As a long-standing fan of Elvenking, I’ve witnessed all the various artistic changes the band has gone through during these twelve years. From a curious blend of folk and power metal, inspired by Skyclad and Helloween, to a dark and modern album in the vein of bands like Children of Bodom, through a semi-acoustic folk release and an alternative rock/metal inspired Red Silent Tides, Elvenking has explored more genres than most bands would even think of doing.
We spoke to Damna, the singer of Elvenking, about the new release, the old days and, among many other things, all the problems that a metal band encounters in this cruel jungle that is the music industry.
MB: First of all, I would really like to thank you for this opportunity. I’ve been a fan of “Elvenking” since “Wyrd,” so it’s both an honor and pleasure to be doing this interview.
Damna: Thank you so much, thanks to all the Metal Blast staff.
MB: Your latest release, “Era” was released on September 14th, via “AFM Records.” The album is diverse in that it features all your trademark elements. How do you feel about this record and where does it stand in Elvenking’s career?
Damna: Era definitely stands as a new chapter in our story and in our career. It is something really big for us, something that had happened only once in the past, with the release of The Winter Wake album; I think that this happened because we had major changes inside the band.
We had a big line up change, because both the drummer and the bass player just left Elvenking and they were really important members since they had been with us since the very beginning. So, yeah, it was a bit strange for us because we had to pick up some new guys and it’s very hard when you want to have all the things working, and with people it’s always very difficult, especially with new members. Fortunately, we found out two guys that were absolutely great musicians, and I think this brought a completely new technical level inside the band and it was really cool to have them on board; it was also a new thing for us to have two new guys that were bringing great enthusiasm since, after so many years together it’s kind of normal that you don’t have that great enthusiasm. I mean, you still believe in music, believe in the band, but when you get used to things you kind of miss it even if you don’t realize it; But with new members it was kind of this great new enthusiasm and great charge and this was vital for the writing of the new album and we could feel it in the rehearsal room when we were writing the songs.Ç
Apart from this new line up and the new guys, this album is coming after two different albums in our career: the first one was The Scythe where we kind of explored our heavier side; And then came the Red Silent Tides, which was the complete opposite, since it was very melodic and with a production which was closer to a hard rock sound.
I think that after all this roaming and all this exploring we really had to make an album like Era for ourselves. I mean, it’s kind of going on and going forward, but we also looked at the past and we just saw all the cool things we did in the past, and it was influencing our sound with our own sound, finally making an album that is Elvenking one hundred percent. In this album I can hear stuff like the complexity and the freshness of the songwriting of the first album, and all the “epicness” and the orchestrations and all the folk instruments like we had on The Winter Wake album, and then, of course, heavy tracks or more melodic tracks like on the latest albums.
I think that this album summarizes what Elvenking is.
MB: What does “Era” stand for: is it beginning or the ending of an era?
Damna: I think both; it’s the ending of one chapter and the opening of the big new chapter for us.
MB: Who did the artwork this time? Was it Samuel Araya again?
Damna: Yeah, it was. He already did the cover for Red Silent Tides and we were really happy with that, and the way he works is pretty quick and he knows really quickly what we are searching for. It was good, and there was a very good connection also for this one and I think the new cover is really good, it’s really atmospheric, gloomy and a bit dark.
MB: I asked that question because I read an interview with Aydan recently and he said that you try to change the artist for every album. Yes, this time I recognized Arraya’s work…
Damna: Yeah, of course, we tend to change, it’s always like that for us, we’re never stuck on one kind of sound or one kind of artist. We always try to change things around the band. Yes, I think we made two albums with Samuel Arraya, as we did two albums with the previous artist, who made The Winter Wake and The Scythe Gyula Havancsak, a Hungarian guy. I don’t know, probably for the next one we will change, we will see. But, we were really happy with Samuel so, you know, we’ll have to think that through.
MB: What can you tell me about the writing process? You mentioned that the feeling while you were doing this album was different because of the two new members. Did you write the songs individually or did you all just get together?
