I’ve tried looking for an explanation to your name but have come up empty-handed. What does Celtachor stand for?
-Celtachor was the fusing of two words mainly Celt and Chor, the Irish for “all” so in meaning the all of the Celt e.g. the Irish mythology and sagas in our case. I think the name sums up our sound something a bit different to the plethora of folk metal bands popping up overnight. Celtachor= celts all.
What was it that made you want to be in a metal band and how hard has it been to find like-minded individuals to share that desire with?
-It’s taken a fair amount of time to get the right people on board for Celtachor but thankfully we now have a very strong unit, that’s working hard on new material and each bringing something from themselves to the project to create the final work. First and foremost it was always out of a love for metal music in general that got the other members interested even though we all have varied musical tastes and preferences. The next release is a strong group effort and this will be very evident when our new EP comes out later this year.
“In The Halls Of Our Ancient Fathers” is a pretty impressive release. How much time and effort have you spent on getting everything right?
-Many thanks. “In The Halls” came together very quickly during the summer months of 2010 while we were trying to prepare a full lineup we had Padraic Farrelly of Wound Upon Wound do session drums on the demo as at the time. Celtachor was only a three piece, myself, David Quinn and Emile Quigley. It was written over the space of two months. We were under a fair bit of pressure to get the demo out and ready for our first gig with Cruachan in august 2010 but overall we are happy how it turned out. For the next work we have had a lot more time to perfect the sound and with our new drummer Anais Chareyre and second guitarist Fionn Stafford hopefully people will hear the continuation in the work when it’s out.
Am I right in assuming that the lyrics form some sort of cohesive story? What’s the story behind it and why did you feel a need to tell it?
-The Concept for “In the Halls” was based on The Irish god of the sun Lugh, his birth and his alliance with Nuada of the Silver Arm, and the death of Lughs Father Cian who was killed by the Sons of Tuireann and were led to their death for doing such an act, that a blood fine was put on them by Lugh himself and in the end was they’re downfall,Sealed by their own work.
-All of the lyrics are based on the concept of Irish Mythology, the great sagas and the three sorrows of Irish Storytelling. Coming from Ireland it is important to keep alive ones past and bring it into the future. There is such a wealth of great stories and legends that merely leaving them out would be a great crime and myself and the band are strong believers in spreading these stories to as many as possible in our own unique way in this case metal.
In promoting the band have you encountered any sort of mishaps that you’d like to share as a warning example?
-Not that I can recollect, but I would say make sure you are 100 percent happy with your work before you send it, we had some issues with the demo in terms of some mistakes that made its way onto it and it was too late to change the track or remove the mistake so that would be a warning in that sense.
Dealing with an Irish metal band it’s hard not to ask about the Irish heritage and the impact it has on you, but with you it would be wrong not to ask it. Have the Irish people of old met more hardship than any of the other European people?
-They had met a lot of hardship, from the famine era and the mass emigration, to achieving our own independence. It seems we have struggled through much, and even within our music a very strong sense of melancholy is within, but even from the depths of death and hardship we have risen united and in many ways more are realizing and developing a deeper interest and foresight into our culture, our heritage, our stories and many of the triumphs that can be found from Irish history. Many countries within Europe have suffered and fought through hardship and prevailed but I would not single out Ireland as a barometer as a level of hardship, it happens everywhere.
When I think of Ireland I think of narrow country roads, small fishing communities and even smaller villages. Being from Dublin do you find it hard to cross over to the rest of the Irish metalheads?
-Not at all. Those who like what we do will and those who don’t won’t obviously but I think that from our look and our name some may paint us with the “oh it’s all that twee diddley wee stuff” and while we do incorporate Irish whistle and Bodhran we are far from being a beer/comedy metal or over the top twee metal band.
Today metal has been divided into a countless amount of sub-genres, to the extent that it’s hard to keep track of which is what. Do you find it hard to find a niche your own in today’s metal climate?
-To be honest I think a lot of this sub genre division is nonsense like “progressive vegetarian crust grindcore brutal death metal”. When it comes to Celtachor we’re influenced by Folk/Black/Doom metal but put on the spot we are Black/Folk metal. Better to keep it simple and straightforward than creating a headache for the listener!
I know that there is an Irish metal scene but we who live outside of the Island seldom get to be acquainted with it. Why is it so hard for Irish metal bands to make any sort of major impact on the World-wide metal market?
-Well to be fair those who put in the hard work and graft do spread quite far into the world wide metal market for example Primordial, Darkest Era (Recently signed to Metal Blade) Cruachan (Recently signed to Candlelight) Mael Mordha, Mourning Beloveth, Graveyard Dirt, etc. are flying the flag well. We are a small island with a small tight nit scene nowhere near the amount or size or level as the UK metal scene, but things are looking great for Irish metal the last few years. Let’s hope it continues!
-I will say this though there are a mountain of bands out there who expect to get somewhere with minimal effort, I would put this to them “Just because you can pick up an instrument doesn’t mean you should play it!” Those who work hard, know their niche within the scene and believe in their work will reap the rewards, In some areas the hill of obscurity grows more and more generic half-arsed metal to rear its ugly head only to fall back into the pile to be forgotten about quick and fast. Originality is a rare thing and a two edged sword if you can play like the old masters but with real feeling, conviction and aesthetic you will go far! No one wants to see a half-baked/arsed cheap version of Slayer, Megadeth etc!
When do you know it is time to start thinking about a new record? How much can you promote one record before it gets watered down and comes to a halt?
-We are currently working on five new tracks for a new EP which will be out later this year. This work will be a collective work in its entirety and much more of a full band effort than two writing the music as was the case for “In The Halls”. I think when it comes to promotion; press and mainly CD reviews give a collective view on the material put forward. On average we have received 7/10 which I am very happy with but hope to really show what we can do with the new release. Of course there is over-promoting which can be seen as spam and be overkill its finding the happy medium which is key.
What are your plans for Celtachor?
-To bring Celtachor to the masses, spread our music and Irish Mythology as far as we can and with any luck break into Europe next year. Thanks for your time and interest! Regards to all who have supported us so far!
Keep the fires burning!