OWL “Feaster From the Stars”

OWL
“Feaster From the Stars”
(-)
It’s always hard to judge a band on two tracks alone. Even though these two tracks might be the greatest you’ve ever heard doesn’t mean shit if the rest of the repertoire sucks big time. Maybe they are a two track band only. What Owl are I am not sure of but judging from these two tracks they sure. I am not ashamed to admit that I liked the whole stoner rock scene when it erupted. There was something to it that appealed to me. Owl are of the same sort. This is music that pays homage to a time fled when bell bottoms were a thing to wear and music was a tad bit more organic. So do yourself a favour and check this out. I guarantee that you’ll like it. Anders Ekdahl

OXYGEN “Final Warning”

OXYGEN
“Final Warning”
(Escape Music)
Oxygen makes me think of the musical Hair (“your love is like oxygen”). Not that the band has anything to do with it or me being a fan of musicals but I got so much shit stuck in my head that stuff like that pops out at the most inopportune moments. This Swedish band play hardrock the way it was played in the 1980s. No, it doesn’t sound dated in any way. This is melodic and up-tempo throw your fist in the air kinda hardrock that we heard so often back in the days but maybe not so often today. Still, this is cool stuff if you like your hardrock melodic and up-tempo. For those of you who still like bands like Warrant, Cinderella and any other American hair band of the 80s. Anders Ekdahl

POLUTION “Beyond Control”

POLUTION
“Beyond Control”
(Escape Music)
Beside the obviously misspelled band name I hope that there won’t be too much wrong with this album. Not that I’m that familiar with this Swiss band. My hope is that this will be some good old hardrock with not too much modern influences. I feel like that is what I need right now to get in the right mood. My hopes were not in vain. This is hardrock the way it sounded when I got into it in the 1980s. Full of melodies and with an attitude of being bigger than God this is full on party music. Not too shabby vocals, guitars that rip and songs that show potential makes this a rather good introduction to this band. Perhaps not the stuff that will live with me forever but as a break from a hectic life this works wonders. This is music to stop thinking to. Anders Ekdahl

REINXEED “Welcome To The Theatre”

REINXEED
“Welcome To The Theatre”
(Liljegren/Doolittle)
After the Swedish Hits debacle I have little interest in checking out Reinxeed. Perhaps it will be my loss but I feel that this could be a total waste of time. I haven’t even paid attention to the previous releases but I am not worse than I at least can give it a fair chance. That the intro makes me think of an old Western movie doesn’t exactly add to my excitement. But never judge a dog by its hair. This is power metal of the more symphonic type. Think early Rhapsody and you get a pretty good idea of what to expect. I don’t know if this will make me run out to get the previous four albums but on a good day this is as good as anything else, if not better. I am a sucker for this bigger than life symphonic power metal. Anders Ekdahl

7 HORNS 7 EYES “Throes Of Absulution”

7 HORNS 7 EYES
“Throes Of Absulution”
(Basick)
For some strange reason I got this band’s origin confused. Instead of placing them in Seattle I transported them across the border to Vancouver. Now that I’ve been corrected on my mistake I remember that they are Americans and from the home of one of the greatest metal bands all time; Sanctuary. 7Horns7Eyes are nowhere near power metal. This is death metal in the more doomy/atmospheric school. Think old school My Dying Bride and you’ll get a picture of just how doomy. Think Novembers Doom and you get the melancholic side to this. All in all a pretty great piece of death metal from this Seattle based band. I am a sucker for this kind of death metal (too). I get started on the melancholy. I like the gloom’n’doom that 7Horns7Eyes bring forth. Well worth checking out if this kind of death tickles your fancy. Anders Ekdahl

TOMMY VITALY “Hanging Rock”

