Interview with Evertale
Evertale burst onto the international scene in late 2013 with an incredibly well-recieved independent debut album, OF DRAGONS AND ELVES. It ranked highly on a number of Metal webzines year-end lists including #6 on my own Top 20 list here at Metal-Rules.com. I contacted this powerful act to learn more.
Tell us briefly about how Evertale evolved from the band Blackened?
Blackened was originally a Metallica Coverband but we never really managed to get rid of the name when we were already writing our own songs. The BG Open Air in 2003 marks the biggest success of this band, but afterwards nothing really happened and the band fell apart. I knew already back then that Blackened had no future and the songs I was writing at that time needed a new label so to say. So I sat down with J.Schumacher(Drums) and David Baumann (Bass) and showed them my ideas for a new band name. To my surprise they liked the name Evertale the most although I favorited another one and so we changed the name.
Is the Evertale debut EP still available?
I think we have about 50 copies left – but they’re not available in our shop at the moment. We might put them online in our shop, if people are really interested.
How did you manage to get Felipe Machado for your cover art?
I simply asked him! We were a little desperate as our former cover artist screwed us over by selling our artwork to “empire merch” who were already printing posters of it and we had to get a new one. After that I did a quick research about who’s that guy who made all the great covers that were around and found his website. I sent a short message and asked if he would be interested and he agreed. He has done a really awesome job with the cover of “Of Dragons and Elves”.
How important in this modern, digital age how important is it to have a physical product and strong image?
Well if you asked one of the big players in the pop-music business I think they would answer, that it is not very important. In the metal scene I think it is very important. I think most fans still buy CD´s for the reason to get a booklet that has all the lyrics and band pictures in it or just because it sounds much better. Also you won´t sell a single T-Shirt if you have a crappy artwork. So to stick out of the masses of bands, a great artwork, really helps.
How did you get Ralf Scheepers to contribute?
Actually it happened pretty much the same way it did with Felipe. Marco, our bassplayer, is a huge Primal Fear fan and I was looking for guest vocalists to be featured on 1 or 2 songs on our album. We talked about who would fit best and he came up with Ralf´s name. I sent him a message and asked politely and he agreed to do it. He´s really a great down to-earth guy and delivered brilliant vocals for “Brothers in War” which brought this song to another level.
Why did you choose to release the album so close to Christmas? In my experience sometimes those albums that get released late in the year miss the cut-off for many publications ‘Year-in-Review’ lists.
Honestly I had no idea about all the reviews and the best of-lists. We just wanted to get it out as soon as possible since we had postponed the release so many times before. We were thinking that we would lose a great amount of credibility if the album would get delayed further as it was announced for 2013. If we had known about all this before, we surely would have waited till January. Well, this was some kind of beginner’s mistake but we learned something for the next release and we hope we made our fans worldwide very happy with it.
Are you looking for a record deal or do you prefer to stay independent? I think you would fit perfectly on a label like Limb Records for example.
We were looking for a deal, yes. There was also a bigger record company that contacted us but the deal offered was really not what we expected. Unfortunately that deal is the only kind of deal you will get as a newcomer these days. We had decided before, that we would rather release the album by ourselves than sign a contract just for the sake of having a label. And a 360° deal where the company even claims exclusive rights on our merchandise was no option for us. That is why we released the album by ourselves. We try to make ourselves a good name in the scene and then we can hopefully negotiate a better deal for the next album.
There is a huge amount of buzz around your albums, with a number of the world’s largest webzines rating OF DRAGONS AND ELVES very highly. Are you surprised by this sudden success?
Totally yes, we knew that we had some good songs and were eager to see and hear how people would react to it or if they would react to it at all. I mean there are so many new bands out there and so many releases each month that it is really hard to get your music heard. The amazing feedback we got so far from all over the world really surprised us – or at least me. Woody kept telling me, when I showed the other guys a new review with 10/10p points: “See? I told you…”. So he kinda guessed or hoped something like that could happen but I didn´t see it coming.
Despite the recent popularity in concept albums, as a percentage of Metal albums released, they are still quite rare. Why did you decide to have your debut as a concept album?
It wasn´t a real decision it rather was like a decision of fate. I started out with two songs (Tale of the Everman and Into the Dragon´s Lair) that dealed with the Dragonlance setting already. I guess it was while writing the lyrics for these songs that I realized again how great the story is and more ideas kept coming in so it just happened along the way. To make it all work in the end and to align the songs chronologically with the story and their sequence on the CD itself was a totally different story and a lot of work.
When writing the concept for the album, which came first, the music, lyrics or the fantasy concept?
Actually I didn´t write the concept story for the album by myself. It´s all inspired and based upon the “Chronicles of the Dragonlance” by Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I just picked certain characters and their fate in certain events in the story and wrote songs about them as they travel along on their journey in the tale. As for writing songs I also have no rule what comes first. Sometimes you find a great vocal line and then write the melody and riffs for it. Sometimes you have a great riff and add vocals…it´s never really the same process.
Power Metal in consistently ignored or discriminated against by much of the Metal media and industry, especially in North America. What are your thoughts on this?
Of Course that’s a problem for bands of that genre like us. People sometimes tend to judge a band without ever listening to the music. On the other hand we don’t fell influenced by such things that much and we don’t really feel discriminated. We do our type of art in music, lyrics und visual appearance. If people don’t understand what we are doing, it’s a pity, but we won’t change the direction of the band to please some narrow-minded wannabes, who are afraid to be ‘uncool’ if they would admit listening to our stuff.
Do you have any touring plans in the near future?
Yes, we want to get a support tour with a bigger act for fall 2014. Besides that we plan to play some smaller gigs on weekends in middle Europe. If someone reading this has a good offer for us, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are ready to visit every spot on this planet.
Any last words for the fans?
We just wanna thank every single one of you who like our music, buy our CD, hopefully come to our concerts and support us in every imaginable way. You are metal and we are glad having such great fans! We hope to meet you all one day.
Visit www.facebook.com/EvertaleOfficial for more information.