Merrimack – “The Acausal Mass”

Merrimack – “The Acausal Mass” (AFM Records)

Screaming black metal from the streets of Paris! Merrimack are France’s premier black metal band, starting in 1994 but coming from a scene which is still relatively underground so they still retain the classic trademarks of ‘real’ black metal in terms of nihilistic metallic punk riffola, haunting tortured vocals and pummeling drum work. However, being French they also possess a high degree of style and sophistication in their polished musicianship (having taken the years to recruit a par excellence band) and moreover, in their quality songs like ‘Arousing Wombs In Nine Angles Pleroma’, ‘Beati Estis Cum Meledixerint Vobis’ and ‘Worms In The Divine Intestine’. That, coupled with their divine belief in their Satanic inspirations has resulted in an album that is highly charged not just for its hateful energy, but also a dark passion as if from the fiery pits of hell itself.

Binah – “Hallucinating in Resurrecture”

Binah – “Hallucinating in Resurrecture” (Dark Descent Records)

There’s precious little info on this Brit trio, so much so that while containing members of the underground scene, Binah is almost an underground band within an already little known realm. Alternatively, these guys might be so mainstream they don’t want their anonymity affecting this project LOL! Whatever the case, Binah offer some serious old school death metal that seems to tick all the boxes from filthy distorted guitar with syrup thick Swe-death riffs to primordial growling vocals and a drummer whose feet must be surgically grafted onto his drum pedals! Think Autopsy, early Dismember or Nominon when you listen to crushing visceral slabs like ‘The Emissary’, ‘Crepuscular Transcendence’ and ‘Eminence Of The Sombre’ and whatever their credentials I have to give Binah full marks in delivering a superb album in its own right that gnaws you right down to the bone beautifully!

Zoltar Speaks – “Treatment”

Zoltar Speaks – “Treatment” EP (www.facebook.com/zoltarspeaks)

LOL – when I think of their name, I can’t help but think of that weird creepy arcade machine from the Tom Hanks’s 80s film “Big” – and hey presto, here comes a band named after it! Rolling in from the farmlands of Somerset in England comes the metallised rock band Zoltar Speaks fronted by farm lass Body who looks like she’s been lifting hay bales to match her power vox. Mixing Pantera-meets-Metallica riffs in a combine harvester and combining them with tractor heavy rhythms, Body actually adds a nice feminine touch giving panache to songs like ‘The Best Revenge’ and ‘How Could You Blame’ on this energetic but groovy EP. Big sound, big people and big style is what has been granted by Zoltar Speaks this time round!

CULT OF THE FOX

CULT OF THE FOX is a traditional heavy metal band from the south of Sweden that might not have gotten the attention they deserve. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What is it like to play traditional heavy metal today with so many new bands keeping the flame alive?
-I have been playing traditional metal in different bands for almost 17 years and it has never been this easy to get attention and gigs before. So I think it’s a very good time for classic metal now.

Sweden seems to have become the torch bearer for this rejuvenation of trad metal. Why do you think that so many new bands start to play heavy metal today?
-Growing up in the 90s scene heavy metal was very uncool, when the 90s passed and the retro scene emerged, it was ok to play heavy metal again. Now I guess that more or less all metal styles exist simultaneously instead of one replacing another. There are a lot of new German and Dutch bands that don’t get half of the attention the new Swedish bands get, I really don’t know why but I guess it’s good for us!

I take it that just releasing an album isn’t enough to get noticed. How hard work is it to actually make a name for yourself?
-I think the internet is the upside and the downside to this. It is easy to put out music and get contacts but since it’s so easy the scene gets over flooded with bands doing the exact same thing!

How do intend to take the band forward? Any grand schemes to make Cult of The Fox the next big thing?
-Our main goal is just to keep the band going, hopefully releasing more albums and getting more gigs. Our next step is recording our second album, “Angelsbane”, this summer and hopefully have it out by October this year.

When you are signed to a German label does that bring with loads of cultural clashes in the way you want them to work and the way they actually work?
-We have never been signed to any other label than German so I don’t know, I think musicians always want the labels to promote the music more and getting better deals and labels want music that sells. Nationality doesn’t make a big difference, I think.