TOMMY VITALY
“Hanging Rock”
(Rock It Up)
I do not think that I’ve heard of Tommy Vitaly before, or even heard anything by him before I got this record. I gotta say that I’m pretty impressed by it. I kinda expected a guitar wanking album but this turned out to be a full on heavy metal album akin to what Judas Priest has done, just faster. I really miss guitar solos in modern metal. On this album you get the solos. What a relief. I get the same kind of feeling I got the first time I heard Hammerfall. This is heavy metal the way I like heavy metal. Full off attitude, great guitar solos and an aggression that makes you sweaty just listening to it. I had no expectations on it and it proved to be a great surprise. Thank you Tommy Vitaly. Anders Ekdahl

ABONOS

I have no idea why it is so surprising to see a metal band like ABONOS from Serbia making the rounds. It’s been close to 25 years since the communist regimes fell to the ground in Europe and despite the awful civil wars that ravaged the Balkan in the 90s most ex-Yugo countries are a part of the EU now. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I only know of you because I saw a posting on Facebook. How well known are you outside of your own little universe?
-In Serbia and ex-Yugoslavia we are one of the well known bands, I guess, and at some point, thanks to facebook and other social media we found out we have a lot of fans in South America, to our pleasant surprise. Sometimes we joke with a line one fan told us when we played on EXIT festival in 2009: “You are not a proper headbanger (in Serbia) if you haven’t heard about Abonos”.

How do you go about promoting/presenting your band outside of the social Medias? What ways are there to reach a potential audience?
-We are not doing much about promoting/presenting for some time now, since we have been dealing with some personal issues (few band members lost their dear ones) and we have been in studio working and recording. For example, facebook page we have, hasn’t been promoted since we made it, and even without any promotion it gathered more than 1000 people in few month. But as soon as new material is released we plan on activating all social media channels and to play as many festivals as we can get in, in addition to staying/getting in touch with some journalists, bloggers etc.

If you were to compartmentalize your music, where would it fit in the best?
-Abonos draws inspiration from all types of music, from classical to modern. Most songs on our first album where inspired by medieval melodies (Serbian), but there is also strong baroque, jazz and other influences. You can hear symphonic, trash, progressive metal parts … all in all a contemporary style.

When you come from a country that isn’t really known for its metal scene how much harder do you have to work to get heard?
-Serbia does have a small but good and diverse metal scene. There are more than few really good bands here, like: Alogia, Seraphim, HeterA, Destiny Potato, Organized Chaos etc. Unfortunately this type of music is not that popular, especially with media, so metal bands have to work really hard to do pretty much anything. Most bands rely on social media sites and forums to spread the word about gigs or new albums as there are no other ways of doing so. Reaching to broader audience, outside Serbia and ex-Yugoslavia, is even more harder and that’s where people and sites like this one come in play.

What kind of metal scene are we talking about? Is it pretty much a DIY scene with bands interacting to help each other out?
-It is a combination of those two. Every band is usually its own manager, producer, publisher etc. On the other hand in promotion you get help from other bands as we mostly know each other and we try to help as much as we can. We in Abonos always love to have other bands play with us and we do try to help others as much as we can.

Can you as small metal band do a national tour and actually get something out of it?
-Abonos already went on national and regional tours few times. One time we where opening act for regional tour for one of Serbian legendary rock bands called “Riblja Corba”. We played all kind of venues, from small clubs in front of 200-300 people, to large stadiums and festivals where we played for few thousand people (2004 at Tas stadium, MetalHammer Stage Exit festival 2005, Explosive Stage at Exit festival 2006 and 2009 …). We love and enjoy doing live shows but making a living out of our music, in national limits, is almost impossible,

Why do you think that the countries in southern Europe have a less heard of metal scene than for example Sweden?
-Southern European bands have less ways and funds to reach potential listeners outside their countries. As I mentioned previously most bands in these parts of Europe do everything by themselves so the know-how and funds are limited.
From what I’ve gathered you have released an album and some singles. What kind of reaction have you had to these releases?
-Abonos has one album and 5-6 singles released so far. It was all self-released as we didn’t manage to find a record/publishing company interested in releasing our material. Reaction was good. We have a strong fan base in ex-Yugoslavian countries probably due to our lyrics being mostly in Serbian language, and surprisingly we have a lot of fans in Spanish speaking countries like Columbia and Mexico. Hopefully in the future we can spread beyond those boundaries and more people will get to hear us.

