20 Years Excelsis

excelsis band
The band already exists for 20 years. How do you look back on those 20 years?
“We had a great time! Sure we’ve had up’s, for example to play together with bands like Eluveitie, Finntroll, Hagard and In Extremo) and down’s (when Geige Gygax , Daniela and Simu quit the band) but altogether we’ve had and still are having a great time.
We’ve met so many really interesting people and we saw so many cool places. But even more important it was never a waste of time! Maybe to mention one of the biggest changes in the last 20 years are for sure the social medias like Facebook, Youtube and iTunes. In the early days it was really hard work to get a little bit ‘famous’ (and also expensive).
Today, all you need is a computer and with less than a few mouse cliques you reach and receive the whole world!”

How are you going to celebrate this anniversary? Or did you already celebrate it?
“For this happening we planned to do a festival for two days on the 2th and 3th of October this year. We will also do our album release party at this date. The bands we invited are all good friends of us, or well-known colleagues we’ve met in the last 20 years. There are now around 10 bands which will play several styles of music (not only heavy metal). We even invited the local male choir which we had on the cd “Tales of Tell”.

Where do you get inspiration from when writing music?
“I would say: writing by doing! We have two kind of styles when it comes to writing music. One by jamming in our rehearsal room and the other, recording at home. But mostly it is a process which grows. Each member puts his little part into the song as long as it takes, until we are happy with the sound of the song. The lyrics often come at the end when we have found a story for the upcoming album.”

The album “Chrieger lieder” is an acoustic album, how did you came up with the idea of making an acoustic album? And why did you add ‘Cyber druid’ ( a dance version song) to it?
“We always made some acoustic songs from the new albums. Some day we had the idea to realize the second acoustic album ( the first was ” chli angeri lieder”). The song ‘Cyber Druid’ was created by an ugly evening recording session of our keyboard player for an acoustic version of the song ‘Druids’. First it was just for fun, but when we created the album, there was missing a bonus track. And that’s the reason why we added this song to the album.”

Excelsis tot u vergautigWhat can we expect from the new album? Will there be major changes or surprises?
“That’s a difficult question! To assess our own music is not so easy. We think the new album “Tod u vergäutig” is similar to the last cd “Vo Chrieger u Drache”. Maybe more darker, mystical, harder! We have more keyboard sound and the voice of Münggu is nastier compared to the earlier albums. The songs are more complex.
A really cool thing is that we could obligate Lüku (mastermind of the medieval band “Kel Amrun”. The same guy who did the spoken part in the intro and outro on the cd “Vo Chrieger u Drache”). He plays all flutes and the “Krummhorn” parts on this album. He’s a God! Thanks to him we now have two or three really great folk-metal songs.”

I can hear a lot of instruments on all of your songs, can you tell me something about the instruments you’re using and who’s playing them?
“Besides the afore-mentioned flutes and krummhorn we also have bagpipes (played by Münggu), accordion (unfortunately we don’t know anybody who can play this instrument, so we play it by keyboard). On the last album we also had a mouth harp (played by former vice world champion Marco Bandera) and of course as well as more traditional instruments such as “Talerschwinge” (rolling coins around a bowl, played by Küsu) and “Bäsechlopfe” (broom stick playing, Rölu). We try to experiment with above mentioned instruments to get new ideas and to receive different sounds for the songs. Not to forget, we are always looking for new instruments we could use in our songs.”

excelsis logoWhat is your personal favourite song to play (live for example)? And why?
I (Rölu) can only speak for myself. My favourite song to play is “The Chapel” from the last album “Vo Chrieger u Drache”. I like the staccato part in the beginning (that’s real heavy metal…)
I really like to play the bridge between the first and second verse (amazing!), the refrain in our native language (you just have to sing along..).
After that, the middle part (a master piece!) the melody of the keyboard, the drums and Münggus power full voice. It feels really great to play together with Ädu (keyboard) I like the variety between the keyboard and guitar. That’s my absolute favourite!”
Tell me something about the process of writing new music. How do you start?
“In this case, and we already did so several times by the last album, we recorded everything at home. That means Münggu (our mastermind) write the most songs. He programmes a drum part and records the rhythm guitar. Often he adds a melody played by guitar or keyboard. Once finished he put the whole project into the dropbox. Then all the others could add their part. After that, we made a listening session in our rehearsal room and we decide which song we take and which not and where we could tune a little bit. Once done, we start recording.”

When I look at the tour dates on the website, I don’t see a lot of upcoming gigs, when will the fans be able to see you again live and where?
“The most of us had or still have holidays (clear after this exhausting days in the studio) We won’t do any concert on purpose until we are fully prepared for that. Moreover we are in the middle of the preparation and organisation of our festival and we want to put all our energy in that project at the moment. But don’t worry we will go on the road again!”

What are your dreams for the future?
“We are getting older and older… After such a long time of making music without ever having the breakthrough. We are quite sober now. I assume we never will be rock stars.
Seriously, a dream for the future is still to having a tour through Europe or even over sea. And maybe to play in Wacken on the main stage!”

Anything else you would like to share with us?
“I hope you will enjoy our new album. Release on the 28 August 15. First only in Switzerland but everywhere in the world for downloading.”

By: Eline