LAM : You're touring a lot. Did you created this new album « Helveitos » on the road ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : No, it wasn't written on the road. Chrigel certainly had certain ideas while touring, but the actual writing process happened at home. Since we didn't finish recording everything in time we still had to record a few tracks and edit the complete album on tour and send files. It was pretty chaotic and stressful, but as you can see and hear we managed!
LAM : Why a concept album ? Why the Gallic Wars ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : "Helvetios" tells the harrowing chronic of the Gaulish war. But it's not just a chronological account of this terrible war, the album tells the story from the viewpoint of the Helvetians, a Celtic tribe. This wasn't a very simple task, since history is mostly written by those who triumphed in war which in this case was the Roman empire, Gaius Julius Caesar to be exact. Most of what we know about the Gaulish war nowadays stems from Caesar's transcripts and that these do not convey the full truth is pretty obvious and also confirmed by historians. His scripture "De Bello Gallico" is political propaganda for his benefit to a great extent in which home and family defending Gauls become "belligerent barbarians" and sheer genocide over Gaulish tribes become "glorious battles" that were fought by Roman legions "heroically to protect the Roman people."
So you can see it's not an easy undertaking to portray the Gaulish war as Helvetians (Gauls) would have. We still tried and cooperated with scientists to question historiography and let historical and archeological findings influence us in writing the album. But we also just let simple emotions and feelings speak by imagining what it really must have been like back then.
LAM : Did you change your recipe for the writing (music and lyrics) or the recording this time ? Because it sounds as good as the other ones, fast, folk, epic and powerfull music.
Did you search some historical stuffs or talk with acheologists ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Ivo contributed to a greater extent than on the previous albums. He wrote complete songs and some together with Chrigel. Apart from that the songwriting process was like always, the masterminds create the main grid and if they don't have all the parts worked out Meri and I work out melodies and tunes.
Yeah, like I mentioned before we worked together with scientists, mainly Celtologists.
LAM : Where did you record « Helveitos » and why did you choose this place ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : The drums, guitars, vocals and choirs were recorded by Tommy Vetterli, guitarist of the legendary “Coroner” at his “New Sound Studio”. He also produced and mixed the album. Since we didn't have enough time to record everything at his studio most folk instruments, the bass and my vocals were recorded by Marco Jencarelli and myself at the Soundfarm Studio in Lucerne. I've been working there since about a year as an assisting sound engineer and it was so exciting for me to take on this project and work together with Tommy.
LAM : A word about all the guests who recorded the album with you ?
Who talk on the Prologue and the Epilogue of the album?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : The voice you hear in the Prologue and Epilogue is the scottish actor Alexander Morton. Apart from that Fredy Schnyder of Nucleus Torn appears on two tracks with his hammered dulcimer and Christoph Pelgen (who has worked with Blackmore's Night amongst others) is the singer of “Scorched Earth”.
LAM : A word about the track « Luxtos » you use a very wellknowned melody, with your own lyrics. Why did you choose this melody (that we mainly know in France by Tri Yann) ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Chrigel has been wanting to use this traditional melody since “Slania” but it never came to be until “Helvetios”.
LAM : A word about the almost a capella song « Scorched Earth » (what the lyrics deal with, why an a capella song) ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : This melancholic track is a “Gwerz” which is a traditional type of singing in Brittany. It's basically a lament and it's about the last day of the Gauls before they emigrated and symbolically burned their empty houses and their crops and watched the flames.
LAM : You use a lot the internet for the promotion of the new album. There are already 2 songs (A Rose For Epona, Meet The Enemy) that we can listen to, with the video clip to read the lyrics. How important is it to share that information with you fans ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Very important, our fans are very interested in our lyrics and background information of the songs so I think they appreciate it if we share as much as possible with them.
LAM : Why did you choose « A Rose For Epona » and « Meet The Enemy » ? And is it your choice or the label's choice ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : This was our choice. “A Rose For Epona” is the “hitsong” that shows a rather new side to us and “Meet the Enemy” is the harsher “standard” song, a good representative of the album.
LAM : Will you shoot a video clip for this 2 songs or an other one ? Or is it too soon to talk about it ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : We already shot a video for “A Rose For Epona” and it's been released already. The other video is for another song though and will be released soon I guess.
LAM : You will be on tour in US in a couple of days. How are your fans overthere ? Have you got the same reaction as in Europe, for the same tracks ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Today is actually our first day of the tour! We're playing a headlining show in Orlando, Florida. The Americans appreciate our music as much as the Europeans do I guess, I don't want to just generalize a group of people. Every Eluveitie fan is an individual human being.
LAM : A special word you would like to say to your French audience ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Thanks for your support, you rock! Some of the loudest and craziest crowds are definitely the ones we had in France. Paris, to be exact. I'll always remember the La Loco shows, epic.
LAM : Our special question of the year to end our interview : In your songs you talk about people, you create some imaginary heroes... If you had the skill to give life to one of them. Who would it be ? And in which song do you talk about him or her ?
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Imaginary heroes? I don't really know what you mean by that, but most of the people we write about actually existed. It's profound history, not fairy tales ;-) But yeah, to answer your question; Vercingetorix would be my choice. He united the Gaulish clans and revolted against the Roman forces. Unfortunately with no success.
LAM : Thanks for your time, and for your new album, which is a really good one.
Hope to see you in France soon, to have the pleasure to see you on stage once more.
Eluveitie (Anna Murphy) : Thank you! Cheers!