Giove also know as EMYN MUIIL, tell us about “Elenion Ancalima”, his inspirations, gears and about the futur album.
Hi Giove, thank for your time. Let’s start with some simple question.
Why did you wanted to create your own band beside Ymir and Valtyr? What was the trigger?
All started when I discovered the “one man band” concept for the first time, I wanted to create five projects as part of a bigger one called “Nartum Art – Music Projects”, the mark that contain all of them.
Each project represents my favourite black metal subgenres: Viking, Epic, Space Doom, Old School and Ritual ambient. I ever wanted to explore and dedicate myself to all these musical styles because they are part of my personality and all projects are connected to each other.
Ymir is the project where I explore the most introspective part of my mind, it’s a kind of primordial space travel, I always been keen of sci-fi horror movies.
Valtyr represents my passion for norse mythology and that historical period, so it’s my personal homage to that culture and world.
Emyn Muil represents my love for Tolkien’s lore and his epic stories, it is connected to Valtyr in some way, and also with the future ritual ambient project, so that’s why actually all my projects are very important to me.
Emyn Muil is a one man band but would you like to have a colleague working with you?
I always thought to work by my own because all my projects are strictly personal and, in some way, introspective.
But for the second release of Emyn Muil I needed a female vocals and I was lucky because Hidlr Valkyrie always asked me to collaborate, and I was very happy to involve her in the process, she really surprised me and exceeded my expectations.
Do you consider your band as a Black Metal band or as a kind Dungeon Synth band ?
I think both; I consider it basically a dark epic metal project with some black elements like vocals and guitars, and atmospheric dungeon synth parts.
Starting from scratch, how do you compose songs? Music or lyric first ?
I always start composing songs by thinking about a melody and record it with a vocal recorder before the inspiration disappears! Then I transfer what I’ve recorded to software.
Making music first could be a problem for me since I have some difficulties writings lyrics that merge perfectly with the rhythmic of the songs. Paradoxically, I spend much more time writing lyrics!
Where does your inspiration come? Books, music’s, movies, video games, RPG ? For sure Tolkien is a huge inspiration but I think you make us of other resources too, right ?
I can’t deny my first inspiration comes from music, of course I’m referring to SUMMONING, their music opened my mind and creativity. I immediately thought that was the better way to musically tell and express the darkest part of Tolkien’s lore.
Of course I get my inspiration also from other sources such as video games (first of all the Elder Scrolls saga and Dragon Age (concerning some art design) and movies such as colossal fantasy films (first Conan with Schwarzy and the most recent LOTR films by Peter Jackson).
Do you remember the first time when you heard Summoning ? What was your feeling at that time?
In few words it was journey into Middle Earth, I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to create something similar, taking all the best from the Austria duet.
We can hear several instruments on your records. Could you please share your gears list?
I have a solo guitar, 2 rhythmic guitars, bass, 1 or 2 flutes, tuba and trumpet horns, 2 or more string sections and male/female chorus, 3 or more drum kits among percussions, drums, and European folk instruments. For the first 2 albums maybe there were too many instruments, for the third I’m working on less optimized instruments.
Your albums have an interesting artwork. How do you proceed in order to formulate your idea to the artist?
I’ve designed the cover art and all graphics by my own, the basic concept takes inspiration from medieval thumbnails and fable art, so I wanted to keep that style to create something simple and awesome at the same time. For Elenion Ancalima I was inspired by the art of Ted Nasmith, who is one of the main illustrators of Tolkien’s books.
I guess it’s not so easy to find a label with your music so may we know why did you moved from your own label, Nartum Music Projects, to Northen Silence Productions ?
NMP is not properly a label, I consider it my recording studio, where I create and record all my musical projects (at the beginning I also thought it was best to self-release all my works through external services).
I had my first contact with Northern Silence Production after the first limited handmade release of Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga. They contacted me by mail and wanted to publish Emyn Muil for three studio albums and other stuff as EP, split etc… so that’s how all started!
Your first record, Túrin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga, has been released in 2013. Did you get some interesting feedbacks at that time?
At that time I released the album for free in digital format under creative commons license, just to have some feedbacks by Tolkien metal addicts and the result was very positive, more than I expected.
This has spurred me to start making the first handmade copies of the album (now a rare piece of handicraft) because, at that time, I couldn’t spend so much money on professional printing (I only wanted to release all albums of EM in digipack case). That period was very weary!