It might be me being old but I only recently realized what impact youtube have on promoting your band. What kind of response do you get from these sorts of postings and what does it really mean in the real world? What kind of revenues does it actually generate?
-Unfortunately for us, we still haven’t started to use youtube but we do plan on doing so. So far, all our stuff on there has been posted by fans (some got more than 100.000 views), but in the near future we will open an official channel and upload proper material there. As far as we know it’s a good way of promoting bands and their music, but for generating revenue … I don’t think small bands like us can do that.

What kind of future do you envision for Abonos?
-Abonos will continue to make music, it is something we have been doing for 12 years now and we plan on doing for as long as we can. Hopefully one day and with some help from friends we might manage to reach larger audience, outside ex-Yugoslavian territory, so more people can hear us and possibly enjoy our music.

ASHAENA

Romania is not just Dracula and Transylvania. There is more to it than that as proven by ASHAENA . Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I know absolutely nothing about Ashaena. What is your story?
-We are Ashaena from Romania and our story begins in the summer of 2006 when I have started this band first as a solo project. After 1 year I have felt the need to present the songs that already made on the stage so I have started to search for people. From the begining I wanted that our message would be filled with words about our traditions, our ancient history and pre-christian culture and symbols combined with the occult lore.

When I was young in the 80s all we had was clear cut genre definitions like heavy, speed, thrash etc. In today’s scene we have folk, dark, pagan, Viking etc. that to my ears all seem connected in one way or another. Why so many different genre definitions?
-Indeed, nowadays metal scene has so many genres and sub-genres that sometimes it gets confusing. Anyways, I consider that we are playing a heathen metal (because of our ideology and because we are singing about pre-Christian mythology and religion) and in the same time traditional metal because our mainly pool of inspiration is our Folklore and traditions. In the same time we riffs that sounds like black metal. In conclusion, our music is a sum of small pieces of genres filtered through our souls and gifted to the audience in our own style.

To me folk metal is much more than just adding harpsichords or accordions or violins. What is folk metal to you guys?
-For me / us, folk metal is a way of expressing your inner ideology and spirituality. Is that kind of music deeply rooted in native folklore, mixed with history and mythology. For me, folk metal is a way of honouring our ancestors.

How important is your country’s folklore to the way you write lyrics? Do you tell stories with your lyrics?
-Is very important. As I stated before, the Folklore is the main area, the big pool I am getting my inspiration from, musically speaking. Talking about the lyrics, yes, they do tell a story. There are some songs about apocalyptic storms, there are other songs based on historical facts, there are songs with spiritual lyrics based on my ideology and path. I just want to spread the message, to touch that inner core in every man, to make them understand that living in harmony with the nature, making peace with yourself, in the first time and then with the others is a better way of life. Common sense and unconditional help, if you can and stays in your power.

How do you view your country’s folklore? Is it an interesting one or is it just tales of not so interesting happenings?
-We have an amazing cultural heritage and fabulous folklore. Too bad that the teenagers don’t know much about these things. This is again, our mission, to make them understand the beauty of the ancient roots, the beauty of traditions and symbols.

How do you make your metal stand up to the lyrics you write? Do they have to have a connection or can the lyrics and music resonate different emotions?
-I think the lyrics and music have a strong binding. There cannot be one without the other. Each part sustains the other in a perfect harmony, at least I am hoping for that and that’s my goal as a music and lyric writer. For me, the music and the lyrics are the only way to express my feelings and ideas towards the heart of the others.

