You don’t hjave to be on a big label or have a massive bidget to do great things. As long as you got the drive and the will there is a way. Just ask CULTIC. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
Brian: We’re a really new band, so our “back in the days” was only a few years ago. Our intent has always been to write heavy music and have fun doing it. We haven’t deviated from that.
Rebecca: I would agree with Brian that. it has gone exactly as we intended.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
Brian: Our latest recording isn’t available at this time. We’re currently in a transitional state with a record label. But yes, it did come out the way we expected. It’s dense, weird, raw and nasty sounding.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
Brian: When Rebecca and I started CULTIC, my original idea was to expand upon the sound & aesthetics of WINTER ( the NY death/doom band ). I’m not sure our sonic vision has changed much since our inception.
Rebecca: Some aspects of our sound was developed with intention, but there are also aspects of Cultic that developed organically through our individual perspectives on music.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Brian: I take a bit of an IMMORTAL/Blashyrkh approach to the lyrics. Meaning that all the lyrics are based around a fantasy world in my head. Our upcoming album ( HIGH COMMAND ) deals solely with WAR and all that comes with it. The lyrics can be taken very literally. However, most of what I write doubles as a metaphor for the current sociopolitical landscape in the United States.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
Brian: Very important. Everything we’ve done musically ties into our visuals and visa versa. We made a pact when we started CULTIC that we would be an art driven band.
As far as cover art selling albums. I think it really depends on the consumer and if the music is congruent with the artwork. At the end of the day, I feel music will always dictate sales.
Rebecca: We do all of our own illustration and design work. I paint/draw and Brian is an incredible designer. The cover art for the upcoming High Command album is a visual narrative of each of the songs on the album. We chose to incorporate certain elements from the album cover (such as the battle helmet and armor designs) into everything we are doing, including a limited edition Conqueror t-shirt and into our upcoming Forest of Knives video. It was our intention that the music, lyrics, artwork, video and visuals would all come from the same fantasy world.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
Brian: I have no idea. I’m not even sure I can wrap my head around what would constitute “breaking big”. As far as success goes…Success to me is living life on my terms. If I’m passionate about what I’m doing I consider that a success. I’m grateful for that.
Rebecca: I make music and art because I’m compelled to do so, but not necessarily with any end-goals in mind. I consider the fact that we’re doing this at all a huge success.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
Brian: Sorcery! Ha. We must be doing something correctly because you found us.
Rebecca: I think the most important thing for any artist, is to stay true to themselves. I’d like to think that there are some people out there who can appreciate or relate to what we are doing.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
Brian: We live in a small borough of York, Pennsylvania. There’s actually some cool stuff going on around here. We’re located within a few hours drive of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. There was a time, not so long ago, when we’d get national ( sometimes international ) touring bands coming through our area. On any given weekend I could drive a few minutes to a dive bar and see a band like EYEHATEGOD or ST. VITUS play their hearts out in front of 35 people. It was a wild ride. The current local metal scene is more of a regional one. In other words, there’s a handful of dissimilar metal bands around here doing some really cool stuff. But everyone concentrates more on playing outside of this area. Shadow Woods Metal Festival ( http://www.shadowwoodsmetalfest.com ) is located about 20 minutes from here. That’s opened some doors for a handful of local bands over the years ( The OWLS ANWTS, Wrath of Typhon, Witch Hazel ). That gigantic pop-metal band HALESTORM is from here, even though I wouldn’t recognize any of them if ran into them on the street.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk
Brian: I view METAL as more acceptable than it ever has been in my lifetime. I grew up in the 80’s in a small railroad town in Pennsylvania. Back then, Punks and Metal Heads were perceived as a complete degenerates. People would literally pick fights with you for looking or dressing a certain way. It’s not like that anymore. You’re obviously not going to hear extreme metal on the radio in the USA. But generally speaking, metal, as a whole, is acceptable–even in really conservative circles.
What does the future hold for you?
Brian: We’ll be coming out with our full length album “High Command” at some point in 2019. We’re also working on 1980’s inspired narrative music video for our song FOREST OF KNIVES, and a split single with FUNERAL BASTARD. Outside of that, we’re going to keep plowing forward.
Thank You BATTLE HELM for the interview!!!!
Brian Magar: Guitar / Vocals
Rebecca Magar: Drums
Reese Harlacker: Bass