Mat: To begin with, could you in short just
tell us a little of how and when Elvenking was formed?
Damnagoras: Elvenking was born in 1997 by the
will of Jarpen and Aydan, the two guitar players. After various line-up
changes, I (Damnagoras) joined the band on vocals in 1998 and some
months later Zender came in on the drums. At the time, we weren't
able to find out a good bass player, so we made some concerts and
we realised the demo-cd "To Oak Woods Bestowed" without
a proper fifth member. I played the bass until Gorlan joined in the
summer of 2000. After the realisation of the demo, we've been contacted
by some record labels, but we decided to sign with AFM-Records (label
of Edguy, Avantasia, Tankard, etc.). In March 2001 we recorded our
debut album "Heathenreel" at New Sin Studios (in Italy)
and we mixed it in Sweden at Studio Fredman (In Flames, Dimmu Borgir,
Mat: And I must of course ask about your
individual names. Is this something out of some folklore myth or fairytale
or just something you came up with yourselves?
Damnagoras: Well, the reason why we choose
to use these "fantasy" names is of course because we wanted
to stay inside our folkloristic concept. You know, a whole idea that
follows the lyrics, the photos and our music. Of course they are all
names made out of our minds! :)
Mat: I suspect
that since your sound has such a strong folk-music feel to it bands like
Skyclad and perhaps even Blind Guardian to a certain degree and perhaps
even some death metal bands have been sources for inspiration but I'm
sure there are others too. Could you tell us something about this?
Damnagoras: You are right! The main influences
for us, can be found in bands like Skyclad, Blind Guardian and other
extreme bands. We listen to a lot of different bands and genres, so
I think it is quite natural for us to be kind of "influenced"
when we write music. We listen to metal from power to black, from
heavy to death and we do also listen to a lot of celtic and folk music
and everything that can give us emotions. We can easily jump from
Iron Maiden to Cannibal Corpse, from Enya to Dimmu Borgir, from In
Flames to Dream Theater. And our music is of course influenced by
Mat: And while
we're on the Skyclad issue, I've heard that Martin Walkyier is in collaboration
with you for your up-coming release. Can you tell us something of his
part in this project and what possible influences he's contributing with?
Damnagoras: First of all, Martin will write
some lyrics and will appear as a guest vocalist on our new album!
Then, we are discussing with him other kinds of projects like playing
some Skyclad songs together this summer and other ideas, but everything
is still on the working process! :)
Mat: On Heathenreel you used some death
metal growlin' and a female voice on some of the songs and in some cases
it sounded like there were up to four different voices in the same song
which I think was brilliant. Is this something you want to make a permanent
occurrence or was it just an isolated case?
Damnagoras: I think this can happen! If we
think we need a death metal voice over this or that riff, or that
we need three or four voices in that particular piece, yeah, we'll
welcome the idea once again!!
Mat: I'm also very eager to hear your next
release so is there anything at all you can tell about what we can expect?
Heavier, faster, more melodic etc?
Damnagoras: Well, by now the songs of the new
album are nearly finished, so I can tell you something ! Mainly, the
new material is straighter than the songs contained on "Heathenreel".
There are less "long songs" and the
arrangements are more "fluid" and "light" maybe.
I think we matured talking about the songwriting, so you can expect
a good album indeed! :)
The style is quite the same.so there will be
folk tunes, acoustic parts, melodic choruses, good guitar leads and
everything that was present on "Heathenreel" even if it
Mat: What do you think of the fact that
there are so many power metal bands coming out of Italy nowadays? Is this
good in terms that it puts extra pressure on you so you're not gonna be
one of many (which I certainly think you're not :), or does the Italian
scene begin to feel a little crowded? Hence, what are the drawbacks and
benefits of this in your opinion?
Damnagoras: Mmmm...there are maybe too many
bands around. I mean the record companies are trying to get all that
is to take from the power metal "trend".so, as always we
have lots of bands and lots of albums half of those are probably "useless".
It is always the same old story! So, the only thing for the fans is
to buy the cd's with care, and to choose the right bands to support!
Mat: How does your touring plan look for
the next couple of months? Have you ever toured abroad and can we expect
your appearance on some of the up-coming great summer-festivals?
Damnagoras: Well for the moment we have been
confirmed at the Blodstock Festival in the UK (with Blind Guardian,
Gamma Ray, Bal-Sagoth, Return to the Sabbat, etc.).
We are waiting some other confirmations, but we'll let you know as
as we'll know something!
Mat: And finally - any words of wisdom
or funny facts about the nearest future
you want to share with the readers?
That was all I had for now, Damnagoras - the staff at metalcovenant.com
wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank
you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!
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