What kind of scene do you feel you are a part of? In the last decade or so the whole folk metal scene seem to have exploded like crazy.
-We are for sure included in this scene, in the folk metal scene. And indeed, this scene is growing very fast but to be honest I care more about people liking our work, our music than in which scene we are…

In order for people to discover you how important are the social media?
-The social media, the promotion and marketing are very important. Social networks are great tools for promoting your band or your work, no matter what kind of artist are you. It is easier to reach more and more people with these tools.

How do you take the interest generated on-line to actually mean something in the real world?
-The interest generated online is lesser that the real world one. There are people that can give you a “like” on your facebook page but they won’t come to a gig or viceversa, there have been situations when a lot of people that has discovered us online have been part of the crowd at our gigs and felt amazing.

What can we expect from Ashaena in the future?
-We are about to record our second album. It will be called “Calea” (The Path) and will have 10 songs. Probably it will be done recorded till the end of the year. In September we will start an European tour. Cannot give you more details because we are still waiting as well words from our booking agency. In March, next year, we are already confirmed for playing at the Heathen Crusade Festival in St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. and following that festival we will have an U.S. tour. That’s our activity in the near future. Of course, this summer we’ll have several gigs In Romania as well.

BARNYARD MASTURBATOR

BARNYARD MASTURBATOR. The name pretty much says it all. This British punk mob will raise some hell if you just let them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Is the band name a way of saying that country folks are stupid?
-No, not at all. Country folk don’t need to see our band name to know that they are stupid! (Just kidding!). No, seriously the band name came from an issue of ‘Bizarre Magazine,’ the article was called ‘The worst jobs in science.’ Barnyard masturbation was number 3. Not only did I find the name amusing but the article explained that the purpose of this job is to assist in artificial insemination. This is obviously to assist in the mass production of meat. I felt by using the name it was a statement about the artificial society that the human race has created in order to sustain the species. I knew people would always ask ‘why the strange name?’ and it would open up conversation about whether people are individually happy about the direction our specious is taking.

How easy is it to be controversial in today’s media climate where everybody can access the juiciest stories on-line?
-It’s not easy at all to be controversial in my book. It’s all been done hasn’t it? What else is there to achieve? Bar shooting yourself on stage & other than GG Allin, I can’t see anyone else doing the
business, do you? But we aren’t really about being controversial anyway. We, just like so many other punk bands just wanna have our say. That’s one thing I love about the punk scene, is that we are all so out spoken and have created our own fanzines, media, and scene basically to promote the alternative view. After all, who was it that said ‘Become the media?’ We’re all about getting people to open their minds to the reality they so often try to shut themselves out from. I understand people want to escape the boring realities of a mundane life. But if people wanna change the world they live in they gotta open their eyes and recognize some of the shit going down around them. Sometimes I find it pathetic when I meet people who just don’t care and would rather turn a blind eye to violence, hungry, greed etc.

What is it with Brits and controversy? Rock Bitch tried to freak everybody out with their outspoken sexuality for example.
-Well not being British I’m not sure?!?! (I’m American!). Perhaps it’s the stiff upper lip business…?!? But to be fair, I think they accidentally invented it in music with the Pistols – I mean how lame
is that shit now? I don’t know of many punk bands who are trying to be all that controversial these days. Yes I do remember Rock Bitch, and just found it all a bit of a joke really. But I would agree with you that the Brits, on mass are obsessed with controversy. All you have to do is open up a British tabloid newspaper, turn on the news or listen to Radio 4 in this country and it’s all about scandal with stars, scandal by the politicians, or scandal with the entrepreneurs like Rupert Murdoch. I think it’s the British media’s way of bombarding the down trodden with stories to cause disillusionment and in this way demotivate people because there is fuck all they can do about any of this anyway. It’s all a conspiracy!!! But that’s just one perspective, it would be interesting to go to Sweden and see things from a different view and maybe see how your culture differs from the UK both musically and societally.

