Note: The following interview was conducted in October, 2001. Eridu Arcane had not signed to the Cynfeirdd label at this time.
Could you please introduce us the band, personnel, date of creation, and meaning of the name?
The band really consists of Oddbjorn Hestnes and myself, but on our coming album, we have Anita Bekkeheien and Lindes Achre on vocals. Oberon has also been heavely involved in the whole process, with vocal and instrumental contributions. The band was formed in 1993 after Oddbjorn and myself had worked together on a different project. The idea was to make a band which played purely acoustic music. The name comes from the ancient city of Eridu in Sumeria. It is believed to be the first city ever built.
what is your aim doing music ?
There are always many reasons for playing and making music. Listening to music is for me a way of entering a different emotional state, even a different world. It's a very personal thing. When writing songs for Eridu Arcane I try to create something that transports me to places or states I have been in, and that I would like to save. And it is of course very rewarding when there are some one else who appreciate what you do as well.
what are your main influences, musical, artistical ?
I guess our main influences are Dead Can Dance and Sopor Aeternus & the ensemble of shadows. We actually decided to form the band after having heard the DCD album "Aion". Other inspirational sources are Loreena McKennith and european classical composers like Bach. Having said that though, in the beginning we were not aware of many bands who played music in our genre. Mostly we were left to our own devices. Also, although we listened much to DCD and Sopor Aeternus, the music we made came out rather different. Some of the reason for this is that our music is centered around acoustic guitars for the most part, as opposed to e.g. DCD who contrate more on ethnic instruments.
there are few bands from Norway, is it easy to organise a band, is there place to play, to rehearse, how did you put Eridu Arcane together ?
It's true that there aren't that many bands in Norway(at least not many who actually manage to release an album). So it can be hard to find the right people. This was actually another reason why we formed Eridu Arcane. Originally we were intending to start a more traditional band, but we were unable to find a drummer. By basing the songs on acoustic instruments and playing the style we do, it is not necessary to be a "full" band. Since it was just the two of us, it was also easy to rehearse and we didn't really need a proper place to play. Usually we just play in the houses where we live.
on your to be released album Bard from Oberon plays drums, how did you come to play together ?
Bard was quite involved with the whole production of the album. In addition to playing percussion, he also does the main vocals on a song and helped out with some arrangements. We met several years ago, and I knew he was able to play percussion and drums. On the forthcoming album we had some songs where the percussion was too complex for me to play myself, so we asked Bard to do it. We worked very well together and I ended up asking for his help on a lot of different things. In the end it was a standing joke that he'd played more on the album than we had! A good thing is that the collaboration goes both ways, as I have written a song which will be on his next album.
You signed with a mainly metal label and from Brazil/Portugal, how did it happen ?
Originally we were intending to release the new album ourselves. We had sent the previous one to a few labels, but hadn't got any response. I think Sound Riot had heard about us from the Finnish magazine Prospective, and contacted us. They gave us an OK deal and obviously they would be more able to distribute the album than we would ourselves. It is true that they are mainly a metal label, but as long as they focus the promotion for our record on the correct marked, I don't see any problems with this at all.
What are your plans and could we hope to see EA on stage one day ?
We would really like to play live some day. We were actually planning to do a small concert in our home town when the album was originally going to be released. But Anita, who did most of the vocals, left to study music and the album was postponed, so it didn't happen. It would be very difficult to perform the songs we have with all the original arrangements as this would require more musicians than we can afford. But we might eventually be able to perform some simplified versions. I would really love to go on a small tour, maybe in France and Germany, but unfortunately I don't think this will happen in the near future. My most immediate plans are to work with Oberon on his next album. After that, it will probably be time to start work on the next Eridu record. I guess we'll start producing that next summer if all goes well.
A word about something particular ?
Well, I guess I could mention that if anyone are interested in a sample of the new album, there are a couple of songs available on mp3.com. I hope it will be released in November/December, but this is still not 100% clear. Also, our previous album, "Refugee from the monochrome" will be available soon from our website (www.eriduarcane.com).