Swiss modern metal outfit Illumishade have released their sophomore album, Another Side of You, in February via Napalm Records. Led by vocalist Fabienne Erni and guitarist Jonas Wolf, known for their work with Eluveitie, the band is rounded out by orchestration and synths from film composer Mirjam Skal, bass by Yannick Urbanczik, and drums by Marc Friedrich. We caught up with the group, who are currently on tour with Korpiklaani and Visions of Atlantis, to discuss their latest offering.

What was the creative process for the new album, Another Side of You?

The creative process for “Another Side of You” was quite diverse. Each song had its own unique way. Sometimes it started with a piano demo that I’d send to Jonas who would then add or change parts. Other times, Jonas would write something and I’d layer the melody on top. Yannick played a big role in writing the lyrics. He wasn’t involved in writing lyrics for our first album – so the lyrics of this album definitely got a bit of a more fresh and modern touch to it. One of the highlights was definitely our time in the mountains, where we spent a week working on the songs and getting ready for the studio!

How has the reception been for the record so far?

Thank you, actually, really good! We’re excited that the album is finally out in the world and we’re super happy to bring it to the US for our first-ever North American Tour in April with Korpiklaani and Visions of Atlantis.

What was the experience like collaborating with Epica’s Coen Janssen on the track “Verliebt?”

Working with Coen Janssen was an absolut pleasure! We met him during some shows with Eluveitie and Epica. I wrote this piano demo back in 2017, forgot about it and stumbled upon it again in our songwriting camp in the mountains. The guys and me decided to take it on the album. Coen’s touch really brought it to life and added that special something we felt was missing.

What inspired the song “Fairytale,” and how did it come together during the songwriting process?

“Fairytale” started as a simple piano ballad that I had composed. Yannick added the lyrics and together with the rest of the band, we shaped it into the piece you hear today. I really wanted a chorus that starts with a major chord – and here we go! 🙂

“Cyclone” has quite the comparisons from Meshuggah to Pink Floyd and a bit of Tesseract; what inspired incorporating these diverse styles into this track?

“Cyclone” was born from Mirjam’s vision. Jonas then added his own touch and created the other “sound worlds” to the song. The vocals in the final part were a spontaneous improvisation between Mirjam and me in the songwriting camp in the mountains!

Can you elaborate more on the dark and light themes on the new album?

We’re pretty much taking our listeners on a journey through the highs and lows of human experience and emotions. ILLUMISHADE is all about contrast – hence the name! 🙂 In this album we show this contrast not just through lyrics but also through our music. You’ll find diversity from intense, dark tracks to gentle, uplifting piano ballads.

The album features orchestration and synths by film composer Mirjam Skal. How did her contributions enhance the overall sound of the album?

She definitely brings a big impact of the sound-world and value into the band. Also thanks to her connections we were able to collaborate with the Budapest Art Orchestra on a few tracks.

As members of Eluveitie, how do you balance your work with Illumishade, and are there any updates on ongoing projects or with Eluveitie you can share?

We can’t really say too much but I assure you there’s plenty in store for Eluveitie fans! 🙂 And so far we could really get around well with both of the bands. I think all it needs is good communication and to be planning ahead!

What are your plans for Illumishade for the rest of the year?

We’re getting ready for our first North American Tour with Korpiklaani and Visions of Atalntis, followed by some festivals in Europe. Later in fall we’ll join Visions of Atlantis once again, this time through Europe! It’s going to be a really active year for us – compared to the first 4 years band history where we played a total of 11 shows! 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to say or add?

Thank you guys for reading this interview – we’re SOOO looking forward coming to the US! We know how passionate you guys are about music – we can’t wait for the shows!