You recently signed to another German label (Rock It Up). Is this a step up or will you still be acting on the same level as with the debut album? What do you want to get out of this new deal?
-We think it’s a step up, to a label with more releases and bigger distribution. Hopefully we can get the new album out to a lot more people.

When you come from Southern Sweden you are closer to the continent. Does the fact that you can be in Germany in just a few hours open up more doors to play live?
-Yes, of course you still have a long way to drive for gigs, but we have to possibility to play somewhere in Germany and drive to and fro in a day. Our biggest problem is getting the gigs in the first place…

Malmö has had a great heavy metal scene. What is the metal scene like today? What places are there to play?
-The scene is very poor in Malmö, even if it’s a lot better than it used to be 10-15 years ago. There are some pubs to play but no really good venues for underground metal bands.

How pleased are you with the response you’ve had to your first album “A Vow of Vengeance”? What could have been done differently for it to be more successful?
-We are overwhelmed by the positive response we got for it! Of course when you play on something yourself you listen to it from a musician point of view and not as a music fan and sometimes you think about what could have been done differently. But we are very proud of the record and the songs!

What does the future hold for you guys?
-First up is recording the new album which we are looking forward to a lot, we learned a lot from the previous recordings so it’s going to be a lot of fun and a good chance to prove our capability in writing new songs! We are continually searching for gigs and we played in Holland and France in January and hopefully we can get some German gigs when the record is out!

CRYSALYS

CRYSALYS take metal and opera and try to make something of it. The end result isn’t too bad. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Why is it that there as so many Y’s in your band name? Any symbolic meaning to the use of this letter?
-Well, you can read the word Cry at the beginning of the name, for example. That’s why some of our fans like to pronunce the name krahys-uh-lis, but it’s just something that makes our band name more personal. The main concept we want to evoke with our name is the chrysalis and the path that will lead it to the metamorphosis into a butterfly.

What is there to the mix of metal and operatic vocals that you can’t achieve with a traditional metal vocalist?
-Some parts of our songs display a good amount of drama and theatricalism that probably we couldn’t have achieved with a different voice. It’s not only because of the voice, but also thanks to the passion, the knowledge and the exprerience that Chiara’s classical soul can provide

When did opera and metal meet to agree on it being a good combination? What is there to the sub-genre opera metal than the vocals?
-It depends on the listener’s ears. The problem is that those who like metal, probably won’t like Opera, and viceversa. If you like Nightwish or Epica it doesn’t mean that you like Opera. Whatever virtuosism or ploy you can try, if the listener doesn’t apreciate (real) operatic voices, he won’t like Crysalys music. Anyway, we tried and we will try again to incorporate more operatic elements in our music, so as to give Chiara the chance to express all the nuances of her voice. We think the next album will explain better what we mean for Post-Opera.

When you have a vocalist with a range bigger than your typical vocalist what kind of challenges does that bring to the song writing?
-Very nice question. Chiara’s voice is something incredible. She can do almost everything. Paradoxically, the challenge is to understand how to get the most out of her voice, choosing from time to time when to use her clean vocals and when to switch to operatic ones. When Chiara reaches the highest peaks of her voice, it gets hard yet necessary to support her with a music that is as much dramatic. Another difficult challenge takes place in the studio and on stage: it’s not that simple for a sound engineer to handle the dynamic and the range of Chiara’s vocals!

How do you avoid that the songs end sounding the same for a full album? How do you write songs that are different from each other and yet not fall out of the context of the band?
-Thanks to keyboards, synths and the orchestra, we can achieve every kind of sound we like, and that gives us the chance to take the listener from a place into another, to take him into the future or back to the past. Anyway, it’s really important for a band to keep a sense of consistency, at least when it comes to record an album; so Chiara’s voice is so personal that she gives a sense of consistency herself.

Do you work from a concept when you compose for Crysalys? What kind of topics do you touch upon? How important is the lyrics/words to bring out the most of the music?
-Yes, we love to work on a concept, it’s something that inspires you and grows with you day by day while working on new stuff, and it also enriches the sense of consistency we were talking about. Most of the lyrics come after the music, but we like to start writing a song when we already have at least 2-3 periods that could express the sense of the song. Listening to The Awakening of Gaia, you can guess the topics we like to touch: magic, nature, fairy tales, and some metaphores from our mythology.

