So a couple of weeks ago now, we had the artists announced for Eesti Laul 2017, the national selection for Estonia participation at Eurovision 2017. So far we have two songs already presented to us, and we have had the pleasure of talking to some of them already in the run up to the selection show.
Antsud (members from left to right Erik Nisu, Karl Taklaja, Aile Alveus-Krautmann, Hedwig Allika, Siim Koppel, Andri Laidre).
Earlier this week we had the pleasure of chatting with Aile Alveus-Krautmann from the band Antsud. They will sing the song “Vihm” for the national selection for Estonia in one of the semi finals to be held on 11th & 18th February 2017.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Estonian national selection for Eurovision 2017! Welcome to the Eurovision world. Is this the first time you have tried to enter the Estonian national final?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: Thank you, it is a big privilege. We tried to enter the Estonian competition a few years ago with a song called “Liiri-lõõri”. The song is featured also on our album “Öö ja päeva vahel” that was released in Januray 2016.
E+: What made you guys enter the selection process for Eesti Laul 2017?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: It has been a dream of mine for a very long time. As a child, watching the Eurovision, you want to be there. Maybe the dream will come true. If not this year, then maybe in the future. We are already so happy that we got to the local semi-finals!
E+: Tell us a bit about the band, how you guys came together, and the way you guys found “your sound”.
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: There is a funny teacher-student relation in our band. I was a conductor of a choir where our bass guitar player, Andri and guitar player Karl sang. I knew our drummer Siim from the times when I was his music teacher at high-school. I came friends with our multi-instrumentalist Kristel when she gave me bagpipe lessons. As Kristel is currently on mothers-leave then we asked Hedwig to join the band and play violin in our song “Vihm”. We have also Erik who is playing the accordion. We found “our sound” when we got together and started to work on our first song “Liiri-lõõri”. We mix folk music with our own ideas.
E+: The song you have for the national selection is called “Vihm” which means Rain. For those who aren’t familiar with the Estonian language, tell us about the story the song is telling the listeners.
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: Rain is water and water has the power to purify the ground. Rain has the power to heal and bring new life. Music does the same. Estonia got its freedom by singing and music influenced the country that we now live in. Looking at the world right now, with constant wars and endless political games, we need the “rain” to fall down on all the people and give hope for a better future. The chorus “dam-dam” imitates the sound of heavy raindrops falling. The song is like chanting. Chanting for a new beginning.
E+: With so many people in your band, with different backgrounds, how easy or hard is it to come with songs? And what is the process like?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: It is very interesting to write music as everybody has different musical background and playing styles. We never know how the songs turn out when we get together and start rehearsing them. Everybody brings a part of them into the music.
E+: So looking at the entries so far in the Estonian entries (check the full list here) there are only a few Estonian language songs. How important do you feel that it is to come to Eurovision and represent your country in your own language?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: Estonian language is very beautiful and we would be proud to share it with the world. I remember watching Eurovision as a young child, and it was very interesting, when everybody sang in their national language. Now there is a very small percentage of songs that are not in English that make it to the finals. It is easier for the songs in English to be remembered.
E+: What kind of plans do you have for the performance at Eesti Laul 2017? Any surprises you can let us know?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: Too early to tell. It would be fun when we would have rain falling on the stage.
E+: What other kind of music do you guys listen to, and get inspiration from?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: Everybody has different favorites. For example Hedwig (violinist) plays in a legendary Estonian punk-band Vennaskond. We get inspired from punk and rock to classical and folk music.
E+: Who are your favourite music artists both Estonian and abroad? And what songs should we check out?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: I can recommend Trad:Attack from Estonia. They play different and good quality Estonian folk music. And oh yes, Vennaskond.
E+: You do a lot of music festivals in Estonia we have read – how important is it that you go out on the road and meet the fans?
Aile Alveus-Krautmann: Music, just the same as rain, does not have boundaries. We welcome people from all over the world to listen to our music and visit Estonian wonderful folk festivals. For example we will be playing in the Viru Folk festival main stage on 12.08.2017. We would also love to play in festivals abroad.
E+: Once again thank you for your time and good luck for the Estonian national selection!