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Interview with Eluveitie

Interview with Chrigel Glanzmann


Eluveitie Chrigel Glanzmann


Can you please detail how you came up with the name ‘Eluveitie’ and what it was that inspired you to begin your metal journey?

When I founded the band 10 years ago, I clearly wanted a name in Gaulish language - of course. I basically went through tons of Gaullish inscriptions looking for a short, well-sounding word. Of course the Gaulish sentence 'eluveitie' made perfect sense, for it simply means 'I, the Helvetian'. It was found during archaeological excavations - carved in a pot of clay. In case you don't know what a Helvetian is - the Helvetians simply were that Celtic (Gaulish) tribe, that inherited the country we come from. Actually the name Helvetia is still in use as an old country name for Switzerland. If you visit a Swiss website for instance, the extension is .ch which stands for 'confederation of Helvetia'. So yeah, that inscription made things clear - that was the perfect name for our band.


Chrigel Glanzmann - Vocals / Mandola / Mandolin / Tin and Low Whistles / Bagpipes / Bodhràn

Eluveitie Patrick Kistler


You've been described to me as both Pagan Metal and Folk Metal. How would you describe your style of music to a close friend? And which genre do you think the shops should be placing your CD under?

To be honest, we don't give a shit. After all it's just fuckin rock'n roll, isn't it? ;)
We don't think much about what we should be labelled as. That's rather you press people's job, than ours anyway, haha! We just do our thing, play the music we love and don't care much about what's going around us. When I formed Eluveitie there was no folk or pagan metal scene anyway. So what!


How does 'Everything Remains' differentiate musically to 'Vên'?

Well, to write about that kind of thing would rather be you press people's job, than ours, right? ;) To us it's basically the natural, organic development and progress we made during the last 10 years, that lies between Vên and Everything remains.

Patrick Kistler - Tin and Low Whistles / Bagpipe

Eluveitie Anna Murphy


What kind of costs usually go into creating and releasing an album? And how does the record label help with the overall recording/distribution process?

It depends on what kind of an album you wanna record. How much time you spend in the studio. How good (and thus expensive) the studio you rent is. And it also depends on a billion other things. And so on. It can go from maybe $5000 or $10,000 to whatever $500,000. Google a bit, you'll find lots of information about that, I guess. Same for the second question - that depends on what kind of a contract you have with what kind of a record label. And speaking of contracts - contracts are usually confidential. Usually recording isn't much of a record label's business, while releasing and distributing an album is, of course. That's what record labels are here for. Again - check the internet for that kind of information.


Anna Murphy
- Hurdygurdy / Vocals / Flute

Eluveitie Merlin Sutter


What would be your most memorable gig to date and why?

I'd say that was the headline show in India we played as one of our first shows of the 'Everything Remains World Tour'. I guess it was sometime in early 2010. Why? Well, for many reasons. Firstly it was our first show in India. We had no idea what to expect - Is there a metal scene? Do we have fans over there? We didn't know. So, we were positively surprised when we entered the stage and stood in front of something between 20,000 and 25,000 people. We were even more surprised when we noticed that most of them sang along with our songs (even the ones in Gaulish language). We were treated like superstars you know, including red carpet, personal butlers, armed bodyguards, etc. Kinda crazy! So yeah, that was quite a memorable show.



Merlin Sutter - Drums


Eluveitie Ivo Henzi


You have quite a selection of music videos. Which one are you most proud of and why?

I couldn't say that there is one we're most proud of, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say that I'm glad we survived the shooting of the 'A Rose For Epona' video clip, haha. We were fucking freezing! We shot that clip right after a European tour we had last November - it was shot in Poland. That day it was pretty cold; around 10° or 15° C below zero (14° to 5° Fahrenheit) and on top of that it was windy a lot, all day long. The video clip was shot outside, somewhere in the middle of fucking nowhere - there was no place to go to warm up for a while. We started shooting around 11am and worked until 10pm pretty much without breaks. And of course we couldn't be wearing heavy winter jackets, etc. (since we're shooting a video clip) - we just wore our stage clothes (simple shirts, etc). So yeah, we were freezing our asses off and couldn't feel our limbs anymore. But, it was worth it though. :)


Ivo Henzi - Guitars


Eluveitie Meri Tadic


What do you, Eluveitie, tend to base your lyrics on and could you quote your personal favourite?

Eluveitie always was, is and will be focused on Celtic history and culture. That's the main topic of the band's concept. All my lyrics are historically well founded and substantiated. Since day one, I'm also working together with diverse scientists (historians, celtologists) from different universities.


What brand of instruments are you using and how did any endorsements come about?

I don't know all the brands our band members are playing with, of course. We do work together with a lot of companies endorsing us (from Tama to Hughes & Kettner, to Sennheiser to Schecter, etc). Check our website, it's all listed there.


Meri Tadic - Fiddle / Vocals


Eluveitie Kay Brem


What have been some of the more interesting adventures you’ve had with the band? Have there been many, if any, lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way?

