Anna Murphy has been in ELUVEITIE for eight years now. She sings lead on some songs and also plays the hurdy gurdy and flute. Any of you who are familiar with this band know what kind of sound they bring to the table, and those of you who are not need to look into them with a quickness. I was fortunate enough to have a brief e-mail chat with Anna not too long ago as newest album Origins was getting ready to come out via Nuclear Blast Records. I found her to be fun, and interesting, and a whole lotta metal!! So take a look, and when you’re done, go check out some sounds.
Amps: The sound you have is very unique. And with eight members in the group, tell me, what is the writing breakdown? Does everyone come to rehearsal with demos, or do you all get together and work on songs?
Anna: No, not at all. Chrigel (Glanzmann, vocals, Mandola & Mandolin, Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipes, Bodhràn) and Ivo (Henzi, guitars) are the main songwriters and pretty much everything will come from them. I chip in here and there with some tunes and especially with vocal melodies. And that’s basically it. Of course musicians are going to maybe re-arrange their parts once they get them, especially Merlin changes a lot of drums to adjust to his personal style.
Amps: There is such a contrast between the melodic folk aspect of “The Call of the Mountains” and sheer brutality of a song like “Sucellos”and yet it all fits together. How do you find that balance without leaning too much in one particular direction?
Anna: No idea, it just happens! That’s what makes ELUVEITIE unique, I’d say. It’s always been really important to us to keep those two elements of metal and folk completely balanced. That one would still work without the other. And of course our producer Tommy Vetterli does a great job during mixing to make this work as well.
Amps: What’s an ELUVEITIE show like, for the uninitiated? What should a first-timer expect?
Anna: A cluster-fuck of people, folk tunes and loud metal. A first-timer should definitely bring ear-protection and maybe not stand in the first couple of rows because there will be circle pits and walls of death and sometimes even some breaking of noses 😉
There is definitely a lot happening, especially since there are so many people on stage. I think I would have a hard time concentrating on what to look at if I came to one of our shows.
Amps: How long did you spend writing the material that would wind up on Origins? And with so many different elements, what is the recording usually like?
Anna: The writing process was about a year I’d say? Some songs were already done long before we went to the studio, we even played them live. Then again, about half of the album was written DURING the studio period, which is pretty unusual for metal bands I’d say. The recording was fun, but also stressful as you can imagine with so little time to learn quite a lot of material. But in the end it always seems to work out and lead to a satisfying result.
Amps: Do you have a favorite song or songs on Origins?
Anna: I do. “The Nameless.”
Amps: What are you listening to when you’re out driving around or just away from the band?
Anna: All sorts of stuff, I’m very open these days! At the moment my favourites are: MANES, ARCHIVE, SALTILLO… and just yesterday my friends and I were listening to 90’s thrash hits 😉
Amps: What are some of your favorite places to play? (Venues, cities, countries)
Anna: JAPAN and the USA. I like everything though. But those two are definitely the bestest, no matter what city and venue.
Amps: How long do you think you’ll tour in support of the album?
Amps: What are some of your non-musical interests?
Anna: Reading, comics, painting, swimming, hiking…
Amps: What has been your favorite thing about playing in this band for eight years now?
Anna: The many things I’ve learned over the years, especially musically. I’ve progressed immensely as a musician, and not by doing all the boring stuff like playing scales and shit, but by actually having lots of fun doing it! That’s quite a privilege.
And also all the places I see while touring, it’s a luxury being able to see the world because of the work you’re doing.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the ELUVEITIE fans around the globe?
Anna: You guys are the best! You are the reason we can do what we love and we’ll always be grateful to you! Cheers!
Amps: Once again, I cannot thank you enough for taking some time from your busy schedule to speak with a fan first, writer second. Have a wonderful day, and I look forward to my first ELUVEITIE show here in Dallas, TX on Sept. 27!!
Ahhh, the magic of e-mail. I love that I get to talk to interesting people like Anna Murphy when they’re half a world away. ELUVEITIE are poised to do some pretty big things with this record Origins. So, are you convinced yet? If you want to find out if this type of metal is for you, four words: LISTEN. TO. THE. ALBUM. Take a shot, try something new, dammit! When have I steered you guys wrong, huh?