When you are a band that is pretty much up and coming how do you work to get people to notice you?
-We worked hard on internet to promote us: social network, advertising, etc. Internet is now the cheapest and fastest way to promote a band, but it’s not the same thing to play on stage and to capture fans with your music. So, we hope to have more chances to play live, even supporting big bands.

What are the advantages of having a record label that speaks the same language as you do? What disadvantages are there to being signed to a label based in your home country?
-It depends from country to country, We suppose. Concerning communication, to speaks the same language is not important; to be honest, the label often send us e-mails in english language, because there are a lot of band from other nations in the roster, and we have also to write every bullettin in english as well; we have more foreign fans than italian ones.
In Italy, the main problem is not labels (that should have contact in other nations as well), but metal fanbase. Italy is the country of pop music, and it will always be. Italy never had a solid metal fanbase… There are a lot of metal bands in our country, indeed, and lots of them are pretty good, but it is still difficult for them to spread their music out of our borders. Italy will never act as a springboard for metal bands. But no one is prophet in his own land, right? 🙂

How much time and effort did you invest in making a video? Has it paid off and in what ways?
-To realize a good videoclip is not cheapy, though it is not that expensive as you might think, especially if you try to make do as much as you can. For example, Fabio created the storyboard and the scenery and suggested “The Awakening of Gaia”, because the structure and the dynamics of this track would have helped us making a good video. The video has probably been the best promoting action we ever did. We already achieved more than 150.000 views from all over the world.

Where do you see Crysalys going in the future?
-As we said at the beginning of this very nice interview (thank you very much Anders for this opportunity), we hope that Crysalys will soon evolve into a butterfly. Our first goal is to realize a new album and try to become and remain an important name in the genre, one of those groups that the new generations still appreciate and listen to.

DISEASE ILLUSION

DISEASE ILLUSION is a death metal band from Italy. Well worth checking out if you like you death with a bite to it. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I know so very little about you guys that I need for you to introduce the band to me?
-Disease Illusion is an Italian Melodic Death Metal band, formed in 2008 by Dario (guitar), Federico (guitar), Fabio (vocals), Alex (drums) and Michele (bass guitar).We have released our first EP “Reality Behind The Illusion Of Life” in 2008, which was well rated by critics in various metal magazines and webzines (in particular it was TOP DEMO on Metalitalia and appeared on Metal Maniac and Metal Hammer IT ).
We had an intense live activity in these last years, playing all over northern Italy, in Switzerland and Slovenia, and sharing the stage with some of the most important international Metal and Hardcore bands (ABORTED, BLEEDING THROUGH, DYING FETUS, ORIGIN, BENEATH THE MASSACRE, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, MISERY SIGNALS, YOUR DEMISE, NEAERA, DREAMSHADE, BLEED FROM WITHIN, VISION DIVINE, SALT THE WOUND, THE NUMBER TWELVE LOOKS LIKE YOU, WARBRINGER, REVOCATION, The Modern Age Slavery, Slowmotion Apocalypse, Mainline, Infernal Poetry, Idols are Dead, Mothercare and many more) and in some of the most important festivals in Europe (Metalcamp 2009 and Thrash and Burn 2010). In summer 2010 we have recorded our first full length “Backworld”, composed of 10 tracks, recorded at Regrexion Studios by Michele Trasforini in Bologna and mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studios (The Modern Age Slavery, Stigma, DGM, Empyrios) in San Marino. The artwork was made by Archetype design (Behemoth, The Faceless, Graveworm).
“Backworld” has been released worldwide in November 2011 via UltimHate Records.

?To my ears you have a Swedish melodeath touch only more aggressive. What is it that influences you to play the style of metal you play?
-Yes I think that the sound of our first album “Backworld” has a typical Melodic Death metal mood, with little influences from other genres like Gothic and Metalcore.
Our music is a mix of old and new, because we play a type of music that became famous in the second half of 90’s, but with have a really modern approach since we have also a great passion for modern metal.
We will always try to improve our sound adding more influences and experimenting new solutions.

How hard is it to be a band struggling to get noticed in today’s overkill of bands all over the place (internet)?
-That’s really hard to come out from the underground scene, because there are too many bands on the Internet, and you must have something really cool or original to be noticed by the audience. We do a lot of promotion on social networks and webzine, but the most important thing for us is to write good music: we think that if you concentrate yourself on the song writing and on a good live show, you will get a positive feedback.

