Metal CallOut's Exclusive Video Interview W/ Chrigel of Eluveitie

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A few weekends ago we got the opportunity to interview Eluveitie’s main man and mastermind, Chrigel, at the band’s Salt Lake City stop of their tour with Holy Grail and 3 Inches of Blood.  Unfortunately, what would have otherwise been a great interview was plagued with all kinds of sound complications (I blame the rave going on next door) and microphone malfunctions, leaving us with the need to transcribe the whole thing and add subs. Some sections of the audio were completely unsalvageable so we apologize for those gaps where they appear. At any rate, enjoy, and if you happen to catch something we missed in the subs feel free to add it in the comments section! 

After the jump you can read the full interview of you don't want to look at my ugly mug or listen to that shit Black Eyed Peas song playing in the background. 

Eluveitie Interview Transcription:

MCO: So you guys just got back from South America, right? Here pretty recently. How was that?  

Chrigel: Hot

Yeah.

Terribly hot, yeah. But cool now, it dropped of course.

So a little bit of a temperature…

Pretty much, yeah. I think that like between two days we had a temperate difference of like 60 degrees.  

So I was like...

So, uh, this is what your third or fourth time in the US?

Uh… It’s probably our fourth or fifth, yeah.

And your first in Utah, which is pretty exciting.

 First time in Utah! For us as well. 

So what’s coming up next, what’s after this tour?

Well after this tour we’ll go back home and take a break for about a week or something then we’ll do some touring in Europe. During summer we don’t play that much, we just play like weekends, festivals in Europe, and we basically want to take time to finish the upcoming album, just to do the recording …

You got any summer festivals or anything planned? 

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying. During summer we just play like weekends and festivals, just not in the States, though. 

Okay. So switching gears a little bit the new album Everything Remains. It actually made all of our staff’s Top 10 of 2010 lists.  It was on all of our staffs. So we were pretty excited with it. 

Whoa

We noticed a little bit of maybe some experimentation going on along kinda with obviously the natural shift of the band. Has your writing process changed at all?

Yes and no. I mean, for one I guess it’s just a really natural thing. Like I mean playing- wise we’ve developed over the years and it’s the same for song writing. It’s just a natural process. But basically I don't think it’s changed that much. What is a little different from the last album was that I have been working with Ivo, one of the guitar players more than, well on the previous albums......on the recent album we worked together on some songs and three songs were actually completely written by him. And I guess.....  

And you guys started off actually as a studio band, is that right?

Yeah

And then, uh, you evolved kinda into this big eight piece thing. I think the standard operating procedure is; local classified, “metal band seeks drummer”.  How did you guys, how did that come to be that you were…

Well, actually the line up of the band was clear from day one. 

Oh! Okay.

And, well the only reason that I originally formed it as a studio project, the only reason for that was that it was simply not possible to find musicians to form a band like that. The idea of being a band like this was years before it finally happened. And I was trying to get a band like that. But then I think there was no folk metal bands doing it like that. There have been a few bands around doing like, experimentation and stuff like that but it was not established at all and it was not very known. So, I mean people who had been around in the metal scene for some time told me, I said I wanted to make a band like that death metal and folk metal including bagpipes and stuff and people were like “are you freaking insane, or what?!” So we just did not work to find musicians and form a band. So one day I thought “okay, maybe it could work as a studio project because I can get all these musicians that don’t have any obligations and they could just come to the theater and record their shit and just go.

And that’s actually how it worked out. I just wrote a couple songs and recorded them, gave everyone a CD, said; “this is your stuff, practice that, come to the studio on that day” and they can leave. And that’s how we first started. The only time we all together, all the musicians was for a band picture. There was no band rehearsal or anything like that. 

And then you guys just, it was kinda a committed group and you went on, or…?

Well actually, no. None of the people actually knew each other. I was just asking around like “Hey, do you think you can record this or that?” And that’s how I meet those people.  But then after the Ven CD was released, it got really, really great responses everywhere and we sold out of it and stuff and we got like requests for live shows and that whole thing. And then we just kinda sat down together and said “yeah, can we do that?” But then, at that point it was easier to form a band and every thing because there was a name, there was a CD, there was something to show that’s what it is, that how it sounds. So it was easier and it worked for a band. 

Lyrically, I know you do a lot in Celtic tongue and also English. What made you decide to kind of pursue multiple languages on the records, and I know that you work with like an expert actually, right?

Yeah we’re always working with scientists. Well, the main language in our songs is English which is just the easiest thing to do, I guess. As a metal band. I love to sing in English it’s just kind of a…… thing. But still on the other hand, since we were a … lyrically as well actually as musically …...... so it’s kinda obvious, or natural to also use Celtic language.

So rumor is, maybe it’s not a rumor, but the next album is going to be acoustic, kind of in the same vein as Evocation. Can you give us a yes or no on that?

Yes, I can give you a no.  

Oh, okay.

I don’t know. I mean, yeah when I started contemplating for Evocation it was clear from the beginning actually that it will be like a two piece concept.

There will be a part two but we have not decided when we will do that. Probably after that next album, probably after that, but that next album will be a metal album. 

So on the acoustic albums did you actually set out and say “Ok, we’re going to make an acoustic album” or is it a collection of songs that you’ve always written and you make a compilation sort of? 

No it happened quite naturally actually. The idea of wanting something acoustic we’ve had in mind for years. And it was just something that was kind of a challenge, something we really wanted to try out. And we had no idea what we would have at that point . We just knew........ folk music …but we just wanted to try to create our own....  And that’s basically it. We just sat down together and made it…………….

So how was the record company response to you saying “oh, we’re a metal band, we’re going to do an acoustic record” ? 

Well, funny enough, they were quite excited about it.

And the fans what’s been their response.

As well. I mean, luckily. To be honest with you we were quite nervous. We had no idea how people would take it…. I mean it’s really, completely different and we new it was also like “risky” and maybe many people may get pissed off and just not like the album at all. Yeah, we just wanted to do it and we had no idea how people would react. After all it was received very very well actually. Which is good, of course. 

So Eluveitie is on tour right now in North America with Holy Grail and 3 Inches of Blood  and you guys can catch them there. We’ll have the dates on the website. And thank you very much do you have anything else you’d like to….

For me, just the say thank you and thanks to all the people watching that have an interest in our band. 
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About Josh Johns

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Chief Editor and Writer for Metal CallOut. Favorite sub genre of heavy metal includes Black, Death, Folk and Traditional. Deathscript can be found at @realJoshJohns or Google+.

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