difference with "Seelenspiegel" is that you haven't had any style boundaries
here. The genres you touch in this CD are almost 10!
Alboîn: "Greetings Markus! Style boundaries... actually we haven't had
too many of them at no point of our discography. At the beginning the
intention was to sound in a certain way, later (from 2000 onwards) Martin
already followed his own way of composing. 'Seelenspiegel' indeed still
had some reminiscences to Black Metal - also in the production - which
have vanished totally today. The big difference is that Martin has worked
with a lot of style foreign influences like ballads, blues, swing, rock
etc. for the first time. I haven't counted the genres the album could
remind to, generally I'm not the biggest fan of drawers at all. The
homogenous result is what counts, and in my eyes we've reached that
Martin: "Could you give me a hint what 10 genres you mean?…;-)"
Was the songwriting and pre-production of "Gradwanderer" quicker
than in the past?
Alboîn: "I don't have the impression... maybe the songwriting of three
quarters of the album took less time than for 'Seelenspiegel', but Martin
added 'Die Seelensteine' later, and we've recorded 'Herbststurm' rather
spontaneously in the studio. On the other hand, "Exemption" is a track
that has been finished shortly after the recording to 'Seelenspiegel'.
To me it seems Martin has some really creative phases in which he usually
composes a lot of material - followed by quite some time the songs can
'ripe' so to say, like good wine. Indeed we've pre-produced 5 tracks
for the first time, 'Chimera', 'An ode to the forlorn', 'When the last
glow flies', 'The burning of the sea' and 'Herbststurm', completely
with drums and guitars. Martin has prepared at home because he was short
in time again. I guess we needed something like 4 days, not more. The
ironic thing is that (apart from me) we haven't even recorded the pre-production
and the final production with the same line-up, so it was mainly a good
experience, but nothing more.
" Martin: "In a way and talking about the pre-production: yes. The songwriting
itself definetely did take more time, because I invested a lot more
detailed work in the album, and I guess one can hear that in comparison
This time you've also written your longest song, "Die Seelensteine"...
Martin: "Yes, I wrote… And it was both a pleasure and a dream of mine
to do such an acoustic based song with lyrics in style of the early
romantic ballads. I created a fantasy-story and built it into a lyrical
concept, which hasn´t been very easy in fact cause you need quite a
length for unfolding such a story of the format worked out in "Die Seelensteine".
The result was, that the song became quite long and it was difficult
not to make it sound like that: Too long… I think it is quite various
although its playing time of nearly 16 minutes. I still remember Alboîn
saying: "Not more than a quarter of an hour!" Now it lasts a bit longer
and I won the battle…
J. No, the song was an experiment, and I knew about the danger arising
out of such an outbraking song-structure. I think listeners don´t
have that much time any more to listen to a piece of music which is
longer than six minutes with full concentration. Therefore "Die Seelensteine"
was a kind of test, if such a song in this kind of style does really
work on an ENID-album, and I must say: it does. May the jury decide…"
Are you satisfied of the vocal lines of "The Burning of the Sea"?
Alboîn: "If I'm allowed to comment on that... I've read your review
to the album, and like a lot of other writers you haven't yet made peace
with 'The burning...". Of course we were perfectly aware of the fact
that most people would absolutely dislike the track, but what the heck...
we're an artistic band and not the latest TV casting result! Yes, the
first 30 seconds of the track a uncommon to the bone, but the song all
in all is a fucking masterpiece in my eyes! Like you guessed in the
review: maybe in a year (or hopefully a little earlier) you'll recognize
the qualities of the track. Ah yes, to answer you question ;-) : yes,
I AM SATISFIED."
I think you should exploit your 3 guitarists more, like in "When
the last glow flies". What's your view?
Alboîn: "I don't really understand the question to be honest... you
mean we should use more different guitar skills and lines? For example,
'When the last glow flies' has been almost entirely played by me as
it consists mainly of rhythm guitars. 95% of the lead guitars have been
played by Patrick, and the rest by Jörn. Actually my impression is that
we've 'exploited' all available skills, always with the intention to
get the best result for the song, not to show how-oh-so-skilled we are.
