If you haven’t discovered THE PROPHECY by now you really should seeing as this is a band that deserves all the attention that they can get. Doom doesn’t get much better than this. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
It’s been almost 4 years since your last album. How much do you think this absence has hurt the band?
Greg – We are definitely not an ‘album per year’ band because we’ve always wanted to tour what we have made and take it to as many people as possible. Like all metal-fans going to gigs is what made us want to be in a band when we were kids and we all feel it’s what being in a band is about. We wanted to take some time out from writing and getting ready to record and show what we had got. Between Into the Light and Salvation we’ve done a lot more festivals and travelled as far and wide as we could and it’s given us a chance to revisit some of the dreams we had for the band when we first started playing together 12 years ago and that was to tour, travel places we never thought we would end up and drink beer and sleep with other metaller’s from around the world.
You guys seemed to be off to a very good start with your first two albums. What happened after album three that made it all come to pretty much a halt?
Greg – We kept playing gigs and having fun. It’s a different approach to practice our live set as opposed to writing and more detailed. In our formative years we managed to build such a great reputation for our stage show and live performance that we never really found the opportunity to relax and take time out to try create new things. With this album we changed our mindset and decided to spend all of our rehearsal time creating and working within a concept to make all the tracks congruent to the framework.
You are now on your fourth album. How hard was the third one for you? Was it as difficult as it is said to be?
Greg – I love working in the studio and having the opportunity to build the layers that have been in my mind for many months and it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of being in a band. Into the Light and our deal with Code 666 meant we could spend more time in The Priory than we could have afforded as an unsigned band and we could really construct the songs how we wanted. With Salvation we spent even longer in pre-production time in preparing how we were going to use the extra weeks; we were even rehearsing the third and fourth part harmonies to different sections! There was a concern that deconstructing the songs in this manner could have been anti-productive and taken some of their soul away but we found that in getting to know these songs more intimately we fell more deeply in love with them and started identifying more parallels between our previous work and our current.
What does it mean to have two bands (My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost) that pretty much invented the whole doom/death genre being native and perhaps not too far from you geographical?
Greg – Not much really. When I was growing up I wanted to be a guitar hero so never got into either of them.
Has there been any band’s that has been more important than others in shaping your sound?
Greg – If we’re going back 12 years then its Carcass and Queen.
What kind of bands did you see yourself being up against when you started?
Greg – Whoever was on the bill above us. We’re still like that now and that energy and desire to be the best of the night, no matter how big they were, really pushed us to be the best we could be…and if that wasn’t possible….we’d cheat.
How has THE PROPHECY developed over the years? How much is left of the original intentions?
Greg – Our original intentions was to play music that I remember thinking should be ‘beautifully brutal’. Aggression and power that enraptured and created a feeling of euphoria. I thought it would be something new using ‘darkness’ to create a polar emotion of joy and contentment. It all sounds very grand eh? But remember, I was a 14 year old philosopher and idealist when we started. Those feelings are however still what I aim for as an overarching rule but I no longer dismiss riffs or rhythms if they don’t immediately fit that mould. We were always cocky enough to want to ‘show off’ our individual skills in each track and I think that bit is still there, but we have a little bit of maturity now that lets us decide what level of showing off works. We found we could be clever in different ways that weren’t too overt; that kept the song as the focus, whilst each individual could still be doing something of interest.
When you play the kind of doom that you do where do you find inspiration?
Greg – We’ve never had any direct influences and I haven’t heard any bands that do what we do and I’ve always found parallels with other bands difficult to digest and often feel a lot of reviewers see it as an easy way out for reviewing albums. As a group we each listen to vastly different music, don’t agree on the same films, prefer different beers and food and spend our free time doing very different things so it amazes me we have something as huge a concept as creating music in common. Everyone brings something different to the party in their approach and we stick it all in the pot and see what’s there.
Is literature a great influence? Or is that a bias that British bands should be more intellectual than its European brethrens?
Greg – The rest of the group is all very intelligent and they each owe me a beer.
What would you like to the see the future bring to the band?
Greg – I hope we get to see some of our older fans in the summer. We have neglected some of the areas that we loved travelling to each year as we started flying to gigs further and further away. So we really miss Germany, Holland and Belgium. You never get used to seeing the crowd wearing 10 different types of The Prophecy t-shirts – shirts from 10 years ago with the writing barely left. It’s very humbling to realise that your music is as important to others as it is to you. Some of our fans became our friends and it’s been far too long since we’ve seen each other and raised our horns and our tankards to heavy metal. Plus, they will probably need a new t-shirt by now and I have just the thing.