In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with FATHER MERRIN. Anders Ekdahl ©2019

we live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to check out. What do you have that sets you apart?
-So, if you listen our music, you know why. FATHER MERRIN is not a Doom Metal band as so many because we play the music that we have in our head, without calculation. We are a band which take care about quality of our music and our art because we consider music as an art, not like a hobby. Then, our music is based on Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Death with a heavy, dark and powerful stuff. The time we take between two releases is for working on each one aspect of our art.

How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-You have to know that our drummer is a sick mind and that name of FATHER MERRIN comes from this one ! He was looking for a name that was not common and already widespread, a unique name. We use religious symbols and language, he wanted to combine that with his interest for horror movies and this led to the name of FATHER MERRIN that fits us perfectly.

What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?*
-Both CATHEDRAL and TRIPTYKON are common bands each FATHER MERRIN member likes so I think that they have an influence on music we play. We have never thought about nor a band as a line to follow, nor a kind of music to replicate. However, it is obvious that the music we listen to, the movies we see, the events we live, what we read, all this generates emotions that we transcribe in music and lyrics for the band. That was right in our beginning and that is always the case.

What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-We grew up with CD, vinyl and tapes, so you can imagine how important the physical format is for us. We like the object that represents the physical format, look at the details of an artwork, read the lyrics, the credits and even the thanks. When I buy an album, it’s a complete experience that I expect. I like to think that those who buy our CD or vinyl live the same experience. But it doesn’t matter whether it’s CD, vinyl or digital, the most important thing is that everyone can find what they are looking for. Music spreads easily with advantages and inconveniences, we have to learn to live with that.

I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-Metal music is formed by many passionated headbangers and in the new generation, there are still metalheads who prefer to have a physical copies of the albums they like. So, I think that this way to spread music through the world is not dead yet and will never really die. As long as the bands will release quality items, there will always be an audience for that. The problem is when a CD-r is sold as an album ; duplication is not the same as pressing a CD, when you buy these kind of items you feel like abused.

What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-What we add to our music like artwork, layout or shirts are a continuation and a part of our art. The artwork serves us to describe our universe, to input in the listener’s unconscious some pictures as complement to our music. You have to see our releases as an inseperable whole, hence the importance of the physical format for us. You can find the same elements than with our lyrics, some religious references but they are not the main message, each one must find his answers and his truth.

Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-We use both ways. We know that with social media, you have a fucking blue thumb but how many have really listen to your music or read what you wrote ? If you want to touch your audience, you have to play live, talk with real guys who can feel the powerful of our music. We know a man who has some flashes and words have appeared to him when he saw us on stage and this is the better compliment we are able to receive. This guy was in contact with us and our music and feel our emotions in his flesh, this is so gratefully.

Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Hard question ! You know, in France, there are some bands we keep contact with, we have some common projects but I don’t really know if we can feel to be a part of a national scene. We have a lack of structures to build a real scene. I wish that Sleeping Church Records could be a first piece of this future. So, I can’t really talk about an international scene and the local scene… well, we are in the eastern France and the desert is still more important here. But we are working hard to change that, we have some local bands in contact and some serious organizations as Underground Zero, Underground Investigation or Underground Propaganda which like our music and support us, so appreciate !

How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We don’t tour as we’d liked to. We are a band which plays gigs, sometimes 2 or 3 gigs in the same week-end, this is a tour for us. We had the chance to make a little tour with our brothers PRESUMPTION, CLEGANE and LYING FIGURES. We had the chance to play gigs with ESOTERIC, ABYSMAL GRIEF, GOATESS, BARABBAS (our brothers too), SURTR, CALDERA, CHILDREN OF DOOM, THE BOTTLE DOOM LAZY BAND and so many more. But I will say it clearly, we’d like to play more so if you read this lines, don’t hesitate to contact us, if you like our music, don’t hesitate to spread the word that we are opened to play live and not in France only. We have played in Germany with RAGE OF SAMEDI, in BELGIUM with OLDD WVRMS and we really want to live this once again.

What will the future bring?
-Our future is : work on our first full-length, we have some new tracks that are really deeper, blackest, heaviest, more powerful yet than what we have released for today. Our new guitarist, who has recorded the guitars on our split EP with CLEGANE available on our Bandcamp or on Sleeping Church Records shop, is a prolific writter and these new songs will give a clear answer to your first question… they will be the reason why we are not a common band. Please keep in touch, we have darkest music for you !

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