Also, the balance between the instruments is perfect like that, more
guitars would cover the keys and vocals too much - and less would sound
What's the concept about? What do the lyrics deal with?( I just have
Martin: "Let me put it this way: If you read the lyrics you should get
an impression of what they deal with. Impossible that you get none.
What´s the meaning of it is another question, but none I´m going to
comment on here… Cause it´s a request of me to make the listener look
into the booklet and READ. And one step further: to THINK. It´s not
my job here to explain you the detailed meaning of the lyrics. What
I can do is telling you something about the concept, although I don´t
like the word very much… The title gives you a hint to the "concept".
From my point of view "Gradwanderer" contains a form of romantic
view towards things. This romantic view is my offer to the listener
to deal with it. May he damn it to hell, create a religion out of it,
or may he just think about it and try to think the thoughts involved
in the lyrics back and try to transport them into him/herself. The
lyrics don´t have the one explicit meaning they aren´t written for just
telling a story (apart from "Die Seelensteine" maybe).
Did you already know Tidal Wave studios before using them? Why just
Alboîn: "Of course I knew the studio, not from my or our own experiences,
but I had some good and friendly contact with Patrick some time before
the recording. I've also listened to his latest productions (Falkenbach,
Secrets of the Moon, Vindsval, Rivendell etc.), some of these bands
are also personal friends or mates of mine, so I had a bunch of arguments
for Martin to book Tidal Wave for ENID. Luckily, because the new production
is the first one we can be absolutely happy about, to the greatest extent
thanks to Patrick's skills as a producer. He just knows how to find
out how a certain material should sound and to professionally improve
the sound of a band, which hasn't been the case with the previous albums.
A big advantage has also been the fact that Michel, the drummer who
plays on 'Gradwanderer', plays in VINDSVAL together with Patrick and
is used to his way of working in the studio. I'm pretty sure we'll book
Tidal Wave again for the next album."
What's your opinion about the metal scene? How do you feel if you
think that the quality of your product could be unobserved because there're
so many bands first, and a lot of listeners looking for more 'classical'
styles or records? I mean, of course you make music for yourself, but
if you decided to sign with a label, that means you also wanna sell
records and not only keep it for yourself. Isn't it frustrating to be
avantgarde for the times, so that your success will be recognized by
the masses only in, say, 10 years?
Alboîn: "It is in some way, believe me. Otherwise, it's a question of
priorities. I've always been the 'fan' type of musician, also after
4 albums with ENID and a lot of different scene activities. I guess
I know which styles most listeners prefer and I know that a band
like ENID does not belong to that - but can't lead to the decision to
change one's sound! Mainly the metal scene is an utterly conservative
scene, most people are habitual listeners and they will never try out
an album like 'Gradwanderer' instead of buying the latest Cannibal Corpse.
On the other side I'm really really happy that no Marduk fan will ever
love an album of ENID, I fear he or she won't understand the way we
listen to music. One of the biggest problems in music and business is
that you can't choose your listeners, even if that sometimes could be
attractive. Martin writes music since a decade know, and of course
it's understandable that you want people to listen to your music. When
releasing CDs that practically means selling records (mainly for the
label because they invest their money!). OK, we sell a few thousand
records, that probably means there are some thousand people who find
Martin's music worth buying and listening. That's perfectly alright
with me; and if, in 5 years or whatever, 'the masses' will recognize
ENID's qualities that is also fine with me. But hey, being avantgarde
also means being a bit off the usually used track, and to be that with
full heart. I won't stop playing music just because most people prefer
Manowar or boring gothic metal stuff. Martin will not as well, I'm sure
about that. Fortunately there are still some minorities who prefer ENID,
so what to moan. And finally: as long as I like it I will continue with
Did you play often in the past? What's the public reaction usually?
