DH: Tell us something about Elizium. When and how was the band founded? Which musicians are involved in Elizium?
Elizium was founded in 1991. It was in the summer that I went to a local swimming pool where I met some guys playing in a band with no name. I joined the band initially as a guitarist and when the original singer left the band, I became the new vocalist. Around that same time we chose the name Elizium for the band. The original line-up fell apart in 1995, and during that period, Gerard, Peter and me each played in other bands separately.
In 2000 we decided to form a new Elizium. This time we had a more distinct view on which way to go and what kind of music and atmosphere we wanted to create. Elizium nowadays consists of Peter RŲge playing guitar, Erik Dijkstra on keys, Marco Snoek on bass guitar, Gerard Manoch rolling the drums, and me, Peter Berends doing the vocals and playing guitar. Marco and Erik were the last ones who have joined the band (Peter, Gerard and I were part of Elizium from the start), and we have a great line-up now.
DH: Your music sounds to me very dark a 100% pure metal and gothic. What are the reasons for you playing such dark music?
Well, we are attracted to dark music because of our personal taste I guessÖ Just like there are people who like to listen to Christina Aguilera (I really cannot imagine why), we like to listen to darker music. Furthermore many of our influences are based on film scores and majestic metal music. Itís the immersion in the music thatís attractive, makes you feel powerful and small at the same time. Another major factor is the expression of emotions we can put in our music. We always liked the darker music more because of its quality to express emotions like anger, grief, sorrow and beauty, compared to the regular happy radio-stuff.
DH: In the last few years Elizium had a lot of success. How do you handle this success? Is it sometimes a problem for you being such popular?
Not at all! Itís such an amazing compliment when people come to us to talk about the music we make. Our songs are symbolic and contains a lot of emotional involvement from all of us. Therefore, our music feels personal and we hope that other people who listen to the songs, feel that personal touch. Itís so great to notice that our music that has a deep impact on us also impacts others!
DH: Had there been any pressure on you recording the new album "Angel of Mistrust" because of your popularity?
We had some pressure during the recordings, but that was more related to the fact that some recordings were screwed because of a wrong setting in recording quality. Therefore, we had to do some songs again and we managed to do that within the deadline that was set by the record company. And most importantly, we had a great time during the recordings!
DH: Again "Angel Of MistrustĒ contains a lot of good new songs deep from the heart of darkness. How long did you record the new album? Had there been a special atmosphere in the recording studio?
We were in the fortunate position to have access to a lot of recording equipment that we could use in the same area where we rehearse. Therefore we could create our own recording environment and record the material over time. The complete process to create the album from recording to mastering took about three months. So, to answer your question, besides the familiar environment, there was no special atmosphere during the recordings. We had a great time during the mixing of the album. Countless nights we spent listening to fragments of our songs and tweaking and adjusting the sound characteristics. We installed a large couch in the mixing room and we had the local pizza courier to deliver pizzas. When we finished the master, we went to a local pub, asked to play the recordable we brought with us, and we got totally drunk that night.
DH: Who writes the songs? Is there only one person writing them or do you write them all together?
The foundation of our songs is usually contributed by me in the form of a keyboard passage or a sample. The lyrics are written by Erik Dijkstra or me and the rest of the music evolves while rehearsing. Eventually we all give our individual contribution to it. We do not have instant songs written at home and rehearsed; a new song takes time to complete.
DH: I like very much the song "Moonlit Haze"? What is the song about? How do you get the idea for recording this song?
Thanks for the compliment. Moonlit Haze is one of our first songs, and we really love to play it. It is actually a sad song about true love which cannot be found. The lyrics speak about a vampire wandering for decades searching for the true love. Even when found, his thirst for blood makes a sad end to the relationship. Read between the lines and you notice that itís a very depressive song about a feeling of never ending loneliness.
Thereís a specific pace in this song which feels alright. Itís not the average doom song, but in some way perhaps catchy. We made a video clip for this song which can be watched on our website (www.elizium.nu).
DH: When will Elizium hit Germany again with a tour? Are there concrete plans for a tour in Germany? Do you like playing live more than recording a new album?
We are very enthusiastic about performing in Germany. Compared to Holland thereís so much more interest in rock and metal related music. At this moment we have no concrete plans for a complete tour, but rest assured that we will perform in Germany! The other question is a difficult one to answer. We like to play live and we like to record, but itís hard to compare the experiences. Recording is a slow-paced, creative and complex process, while playing live is the opportunity to meet our audience. We wouldnít want to miss both!
DH: Thank you very much for answering our questions. We wish you all the best for the future. Your famous last words to our readers please:
The beauty is in darkness, in darkness lies beauty. Thanks for listening.
Interview: Andreas Ohle