Enshine – Lifeless to LifeMonday, 21st October 2013
As far as 2013 debuts go, Enshine’s Origins is going to take the top nod, at least in this scribe’s eyes. Formed out of unheralded Swedish melodic/atmospheric doom sextet Slumber by guitarist Jari Lindholm, the band ably carries the load when it comes to spatial and memorable metal of this kind. It’s easy to get sucked into the album’s vacuum of blanketing keyboards and wistful melodies, with a handful of these cuts (“Cinders,” “Refraction,” “Above Us”) displaying a wry sense of shadowy doom, upward melodic death doom. Therefore, it’s utterly recommended listening for those cuckoo for the likes of Swallow the Sun, Daylight Dies, and Brave Murder Day-era Katatonia. Talk about a worthy trio. Alas, we grabbed the studio-bound Lindholm for a quick Q&A on Enshine. Here’s how the visionary responded:
Dead Rhetoric: To start, (and I’m guilty of doing it here) are you surprised at the amount of interest that still exists for Slumber? Does it make you wish there was more when the band was still active?
Jari Lindholm: The interest for Slumber has been around and possible also growing for a number of years, maybe a bit surprising in a way since we only made one album. I guess it would have been cool if we had actually gotten around to touring when we were as the most active, there were some plans for that, but it never happened for various reasons.
Dead Rhetoric: Had Slumber gotten around to doing another album, how do you think it will sound? Like Origin?
Lindholm: Hard to say, as we never made a second album partially because of our changing musical tastes and directions as individuals. I think the closest answer though is really to listen to Skylight by AtomA as it was written by the three of us as having been the main song writers also in Slumber. Then again there is a reason that it became its new own entity. So a second Slumber album is just not a concept I can speculate on, really.
Dead Rhetoric: You started Enshine in 2009 as a side-project, but has since become your full-time project. What circumstances led you to make it full-time?
Lindholm: It is certainly my main project as it is the kind of sound I have been working towards for several years. But I also have a post-rock band (Seas of Years)which I rehearse with regularly and consider full-time as well, and also a third project of more dark and sinister doom/black/death metal so it is hard to say that a single one of these bands or projects are my main and only full-time thing.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you have a relationship with [former Slumber/current Atoma members] Siavosh, Ehsan, and Markus? I know you were in Atoma for a brief moment…
Lindholm: Yes, certainly. Three of us used to live in the same place not so long ago also. Now we are all doing our own separate things a bit more, but we stay in touch.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you keep a small lineup on purpose? Do not have an interest in being in a “regular” band anymore?
Lindholm: I think that during the making of Origin I had a need to work in relative isolation, to achieve the mood and frame of mind required for the songs. I am currently more in a period where I like to work in collaboration with others, to achieve more diverse perspectives of things, but I guess that was something I needed at the time to make the ideas I had buried in my head into reality. I still think of this kind of music as a highly individual expression, like say, if you had five people try to paint a highly personal painting together, would it not loose part of its meaning? So I like the creative group to be small and fully understanding the ideas and concepts and being on the same level, which gets more difficult the bigger the group becomes. But there are of course situations where that works very well, too.
Dead Rhetoric: Describe the creative freedom afforded to you in Enshine.
Lindholm: We are lucky to have a label that allows us full creative freedom; basically we can do things as we wish, more or less. Of course there is always in the back of our head other people’s opinions and expectations, but I try to first and foremost get it to a level where I enjoy listening to it myself.
Dead Rhetoric: How did you hook up with Sebastien [Pierre, vocals]? And what kind of things does he bring to the table?
Lindholm: We found each other’s music projects on the internet and started discussing that and various other not so music related things as well. Long story short we decided to try collaboration because of our similar musical directions. On the first album his main contribution has been the vocals and lyrics but on the second one we are working on has had a much bigger role as songwriter too. Also he does all the graphic design for the band.
Dead Rhetoric: Songs like “Cinders,” “Nightwave,” and “Above Us” have gorgeous melodies, and could be deemed as trademarks of your playing. How do you think you’ve progressed as a writer since the Slumber days in this department?
Lindholm: Every project is different from the last so there is always progress in one way or another. Listening now to Fallout, I am sometimes amazed on how much was done with so little, if you know what I mean, and I guess in the quest for progress it is easy to get lost in the idea that increased complexity is always better, because it requires more skill to do. I think I am at the moment finding a bit of that simplicity back, but am also able to combine it with more complexity and I am quite happy with that development as it allows for more options and diversity.
Dead Rhetoric: There are tinges of clean vocals over the course of the album. Is that something the band will do more of?
Lindholm: I think so, and I believe they will be a bit more woven into some songs that also have the growl vocals as opposed to either one or the other. But we still need to experiment a lot with what works or not on the new songs before we see what fits where.
Dead Rhetoric: Along those lines, the vocals were so buried in Slumber; do you think they don’t have as much importance in your style of metal?
Lindholm: I think they are important but they also should not interrupt the flow of the music which can happen if they are too up-front. One thing about the mix on Fallout is that it had to be done in only two days with some of the songs having a huge number of tracks, so it is not perfect or exactly as intended. In hindsight, I know that the vocals could have been mixed in a way that they appear more present without taking over, but this was 10 years ago and considering the short time it was done in, I am still pretty happy with how it turned out.
Dead Rhetoric: Any plans to put together a band for live purposes?
Lindholm: Yes, sooner or later I believe we will do this, right now, the focus is on recording the second album but after that I am hoping that we will have a chance to do some live shows. And I do have some ideas on how to make that happen also.
Dead Rhetoric: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2013?
Lindholm: We will kick-start the new year with the recording of the second album, that will of course take a while to complete but I expect it to be a bit easier and more effective process than the production of Origin because of the experience gained since last time. If all goes well maybe we can try to think of some live shows by the end of the year but we will see how things turn out!