ELOAĦ is a singer/songwriter rock band with new age, jazz and pop influences. It was founded in 1995 by Elmar C. Fuchs. Since then, a number of musicians has contributed. Over the past couple of years a stable line-up crystalized: Orion Roos on electric guitars, Peter Douwenga on bass guitars, Johan van der Meer on drums and percussion, Dominik Mittergradnegger on saxophone, Lila Herderberg on vocals, and Elmar C. Fuchs on vocals, acoustic guitars, and keyboards –  and many guest musicians that differ from project to project.

How did you all meet?

Shortly after I started the band in 1995 I asked Dominik if he was interested in playing saxophone and violin in the band, and we have been playing together ever since. The other current members joined later: I met Orion (e-guitar) and Johan (drums) independently shortly after I had moved to the Netherlands in 2008; LiLa(vocals) joined a few years later, as did Peter (bass guitar).

Who were your musical influences growing up?

I grew up learning classical piano and taking classical singing lessons, so classical music is certainly an influence. As a teenager I started teaching myself guitar and tin whistle, and I discovered my love for a variety of styles, for example melodic rock&metal (e.g. Savatage), Celtic/new age music (e.g. LoreenaMcKennitt), singer/songwriter music and chansons (e.g. Herman van Veen). Later on I discovered my love for jazz (e.g. Keith Jarrett). But that is just me. Every other musician of ELOAĦ has a different story, different tastes – parts of all that go into our music.

What made you want to be in a band?

I have been playing music since my early childhood, and I had my first band experiences with guys from my school – it was kind of a given to play together with other musicians.

What has been your best gig?

The best gig with the band was – for me – at a student party in the late 1990’s which we were asked to play on very short notice. We were kind of nervous, but the audience was so fantastic that it was all blown away by the powerful atmosphere that the interaction with the audience created – a truly memorable night.

Can you tell us a bit about your music? 

Yes, our latest CD “Proud to Love You.” is an album about love that is positive without being superficial or tacky, covering a number of emotions that are often experienced in connection with romantic love. Since we did not release a single, let me quickly go through the tracks on the album: Sometimes happiness can be the prevailing feeling in an actually bad situation – this is what the song “Proud to Love You” is about – and then what you get is a positive, hopeful song. Then there is love that you experience to be so fulfilling that next to this fulfilmentthere still is some “excess” emotion asking you to be cast into song – this is what “My Heart Shall Be Your Fire”, “You Are A Diamond”, “Wonderful Beautiful” and “A Winter’s Tale” are about. Then, of course, there is the (probably) most famous type of love song where you are longing for and dreaming about someone. This can be either purely joyful as in “The Purest You” and “Caterpillar”, or a bit painful as in “Child Within” and “Tuesday Morning”. Since emotional pain and despair normally accompany romantic love at some point, I chose to put two songs about these emotions with quite self-explanatory titles on the album as well (“How Could I Ever Have Hurt You” and “Why Can’t I Forget You”). Although these songs are about painful emotions, they are clearly a  minority. Finally, there is a song I wrote for one of my sons, another kind of love thus, who provided me with most of the lyrics (“King of Winters”, he was about five years old then), and two songs that take the whole topic less seriously, more tongue-in-cheek (“Sugar Refinery” and “Time to Say Goodbye”) to end the album on a both positive and light note.

Describe your music in 3 words.

Singer/Songwriter poprock newage

What makes your band stand out from others?

You are cordially invited to find that out by yourself through listening to our music.

What are your plans for the rest of 2023?

We are busy recording our next album, a heavy rock / metal album.

 If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?

In my opinion, a band should be remembered for its music, all the rest is less important, so I honestly can’t say.

Any gig’s coming up? 

We don’t have any gigs scheduled at the moment – but

Orion Roos has some upcoming gigs with his bands MAESTRO (also with Peter Douwenga) and Metalbats; Lila Herderberg frequently plays live with LiLaY Geckos.

By Siân Parker