Interview || The One With Fabienne Erni of Illumishade

Illumishade is a newly formed metal band hailing from Switzerland. In May, they released their debut album, titled "Eclyptic: Wake Of Shadows", which was very interesting. We recently had a quick chat with singer Fabienne Erni, where she detailed the origins of the band, the creation of "Eclyptic" and, of course, answered our weird philosophical questions.

© Manuel Vargas Lepiz

U: Let's start with the easy questions. How did Illumishade start?
Fabienne Erni: Actually all started out as a school project! I did my masters degree at the music university in Zurich and my master-thesis was to build a project. And I decided to found ILLUMISHADE!  And after the school-stuff we had to do we all got hooked and didn't wanted to end it. So we decided to go the studio, record an album and go „out there“ on social media! Sometimes when I think back it actually is all a bit crazy! And I like crazy! 

U: Would you please explain the idea behind the tribes and the character/role each
band member has assumed?
F.E.: Each member belongs to a tribe – and the tribes fit the characteristics of every member. For example Faeva: loving, embracing nature-creatures. It is exactly for Mirjam. 
Our goal is to create a wonderful, fun and interactive world – where all the people can
belong to a tribe, connect and feel at home in the world of ILLUMISHADE.

U: Where do you draw inspiration for your lyrics?
F.E.: The whole album is a concept album with a story, and the lyrics are based on this story. The songs are kind of a moment in time in this certain story and describe the feelings and happenings in the very moment of our story. I always loved fantasy-worlds and musical theatres. So for me it was clear from the beginning that if I want to start a side project there must be story involved so people can dive in musically and storywise.

U: How was the writing and recording process like?
F.E.: It was intense, fun and something very new for me. I never wrote a lot of songs in my life. I always had many ideas, but to actually work on them, finish them and creating a whole
song out of them is pretty much „out of my comfort zone“. Jonas and me, we match really
well for songwriting, it's a lot of fun to write together! Last summer the whole band
and me spent one week in the mountains for a song writing-week. It was amazing, Jonas
and me brought ideas and some pre-productions and we worked on the songs with the
whole band. The songs developed a lot during these days. It's wonderful to have the
fingerprint of every member in every song!

© Jens de Vos

U: Why did you choose “Eclyptic” as the album title? What does it represent for you?
F.E.: In our music it's all about the contrasts. From heavy riffs to cheesy ballads. We wanted to create a playground for us and our creativity without any borders. "Wake of shadows" – the story and with that the music gets darker and darker. The shadwos are slowly taking over.

U: The time between the reveal of the project, the recording and the album release felt
particularly short. Was it intentional? And, if so, how did you cope with pressure?
F.E.: Yes, sometimes when we think back we also realise it was actually a very quick journey. On January 1st we opened ourself to the world and now we are here with our very firtst album! It was planed like this – cause we knew we will have a little gap with Eluveitie and it overall fit the whole situation. And since we already have ideas for a second album we
didn't wanted to wait too long to release the first one! 

U: You had to change your plans and instead of a live show in front of an audience, hosted your release party via live stream. How was the experience?
F.E.: It was a very, very unique experience! The only people in the room were our crew, but
luckily they were banging and having fun! But just by knowing that people from all over
the world are watching right now gave us the adrenalin kick we needed! Of course, I was
missing the eyecontact and the reaction of the crowd! But for us it was such an intense
moment, to play our set for the very first time like that – I still get goosebumps just thinking
about it!

U: What is passion for you? How would you define it?
F.E.: Something I do and want to do all the time. Something that makes me feel good and
where I want to dig deeper and deeper. For me singing is my passion number 1! 

U: If Illumishade were members of the Spice Girls, what would be your Spice Names?
F.E.: Mirjam: embracing spice
Yannick: sensible spice
Jonas: glitter spice
Marc: dramatic spice
Fabi: crazy spice

U: What superpower does your music have?
F.E.: Well, the superpower of music overall is definitely the magic to make you feel something, to comfort you, to motivate you. It affects our feelings and can help during hard situations and can be a wonderful companion and friend. My goal is with our music to create a world where people can dive into and forget reality for a moment.

U: If you could have a 1-minute phone conversation with a younger you, what age
would you call and what would you tell yourself?
F.E.: Oh, that's a cool question! I think I would call me in my teens and tell me, that I should be proud of my voice and take it the way it is. I will never sound like Whitney Houston or Floor Jansen. But I can sound like Fabi! 

U: If your life had a soundtrack, apart from your bands, what would it be?
F.E.: Frozen 2 Soundtrack!! "Into The Unknown"! I am ready for adventures and will see what will come! 

U: What is a song that needs to be played LOUD?
F.E.: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" – this song gets me into such a good mood!

U: Any final words for fans in Greece?
F.E.: Thank you everybody for reading until the very end! I hope from the bottom of my heart that we will get the chance to visit your country someday and play live! I can not wait! Until then, take care and all the best!

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