Britain has brought us some of the greatest extreme music like crust, doom and NWOBHM. Where did the downfall start that put you on the back burner when it comes to extreme music?
Don’t they still make extreme music? Every music scene seems to start in the UK – Oi, Mod, RAC, Punk, Brit-Pop (Yuk!), death metal etc….Hats off ,they are innovators for music – Having lived here a
while though I can’t see where the next ‘scene’ is coming from due to venues closing every week & that poncey cunt Simon Cowell (Do you get a version of the X-Factor or such talentless show in your country?) The music scene is generally on it’s arse, and I feel the blame is with the likes of Simon Cowell. But I recently considered going on its rival show ‘The Voice’ and singing ‘The Streetlife Parade’ by Secret Affair. Would that make me a sell out? I thought maybe it could get the public eye back on the alternative scene.

Are the Brits victims of their own terrificness? Does the Empire still live on in the way Brits think of themselves?
-I think the UK Government killed off the empire after what was given away (or back to the owners, whichever way u wanna look at it), after WW2. They still think they are the bollocks, do Brits though, & fair play they’ve given the world a lot, music wise, the industrial revolution, etc. for such a pokey little nation. However, most Brits seem to want out to be honest & want to emigrate. Most of the people I know say the name ‘Great Britain’ should be revoked as its unlawful according to the ‘Trades Description Act.’ Basically, it ain’t my words but many Brits feel it ain’t ‘Great’ anymore. As for me I still love this country, I think the punk contingents are awesome and the countryside is beautiful.

With a name like Barnyard Masturbator I guess you don’t sing about the birds and the bees? How controversial can you be in your lyrics before people think you are a fraud and a bunch of wankers?
-You are a flatterer!!! The male half of the band are most definitely wankers – Brit men do seem to
talk a lot about masturbating! Hell, we are most certainly a bunch of wankers!!! Like I said we aren’t about being controversial. We don’t do stuff about fucking pigs or anything….All a bit too
obvious. We’re just out spoken and some people with narrow views might find that offensive, but ‘to each his own.’ Our music is about how human beings can be vile individuals, motivated by hate, anger, aggression or just an uncalculated need to destroy. We sing about being a fuck up and how sometimes, no matter how hard you try you may find yourself back at square one despite all your efforts. Our music is for the people who are angry and just want to be heard. I don’t think you can be found to be a fraud for just saying you’re human.

I remember in the 80s that there were a lot of squats and other places you could play as an alternative to the more established scenes. What is it like today? Has that scene too been cleaned up?
Today in the UK – There is…..FUCK ALL! London hasn’t suffered, due to over-crowding, tourism, but for the rest of the country – Every major city has suffered & lost venues / pubs due to the horrific hike in tax on beer and increased rent costs, the fuckin’ ridiculous ‘No smoking’ in pubs….(So
when everyone’s had a few drinks and the weather is nice all the punters go out to the garden to smoke – So it is now better to be an opening band in England than a headliner as a lot of head acts play to hardly any people) – I don’t smoke but think venues should have the right to choose for themselves. This has had an impact on the scene plus It is sooo expensive to drink here, so most people stay at home, drink, and fight with their neighbours! You would have thought that
squats would have popped up in this climate but again outside of London there is none. The punk scene in Britain has got smaller & smaller – People save their money and go to the Punk Festivals & the bands who strive to keep the scene going play to diminishing crowds every year in less cities due to venue closures. It’s all quite sad really…

