded, we went to England to work again with Karl Groom which is kinda a never-changing winning team thing and it’s always great to mix with him. It lasted around 2 weeks and this time, it was much faster and then, Mika Jussila from Finnvox Studios did the mastering and yeah, this was the entire process and it wasn’t different than the other times.
Well, I was literally impressed by this new musical elements that you put together inside Edenbridge‘s traditional trademarks. I would like to know more about it how these ideas born? I can listen to some folk-ish and folk-ish elements, I don’t know… so, I’m curious right now.
Lanvall: I think this is kind of a natural process when you let things in and when you try to explore new musical fields. Of course, you get inspired by things and you play around a little bit, this is the great process of creating music. If you are openminded, those ideas will come and you have just to embrace them and I think it’s natural for a band dealing with some musical variation because that avoids to repeat yourself over and over again. This time with the folk-ish elements in the single “From the Other Side” were primarily based on two old themes that I had in my drawer for 17 years because I found them on a sheet of paper which was originally ideas for the album “Aphelion” back in 2002. This time, I thought it was the right occasion to use them and see where they lead and then, everything falls into place when I had a walk in the woods. Instantly, the chorus and the pre-chorus came and I had to run home to write down everything because yes, I wanted to register them. Also, the doom-y influences were interesting because they fit in the song “Tauerngold” and I have to say that I like some doom metal bands like Avatarium which I saw even live at the 70000 Tons of Metal Festival. I think the album is quite varied and it’s much heavier than the previous one because this time the orchestrations have less space. We can say that there is a bit of new direction on this album.
I also noticed the fact that you used less orchestrations this time and do you think that this is the new way or do you think that in the next album you won’t use them at all?
Lanvall: Next time it will be orchestra only [both laughs]
Then I’m looking forward [laughs].
Lanvall: I was just kidding… well, this wasn’t something that was planned of course. The simple reason is the first four songs of this new full-length didn’t need orchestrations and I don’t think it’s a process that has to be forced but this can change on the next album, I mean, take for example “All Our Yesterdays”, “Edge of the World” and “What Dream May Come” feature a lot of orchestrations. Lately, I tend to use the orchestration as an effect than to play all the time because you need to find space for the orchestral parts and I don’t want to steal too much attention from the guitarist. I think, this time everything fell into place correctly.
As we know, one of the main trademarks of Edenbridge‘s music lies on the cover artworks. Now, I would like to have from both of you, a general impression on how “Dynamind”‘s artwork links on the lyrics treated in it and do you have any special meaning for this chalice portrayed in the cover? Additionally, the title album “Dynamind” is quite holistic in a way…
Sabine: The album is not a concept per se, but it does have a red line like always in the lyrics. The holy grail on the cover stays for innovism for the combination of heart and mind because this is always important to combine. Instead, the title “Dynamind” is a combination of two words which the first one refers to a momentum that we are certainly experiencing on Earth and the second one refers to mindful spirit because humanity is moving dynamically between the polarities present on the Earth. It’s necessary to believe that we are always too much judgy and critic towards each other and we never enquire what there is behind. We never use a deeper approach and we never undertake to discover the mystery and the essence of it. We need to know what’s happening behind if not we think that we are always on a good path. So, we need more communication and that’s why we need a connection between heart and mind. Mostly, it’s about the idea of “Dynamind” because when we are experiencing this connection and we are interested in what lies behind then what can result in is spiritual development.
Well, I completely understand agree what you are saying because we have totally forgotten what lies behind and this, it bring us to be always focused on the now and not the future…
Sabine: But for the future we have always to develop the current moment and therefore when connecting with the others, we must attempt to ask them an opinion of what they think of what lies behind.
In order to promote “Dynamind” were released two singles: the lyric video “Live and Let Go” and the official videoclip “On the Other Side”. Would you mind to share some insights about these two songs?
Lanvall: In a way, lyrically speaking “Live and Let Go” (watch video here) relates to one of the songs published on our previous album “The Great Momentum”, “The Moment Is Now” and it deals the same kind of topic: live in the current moment, not in the past and not in the future and you have to get rid of everything and live in the present. While with “On the Other Side”, the idea came when we were in the Austrian Alps during hiking and the funny thing we saw was this cow putting a lot of effort into overstepping the rivulet and reach the grass on the other side of the stream. For me, all this instantly triggered the title for the song because the cow is a synonym of what the neighbor has is always better, so there it comes to the saying ‘the grass is greener’. However, this might turn out to be not real because we have the bad vice to watch what the others possess without respecting what we have.
