Features

Interview with Eyevory

“Eyevory is a progressive folk rock band from Bremen, Germany."
"The Music is a colorful mixture, combining joyful flute melodies, two outstanding female voices and catchy hooks with hard rocking guitar riffs and complex instrumental."
"With many other influences such as folk, classical, pop and hard rock. To sum it up: a total work of Art without boundaries and barriers.”

Just some YouTube quotes.

Eyevory logo

We appreciate taking your time for this interview. We are by now 20 years in the web and many of our readers have an affinity to the so-called classic progressive rock. You describe yourself as influenced by some major progressive rock acts. That leads directly to one of our favorite questions: How would you describe “progressive rock”?

David: To us "progressive rock" has always been a way to approach music. It's never been a genre like blues-rock or jazz-rock, as it's never been about a certain element or instrument. It's complete freedom in each and every aspect. It's about toying around with music, composition, arrangement, instruments, recording techniques, atmosphere, etc. It's about finding something new and exciting instead of repeating a formula that worked for decades.

How did Eyevory find the musical style as it shows today?

Kaja: The sound of our music is a product of musical influences of (today) three absolutely different characters. Every member of this band has its own musical background which he or her slips into the music of Eyevory.

Jana: It took a little time until we knew, what we want to do. It was a process, lasting for some years. And the point, when we felt certain, was the point when we changed our band's name into „Eyevory“.

promo photo of Eyevory by Gordon LinnemannEyevory. Promo photo by Gordon Linnemann.

Can you explain, what the backbone, the soul of Eyevory is?

David: Without a doubt it's Jana Frank. She's the one who keeps it all together. She's such an energetic persona with grandiose ideas and incredible spirit!

Jana (blushing): That might be true as you look at the organisational and the logistical, maybe also the imaginative part of Eyevory. But in the musical regard it's particularly David himself.

Can you tell our readers, what you describe as typical elements of an Eyevory song?

David: It's always different depending on the song. But the things we always love is a great vocal-line that just wouldn't get out of one's head sung by two female voices, the Flute being an leading instrument with heavy guitars and some electronics here and there.

There are different ways of composing, writing lyrics and recording music. How do your tracks come to life?

Kaja: The beginning of an Eyevory song is always in the hand of a single person. In the majority of cases the idea of a song comes from Jana. This idea is than apprehended from David who makes the musical arrangement. During our rehearsals the songs get its final touch.

Jana: Usually I got an idea of a song or fragment, so I record the vocal line and back it with an acoustic guitar. Then I send it to David and say "Make something of it!“ 🙂

David: We're absolutely no band that would go into the rehearsal room and jam around. It's just not our cup of tea.

Vocals are an instrument of course, but additionally they transport the lyrics. Or maybe the other way round. Fans and reviewers are often more looking after the fact, if the voice is “fitting”. How would you describe your position in this conflict?

Jana: I can see no conflict at all. Because the sound of a voice is always a question of personal preference. Either you like it or not.

What would you answer to somebody stating your music is good, voice and singing is cool, but never read any lyrics?

Jana: I'd think this person would never understand our music completely. Because the expression the voice is attributable to the lyrics. When I write songs, I always have something to say. And I'd really like our audience to receive the message.

Tell us something about your most frustrating experience as a band.

David: I'd love to, but it would be safest to just not say anything.

Kaja: For me, it was the thing with the festival we played some years ago. There was no time for a soundcheck. After some time into our performance, a listener told us, that the audience can't hear any vocals. The sound engineers were just standing under their tent smoking a cigarette. Finally, we had to abort our concert, which we never did before.

Jana: I think at these times when music is available everytime and everywhere, existing in abundance. It's much harder to be successful as a band than 10, 20 years ago. So we have to manage a lot of problems again and again. But we're tough and we're idealists. That's why we'll withstand. (smiles)

Another opinion is, that it is much easier to bring new music to the people, as there are many more channels to publish music. Your successful crowdfunding is one method, which simply did not exist 10 or 20 years ago. We have downloads, websites, youtube, streaming. Why do you think, it would have been easier in 1995?

