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Abandoned Elysium
Interview with Abandoned Elysium!

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SOURCEWEBZINE - For those who are geographically challenged, tell us where the Estonia are located and a bit about your country.
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik) is a country in Northern Europe in the Baltic region. It is bordered to the north by Finland across the Gulf of Finland, to the west by Sweden, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by the Russian Federation (338,6 km). The territory of Estonia covers 45,227 km² and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate.

As several wars have ravaged our country, and the invaders have invariably raped our women, our blood is strong and our people beautiful.

SOURCEWEBZINE - Estonia is not really a common country you would find a lot of metal bands. But what can you tell us about the metal scene in Estonia?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - Kindly take the time to visit the web portal at, and you’ll see there’s quite a bunch of bands. Since during the Soviet occupation (1944–1991), most forms of Western popular music, especially rock music, were effectively banned, there were no stores selling instruments for playing rock music. That’s why it was not until the beginning of the 1990s that hard rock and metal became a more widespread and readily available phenomenon. Of course, already in the 1960s there were some who had connections, for example a relative living abroad, who could sometimes arrange for example an electric guitar to be brought to the country… But, yeah, 1990 was the year that marks the birth of the metal scene for me.

SOURCEWEBZINE - You signed on to Spinefarm Records last month. Tell us more about that.
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - In the spring of 2004, when we were getting ready to release our first record, we discussed briefly with the label, and they implied we weren’t ready for something like that. Now, four years later, it was they who turned to us with a proposal. We were happy to shake hands, although there were some small additional terms we had to negotiate over.

SOURCEWEBZINE - What sort of things do you sing about?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - Our lyrics are mostly written in a manner implying that the listener should discover themselves in them. The three main themes interconnecting our songs are that of being true to oneself, honesty and straightforwardness.

SOURCEWEBZINE - What’s the prevalent language of the songs?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - We have always sung and will always sing in Estonian language.

SOURCEWEBZINE - Metsatöll seems to be a good example of how the music industry is changing, and how bands are able to more and more take matters into their own hands and promote themselves via the Internet. However, not all the bands benefiting from this are all that original or even good. So do you think sites like MySpace are having a positive or negative impact on the metal scene?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - We think MySpace has a positive impact on the scene, as 1) you get to hear bands you’d have never even heard about; 2) MySpace helps get a better overview of what is actually going on in the rest of the world, all over the world — which is a good alternative to record companies shaping our tastes in music (we’re sure there are many bands sitting in garages or basements with tons more potential than some that have been releasing albums for years); 3) it’s an easy way for record labels to hunt for bands; and 4) as a channel for publicity and advertising, it can’t be sneered at.

SOURCEWEBZINE - What’s your favorite hobby away from music?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - In our spare time, we go to work. We’ve all got jobs — there’s a construction worker, an electrician, an IT-specialist-cum-singing-teacher, and a warehouse manager in the band.

SOURCEWEBZINE - What are some of the more unusual instruments you use in the band?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - We implement many unorthodox instruments. An instrument called “moldkannel” (which translates something like “vat-zither”) has strings made of bovine intestines. Then there’s the stump-bass that’s pretty much utilizable for one single song etc. Most of these instruments are home-made, and, combined with the heavy sound of guitars, they tend to sound pretty impressive.

SOURCEWEBZINE - The use of these traditional instruments obviously tells us that you are heavily influenced by the music of your home country. But what about the other part of your music, where do you take your metal influences from?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - The members of our band started listening to heavy music as early as by the age of 13. I believe that some of the greatest influences over the years have been Iron Maiden, Bathory, Slayer, Celtic Frost… You get the picture. And I’m sure there’s tons of other influences as well, because none of us listens to metal only.

SOURCEWEBZINE - Anything else you’d like to mention?
Markus Teeäär (V/G) - Please, try not to be superficial, and also — if possible, come to see our gigs, as that’s where loud music can be heard from giant speakers!

Author: Falber Teles
Zine: Source Webzine

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