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Interview: Edenbridge

This week's interview is with the Austrian symphonic metal band Edenbridge. Currently the band consists of Sabine Edelsbacher (vocal), Arne "Lanvall" Stockhammer (guitar and keyboard), Dominik Sebastian (guitar), Johannes Jungreithmeier (drums) and Stefan Gilp (bass). We had the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with Lanvall, a founding member and lead songwriter of the band where he tells us a bit about the history of Edenbridge, the latest album "The Great Momentum" is much more, check it out:

EC - First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting the Elegia e Canto interview. I would like to congratulate you for the 20-year career of the Edenbridge completes in 2018. Over the years you have managed to keep your musical essence from "Sunrise in Eden" (2000) to "The Great Momentum" (2017). How do you see the history of the band?
Lanvall: Thank you, although I would want to celebrate the 20 years in 2020, as our first album was released in 2000. It has been a long time with great experiences and the musical journey is still on. We released 9 studio albums, 3 live albums one big dvd, toured all over Europe, had some great shows in Asia (Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam) and Russia and had our first visit on the 70000tons of metal festival in the USA/Carribean sea last year.

EC - Despite the many changes in line-up, you have achieved a rare feat in the symphonic metal: from the beginning have the same vocalist. We can recognize Lanvall as the creative mind behind musical magic, the soul of the band; Sabine and her voice is the emotion, the heart of Edenbridge. How do you think can accomplish this successful partnership over the years? And what do you think about the bands of the genre that constantly change their vocalists?
Lanvall: Well a good question. Sabine and I are partners in crime (haha). We had a vision and we never gave up, because it was always the music what mattered. In the meantime we are also working on the lyrics together, which is absolutely great.
Well, this is quite unusual, you are right. I don't know any other band in that style where the creative forces stayed the same over nearly 20 years. When I compose I always have Sabine's voice in my head, so I exactly know how it will sound in the end. On the other hand I understand why there are so many changes in other bands. It is the pressure of the business, different views and always the money factor when there is money to share.

EC - A lot of things changed in the music industry over the years. Edenbridge is one of the few bands of the symphonic metal continued treading an uninterrupted career. How do you perceive today the role of the Internet in the musical environment? And its new ways of consuming music like streaming services?
Lanvall: It was an uninterrupted career but we also had longer gaps between our album released from 2010 on. The internet is a great invention. Communication is so much easier nowadays. On the other hand, streaming in my opinion is the death of music. I just read an article about a study, that the musical song structure has gonna changed. No intros, better starting with the chorus, vocals have to get in after 5 seconds latest. What a bullshit! I am making music for the sake of music and not for anything else! If that passion is lost some day I will stop, for sure. Unfortunately it is nearly the same in metal. Tons of uninspired releases are flooding the market. Everything is dominated by the tour factor, therefore time for inspiriation, composing and producing inspired albums is nearly over.

EC - I believe that for many in Brazil, the first contact with Edenbridge has been through Sabine's participation in the album "Temple of Shadows" (2004), the Brazilian band Angra. I take this opportunity to say "No pain for the Dead" is still one of the most beautiful songs of Angra, and much loved by fans and would not be the same without their participation. How did the contact with Angra happen? And how did you participate in recording the album?
 Lanvall: We first met Angra in the studio in Germany in 2001. They recorded “Rebirth”, we did “Arcana” both with Dennis Ward. In 2004 they did “Temeple of Shadows” and we did “Shine”, same studio, same engineer. So they asked Sabine if she wants to particiapte in 2 songs on the album and she immediately recorded them. In 2005 we accompanied Angra on their European tour and she sang that song as a duet every evening. Last year we met Angra again on the 70000tons of metal festival again. It is still a great band!

