ELOAH – interview

ELOAH – interview

Formed back in 1995, the Dutch act ELOAĦ has been referenced as a “Alternative and New Age” band and has so far released a number of albums to prove that. Below you have a chat with the band in which they explain more about their musical journey since the beginning and how they continue to write new music, what inspires them and what they plan for the future.

Introduce your band, and describe your latest release:
Hello, we are ELOAĦ, a singer/songwriter rock band with new age, jazz and pop influences. We started in 1995. Since then, a number of musicians has contributed to the different albums. Over the past couple of years a stable line-up crystalized: Orion Roos on electric guitars, Peter Douwenga on bass guitars, Johan van der Meer on drums and percussion, Dominik Mittergradnegger on saxophone, Lila Herderberg on vocals, and Elmar C. Fuchs on vocals, acoustic guitars, and keyboards – and many guest musicians that differ from project to project. Our latest release is called “Proud to Love You.”. As the name suggests, it is a collection of ballades and soft rock songs. The fourteen tracks on this album were all inspired by the different emotions around romantic love – from ecstasy to agony, from serenity to heartache, but with a clear bias on the pleasant aspects. Let me quickly go through the tracks on the album: Sometimes happiness can be the prevailing feeling in an actually bad situation – this is what the song “Proud to Love You” is about – and then what you get is a positive, hopeful song. Then there is love that you experience to be so fulfilling that next to this fulfilment there still is some “excess” emotion asking you to be cast into song – this is what “My Heart Shall Be Your Fire”, “You Are A Diamond”, “Wonderful Beautiful” and “A Winter’s Tale” are about. Then, of course, there is the (probably) most famous type of love song where you are longing for and dreaming about someone. This can be either purely joyful as in “The Purest You” and “Caterpillar”, or a bit painful as in “Child Within” and “Tuesday Morning”. Since emotional pain and despair normally accompany romantic love at some point, I chose to put two songs about these emotions with quite self-explanatory titles on the album as well (“How Could I Ever Have Hurt You?” and “Why Can’t I Forget You?”). Although these songs are about painful emotions, they are clearly a minority. Finally, there is a song I wrote for one of my sons, another kind of love thus, who provided me with most of the lyrics (“King of Winters”, he was about five years old then), and two songs that take the whole topic less seriously, more tongue-in-cheek (“Sugar Refinery” and “Time to Say Goodbye”) to end the album on a both positive and light note.

What’s the hardest part about being a band in this day and age?
Very few musicians can afford to live from their music alone; many have other day-jobs or (have to) play in different bands in order to survive.

When did you realise that your project had the potential to be much more than just a fun idea?
Well, making music has always been something more to me than just a fun idea, it is essential for my wellbeing (and fun, of course), so in that sense it has always been more than fun for me.

Tell us about your latest release, why should we check it out?
Our latest album “Proud to Love You.” is about different emotions that accompany (romantic) love based on personal experiences in different periods of my life. At some point I started asking myself: Isn’t love what makes our existence worthwhile? Isn’t it worth all the suffering, waiting, fear and despair that often accompany the experience? Isn’t it true that we can do anything, endure anything and be anything if we do it in the name of / or with the power of love? And, most importantly: Isn’t it heaven on earth when it (finally!) works out? Especially the last question is embedded in most of the songs which can carry us deeply into the realm of the heart. If you have ever been in love, you should check out our latest album – you will certainly be able to identify with some of the feelings that provide the basis for the songs, allow the music to emotionally relive your love-related experiences. I think this is a good reason to check out our new album.

How does a song typically come together for you?
Sometimes, when I pick up the guitar, I get a special feeling – it cannot be forced, I cannot do that on purpose, and it can happen at times when I actually don’t have the time for a new song. Anyhow, if happens, I play new chords, licks and riffs, quickly take pen and paper and write down the new lyrics, at this moment not yet knowing what the song will be about (this is also very exciting for me, since it can literally go in all directions – I remember me singing “I’m the Jabberwocky” and then thinking – now, really? *smile* – but it turned out to be a great song in the end). Then I start practicing and repeating this new song, making small adjustments to both music and lyrics until they both do not change anymore – and then there is a new song. Sometimes I do this together with (some of) the other musicians in the band, for example, the three trilogy we released recently, The Mondstein Chronicles, are all based on simultaneous improvisations of drums, piano, vocals and German flute.

How would you describe your sound to an unfamiliar reader?
Singer-songwriter pop music with rock, new age and jazz influences.

What do you want listeners to take away from listening to your band?
I want to reach the listeners emotionally – if the music triggers feelings in the listeners and they can enjoy that, this is what they should take away from our music.

Where would you really like to tour that you haven’t done so yet, and why?
We have not toured with the band, because we are all playing either in other bands that do tour, or we have different day jobs. What I personally would like to do is to play together with MAESTRO, the band of our guitarist Orion Roos. The whereabouts of such a joined tour are not that important for me, probably I would do it here in the Netherlands.

How would you say that the sound of your band has progressed over the years?
Naturally, we all have developed as musicians over the years, and so have both the music and the overall sound. For example, we have released three jazzy, improvisation based CDs (the Mondstein Chronicles trilogy), recently a ballade / pop album (Proud to Love You.), and at the moment we are working on a heavy rock / metal album – so you could say we keep expending our style into different directions.

How excited are you for 2023, and what can fans expect from you?
We are very excited about the release of our pop/rock album “Proud to Love You.”, and at the same time we enjoy working on the – quite different – heavy rock album which we aim to release early 2024. So fans can expect another release soon, and this time it will be darker and heavier than ever!

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