Akelei in 2019

Hello! Misha here. It’s been a while since this blog’s last update. Well, it’s about time then.

Something’s in the works here at Akelei HQ and that something is a three-song EP. It will feature two songs that we’ve performed live a few times and one that’s never been played outside of the rehearsal room. The EP will be titled Een van ons which translates to ‘one of us’ in English.

Drums, guitars and piano have so far been recorded and the next step will be laying down violin and viola parts. Arranging Akelei material with classical instruments has been an ambition for many years so it’s exciting to have that finally happen.

We’re halfway through in the recording process which is a step-by-step affair. In this case that means sessions take place in various locations and we’re recording one instrument at a time. The good thing about this approach is that there is ample time to adjust and even rewrite parts for optimisation. There is no deadline, no need to hurry or to compromise.

Here’s some photos of Aline behind the grand piano at Studio Moskou and with recording engineer Sylvia at the control desk:

To anyone reading this and wondering what has been going on in the band since 2015… What happened is that in the spring of that year I was unable to commit to playing a couple of gigs. I needed to instead focus my energies on completing a course I was taking. The others in the band wanted to go ahead and play the gigs as planned and rightfully so. We worked out a temporary solution where other people took my place on the stage. Also, these two gigs were Harm’s last performances with Akelei as he lacked the time for further rehearsals and gigs.

In the fall of 2015 we played a gig at the Little Devil in Tilburg again, this time with me back on vocals and guitar. Also on stage with us that night were Cátia and Vic, both from Faal, on vocals and bass respectively. Cátia had stood in for me during my absence and we decided it would be nice to mix our voices on some new songs. There’s a video of the performance on Youtube.

We had been working on new material for a follow-up to our 2010 debut album for a while by then, even making demos of most of the songs, but there wasn’t any progress with regards to planning actual studio time. I knew the songs were good but I wasn’t sure they’d make a good album. However, when you’re in a band there are certain expectations (make albums, tour) and it’s absolutely fair to say that our musical output was lacking. I guess the one thing that I want to avoid at all cost is making a record I don’t feel 100% sure about, and so my hesitation put everything on hold in the band.

The only way that Akelei could move forward, for me, was to rid the band of any expectations concerning future releases or touring. I’ve not been a reliable factor when it comes to these things. We had a meeting and agreed that our collaborations would from then on be project-based. So Akelei has effectively been a one-man band since, though still depending on the instrumental skills of others for purposes of recording or the eventual return to stage. To illustrate: Remco’s drumming is featured on the upcoming EP and Aline (who also sang on the Dwaaluur-single) helped out on piano.

With that said, I hope you’ll follow Akelei’s studio developments right here on this blog (and Twitter) as we get nearer to completing the recording sessions. It’s too early still but I hope to give out a release date in a month or so. Fingers crossed 🙂

Misha

Listening to: KieszaSweet Love

An update!

AN UPDATE REGARDING THE COMING MONTHS FOR AKELEI

Hello folks!

As some of you may know. in the past couple of months, we have been working really hard on the new album. We have also been planning some shows. But, we wouldn’t be Akelei if everything immediately went well from start to finish. So here it goes.

Due to personal reasons, Misha is taking some time off from the band for a few months. But since we all agreed that the worst thing a band can do is cancel shows we went on a headhunt to replace him for the coming live shows. And guess what? We succeeded!

Please welcome Michael (Purest of Pain) and Cátia (ex-Beyond Sanity) to the Akelei family! They will be joining us on stage in Middelburg (17-04) and Rotterdam (14-05). We already had our first rehearsels with them and the vibes were very promising! So give them a warm welcome and we hope to see you at these two shows!

akelei_20

What’s up

Welcome back! Here’s the news: we are looking to start recording our newest songs. Possibly already this month. More information on where and who we’ll be working with will follow in a later post, so stay tuned. For now, I can say that the plan is to record six songs, all of which were written in the past 2-3 years and some of which we’ve performed live already. We are currently rehearsing and finetuning the material so we’ll head into the studio prepared. I’m still writing lyrics for some songs and it’s proving to be yet another tough challenge. Making some progress, but it’s slooowww…

Other news: we have two confirmed live dates for the near future. First up, we’ll be playing at Bar American, Middelburg on April 17 together with Rosie.

https://www.facebook.com/events/852419908143898/

And on May 14, we will make a return to the legendary Baroeg! There, Akelei shares the stage with none other than Isole, Officium Triste and Jack Frost.

https://www.facebook.com/events/390200941153564/

In November last year, we were welcomed back to another great edition of the Brainstorm Fest at Gigant, Apeldoorn. See the video below for a good impression of that gig.

That’s it for now. More news as we get it!

Misha

Listening to: Rosemary & GarlicThe Kingfisher

 

One year later

It’s true, we’ve neglected this page for too long. About time for an update.

The last gig we did with Akelei (with The Gathering in Utrecht, September 2012) was also Ward’s last performance with us. He had grown unhappy with the heavier aspects of our music while the rest of the band still enjoy the distorted guitars and pounding drums too much to let go of that. We’ve gone separate ways now, as friends, and from around March we were looking for a new drummer.

That search came to an end last September, after Remco contacted us and auditioned for the spot. We liked the guy right away and his style fits the music so well that we welcomed him to the band there and then. We have since rehearsed songs from our live set as well as jammed on some new ideas.

We also decided that our focus now should be on completing the new songs we are writing. As anybody who has kept on eye on us these last couple of years knows, this is a slow process. One of these weeks, I will try to explain on this blog why it takes (me in particular) so much time to write. For now we can share that three new songs are finished (music, not lyrics) and three more are still under construction.