Jana: You're right — the possibilities to bring music to people is much easier than some years ago. We're grateful for such instruments like crowdfunding and social media. But as a result of exactly this, the mass of present bands is much bigger and it's much more difficult to shine out of this mass and gain acceptance.

Of course, our readers would like to know as well something about your most thrilling experience so far.

Kaja: Our most thrilling experience was our concert in March 2013 where we played our music together with an orchestra. That was such a fascinating musical moment.

Jana: And the touring with SAGA last year and this year. We gained a lot of experience and fans in these times and had a wonderful time with the members of SAGA.

cover of the DVD A Symphonic Night of Prog RockDVD cover

Let's talk about your DVD, A Symphonic Night Of Prog Rock. Can you tell us something about your main intention, your main message you aim to transport with that album?

Kaja: It was a long-standing wish of Eyevory to play our music together with a classical orchestra. The sound of our music matches perfect with this classical sound. The concert was something special for us, as well for the musicians in the orchestra. To save that special moment for us and our fans, we produced a live DVD.

David: If there was a deeper meaning behind this concert and DVD apart from the music it would be: yes, these things can be done. We're not hiding in our chamber waiting for something to happen. Let's just do this!

With the documentary you give us an insight of the “tour de force” behind the scene. Can you tell us about the idea of making that show and the final decision to do it?

David: We had this bonkers idea long before it got into planning stages because our (now ex-) drummer Sascha Suso also played in orchestras. Kaja has some classical roots as well. So one evening when we sat at my place we said: OK, let's do it. Now. Let's make this album (Euphobia) and release it with a concert that will be remembered for years to come. And then we went into planing while recording an album. It's been a crazy ride.

Can you describe, what you personally like (or dislike) on A Symphonic Night Of Prog Rock?

David: I can't answer this question properly. I think in hindsight it feels like the best 90 minutes of my life. When we hit the stage, the 30 of us, it was a big relief that we've overcome the task of making all of this happen. We made it all ourselves without a big management, without companies that would organise and fund the whole thing. It was us, the orchestra (friends and colleagues of ours that we asked individually), a small crew, including some of our moms who would provide the catering.

Kaja: I personally like the resulting sound of the interaction between Eyevory and the orchestra.

Jana: I like the feeling of pride of making this happen. But I dislike the memory of all the stress we had at these times 😉

Recording has the charm of the opportunity to do things again and again. And probably again. Live recording not so much. What were the most challenging aspects performing the songs live on stage together with that orchestra?

David: Before that time, I had never written a single orchestral arrangement to anything. I was a total beginner. Normally we'd use sequencers and sampling devices to trigger synthesizer and orchestral samples. So I thought that it would be best if we'd leave these electronics at home, while the orchestra fills these holes. We'd include some newly written or reimagined parts. So the big task was to marry an orchestra with very talented people that just never played this kind of music (most of them anyway) or with a rock band to play some crazy music. And I'm amazed how fucking great it worked!

Kaja: A concert always conveys another feeling than a studio production does. Our intention was to catch this special feeling. That was only possible with a live DVD. The emotions on the faces of all musicians during the concert would not have been seen on a CD.

Let`s have a look at the future. What are your plans for the next two or three years?

David: We're about to enter the studio very soon to record our second album. And we'll continue to perform live.

Kaja: Another aim is to find a new drummer who follows us on our musical path. Currently, we're working with a guest drummer. To release the final album production we will start a crowdfunding campaign again.

Jana: Our first and only crowdfunding was for realising the live DVD. It worked perfectly. So we're full of hope that it will do again.

Editorial Note

And in fact it did. According to the band's website, on 20 December 2015, between conducting this interview and its publication, the band are going to start recording soon.

