Interview with Anna Murphy, Hurdy Gurdy player/Vocalist of Eluveitie
Interviewer: Kirsti Heitz
Published: September 5, 2014
Initially formed back in 2002 as a mere studio project by main man and mastermind Chrigel Glanzmann. His vision was to create a blend of Gothenburg styled melodic death metal with ancient folk melodies and themes that would soon become the “New Wave Of Folk Metal”. Now, more than 12 years on,ELUVEITIE have established themselves as the most successful Swiss metal act to date.
Anna Murphy: Thank you! The album deals with Celtic origins. Pretty much all cultures have origin myths and tales. Either about how the culture itself came to be or myths about how the whole world was created. Unfortunately there is not a lot of information left to us about the Celts beliefs and mythology because they hardly wrote anything down. But Chrigel worked hard researching and again worked together with Scientists. I guess you could call the album a kind of concept album as well, not in the same sense as Helvetios, because that was chronologic and completely intended with a concept. But still, on “Origins” somehow all the songs are connected as well.
AM: The songwriting and the sound. It’s much more complex, elaborate and layered. There’s choirs, orchestras, lots of instrument tracks playing at the same time. The whole thing is really cleverly arranged and it must have been a right pain in the arse to mix. But I think Tommy Vetterli did an amazing job and I know how hard it is to mix Eluveitie because I’m a sound engineer. I wouldn’t want to take his place to be honest, hehe.
AM: To make the concept of the band more authentic and realistic.
AM: Haha that’s a good question, I’ve never really thought about that! You’re right, there’s not much material about the Gaulish Celts. Especially since they didn’t write anything down, the fuckers. ;-) But I still think being a band and having artistic freedom, you can do A LOT with little material. And I think Chrigel will always have ideas for what could come next. And who knows, it’s not a “rule” that we’ll always stick to the themes we have now, maybe something else will come along someday. But for now, we’re still specializing on the Celts, which we have successfully done for ten years.
AM: Yes, many times! In the earlier albums the pronounciation isn’t as good as on “Origins” for instance, because of lack of research. It takes a lot of work (also together with scientists) and experience to get anywhere close to a good pronounciation of Gaulish. But in the end, since it’s a dead language there aren’t many people who could tell us when something is wrong :-)
AM: You can see how Eluveitie evolves after each album, in what ways do you think the band has changed from when you started with Eluveitie in 2006 to today?We’re not a band that stagnates at a certain point it seems. There’s a lot of metal and/or rock bands who find the sound and the riffs they want and then that’s that. After that there are no major changes anymore. With us it’s quite different, especially because of the starting point. We’re 8 people, all of us with completely different tastes and ideas that we somehow try to combine. And we always want to get better and add more and more to our albums and our live shows. If you listen to Slania you wont hear tons of choirs and orchestras, because we still concentrated on arranging the instruments we already had and of course also because we didn’t have the financial budget to do so. Personally, I like both. I like songs that are full of hundreds of tracks, but I also like the simple tracks. But I can assure you, Eluveitie albums are never going to sound the same
AM: Yes!! Finally! I really miss touring with a tour bus and having a show every day. Right now we’re doing festivals, which is cool as well (don’t get me wrong), but it’s just not the same.
AM: Not really, you can never know what a show is going to be like. There are small crappy shitholes that can lead to the best night of your life and there can be massive, glamorous events that can end up being really boring and crap. I look forward to everything and then see how it turns out to be.
AM: Well it’s certainly easier to travel with less people. People tend to get lost, aren’t there when everybody should be in one place... you can imagine. It’s like with a school class going on a trip ;-) But we make it work.
AM: Well this is a cliché answer, but that would have to be my boyfriend. ;-)
AM: Thank you! See you in Toronto :-)