How did you end up on a Belgian label? Does it really matter today what kind of label you are signed to when everybody seems to be downloading illegally?
-We managed to get in touch with Ultimhate some years ago here in Italy and last year we thought it was the right label for releasing “Backworld”. Lots of people download illegally but some still buy music, being signed with a label makes the difference for the second ones.

What kind of metal scene is there to speak of in Bologna? What kind of scene do we speak of in the whole of Italy?
-The Italian scene is still full of good bands even if from us we noticed a light decrease of the general interest about the metal, thing that we noticed also in Bologna (there’s no generational transfer!). Among other things i believe that the metal scene is in difficulty, as well as any other musical scenes, and this is due to the difficulty that the bands have in promoting and self-financing.

How hard is it to come up with songs that stand out and doesn’t sound like something that has been done before by others?
-It’s quite hard for every kind of band, but particularly for newcomer bands which tend to be boxed superficially, saying “they sound like that band” and nothing more.

What is it that you want to accomplish with the band? Do you have any greater goals for the band?
-The only goal that we have with the band is to write good music and to play more gigs possible all over the world! We know that’s really difficult to reach “success” playing metal music, so we don’t have any expectations about our “financial future” relating with music, and we concentrate ourselves only on integrity of the band and fun.

How important is it to a young band to get to play with bigger name bands? What can you learn from playing with bigger name bands?
-It’s important because you can broaden your curriculum, and you have the opportunity to get in touch with people that may help your band if they like it. The greatest lesson you can learn is: “it’s a long way to the top”.

What kind of Italian live scene is there for young bands to play and gain experience? How easy is it to set up a tour of Italy?
-Unfortunately in Italy there is not a real metal music scene. In last years fewer and fewer people are interested in this genre, they prefer the dj-set of commercial music in the clubs. We focus to the European public where our music is more appreciated.

What does the future bring for Disease Illusion?
-The first thing we have to do, are more videos. For the “One Last Breath” video clip we have received a positive feedback and we want to keep on this way of promotion. We are working on a new storyboard and the filming will start soon. We are also planning for a European mini-tour, we hope to do that!
In the meantime we are starting to compose the new album.

EYE BEYOND SIGHT

EYE BEYOND SIGHT is another exciting metal act from Central Europe. Check èm out if you thought that all music from that part of Europe is muzak. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Now that you are signed to Massacre can you sit back and reap the benefits? How much of a dream come true is this to you?
-Well surely not! This is the time when after release you have to push the band forward and arrange some tour. We definitely are planning this but considering that we arrange our shows mainly by ourselves its sometimes more difficult.

As somebody who finds band names fascinating I have a hard time to decipher your band name. What’s the meaning behind it?
-Well yes, we can consider that with our lyrics we try to teach people to read between the lines, in other words, to have an additional “eye beyond sight” (hehe) that allows to see more alternatives and solutions than the mass media tells to them. Clearly, we want people to think!

What kind of metal scene is there in Slovakia today? How does Eye Beyond Sight fit into it?
-The scene needs a recovery but thanks to some people and their effort it is on its best way to succeed. Metalexpress , Gothoom Productions are those who really cooperate on the local scene and try to heal it.

Slovakia is really a big blank for me when it comes to metal. What kind of places are there to play live in? What kind of infrastructure is there for bands to tour the country?
-As in each country, in Slovakia we as well have international bands playing so we do not miss big name bands when they are on tour. Sometimes it happens that for instance they play only in Hungary or Austria but those are not far from us so it is not a problem to get there. Regarding the touring we have clubs over the country as well however some of them need better equipment.

Do you feel like you are the success story of Slovakian metal? How much pressure do you feel on making it big?
-We do not think it at all! There are many good bands in our country but we do something differently and that is maybe the one thing that we had a chance and lived with it. Nowadays a band needs as well get involved in management stuff in order to reach something, and many bands are doing this and they get somewhere under local label or even international. The competition is so big that you need to do your best in order to get recognized.

What’s the biggest difference being on a big label like Massacre compared to underground labels?
-Their professionalism!

When you have a finished album that won’t get a proper release worldwide until much later how do you go about keeping up the interest in the band?
-If I bring up our case than we were firstly under a Hungarian label, and considering that we sent out our record to many labels, later we agreed on with Massacre. We didn’t need to keeping up the interest in the band considering that we didn’t know whether we would get a worldwide release.

