I caught up with Jari Lindholm (Seas of Years, ex-Slumber/AtomA) to talk about the release of the new Enshine album, reviewed here.
1. The early reaction to Origin has been very good, have you been surprised by the response?
Not so much to be honest, some of the songs have been released before in demo versions and I knew already that at least many of the long time fans of my previous bands were liking what they heard, and have been waiting for another dose of this type of music. Also I spent much time with it to make sure I was feeling confident with the results. But I try to always prepare myself for both positive and negative reactions with a new release, trying not to get too excited nor disappointed for whatever other people think. Everyone will always have their own opinion on stuff and that is how it should be, but of course it is always a great feeling when people appreciate what you do.
2. What is the most important part of the album writing process in your opinion? i.e. what will you fight the hardest for?
Making kickass songs first and then giving them the production they deserve! And of course to give the album a fair amount of variation, that every song doesn’t have the exact same style, but still have certain basic things in common.
3. Considering you started the project in 2009, why was there such a long wait for the debut release date?
It took perhaps one year to actually write the songs and I guess we were expecting the recording to go much quicker, but as this has been a “DIY” project from start to finish (except for the mastering) I had to learn how to puzzle together these dense mixes, sometimes with many instruments playing important roles at the same time and getting everything across as intended. In the end I am happy to have spent this time with the production without deadlines and making sure things turned out like I wanted instead of rushing through it in a couple of weeks as would be if we had hired someone else for the recording/mix. So the mixing took somewhere around a year as well, and has been an important learning process for the future. Then searching for a label, making artworks and all other preparations took some time too.
4. Tell me about the writing process for Origin? Did you find you had too much material?
We only scrapped one song from the recording, not because it was too much but because the result didn’t feel right or fit with how the rest was turning out. Everything else that is on the album is what was intended to be there from the beginning. Of course there was some left over material that had been discarded for one reason or another already earlier in the process. But the songs were decided and pretty much the order of the songs too already when entering the studio.
5, ‘Cinders’ and ‘Ambivalence’ have to be my personal favourites on the album, which tracks did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Hard to say as every song has had its moments of joy and struggle, but possibly “Above us” as it was the first song actually written with the intention of starting the making of a new project, and a new album. “Stream of Light” was fun to write also. But most of the
songs came out of different ideas I had been wanting to do for a long time so they were all enjoyable that way.
6. What is the most important element of a song, in your opinion?
As a guitar player, guitars of course. More seriously though, an inspired feeling, a feeling that it captures a moment or an emotion that perhaps was only present when it was made. A song for me is something like a photograph of the day it was created, and if not caught in the right moment it may never come again. A sonic image of the mind so to speak. Sometimes that image is something beautiful and sometimes can be pretty ugly or boring. I try to only keep the ideas that bring back this image when I hear it again. As long as it comes from this it is less important to me how it is expressed through technical or musical methods. Not that this has to be so for all music I listen to, but it is my personal relationship to the songwriting process.
7. What are the main values that the band has?
That is tough to answer somehow as we are all individuals with our own individual values. I am not sure if you are referring to political or more personal ones but we are not a political band in any way even if we may have certain views in common. We let the music speak it´s own language and leave it to the listener to decide if they can relate to that no matter their political or religious views. But both the music and lyrics deal with spiritual themes somehow.
8. What is next for Enshine?
We have already started composing some new songs together, and on most of the new material me and Seb have been writing together instead of myself alone. We will continue this during the year, don´t know yet if we will be working here in Sweden or in France but the material so far feels exciting with a couple of new elements to it. So that is planned for another full-length album but I have some ideas for possible EP´s or 7″ vinyls and special releases like this too, and right now who really know what comes first.
9. Any plans to play live in the near future?
That would be cool and sometime/somewhere I expect this will happen. Although we are not a band as such that gets together and rehearse regularly as we live far apart so no definitive plans at the moment I’m afraid.
10. Finally, if you were able to collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
Possibly Devin Townsend, not only as a musical collaboration but because I like to work with others who are also into the production side of things, and he seems to be a funny guy.