Elvenking of all Times

By: Michel

With their new album ‘Era’ released we at Folk-metal thought it’s time for a nice chat with Aydan of Elvenking.

Elvenking has released quite a number of albums, but it’s not a band which produces an album every year. We wonder if they find it difficult to write enough new tracks for an album?
I think that there are no bands that nowadays can produce an album every year. It was great back in the 80s when Iron Maiden was on the market every year with a new album but since the 90s the market has changed a lot. And nowadays it is something totally different. The musical market is something on the very razor’s edge. I do not know if music is going to die in the next years but for sure there will be something totally different very soon. Releasing albums nowadays is also losing the meaning. The kids are maybe much more interested in the single song. In their i-pods there are maybe a couple of songs from each artists instead of full albums and the concept of listening a whole album from the first song to the last one with a certain idea behind this is slowly fading away. Unfortunately we are way too old to change our mind on this and we still love the good old albums, as all the great ones we have grown up with and this is what we are going to do in the future as well. Every time you finish the work around an album you feel totally empty and you repeat to yourself “I will never been able to write another good song”, but in the end after some months the inspiration returns and you are ready to write a new chapter.

Elvenking mixes folk and power-metal, but Elvenking has a defined sound of their own. We know of some bands who compose this on purpose others just seem to come up with a certain kind of compositions. We wonder how this works with Elvenking.
The greatest thing I usually read every time on the reviews and on people’s comments is that EK’ sounds is always very unique and totally recognizable. I think this is the thing I am most proud of. Probably at the same time this is also a limit for the band, because if sometime we would copy a little bit of that sound and a little bit of the band probably we would be able to gain more fans, but this is not how it works inside our band. We try to sound different and have a strong personality. Our goal is to give the listeners emotions when he listens to our music, and that’s what we try to do with every album.

In ‘Era’ there’s a lot more folk. Is it don’t by choice?
We felt it was the right time to close a circle. With the last albums we have experimented a lot and we felt the time was right to look back the band’s origin and to the sound of Elvenking through the years and draw a line. So we went back to the sound that made Elvenking a so recognizable band in the metal scene. We do not feel part of the nowadays folk-metal scene. If you listen to the bands that are usually named on the scene you can easily understand how Elvenking differs from them.

On the latest album we can hear wonderful tributes by Maurizio Cardullo, was this a ‘one night stand’ or does this relation last for more than one era?
Maurizio plays in the Italian band Folkstone and he’s an amazing player. For this album we felt the need to underline the folk touches with the right instruments and we invited him to play bagpipes and whistles in the album. He did an awesome job adding a lot to the songs.

Another ‘alien’ element on ‘Era’ are the awesome female vocals, we are really curious who she is, because this is such a great voice?
She is Netta Dahlberg, an amazing Finnish singer. She was in the studio during the “Era” session and we invited her to sing on the album also with suggestions from our producer Nino Laurenne. She already sang a lot of part in the last Amorphis album and she has an incredible voice. I am pretty sure we will hear a lot of great things from her in the near future.

At folk-metal.nl we are of the opinion ‘Era’ was a very good album (9/10 points). We saw a lot of big names releasing quite poor albums for their standards. Where do you think they failed, or what was Elvenkings’ secret to avoid these problems.
Well, we just try our best. With every album we try to release the best material we can and hopefully get better with every release. Obviously the fans have their personal opinion and prefer one album compared to the other but at least we try to keep the name Elvenking as a synonymous of the best quality possible for our possibilities and give the fans the best we can. The day we are going to feel we are writing music just because we need to do it, without this kind of passion we will surely give up.

The history of Elvenking goes a long way back, and as fans we can see Elvenking evolve, which things changed in Elvenking over the years?
For sure a lot of things. It is been really a long journey so far. To be sincere it is incredible how 4 guys coming out of nowhere from a country where at the time there was no possibility to create space in the metal scene has reached in these years. Through the years we have brought the band to a good level in my opinion, maybe we should have deserved a little bit more but we are not here to complain about and we will do everything as usual to bring EK to people’s attention. When a band grows up you need to pass from the phase where you think only about playing music to a level where you work as a little company, taking care of a lot of side of the business, from the economic one to the organization one, etc, and you may be the best as possible in every of them.

The folk-metalscene is expanding rapidly, Elvenking was there in the experimental phase, but is still present. You guys saw it all evolve around you. What changed in the folk-metal scene according to you?
A lot! When we started the band back in 1997 there was no folk metal scene at all. Our reference was British band Skyclad which in my opinion is still THE folk metal band, especially in the first albums where they were mixing thrash metal, folk and epic stuff in a unique way. Nowadays instead it seems like folk metal is a commercially good genre, with a lot bands playing it. In any case I think we are very different from the most of the bands , as was saying before. I’d say that most of the bands sound the same, and we are far from taking some folkloristic tunes and play them with electric guitars and fast drums as a lot of examples out there.

Are there plans for ‘something special’ in this year of the 15th anniversary? A DVD perhaps?
Yes, we are thinking about it. It is a possibility, but it is a big project for a band like us to organize. We need to think about it seriously and see all the things we need to exit with a professional product. Otherwise it is better to quit the idea.

Thanks a lot, and we hope to see you guys somewhere around soon.