So, keep an eye on these pages, I will try to bring more regular updates on our progress! Signing off with a picture from the new line-up. L-R: Misha, Pascal, Remco, Harm, Merlijn

Bilde

Misha

Listening to: Hjálmar – Ég vil fá mér kærustu

 

Pics from Utrecht

Not much news here, or not much that we can talk about yet anyway. Merlijn is in China somewhere and Ward is working hard to graduate from uni so we’re not jamming or doing any gigs at the moment. Instead, here are some pics from the gig at Tivoli (thank you Ron, Seth and RockHard for sharing), click to enlarge:

                                                                                 © Seth Matahelumual / Epicart.nl

                                                                                 © Seth Matahelumual / Epicart.nl

                                                                                                            http://rockhard.gr/

                                                                                                   photo by Ron van Schaik

                                                                                                             http://rockhard.gr/

Cheers, Misha

Listening to: Anna CalviThe Wall

 

Next up: The Gathering ’92 & The 11th Hour & Akelei

As announced before, this Sunday 16th we’re opening for The Gathering in their 1992 reunion line-up and fellow doomsters The 11th Hour in a not-to-be-missed Dutch doom evening at Tivoli de Helling, Utrecht. Get tickets HERE. We’re looking forward big time! It will be the second time we perform the song ‘Heden’ after its debut in Dordrecht a few months ago. It’s still a work in progress and we’ve altered the ending somewhat during rehearsals. Maybe this will be one of those ‘live-only’ songs that never stay the same. There is a very different take on the song however that we will record later this year. And something else. Oh Winter will be creative times. Merlijn is going on a far East-Asia trip so we won’t be able to do shows during that time anyway.

Meanwhile, Pascal and his other band Faal will tour Europe this fall together with Worship. See details HERE to find out if they are playing near you. They are a most excellent live band, second album ‘The Clouds Are Burning’ is highly recommended too if you prefer your funeral doom laced with black metal and post-rock.

That’s all for now. I hope to bring you reviews, photos and video of the Tivoli show in the next update.

Misha

Listening to: KatatoniaThe One You Are Looking for Is Not Here

 

Photo update

We figured it’s time for a new band portrait. The last one we had taken was a very impromptu affair, right after our first rehearsal session with Harm a year ago. This time around, Harm and I found some pretty locations for a shoot in Utrecht and decided that’s where we would give it a go. Our dear friend Delphine was willing to take the pictures, which is awesome. Especially when you consider she had to drive all the way from Belgium for us. Merci beaucoup!

It was a successful afternoon and we are happy with the results. Here are our favourite picks, the first photo is our new ‘official’ band portrait:

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Akelei 2012, photos by Delphine

Bilde

From left: Merlijn, Pascal, Misha, Ward, Harm

See you next time, cheers

Misha

Listening to: OmitInsolence

 

New gig and video

We played a new song at our gig in Dordrecht last month. Our good friend Wouter caught everything on camera (dankjewel!) and together we edited a video for the as of yet untitled new track. We had a great time at the Popcentrale by the way. It was organised very well and it’s a comfortable venue with quite good sound and facilities. A good number of people showed up right from the beginning and fun times were had by all. Cheers to Ben and Popcentrale for a great Doom Day! Also thank you Heavy Lord for being so ridiculously Heavy. Man, that show rocked.

Now, for our second gig this year we will be supporting none other than The Gathering in their ’92 line-up reunion! Also playing that evening are The 11th Hour, so it’s a fantastic combination of bands that no doom lover can afford to miss. This will take place on Sunday 16 September at Tivoli de Helling, Utrecht. Yes, write it down. You can buy tickets here: http://www.tivoli.nl/agenda/informatie/atid/455194/datum/zo-16-sep-2012/titel/THE+GATHERING+%2792

This is such a nice opportunity for the band and me personally. The Gathering is my favourite Dutch band, I’ve been a fan since ‘Mandylion’ came out and their atmospheric sound has definitely influenced Akelei’s music. I didn’t really know the band at the time of their debut album ‘Always…’ but I remember seeing the video for ‘King for a Day’ on TV and thinking it looked very mysterious, hehe. They will be playing ‘Always…’ in its entirety. We’re looking forward to this one a lot and hope to see you all there!

Cheers,

Misha

Watching Varúð by Sigur Rós

 

Holiday greetings, end-of-year lists, plans

This year’s last blogpost will serve no other purpose than to tell you what (at least in our humble opinions) are 2011’s finest album releases. I asked everyone in the band to submit their own top-3 and the result of that is below. (There are actually 2 #1’s on my list but I just can’t choose one over the other. Tough.)

One more note though. In case you’re wondering if we have recorded any new music. The answer is no. We’re still writing and yes, it takes a lot of time. We will for sure record new songs in 2012 though. We will also do shows in the Spring where we will play some of that new stuff. More news when we have it! Now, the lists:

Misha

1. Omit – Repose
1. Carceri – The Good Must Suffer the Wicked
2. Anna Calvi – S/T
3. Other Lives – Tamer Animals

Ward

1. Spinvis – Tot Ziens Justine Keller
2. Tycho – Dive
3. The New Vultures – About Time

Pascal

1. Omega Massif – Karpatia
2. Mournful Congregation – The Book of Kings
3. True Widow – As High As the Highest Heavens and from the Center to the Circumference of the Earth

Harm

1. Black Stone Cherry – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
2. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It and See
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

Merlijn

1. Dustin O’Halloran – Lumiere
2. A Winged Victory for the Sullen – S/T
3. Nils Frahm – Felt

Oh OK then, one more thing before I go. Happy holidays! Merry Yule/Christmas/Solstice/Hanukkah etc. and best wishes for 2012!

Misha & Akelei