Metal Maniac

An Interview with Ellende…

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Hello! I hope all is fine with you. First, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity, as I really admire your music. Please, introduce yourself to our readers.

 

Greetings, thank you and you’re welcome! I’m Lukas from Austria doing Black Metal and stuff.

 

Ellende is recording a new album, which I believe we all are expecting it with very high hopes. Could you tell us a few things about it?

 

We already recorded the three long pieces, there’s a roughmix already. Only celli and vocals are missing, but we surely can say, this is the most sophisticated release… Though the music’s nearly finished, we’re in the middle of preperations for a video and a tour and it can earliest be released in autumn or winter, which hurts the most for me, but it’s worth waiting.

 

Your self-titled début full-length album released in 2013 is a masterpiece. It was very well received among the metal community and the reviewers. Do you feel any sort of pressure to create your new album?

 

Well… thanks! The only pressure I feel is, to make sure that the quality is good and everything is real. That’s something I don’t like in modern BM productions and it tends to become a trend: Simulated Amplifiers, programmed drums, programmed strings, sterile sounds…

 

We want our live shows to be at least as good as it’s on the records. It’s of course elaborate and expensive as I’m alone too, but you can’t mix a shitty guitar with a quality recording of a string trio and acoustic guitar, if you know what I mean. But when I have a good feeling about a song that is written then it will be on a record. I think, there’s no reason for pressure if your music is honest and you can stand 100% behind it in every detail. And we really have a good feeling about the new release too… Hoping to not sound arrogant with this one…

 

Tell us a bit about Ellende’s (the band) lyrics. What are your main themes and inspirations? What do you aim when writing lyrics to Ellende? And also, please, tell us that they’ll still be in German, hehe.

 

There’s a common theme if you look at the concept of Ellende. Of course all releases have different styles and lyrics, but I have integrated the levorotatory spiral a lot in the Full length-designs, which defines the motivation behind the lyrics pretty good: It is a symbol that rotates to the inside and is the opposite of the dextrorotatory spiral of creation, or of a creator. „Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit“ is a statement of what we find in the inside. The modern man is afraid it is bad and distracts himself with senseless repitions of his meaningless days and leaded occupations never searching for the truth. Ellende is about freedom, free will, a mortal soul with no guide and authority but himself responsible for his actions with all it’s consequences and abysses in harmony with nature.

 

The new release is more provoking and about the prior charge of being human in general. If we look back on mankind as a mass – until now and further – we are hating and killing us and the planet with joy and it won’t change. This thoughts aren’t new, I know, but I don’t judge this at all, it is part of us and it is impossible to hide. There also was inspiration in existentialism and the somehow failed or on-going age of enlightment as I see it, where I adopted the phrase „Rückzug in die Innerlichkeit“ (where you have the spiral again).

 

Some insights of that time often bring it straight: The modern human being arrogant and disrespectful in many ways, following instructions from imaginary friends and farytailes from obsolete doctrines, consuming shit at various levels, refering moral directives for a live that may never be. On the other hand there’s endless inspiration and love within the individual, which are both parts of the music. In German of course!

 

You draw the images on the physical edition of Ellende. I believe this brings even more connection between the listener and the musician. Besides listening, you can see at the same time the creation of the artist. Do you intend to do the same for the next/ next release (s)?

 

Yes. I also took the picture of the first EP myself with a shitty analog-camera, but it was a special place in mountains of austria where I often was when I was young and returned later then. I’m very obsessed with doing the artworks and designs for Ellende and often have to start over and over again to create the picture I have in my mind, I’m already trying to do the new design with old art-techniques I learned about recently.

 

Back to your début full-length album; how satisfied are you with it? Are there any aspects/ elements that you’d add or change; that you would like to have done differently?

 

No, I wouldn’t change anything.

 

I’ve been interviewing many “one man” bands lately. I actually feel that there are more of these bands lately. To what would you credit this? And still on this matter, what are the main advantages and disadvantages of being the sole member of a band?