Damna: Well, usually the ones who write music in the band have always been me and Aydan, and with the latest release it was pretty easy for us to write music at home, personally or together, me and him, make some quick demos and bring them to the rehearsal room and then try and rehearse the songs together. But this time it was more of a team work, because even though Aydan and I had the main ideas, the other guys brought some stuff, and it was cool because it was more of an album that was born in the rehearsal room, which is good since you get all kind of different ideas and you get this good vibe of kind of jamming things. I mean, this time we also have a song by Lethien, the violin player, “Poor Little Baroness” was mostly his idea, and then we worked it in the rehearsal room. He brought that and Rafahel brought his stuff too. The whole artistic process was really, really good.
MB: What can you tell us about your collaboration with producer Nino Laurene this time? How did you decide on working with him, how did it come to be?
Damna: Well, we had already worked with Nino for the mixing of The Scythe and The Winter Wake album. For Red Silent Tides we used a completely different producer (Dennis Ward) who is, I believe, one of the biggest producers in the hard rock and Album-Oriented-Rock (AOR) scene, and his production was what we wanted at the time. While I think that Red Silent Tides is an album that should have sounded like that, this time we just opted for going back to a more metal sound and a more bombastic, Finnish sound, so it was natural to call up Nino and say “Hey man, let’s go!”
MB: The album features numerous guests, most prominent of them being Jon Oliva (JOP, ex-Savatage) who sings in two songs. Also, Teemu Mantysaari (Wintersun) contributed a guitar solo? Can you tell us more about these collaborations?
Damna: Well, we knew Jon Oliva since we made the tour in 2006. We made a support tour for Jon Oliva’s Pain and that’s where we met him. He’s a great musician but also an awesome guy and it was very cool to have the opportunity to do that tour together because when you play with the big legends and you see they are so cool and they support young bands like ours it was very cool. So, we kept in contact throughout the years, sometimes we met him at festivals and we always had this idea of asking him to do a guest vocal on one of our songs. I think that we never had the right material until this time, when we actually had two songs and we were thinking “Man, I think that his voice would fit perfectly on these two songs, let’s ask him!“. He was very happy to help us out and was very cool; he’s an awesome musician, an artist and his performance is fucking awesome.
Teemu, from Wintersun, was a kind of a casual collaboration. I mean of course we know Wintersun and we love their album. We were in the studio and Nino was there, and Teemu was also there because, I think he works sometimes at Sonic Pump Studios or he’s actually working there on a regular basis now, I didn’t understand that… Anyway he was there and Nino told us: “Hey, why don’t you ask Teemu to make a solo, because he’s a great musician, he’s an awesome guitar player“, and we were “Ok, let’s do it“, and he made this incredible solo, I don’t know if you listened to it, it’s on the Walking Dead song.
MB: Yeah, I figured. I didn’t know where it was, but I recognized it.
Damna: You know, it’s such an amazing solo and we were like “Thank you so much, ’cause this is fucking awesome!“
MB: Have you had any more contact with “Wintersun,” did you talk about a tour together maybe or…
Damna: No, actually no, we just talked to Teemu and I think that things were still a little bit secret, they didn’t confirm any tour or anything at the moment, so we didn’t go onto that. But, now I’ve seen that they are making a very, very long tour and now finally the album is out, so it’s going to kick some ass, hopefully.
MB: The other guest on the album I would like to mention is Maurizio Cardull (Folkstone) who plays various folk instruments on this record. How was it that you decided to go with actual instruments, and have you consider touring with him?
