The following interview with Steven McCabe was conducted by Marco Bernard and was published in Colossus Magazine (Finland), Issue 19, July 2002. The interview came about due to ES contributing a new track, Ilmarinen’s Bride Of Gold, to the mammoth Kalevala triple CD!
1. Could you tell us something about your band? When was it formed and who are playing in it? What kind of music do you play and have you made any records?
Elegant Simplicity was formed around 1992 as an outlet for songs not suitable for the various groups I had been playing in (mostly folk-rock/blues/fusion etc). I had been writing my own material for some time and, as I was not a very good singer, decided to concentrate on instrumentals. One thing led to another and after buying some recording equipment, I began to record some of my compositions. Since 1992, we have released 13 albums, with the 14th ‘Architect Of Light’ due out towards the end of May 2002. As for the band, currently it is me (Steven McCabe) on guitar, bass, flute, mandolin and keyboards, Christopher Knight on Drums and Ken Senior on Vocals. We play underground melodic rock – whatever that is!
2. How did you get interested in the Kalevala Project and why did you decide to participate to the project? Did you know Kalevala and its contents before the start of the project?
I was invited to participate by Marco Bernard. I read the material and I thought I could do it justice. Previous to the invitation, I had not encountered Kalevala before. A fascinating tale, for sure. The whole project is big and I am very proud to be involved.
3. At what phase is your song for the project? Are you perhaps already recording or is the song only an idea still?
The song is virtually finished. Had to put it on hold for a while due to illness and getting the new Elegant Simplicity album finished. All I have to do for the Kalevala track now is record the mellotron parts and some guitar bits. After that, it will just need mastering and all will be done. It’s a good track and fits the project very well.
4. What do you think about this kind of project where many bands will be participating and each band is creating new music around a common theme? What are your expectations of the project?
A lot of this type of project leaves me a bit cold – they are either tributes to other bands, which I don’t like, or just nonsense. One thing that intrigued me about this project, however, was the sheer majesty of the story. Truly the stuff of concept albums! Also, as each band has to come up with an original composition based on a particular theme, it gives them the chance to try something a little bit different. As far as expectations are concerned, it would be nice to sell millions of them and gain global super-stardom for all the bands on it(!), but just to make people happy and to enjoy the music and the story would satisfy me. And, of course, it would be nice to attract a bigger audience for Elegant Simplicity music.