 

Hm… I actually started writing my own stuff when I was in several bands as I was young(er). My very own experience is, that you always have to make compromises and the whole music and concept somehow suffers from the individuals being as enthusiastic on their instrument as possible, without minding the overall concept of the band and song. Back then I also experienced Metal somehow as a speedcontest or showing your balls, which wasn’t likeable at all… I even more felt enamoured to black metal! Essentially I’m doing Ellende because I need it and consider it necessary in many ways.

 

The disadvantages resides in the financials, for sure. I’m paying studiosessions, videoartists, instruments etc. all by myself (with support from my label Talheim Records of course), which people often like to forget. But that’s ok, I always have to save up on those things, reaching goals for myself. In Ellende I have no borders and can write about stuff, that’s deep down in me, so I’m nearly morbid obsessed about everything around it.

 

Or we’re all just a bunch of egoistic assholes hahaha! I don’t know…

 

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How do you generally feel over the Austrian metal scene? Of course there are some really big names such as Summoning, Abigor and Belphegor, just to name a few, but what about the underground scene? Do you feel it’s stronger nowdays or not? I’ve interviewed one musician from Vienna that, in my humble opinion plays in two very qualitative bands, Greifenstein and Tirin Kôr, which I completely recommend to you and our readers.

 

Yes I think so. There are plenty talented and enthusiastic musicians around here in Austria. The amount of bitching and moaning about other bands increased drastically over the last years, so I guess the „scene“ is quite active hahaha! I wouldn’t ever do that, but I think that’s actually an unconscious sign for recognition here. But sometimes you have to search hard for the good bands, as they’re not on the spot at all. Still, I’m selling way more merch and sound carrier to USA, Canada and rest of Europe than Austria…

 

I’m always interested about the musician background. What were your main inspirations when you started to play in a band, more precisely the genre of music you play and what led you to play this genre itself?

 

I’m not playing black metal only. There are several bands (melancholic jazz and rock) where I do the studio- and livedrums and some bands (black metal) where I play bass as a session-musician. As I said Ellende is my lifeblood and that will always be black metal.

 

Is Ellende playing some shows that you could share the dates with us? And, speaking of that, how did you choose your live musicians? And how do you feel when you see “other people” playing your sole compositions?

 

There’s a show in our hometown Graz on the 31. of May, on the 13. of June in Erfurt (Germany) and in Salzburg (Austria) on the 14. of June. As mentioned, there’s a tour we’re planning right now with a band from Estonia for winter, which I hopefully can anounce in the near future. We also reject offerings in Austria once in a while, because we have the feeling bands often make the mistake to play too often in the same area so a show is nothing special anymore…

 

To the musicians: besides they’re all good friends, I chose them by being reliable and good musicians, they aren’t even (all) black metallers, but more a part of Ellende anybody else could be and I will try to keep that constellation as long as I can.

 

The question to know you as the man behind the music. Tell us some of your interests, passions, what you enjoy doing besides music, are you more of a nature or an urban person? Anything you’d like to share with us.

 

My wild passion for sure is the music I write and listen to, but I’m also very interested in drawing, old drawing techniques, painting, illustration and typography. I’m studying architecture having a tiny graphic-trade nearby so I’m strongly related with all that kind of things. There is also literature and ideas I really appreciate: Albert Camus, Lao Tse, Hermann Hesse, Charles Baudelaires, MS Salomon etc. to name a few authors, Zdzislaw Beksinski, Gottfried Helnwein, Ron Mueck, HR Giger (who died several days ago, RIP) etc. when it comes to painters I like.

 

To my „nature-person“: I’m living in the center of the city Graz, so I have to get away to enjoy nature betimes when there’s time… But I’m not depressed or something as I’m living in urban area, the city here is beautiful and I need it. Of course it is bad sometimes and there are plenty things I “don’t like” putting it mildly, but it would be very inferior for me reducing the Ellende-nature-part to something like this…

 

And so we reach the end of this interview. One more time I’d like to thank you very much for taking your time to answer it. Do you have any last words for our readers?

 

Thank you and the readers for the interest in Ellende and what I wrote. I won’t promote Ellende in the end, just wanna say, that you all should never stop your passion for music and searching for good projects, it is worth it.

May 20, 2014

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