Guitarist and songwriter Lanvall discusses the new Edenbridge CD Arcana, plus assorted tidbits past and present involving this powerful and melodic metal band. By Pete Pardo
With the release of the anticipated Arcana, the five piece European metal band known as
Edenbridge seem poised to join a growing number of symphonic metal ensembles all striving to obtain a special place in the hearts of listeners worldwide. With the bands penchant for memorable melodies, virtuoso guitar work, soaring female vocals, and superbly played metal bombast, Edenbridge
have all the tools necessary to be a player. Band spokesman, guitarist, keyboard player and songwriter Lanvall recently gave Sea of Tranquility some insight into this hot up-and-coming band.
Sea of Tranquility: You had a solo career prior to forming Edenbridge-can you go into detail
on your past recordings, your influences, and the events leading up to the recording of the first Edenbridge CD.
Lanvall: I released three solo records on the small German label WMMS from 1994 to 1997. The albums were called Melolydian Garden, Auramony and The Pyromantic Symphony. The music was symphonic guitar rock music with many influences including new age and classical music, and two of the three albums also included a big church choir. The reviews were great but the distribution was nearly a catastrophe. Besides my solo career I had a band project called Cascade. When my solo deal ran out in 1997 I changed the name from Cascade to Edenbridge and wanted to bring the band forward.
About my influences: I grew up with classical music, so this is a big part of my musical life, especially the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. I like good new age music like Vangelis or Gandalf, as well as many metal bands such as Royal Hunt, Shadow Gallery, Symphony X, Fair Warning, Dream Theater and Robby Valentine.
Sea of Tranquility: How did you find singer Sabine Edelsbacher and the rest of the band?
Lanvall: I´ve been playing together with Kurt Bednarsky (bass) since 1994 and with Sabine since 1996. Both of them were part of Cascade. When drummer Roland Navratil entered I had the line-up for Edenbridge together.
Sea of Tranquility: What are some of the rest of the bands influences?
Lanvall: Sabine especially likes melodic metal and AOR bands such as Sonata Arctica, Dare, Survivor, Royal Hunt, and Queen of course. She also likes Celine Dion , Sarah Brightman, and musicals. Kurt is a prog-freak with bands like Rush, Yes, Genesis, Asia and Dream Theater, and Roland likes the more heavier stuff. His favorite band is Dark Tranquility. Andi seems to like everything from pop to metal.
Sea of Tranquility: There are many bands today playing an epic, symphonic form of progressive metal-how does Edenbridge differ in your eyes?
Lanvall: I think we have two big advatages. Sabine has a voice that can´t be compared to anyone in the metal scene and we´re dealing with a lot of different influences. So I think Edenbridge is quite unique and I´m happy that many magazines wrote this. I wouldn´t say that we are a progressive metal band, maybe progressive in its real sense to do something new, but mainly I see Edenbridge as a bombastic melodic metal band.
Sea of Tranquility: Has the band played or planned any live shows yet?
Lanvall: In November/December 2000 we were on a European tour with our label mates Axxis and Pink Cream 69. Now we are waiting to be confirmed for a big European tour in March and April and we are also planning our first shows outside of Europe. Korea, South America and hopefully the States will follow as well.
Sea of Tranquility: Arcana seems to be a more mature recording, and more polished than the
bands debut-would you agree?
Lanvall: Yes I think so too, but that´s normal. We had a much higher budget this time and that can be heard. I would say it is more polished in a positive way. The details are coming out more clearly than on our debut and everything´s tighter.
Sea of Tranquility: Explain how the guitar parts were recorded/divided between Andi and yourself on the CD?
Lanvall: Well, for the rhythm-guitars we used the Mesa Boogie Triaxis for two tracks and the Engl Savage for the other two tracks through a Marshall speaker . All solos were recorded with the Triaxis through a Mesa Boogie speaker. The rhythm-guitars were divided in that way as well, with Andi and I both doing two tracks. In the double-harmony parts I played the high lines and Andi the low lines. The fact that I´m the lead guitarist of Edenbridge resulted in myself playing nearly all the solos.
Sea of Tranquility: Would you ever consider adding a full-time keyboard player to let you
soley concentrate on guitar parts?
Lanvall: Not for the studio work I think. I develop all the keyboard parts before when I arrange the songs at home, so we don´t have to do keyboard parts in the studio anymore, they´re all done on midi-files. But we are searching for a keyboard player for live shows and if he´s a good one, and we need a good one, he will have a lot to do.
Sea of Tranquility: What are some of the current bands/musicians you admire and why?
Lanvall: I don´t admire other bands, but I like lots of them. Of the newer bands I especially like Sonata Arctica, because they write fantastic songs and play like hell. From the guitar point of view I always liked guitarists who play very melodic, so Neal Schon and Kee Marcello are my favorites.
Sea of Tranquility: How did you come into contact with Ken Golden and Lasers Edge/Sensory here in the US? How is your distribution set up Internationally?
Lanvall: Our label Massacre records was able to license our records to all important markets of the world. Ken from Sensory was interested in licensing the album for the North American market (USA and Canada) and he´s doing a good job. He also has plans to bring us over for a festival or something this year, which would be great.
Sea of Tranquility: What does the near future hold for the band?
Lanvall: At the moment I am writing songs for the next Edenbridge album. Five songs are already written. Next will be the European tour and some festival shows this summer. At the end of the year we should be ready to enter the studio again. I hope we can bring the band a big step forward this year.