Interview with Elis (Tom Saxer)

Infernal Masquerade: Thanks for the interview, and let’s get started with the question:

I.M: After the tragic loss of Sabine Dünser, what was the main force that led Elis to continue as a band?

Tom: After Sabine’s death we were not sure if we wanted continue anymore. It was a very painful and dark time for us. What helped us a lot was the mass of letters and posts from the fans. We felt that we were not alone and that they want us to continue. Anyways, we needed some months of to think about everything. Afterwards we decided to continue with the band, and started searching for a new singer whom we found in Sandra.

I.M: How do you think the band old songs work with Sandra Schleret on vocals, can you tell us more about the process that took place in order to find Sandra as the new vocalist?

Tom: We got lots of applications, and auditioned also a lot of them, but nothing seemed to fit. We got the application from Sandra and invited her for a rehearsal. When Sandra sang the first time with us, it was the first time when I had the feeling that we could go on. The old songs work very well with her voice because she also can sing the high notes really nice, although her voice is most expressive and unfolding in the depths.

I.M: In these days that more and more Gothic Metal bands are going to a more ‘commercially safe sound’, but Elis has managed to stay with it’s own ‘heavier’ sound, why do you think the band has continued this path and not went the ‘commercial’ way?

Tom: The reason is simple: All of us like the heavy sound, and we always wanted to go into that direction, because we just love it. When Sandra joined us we were happy to hear she agrees with us, and so we continued the way we already choose with “Griefshire”.

I.M: “Catharsis” was on the works for almost 3 years since the release of “Griefshire”, not counting the EP released on 2007. Why do you think it took this long for the album to be finished?

Tom: Well, first of all we of course needed some time to rehearse the old material together, and we also did 2 tours for “Griefshire”. Of course it also needed some time to grow together as a band again. We started the songwriting for “Catharsis” in early 2007, and finished the recordings in end of 2008. Due to some files which were lost and needed some time to be restored by us, time schedule problems afterwards and some bad luck it unfortunately was not possible to release the record earlier.

I.M: Can you tell us more about the concept of “Catharsis”?

Tom: Sandra wrote the concept and it is mainly linked to her story. Before joining Elis she got the diagnosis lymph node cancer, and had to go through chemo- and radio-therapy and all the fears and pain that this diagnosis means. The whole lyrical concept turns around what she experienced and felt and saw at that time, as an onlooker to the world.

We choose the title “Catharsis” because it fits best to both of our stories. When you go have seen the dark side of life, you also see its beauty much more clearly.

I.M: How was it working with Alex Krull for this album, is it a thing that Elis will do again in the future?

Tom: We know Alex since years. He has been with Elis since the beginning. It is always great to see him, and working with him was a real benefit for the band as well, so we plan to continue our cooperation.

I.M: How do you see the band’s musical sound has evolved since 2003, when ‘half’ of Erben der Schöpfung decided to continue making music as Elis?

Tom: It got heavier and we left the path of pure Gothic music. We feel far more comfortable with this direction.

I.M: Do you guys have any touring planned in support of “Catharsis”? maybe a few dates in the USA?

Tom: We really want to do that. So far we unfortunately have no gigs planed, But we are hoping that this will change soon.

I.M: If you had unlimited budget for a stage set-up what would you guys use to transfer the concepts of the band’s music into a live setting?

Tom: I guess Sandra would love to turn it into a living wood…haha. Well, I think it would be a great thing to express our music also with an impressive light show and changing scenes. Maybe an orchestra? At the moment we are more busy to worry if the sound is good and if the banner is big enough, it would be too cool to worry about “bigger” things. Haha.

I.M: Anything else that you want to add for your American fans, and fans in general all over the world?

Tom: Buy our CD! Hahaha. Hope to see you and be seen live soon!

I.M: Thanks for the interview and good luck with the album promotion.


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