Are you planning to take the Symphonic Show on the road?

David: I'm afraid that would be too expensive.

Jana: But never say never! 😉

Are you aiming a full professional career, meaning you can kick away your jobs and live only for and from your music?

David: This band is a job in itself. And a hobby. A jobby!

Kaja: I guess that's the aim of many bands and off course we would appreciate it. But if you have a realistic look on the music business, it seems that we still have a long way to go. But we'll never give up our hope.

Jana: It's a process and we're working on it.

Can you describe your way into music and finally to Eyevory?

Kaja: I started my musical career when I was 8 years old. My first instrument was the piano. At fourteen years, I decided to learn a second instrument. I had a massive enthusiasm for the flute, which has not stopped until today. That was when I started to play in a band. And that actually was the first cornerstone for Eyevory, because Jana and me were the first members of this band. After finishing school I started to study music in Hannover.

David: I come from a very musical background. My parents and grandparents are / were musicians and so it just had to be music. Music in all its beauty. Aged 7, I began as a drummer and also took piano lessons. When I went through puberty, I had a soft spot (pun intended) for the guitar. When I saw a concert of SAGA in 2003, I decided to play the guitar full-time. In 2007, I went to Hamburg where I got to know Sascha Suso, who was the drummer for the band Pink Mercury (which would later turn into Eyevory). We were good friends and he suggested me as their new guitar player.

Jana: I'm afraid I can't present such a storybook career as my band mates. My first musical impact took place in the children's choir of my school and at the opera house in Leipzig when I was 7 years old. Later I wanted to play drums and guitar but there was no chance to get lessons in these instruments. That's why I practiced myself and became an autodidact. I never learned notes or musical theory. When I was 15, I joined the band of a music school in Bremen, where I met Kaja for the first time. This band had never had a bass player, so I changed to play bass.

Why are you playing the instrument you do?

Jana: First I played the bass acting from necessity. But over time the instrument grew together with myself more and more and since the last 6 or 7 years it arrived completely.

David: The guitar was the instrument that I just could play best, so I stuck with it. I love playing drums and piano (and a bit of bass), but it wouldn't take long until I long for the guitar.

Kaja: I listened to an orchestra concert in Bremen and I was really impressed by the flute player. I loved the sound of this instrument. It interferes an incredible lightness. That was when I decided to become a flute player.

live promo photo of EyevoryEyevory live. Promo photo

Who are your musical heroes? What impresses you?

David: The one guitar player that made me want to practice and play the guitar beyond the metal riffs I used to play, was Ian Crichton of SAGA. Other guitar heroes of mine would be Brian May, David Gilmour, Trevor Rabin, Mike Oldfield, amongst others. But the answer wouldn't be complete without mentioning Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee, and Frank Zappa.

Jana: When I was a teenager, I was one of the biggest Kelly Family fans in the world. And it was Angelo Kelly who infected me on playing drums. Until today, I visit his solo concerts. But besides that, I have some more heroes, or heroines: Wallis Bird and Anouk Teeuwe.

Kaja: I love the music of the 80's. For example Roxette. An artist which affects me even more is Tina Dico from Denmark.

What are you doing in civil life, what is your profession?

David: I'm a teacher in two music schools plus a freelancing musician, arranger, writer, and producer.

Kaja: Besides playing in the band Eyevory, I am a teacher for music and German in a grammar school.

Jana: I'm self-employed as a graphic artist and web designer. And it's quite obvious that this job is also related to Eyevory!

The last one is your joker. Which Question you would ask yourself and what is the answer?

David: Want to drink a can of Chocomel? Yes, please! 😉

Kaja: What makes a concert unforgettable for you? When the audience raises you into the skies.

Jana: Is it worth making the effort? No, but it brings happiness. 🙂

promo photo, a selfie of the bandEyevory, promo selfie

Thank you again for your time and we wish you the best for your musical and personal plans.

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