About Me

Interview with Ellereve

Every now and then there is an artist who piques our curiosity with their creativity and originality... Ellereve fits into this category. This solo project by Elisa Giulia Teschner is making waves across Europe and so is her debut album “Reminiscence”. With several dates scheduled for this summer and with the promise of coming to Portugal this year, Elisa opened her heart to Metal Imperium in this interview and it has just been revealed that she’ll be playing at Amplifest 2023. Great news! Get to know this artist better! 

M.I. – Tell us about Ellereve. Elisa Giulia Teschner is the mastermind, but who are the musicians who accompany you live? How did the idea of forming Ellereve come up? What message do you want to convey? 

Ellereve is a Solo project that emerged at a time when I was longing for independence, especially creatively. In previous band formations I experienced disappointments again and again that slowed me down and my fellow musicians were not as ambitious as me.
It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to position Ellereve within the creation process and songwriting - in a very reduced form or with a live band. At first I wanted to keep it simpler due to my previous experiences with unreliable musicians, but in this way I wouldn’t be able to express the full range of my musical vision. That's why I’m absolutely happy to have found such great live musicians like Darwin, Patrick and Lucci, who are also an integral part and have also become important friends over time. It's not easy to find musicians who understand the musical language that you speak and at the same time harmonize on an interpersonal level. 
I’m not aiming to convey any particular message through my music. It's more about expressing my emotional experience, and giving my thoughts that sometimes get too loud a home. Underneath all of this lies a special connection, to people and their own feelings and interpretations. It’s more about the magic to create a shared space of within the music lives, in the midst of all the complexities of the world. 

M.I. – The name “Ellereve” is very similar to the French “Elle rêve” which means “She dreams”. Is this the real meaning: sharing your “dreams” with the listeners or is it just a mere coincidence? Would you agree if I said that the magic world of Ellereve is the perfect soundtrack for a night of dreams? 

Well, depends on what kind of dreaming. It’s about balancing light and darkness, so you also have to be prepared for some nightmares, I guess. The name „Ellereve“ is inspired by the french meaning but also inspired by the english word „reveal“ - that’s why the pronouncing is also based more on the english side than on the french side. 

M.I. - How would you describe Ellereve’s sound to someone that hasn’t heard about the band before? 

Atmospheric doomy gloomy melancholic music with a hint of shoegaze and dark folk vibes. 

M.I. - Which bands/musicians made you realise you wanted to be a musician? How old were you when you realised music was something you couldn’t live without? 

In my very first memories I had of my childhood I already was fascinated by music and artists. I must have been 3 years old when the love for music began. In my teenage years I became most aware of the fact that I couldn't live without music - There had been phases and moments where music felt like salvation or a safe space to me and it still does nowadays. A lot of musicians have contributed and inspired me to be determined that I want to compose music, perform on stages but also express music in a visual form. My mother had always taken me to concerts with her. There was Peter Gabriel for example - my first concert experience when I was 8 and I was totally overwhelmed by the energy of the audience in this room, how sound connects people, what the music and musicians made me feel and not to forget the impressive visual concept of the show. 
Besides that - well, the determination of wanting to be a musician was mainly formed when I was very young - artists like Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury but also Amy Lee & Alanis Morissette are a big part of it. 

M.I. – What’s your favourite music genre? Could you list the 5 albums you appreciate the most? 

Oh I really can’t limit this answer and my taste in music with only one music genre. I think it’s more about the vibe. I would say I’m drawn to melancholic and atmosphere music which is mostly focused on guitars. Somewhere between postrock, black metal and indie-rock / folk. 
Fink - Perfect Darkness
Dornenreich - Her von welken Nächten 
O’Brother - The death of day
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked for death 

M.I. - The debut album “Reminiscence” includes 9 tracks. What can you tell us about them? What are the issues/topics addressed in the lyrics? 

Each song describes different phases of my life and feelings I’ve been through. It’s about love, loss, longings, depression, anxiety, trauma, hope, trust, self-reflection and dreams. 

M.I. – Your Facebook page has a post about the new album in which you wrote “Here is my honesty, fragility, vulnerability, strength, determination & devotion. Death, birth, beginnings & endings, the sound of surrender, all the love & hope woven in healing, histories and in each track of REMINISCENCE. A highly personal record. I poured so many parts of my souls in this one.” But what specifically inspires you to write the lyrics? Is this the best kind of therapy for you? 

Exactly what I mentioned in your question before is also what inspires me. My experiences, people, relationships. My feelings - Yes, music is definitely therapy for me, my outlet to deal with all of this. 

M.I. – Your bio mentions that you mostly write songs late at night, in your living room... is this the perfect setting for you to write all the songs? Do you need to be in complete silence or do you enjoy some background “noise”? 

I'm a highly sensitive person and I struggle with concentrating or feeling comfortable in a noisy, restless environment. Therefore, I am definitely more creative in a quiet atmosphere. But background sounds that come from nature in a peaceful surrounding are very welcome. I love hearing water, waves, the whirling wind, chirping birds, falling leaves or moving leaves in the trees - Outside in nature is where I’m writing my lyrics. In my mind I’m always having the scenario of my dream studio / songwriting cabin somewhere in the mountains or by the sea. 

M.I. - Elisa’s emotive voice is the focal point throughout the album. Who has been your vocal inspiration? Did you ever have vocal lessons in order to learn how to explore your vocal abilities? 