How boring is it to promote material that is as old as one year? How do you keep it interesting?
-This is a good question, if we consider that this promotion is worldwide it is much more interesting for us now, than before. Now we get comments and fans from worldwide and not just from our country and this is cool ! It fill´s us and force us to make the upcoming album better, heavier that will blast your head off.

What kind of touring plans do you have now that you are backed by a big label?
-We don’t have now exact dates but we are working on it. It seems that we will focus on festivals during the summer, and after will try to arrange an autumn tour.

What do you think the future will hold for you now?
-Well we hope that our cooperation with Massacre Records will be a long-time cooperation and that we will get more support in the future from booking agencies and organizers and we will receive opportunities to tour countries even as a support band. That will makes us really happy! We want to thank you as well your support that you asked us for this short interview. It means very much for us! Cheers to all of your readers and we hope we will play to you live in future!

FIREBRAND SUPER ROCK

FIREBRAND SUPER ROCK might be from Scotland but any jokes about lumberjacks we’ll leave to Monty Python. This is HM, period. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Why a three piece band name? Wouldn’t just Firebrand been enough?
JG – Firebrand Super Rock was inspired by two beers I was particularly enjoying when we formed the band – Firebrand and Super Bock – so there you go!
LD -We have thought about shortening it to just Firebrand but lots of people quite like the name as it is.

In some of the things I’ve read about you I’ve noticed that your vocalist is being described as some sort of “female lumberjack”. How do you feel about people coming up with all kind of descriptions that you can?t control?
JG – Don’t think I read that one – crazy. I think one of the first things you have to accept when you start getting press is that you won’t like all of it – but there’s nothing you can do about it – so I don’t let it bother me!
LD – Lumberjack?? Ha ha not heard that one. Oh well, I’m not in the band as a fashion accessory. I’m in the band because I enjoy singing and I love metal. Just because I’m a female doesn’t mean I need to get my tits out to be noticed.

It is 2012 and still there this feeling that any band with one female member or all female bands is big time news, like landing on the moon for the first time. Why does a band with a female member draw this strange kind of attention? Why do we still make the distinction between male and female?
JG – I think it’s because metal has been a male-dominated genre for a long time, and outside of symphonic metal, female members are still rare, rarer still are female band members who don’t parade around half clothed for the press!

In the last couple of years good old heavy metal has made a comeback in media. But when did heavy metal go away? Why is heavy metal all of a sudden back to being everybody’s favourite pet project?
JG – Heavy Metal never went away – it just became very unfashionable for a long period of time, now the people who were laughing at it 10 years ago are proudly wearing Angel Witch t shirts claiming they were fans from the start!

How do you sort out the back patters from the real supporters, the one you can trust with your music and your life?
JG – The longer you spend in the music scene, the quicker you can tell the bullshitters. There’s plenty of the about, but there’s also plenty of great people, so you just learn to take the rough with the smooth!
LD – Generally you can always tell the bullshitters from the gunuine people. Luckily most of the people we meet are really cool.

Is being a Scottish band that much different from being a British or Welsh? Is there the same buzz to being from Scotland as there is to being from Wales?
JG – I’ve never spent much time in Wales, but the scene’s are different all over the UK, certainly there’s a lot of great bands and people in Scotland, and I think it’s an honest an up-front scene with a lot of people who just love the music.

With an album out how much easier is life as a band? Does it add credibility to the band when you can show that you have something to bring with you?
JG – Having an album out just means you have something to push when you’re playing and offers you the opportunity to get a bit more press. I think playing live is just as important as recorded work – we’re a live band first and foremost.
LD – It’s our first album and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved but we’d like to push ourselves now and see what we can come up with next.

Do you have to drive far to get to places to play that carries good capacity? Or are you left to play in front you uncle and his buddies?
JG – Being from Scotland, we’re used to long drives! We spend a lot of ttime playing in England and don’t mind driving for good gigs – of course you can’t win them all, sometimes you drive 8 hours for an empty gig, but that’s life!

How easy is it to get on the European touring circuit? Do you ever feel like you are far away from the mainland European metal scenes?
LD – We’re hoping to organise a European tour at the end of the year. We’ve been tourin around the UK now for a good few years and we’re keen to branch out. I does seem far away in the sence that we’ve never played there before so it’s unknown territory but I think we’d go down well.

