INTERVIEW: Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie)
Levi: I've only been listening to you guys for the last three months or so, but ever since I found out about your album ‘Origins’, you've been pretty much my favourite band since then. I've been listening to that album every day and I've gotten into your older stuff as well. I just want to say it's an absolute awesome album. Are you looking forward to the Australian tour that's coming up next year?
Chrigel: Sure, of course. Oh yeah. I mean, it's been way too long since we've been to Australia. Yeah. Yeah, definitely looking forward to finally coming back.
Levi: Yeah, I think you came about two years ago. I missed that one. I didn't know you guys back then, but did you get a good reception last time you were here?
Chrigel: Yeah, Australia has been treating us very well and it was our first time playing Australia back then, I think it's probably even three years ago or something. I'm not sure anymore. Yeah, it's been awesome. Looking forward to finally come back.
Levi: You guys actually are based in Switzerland and just wondering how different is the metal scene in Switzerland compared to Australia?
Chrigel: Sure, yeah. Honestly, I wouldn't know much about Australian metal scene. I know a couple of Australian bands but, I've just played a couple shows there. Yeah, to be honest, it's pretty much the same in Switzerland because we're on tour oftentimes over there. We're not actually apart of the metal scene. As far as it comes to playing shows, honestly, it's actually pretty much the same, I would say. It feels the same but, then again, to be honest, that's pretty much what it feels like anywhere on the globe.
There have been two places on this planet that it's really felt different to play shows, Japan and India. When it it comes down to the concert, it feels like metal-heads, it doesn't matter what culture they're from or whatever. It is a beautiful thing actually, because it shows how much music is actually able to unite people and it's something pretty awesome to observe all around the globe.
Levi: Yeah. What I really like about your band is, not only do you play heavy metal, but you also do the traditional Celtic music as well. You're playing the bagpipes and violins and hurdy-gurdies. I'm just wondering what came first for you. Was it the Celtic music or was it the heavy metal?
Chrigel: I can never decide, to be honest. I pretty much grew up with both. Both is kind of my music. This is the music I've played since, I don't know, forever and the music I love and that's honestly half the reason I performed back in the day was because I just wanted to combine my two musical passions. I don't think I could ever decide.
Levi: I just had a few friends ask me, they wanted to know if you're also planning to come to New Zealand?
Chrigel: I'd fucking love to, honestly. I think I'm speaking for all of us, but, then again, we are not doing the booking. So far, we didn't have the opportunity to come there and there's nothing booked for the near future or something. Yeah, we definitely would love to
Levi: Yeah, no, that would be great and I'll let the people know that you're definitely thinking about it. One of the characteristics in some of your songs is, especially the older songs, actually sing in ancient Ghoulish language, and I'm just wondering how common is that language in Switzerland and do many people still speak it?
Chrigel: The use of the Ghoulish language to me is like I'd say artistic work or something like that. It's basically about to giving history in our songs to give them some flesh and blood and bring some life in it. It's more about the history but most of our songs are in English and it has been like that from day one.
To answer to your actual question, it's a dead language. It's like ancient Latin or ancient Greek, it died out in the early Middle Ages. There's no one speaking it. It's basically if it comes to lyrics, but especially of course it comes to the use of the Ghoulish language. It's just a shitload of scientific words and I'm usually working together with a couple of different universities all over Europe. Yeah, if it comes to the use of the Ghoulish language because it is a dead language and you can't exactly learn it. It's more that you can scientifically reconstruct it.
You can't exactly say that you speak this language or something like that. I mean there's definitely no one who speaks the language like that. It's just not spoken anymore since like around 1000 or 600 years or something like that. Then again, like in the Swiss language, there's still a lot of Ghoulish words that are used. The whole grammar is Germanic and like in Swiss language but that's just the words are still Ghoulish or of Ghoulish origins.
Levi: Yeah, it's very fascinating stuff. I think I'm definitely going to have to get out there and read some more about Celtic history because just after getting into your band, it's kind of made me curious about all that kind of culture.
What I love about your film clips too is most of your film clips you're out in the forest playing guitar and playing heavy metal and looks like a lot of fun, but you think playing out in the forest that's part of the music as well. Is it something that inspires you to write the music the way you do?
Chrigel: Honestly, that's actually not something that we ever really thought about very much. Nearly all the video clips we ever shot are very simple, I mean most of the time there's not a story line with actors and lot of things to add and usually it's just the band playing. We keep our video clips very simple and usually what we think is basically let's just take some beautiful pictures of beautiful places.
Levi: Any plans for a new album or DVD’?
Chrigel: Of course. Yeah, I mean, what's in store for next year is another album, which I'm working on right now actually. For the next couple of months, which will be the second part of 'Evocation', so the second part of the acoustic concept. We are planning to go to studio next summer, so yeah, that's definitely on the list. Looking forward to that a lot beyond.
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