I for one isn’t much for tribute album but when it is done the way DRENAI has done it I sit up and take notice. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
What is this band really all about? Why a lyrical tribute to a British author?
-The basis of the project is a common passion for David Gemmell’s work, containing the perfect melt for an epic folk metal. Furthermore, it grants us a way to dissociate from the other folk/pagan metal bands, which refer to a historical imagery, many times done and often picked up by extreme political movements.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-The lyrics are the center of our approach: we tend to plunge our audience in a fantasty world, with its mythology, its codes, its heroes… The aim of Drenaï is to relate our manner the stories written by Gemmell, and avoid falling in the easiness of copying extracts from the books. When we write our songs, we use a work as a support and try to transmit the essence and emotion.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-We think that the audience does not come to see or hear a band because of its origins, but because of its quality, what they heard from the band before coming. Rouen is a really swag place to our objective point of view.
When you release an album that get pretty good reviews how do you follow up on that?
-A positive review is a mass communication weapon looking to our level: it enables us to show a “credibility” that opens us the doors of many more important places and stages to play on. That’s why our reviews are posted on our communication (site, facebook bandpage…) to be visible.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album, to write the songs or to come up with really good songs?
-First of all: avoid plagiarism of the bands we like. Drenaï is really hearable for a metal band, maybe because of the numerous choirs in our songs. The real challenge was to respect rules of writing like composing regarding at the musical level we have, giving freedom to our will to create epic songs so that each member can participate to our musical process of creation. We are able to listen to our own criticisms to evolve in a better way and make better songs, without losing the main idea that leads the process (in terms of structure or orchestration…) and of course to give the song a catchy chorus!
Do you prefer working digitally or is physical still cooler?
-We begin the work digitally for the music, the lyrics, then we can say our preference goes to digital. It gives us the ability to work with materials our predecessors dreamt of, and it’s helpful for music and communication. But we also have this material side which makes us prefer to have a physical object (CD) instead of numeric datas.
When you have a sound that could be described as both this and that by fans how do you view your sound?
-We all have references, bands we like; it’s a good way to explain to someone what Drenaï sounds like… But Drenaï has its OWN sound: an epic folk metal which enlightens every member’s talents. We are too messy and meddler to appreciate to be label as “sounds like this or that band”: if a track sounds the same as another band, we certainly missed something during its composition.
What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-The artworks are the open door to our band’s musical universe: it has to announce directly what we will be talking about and facilitate the immersion of the listener. Therefore the artworks of Deathwalker represent the fortress of Dros Delnoch under siege, which is one of the main moments in the Drenaï cycle.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Drenaï is a band who lives by and for live music: discover new cities and new stages is something we appreciate the most. We came sometimes only for one date at the same place and it taught us that experience and enthusiasm prevail on everything looking at the way we were (or not) welcome.
What do you see in the future?
Beers, rum Diplomatico, [.–./..-/ -/./…], [-.-./ —/-.-/.], a second LP, Satan… and who knows, maybe a date in Sweden?