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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
As I child I had classical piano lessons, I taught myself classical guitar, and I had singing lessons. Had I not gotten into music, I would be a different person, and it is difficult to say what I would do if I were not myself.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I am a physicist and investigate water and its interactions with external electric and magnetic fields, and I have trained martial arts (kendo, iaido, jodo) for 27 years. Both the intellectual and physical challenges of these activities fuel my creativity.
How long has your band been around?
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We were originally based in Graz, Austria, and have been based in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, for the last twelve years. The music was certainly influenced by the band members who naturally changed when I moved to the Netherlands.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
At the time of the first recordings and gigs we did not have a name, and all of a sudden the recording studio needed one. At that time I was reading literature about the bible and apocryphal scripts in which I found the word “eloah” which loosely translates to “comes from above”. We figured that since our inspiration to write songs also somehow came from somewhere else, and we liked the sound of the name, we chose it as preliminary band name. Because I also studied physics at that time, and I wanted to make the name unique, I replace the “h” by and “ħ”, the symbol for the reduced Planck constant.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show for me was a gig at the “Musichouse” in Graz in 2001 – great show, great audience, and a lot of fun on stage. The worst show was certainly the show at the “Kulturhauskeller” in 1998, also in Graz – broken amplifier, bad sound – and a misplaced flute that caused a very unnatural pause in the program…
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
I don’t have personal favorite venue. But if I had to pick one, it would be VERA in Groningen – we have not played there yet, but some of our musicians have – with their other bands.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I would not change my line-up at the moment, seriously – I am extremely happy with my current colleagues.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Play only what you like to play, do what you are good at – and work hard. Focus on the fans that like you, and forget the trolls.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Go on like that, you are doing great, even if you don’t believe it.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Of our songs, always the newest one means the most to me, because the newest one is always the one formed by current emotions that seek expression. I do not have an all-time favorite.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I like to play “iron lady” and “sweet little witch” from our first album, probably because these are the songs we played live most often – and these are also the songs that got requested most.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Normally the creative process is me picking up the guitar and playing something until inspiration strikes – then I get a pen and a piece of paper and write down the lyrics and play and practice the song until it does not change anymore, after which I present it to the band. Alternatively, we create the songs together in a joined improvisation, as was the case for the Mondstein Chronicles trilogy, which we just finished.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Emotions, it is all about getting certain emotions across that may be difficult to express with words alone.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Certainly, especially when I was younger we would disagree on how a song should sound etc., but mostly we managed to compromise. These days, it is easier, since everybody is open to new sounds, styles and experiences.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
At the moment we are recording a soft-rock / pop album, and we are already composing a hard rock / metal album in parallel. After this studio work is finished, we are aiming to play live again.