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Sabine, Lanvall (Edenbridge)

Interview with Sabine, Lanvall from Edenbridge
by Jonathan Maphet at 16 September 2010, 2:09 AM

This is a question and answer session with Arne and Sabine of the band EDENBRIDGE.They are a female-fronted Power Metal band. I recently had the opportunity to interview these two talented musicians. Below you will find the interview. I hope you enjoy it.

Hi Arne, I read your band info and I have to say you are a quite amazing fellow. Your work is all over the album. You play multiple instruments and you even produced the album. How did you manage to acquire so many vast and diverse talents?
Arne: Thanks a lot for your kind words. I started as a child playing piano and took lessons for over 12 years. Then I learned myself bass and guitar and studied Rock guitar for one year. Developing the songwriting and production skills was a constant process over the past years. I have a lot of foreign string instruments at home which I love to use cause it makes our sound even more unique. Simply said, music is my life 24/7.

Furthermore, Sabine Edelsbacher is an incredible vocalist, how did you find her?
Arne: Sabine is indeed an incredible vocalist. I met her in 1995 and half a year later she joined the band what would become EDENBRIDGE 2 years later. Sabine loves singing since her childhood. She took some private lessons, but mostly she found out by studying herself by body and breathing work and consciousness trainings. Her special work is what makes her voice outstanding. I have to say that not many singers in the metal scene have her depth in the voice, she can be recognized by the first tone she sings. Her range is simply astonishing and I can write in all keys, so this doesn't limit the songwriting at all, which is absolutely great!

I am also interested as to how such a talented band was founded. You haven’t preserved an original lineup in general all these years, though. What happened?
Arne: EDENBRIDGE were formed in 1998. Sabine, Kurt Bednarsky (our former bass player) and myself played together in another project before and when drummer Roland entered the band the line-up for our first CD production was complete. We recorded “Sunrise in Eden” in 1999 on self-finance basis and sent it to about 30 labels around the world. Two weeks later Massacre Records offered us a deal. The album was licensed to all important markets of the world (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, South and North America) and was a great success. In late 2000 we were on European tour with our labelmates PINK CREAM 69 and AXXIS.

In 2001 we recorded our second CD “Arcana” which marked a big step forward. Then we went on tour with METALIUM here in Europe which led us from Spain to Scandinavia. Right after we went to Korea to play a show on the 'International Busan Rock Festival' in front of 20,000 people and a double-headliner show with SINERGY in Seoul. In January 2003 our third album “Aphelion” saw the light of day followed by a triple-headliner tour with TRAIL OF TEARS and SIRENIA through Europe. A show on the famous German Summer Breeze Festival in front of 12,000 people followed. In April 2004 we played our first shows in Russia, Moscow and two shows in England on the Bloodstock festival which were a huge success. Then our first live album/DVD “A Livetime In Eden” came out. In October 2004 our 4th studio album “Shine” was released followed by a tour through Europe supporting ANGRA.

In 2006 the first cover version saw the light of day, the release of a single with the famous James Bond title song “For Your Eyes Only” (originally sung by Sheena Easton). The single was followed by the 5th full length studio album “The Grand Design”. In 2006/2007 EDENBRIDGE toured in Europe and Asia (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong). Right after we had to split with drummer Roland. He was replaced by Max Pointner. We signed with Napalm Records world wide. In 2008 “MyEarthDream” saw the light of day, featuring the Czech Film Orchestra followed by a big European tour with RAGE followed by our 2nd visit to Korea where we headlined the 'Jump Guro Open Air' in Seoul.In 2009 we did a European headliner tour. Finally in 2010 our 7th studio album “Solitaire” was released and charted in Germany!

It´s always difficult when you are not selling a hundred thousand records or touring all over the year to keep it together. People have to combine it with their day jobs and this is often causing troubles especially when you are on the road for nearly 2 months like we were 2 years ago when we toured with RAGE. This was the reason why Sebastian Lanser, who played drums on “MyEarthDream” couldn’t do the tour.

How do you choose which songs to play live? You have so many great songs. Is it from fan response? Polls? Gut instinct?
Arne: We have our classics of course. Songs like “Shine”, “Evermore”, “Wild Chase” are fixed songs in the set. And then we always play nearly the whole new album. What is for sure that we will draw a line after our first 3 albums with the coming live shows.

How possible is a US tour? I assume it may have to be packaged. Will you please try to do that for the US fans? What’s the feedback you receive from the American continent so far in your career?
Arne: Well were in talks with a promoter for tour package but it didn’t work out unfortunately. But we still hope to tour the US one day soon. The feedback from the American fans is overwhelming and I can also see this on the orders coming in.

What was the first instrument you learned to play, and what came second and third? I have never had the chance to ask a multi instrumentalist that kind of question and I would love to hear your answer. It is very intriguing to me.
Arne: First was the flute at the age of 6, then the piano at 7. Bass followed at the age of 16 and then guitar just a bit later. Besides those I have some foreign string instruments at home. A bouzouki, a mandolin, a pipa, a shamisen and a kacapi. Soon I will buy an electric sitar.

