With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to ELYSIUM. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
-To create a band with dark and gothic sounds, mixing various influences together, like classical music, rock, progressive and folk that lead to a recognizable touch in compositions and arrangements as in lyrical contents, too. “Labyrinth of Fallen Angels” is our first album, and is a fusion of more styles: a strong base of symphonic rock where elements and influences of folk, prog, and gothic are added, enriched by the use of the opera and r’n’b style background vocals arranged by the singer and the romantic melodies of keyboards which are typical of the prog music of the seventies.
Maybe throughout the years the band is now more mature after the first album, and the new ep will be less symphonic and more experimental in terms of sounds and compositions.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big?
-That you had to come from a certain place to be sure to make it.
In a globalized world maybe Location doesn’t matter so much as it used to do before. It’s true that nowadays it’s easier to get in touch with people from all over the world, and we have the proof receiving messages from people of all countries, but still we have this feeling that we are in a smaller reality in Italy, musically speaking. This is one of the reasons that lead us to Lion Music, which is a label with a a more international background that can help us break the national boundaries and get us to be heard abroad.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
-It is one of the most exciting things of being a musician. To be able to travel and get in touch with different cultures and new ways of thinking is a true blessing.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback?
-We collected many good reviews from Italian and international magazines, which is quite encouraging for us. And most of all feedbacks of our fans are the ones that most count for us of course. Even critics sometimes are a good Input to calibrate our musical compass and grow integrating new ideas in our vision.
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
-First of all, if the song still plays in your head after rehearsals, at home, when you were thinking of completely different topic and it pops up in your brain..well this is a first step understanding that a melodic theme or a riff have great potential. Then also if someone outside of the band listens to it and has this kind of positive feedback, this is another sign that the song is a good one.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
-Regarding the recording nowadays almost everyone is recording their albums digitally, even though we are fans of analog ways of listening to records, such as vinyls for example, which is maybe more an old way of thinking, though is increasing even in this days. In the end our ears are the final judges of what we most like, and this is the ultimate purpose..to listen to something that you really enjoy, in content of course, and technically. So it’s really up to you.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?
-It is a great opportunity connecting with them, through music and words that we put out for them. And knowing that this means much to someone makes it always worth all the efforts done in the creative and executive process, which is pretty much.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
-The lyrics are mostly written by the singer and for our first album are inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, with particular attention to the figure of Ulysses, who is also found in Dante’s hell: from this reading she started to picture an Ulysses of our times who is facing the various aspects of the odyssey of modern life. Many of the topics dealt with in this incredible story seemed to be in fact extremely actual, proving how this opus, although it is so ancient, remains among the most interesting ever. “Evanescent”.
For example, what the mythological figure of the mermaid represents in the Odyssey, that is the risk of being fooled by appearances and be swallowed forever by the sea, transposed to nowadays seems to be a perfect metaphor of what is happening with the virtual world and the social media, kingdom of appearances that often engulfs all of us at the cost of our own time spent in real life that is becoming every day less than before. “Siren”.
Or the question about cunning, the major trait of Ulysses, which can lead to power, but which can also cause a war if used without the exercise of morals – the reason why Dante decides to place Ulysses in hell – made me think of globalization that is entering the world like a great Trojan horse, conforming to a standard model those that are the characteristics that form the individual identities of populations, the general inattention of the great powers towards the problem of pollution and how they use cunning more for their own economic interests than for the well-being of society, and that therefore, if a powerful collective awakening of the human being does not take place, this Trojan horse will end up unleashing again some great war. “Before the end.
Maybe we are all a bit Ulysses and we find ourselves day after day living our battles, trying to overcome our hurdles, our “sirens”, illusions, fears and sometimes defeats, each facing his own personal journey in this life. Until one day, looking back, we realize the road we’ve traveled and we finally get to say “Here I am”, and we realize that everything we’ve done has led us to be who we are, for better or for worse, just like Ulysses, we come back home.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
-We care about the artwork pretty much and believe that specially in the rock world people do, too. But it’s also true that it is more difficult to be impressive in a world where everything rushes at the speed of light in front of our eyes, so much informations that we can barely realize them.
What does the future hold?
-We are working on a new Ep. We love Concept-albums and this will be a Concept-Ep, talking about human evolution and other cool stuff like this.
And looking forward for new live shows, as long as it will be possible to perform live again.