Damna: Well, actually, as you know he plays in an Italian band called Folkstone, and we played some gigs this last year with them. Of course we already knew them, but it was cool to tour a little bit in Italy and to get to know them better. Maurizio is an awesome musician; he can play a lot of instruments… I don’t know how many actually: he plays bagpipes, different kinds of flutes, and other folkloristic instruments. For us it was really, really natural to call him and say: “Why don’t you come and do a couple of things“, because we really needed some real instruments. It’s OK to do samples and stuff but, at least for the folk instruments, we needed the real stuff, It was simple to ask him because here in Italy there is no other band like Folkstone, they are amazing musicians and guys so that’s it. I don’t know about touring with him, I mean he’s so busy with Folkstone that I don’t think he’ll have any time to tour anyway. It would be cool, maybe to do some gigs together, that’s a good idea.
MB: A special show, maybe?
Damna: Yeah, yeah
MB: Yes, his contribution is really noticeable, from the first track, “The Loser,” the bagpipes were a total hit.
Damna: Yeah, I love that too.
MB: What lyrical themes does this album deal with?
Damna: I think that with the lyrics we also made a little bit of getting back to the past, because we picked up some of our old stuff, which we hadn’t listened to in a while… When you record them and play them live you get fucking sick, you start to hate your stuff, and that’s quite natural. But then, after a couple of years, you just pick up the old CDs, put them on and say “Oh, shit, that was good“, and you get in contact with what you were doing at the time. It’s like looking at an old picture of yourself and say “Hey man, ten years ago I was cool, I want to be like that again.” Unfortunately with pictures you can’t do that, but with music you can get in contact again with what you did. With lyrics it was a little bit like that too, since we were feeling the need to go back to the message we were giving to the people in the first album, which was a little bit about paganism, but seen with our own eyes. For us paganism is being different, being free of all the prisons that society puts you in: religions, politics and all that kind of stuff which really kills your artistic side. It was a kind of getting back to that and talking a little bit of being proud of being different, about being proud of being out of the crowd, but still being part of something made of us and what surrounds us: the sky, the rules and all on this planet. We were getting back to that and trying to give anther view of it.
Personally, my lyrics are really connected each other. It’s not a concept, but I think there is a kind of connection to all those lyrics and I explored all the different aspects of this, of being a kind of a loser – people may think you are a loser but you know, and the people who love you know that you are special, something different from others.
MB: You announced a couple of tour-dates in support of the album. Are you going to do a full headlining tour?
Damna: We are going to do six gigs now, as headliner. There are four in Spain, one in Luxembourg and one in Holland. And then we will do an Italian tour together with Secret Sphere, you probably know the band?
MB: Yeah, I saw them with Gamma Ray.
Damna: Oh, cool. We’re two Italian bands who were born more or less at the same time, the end of 1990’s. I think that it was cool to join and make a co-headlining tour together to give people a good package for a little money. For a few euros you can see a good show, and I think that it was important to give the Italian fans the idea that there are some bands to make this kind of team in the metal scene, because most of the times there are small wars between bands and I think it’s really pathetic. I think that bands should team up and help each other, because we are all a part of the metal scene and if we act like that we’re going to destroy it.
So, we are going to give a good show and maybe people are going to understand that metal is fun, and it’s about having fun together.
MB: Right, it’s not about making wars. I get it, yet it seems to be everywhere that bands envy each other, so what you are trying to do is great.
Damna: Yeah, it’s happening a lot, you hear of bands that really talk shit about you and then the day after they call you and say: “Hey, why don’t we do a tour together?“. But it’s OK, as long as there are still some bands that believe in what they do and don’t give a shit about this kind of envy…
MB: During a period of the last tour you played as support for Primal Fear and later with Rhapsody of Fire. So are you planning to do a tour with somebody else after the headlining tour?
Damna: Well, actually yeah, that is the plan. At the moment we don’t have anything set or anything confirmed, but our intention is to set some dates now, and next year try to do a good support tour, together with some more club gigs. This year we are also going to make some big festivals and we really hope we are going to do some more. We’ve been on a couple but at the moment I can’t say anything about it, because they still have to announce everything. This is a really good opportunity to show our music to a bigger audience and I think that festivals and support tours are the best way for a band like ours at the moment.
MB: Is there anybody in particular you would like to play with?