Guess so, yeah. But I couldn't pick out one. But making your way as a band pretty much is an amazing adventure though (and on the road there are countless crazy adventures anyway). Including thousands of things you'll have to learn the hard way.


What have been some of the more bizarre signings you’ve had or the most bizarre experiences in general during your time with the band?

Well, as mentioned before, there are many quite bizarre experiences whilst being on the road. But I guess I couldn't pick out one.

Kay Brem - Bass

Eluveitie Simeon Koch


Most bands tell me metal has no money in it, so what do you all do besides playing in the band in order to earn your living?

Well, that's halfway true - if you wanna get rich (and if you wanna get there quickly), then you won't start a fucking metal band. But it's not true that it's not possible to live from a metal band. It's basically a question of how far you make it as a band. I do have many friends in other bands who make a living from their bands (just to give you some examples: Children Of Bodom, Lamb Of God, Kreator, Amon Amarth, etc.). And it's the same for us. We're not doing anything else besides the band - Eluveitie is our job with which we earn our living. There wouldn't even be time to have jobs besides the band. Eluveitie's actually much more than a 100% job already. We're not rich though, of course. Well, especially since we're eight members.


Simeon Koch - Guitars

How hard has it been to function as a band with so many members? And why did you decide to use such a variety of instruments?

I don't think it's any harder than working with a three piece band. Working together efficiently and on a professional level (as well as getting along together) is something you'll have to learn as a band anyway, no matter how many members there are.

Regarding the instruments: As mentioned earlier, when I formed the band there was actually no pagan/folk metal scene. It wasn't like "ey, let's form a pagan/folk metal band!" Eluveitie was basically the realization of a long-cherished dream I had - the dream to combine the two kinds of music, that I simply love most, which would be melodic death metal and traditional Celtic folk music. And so it was also clear from the very beginning, which instruments should be part of the line-up. All the instruments we use are just common instruments in traditional Celtic folk music. It was also clear from the very beginning that I wanted to use the real instruments (and thus that Eluveite would become a band with at least eight members) instead of using samples and synths. I don't like that crap! Things have to be handmade. I mean, don't get me wrong, a keyboard is a cool instrument… if it's used as a keyboard. But if you use it to imitate a bagpipe or whatever, then why the fuck don't you also program the drums and use guitar samples? You see what I mean?!

 Helvetios - 2012 Eluveitie Helvetios

Everything Remains (As It Never Was) - 2010

Eluveitie Everything Remains (As It Never Was)
 Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion - 2009 Eluveitie  Evocation I: The Arcane Dominion

Slania live edition (live @ Metalcamp 2008) - 2008

Slania - 2008

Spirit - 2006

Vên - 2003, 2004, 2008

Eluveitie Slania

Let’s pretend you were creating a tour survival guide. What would be your top three tips for surviving a long tour with the band?

Haha, good question. Hmm, okay, it would probably be:

1. Painkillers, something against cold and hand sanitizer/wipes in your toiletry bag will make your life easier. Try to stay healthy anyway.

2. Understand that you're on tour to work, not to party (and if you're support act, which you will be in the beginning, then also understand you're on tour because you're allowed to, not because you deserve it). So, enjoy and have a great time, but also work and learn. Respect your headlining band and learn from them. Respect the tour manager and learn from him. Most of all, respect the crew and learn from them. 

3. Learn and get better! Being on tour is an amazing opportunity to become better - you play a show every single day! Every day you can think about the shows you played before and about what can be improved. Every day you can try to make things better. That's awesome, daily band rehearsal. Plus you have the chance to spend time with bands that have been in the business for much longer than you and watch their shows daily - an awesome opportunity to learn from them.


Have you ever had any mystical experiences?

That depends on how you define mystical. If you mean something neo-pagan ritual like, then no. For I don't think much of that kinda stuff. But to bow to natures laws is something fundamental, in my opinion. If you wander through the breathtaking landscapes of the alps for instance, where you are completely alone and far from any human civilization, completely at nature's mercy,  surrounded by snow-covered, gigantic and vast rock mass, where you'll face complete and perfect silence, there you begin to realize how incredibly small, vulnerable and unimportant you actually are; Part of nature. Part of one immense whole, but not a very important part. That knowledge and feeling leaves you awestruck on one hand, but it also fills your soul with calm, serenity and a childlike joy. Such experiences are mystical enough for me. And such experiences are actually also my main source of inspiration - they are where the music of Eluveitie comes from.



Eluveitie Website

Eluveitie Facebook

Eluveitie Myspace

Eluveitie YouTube

Eluveitie LastFm

Riot Entertainment


‘Interview with Eluveitie’ by Déa di Morté © 23 February 2012
Hails! to Chrigel for agreeing to participate and taking the time to complete this interview
All pictures courtesy of Manuel Vargas, Riot! and Eluveitie