Cellar Darling - Anna Murphy

Cellar Darling - Anna Murphy

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CELLAR DARLING is a new band, formed by the ex-ELUVEITIE members Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henzi who are already working in the studio on their debut LP. METAL KAOZ had the chance to submit a series of questions to Anna who took some time off the studio, and with her answers, sheds some light on the creation of the band, and on their immediate plans. Ladies and gentlemen, we present you, CELLAR DARLING!

Cellar Darling - Anna Murphy

Hello Anna and welcome back to METAL KAOZ! First of all, how were the first CELLAR DARLING shows? Even if you have spent a lot of time onstage, did you feel anxious at all playing live with a new band?
Hello Dimitris! They were quite special I would say. I was extremely nervous before our first show and unfortunately we experienced a lot of technical problems (the hurdy-gurdy wasn't working during a few songs). But it could have been worse, it was an amazing experience in the end and the audience was great! The second show before THE GENTLE STORM was much better! It is quite a challenge to play for an audience that doesn't know you and being in ELUVEITIE I was used to always walking on stage to a completely crazy crowd. It made it all the more interesting and we were happy that we could win the crowd over with songs they had never heard before.

Please give us a short bio of CELLAR DARLING; when the idea to form the band was born?
Ivo, Merlin and I always wanted to form a band together; the initial idea was going to be a side project since we obviously didn't plan on leaving ELUVEITE. When the break-up happened and we got over the first shock, we started working on songs right away - it's all we can and want to do with our lives. The great thing about CELLAR DARLING is that we didn't have to make plans or brainstorm about it much, you know about how it's going to sound and what the concept behind it will be. Everything just happened on its own accord, ridiculously authentic and natural even. The first couple of songs were written in late spring/early summer and now we’ve already recorded six tracks at Tommy Vetterli’s New Sound Studio for our first album.

How many degrees of freedom do you get from starting a new band?
All the degrees possible. We can do anything we want. I even started playing the flute again and wrote a very classical sounding solo in a weird-ass song that is about the last man left on earth.

In the band’s logo, there is a triangle and something that looks like a half-moon maybe; is there any meaning behind this logo, and how it’s connected with the band’s name?
Yes. The idea behind the triangle is very simple: We're three people. The half-moon was the designer’s idea to incorporate symbolism which is an important part of our lyrical concept. And because a half moon looks nicer than a regular C and D. We've already written 2 songs about the moon, so it's already a part of us it seems. The triangle is the only specification we gave the designer (Christopher Ruf, Saros Collective), I was curious how he “sees” our music and I think the result is perfect.

The band’s lineup lists you, Ivo and Merlin; will you be using session musicians for the live shows or are you searching for band members?
We're not searching for band members, we will tour and record with session musicians.

Being in ELUVEITIE for so long, it is kind of expected for some people to look for a specific sound, so what’s your intent (if there is any); trying to step away from that sound or just try to create a new sound that fits best this lineup?
ELUVEITIE fans will hear familiar elements in our music for sure. Not only because of my voice and the hurdy-gurdy, but because Ivo wrote a substantial amount of riffs for them. We're not consciously stepping away from that sound, but what we're doing is something new and different. Our music melds influences from three individuals and what I can say from my part is that I'm excited about incorporating more classical elements because besides the folk that is where a big part of my musical roots lie.

In the band’s website, you describe yourselves as storytellers; does this mean that lyrically CELLAR DARLING will use Folk tales as the source of inspiration? Do you have in mind to work on concept albums or is it too early to talk about such things?
Not necessarily, although Folk tales can be a good source for inspiration. The stories I want to tell you are merely feelings, visions and experiences wrapped in symbolism and poetry. That is essentially where tales and myths stem from. A concept album is something interesting and I'm sure we will work on one in the future, but for now the lyrics will be eclectic and there will be no boundaries to where inspiration comes from.

The band released the single “Challenge” with a bonus track “Fire, Wind & Earth”; how long did you work on these songs? Did the entire band contribute to the songwriting?
The band arranges all the songs together, the main songwriters being Ivo and myself. We have most ideas at home and create a general structure of the song or of some parts (“Challenge” was initiated by me, “Fire, Wind & Earth” by Ivo for instance), and then meet up at the rehearsal space and jam for a couple of hours. This is probably my favourite thing about the new band; it’s the authentc “sitting in the rehearsal room all day jamming and having beer” type of lifestyle that I’ve always wanted and now finally have.

“Challenge” sounds like a special song; what is the challenge you are referring to in the lyrics?
The lyrics for the song were written during a period that wasn’t easy for us, we had left what had seemed like the center of our lives. I was going through a lot of psychological and physical stress and at some point realized what is really getting in the way of being happy again is myself, my paranoia and the types of pictures I’m painting with my mind. It was time to push aside those things and concentrate on getting back up again. I like to write lyrics that can be directed at or interpreted as various things. A lot of people interpreted the song as being directed towards ELUVEITIE which is also correct, in a way it was definitely influenced by them as well. If you look at the lyric video we made for the song it probably describes best what was going on in my head though, because what I saw was someone fighting something that isn’t actually there. You are left to interpret that in whichever way you want to, I’m not going to release an in depth analysis on that because most of the time I also don’t have a clue and just go with whatever my feeling tells me.

Expanding the previous question, what is the challenge CELLAR DARLING are facing?
Well, there’s the usual existential stuff of course... like “How do I buy food and other things?” which isn’t everything, but pretty essential. All of us want to concentrate on playing music and writing songs and that doesn’t allow us to get normal jobs, so some of us have to give up apartments and live in the rehearsal room and/or studio. Apart from that we actually have a pretty good thing going, we love the music we’re creating and doing that is no challenge whatsoever.

Are these songs part of the songwriting for the CELLAR DARLING debut LP? What is the latest update on the making of this LP? How many songs should we expect?
Yes, they will be on our first album. Currently we’ve recorded six songs already, and in March, the plan is to record at least six more songs.

Do you have in mind when this album will be released?
Yes, in summer!

Are CELLAR DARLING in search of a record label? Do you see the band signing a deal before the release of the debut album?
We’ve signed a record deal with Nuclear Blast and we couldn’t be happier to join their family again!

What is planned for CELLAR DARLING for 2017? Do you have any touring plans on the making?
Not yet, but things will get rolling after the album is released!

Also, you have the collaboration with Tor-Helge Skei for the LETHE project; what can we expect from that? What is the musical identity of LETHE and how far from CELLAR DARLING they stand?
LETHE will release an album at the end of the month! Two songs, called “The First Corpse On The Moon” and “Down Into The Sun”, have already been released on YouTube. Our musical identity is pretty hard to define since it’s all over the place and that’s how it should be. We simply do whatever we want and merge dark atmospheres with trip-py elements.

Thank you Anna for your time to answer METAL KAOZ’s questions; we’d like to wish you and the band the best for 2017 and hope to see CELLAR DARLING live in the US soon.
Thank you!