Eluveitie (Patrick Kistler)
Their latest effort, "Helvetios", was not so well-received on SpazioRock. Eluveitie, however, do not throw in the towel and prove us that they truly believe in their project and in the genuineness of their pagan revival. Patrick Kistler is our interlocutor for this Celtic inspired interview.
Article by Marco Belafatti - Publish on: 12/02/12
Hello guys, it is a pleasure to have you back on SpazioRock! I hope you are doing great. Your new album “Helvetios” is about to come out, are you excited?

Yes we are excited to release our first concept album with an ongoing storyline through the whole album.

After the folk “experiment” of “The Arcane Dominion”, you decided to go back to your death metal roots with “Everything Remains (As It Never Was)” and “Helvetios”. Is this what you really want to play, or will you ever release an “Evocation Part 2”?

I wouldn’t call “Evocation” an experiment, it’s more like the “dark side” of Eluveitie’s moon. And if you ask me, yes there will be an “Evocation II” for sure, although we’ve exposed ourselves within the metal scene probably not only in a good way.

When I saw the first promotional pictures for the new album I thought: “Eluveitie is going to become a modern metal band!”. Fortunately the music on the album got me reassured, as once more I could find your typical mixture of folk and death metal. However, I noticed some new influences here and there. Sort of “gothic” or “symphonic metal”, I would say - but that would be improper. What is your point of view on this matter?

Well, in my opinion Eluveitie is neither a modern nor an oldschool metal band - it’s Eluveitie. We combine a lot of different influences from the whole metal music history (of course with a big touch of Gothenburg melo-death metal) and also from different folk music styles. I would define Eluveitie's music more as a heart-driven experiment. In that sense I would not say “Helvetios” is influenced by gothic, symphonic or whatever metal subgenre. We try to do our best not to get classified into a certain metal genre.

Anna Murphy is singing a lot more on this album. Will there be more room for female vocals in the future?

Well, as I mentioned above, it is a concept album and therefore also there's not a strict idea of recording more female vocals in general, we do not have a policy for female vocals so far. Anna has a great voice and it would be a dissipation of talent not using her resource. It will be decided spontaneously on every album how many female vocals should be used.

“A Rose For Epona” is a real catchy song. Don't you fear the reaction of fans? Someone already said that you are trying to follow up Nightwish and their huge success...

Actually I did fear the reactions in the beginning, but I got to the point where I didn’t care that much about that anymore. Hadn't we released a catchy song we recorded and we all like just because of the scene's reaction it would have been a sell-out of Eluveitie. Although there are people around thinking “A Rose For Epona” is a “sell-out” song, in my opinion it’s the opposite. As a metal band we where quite brave releasing a full acoustic album and we showed that we do not follow any dictates which are or might be around. We do what we like and that’s the only way to have integrity.

Anyway, I think it has a beautiful melody. What is the song about?

eluveitie_intervista_2012_02Indeed, I also do like the melody. Unfortunately part of it is very similar to a song from a Japanese band called Blood Stained Child. We never heard of this band before until we read the first reactions from people to the pre-released track on YouTube and, believe me, we were very surprised about the similarity. It’s probably one of the most special songs on “Helvetios” and lyrically the one that expresses the emotions of the history most clearly. The song gets itself into a young gaulish woman: she has hoping and dreaming of a new, safe and beautiful future in the new targeted home - along with her wedded man and her newborn offspring. But then everything turned out to be in ruins, the prospects of reaching the new home were gone. Her husband perished on the battlefield and her tribe got almost completely eliminated – her life was in ruins. This is the storyline of the song and, according to it, it brings a lot of musical emotion and grief.

Any other lyrical aspect you would like to talk about?

No, I would rather prefer to let people who are interested in the lyrical ideas read the booklet and try to feel its content by listening to the songs as a complete work of art.

Folk traditions are getting more and more popular. As every new trend, it all often gets too trivial. How do you cope with that and what is the true pagan spirit for you, nowadays?

Well, I would talk about it a bit differently. Folk traditions always survive and show up in a lot of different ways, like in tales, music or in cultural aspects of a region or country in general. For example, the tradtions you have in Italy with Krampus is an old pre-christian example of traditions. The true pagan spirit, hmmm... Don’t get me wrong, but that is something everybody has to define by himself, because you can’t name something pagan or not, there’s no written rule. Therefore I do not have to cope with folk traditions and the raise of popularity. Some people feel pagan by using a drinking horn others by hugging trees. I like it when there is freedom to fill the goblet with sense…

Can you tell us something about your future plans? Are you coming to Italy for some shows?

We’ll play a show on March 21st 2012 in Bologna as headliners of the upcoming Paganfest Tour 2012 at Estragon. Beside that, unfortunatlely, nothing is planned so far. My mother is Italian, my girlfriend grew up in Tuscany and my kids have Italian passports, therefore I would like to play more often in Italy, but that is up to local promoters and not in our hand so far. The more fans we have in Italy the more we will get the possibility to do live shows in bella Italia.

Thank you very much for this interview! Please leave a message to all your Italian fans and SpazioRock users.

Thank you very much for your support, stay away from churches and please bring us proper italian pizzas and good Italian red wine to our next Italian show, some of us already lost the faith that Italians do the best pizzas in the whole universe.

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