What can we expect from you guys this coming summer festival season? What kind of future plans do you have?
JG – We’re already busy writing the next album and will be busy playing more dates later in the year, watch this space…

Firebrand Super Rock
http://www.firebrandsuperrock.com
http://www.twitter.com/firebrandsuperr
http://www.facebook.com/firebrandsuperrock
Tel: 07791581962 (Jamie)

IRRBLOSS

IRRBLOSS I found on Youtube. There was something about them that made me want to find out more, hence this interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Why choose Irrbloss as your band name? What does it represent to you?
-Before the band Irrbloss became a band with a complete line-up Lord Irrbloss, the singer of the band, actually had taken the name Irrbloss as his real middle name and also started a one-man band with the same name. Successively other members joined the band but Irrbloss was kept as the band name. For us, the name Irrbloss represents something unique and mystical. It is a good representative name for the folklores of the norse culture which is part of the foundation for our music and lyrics. The name has a good tune in it. Originally Irrbloss is a name for a folklore creature, a legend of a ghostly light orb that hovers in the forest and lure wanderers of the tracks to go deep into the forest where they´re lost to evil powers.

How does the name fit with being a folk/black metal band?
-Apart from being a cool name as it is, Irrbloss is, as mentioned, a folklore mythical creature. It represents a legend that´s been around for hundreds of years in order to keep people away from the forest at night. So since it´s connected to cultural folk beliefs and represents evil manifested in a light orb, it´s pretty suitable for a black/folk metal band.

What kind of influences do you guys draw from? What is it that makes Irrbloss Irrbloss?
-Originally the band was influenced by classical Scandinavian black/folk metal acts such as early Opeth and Dissection, Månegarm and Ulver. Irrbloss also took a lot of experience from traditional Swedish folk music. Nowadays we´re still much inspired by folk music but inspiration is also taken from death and black metal and also to some extent by jazz and classical music.

Why is it that Sweden is such a great place black and death metal? What is it in the Swedish mentality that suits this kind of metal?
-Most likely it is due to the harsh climate, the cold and the dark that dominates the seasons. Sweden is covered in darkness, ice and snow most time of the year. In the few months or sometimes weeks of light and decent temperatures, nature instantly fills with bloodsucking creatures (mosquitos and ticks). Another explanation is that the dark and gloomy music is a good way to express the coldness in our culture. Swedes are well known for being a bit cold and melancholic.

When you use pseudonyms what is the main reason behind it? What do they say about each member?
-The main thought has been to use pseudonyms that relates to our last names as well and/or to our geographical backgrounds. For example Norrsköld is a combo of the geographical origin (Norrland) and the last name (Sköld) of our guitarist. In other cases we´ve borrowed some more or less known names from the Norse mythology.

Does a sort of anonymity give a deeper meaning to the music you play? Can you get away with more obscure stuff when nobody knows your real identity?
-It is easier to use a pseudonym when you´re playing music, especially this kind of metal. It´s like taking on a uniform or gear when you´re in a specific profession. Although, the names are mostly used when we´re acting out our music, playing live and promote ourselves, and are not used elsewhere. It´s like any other form of art, an artist name brings more character to the people that perform the art. In our case the names often relates to Norse beliefs and history which adds to our band profile. So far we´ve not used our pseudonyms as “cover” for any form of nasty business but it´s imaginable that they could provide a good protection of our private lives when we´re getting better known in the metal scene

When you come from Gothenburg does that automatically bring with it an interest from people? Or are you guys being judged harder because of the history of great bands from that town?
-In a way some people, probably most people abroad ,associate the Swedish metal scene with Gothenburg. Especially since the term “Gothenburg sound” started to circulate some years ago. And yes, it´s a fact that many good metal bands have been established in Gothenburg. But in a national perspective Gothenburg is not the definite “metal town” since there are tons of extremely good bands from all over Sweden, from Luleå in the north to Malmö in the south. However, black metal specifically is probably even more associated with Norway since the genre has such strong roots there and has got so much public attention with murders, church burnings etc. Since we play a mix of folk and black metal We´re probably not being judged as hard as if we´d play “pure” melodic death metal.

