Eluveitie: Bringing The Magic to the Sunset Strip

eluvietieivo1Eluveitie converged upon the Los Angeles area. bringing their own imaginative brand of folk metal to House Of Blues on the world famous Sunset Strip.  Performing songs from their various albums, including their latest masterwork Origins, the Swiss collective had the audience absolutely captivated throughout the entire performance. Just prior to their magical set, we caught up with guitarist Ivo Henzi to find out more about the amazing new album, touring the States, their thoughts on Hollywood. and other topics of intrigue.  Read on…

Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band and how long have you’ve been with Eluveitie.
Hi, I am Ivo from Eluveitie, I’m a guitar player. I’ve been in the band for now 10 years.

How’s the tour going? What are some of the highlights?
This tour has been amazing so far. We have been on tour for about eight or nine days, even more. I lost track, we had about eight shows that were amazing so far. I think the highlight was for me so far, Dallas. Dallas was really great. Good crowd, good venue, good backstage, good food. Everything was just perfect.

eluveitie4How many times has your band played out here in Hollywood?
I think here in Hollywood, its about five times, here in House of Blues, three four times about.

What are you impressions of Hollywood now that you’ve been here a few times?
Its great, it’s great. I think we all kind of love this place which we imagined as children as a big place where all the stars come from. So yeah, we really love it. We love the clubs, we love the food here, we love most people, not all. [laughs] And yeah, I’ve been sightseeing a bit and it was really great. I went to the Warner Brothers studios, there was a tour guide there and you could watch behind the scenes, watch all the film sets and it was really interesting.

71rXizdfJjL._SL1417_Is there any story or concept behind Origins, the new album?
Yes, Chrigel is the one who was making lyrics and making the concept of the album. I mean there’s like a red line through the album. Its a bit less on the Helvetios . Helvetios was much more like a whole story if you could say so.  But, this one is a bit more mixed, a bit more open than we used to do it. I don’t want to go much deeper because Chrigel is the one who likes making lyrics with all the factual background, the historical background. This is like, as always, really important for us to have a good background, and we already tried to make lyrics or topics which have substance, historically substance, substantial stuff.

How do you think Origins compares to the previous albums?
I think Origins is a natural evolvement or progression from Helvetios. It has similarities, I guess but we also try to make new things we never did before. Like just some musical parts which are not typical for us. But we try to include them in a natural way so that it still sounds like Eluveitie. You know it’s, maybe some people don’t really hear it, maybe it’s so well included, I don’t know. I mean I hear them immediately and I’m surprised the feedback has been amazing so far. I’m surprised that no one really got pissed off because of some parts with it. But, this is a good sign. People like it.

eluveitie3What song do you enjoy playing the most live?
King.” I think that one includes a lot of different parts, aspects of our music. Like, the fast parts, the really folky parts – the metal parts. It’s like a package of all the good things.

What can one expect from your live show tonight?
You can expect a furious show of folk instruments combined with amazing speed metal – no, just kidding. I think, I mean, it’s hard to tell. We just try to be natural about these things. We just do. Just naturally evolves what we do on stage. Some parts we, of course have some directions of what’s going to happen. But, I think you’ll hear a lot of different things like slow songs, some calm moments through the set, some furious moments through the set. I think you’ve got lots of different emotions. That’s what we are. That’s the main concept of our live shows, to have a lot of different aspects.

Are you involved with any other bands outside of this one?
Not actively, no. I have some side projects that I’m doing but Eluveitie is my main focus. It’s the main musical thing I’m doing, so at the moment – no. But, our other members have. Anna has her project.

I saw her solo album on sale downstairs. Did any of you play on that?
I did play some stuff on that, yeah. But she’s the songwriter. She basically did all the songs, I was just a slave. [laughs]

eluveitie5Do you think you’ll be doing any acoustic albums or performances?
We are planning an acoustic album, another one. Yes. But, actually we don’t know when or there’s no date set for that but it will happen eventually. Acoustic shows? We’re still talking and looking into that so, we did some acoustic shows in the past with Evocation.  When Evocation came out, we did some shows, some festivals, just acoustic. We have to see about – what’s the interest of the people is and if they’re interested in acoustic performances. We don’t know, let’s see. Maybe with the new Evocation album. That’d make sense.

What’s up next for you guys after this tour is over?
We go home for about a week and then we go on another tour in Europe for about 6 weeks until mid December. So we’re really busy. All over Europe, which is a long tour.

Do you have any messages for your bands fans out here in the Los Angeles area?
You fans in the Los Angeles area are one of the greatest. Please come to our shows. Next time as well, bring your friends and families so we can fill up the venues, thank you very much. You are the best.

Eluveitie is:
Merlin Sutter – Drums
Chrigel Glanzmann – Vocals, Mandola & Mandolin, Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipes, Bodhràn
Anna Murphy – Hurdygurdy, Vocals, Flute
Nicole Ansperger – Fiddle
Ivo Henzi – Guitars
Rafael Salzmann – Guitars
Patrick Kistler – Tin & Low Whistles, Bagpipe
Kay Brem – Bass

(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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