EC - In 2015, you released the "A Decade and a Half ... The History So Far" with almost nine hours rare records of the band with performances by the world. How did the idea for this DVD? And how was the process of choosing / organizing the videos?
 Lanvall: During a walk in the woods in 2014 I had the idea to do a DVD about our first 15 years. Immediately I started to digitalize our old videos that had piled up in our archive. In the end I worked about 1 year on it and finally 6 DVDs with 9 hours of running time came out. There is frame story when we reunited with our former bass and guitar player Andi Eibler and Kurt Bednarsky talking about our first years. You can see footage from our very first show, even from a rehearsal from 1994 of the pre-Edenbridge-band Cascade. There are 3 full live shows from Germany 2004, Beijing 2007 and Czech Republic 2014 among all our video clips, behind the scenes material, offstage sequences from all over the world.

EC - Now let's talk a little about the last album "The Great Momentum", it was recorded together with the Junge Philharmonie Friestadt Orchestra. How was   to record together a real orchestra? And what are the biggest difficulties of this kind of recording, compared to recordings with keyboard samples?
 Lanvall: We have been working with different orchestras in the past to look for different sounding options. In 2007 we recorded the Czech Film Orchestra in Prague all together. This method is the most natural one but leaves you little options during the mix of the album. For “The Bonding” we recorded the “Klangvereinigung Vienna” in sections (strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion) which culminated in a much better separation in the mix. We already recorded with the “Junge Philharmonie” on our VOICIANO acoustic project which worked beautifully. On the other hand the sampling technology is really sophisticated meanwhile. I am endorsing the wonderful libraries by Orchestral Tools, which in my opinion are the absolute number 1.

EC - I realized through the lyrics to "The Great Momentum" that you demonstrated throughout the album that our choices, the moments we live shape our future, am I right? Was this the goal of the band? How did the album concept come about?
 Lanvall:  “The Great Momentum” is a very powerful title, therefore it needed an equivalent artwork. “The Great Momentum” is the “timeless, absolute NOW”. People often tend to live in the future or in the past and forget about this very moment, where life is happening. The stone lady in her meditation pose and the energy flowing through her body, reflects this very well. It was very nice that Sabine collaborated on the lyrics on 5 out of the 9 songs, this brought some fresh aspects and ideas into our lyrics.

EC - The song "Only A Whiff of Life" by "The Great Momentum", with its sweet and melancholy duo of voice and piano, reminds me of the mood of "Voiciano" (2014). How was this project born? Lanvall: Right after our last studio album “The Bonding” I wanted to do something different musically. In 2010 Sabine and I played a short acoustic showcase in Hanoi (Vietnam), just piano and vocals. This was really inspiring, so we founded VOICIANO, the acoustic project. Only acoustic instruments were allowed to use, so no drums, electric guitars and keyboards. I recorded most of the piano parts live without clicktracks and then everything followed. In 2014 we released our first album “Everflow”.
I am pretty sure there will be a second album sometimes but not at the moment. I already recorded 2 new songs on piano, right after composing them to capture the feeling, but I was too busy with Edenbridge to continue. But in the meantime people can still purchase the album and all other items in our webstore www.edenbridgefanclub.org

EC - The end of "Great Momentum" is truly epic with "The Greatest Gift Of All", in my humble opinion one of the best songs in Edenbridge's history, simply amazing! Could you talk a little about the story / composition of this song?
Lanvall: Thank you, it is also one of my absolute favorite ones. The longtrack “The Greatest Gift Of All” for me is music and therefore it is a tribute to music lyrically. From the smoothest, mellowest parts to the orchestral blast beat inferno, you find nearly everything in those 12 minutes. It: took me a while to finish that song.

EC - Brazilian fans have been waiting for Edenbridge for many years for our country. Is there any possibility of "The Great Momentum" tour going through Brazil?
Lanvall: Well I hope so. We very often quite near. In 2002 a tour was planned but cancelled only days before, which was very sad. We would love to tour South America!
EC – Elegia e Canto thanks you again for this interview. Could you leave a message for our readers and Edenbridge’s fans from Brazil?
Lanvall: Thank you for the interview. Greets and thanks to all our Brazilian fans. Hope to see you on the road sometimes!

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