What is the state of the metal scene like in Bohuslän and Gothenburg? What kind of bands do you play live with?
-There are several bands from the Gothenburg are that are active in the black/folk genre even though the metal scene has become dominated by death metal bands during the last years. There are however not that many bands that combine folk and black metal in the way Irrbloss do. Most bands that we´ve encountered in the area and that we´ve played live with tend to focus on either black or folk metal. Irrbloss has always had a good mix in the two genres, a good balance. Since our last record Bloodline however, we have changed this balance from being a black metal band with a touch of folk music to being more of a folk metal band with black metal elements.

Is it necessary to have a label backing you today when everybody and his aunt can burn CDs on their own? What can a label do that you can’t yourself?
-The music industry has indeed changed dramatically during the last decades. Today it is not as important to be on a label as it is to market the band in all forms of media, mainly social networks, and also focus on developing good live skills. The ability to perform good live is today is even greater than ever! The advantages with being on a label are that they will help you being continuously visible in different context (papers, merchandise, Spotify) while the band itself may be occupied with recordings, rehearsals etc. There´s also an advantage if the band is on the same label as other good bands in the same genre since this gives “free” promotion. It is true that bands today can do most, or all, of the work themselves but there are still great benefits in having an actor that helps you promote on a regular basis and also (if it´s a well-known label) adds to the seriousness of the band.

What future do you see for Irrbloss?
-We´re aiming at recording another full-length album within a year and in the meanwhile we’re focusing on live performances. As soon as we´ve got more live experience we aim to extend our live performances to include the rest of Europe and who knows what lies ahead! The overall goal is to reach out to as many people as possible with as great music as we ever can make!

LILITH TO KILL

Ever wondered what French modern metal sounds like. Try LILITH TO KILL for an answer. Although new to me I found there to be something to the band’s music that wanted me to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Lilith as a character is enshrouded in much mysticism throughout history. What made you want to have that name as part of your band name?
-Well, actually it’s just a part of my personality and it was a kind of nickname, so we thought it was a good idea and it sound good.

Although the French population is rather large we don’t see that many French metal bands making it out of the country and in to the international metal scene. Why is it that so many French metal bands have such a hard time making it big?
-Yes, it’s sad because we have many great bands in different kind of metal, even if we have lots of people who like this music, in France our big media are almost “allergic” to Metal, but since few years the things are going better and in future I’m sure we will see more and more French band internationally !

What is the French meal scene like outside of the black metal bands? Any bands you feel a kinship with?
-There is everything kinds of Metal in France, it’s very various! Also, we have no connections with Black Metal bands, but we are friends with Brutal Rebirth (Death Metal/France) we salute them!

What kind of live infrastructure is there for smaller bands to play in France? Can you set up a tour independently?
-Sure, we have lots of places to play, people likes to see new local bands! About tour, yes, but its cost money, its difficult independently

When you release a record basically on your own what kind of problems does that bring with it in terms of getting people to know about it?
-Here is the difficulty! Everyone told you with internet it’s more easy, but internet is huge so it’s important to communicated with fans, play on stage, doing good music can help naturally, to be on Battle Helm.. (laughs)

Has the DIY aesthetic improved with the use of internet? Do we see more sources/resources for you as a band to sell and marketing your own products (i.e. cdBaby or Big Cartel)?
-Actually, in our situation and for many bands, we must do everything and sometimes it’s hard to combine all of that, but it’s the only way to do.

I sometime get a feeling that social media like Facebook and Reverbnation can be treacherous in thinking that you are more popular than you actually are. How do you build a following that will last and not just be somebody hitting a “Like” button?
-That’s true sometimes, but every day we receive lots of messages from fans who are really interested by our music and we try to communicate every time we can with them and to create a kind of connection, our music is true and authentic like us, and I think people like it.

What would you say has been the most important factors in shaping the sound of Lilith To Kill? Has there been any one band that has meant more to you guys than any other?
-For us the sound is very important, like an identity, nothing is done randomly, we try to stay true at our convictions and do what we like!

How do you go about creating something that hasn’t been heard of before? How do you write a song that hasn’t been written already?
-We don’t think about that when we write music, it’s something natural, we just want to sound like Lilith To Kill, it’s our only goal

What future do Lilith To Kill have?
-We are looking for a good label, we write our future album and play more and more on stage!

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