Interview with Madeleine Liljestam – lead vocalist
Interview by: Svetlana Likhacheva
Off the back of Eleine’s powerful new album, Metal Rules tracked down the band’s central figure, Madeleine Liljestam, and spoke to her about the inspirations and the meanings of the new record.
You are a well-established band, what keeps you going together for 6 years already?
Madeleine: Hard work, dedication and a common goal. We know what we want, and even if we’ve reached a lot of partial goals already, we have so many left.
How do you think the music industry in Sweden has changed over those years? Do you like the new trends?
Madeleine: Well, we’re still pretty new in this business but what we’ve seen is that specifically in Sweden Spotify has been reaching new levels and has become a standard here. We still sell physical copies of course, metal fans are dedicated.
You’ve just released your third full-length album. What is the concept behind the album? What was the inspiration for it?
Madeleine: That’s correct. The album is about personal hells and learning how to navigate in them. I admit that’s a dumbed down description of the album, basically we want to unify and empower people, since we ourselves know how it feels to be alone. It is up to the listener to relate each and every song to part of their own lives and hopefully they will find strength within them. The inspiration comes from what we know, what we see and what we feel. A lot of the tracks are based on our own experiences over the last couple of years. When we started writing this album in December 2018 everything just kept pouring out from us. We’ve been working hard on this at the same time as we’ve had a busy gig-schedule, but finally the day is soon here. I’m very glad about the huge amount of great feedback of the singles from old and new fans. You really never know what to expect, since we only write what feels right and always stay true to ourselves. So this feels absolutely fantastic!
How would you describe the change in your music comparing your first album and the new album?
Madeleine: I wouldn’t say change, more an evolution. The sound on our new album “Dancing In Hell” had a very natural progression towards heavier and darker music. It really reflects what the songs are about.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music?
Madeleine: Everything. Life in general. Own experiences, other’s experiences.. we write about what we know, what we see and what we feel.
Which track from the new album was your favorite to work on and why?
Madeleine: They’re all my babies. It’s not really easy to choose since each and every track has gotten as much work laid into it as the others. My answer to this question, which we’ve received in many interviews, varies from day to day depending on my mood, haha. So today I’ll go for “Where Your Rotting Corpse Lie”.
You guys had a very successful tour in the beginning of the year, which, sadly, had to be stopped because of Covid-19 lockdown. How do you feel about rest of your tour being cancelled? Do you miss touring?
Madeleine: Yes we had! I never want those 3 awesome weeks to be forgotten due to the pandemic. We had 2 weeks left originally, but since venues started to close because of lockdowns and all we all understood that this wasn’t going to be possible to continue. It sucked. Still does. And I miss touring every minute of every day. This is my life, and only someone who knows how it feels really understands how extremely empty you feel when not doing it.
What has been your favorite gig from that tour and why?
Madeleine: So very hard to choose from all those gigs. We had fantastic evenings in so many beautiful countries.. one of the most memorable ones was at Z7, Pratteln in Switzerland. That place has GREAT food, great sound and light, and the audience was nothing less than absolutely FANTASTIC.
You have toured a lot with other bands – MOONSPELL, W.A.S.P, ARCH ENEMY, MYRATH. Who are your favourites to tour with?
Madeleine: Every tour, and every band we’ve been touring with, has it’s own memories that I really cherish. It’s hard to pick. But both Moonspell and Arch Enemy has been with me since I was a teenager so both of them really was something special. I’m deeply grateful.
You have been touring in many countries including areas of Asia. What country are you looking forward to tour for the first time and why?
Madeleine: My answer will be America. Since I know we have so many fans over there and I seriously can’t wait to meet them. One day it will happen. Who knows when, but it will.
How are the band members getting along during the tour? Do you spend time together outside of gigs?
Madeleine: It’s going great. We all have the same mindset before going on tour. Take care of each other, respect each others privacy and remember that we’re a family. We really are. I love the guys. They’re all like my brothers and I care for them all deeply. We have tons of fun. During the last tour in Europe our standard after gigs was to watch episodes of one of my personal favorite TV shows, “IT Crowd”. We actually binge watched the entire series, haha. Together we created so many memories, and I revisit those memories when I need comfort due to missing tours and gigs…which is quite a lot nowadays.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?
Madeleine: I really do prefer black metal along with some death, gothic and dark metal. I’ve noticed that I really enjoy a lot of Greek metal bands. That’s something I want to discover even more. Atmosphere is the one thing to me that is important I’ve noticed when I’m listening to bands. I want to feel something. Besides that I really enjoy atmospheric music with organic instruments, it’s a bit hard to describe what it is, haha. And I love music from different movies, one example is “The Gladiator”.
What do you like to do outside of music?
Madeleine: Hang out with animals, photography, editing, create merchandise, take long walks and enjoy nature.
What are your plans for upcoming year?
Madeleine: We have tons of plans for ELEINE, but nothing that we can talk about just yet. We can all just wait and see what happens in the world. Until then I will allow myself to continue to write music. It’s healing.
Thank you for your time, is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Madeleine: Thank you too! It’s been a pleasure. We really want to say to your readers and to both old and new fans of ELEINE that we REALLY appreciate you. We are lucky to say that we have the best fans a band could ask for. Your dedication and passion in the ELEINE LEGION is beautiful. I thank you all.