Breaking down the last boundaries

Sarcastic answers by Alboîn and Martin


The biggest 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 aim."
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 to "Seelenspiegel"…"

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 too thin."

What's the concept about? What do the lyrics deal with?( I just have a promoCD...)
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 them?
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 it. "

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 the audience..."

Next plans for this year? What festivals are you gonna take part in?
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 ( 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 course!
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!" Martin: "Nothing more to add. Only this one: Sometimes try something new…;-)"



-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)