Illumishade Interview

Victoria Wonka

Another Side Of You is the latest album from the Swiss melodic metal band Illumishade. Vocalist Fabienne Erni and guitarist Jonas Wolf, who are also members of Eluveitie, give us the lowdown on the new record.

Chad Bowar: How did the songwriting process for Another Side Of You compare to your debut?
Jonas Wolf: In many ways this album has proven to be a team effort even more so than the first one.

Fabienne Erni: Exactly, this album really shows the influences of all our band members more than our first album, Eclyptic: Wake of Shadows. Also a big difference is that after the release of our debut we started writing songs without having a vision of a full-length album. We just started writing songs because we felt like it. Some of them ended up on the album. So this album feels more like a collective of songs, where as our first album was a concept album.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Jonas: This is very hard to say because this album happened over quite a long amount of time. In any case one of the greatest moments we shared as a band was writing the last bunch of songs up in the mountains in a very creative place.

Fabienne: Absolutely loved the time in the mountains as well! And I guess my most precious memory in the studio was when we recorded “Verliebt,” the last song of the album. We recorded the vocals in one take, which means I sang the song from beginning to the end. I did four full takes – and we just took the second to last one!

What was the biggest challenge in its creation?
Fabienne: Keeping the overview with all the demos and ideas, trying to keep everything structured.

Jonas: Finding enough time to do it.

How has your sound evolved from Eclyptic…?
Jonas: This album for sure is more colorful, it shows more facets to our sound and it’s probably a more modern sounding album than the first one featuring quite a lot of songs using an eight string guitar.

What lyrical topics do you cover this time around?
Fabienne: Another Side of You talks about the good and bad parts of life, the challenges people face, growing as a person and mental health. The songs are about things that happen in everyday life. It’s more grounded and personal compared to Eclyptic.

How did you come to sign with Napalm Records?
Fabienne: They actually contacted us just in the right time. We came to a point where we felt ready to team up with a partner. There is so much more to having a band than “just” doing music.

Does that change your expectations for this record?
Fabienne: I don’t really have any expectations. Of course working with a label can open doors. But it’s a first record – and we will see how it goes. I am curious myself!

You have done several videos for the album. Which was your favorite shoot?
Jonas: My favorite was the “Enemy” video shoot. It was the first one we did with Mirko/Witzki Visions. I love the ideas he came up with as they are at their core very simple but striking images and the two different Fabis turned out to look spectacular.

Fabienne: I loved the creature that Kami (the art director and make-up artist) created for “Riptide.” It’s so inspiring to work together with such talented artists.

How important are videos in the promotion process these days?
Fabienne: Images can definitely help to feel even more connected to a song, which in the end gives a bigger impact to a single release, I’d say. These video releases also give us, as a band, a chance to be more creative and add extra artistic touches to our music.

What were some of the highlights for you of your recent tour with Delain?
Jonas: Basically just to be able to be out there and finally play a few shows back to back for great crowds and growing together as a band. Additionally, Delain proved to be awesome company and a great bunch of people all around.

What are you most looking forward to with your upcoming North American tour with Korpiklaani and Visions Of Atlantis?
Jonas: From our experiences with Eluveitie we already know that North American crowds are just very enthusiastic and loving so we really can’t wait to get back there but this time with our very own band.

Fabienne: Absolutely! Touring in the U.S. is such a special experience. Looking forward to energetic crowds and of course the food! Really gotta go and get some voodoo donuts again!

What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Fabienne: Going for walks, hiking, watching movies. I’d like to cook more as well!

Jonas: I really like to go for a run, I like playing PS5 and I like to draw quite a bit. And of course I still like discovering new music on a regular basis.

What’s in your current heavy musical rotation?
Fabienne: Infected Rain’s new album Time!

Jonas: Spiritbox. Just went through some pre CFH Pantera, Lamb Of God, Dream Theater, Beartooth to name a few.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Jonas: Check out the awesome double vinyl version of our new album!

Fabienne: Exactly, it has even four bonus tracks on it and man, to see the artwork that big is just awesome!

(interview published February 20, 2024)

Watch Illumishade – “Riptide” Video


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