Formed in mid-1994, Siebenbürgen was founded by Marcus Ehlin (guitar, vocals) and Anders Rosdahl (drums). However, it would not be until 1996 that they would release their first demo, "demo-96." That same year they released their second demo entitled, "Ungentum Pharelis" and "Siebenbürgen - LIVE." In 1997 their first cd "Loreia" was released, giving them worldwide recognition in the underground music scene. Their latest release, "Grimjaur" was released this year (1998.) The following interview is with Marcus Ehlin...
OK lets begin by enlightening those who do not yet know of Siebenburgen
with a history of its members, how it was formed, when, etc.
It all started in the year of 1994 when I (Marcus) met Anders (Drums) at a friend's house. I had been looking for musicians so that I could fulfill some ideas I had. I soon found out that Anders was very interested in my ideas. After a couple of weeks or so, Fredrik (bass), joined us. During that period of time another member joined us on guitar. He did however not fit into the band at all, so we kicked him out. During a short period of time we had two guitarists who were a total waste of time for us. None of them had talent, nor did they fit into the band. However, they never contributed in any way to our music. It seemed we had to manage with only one guitar. In February -96 we recorded our first self- titled Demo, which included four tracks. (Vampyria, Blodspår i snön, …Om hösten död, Att dricka någons blod). We had been looking for a guitarist for a quite long time, when we met Linus. He seemed to be the right person, so we took him in. About three months later we had our first gig, with In Aeternum and Svartsyn, during which the Live-tape was recorded. It was never meant to be released, but when we recorded our second Demo "Ungentum Pharelis" in October, we thought it would be cool to print some covers to the Live-tape as well. Pagan Arts (Germany) contacted me and wanted to order some Demos, and I included a Live-tape in the shipment. They liked it and wanted more tapes for distribution. In February -97 I got a letter from Napalm Records who wanted to sign us. We accepted their offer, as it was a good and serious one. One and a half months later we entered Six String Studio, in which we also recorded our first Demo, for the recording of our debut album. It is entitled "Loreia" and was released during the end of May -97. In February -98 we recorded the second opus, "Grimjaur", which was released in June this year. And that's about all....
You have two full length releases available, 'Loreia' and 'Grimjaur.' Tell us a bit about them and the differences between the two. What do these two titles mean?
"Loreia" is one of the Queens of the fantasy-world called "Grimjaur". The legend of "Loreia" tells us that she is the cruel ruler of Midnight. With her beautiful appearance she lures her male victims deep into the Grimjaurian forests, where they are granted her death-bringing kiss. Loreia lives in the forests outside the medieval town of Grimheim, where the soil is stained with the blood of her numerous victims. The front cover picture itself depicts the Queen Loreia in her crypt holding the skull of one of her victims. "Grimjaur" are, as told before, the name of this world. And its meaning is midnight. The most apparent difference between the albums, in my opinion, is the sound and the speed. "Loreia" had a to "digital" sound that we tried to change for the recording of "Grimjaur". But the result of that attempt wasn't pleasing. The sound became to "un-clear". I think that if we had got something between those sounds, the result had been somewhere what we had wanted. It's very hard to sit in the studio and listen and everything sounds so fucking perfect. Then you go home and listen to the final mix and it sounds crap. And in my ears "Loreia" is to slow. "Grimjaur" isn't, and that's at least one thing that we managed to change till the better. About the material: On "Loreia" we used 6 tracks from our Demos, because there was not many people that had the tapes. But we left one track on each Demo so that them who had it had something special. There's also an intro and an outro on the track "Nattens Väv" on the "U.P." Demo that's not on the album. "Grimjaur" is only new material. And I am more pleased with those tracks.
Would you say your music has any sort of message you wish to relay to the listeners? What sort of feelings do you hope to invoke within the listener?
I see each song as a short nightmare, a dark fairy-tale. So if the listener can feel something of this, we have achieved something I think.
I understand Siebenbürgen is the old European name of Transylvania. Why was this chosen?
It was my ex-girlfriend Mara who came up with the idea that our band should be named Siebenbürgen, as we all are into transylvanian folklore and history. Anders and I thought it was a good idea to have the old European name for Transylvania as it was used in Swedish language in earlier times. Besides, it was very suitable for us regarding to our lyrics.
Explain what sort of topics your lyrics deal with?
The contents of our lyrics are mostly about creatures such as vampires, werewolves and ghosts, and of course Death in all of his various shapes.
Before Siebenburgen, were you involved in any other bands or projects?
Nothing special to talk about.
What can we expect from your 3rd full length release? How are things coming along? Could you give us some titles of upcoming songs and when is this slated to be released?
Stronger and better material perhaps, he he.... So far we have about 9 new tracks that we are still working on, more or less. I'm very pleased with them and I feel that this material is the best so far. The only problem yet is that our co-operation with Lovisa Hallstedt has come to an end, and that we until this date haven't found a replacement for her. The recording date is set to sometime in January/February 1999. All depends on how everything turns out right now.
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