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A Dirty Dozen with MADELEINE LILJESTAM & RIKARD EKBERG from ELEINE – October 2020

| 3 October 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “ELEINE releases their 3rd full-length album Dancing In Hell November 27th 2020, through Black Lodge Records on CD, LP, cassette, box set & digital. For the recording of the new album, ELEINE returned once again to The Panic Room, the album is mixed and mastered by Thomas ”Plec” Johansson. ELEINE returns with the second video single. “Ava Of Death” is the ultimate anthem and fight song. Claim your place in the always growing legion of ELEINE and become Ava Of Death.” We get band co-founders Madeleine and Rikard to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Madeleine: The new release is our third full length album called Dancing In Hell. An album we’re very proud of and we can’t wait to tour with it.

Rikard: The album hits heavy and it hits hard, but it also hits home. These are tracks that people really can connect with. As for hidden nuggets, there are loads! We like to add small nods here and there to things we like and also references that many won’t notice on the first listen.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Madeleine: It has always been very clear to me. My dad has been a musician for as long as I can remember… that might have steered into pursuing a musical career, haha.

Rikard: I spent a couple of years ignoring what my gut told me, and I became quite miserable as a result. The gut feeling was to work with music. Now, it’s all about doing what I love, and that is being a creative artist.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Rikard: My musical taste is all over the place haha. I love classical music, blues, and of course good ol’ metal! I think it’s more of a mishmash for me personally. I had this VHS recording of a Michael Jackson concert that I watched over and over again until the sound  and picture got warped as hell haha. His showmanship really blew me away, and that is something that has inspired me for a long time now.

Madeleine: I’d have to say that Queen at Live Aid made a big impact on me, it’s a good thing that they recorded it! In my teens I discovered bands like Dimmu Borgir, Rammstein and Iron Maiden. These four are great inspirations to me and it was in my teens I felt that metal was what I wanted to do in my life.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Madeleine: Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Hans Zimmer, Moonspell, and Rammstein.

Rikard: Only five?! Ok here goes….Metallica, Dio, Arch Enemy, Hans Zimmer and Rammstein.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Madeleine: That list might get pretty long, but if I have to choose only one at the moment, it would be Sakis from Rotting Christ.

Rikard: That list could go on forever! Michael Amott from Arch Enemy would be swell.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Madeleine: Our music is dark, gothic symphonic metal with oriental twists, turns and atmosphere. I usually say it’s a kind of dark symphonic metal, but I’m curious to hear what YOU would call it. Oh geeez. Good one. There are a lot of comparisons that we might disagree with, but none that have made me cringe out of my seat.  The closest to cringe moments are when you can really tell a reviewer has NOT listened to the actual album nor done any kind of research what so ever.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Madeleine: When you look out over a crowd and see people being taken by your music, when followers get empowered and grow as human beings. I know some very close fans that are very shy, insecure and never go to concerts since they’d have go alone. But here’s the kicker – You’re never alone at an Eleine concert. It is a big family that just wants to have a good time, listen to metal and head bang. The same shy fans know this and have mustered up the courage to head out, and sometimes travel really far I might add, to attend a show. Seeing them there, at a venue, knowing that they overcame a HUGE challenge for them… always makes me so proud. I know first hand what it’s like not feeling comfortable in public places, and seeing that we can lift each other up and be a strong unity, that’s larger than life.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Rikard: It is I who cook the food! I just love the creative process behind it all, and luckily it tastes good also! Oh man, I don’t think we’ve ever taken out an acoustic and started to sing like in a cringe tween movie. We do have words we all sound out very loud and in unison if someone in the group utters it first, if that makes any sense at all…

Madeleine: Mmmmmh Rikard’s food is like… you gotta try it to get it! So, when we’re hanging out we eat good food, watch something fun and Jesper and I always enjoy cookies when they’re available!

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Madeleine: I’ve never been starstruck to be honest, but I am really shy to new people and there are some that I really admire for their work, for who they are etc.

Rikard: I don’t think I’ve ever been starstruck really. I’m kind of awkward at times anyways, so I tend to sometimes come across as weird regardless of who I’m speaking to. It is always fun to meet someone you admire though!

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Madeleine: I would be a a professional headbang instructor! Haha! On a serious note, it would be a dream job to work with taking care of saved animals at a sanctuary.

Rikard: I’d say film/photography and also working with animals.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Madeleine: If those are the term, I wish I’d tell more people to go to hell earlier. I was bullied throughout all my years in school, and it has happened to me as an adult too. I accepted it for many years, but about two years ago both Rikard and I got fed up. It was such a relief cutting the wires, and finally feel free.

Rikard: There are always those moments you think back to and wish you did things differently. Even if it wouldn’t change our current situation I would keep everything the same. Sure, the outcome is the same, but there is no lesson to be learned.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Madeleine: There loads of records I’d love to do that with. One is Doomsday Machine by Arch Enemy, and also The Heretics and Rituals by Rotting Christ.

Rikard: I enjoy magic, and I dabble with time on a daily basis. I would sit in on Holy Diver for sure! Also, since magic is involved I can sit in on more than just one! I would be there during Rammstein’s sessions of Mutter and sit beside Madeleine at the Doomsday Machine recording with Arch Enemy.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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