GRIMM: So let’s talk ‘Omens’. When was it recorded?
It was recorded two weeks in December 2019. It was a very tight ship schedule-wise. Recording, mastering and production were all harrowed out on a tight schedule.
GRIMM: It was recorded in France, right?
At Black Box studios, yes.
GRIMM: So, you live in Berlin and, as I understand it, so does your drummer. And your bassist still lives in the States. Doesn’t that make things difficult when writing music?
‘Omens‘ was mostly written by the time we got everyone together. The songs are pretty much ninety percent my compositions. I had the material ready over here, while all the other guys were in the States. Kind of by fate, our guitarist, Mike, ended up staying in Berlin after a tour. He managed to get a visa and decided to hang around. Then our drummer left the band over the Summer, which means we had an album of material ready to go but no drummer. It was a set of really odd circumstances that ended up pulling half the band over to this side. Our bassist came to Europe for three months following some personal matters, and we used some of that time to rehearse and record.
GRIMM: That’s also when Georg took over from Matt on drums, right? You and Georg knew each other?
I knew Georg for some years and we started jamming when I moved over to Berlin. We kind of started a new band. Then when Mike moved over here, we restarted and old band: Gold and Silver. So by the time Matt left Elder, Georg and I had already been playing together for a couple of years. We had a really good chemistry and it was always clear to me he would be the one to turn to. We pitched the idea to him, showed him the new material and did a couple of rehearsals. It felt really good.
It would have been odd, you know, as band members who have been friends for so long, to have to audition people. That would have been super weird for us because the whole chemistry in the band is very much about having a deep personal connection with each other. It was a happy circumstance that we knew a good drummer.
Georg joined Elder on a tour selling merch and just doing roadie shit. That was the real test: going on tour with someone, being with them 24/7. It went well. Plus he already played in another band so he was used to this kind of stuff. He was just up for it. He was able to step into the new material at a time when we hadn’t rehearsed with a drummer before, so we could really shape the songs around him which helped a lot in obtaining a cohesive sound.
GRIMM: Is Gold And Silver different from Elder?
Not that much. I think if you were to mix the Gold and Silver material with Elder‘s ‘Reflections of a Floating World‘, you’d probably get something close to ‘Omens‘. That was stuff Mike and I were jamming on. It’s much more his wheelhouse. It’s more spacey, psychedelic music. Whereas I myself am a more heavy-handed, riff-oriented guitarist. It’s not totally different, but if you listen to all our material from all our projects, we’re kinda borrowing bits and pieces everywhere.
GRIMM: I personally love ‘Omens’. What would you say if I were to mention that Elder’s evolution is plainly audible? Do you think it is your best work to date?
There is a clear evolution, at least not a linear one. For a while it was getting more progressive, i.e. every album was getting more complicated. And I think ‘Omens‘ is the first record since we started off on that path where it’s not so much about that, but more about cohesion.
I really shouldn’t but I do find myself looking at social media from time to time, and what people are saying about the record. I remember seeing one comment this morning where someone was wondering how ‘Omens‘ was gonna top ‘Reflections‘. Man, that’s not really the point. ‘Reflections‘ is a great record of which I’m still very proud. And if you put it next to ‘Omens’ both records hold up. They each have different styles. We’re not necessarily trying to outdo ourselves with every record. We’re just trying to write music that reflects what we’re into at the time.
And it would be disappointing if old material were to become worse, so to speak, than newer stuff. There would be less of a reason to return to the previous catalogue.
GRIMM: Indeed, not something you’d want to happen. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the release, man. Thanks a lot for taking the time to chat. Hope to see you on stage when the virus dies out.
All right, man. Nice talking to you. See you.