About Me

Interview with Eleine

Eleine is a project founded by vocalist Madeleine Liljestam and guitarist Rikard Ekberg. “Dancing In Hell” was released on November 27th. This release has melodies that remind us of Evanescence, Nightwish and Within Temptation, with many Middle Eastern influences. For the most distracted, Eleines were part of the “Road To Extinction Tour (part V)”, with Moonspell. We present you Eleine! 

M.I. - Hi there. Welcome for accepting the interview and taking your time to talk with us. I would like you to introduce yourselves and the band, please.

Madeleine: Eleine has been active since 2014 and was founded by me, Madeleine Liljestam, and Rikard Ekberg. I’m the vocalist of Eleine and Rikard the guitarist/growler/vocalist. By our side, we have Jesper Sunnhagen on drums, and Anton Helgesson on bass. 
We’ve released 3 full-length albums and one EP.

M.I. - You’ve released your third full length album: “Dancing In Hell” on the 27th November. It is your second album to be released through Black Lodge, not to mention the EP: “All Shall Burn”. Throughout all these years, how has the music companionship evolved between both parts?

Madeleine: We released the EP last year, and “Dancing In Hell” is our first full-length album being released via Black Lodge Records and we’re very happy with them. We’ve been working great together!  

Rikard: Yes, top notch. They know what they’re doing, and we know what we’re doing.

M.I. - Eleven tracks are included in this incredible album. Were the songs written at the same time you were writing the EP or after? Did you write enough material for a follow-up record?

Madeleine: Thank you! We started to write this music in approximately December 2018, and we just went with what feels right, like we always do. Then we decided to release an EP in November 2019, followed by this full-length album, “Dancing In Hell”, in November 2020. We wrote until we felt that we were done .

M.I. - This record is about the inner battle – fighting your own demons, as known, is much harder than any other struggle. Is this the main theme of the record? How did you write the lyrics?

Rikard: The album touches topics such as inner demons, yes, but also topics like strength and loss. The album is about being in your own personal hell, and that you need to learn how to navigate in that hell. To tame the flames and dance around them, so you don’t get too badly burnt. Learning to navigate will get you out to the other side, stronger than before and now with an entire legion by your side.

M.I. - Beautiful, melodic songs that remind me of Evanescence, Nightwish and Within Temptation. How did you compose the music and the arrangements?

Rikard: Thank you very much! Composing music and arranging orchestras is like many other things we do; it’s about staying true to yourself and if your gut says it’s right… go with it. I don’t know much music theory at all, the main focus is that the music shall make you feel something.

M.I. -  The album was mixed and mastered by Thomas "Plec" Johansson, at The Panic Room, who’s very well-known in Sweden. Did he help you improve your sound? What were you looking for?

Madeleine: Thomas is GREAT! We also recorded vocals + drums with him. We, Rikard and I, produce our albums ourselves, we know what we want, and we have a sound. With that said, we really love working with Thomas, not only because he’s a great guy, but also because he really listens to the artist. Thomas really got what we wanted our album to sound like in the mix and master.

M.I. - You made a Symphonic version of the song “Die From Within”. Why this song? Where was it recorded?

Rikard: We wanted to shine an extra light on that song. “Die From Within” is about loss and is very special to Madeleine and myself. I programmed it all in our studio. I created the orchestral arrangements from scratch and programmed every last note and also the choirs. The vocals were recorded at The Panic Room, with Thomas “Plec” Johansson.

M.I. - Your songs have a Middle Eastern influence, especially “Enemies”. Did that culture have an impact in your music and lyrics?

Madeleine: It’s something that has felt natural to me and that I add to the songwriting process since the very beginning. And after answering this question a couple of times, I’ve realized that I think that the influence for me has been movie scores and tracks, including very atmospheric middle eastern-oriented vocals. When I write music, I see it like movies or short clips, in my head. I see pictures. It’s all very visual to me, and therefore I am sure that the inspiration from movies and how they made me feel, has been an influence in my writing.

Rikard: It just sounds so delicious! The twirls and sometimes dissonance just resonate with me, you know? Lyrically, I don’t feel there is an influence from any part really. We write about what we know, what we see and what we feel. 

M.I. - You’ve produced all your music videos to promote the album. Was everything a challenge for you or did you know already what you wanted? What was your favourite to produce, direct, film and edit?

Rikard: We’ve always created our own videos, so this is something we’re kind of used to. Oh yes! It is important to have a clear vision of what you want, otherwise you easily get a video that is “meh” and just watered down. Each video has their charm, and I like to make something different every time. “Dancing In Hell” was very fun to do.

M.I. - Congrats on joining forces with Dragon Productions. They’ve been in contact with you since your last album. What will the future hold for you? Could you reveal some surprises, please?

Madeleine: Thank you! We are stoked about this and are very proud to join their roster. They’ve already managed to get Eleine booked for a big festival in Finland next year, along with so much more we can’t reveal just yet, but we know that our collaboration won’t have any limits, if we don’t allow any.

M.I. - You’ve started your own record label, Algoth Records. What kind of bands will you sign?

Madeleine: We started Algoth Records in 2017 to re-release our first album and, after that, also release our second album “Until The End”. We collaborated and distributed them both via Sound Pollution Distribution, and thanks for the great collaboration we had, we decided to join their record label Black Lodge Records, for the EP and upcoming third full-length album. 
So, it’s not a label we will sign any bands to at this moment, that might be something in the future but not as for now.

M.I. - You’ve toured with the legendary W.A.S.P. How did they choose you and what advices did they give you? 

Madeleine: Eleine was suggested via their promotors and they said yes! It was a great tour, and I can’t say they gave us any advices, but we learned a lot from that tour in many ways.  

M.I. - You once were the opening act for the Portuguese Metal giant, Moonspell, and it was a huge success. What do you remember from the tour? Will you consider playing in Portugal in the future?

Madeleine: That was our very first tour ever. We did a full European tour, as support to Moonspell, as our first tour even, before we toured in Sweden (laughts). Many beautiful memories from that tour, and we were supposed to play in Portugal, now in March 2020, on the European Tour we did with Myrath, but we only made 3 weeks out of the scheduled 5 since it had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, unfortunately. But we will visit Portugal whenever it’s allowed with live concerts again, of course! 

Rikard: Oh man, I remember EVERYTHING from that tour. It was our first! It was like our fire test to really know that touring was what we wanted to do. Yes, we were supposed to play two dates in Portugal, and we WILL play there in the future.

M.I. - You were touring with Myrath, when the COVID-19 virus spread and it had to be cancelled. Do you still keep contact with the guys to know what if a tour in the future will be possible?

Madeleine: We can all just wait and see what happens in the future. Everyone is at a “Let’s wait and see” mode and we can always make plans, and then just hope for them to happen. So, let’s wait and see...

M.I. - Thanks so much and taking your time to talk with us. Please share a final message with Metal Imperium’s readers.

Madeleine: Thank you so much! We are deeply grateful to all our fans out there and without you nothing would be possible. If you are more curious about Eleine, check out our social medias and maybe join our official fan club at Patreon, from only 1€/month, to see more in-person content and also support us! 

Rikard: Yes, and we can’t wait to meet everyone in the Eleine Legion, when the world opens up again. Stay true, stay metal.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda