Interview with Andreas Völkl
How did you come about obtaining the band name?
René got his inspiration out of a school book. The name 'Equilibrium' has room for many ways of interpretations. For example: harsh metal with melodic influences, good and evil, day and night and so on. For every member of us, it has a different meaning!
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before? And what inspired you originally to create this style of music?
It's not easy, but i'll try. It´s a mixture of elements of black, death and melodic metal. Besides that, we have a wide range of influences out of folk, Asian music, soundtracks, ambient and classic music. The songs themselves and also the lyrics are really epic and take you on a musical journey. It is a mixture of folk, classic, Asian, Irish and of course metal music. Besides that, sometimes a movie can be of inspiration.
What one thing do you feel sets you apart from the rest in this genre?
I think it is the special way René composes the music; it has its own spirit.
How long did it take to record Rekreatur?
Not that long, maybe some weeks; a week for guitars and another week for drums. The mixing and producing the keys and orchestration took the most time.
What is the inspiration behind Rekreatur?
It stands for the combination of our different music styles and the result of our special style of music, but it´s even more than that. It should remind people that everyone is in everything and also in every animal. The whole big existence! We should think about that from time to time. It´s about the everlasting period of humans and nature.
Which label, if any, have you produced this album through? And how much of a difference has it made to the overall production process?
Since our second album sagas, we´ve worked with Nuclear Blast. The main difference is the financial support. A big label can pay or at least borrow the bands studio costs. For the last two releases, including Sagas and Rekreatur, we recorded at our own studio. This was because René is working in Helion studio in Munich. Therefore we didn't have that added stress, but it´s not usual. The main advantage is the band is able to produce better cds, because of better or more expensive studios.
What kind of message are you trying to relay to your audience?
There is no special message, it is just about playing and having a great time with the audience. We have some messages in our lyrics, but they don´t have the weight like a political band has. We sing about mythology and self experiences. If you are into mythology or sagas, you will have an additional point of fun at our live shows, especially when you are into the lyrics. But the first message is our music itself!
Robert 'Robse' Dahn - 30 - Member since February 2010
Any plans for a music video?
Yes, there was a plan. We already released the video clip to 'Der Ewige Sieg'! I think it was a great success, our fans really like it. It was a big step from our first clip to this one.
When you go into recording mode, do you find it easy or challenging?
Every time it is a challenge, but beside this it´s, of course, fun!
Where does your main fan base / support tend to lie?
In first place is maybe germany because of we are germans and also because of our german lyrics. The interesting fact is that outside of germany, our fan base is not that different to germany! Some translate the lyrics, but most are focused on our music and i think it´s the way it should be. At first there is the music! Beside that we don´t have favourite countries or towns to play, we enjoy every single show!
René Berthiaume - 28 - Founding member
Studio Keys / Guitar / Composer
Influences: Classic, Asian, Irish and soundtrack music.
How hard has it been to get to this point?
At first, it was our school exams, apprenticeships and some studying. After that, of course, there were a lot! Haha... We had some problems with our first label Black Attakk. It´s not a secret that they didn´t pay their bands. After some changing on keys we decided to play with keyboard playback. That was a really great step, because since this time we all played to click track. Someone told me some time, musicians are complicated, but it´s nothing compared with a keyboarder! I hate stupid phrases like, some musicians are worth more than others, but now I have experience to say that it´s true! Haha... Then we had some internal conflicts with our former singer for many years. We grew in completely different directions, and that is the result for our split up in february 2010. To say it clearly, we kicked him out. It was not a surprise for him because we had had this conflict going for some time before. After this step, we have had more fun than ever and you can hear this on Rekreatur! We have a completely new foundation for working together. Overall, I think it was not that hard at all, because we all had a roof, bed and stuff to eat, and we were not that well known as we are now.
Who's responsible for the bands artwork?
We again worked with Alev. She already did the artwork for our 'Unbesiegt' shirt. René worked really close with her and we really like the result! Nine years ago, we had some different ideas and prototypes of our actual logo. As we had the right one, our former singer digitalised it.
