Interview by Arianna Govoni
Metal has never been so seductive… Over the latest years, Swedish act Eleine has gained a great fanbase all over the world, thanks especially both to the tour that the band help in 2016 with Moonspell and the awesome dedication that the quintet has always shown off. Waiting to celebrate the upcoming newest release, ‘All Shall Burn’, out this Friday, Femme Metal has exchanged a few words with the masterminds of this band, the singer Madeleine Liljestam and the guitar player Rikard Ekberg. This is what they told us about the new EP and the upcoming new commitments of the band, including a new European tour with Myrath!
Hi Madeleine, hi Rikard, welcome to Femme Metal. This is our very first interview for this webzine. How are you both doing?
Madeleine: Hi! Thank you for having us. We’re doing great and we are very excited to release our new EP. Two singles has been released and have done very well.
Rikard: And one more track is set to be released at the same time as the EP on November 22nd!
Surprisingly you get back on track with a new promising EP, ‘All Shall Burn’, that will see the light on November 22nd. Are you feeling energic and ready to unveil what you’re going to offer the metal audience?
Madeleine: Well, it can’t be that much of a surprise? We are looking forward to this release and our followers are just as excited as we are, if not more!
In order to give a little appetizer of this EP, you’ve filmed the video for the opening track of the album, “Enemies”, a single that is indeed heavier compared to what we’ve listened to in the past with your debut album and the following work, “Until The End”. As usual, I have to say that you’re always so amazing in the care you put in your outfits and the creation of your videos. What can you tell me about it?
Rikard: Yes, It is a bit heavier and darker than many parts of “Until The End”, a natural evolution I would say. Thank you! I love challenging myself with just going with the flow regarding which style the video will be. Madeleine and I set a story, then we plan how it should be filmed. I spend hours editing and creating a natural flow within the video. It has to be interesting to watch, I have as a rule that if I (with my ADHD) get bored – I have to change something to make it more immersive.
Madeleine: These tracks reflect our lifes and what we’ve been through. We’re very happy with the recognition the singles have gotten so far. It is always what we as a band hope for, but really can’t count on since we always write what feels right, not what we think people want. At the same time I think our followers respect us because of that reason.
I’ve also noticed that the single has been positively welcomed and it keeps on gaining more views day by day! It’s fabulous! Did you expect such an incredible response from people?
Rikard: You never know what to expect when releasing new music. With each song we write, we take another step in evolving the sound that is ELEINE.
Madeleine: We are very happy to receive such a beautiful feedback and knowing that our fans love it, really confirms that they like what we’re doing. We never sit down on a Monday morning and ask ourselves what kind of music we should write to please the audience. We really want people to listen to ELEINE for the music and lyrics WE write, from the bottom of our hearts. And that is what “Enemies” and our beautiful followers have confirmed to us. It means a lot.
Recently you’ve played a very special show, “An Evening With Eleine”. What about this gig? Will you make a DVD out of it or will only be a special night that fans won’t sure forget?
Madeleine: “An Evening With Eleine” was a very exclusive event. It’s an evening neither we nor the ones that attended will ever forget. No DVD this time! This was one of those “you had to be there” kind of things. It was pure metal magic!
Rikard: We had fans traveling from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Denmark.. even all the way from Australia for this event! T’was epic. The air was filled with unity, love and metal. We played our longest set to date, and gave the audience 1,5 hour of an Eleine show.
Will this EP anticipate the next full length or do we have to consider it as a sort of independent release?
Madeleine: This EP is for sure a taste of what’s to come.
Concerning the new guys, did the new guys contribute to the writing of the lyrics and the music or has been the material completely written by you two only?
Rikard: Everything is written by Madeleine and myself, and that’s the way it has always been in ELEINE. With that said, we do not exclude any ideas. If someone has a tasty idea, it will be included. Well, Ludwig has been in the band for about two years now, so I guess you are referring to Anton and Jesper. Either way, the guys contribute with their great skills as musicians a lot of positive energy!
Madeleine: As Rikard says, it is important to give positive energy and be a team player, otherwise I don’t really understand what one is doing in a band. No writing contribution yet from the guys, but I’m sure they have some ideas laying around to present to us! ☺ People forget that not all musicians want or are able to write music, so that’s not something that is a must to be a member of a band.