I’ve never been a big fan of the cider drinking punks. How disrupting is it to constantly be under the influence of this or that. What is your take on being on the outside of society? Is there an alternative?
-Cider punx ….. Very few on the ground nowadays. Bristol (The home of cider and Chaos UK, Disorder etc) still has a few but mostly the punks of today seem to be very clean cut, decent and errr old!
(This may have something to do with it) We did use to do a song called ‘Cider Punx’ but I can’t remember if it’s any good or not?!? We do have a song called Losers, of which there is a line which shouts out to ‘Losers in the park, drinking cans of Strongbow.’ I don’t know if you have it over there Strongbow is a Cider. I’m not self-righteous but I don’t spend all my time drinking, just feel there’s more to life then that but I don’t think less of people who choose that path. My take on being outside society? and is there an alternative? Well, hell yeah there is an alternative! I see ‘normal’ people every day and they can’t believe their eyes when I take them to down to earth pubs where Barnyard play. They always say to me that I’ve ‘opened their eyes.’ Our punk scene is the alternative, it is different to the main stream we are more true to ourselves then the soulless everyday individual who goes about their business always doing, never thinking, never stopping to question ‘is there another way.’ There are more people like us out there but we just can’t seem to come together to make the alternative way of life more acknowledged and respected. Maybe this is because even the alternative scene is so segregated that it can’t be united in such a way to really make a mark. We fight amongst ourselves, punks against skins and now more recently hardcore politically correct (PC) punks against anyone who might have a slightly different view. The UK punk scene at the moment seems to have a lot of PC punks who go out on a witch hunt for people in the scene who have a different view to their principles and then they lambast these people as racist and undeservedly so I might add. Also, we’ve made the scene closed and exclusive where we don’t welcome new comers i.e. the younger generation. Every year I see less and less young people at punk gigs because they are made to feel unwelcome by the older contenginent who display the attitude of ‘I was there the first time around what business do you have being here?’ I think, if we could just share in our common ground, which is our love for music and being those who are outside society then maybe we could create a more united scene.

Would you ever consider yourself to be a crossover act? What is that to you?
-We’d like to be seen as a crossover band & appeal to anyone. Even the French…(Only jokin!) – I personally don’t see the point in labelling yourself and only trying to appeal to 5 old geezers who were there, back in the day of the 70’s or 80’s. I like all kinds of music, so I hope that even Eurovision Contest fans (Which we tried to enter as the UK act but were told to change our name to be considered…we of course refused!) would check us out – We ain’t a clique – Anyone is welcome at
our gigs!

How far do you see Barnyard Masturbator going?
-I can see us going about 40 miles to the next gig (Petrol is the most expensive in Europe over here as well which is another hindrance for bands) That’s about it until we can think of something else daft
to try. We are still trying to find the time to record the second album. Our band members live in different parts of the UK 100s of miles apart. We’ve got about 14 new tracks which piss over the first
album, & bar me the singer, the line-up is totally new from that debut album (Badger Fatality Orgy/released on Winston Records) too. Since that album in 2007 we have released a 5 track EP in 2011 and the best selling pin badge of 2009. The ‘difficult’ 2nd album currently has a working title of “Swearing Conniption Fit” (If I’ve spelt it right) – But it’s likely to change. Our motto is we don’t want to limit ourselves. So, we will do just about any gig. You just never know what’s going to be good or bad? The gig we raffled off for £39 (Inc post, us travelling expenses) on Ebay was a fuckin stormer in a blokes shed! I kid you not. To answer your question in a more serious vein, we’ll keep going as long as we can still write music and we have something to say!!! Anyway thanks for the interview – Dear reader check us out on facebook. Just stick the band name in on search….Wallop! You found
us. Cheers Anders! We salute anyone still doing anything for Punk Rock!!

CRUADALACH

What can a Czech band bring to the folk metal genre. Read all about CRUADALACH and their contribution. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Cruadalach might take a while to get used to as a band name but once so it conjures up images of ancient times. What made you want to have it as your band name?
-The name CRUADALACH stands for “courage” or “brave one” in Scottish Gaelic language and we think it describes very well our attitude towards music and what we do. The founder of our tribe and also the drummer in one person Michal Datel Rak came with this idea due to his strong interest in Celtic culture and music. Later, however, CRUADALACH tribe started to blend various musical elements of all members tastes and that is also source of our individual unique sound which we would love to develop.

What is it that inspires/influences you?
-Millions of things from music we listen to across personal experiences and issues to nature and culture of various countries we visited. We could hardly write you some complete list of influences, but generally it is just a will to play as colourful and good music as possible. Full of energy, straight-forward and with clear message to fight and stand for whom you are. Our message is generally positive, our sound is energetic and our life vitality is the biggest source of our inspiration.

