’Allure’ is your first full length, so it’s not unlikely that many of our readers have not heard of Eleanora before. Could you introduce the band?
Eleanora is a band from Ghent, Belgium. We started back in 2007. There were a few line-up changes in our early years, but since four years we have been playing in our current formation, which is: Mathieu - vocals, Jeroen - bass, Christophe - guitar, Robin - guitar, Stijn – drums. We all have different musical backgrounds and very diverse taste in music. Our music is typically described in reviews as scream-sludge-posthardcore-doom.
It’s not necessarily easy to find the link between the ferocity of the music and the rather dulcet band name, at least at first glance. Can you explain this?
Our band name stems from the Old Greek word for ‘Torch’. It is generally assumed that this word is derived from ‘eleos’, which means compassion. Therefore, Eleanora can be translated as ray of sunshine, radiating light, or torch. There also is an Arabic explanation, which translates as ‘god is my light’. For us, the essence is the dialectic between light and darkness, but also, or even more so, between the individual and the collective. Both encompass the idea that one can only exist, and is therefore necessarily determined by, the other. It’s a theme that is very prominent throughout our lyrics and songwriting. The ongoing reflection between the two is bound to lead to personal modesty and compassion, but also veracity and knowledge of self. This is the main theme in our lyrics.
Before ‘Allure’ you released an EP. How would you describe the progression you made between both releases?
Christophe had joined the band only a short time before we recorded the EP. His influences can be heard, but they are not nearly as prominent as they are now. The EP was based on Eleanora’s past. ‘Allure’ grew from the dialogue between Robin and Christophe as guitarists. All in all, it’s a learning process. In time, you learn to prepare better, and you get a better idea of what you actually want. Nevertheless, it was not easy to complete the album. Tim de Gieter, from Much Luv Studio, was invaluable for the record. He helped us find a sound that came very close to our live sound. He directed us and gave guidance whenever decisions had to be made in the studio. We feel like ‘Allure’ allowed us to tell the story we wanted to tell at that very moment in time.
When describing your music, it is very tempting to drop the name Amenra. Nevertheless, Eleanora seems to be more based in pure hardcore. How do you see this, and are you able to live with such a comparison?
We owe the world to Amenra, and their music means a lot for us. The EP was mastered by Mathieu Vandekerckhove, and Colin gave his feedback on the EP. Indeed, the comparison is made a lot. Musically, however, we try to start writing from more of a screamo/ hardcore base. Our main inspirations for this are bands such as Buried Inside, Time To Burn, June Paik, Celeste, and Coffin Dancer. We are honoured to be compared to them. At the same time, we hope that we are not seen as a copy.
Speaking of Belgian bands… how is it possible that there are so many great bands in your country. For sure it’s a much better musical landscape than in The Netherlands. Is it the coffee at the Consouling Store, or is it something else?
For sure, Ghent is an excellent breeding ground for heavier bands. The scene is very tight-knit and supportive. Also, there is Consouling Sounds (and their store), which connects the scene even more. As far as Dutch bands go, we would certainly like to mention our friends in Fifth Alliance. They are a name to be reckoned with in the sludge scene.
What is the plan now that you have released the record? Will you perform live, and if yes, when can we expect you to play in The Netherlands?
We have just joined forces with Sander from Loud Noise, a booking agency in Eindhoven. This means that several Dutch shows have been planned, but they have not been officially announced yet. Additionally, there should be a short tour early next year.
Thank you for answering my questions. Is there anything you would like to say in conclusion?
We are looking forward to the shows that are currently planned: Gentse Feesten, Ieperfest, and several shows that have not been announced yet. We love playing live and it’s great to be able to see how people experience our music. Dunk!fest and our venue release were a great start. We hope that ‘Allure’ allows us to have more of such experiences.