I have to say that I’ve been astonished when I’ve listened to your personal performance of Rammstein’s ‘Mein Herz Brennt’ The performance is indeed amazing and you’ve managed to give more power and emphasis to such a famous song of the European metal scene! So the question pops up itself: Rikard, how hard was for you to learn the lyrics, since German is known for being a “hard and tough” language to speak and sing as well?
Rikard: Thank you! I’m happy you like… I do too haha. It wasn’t that hard really, but it was fun to do. “Mein Herz Brennt” and Rammstein has been a part of our lives for many many years and this was our way to thank them for their music and inspiration all this time. Also, I’m part German, so I have that going for me as well!
I know the following question may sound a bit weird to you, but have you ever considered of singing in different language than English? After this performance of yours with the German language, I shall advice to speak some Italian or French or Spanish! It would be a valid idea!
Rikard: Haha let’s start with German and English.
Eleine is indeed a band who created its path itself. You constantly promote your music by yourselves, you book your own shows by yourself without any external agent (please correct me if I’m wrong), you pay attention to your own image, your videos and so on. How difficult is nowadays to manage to be so determinated and professional in an area of interest that is becoming more and more competitive? So far what has been the biggest obstacle you had to deal with?
Madeleine: I’m happy you see that. We’ve been working hard since the very beginning and still are. And why wouldn’t we, right? This is what we live for. ELEINE makes us feel alive and that’s why it’s so easy to work our asses off for this. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.. and there are certain things you have to push aside to reach you goal. A lot of people may say that Rikard and I have sacrificed a lot, but we don’t see it like that. We live through ELEINE and are certain that we will continue to thrive and grow to be one of the great. The biggest obstacle for most bands is money. Investing so much time and money into a band and at the same time you have to be able to get the creative juices flowing, that is the biggest obstacle I can see.
Reconnecting to my previous question, as you may have noticed, it becomes harder and harder fo new bands to have their own space in the music industry. A lot of thing are missing, like the interest by labels, promoter or people themselves who prefer to invest their own money in more famous bands’ gigs or they kinda prefer seeing live shows on demand/streaming rather than giving their own support to valid bands. In your opinion, what’s really missing here? Why is getting harder to support music?
Rikard: I’d say that it has always been hard to claim a space amongst bands. But I know what you mean, thanks to the inter webs – we are aware of so many more bands nowadays. There are loads of great bands out there, and I can imagine that there have been great bands that never made it before the internet as well. To “make it” is a mix of several thing, of which two are dedication and passion. I get why many only invest in larger bands, since they themselves want to profit. So they can continue their business and put food on the table. But these larger bands also started somewhere, they were also “a nobody” playing for a drunk guy and his dog at a shit pub somewhere. I believe it is the same struggle today, just a slightly different format.
A lot of metalheads had the pleasure of getting in touch with you during the tour you had with Moonspell. What do you remember about that experience? And what lesson did you learn?
Madeleine: Touring with Moonspell was our first tour ever. It will always be one of our greatest and most beautiful memories. I am very grateful for it. We really enjoyed it, at the same time we had some difficulties during the tour. But, the most important part of it all was to meet our beautiful fans, and gain new ones.
Rikard: Yes, I totally agree with Madeleine. The thing that I remember most was that Richardo from Moonspell and I look very much alike. I wasn’t prepared for that, haha.
You’ll embark in March on a new European tour, supporting Myrath. Personally I cannot wait to see you both again, because you’re a real force of nature on stage! Do you have any expectation concerning this upcoming tour?
Rikard: That is correct! The first show is February 28th in Sofia, Bulgaria – And from there we will perform all over Europe as support to Myrath. Thank you, we really put a lot of thought and effort into our performances. I expect to have a good time and work hard!
Madeleine: As the last time we toured Europe, we are so looking forward to meet our fans and gain new ones. I know Myrath and Eleine are a magical match for a tour, and I believe the air will have a special vibe each evening. I am so looking forward to it. It will be great seeing you again too! Thank you so much ☺
What about the future plans?
Rikard: To continue create metal.
Thanks a lot guys for having me today. As our tradition wants, I call the interviewees to share the final words with us, so I call you to speak!
Madeleine: Thank you forthis interview! We’d like to thank, as always, our beautiful fans, old and new, for being the best fans a band could ask for. You are the fuel to everything we do, and we love you endlessly.