Damna: I don’t know… a lot of bands of course. I mean we are still fans of music, rock and roll and metal. I’m going to name you one because it gets on mind right now and it’s Nightwish, because I think it’s one of the coolest bands around who really grew up and are bringing high quality music and high quality shows to people, and that would be a really good opportunity for us right now.
MB: So, let’s get back to the past right now. Last year marked ten years since the release of your debut album: Heathenreel. Looking back at it, is it a record you are proud of and is there anything you would change from this perspective?
Damna: Well no, as I’ve told you when I look back at the old albums it’s like watching an old picture, an old photograph, and most of the times, even if I’m watching at my own photographs, I look at them and say: “Fuck, I look terrible on that one. I was twenty and I looked that terrible. Oh Fuck!” And this is how you feel about your albums, too. When you grow up and go on with the years you develop technical skills and things are getting better, so you can have better productions, you also have more time to develop your songwriting skills; so when you look back at the old album, it is like seeing yourself but downgraded a little bit, so it’s natural that it’s like that. Anyway, when I look back at Heathenreel I’m really happy about its sound and how it looks, just because it’s good memories and just because it was the start of a cool journey. I mean, we’re still talking about Elvenking and it’s is thanks to that album, and I wouldn’t change anything about it, really.
MB: There is a question I’ve always wanted to ask about the album. It’s about a song, Conjuration of the 14th, which really stands out compared to the rest of the album and sounds like it came straight off of a King Diamond record. Was this the intention of the band?
Damna: Well, we are very influenced by this kind of obscure themes and obscure heavy metal, especially at that time. King Diamond is absolutely one of our favorite artists; I love his music and at the time we were really, really crazy about it – Mercyful Fate, King Diamond and all that kind of obscure Swedish and Danish music. There are other bands like that influencing us, like Candlemass, and all that gloomy atmospheres and near to the extreme metal. It was a song that came up really naturally and we didn’t have any boundaries at the time: if we had a folk metal song in the rehearsal room, we would play it. If we had an obscure song, OK, we would play it. There was no filter in what we were doing and you can hear that in the first album. But as I’ve told you, I am really happy about it, and it’s cool that it’s so varied.
MB: So, we spoke about the scene today. Tell me about the scene when you were a demo band. Did you have any support from a larger act, or did you have to make it on your own?
Damna: The music scene was much different at the time. I know we are talking about only fifteen or twelve years, or something like that, so it’s not really a long time, actually things have changed so much… We were always on our own, we always made what we made by paying our own money, sweat and strain. But it was cool, and finally it paid off a little bit, because we had our own satisfaction. Of course, music was completely different at the time, Internet came and downloads came. We have this old-box and we have all of the old band stuff inside and sometimes we look at it, and it’s really sad how you are losing contact with people nowadays. I mean in this box we have a lot of handwritten letters by the fans from the first years, the demo and the first album. Of course, now we have e-mails and stuff, but the fans are losing contact with the artists and also with the beauty of what was collecting, having your CDs, the booklet and the lyrics, or the picture-LP. This kind of stuff is dying now with digital downloads and it’s a pity; this is the main change. On the other hand, we are still on the run and still fighting.
MB: Talking about those letters and contact with fans, I recently enrolled in your forum again (I was a member years ago, but I had forgotten my password and username). I saw that you were pretty active on it and even have an “Ask the band” section where you pretty much answer everything.. Do you think this is important?
Damna: Yes, I think that it is very important that, if you can and have the time to do so, you keep in touch with the fans because at the end of the day you are here, playing, because of them. They listen to your music, they buy your CDs, they come to the gigs, and I think that we really owe them this, because the opportunity of being here and playing the music we like is because of them. I think it’s really important to have a place where we can answer the questions; the forum was a bit down last months and with the new website it is going to be refreshed and renewed, and we are going to make some interaction there, because although there is Facebook, Twitter and all kinds of sites nowadays, we are still going to try to make contact with our fans through our forum and our site and see what will happen. Maybe we’ll have some contests and give some free stuff to the fans and have this interaction. It’s really important to give the fans something like that.