It has been said that you constantly move in a heavier direction. I am very glad to hear that, and I hope you continue to do so. What made you decide to take this route?
Arne: Well, this was also a natural process. Before “MyEarthDream” I bought a 7-string guitar cause I knew we would work with a real orchestra on that album and so we needed to change something in the sound to avoid some frequencies clashing. I love the low sound of the 7-string and so we continued working with this. We also tuned it one half step down which means we play in the Bb keys, which have a much more darker vibe than the normal keys like E or A.

In addition to the heavy material, is there any chance we can get some faster songs in the future?
Arne: You never know, haha. I don’t plan such things in advance. If I have some good ideas concerning faster songs I will do them. With “Solitaire”, “Further Afield” and “A Virtual Dream?” we already have some faster stuff on the album. What will be history forever are those all-the-way double bass songs that we had in our beginnings.

What has the fan reaction been to the new material? “Solitaire” is an excellent album but, you know, sometimes fans turn their back to the newer material in favor of the old classics.
Arne: The reactions are fantastic. You will always find people that like this album better or that, this is normal. But we never had better reactions than on our new album which really is fantastic. Often fans are writing that they didn’t thought we are able to top our albums before and they are surprised that we did it again.

I have always wondered with female-fronted Metal bands: how do you keep some of the creepy fans off of Sabine? Is it even a problem?
Arne: Haha, no this is not a problem. Sabine is a powerful woman and knows to help herself!

Apart from you home country, what country seems to be the most enthusiastic when you play there? In addition, which area/country would host the most ideal EDENBRIDGE concert?
Arne: The Korean fans are great cause they seem to be among the most enthusiastic. Generally people in Asia are great. The most ideal EDENBRIDGE concert ? I don’t know, I don’t think there is a specific country in the world.

What are your views on the state of the music industry and all the rampant file sharing? I feel it is a terrible thing. Fans should pay the artists, not steal their albums. How do you feel about it?
Arne: I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand it’s not bad, that people have the opportunity to listen to songs when downloading them. If they buy the album later on, it’s fine. But for many people, downloading turned out to be some new sports discipline. If we artists are not able to earn any money there will be no music in the future and people should learn to understand that.

Sabine, who are your vocal influences? How did you become a singer, initially? What is your musical background and how did you become a metal singer?
Sabine: Since I was a little child music was a direct access to my inner self more than anything else. I recognized soon that music is bringing me to myself, to my emotions as to my inner force what I would define as soul today.Especially my mother has supported my way unconsciously with her sensitive being. She loved to sing with me without restraint and without having the aim to reach something. We spent whole afternoons like this and had a lot of fun. The fact that I didn’t grow up with her, this common ground bound us together and this will last for a lifetime.

Besides I have been working on training my voice since I’ve been a little child. I have put a lot of effort that my voice sounds clear and I have experimented with that endlessly and on my expression. And I have also recorded everything with a simple cassette recorder and listened to it with critical ears. That was a lot of fun.My wish was to become a professional singer from now on, although I never made up my mind about stardom or fame or anything else. I also never had anybody as an example, I always listened to my inner voice when singing. I sang in choirs when I was a child. Later I took lessons at a very good teacher, who sent me on my inner way with her breathing and body exercises. This way I still follow.

The biggest challenge for me was to follow the inner desire to express my feelings in front of an audience. Cause on the one hand I wished for nothing more than touch other people with my voice, on the other hand it was my biggest fear to be on stage and attract all the audiences eyes. My stage experience before EDENBRIDGE was just a girlie pub band where I was guitarist first and then singer, so I was not on the front.With EDENBRIDGE I jumped into the cold water in the year 2000, cause we changed from a project to a band with our first CD “Sunrise In Eden” and immediately went on European tour. That was heavy for me. But I soon recognized how Lanvall’s music that suits me down to the ground, is carrying me and how the power of the boys in the band are layering down the ground, where I can venture outside. I face this as a life time developing process.

Were you always keen on Heavy Metal music or did you start out as an operatic singer?
Sabine: Either not. I grew up with Rock and Hard Rock like EUROPE, SURVIVOR and Bryan Adams, QUEEN and also pop music. But there I didn’t find many really good female singers at that time what I found in country music and later on in some musicals and Celtic music. I don’t like operas - it’s too unnatural for me, but it’s a big difference to classical singing, what I like normally. Lanvall introduced me to Heavy Metal. This was in the year 1995 and I was totally infected by the heavy and melodic stuff. It presented the power and spirit I was searching for.

Was there ever any thought of using a male singer? Did your beautiful voice convince them otherwise, or was it the intent from the start to use a female singer, and if so, why?
Sabine: As Lanvall told you before, EDENBRIDGE was formed out of a project and they had some female singers before me. At that time I was in the pub band. I wanted to develop my voice and took some private vocal lessons. During that time I made such a big progress, that Lanvall was blown away when he was listening to my singing. He asked me to join his project, and this was the beginning of our work together. For EDENBRIDGE we never thought of having a male singer; that was never a choice. We are not a gothic band with this typical beauty and the beast idea. We are very happy with our great choirs from Dennis Ward and Robby Valentine. I also would like to do another duet, because I love duets very much.

Those were my questions. Thank you for your time!
Thank you very much for your nice questions! Hope to see you one time on tour - hopefully soon. Best regards, Sabine and Lanvall.


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Edited 07 October 2022

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