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Interviews : “Music is one of the biggest forces in all of our lives” – An Interview With Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie)

By on January 8, 2016


Chrigel Glanzmann – Eluveitie

Eluveitie are one of those rare bands that resonate with me on a whole other level, purely other than just musically. I still remember clearly the first time I discovered their album ‘Everything Remains (As It Never Was)’, being intrigued by the cover and this mysterious album to me that I’d found by random at JB Hi-Fi. The music immediately clicked with me, and I was hooked. Ever since, Eluveitie have never failed to capture my imagination and have become one of my favourite bands. The ingrained Celtic spirit and melodies of this band touched me in quite a way then like nothing else. Getting the opportunity then to speak with the mastermind behind this project, Chrigel Glanzmann, was truly an honour of mine, and something I will cherish for quite some time. He and I had a good chat about the band, their music and Chrigel’s life, as well as Eluveitie’s much anticipated return to Australian shores this May for their very special tour, ‘An Evening With Eluveitie’; comprising a two-hour long show celebrating fourteen years of the band’s music.

After exchanging pleasantries, we got right into the thick of it, with myself asking Chrigel about the tour, “We just had the premiere of our last two tours in North America and Europe and it just turned out to be pretty awesome. It was awesome to do and awesome to perform. But also, it was extremely well received by the fans and we enjoyed it a lot. We later decided to bring it over to Australia too.” I asked Chrigel what type of material fans could look forward to hearing with An Evening With Eluveitie; if whether they may play some older material not heard in a while? “Yeah, I mean we’re still kind of preparing the show for next year, but we’ll definitely play some old songs and our complete discography, an acoustic part (like a proper Celtic acoustic session), and yep!”

an evening with eluveitie 2016

Eluveitie were last in Australia in 2013, and the tour then was a big success. I asked Chrigel how it felt to be coming back to Australia: “Super stoked actually to be coming back. It was great, Australia treated us really great last time. And for us it’s been way too long since we’ve been there so I can’t wait to come back.”

Earlier this year, violinist Nicole Ansperger was made to leave the band due to family commitments. I asked Chrigel how it was when she left, and that it no doubt must have come as a shock. “Yeah, it sucks. I mean, it really sucked. It was a decision that had to be made quickly due to some real bad circumstances, but then again, it’s not over. We have been lucky to have found a step in player on such short notice. Shir-Ran [Yinon] is the session member for this tour and there’s a very good chance that Nicole will be back. So we won’t need to find someone [permanently].”

Nicole hadn’t been the only member to leave Eluveitie in recent times. Former bagpipe and whistles player Patrick Kistler left the band and was replaced by Matteo Sisti. I was curious to know how both he and Shir-Ran have since fit into the mould of the band: “I mean, it’s different for both. Patrick definitely left the band permanently, and Matteo joined the band permanently as a full member of the band. It’s been awesome with him. He suits the band very well, musically as well as personally. It’s a pretty quiet dude. But very awesome guy! He just fits the band perfectly, I would say. And for Shir-Ran, it’s a different story. She literally stepped in as a session musician, and well, I don’t her that much personally. We talk, of course, and we shared the tour bus for the past couple months so of course we got the know each other. So regarding that, I think she does a really great job. And I think we can consider ourselves really lucky to have found her to get the tour sorted for the last few months touring on such short notice.”

With 2014’s ‘Origins’, Eluveitie finally hit number 1 on the album charts of their home country of Switzerland. I could only imagine how amazing an experience that must have been for Chrigel, and for the rest of the band. “There’s always two sides to the story,” Chrigel began. “On one hand, we honestly don’t give much of a shit, to be honest, but, you know, chart entries always show a sign of support by the fans and we’re super thankful to our fans all over the globe. In all the countries, the album charted, and we just appreciated them a lot. But when it comes to the actual chart entries, stuff like that is not the reason you write music. At the same time, it was kind of cool because I think it’s something that would never happen in Swiss music history. Because in Switzerland, the mainstream media don’t cover metal. They might cover Metallica or something like that, but it’s not really a topic. So in that perspective, it was cool. Because then here you have a fucking death metal album, and you’re competing with Rihanna and Eminem and Katy Perry. So in that sense, it was kind of cool!”

I asked where he saw Eluveitie’s music going next. “We actually just finished the Origins world tour cycle. We’ve just been on tour with Origins for like the last one and a half years, and we came back home like four days ago or something like that. Right now we’re working on the new album. The next album will be ‘Evocation: Part II’. And we plan to head to the studio next month.”

Chrigel has always seemed quite the scholar from past interviews and the like of his I’d read. Celtic history and legend aside, I was interested to know what else inspired or drove him in his life: “It’s definitely music itself. Music is one of the biggest forces in all of our lives. And with all the rest of life, like having a relationship, kids, those kind of things. I think it’s the most important thing in our lives anyway.”

Wrapping up the interview, I asked if Chrigel had any words he’d like to offer his Australian fans anticipating their tour in May? “We all just really can’t wait to come back. From all of [Eluveitie] and to all of you we’re just super stoked to come back. For the rest of those who don’t know this Swiss fucking death band [laughs], we want to see you guys! And to everybody who listens to Eluveitie, thanks a lot for your interest in Eluveitie.”

Thanks to Tombowler and David Roy Williams Presents, tickets and VIP packages to ‘An Evening With Eluveitie’ are on sale now.

Tuesday 17 May – Perth – The Capitol…
Thurs 19 May – Brisbane – The Zoo…
Fri 20 May – Sydney – Manning Bar…
Sat 21 May – Melbourne – Max Watts (Hi/Fi) :…
Sun 22 May – Adelaide – The Gov…


Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.