I made over 50 handmade copies and still I don’t know how I did it!
Elenion Ancalima has been released 4 years after your first album, Túrin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga. What’s happened during these 4 years ?
I lived a very difficult period. My job took away all energies, I was stressed (I also had some health problems because of that) and I fell in a bad routine that “killed” all my creative skills.
Then, as I said before, I spent much time trying writing some decent lyrics and that was always a problem, and still it is! Now I left that job and found a new one, I also relocated and now things are different in a better way, I can say perhaps the third album will be released in less time.
How does this new album has been composed and when? Did you use some previous records or did you created everything? It’s interesting to hear that the drum box sounds much better but to hear as well less guitars riffs.
I’ve basically used the same sound system of the first album but improved, in that period of my life I did not have the time to experiment something different and “The Lay Of Numenore” was the first and the most complex track I completed, and twisting it with a new sound was totally a mess.
In fact, at the beginning, I thought to release it as a single instead of a full album, I had some other half records I later ended, with great efforts.
Most of your song are very long, specially on your newest release. Did you considered to shorten some?
Indeed a criticism of the previous album was that the songs were too short… Before starting to compose I remembered I’ve done a sort of poll with my fan base where I asked if they preferred to listen more and short songs or less and longer songs.
That was useful to me to understand the better way to proceed.
Elenion Ancalima is already available on a Youtube channel and on Deezer as well. Do you see that as a threat or as an opportunity to share your music?
I always approached the new technologies as an opportunity to share and spread my work, since I considered making music just as a hobby and not my main source of earnings, I have no problem with it, except for time releasing: leaks and premature unofficial sharing by other people before the release date annoys me but… that’s the web, I’ve learned to live with it.
1/3 of your songs featured Valkyrie. May we know how this idea started ?
After the first album Hildr Valkyrie contacted me personally to congratulate me, and also asked me if I ever would collaborate with her one day.
Well, that day finally came!
We were both excited and I don’t exclude a second collaboration.
Just out of curiosity, may we know how many copies have been sell so far?
I have no idea how many copies the label sold, I just can speak about my limited stock.
To this day I sold about 70 handmade copies, all 90/90 label’s digipack of Turin Turambar + cassette tape editions and digital selling on bandcamp / digital stores (really I don’t know how many). About Elenion Ancalima I’ve sold 80/100 label’s digipack and many digital formats on bandcamp (again, don’t know how many exactly).
May we know your favorite albums?
Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty by Falkenbach (actually all albums!) – Voimasta Ja Kunniasta by Moonsorrow (again actually all albums!) – Transilvanian Hunger by Darkthrone – Runaljod : Gap Var Ginnunga by Wardruna – Atlantean Monument by Lord Wind and many others!
Same for Summoning albums please !
ALL ALBUMS, but If I have to choose I would say Oath Bound and Stronghold.
You do appears into a Summoning tribute album released in 2016. How does it started?
Simply I was contacted by Wolfspell Records which proposed me to collaborate for this tribute album, and I choose to play Menegroth, one of my favorite song from Oath Bound album.
There is a special trend in Salt Lake City, with bands such Caladran Brood, Gallowbraid, Ered Wethrin and so on. Do you see them, as you; as Summoning children ?
I think we are all children of Summoning, in a very positive way, we can coexist as a great Tolkien (or fantasy in general) metal family and I’ve appreciated all of these bands.
If you could re-do few things, what would it be?
Uhm I don’t know, I’m too focused on the third album now, probably I would like to make some limited handmade digipack as the previous album with one more bonus track.
It’s great to hear that a new album is already into the pipeline ! Do we have to wait for some big changes?
I’m testing the new sound system, it’s more atmospheric, so yes, it’s a totally new step compared to the previous album. It will be also slower, darker and simply awesome since it has the sound I ever looked for!
What would be the thema for this new album?
I cannot say much but the Silmarillon will be protagonist once more.
Could you please share the title of this album and a possible release date ?
I cannot say that because I’ve not decided it yet, release date depends on my creative energy but I hope within next year, probably end of 2018.
Which advice could you share to someone who will like to create a band like Emyn Muil ?
I can only say play the music you like and how you want it to be, don’t worry if you’re too similar to this band or another, just follow your feelings and try making your own epic melodies! In Tolkien’s world we are all a family.
Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share whatever you want as comments!
Thanks for giving me this space and the opportunity, and thanks to all readers!