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Ephel Duath - A Highway To A Lake
Since the previous interview I did with Ephel Duath’s Davide (guitar) was scrambled as hell, I chose to do it again at their show in Nijmegen recently. This time the entire band was present but most questions were still answered by Davide. So we all grabbed ourselves a beer, rolled some joints and had a nice chat about their crazy music. It was still pretty hard to work it out, since they’re Italian, stoned and drunk, and the backstage had a fucked up acoustic, but I’ll try the best I can, as always!

How would you describe your music in one sentence?
A highway to a lake. No more.
Haha, very deep. With an occasional tsunami coming from the lake, haha! So what’s the connection between Lord of the Rings and your music?
The first line-up of Ephel Duath, when we were really young, we chose the name Ephel Duath from Lord of the Rings to symbolize a dark and obscure project. There was some kind of magic in these words. Even though the line-up changed throughout the years, we hung on to the name.
Explain to me how you create colour with your music?
Colour was the concept for The Painter’s Palette album. We tried to imbed in our songs and lyrics the concept of free interpretation. And we think that colour is one of the most subjective things on this planet, and for this reason every single song is connected with a colour we suggested to the listener. We don’t want to force anything, so for this reason we aren’t using black and white. We want the listener to give his own colour to the songs.
Why is it so hard to find a stable line-up for this band?
Most people don’t want to spend all their life on the road, touring and stuff. They want to have a normal life. Also you can’t have a job. And it’s quite hard to play our music, also because we are perfectionists.

This is a question from my dad, maybe I should adress it to your vocalist?
Ah, yes I remember, it’s for him.

For how long have you been crazy?
For 15 years. Haha!

Haha! This is more of a question for all of you; are you all Mike Patton fans?
What do you mean with fan? We don’t have his poster in our room or something.

No no, I mean do you like his work, his music?
Yes, some things more than others of course.

What do you think of that Peeping Tom record?
It’s great, but there were also rumours about Mike Patton returning to Faith No More. I think he left to create something of range, because Peeping Tom is not so Faith No More in my opinion.
No, but it’s probably what comes closest.
Yes. It’s a great album, I love it.
You were also supposed to be with the Fantômas/Melvins Big Band, why didn’t that happen?
It happened. In London.

Oh yeah? But that was the only show then, because you were announced for the entire tour.
Yes, the rest of that tour was never confirmed, they already had Zu to go on tour with them.

Did you get to speak to Mike then?
Yes, he came to us, said he liked our stuff and such. He’s a real nice guy, very down to earth. The show we did was great, a lot of people were there.

What will the future bring for Ephel Duath then?
We start another European headline tour in October and then we return home for two or three months. After that we will return to Europe in January. And we are hoping to go to the US next year as well. We’ve never been there before. There are some possibilities now, but nothing is certain yet.

Where did the idea come from to combine fusion jazz with extreme metal?
No idea. We wanted to create a new crossover sound, but not something that has been done too often. We didn’t just want to mix two styles of music, but we wanted something that could be powerful and gentile at the same time. Some kind of symbiotic relationship. And with our next album we again want to take a step further, but it has to be thought through very carefully. It takes a lot of work.

Do you know when you will return to the studio?
At the end of next summer. We want to play live now, we have a new drummer so we want to keep playing until June or something.
Yeah that new drummer, where did he come from? I heard he had like only one or two rehearsals with you guys?
Haha, yes we practised like two times with him. Well the previous drummer was just a session drummer we used for that tour. So we asked this one for this tour, and he’s a great drummer and a very nice person and we hope to keep him around.

In movies, who do you prefer; Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone?

Stallone, I think Arnold is not so fun. (and then we get an Italian who talks American with a German accent, it can’t get much funnier than that!) Of course Stallone, he is Italian.
Ah yes of course, why didn’t I think of that before!?! Well that was it then, do you have anything to add then?
I want to thank you for the interview, the second interview, with the same questions haha!
Haha, yes thank you too!