MB: Back when you started out you frequently used growls on the first two records, performed by Jarpen, your former guitar player. Nowadays they are very scarce, used only stylistically, for example at the end of “The Loser.” Is the reason for this the fact that the whole growl/clean thing has become somewhat cliché, or is there another reason?
Damna: Well, it’s just because if I sing like that I’d fuck up my voice! ……………No, I’m kidding [laughs] Actually I think that we always put that kind of singing where we thought it was necessary. And I think that in the latest albums, especially Red Silent Tides, it wasn’t necessary at all. I remember that originally there were some more in that album, but in the end we just thought it was OK like that. I’m pretty confident that with the next material there is going to be something like that. I was writing some stuff that had some growls inside, so probably we will have some more in the future.
MB: In these early days of Elvenking you played a couple of gigs with Martin Walkyer (ex-Skyclad). Are you still in touch now, and is there a chance of any future collaboration?
Damna: Actually, yes. Sometimes we get in contact and write a couple of e-mails. He is a very cool guy and I really hope we are going to do some collaboration in the future. We always wanted to have him as a guest on an album of ours and I think it would be perfect. I mean, if we have a very cool folk metal song having Martin sing some stuff would be one of our dreams come true from back when we were small kids listening to Skyclad, loving his lyrics and his way of singing. So, I really hope so.
MB: Your second album, “Wyrd”, was released with Kleid replacing you on vocals. How do you feel about this record, and do you think it would have sounded different were you in the band?
Damna: Well of course it would have sounded different!
How do I feel about it? When they give me the CD to sign I put strange things in his face, like mustaches and stuff like that. This is how I feel about that album [laughs]. No, I’m kidding. I think that would have sounded differently, both for the singing and the sound. I don’t know if you were following the split at the time, they made this album and I was doing this other band called Leprechaun. As a matter of fact, I was recently listening to that and thought: “God damn, there are some really cool songs on this demo” (we made a demo at the time). I think that when I have the time I will definitely record those songs again, because I think that they really need to be published. They are really amazing, and I didn’t remember they were.
Anyway… I think that Wyrd would have been pretty different, maybe more folk metal oriented than it is. It is probably more power metal oriented that the first one. But, anyway, it’s cool. It’s another one of those old pictures and it’s OK.
MB: A torn one?
Damna: Yeah, I’m not in that picture unfortunately. But I’m in right now.
MB: There was also some rumor going on, I think I read an interview where Aydan said that you were planning to re-record some of the stuff. Is it still on?
Damna: It is something that we always think about, and it’s just a matter of time. We already recorded a couple of songs: we made “Jigsaw Puzzle,” which was a bonus track on Red Silent Tides, I think the Japanese version if I’m not wrong, and we also made the acoustic version of The Perpetual Knot, another bonus track on the acoustic album. But I think we will make something about Wyrd, because right now the band has its own sound and I think that it would be interesting for the people and the fans to hear the version of Wyrd with Elvenking sounding like it does now.
MB: What were the most memorable moments of the early years?
Damna: Well, I think that the first times were cool: the first time we went in the studio, the first time we played out of Italy. Those are memorable moments I will never forget, because when you are very young it’s kind of living a dream. One thing I remember is when we were recording Heathenreel, and I was still in school at that time. Dammnit, I was really, really young and I remember that I wanted to do the album and just said: “Ok, I won’t go to school for a month, I don’t care. I’m going to record an album in a studio in Sweden, what the fuck do I care about school!” I really remember those times, they were really cool. I had a lot of fun, but in the end I finished school, so I mannaged.
MB:Some moments you would like to forget, from those times?
Damna: Yes. I think that the times around the Wyrd album are the ones I would forget. There was a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of wasted time. We wasted a lot of time and we could have done better with the band if we just didn’t give a shit about some stupid things that made us split. If we were a little bit more mature we wouldn’t have lost so much precious time. But it’s Ok, it’s the things that make you grow. It’s good that bad things happen, because you really grow up as a person.
