Cruadalach might take a while to get used to as a band name but once so it conjures up images of ancient times. What made you want to have it as your band name?
-The name CRUADALACH stands for “courage” or “brave one” in Scottish Gaelic language and we think it describes very well our attitude towards music and what we do. The founder of our tribe and also the drummer in one person Michal Datel Rak came with this idea due to his strong interest in Celtic culture and music. Later, however, CRUADALACH tribe started to blend various musical elements of all members tastes and that is also source of our individual unique sound which we would love to develop.
What is it that inspires/influences you?
-Millions of things from music we listen to across personal experiences and issues to nature and culture of various countries we visited. We could hardly write you some complete list of influences, but generally it is just a will to play as colourful and good music as possible. Full of energy, straight-forward and with clear message to fight and stand for whom you are. Our message is generally positive, our sound is energetic and our life vitality is the biggest source of our inspiration.
How do you keep it interesting for a full length album? Do you plan for a certain flow on the album?
-Well, of course, however so far we composed only one full lenght album. We do our best to deliver as strong tracks as possible which is fun both to play and to listen. We are trying to make each of our songs unique and not just to copy paste them to some boring shitty result. Our albums have to be colourful, full of moods and that contains both accoustic and really heavy tracks, slow and fast, songs in different languages. In future we would love to cover even bigger spectrum of inspiration. Album can’t be boring, it has to be fun to listen. That is what matters and what we need and want to achieve.
Folk metal doesn’t really say too much. What was it that made you want to be another folk metal band?
-We don’t want to be just another folk metal band. We don’t have lyrics anyhow related to classical folk metal themes, our music contains various genres and the fact that our instrumental base is typical for folk metal doesn’t mean we want to be just a copycat of some more famous colleagues. To be second Korpiklaani or Eluveitie certainly isn’t our wish at all, however we respect these bands.
Is there a big scene in the Czech Republic for this kind of metal? Do people come out and support local bands or is it only the international acts that draw an audience?
-Luckily we have in Czech Republic pretty big support but of course that doesn’t mean we don’t have to try really hard. Anyway, we don’t have illusions – folk metal is not subculture, it’s not connected by any strong idea which would form the youth, not even to mention musical revolution. It’s just a metal subgenre and there certainly aren’t people listening only to this. We don’t care about being part of some scene. We are open-minded people ready to cooperate and coexistent with anybody who shares our vision somehow or who can enrich us musically. It’s that simple. In Czech Republic we don’t support big bands because of local distributional network, this is our task usually abroad – in Germany, Austria, Croatia and so. But sometimes we are lucky even in Czech Republic – in summer we support for example Behemoth and Suffocation on Metalgate Czech Deathfest or Children of Bodom, Cannibal Corpse or Apocalyptica on Basinfire Fest. Abroad we so far supported bands like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Immortal, Moonsorrow, Ensiferum, Týr, Primordial, Arkona… Basically all genre-related top bands.
Your album “Lead – Not Follow” have been out some time now. What kind of reactions have you had to it so far?
-We have dozens of reviews and reactions from all especially central Europe. “Lead – Not Follow” is the first album we created on our way and we consider it to be album full of very strong tracks however our instrumental skill from these times developed and we have for future much more consistent vision for sound production. We are aware of our mistakes and we have will to learn from them. Anyway, we love playing most of songs from the album live. Definitely give it a try and listen. And your readers as well!
When you release albums on smaller labels how hard is it to get the right coverage in the important media?
-You have to ask the labels about that. Publishing company of “Lead – Not Follow” managed to get us great coverage in German-speaking countries which we wouldn’t ever make by ourselves. Our license company Metalgate can do as well great coverage in Czech Republic, but that we would be able to do on our own, however, it is still big help. But let’s face it – worldwide coverage be done only by worldwide label.
When you come from the Czech Republic does that bring with a certain expectation that you should be either this or that sort of metal band?
-Maybe you should know that better than we do, right? We don’t care of being the band from Czech Republic or being this or that sort of band. We are the group of friends with will to do music as best as possible. Simple as that.
How important is it to have the right kind of image? Any particular things that you’d never wear in photos because it wouldn’t be “true”?
-This is more like question for 90´s black metal band, isn’t it? We never gave a fuck about being or not being true, these categories simply don’t exist for us. There is good and bad music. And image? Much more important is the message we carry, however, on the stage we are supposed to look like a team.
What future do you see for Cruadalach?
-Better second album in all ways. Better songs, better production, sound, bigger challenges to do, cooperating with lots of our great friends across the Europe. And accepting the challenges in form of gigs to come. But anyway, to do really great second album is definitely our biggest task for future. And we are already working on that.