According to the press release, you mentioned that the final epic song “The Last of His Kind” is strictly connected to the title tracks of “The Grand Design” and “MyEarthDream”. Considering that “MyEarthDream” and “The Grand Design” were respectively published in 2008 and 2006, so almost more of 10 years. In the general picture, how does everything gets connected?
Lanvall: Yeah, it’s a long break in between and as you said, I started to treat those lyrical thematics already back on “The Grand Design” and “MyEarthDream” album too. However, there was any good lyrical connection for continuing this trilogy as it is now but naturally, in the next years, it might offer a certain continuity with another part. Especially, with “The One of His Kind” was unfortunately inspired by the catastrophic death of certain animal species whether the human is involved or not and the lyrics flowed so naturally that almost written by itself. What lies behind the meaning of the lyric is simply that until humanity is driven by greed and the need for more. All these events will keep happening if the financial system won’t change and we’ll keep burning down the Amazonas after all everything will be impossible to stop this domino effect.
As per Edenbridge‘s tradition, in every full-length is present a guest vocalist: this time is the turn of Thomas Strübler which sings on both solo and choir parts. Would you mind to introduce him and how was collaborating with him?
Lanvall: Thomas‘s voice was featured also in the previous album “The Great Momentum”. It happened everything quite randomly: I was running through my CD collection and I found a couple of those including him and I seriously got stuck with his voice that I contacted him straight away. In the beginning, I just contacted him for some backing vocals and choir parts and then, we discovered that his voice matches perfectly with Sabine‘s. The funny thing is when you listening to his choirs’ parts alone you can feel Sabine‘s in those parts although she not singing there, however when Sabine‘s vocals starts, you can feel like there’s a unity. This time, the general outcome turned out to be better than the last time and Thomas came to visit us even though he lives in Salzburg, we guested him for two days during the recording process. He’s a very relaxing, quiet and nice person to work with and it’s always wonderful to work with him in the studio. Hopefully, we’ll be on board next time too, I believe so.
I would like to ask you more information about your vocal training because, of course my German is really bad, but I think our readers will be really curious to learn more about the approach that you use…
Sabine: First of all, there’s a lot of work over the body and for me, breathing is the most important thing ever. It’s always up to how you feel daily, so it’s important to have deeper breathing because it’s strictly connected with your voice. I never try to copy somebody else but my attempt is a complete research of my inner voice and bring out my emotional side. Of course, together with the music too. Also, it quite special working with Edenbridge and Lanvall because we knew each for a long time so, it’s something mysterious [laughs].
Then, I would like to ask you if you have any updates about the next album by Voiciano.
Sabine: Yeah, I would like to do a Voiciano album but I don’t know when the time is ripe for this because we’re busy with Edenbridge and with other projects too. However, when the time will right, we’ll record another one.
Lanvall: I think, it also comes to the inspiration too since Voiciano is an entirely acoustic album and in 2013, the perfect timing arise. Maybe if some project is so big, like it happened during the “The Bonding” album session, it felt good to reduce things to an acoustic album. You never know, as Sabine previously told you, there are so many projects that I’m working on aside from Edenbridge. For example, I composed some film music and I wrote a symphonic piece on which 300 people are on stage included also my guitar lines too. So, in the end, it’s just a matter of time.
Sabine: Also, our plan is going on tour this year, probably it can happen afterword.
After this tour that you have planned together with Visions of Atlantis, do you have any plans for additional touring or this will be the only occasion that your fans will have the chance to meet you in the EU for this year?
Lanvall: I hope there will be more. I mean, the festival season is coming and we’re looking forward to see if there is any chance there. Naturally, there’ll be another tour in China and in this regard, we’re thinking about a headlining tour in the fall of 2020 but this all in the pipeline and nothing is concrete now. Up to now, the only confirmed tour is the one in company with Visions of Atlantis. Well, we’ll see what’s coming in our way.
So, this was my last question and yeah, Lanvall and Sabine, thank you so much for this interview. Now it’s your space to say hi to your fans and our readers as you like.
Lanvall & Sabine: Thank you so much. Yeah, of course thanks to all the readers of Femme Metal Webzine and please go and check our new album “Dynamind”. Buy it, stream it or whatever and I hope you see you all during our upcoming European tour.