Equilibrium is Creative again

It’s been a while since we’ve heard something from Equilibrium. The album ‘Rekreatur’ dates back from 2010, but still they’re touring with paganfest. About time to catch up with the whole band, and see what they’re up to!

It’s been pretty quite around Equilibrium the last few months, what are you up to?
“At the moment, we’ve planned some shows. These are of course the paganfestshows, but we’re planning festivalshows as well. Some aren’t confirmed yet, but we’ll make quite some live appearences.
However, most of the time we’re working on the new album, which we want to release next year. “

The new album! Now things get interesting. How far are you with this album? And what can we expect?
“Right now, we’re in the composing phase. We’re writing new songs, experimenting a lot. For this album, we wanted to take the time to do everything right. ‘Rekreatur’ was created under big pressure, we needed to write the whole album in six months! This time, we wanted to have enough time to make something we’re completely happy with. So this time, we’ve taken a whole year to compose only. After that, we’ll start to produce the album.
From the album itself, you can expect a good, really lengthy album. You can expect elements from all our previous albums, but we’ll also integrate new elements. We want to create an album that can be played live entirely. For last album, we had quite some troubles when writing. We didn’t have the time and the line-up changed. This time, the environment is perfect to write a good album.”

In 2010, Equilibrium split with the drummer and singer. Soon, a new drummer was found in Israeli Hati. Vocals were taken up by Robse. Are there things that have changed with the coming of these new members?
“When recording ‘Rekreatur’, we really liked that Robse was good in the lower vocals so we tried to use that more. In terms of composing, nothing much has changed. Ever since the beginning of Equilibrium, René (guitars) writes all the music. “

Looking back to the ‘Rekreatur’ album, there was a bonus-disc with acoustic remakes of Equilibrium songs. Will this be done more, or was it just an experiment?
“We don’t know! It was a spontaneous idea. It was really fun to do. The recording sessions were also really spontaneous. As a result, the music sounds a bit rough which is really nice in my opinion. I could not tell you if we’re going to do the same thing during the next album, because we’re always trying new things. But maybe when we’re all 60 or 70 years old, we’ll only play the acoustic songs!”

What kind of criteria did you use to choose the songs on this acoustic bonus-CD?
“Difficult question! I think it’s a mixture of all recordings we have up until now. We played some of these songs a few times with an acoustic guitar around the campfire. Then René came with the idea to record it.”

When writing your music, what is your source of inspiration?
“At the time we started out, a lot of inspiration came from other bands. We started by playing songs from Dimmu Borgir, Hypocrisy and Iron Maiden for example. These were all kinds of inspiration which you may not realize in the music we play now, but have certainly influenced us.

Right now, our inspiration comes from everywhere, but especially from..
Gaza! Is what the Israeli drummer Hati shouts before anyone could answer. It’s the start of the derailment of the interview, and the next few minutes are only spend by the band to make jokes about Hati and his native land. So is suggested that Equilibrium should start to make ‘Gaza-folkmetal’, with samples of bombings and cannons in the background. After the laughing is died out, René came back to the initial question; what is their source of inspiration?
“The inspiration comes from everywhere (Libanon!), from books, and computer games (from Gaza!). Actually, the main source of inspiration is the nature, but since René is always sitting in his apartment, he plays the games to get his inspiration from the virtual nature. So therefore, since he doesn’t have the ‘real’ nature always surrounding him, he uses the virtual.”

After Hati has convinced us to really go to Lebanon to see the ‘Middle-eastern nature’, which is nothing more than sand, tents, and camels, we move on to the next question. During the show, Equilibrium played a tune from the well-known computer-game ‘Skyrim’. Is this going to be a song from the new album?
“I don’t think we’re going to put this on the album. However, it was fun for us to do this kind of covers, as a homage to these themes. Skyrim came out last November, and René’s girlfriend immediately said we should make a cover out of the theme. A while after that, we started experimenting, and the people liked it so much we decided to play it live.”

You have quite some hits, like ‘Blut im Auge’, ‘Unbesiegt’ and ‘Heimwarts’, but all these songs are from the ‘Sagas’-album. Do you recognize the same kind of hits, or hit potential in the songs on ‘Rekreatur?’
“Der Ewige Sieg, Fahrtwind, and Der Wasserman also. But these are more comments from fans on facebook or youtube. However, these aren’t songs we play much live, for example Der Wasserman, we’ve played it only on one tour. But in the end, when writing, you don’t think ‘ok, the next song is going to be a hit’. When we wrote ‘Unbesiegt’, for example, we thought it was really experimental with all the south-American stuff. However, we didn’t give anything about it, and just wrote it. After that, the reaction to this experiment was really great, and thus it became one of our biggest hits.”

You still use a lot of samples, also live, during the shows. Are you planning to search for a keyboard player once more, like you had in the early days?
“We had a lot of problems finding the right person to do the job. At the moment, we even stopped searching. In the future, it is a big aim to have a keyboard player who could play our songs. Still, it would be impossible to play all the lines, all the tracks on one keyboard, but at least it would be possible to play the main lines. However, we don’t have fixed plans, it’s only a wish. “

In terms of playing live, what do you prefer? Playing on a big tour like Paganfest, playing on a big festival, or a small festival?
“We don’t have a preference, it all has its positive and negative sides. If the reaction of the crowd is great, it doesn’t matter how big the venue or the festival is. If people are really enjoying the music, it’s worth it. But after playing a whole winter in the smelly, sweaty small clubs, we’re looking forward to the fresh breeze of the summer festivals.”

What is, in your opinion your biggest achievement in the past years?
“It’s hard to say.. The last step we took was the biggest achievement. We started with the big achievement of releasing an album. After that, big festivals like Wacken were our biggest achievement, and right now the great tours with other great bands are our biggest achievement.
During the future, we still want to improve the touring. It would be nice if we could do a headlining tour for example. We also want to play shows in other countries, we haven’t visited before.
Our main aim isn’t original, but we want to get bigger, visit new countries, and reaching more people who would like our music.”

Do you notice a lot of differences between crowds in Germany, your home country, and other countries?
“I would say we’re much more known in Germany. When playing in Germany, if we say the name of the song, people would react in a way they know the song, like it, and want to hear it again. In the other countries, the resonance of the audience is less. However, it’s much cooler if the audience in foreign countries sing with us.”

What do you think of the other bands that are playing on the Paganfest?
“We think it’s a good package, and we think it’s a pity we can’t play the other shows. The mixture between the ‘happy’ and the ‘serious’ bands is great. Furthermore, it’s nice that during these shows, they have one or two familiar bands like Korpiklaani, but also take one or two newer bands for the audience to discover.”

That was it for today! Is there anything you still want to say to the readers of folk-metal.nl?
“We love you! And that’s why we will always come back to you! In behalf of the band, I can say that the Dutch always have been a great audience. We hope to come back soon, hopefully with a headliner tour!”