Andreas Völkl - 26 - Founding member
Guitar / Lyrics since Rekreatur
What would be your most memorable gig / performance to date?
We have really had a lot of great shows which are worth the mention, but the first place goes to Wacken Open Air in 2005!
Have you got a favourite song you like to play? And is there one in particular your fans seem to prefer?
In Germany our fans prefer Met Und Unter Der Eiche. Beside these songs they really like Blut Im Auge, Unbesiegt, Wingthors Hammer and Heimwärts.
Can you recall a favourite venue during your years of touring?
Budapest is one of them because at that time it was the first time for us to play in Hungary. Dortmund was great. At Heidenfest 2008, all the bands had an audience of maybe 2000-3000 people. That was amazing!
Sandra Völkl - 24 - Founding member
If you created your own metal festival, who would you prefer was playing alongside you and where would that be?
Suidakra, riger, menhir, finntroll and manegarm. But these are basics and it´s a really incomplete list!
What kind of instruments do you use? And have you done the 'rock star' thing yet and smashed any equipment?
I play an Esp Explorer, and as backup a modified Fender Stratocaster with an Emg 81. It was cheaper than buying a new one. I didn´t have the money that time. Even if we would have an income like big rockstars, I would never smash my instruments. Okay, i understand, on the one hand it´s just for show, but I hate that waste of resources. I have played my guitar for nearly 10 years now and I would never smash it.
What are some of your favourite local acts? And have you had the chance to play alongside them?
Some of our favourite acts are Suidakra, Riger, Menhir, Die Apokaliyptischen Reiter, Secrets Of The Moon, maybe some other bands. We've now played with all of them. I can remember the first time we played with Suidakra I had some kind of shaking knees. That was around 2004.
Tuval 'Hati' Refaeli - 24 - Member since March 2010
What have been some of the more bizarre signings you've had?
We had a show at the Blood Stock Open Air in England. At this time they had the most amount of people suffering from swine flu. Much more than in some parts of Europe. Throughout the show we were a bit worried about this fact, but by the end we didn´t care about that. We appreciate our fans so we hugged them, and made some pictures, and no one from Equilibrium got the flu!
Have you ever had any mystical experiences?
I haven't had any personally but there have been in my family. My grandmother had some experiences with ghosts throughout her life. She was also talented in prophecies and oracles. Unfortunately she is not living anymore.
Where can people purchase your music and merchandise from?
It´s possible to order it directly from us from our shop. Our families are working with us and we are known for being fast.
What was the main reason you chose this career path and has it turned out as expected?
In the beginning it was my father. He showed me how to play guitar and he was also responsible for my interest in music and playing instruments. The first step I took was to start playing guitar at the age of 14 years. We started thinking about doing it as professionals, since last year at the Summer Breeze show in 2009 and also the show at Blood Stock Open Air. For now, everything is good and no reason to complain.
Fame, fun or finance?
I think this will be a boring answer. Haha... We all started making music just for the fun of it and that didn´t change until recently. I can remember for some time we had to pay our bus rent with the money we earned from merchandise because we didn´t get paid. Some day we came to a point where the fame and finance stuff just changed a bit. We became more known and also the pay got a bit higher. Last year we decided to concentrate only on Equilibrium as we thought that otherwise we would waste some chances. We all are quite happy to get the opportunity to make a living out of it and that we are able to pay our bills!
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?
Sandals for showering.
Earplugs for snoring guys in the tour bus.
A pair of light shoes to replace heavy boots.
What words of advice can you offer anyone looking to enter the music industry?
Don´t force it too much. Create a good demo CD and send it to every label you can find the address for.
Anything you'd like to add or say to your fans?
We would like to say thanks to all of you and we hope that you have the same fun with our album Rekreatur as we have! We'll see you on tour!
'Interview with Equilibrium' by Déa di Morté © 14 July 2010
Hails! to Andreas Völkl for agreeing to participate and taking the time to complete this interview
All pictures courtesy of Nuclear Blast and Equilibrium