MB: Since the release of “The Winter Wake” in 2006 the band has experimented with the sound, exploring the fields such as modern metal on “The Scythe”, acoustic folk on “Two Tragedy Poets” and even flirting with alternative rock feel on “Red Silent Tides.” Do you feel that a band needs to experiment with their sound in order to survive and are these changes a result of personal growth, both as a musician and a human being?
Damna: Well, you’ve already known us for a lot of years, and you may already know that the one of the first thing we said is that Elvenking will never do an album twice and this is what we always said, since the day one. I think that this happens because, first of all we come from such a various and large musical background that it would be strange just to stick only one side and play that all the time. And, since we are really open minded people and musicians, it would be a little bit boring maybe to just stick to one kind of sound and do that all life long. I also think that personal growth contributes to changing a little bit: to the point of view, how you play and how you see music. I think that experimenting is good, we probably made it a bit too much, not for ourselves but for the fans. Probably sometimes they were disoriented because we made an album like The Winter Wake, then a more extreme album, then a total light album and maybe people said: “What the fuck is happening to this band?” I think that with the latest album we finally understood that Elvenking is made for playing that kind of music even though the songs are really varied. We try different things all the time but we understand that Elvenking is this kind of band and it should give people this kind of sound, even though you can expect different stuff all the time: folk stuff, epic orchestrations and melodic stuff – this is Elvenking, and this is also going to be on the next album, I believe.
MB: Did the new albums help get the attention of new fans? For example, I know for a fact that many people who aren’t into metal at all were really fascinated by “Two Tragedy Poets,” and many people who aren’t into heavy metal, but rather like some alternative acts like “Breaking Benjamin,” were really amazed by “Red Silent Tides.” Do you have any more feedback like this?
Damna: Very cool, I’m happy to hear that. Of course we had a lot of different feedback, and it’s cool when you hear that you touch different people coming from different kind of music. Myself, I am really open-minded, I don’t mind listening to really extreme metal like Cannibal Corpse, Dimmu Borgir, Morbid Angel and stuff like that; and at the same time I can listen to more light rock: Queen, Kiss, Guns ‘n Roses and then go to pop: Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, whatever. If it is a good song I hear I just don’t care about the shape, it’s just got to be good. So I’m happy when people break the barrier, like “They are a metal band – I won’t listen to them. I only listen to pop music.” But just listen to it, maybe you will like one or two songs, and I like when people break this boundaries. Of course, with the latest album we’ve got a lot of different reactions: we got new fans, old fans that hated us, and it’s always like that when you have this stuff going on and you are changing your sound a little bit.
MB: You mentioned the old fans, how about them? Did you get any feedback – rants or praises? Were the fans disappointed with the new style you were experimenting with?
Damna: Well, of course. With The Scythe we had a lot of people saying that it was an awful album and most of them, I think, didn’t understand pretty well what we were going to do with that album. And a lot of others maybe liked The Scythe, but hated the Red Silent Tides. It is difficult to put all the guys together and have just one opinion. But I think that the old fans are going to enjoy the new album, because it’s pretty much how Elvenking sounded back at the time, and if they liked us they are going to be really, really happy about the album.
MB: Speaking about live performances, how do you decide which songs to include in your set list? Is it unanimous or do you often disagree?
Damna: Well, we all agree on the songs we are going to play. There are some really good live songs in the album and I think those are going to be the first ones we are going to play. These days we are rehearsing for the first gigs we are going to do in Spain, and we are going to do the songs you already listened to on the internet: “Poor Little Baroness,” “The Loser,” “I am the Monster,” and some of the other songs. We all agree on the fact that they are really cool live songs.
MB: Are there any surprises in store for the fans on this tour?
Damna: Well, yeah. Lately we’ve been doing some songs we never did live, so I think this is going to be a cool surprise. We are also getting some stuff that we didn’t play for a lot of years. So I think there’s going to be two or three surprises on this tour.
