Eluveitie Interview: Split-up, New Album and More Shows Around the World
The announcement that long time members Merlin Sutter, Anna Murphy and Ivo Henzi will leave Swiss folk-metal veterans Eluveitie has certainly stirred up their fan base and let to some speculations on social media about the circumstances of the announcement and future of the band. Additionally, the band has already started working on a new album and is preparing for more shows around the world. I had the chance to clear up a few things with band leader Chrigel Glanzmann. Here is what he had to say.
Marc: A few days ago you announced that long time band members Merlin Sutter, Anna Murphy and Ivo Henzi will leave the band in June. The official announcement suggested that tensions had been rising for quite a while. What happened over the last couple of years?
Chrigel: Actually, exactly what we wrote in the statement. It’s not that we part ways fighting or anything like that. We’ve been together as a band for fifteen years and with that line-up for at least ten years. That is a long time. Of course you develop personally, your ideas, your perception, everything. That’s basically it. In some aspects we kind of developed away from each other into different directions. We developed different goals, different ideas and everything. We are at that point where we feel that’s the best thing to do. If you are working together – it doesn’t have to be in a band, it can be in a company or a shop, basically any kind of endeavour of a group of people – if there are different opinions and ideas about how it should be done you can try to work with compromises all the time but if the compromises leave people unfulfilled it just stops making sense. I think that’s pretty much what happened. That’s all I can say. It’s not even mainly musically, it more about personal things like ideas what the band actually is and how it should work. We will go on. Merlin, Anna and Ivo will form their own project which I am looking forward to a lot. I am really, really curious. I’m sure it will be amazing.
‘If there are different opinions and ideas about how it should be done you can try to work with compromises all the time but if the compromises leave people unfulfilled it just stops making sense.’
Marc: Over the last few days there have been speculations in the media and on social media that Merlin had actually been fired. Is there any truth to that?
Chrigel: It was just a long topic that developed over the years. We’ve been talking about thing a lot over the years, Merlin and myself. We just really kind of diverged, not personally but in regards to the ideas how the band should go on. In the end, it was basically about Merlin, that we decided it’s best to part ways. Anna and Ivo are personally really close friends with Merlin. They decided to leave together with Merlin and form something new and Eluveitie goes on.
Marc: What are your plans with Eluveitie going forward?
Chrigel: Our plan is obviously to find new members. That’s basically the main goal. What we said is we really want to take our time for that and really look very carefully for new band members, new musicians. We really want to do that carefully and take our time. We are not in a rush. For that reason we decided to play the summer festivals with session musicians to give us that time to look for new people. Besides that we are working on a new album.
Marc: Have you already started talking to other musicians as permanent members of Eluveitie?
Chrigel: Yes and no. We are talking with some people at the moment. We just take it slowly, step by step. It is not that we already kind of agreed with someone to become a full time member. But we are talking with musicians.
Marc: You are going to start your Australian tour in a few days. The shows have been announced as special 2-hour shows. What can your Australian fans expect from these shows?
Chrigel: On the one hand, exactly that: an extended set. What we’re gonna do is take our fans by the hand and lead them on a journey throughout our complete discography. We’ll also perform some acoustic tracks from our acoustic album ‘Evocation I’. We will even perform one first track of our upcoming album which will be the second part of our acoustic concept.
‘That’s the plan: go into the studio this year and probably release the album early next year.’
Marc: As you already said you have started working on new material. Where are you at with this new material?
Chrigel: I started working on that album – and as I said it will be ‘Evocation II’, the second part of our acoustic concept. Our aim was to go into the studio this summer. Of course, due to the situation we have at the moment that will be postponed a bit. We still will record it this year, probably in autumn. That will depend on how our quest for new musicians goes. That’s the plan: go into the studio this year and probably release the album early next year.
Marc: Your last album ‘Origins’ was released about a couple of years ago. It received great feedback and you played the material live quite a bit. With that distance of two years, what are your thoughts about the material on ‘Origins’? Would you have done things differently?
Chrigel: I need to give you different answers here. First of all, I think it’s perfectly normal for anything, any kind of art or whatever, when you look back at it there are always things where you think ‘Ah, I could have done that a bit better’. Of course there are parts like that. That happens after every album. Basically, I am absolutely happy with the album, also playing it live. We love to perform those songs. For me personally – that’s always hard to say – it’s probably one of my favourite albums we did so far. But then again, it’s always kind of a weird thing to say. If you write music and albums, they are kind of like your babies. If you have kids you don’t turn to one of them and pick it as your favourite. You care about them all. It’s a little bit like that with albums. We are completely happy with the album.