SIEBENBÃœRGEN - Marcus Ehlin

\r\nIn 1994 a band named SIEBENBÜRGEN was formed in Sweden. Throughout the years many lineup changes disturbed the smooth course of the band till after 12 years and five albums and a steady fan base to follow them, Marcus Ehlin (guitar, vocals) announced In February 2006 the split up of the band. .. But SIEBENBÜRGEN as it appeared in late 2007 hasn’t told after all its final word yet, since the band suddenly resurrected rising from its ashes to the delight of their devoted followers with a brand new form, a new energy and a renovated appetite to continue and spread their dark metal again into the world. On the other end of the telephone line there is a sick Marcus Ehlin, the only remaining original member of SIEBENBÜRGEN, but with a very good disposition and a humorous willingness (except for one question of course) to speak for the band, their plans, the new album that’s still on the works, the past and the future of SIEBENBÜRGEN. And although at a brief moment his dogs tried to interfere into our little chat pretty quickly they let their master give us all the little details that we wanted to know.
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\r\nMetalzone: Hello, Markus. First of all welcome to metalzone. Obviously, my first question has to do with your split up back in 2006. What made you come up to that decision at the time?
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\r\nMarkus: Well, we had some problems with members, we were working in different directions all the time and some members kept other interests in life so it was then the time to choose and go further. It was only me and Richard who did the work all the time and we lost interest working because of other members’ indifference.
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\r\nMetalzone: Yeah, you’ve said that about losing the energy and inspiration to continue.
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah. And then there were also some problems with record labels and stuff like that, we got tired of everything. It was a difficult time.
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\r\nMetalzone: Yet you’ve decided to reform the band. What made you decide it?
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\r\nMarkus: We met the right people I think. I mean we didn’t have any thoughts about reforming Siebenburgen but a few months ago when we met Dennis the drummer on a party we felt was… we talked about it and we felt he was the right person to start to play with again. And one thing led to another, you know, the inspiration is back and the energy is back and feels good again.
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\r\nMetalzone: Besides the lineup which is different what else would you say is different with Siebenburgen this time around?
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\r\nMarkus: Well, we have a keyboardist this time, we won’t use female vocals as main part of the music, maybe on one song but we don’t have a female as a permanent member. I mean, you can hear its typical old Siebenburgen music but it’s with a bit of a new touch structure. And the keyboards help to built up a different atmosphere I think. But it’s still our music.
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\r\nMetalzone: What about the old songs? Are you going to find a session female singer for the gigs?
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah, we’ve said we’ll talk about who will do the old songs, yeah. You know it’s a girl who will help but she won’t be a member just for support.
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\r\nMetalzone: To be honest that seems quite strange because you have always used female vocals in your albums.
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\r\nMarkus: (Laugh) No, not this time. We felt for doing something, you know, a new start. It’s always been problems with a bit of female vocals before, all the female vocalists before so, we didn’t feel like it was a part of our music anymore. Not as much as it was before so that’s why we have our keyboardist with us instead.
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\r\nMetalzone: What about Erika Roos? I remember you had a good relationship with her.
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah, we had a very good relationship with her but she is studying so much. So she don’t have the time anymore. Last year she was at the Danish Royal Opera and now she is back in Sweden and she is working with opera here so it is impossible to get some time to work with her. And that’s sad because she is really a nice person and a really cool person so we don’t have any bad feelings towards her.
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\r\nMetalzone: At the moment you are working on a new upcoming album. Could you give me some information about the new album?
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\r\nMarkus: It’s a bit hard (laugh). I mean, we have some really good songs and we’ve made about sixteen or seventeen songs this far and this weekend we have a band meeting to pick out and to determine what songs we will continue to work on and have those. So, I mean the inspiration is back (laugh).
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\r\nMetalzone: Yeah, that’s good. After the release of your last album "Darker designs & images" I recall you were on the process of writing new material. Are you going to use any of that stuff?
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\r\nMarkus: I think we have one song of the old material that we had worked on but mostly it’s new written and we have taken riffs and parts on from older songs of course. But we will take the parts that we like most, that we are most satisfied with and continue.
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\r\nMetalzone: You are also looking for a lead guitarist. Any luck on that matter yet?
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah, we will try out a guy next weekend, next Sunday we will try the guy, that we think might have the possibilities to join us. But it’s always hard to find a lead guitarist because most of them are always in another band and they don’t have the time so it’s mostly a problem. But it looks like this guy will join us. So by the end of next weekend we will know if we will have a new lead guitarist or not.
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\r\nMetalzone: And you besides the vocals, this time you are also handling the bass. And that’s quite a change because I remember in the past you were playing also the guitar in two, if I’m not mistaken, of your previous albums but never the bass. What made you decide that?
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\r\nMarkus:
(laugh) I don’t know. We wanted to hold down the members. I mean if we were looking for a bassist as well it’s like six members and we wanted to keep down the number of the members this time so I thought, what the hack, I will take the bass. (laugh) But it’s new to me, I mean I’ve played bass guitar on our South American tour a couple of years ago but I never played the bass on an album and it really fits, I mean it’s not the guitar, it’s a new instrument, you have to think in a different way. I still play the guitar when I make songs and stuff like this but another important thing why I don’t play the guitar anymore because I get some problems with my muscles in my arm. It’s really impossible for me play guitar on stage. So it’s easy for me to play the bass.
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\r\nMetalzone: About the new album, are there going to be any differences in your musical direction and any relations concerning your past material?
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\r\nMarkus: It will be more similar to "Darker designs & images" and "Loreia" for example, our first album. It is a compare "Darker designs & images" and "Loreia", it’s two different albums. It’s in the same vein as "Darker designs & images" but with new stuff added, I mean we got a drummer now that is really amazing. The drum parts will be really cool and with really quick keyboards. It will be really atmospheric, more atmospheric than before so it will be cool (laugh).