MB: Have things changed for Elvenking financially? Do you still have full-time jobs, or are you able to live off the music you make?
Damna: We are also full of debts, man. No, it’s practically impossible nowadays, especially with a medium-sized band like Elvenking. You get to that situation where you have a really tough schedule. You got big things to do like tours, gigs, festivals, interviews, and it’s like a full-time job. But at the same time you don’t live out of it, so we all have daily jobs and so far we have managed this double-life. Also the people that live around us, our parents and girlfriends are supporting us, because this is a really tough life. This is also a little bit why the old members left, because it is really difficult to keep it up, do everything and be always present: every gig, every interview and every thing we have to do as a band.
MB: Speaking about finances, how do you feel about piracy nowadays, is it a blessing or a curse, or a bit of both?
Damna: Actually, I came to the moment where I thought that it was a kind of a blessing for a small band like Elvenking, because it means more promotion. But these days I’m getting a little sick about it because, OK, you got promotion. But I should be used to this because it has been happening for four albums already. But, I still get sick when people download your album and go to the internet and speak shit about your music, and say “Oh, this thing sucks.” It’s like having someone come into your house and you are a painter. This guy comes to your house, steals your painting, puts a photo on the internet and says: “Hey man, I just stole this shit! It’s fucking shit, but I stole it.” I think that this is not fair, because we are trying to give all the free stuff we can on the internet. We got the video, the lyric-video, so that’s two songs. Then we made another song free, the one with Jon Oliva, so you have three songs. I mean if with three songs and all the samples we posted on Youtube, you still don’t have an idea how the album sounds and if you still don’t like what you are listening to, you can leave the CD where it is. Or if you are interested in what you’ve been listening, I think you should be interested in buying the product. So, I’m a little bit pissed off at that all the time, but I know it’s the rules of the game these days so we just have to accept it. But it’s really pissing us off a little bit, because it’s not fair.
MB: Where do you see Elvenking in nine years?
Damna: Oh, in some kind of retirement house for old people, hopefully. [laughs] No, I still hope we’ll be here, playing the music we love. I think that in nine years I’m not going to be that old, so I hope on a stage.
MB: You did two cover versions so far, “Penny Dreadful” and “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” Have you considered paying a tribute to another band you love?
Damna: Well, yes, sometimes we get the will to make some bonus track for an album and for a change do a cover song. But it’s always a matter of time. When you have all the recordings, the sessions and stuff, in the end you are so exhausted that you don’t have the time or the strength to do another song. You have to learn it, and we are getting old for that. But maybe in the future we will do something, especially live, it would be easier.
MB: Do you have any word of advice for younger bands, trying to make it?
Damna: Well, the first thing is trying to do the best thing you can in the best ways possible. Try to be as professional as you can be, of course with the instruments you have. Always believe in what you do, because I believe it is one of the most difficult things, especially nowadays when there are so many bands and it’s so easy to record an album and do some stuff with the computer. The jungle out there is really, really deadly. There are so many bands, so many good ones and if you don’t believe a hundred percent in what you are doing then you don’t have the foundations to play what you like and do it with full conviction. So, believe in yourself and try to play your music the best you can.
MB: Anything you would like to add? Any message for the fans reading “Metal Blast” magazine?
Damna: Well, actually I think we said a lot of stuff, also some curiosities. It was a really good interview and I thank you for this interview, I thank all the readers at Metal Blast and I really hope to see you on stage, on the road. If you have never heard the band you can go to the website, it’s http://www.elvenking.net. We’ve got Facebook, Youtube and there’s a lot of stuff to check out. And even if you download the album, and you don’t like it, just forget about us.
MB: Thank you again, sorry for taking so much of your time. I hope to see you live, have fun on the tour and good luck with the new record, the sales and stuff. And I hope we’ll see you again.
Damna: No problem, thank you so much. Hope to see you, man. Thank you for the interview, it was very good.