And how do you involve people with such a complicated music? Can you
re-play all the songs as on CD or do you have to re-arrange them or
cut off some instruments or parts?
Alboîn: "Yeah, we played often in the past. A few times during a months
in the rehearsal room for example, hehe! I guess you mean playing live...
tja, we've had 5 gigs in 18 months or something. Not too many, but enough
to recognize that ENID is not born for the stage, at least not with
only one keyboard, two guitars, drums and vocals. The material we've
played had to be reduced to a minimal arrangement, without bass, choirs,
additional keyboard layers and so on. Not very genius to be honest,
but we've tried our best. Some people liked it, but unfortunately we've
never really had the opportunity to play for a fitting audience (always
black metal fans, drunk punks, right wing extremists [in Thuringia]
and so on), which hasn't been the ideal as well. For the time being
we're not playing live, but Martin is up to building up a new live line-up
with him on vocals and keyboards, me on rhythm guitars, Patrick on lead
guitars, Southie on bass, Michel on drums and partly playback with additional
synths and vocals, so that we will have the complete material sounding
from the stage. No idea how and if that will work, we'll see. If it
functions it's time enough to think about something like how to involve
Next plans for this year? What festivals are you gonna take part
Alboîn: "A nice question to be honest, but unfortunately you're not
interviewing Nightwish here.
J: No festivals of course, we'll concentrate on rehearsals with the
new line-up, Martin starts composing for the new album and builds up
his home studio at the same time. Most probably no live gigs this years!
Sebastian and Jörn (our former drummer and guitarist) are now part of
my second band EISMALSOTT (www.eismalsott.de)
which I have with a friend of mine. During the summer we'll record a
mini album and a full length afterwards, so there's enough to do.
Tell us a funny or interesting episode happened on tour or stage?
Alboîn: "There's always a problem with telling funny happenings... they're
not funny anymore for people who read these lines. Of course there have
been a lot of more or less cheesy things during the gigs... shortly
before the first gig I wanted to quit with the band because I was so
damn nervous for example.
J: Back then it was horrible, today I can just smile about that. Then
the totally stoned punks banging in front of the stage, even when we
had a break between two songs. Jörn always used to check the mic with
a quote from the Sesame Street: 'KÖÖÖÖÖÖKSÖÖÖÖÖ!!!' (which means...
ehm... 'coooookies!!!', hehe). One gig we found an s/m dummy backstage
and imitated some porn movies... you could even find the photos on the
homepage. Martin ate three 'Prinzenrolle' (prince roll, hehe) cookies
at once shortly before one gig and nearly died... There are also a lot
of not-so-funny memories, but I better shut up before Martin kills me.
Are you also friends out of the band?
Alboîn: "Friendship is a flexible treatment. Martin and me know each
other since 8 years now and we've become something like friends during
the years, even if don't meet each other too often and don't talk a
lot about private things out of the band. With the other guys being
currently in the band it's a friendly relationship, but it's far too
early to talk about friendship. I play together with Sebastian and Jörn
for over 3 years already, and they have also become some close friendly
people for me. Still we don't meet often outside rehearsals. Generally
I have the impression that it's wise to keep a certain personal distance
if you play together in one band, otherwise you tend to just sit down
and drink when you should work on songs. I'm not cold hearted but I
try to be both friend and musician..."
You can add all you want to close the intie. And thanks a lot of
Alboîn: "Thank you for the cool interview and also the very great review,
I've enjoyed both very much! Good luck with your webmag - and to you
readers: thanks for having read this!! Buy the new album and have a
look at www.enid-webrealm.de!"
Martin: "Nothing more to add. Only this one: Sometimes try something
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 22/3/04
-Enid (demo, 1997)
-Nachtgedanken (CCP -CD, 1999)
-Abschiedsreigen (CCP - CD, 2000)
-Der Tag zur Nacht sich senkt... (Ketzer - 10" MLP, 2001)
-Seelenspiegel (Code 666 - Digipack CD, 2002)
-Gradwanderer (Code 666 - Digipack CD, 2004)