10 Quick Ones with MARK LIBER of ELANTRIS – August 2017

According to a recent press release: “Elantris (formerly known as Blacktorne) is a Symphonic Metal band from Ohio. Elantris brought together a wide range of influences to create what we feel is a unique sound that still fits comfortably in all ranges of the Symphonic Metal genre. Elantris have shared the stage with many amazing bands such as, Sonata Arctica, Xandria, Delain, Epica and Eluveitie. Elantris have a huge tour with Epica, Lacuna Coil and Insomnium throughout the USA to look forward to in August and September 2017.” We get keyboardist Mark Liber to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Something we tried to accomplish on this release is to create songs that easily be interpreted at standalone songs but if you dig in deeper, sometimes very deep, there actually is a story through the whole album.  We didn’t want to make it obvious or seem like you can’t listen to the songs individually but at the same time I’ve always enjoyed concept albums so I wanted to write little pieces in there that can be tied together.  The title track, “This Sacrifice,” is the most obvious with story elements.  So even though that is the end of this part of the story it might be best to pay attention to that song the most to pickup the story and then go back to try to figure it out. We have started writing the follow up album and I have continued the story in that album with the same idea of burying it unless you want to really dig.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My first memory of music was falling asleep to Metallica when I was very young.  My father had us listening to Queen, Pink Floyd and Rush very young as well.  It just kind of grew from that until, personally, I reached my favorite band, Dream Theater.  They really inspired me to play music.  I certainly don’t play the same way they do but what they can do with music is so incredible.  They can wow you with skill or they can paint this beautiful picture with their picture and elicit actual emotion by doing so.  That is what is truly possible with music and I wanted to try to do something remotely close to that.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I covered my main influence fairly well with Dream Theater.  I also enjoy Epica, Kamelot, Symphony X and Serenity.  I don’t think what we write necessarily sounds exactly like any of them but they do what they do so well there is no need to try to replicate.  I think we do have little elements of what each of them do and shape them in our own way.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

I am going to go a little left field and say John Myung from Dream Theater.  I have always enjoyed his lyrics and of course he is a monster on bass.  Who knows what is going on in that brilliant brain of his.  It’d sure be interesting to find out.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

It has some symphonic elements but is more raw than traditional symphonic.  We have called it raw symphonic metal or jam symphonic metal.  I suppose it is just symphonic metal with a more loose, free vibe to it.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

When you see someone enjoy what you created.  There is a lot of good times that can be had while being a musician but when you can see someone is enjoying the music that you created, that is what makes it is all about for me.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Tom, our male vocalist, is a head chef so he cooks all the time for us.  He does an incredible job. I think it is a group effort on the drinks.  Everyone brings their own drinks for the most part. We really have never done that before.  Sometimes someone will whip out a quick lick from a song but, besides our vocalist, the rest of us probably should refrain from singing as to not frighten the masses.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

NBA superstar.  Very unlikely with my uninspiring vertical leap and sub 6’ height but I would at least excel as the end of the bench high fiver.  I’ve put in the practice so I’m just waiting for the call.  The ball is in the Cavaliers court at this point.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

I wish we would have considered our original band name more.  We had to change it since there were other bands with the name already.  We had already released an album under that name and marketed a lot so it was a shame to change it and lose some of the effort.  Luckily it didn’t really effect our momentum all that much.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Dream Theater – Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory.  It was the first album I really listened in depth and digested every note of it.  Well most of the notes because who knows what is happening in some of the more complicated sections. 

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10 Quick Ones with MARK LIBER of ELANTRIS - August 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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