How do you keep it interesting for a full length album? Do you plan for a certain flow on the album?
-Well, of course, however so far we composed only one full lenght album. We do our best to deliver as strong tracks as possible which is fun both to play and to listen. We are trying to make each of our songs unique and not just to copy paste them to some boring shitty result. Our albums have to be colourful, full of moods and that contains both accoustic and really heavy tracks, slow and fast, songs in different languages. In future we would love to cover even bigger spectrum of inspiration. Album can’t be boring, it has to be fun to listen. That is what matters and what we need and want to achieve.

Folk metal doesn’t really say too much. What was it that made you want to be another folk metal band?
-We don’t want to be just another folk metal band. We don’t have lyrics anyhow related to classical folk metal themes, our music contains various genres and the fact that our instrumental base is typical for folk metal doesn’t mean we want to be just a copycat of some more famous colleagues. To be second Korpiklaani or Eluveitie certainly isn’t our wish at all, however we respect these bands.

Is there a big scene in the Czech Republic for this kind of metal? Do people come out and support local bands or is it only the international acts that draw an audience?
-Luckily we have in Czech Republic pretty big support but of course that doesn’t mean we don’t have to try really hard. Anyway, we don’t have illusions – folk metal is not subculture, it’s not connected by any strong idea which would form the youth, not even to mention musical revolution. It’s just a metal subgenre and there certainly aren’t people listening only to this. We don’t care about being part of some scene. We are open-minded people ready to cooperate and coexistent with anybody who shares our vision somehow or who can enrich us musically. It’s that simple. In Czech Republic we don’t support big bands because of local distributional network, this is our task usually abroad – in Germany, Austria, Croatia and so. But sometimes we are lucky even in Czech Republic – in summer we support for example Behemoth and Suffocation on Metalgate Czech Deathfest or Children of Bodom, Cannibal Corpse or Apocalyptica on Basinfire Fest. Abroad we so far supported bands like Korpiklaani, Eluveitie, Immortal, Moonsorrow, Ensiferum, Týr, Primordial, Arkona… Basically all genre-related top bands.

Your album “Lead – Not Follow” have been out some time now. What kind of reactions have you had to it so far?
-We have dozens of reviews and reactions from all especially central Europe. “Lead – Not Follow” is the first album we created on our way and we consider it to be album full of very strong tracks however our instrumental skill from these times developed and we have for future much more consistent vision for sound production. We are aware of our mistakes and we have will to learn from them. Anyway, we love playing most of songs from the album live. Definitely give it a try and listen. And your readers as well!

When you release albums on smaller labels how hard is it to get the right coverage in the important media?
-You have to ask the labels about that. Publishing company of “Lead – Not Follow” managed to get us great coverage in German-speaking countries which we wouldn’t ever make by ourselves. Our license company Metalgate can do as well great coverage in Czech Republic, but that we would be able to do on our own, however, it is still big help. But let’s face it – worldwide coverage be done only by worldwide label.

When you come from the Czech Republic does that bring with a certain expectation that you should be either this or that sort of metal band?
-Maybe you should know that better than we do, right? We don’t care of being the band from Czech Republic or being this or that sort of band. We are the group of friends with will to do music as best as possible. Simple as that.

How important is it to have the right kind of image? Any particular things that you’d never wear in photos because it wouldn’t be “true”?
-This is more like question for 90´s black metal band, isn’t it? We never gave a fuck about being or not being true, these categories simply don’t exist for us. There is good and bad music. And image? Much more important is the message we carry, however, on the stage we are supposed to look like a team.

What future do you see for Cruadalach?
-Better second album in all ways. Better songs, better production, sound, bigger challenges to do, cooperating with lots of our great friends across the Europe. And accepting the challenges in form of gigs to come. But anyway, to do really great second album is definitely our biggest task for future. And we are already working on that.