I never had any vocal lessons. I explored my vocal range simply through listening to a lot of music and singing to my favorite songs from a very young age on. In addition to female voices, I am also inspired by male voices that are absolutely far from my own voice, for sure. 
The feeling that gets transported is what gets me. For example Peter Gabriel and Fink are doing this to me. Relating to harmonies I’m adoring Thom Yorke. Elena Tonra from Daughter, Lorena McKennitt and Emma Ruth Rundle are female vocalists that are very inspiring to me. 

M.I. - In some choruses, there are several vocal layers covering multiple octaves to create an elevating effect. How complicated was it achieving the result you wanted? 

It all happens quite subconsciously and free improvised...- singing harmonies is one of my favourite things to do and is always super fun! 

M.I. - What’s the meaning behind the cover for the new album? Are you the model in it? Is the nudity a symbol for the fact that you “expose” your inner-self in the album? 

Revealing my inner self is definitely a big part of it, so yeah it’s a personal record with a personal cover. I deliberately chose the cover photo from elements of nature in fusion with the human body, because for me it best describes the process of writing music in connection with the processing of emotions. The magic of change. Nature has always been an important aspect in my life, it inspires me and it holds something grounding and healing for me. It is raw, hard, tender, honest, ephemeral and always shows you anew how beautiful letting go can be.  The heaviness or darkness of the stones on the cover can feel overwhelming but you can decide for yourself whether you let the stones you are carrying in your life make you feel surrounded or crushed by them. 

M.I. - The album was released by Eisenwald Records. How did the deal with this label come up? What do you expect of it? 

It was important for me to work with a label that feels coherent to me, whose artists I like. I’ve been listening to Agalloch for many years, to be exact I discovered them when I was 13. On the other hand it's also important to be aware of where your target audience is. My audience is more into heavier and dark music. So it makes sense that I’m with a label like Eisenwald rather than one that has a focus only on pop and indie music. 
It's my first collaboration with a label. Working with professionals from the music business means in best case you’ll get support and advices, this is what I expected and this is what I’m getting right now and I’m very grateful for it. 

M.I. – One review mentioned that ““Reminiscence” is essentially a singer-songwriter album, based around vocal melodies, rather than a riff-based work with vocals added on top.” Do you consider this is accurate? 

I think there is no classification of what exactly constitutes a songwriter’s album or how it is created. About „Reminiscence“, I can at least say that I actually always start writing the songs with an instrumental melody, then the vocals come. But it is of course true that within the production the focus relies on the vocals. Anyway I think every listener will define it for themselves. 

M.I. - The album has already received awesome reviews. How important are reviews? Do you think they can actually influence people to buy the album? 

So I actually never discover music through reviews, the music on itself then convinces me whether I like something or not. Nevertheless, I believe that reviews are important in some way - they guarantee attention whether it is good or bad. 

M.I. – You are the main character in all of Ellereve’s music videos. Who comes up with the concept for the videos? Who decides how a video should be? 

I am developing all the video concepts. The team or the artists with whom I then work on the implementation help me to visualise my ideas, because not everything is always as implementable as I would like it to be and so it sometimes happens that I have to create and improvise something around my very first vision. In this case I’m very grateful for professional input und support of the directors I’m working with. 

M.I. - “Reminiscence” was just released... you started a tour through Germany and Austria. How did the first gigs go? How receptive has the audience been? 

It was an indescribable feeling to return to venues where I had played the year before and now to see familiar faces again and especially - to see people standing in the audience and singing along with my songs. An absolute goosebump moment that I will never forget. Compared to last year we decided to be 4 musicians on stage now. Before the bass came as backing track (because I wanted to keep it simple) but now Lucci is by our side, he plays the bass and also synths. I’m very happy about this decision and I don't want to miss him anymore. The interaction with him gives a much more intense stage experience for the audience as well as for us. 

M.I. – You’ll play alongside Downfall of Gaia and Implore in a few days. What do these bands and Ellereve have in common? How did the idea of playing together come up? 

I really love the music of Downfall of Gaia, so I just asked them if I could join them for the concert in Stuttgart. Combining going to concerts of music I like and also playing the same show with the artists, getting to know the people behind the music is super cool! 

M.I. - Have you got many gigs and festivals scheduled for this Spring and Summer? 

I’m looking very forward to the WGT festival in Leipzig in June. Also I’m going to play my first show in Portugal - details are top secret at the moment but announcement will be soon. Here and there support slots for amazing artists like Shy,Low and Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys. Can’t wait for this! 

M.I. - If you could choose one band/artist that you could support on tour, who would that be and why? 

Radiohead. No more words needed. (laughts)

M.I. - Is there a particular venue (doesn’t matter where), that would be a dream for you to play at? 

Royal Albert Hall in London.

M.I. - What’s the main goal for Ellereve? What do you hope to achieve? 

To be able to experience a certain artistic freedom in terms of my center of life, so that I will be able to fully concentrate on the music; writing music, working out visual concepts, touring... All that just belongs to it, is a very essential part of it. Of course something like that has to build up and needs the right support, but I think I'm in good hands and I'm excited to see how things will develop. 

M.I. - Please share a message with Metal Imperium’s readers. All the best!

If you are curious how my music sounds - check out my debut album „Reminiscence“ and keep in touch with me, because I’m playing in Portugal this year!

For Portuguese version, click here

Listen Ellereve, on Spotify

Questions by Sónia Fonseca