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\r\nMetalzone: You’ve signed a contract with Massacre Records. How did you get in contact with them?
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\r\nMarkus: Actually, it was our drummer Dennis who asked Massacre and they were on us right away. From the party to get the contract I think it went two weeks or something like this. So it was very fast everything on it. But I mean Massacre is a very good label and we made a good deal with them so everyone’s happy this time.
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\r\nMetalzone: Is it going to be a one album deal or is it going for some more?
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah, it will be for some more. Everything depends I mean on how this album goes of course. The music industry is not what it used to be, I mean record labels are really careful what they do but if this album goes well we will do another and another.
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\r\nMetalzone: What about Napalm Records?
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\r\nMarkus:
Yeah, I don’t have anything to say about them at all (laugh)
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\r\nMetalzone: Ok, next question. Is there a main composer in the band or do you all contribute in the writing process?
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\r\nMarkus: Well, everyone put their touch to writing but it’s only me and Richard who write most of the music.
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\r\nMetalzone: After the album "Darker designs & images", you have said that the next album lyrically was going to continue where that album left off. Is this something that you are still intending to do?
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah, I think some of the lyrics will continue, yes, yes. But it will also reveal a new story so it will be the end of "Darker designs & images", the closure of "Darker designs…" and an opening of a new work so surely will continue.
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\r\nMetalzone: Who’s responsible for the lyrics, I think you are.
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\r\nMarkus:
Yeah, I’m the one who’s writing lyrics, I mean I’m the vocalist and I want to… I mean it’s really hard time to sing something some other has written. I mean I must believe in what I sing and that’s why I want to write my own lyrics. But if someone writes a really good lyric then it’s ok if I like it and I can sing that but I prefer to write them myself.
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\r\nMetalzone: All this time after the split up of the band and prior to its resurrection were you involved in other projects?
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\r\nMarkus:
Yeah, me and Richard had a project that was called Grand Illusion which is on ice right now. I mean we focus on Siebenburgen but we made some recording with Grand Illusion that you can find on MySpace as well but it’s nothing that we will focus on now, now that we have Siebenburgen back. It’s also a little bit different towards if you compare it to Siebenburgen, it’s more rough. But I think we have a page on MySpace.
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\r\nMetalzone: You are the only founding member of Siebenburgen and all these years you’ve witnessed many lineup changes in the band. Don’t you think that maybe this was a huge drawback in the development of the group?
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\r\nMarkus: Yeah, it’s often tough to learn new people all the time. The last two years we didn’t hang out, we didn’t as we did when we started the band with Anders. We were friends and a band but the last years we were just a band, you know. It was only me and Richard that we were friends and then hang out, you know, between the rehearsals and stuff like that. And that’s Richard is still with me, we have this bond and Anders he quit drumming, I mean it was he and me who started Siebenburgen but after "Darker designs…" he sold his drums and he only wanted to ride his motorcycle all the time (laugh). So I haven’t spoken to him in four months I think. Last time I must spoke to him was when I told him that we would start the band again and that he’s not the drummer and I think he was a little bit angry on me. Because he all thought me who sold his drums, I mean he shows to hang out with his motorcycle friends and I don’t think that he wants to play but he is angry that someone else is playing things if you know what I mean.
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\r\nMetalzone: Yeah, like he is not interested and yet he is in a way.
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\r\nMarkus:
Yeah, exactly. I mean he’s got jealous that someone else is doing what he was supposed to do but the new drummer is really cool. Dennis plays in a band called Raise Hell too and I mean he has the energy and he really likes playing music and that’s what we need right now. People who are engaged to music.
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\r\nMetalzone: Did you know the new members before or you just met them recently?
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\r\nMarkus:
Ah, the keyboardist we met him like a month ago but he is a friend of Dennis so yes he known him for years and years. And Dennis I’ve known him for two years, not as a friend but I’ve known who he is, you know, but as soon as we started to hang out we just found each other because he is really a cool guy and he fits to the band really.
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\r\nMetalzone: When exactly are we going to expect the new release?
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\r\nMarkus: I think, I mean Massacre told us April or May maybe. I think in the spring, they want to release it as soon as possible so I think in the spring.
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\r\nMetalzone: So what do you expect this time for the future of Siebenburgen?
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\r\nMarkus: Well, we hope to keep the members in track(laugh). No, I mean we hope that this time we won’t have as much problems as we had before I mean it has been really hard cause the last years it’s been so much trouble and we lost our energy and we don’t want that to happen again. But now we have a good record label that don’t piss us off all the time and try to decide what we should do so I don’t see any problems right now, actually I wanna see a golden future (laugh)
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\r\nMetalzone: I certainly wish you that. Well, Markus, Is there anything that you would like to add or any last comment for our readers?
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\r\nMarkus:
Well, just look out for the new album it really makes the mark I think. Really one of the best albums we’ll make or the best album we’ll make and I’m really glad for the material and I think people when they will listen to the album they will hear a new energy and everything so…
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\r\nMetalzone:
So, thank you very much for this interview and for your time and I hope you will get better pretty soon.
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\r\nMarkus: Thank you and yeah I hope so too. It’s an ugly weather outside, I mean it’s raining and one day it’s like snowing outside and the next day it’s like raining and when it’s wet one day and ice in the next you get sick.
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\r\nMetalzone: Ok, we’re looking forward for your new release and I wish you the best.
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\r\nMarkus: Thank you. I think you have the address of our page so all the news will be posted there.\r\n

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\r\nVaso Prassa \r\n

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