Friday, 24 April 2015

INTERVIEW: Celtachor


Irish blackened folk metalers Celtachor have today released their second album: Nuada Of The Silver Arm. Recorded in Sept/Oct 2014 at Sun Studios in Dublin with Ola Ersfjord and mastered by Chris Common, it will be their first release on German label Trollzorn.

Ahead of the release, the band took some time to talk to Femetalism about the band and the new album and we are pleased to present this today along with the album release.

Can you introduce us to Celtachor and tell us a little about each member?

Daithi: Hi Im Daithi I play guitar in Celtachor and I started this band with Steve a long long time ago.

Fionn: We are ‘modern-day’ bards of sorts, delivering the tales of Irish Mythology through a blend of Black, Doom, and Folk Metal influences. I play Guitar in the band I’m a final year student of Music and Sound Engineering.

Anais: We are a darkened folk metal band from Dublin, I am the drummer.

Steve: I am the singer and whistle player in the band.

Where did the name Celtachor come from?

Steve: The name Celtachor came from a amalgamation of Celt a version of keltoi which was a name given to that culture by the romans and chor the irish for “all” . A sort of all of the celt but mainly taking inspiration from Irish Mythological sagas.

How would you describe your sound?  What makes you stand out as a band?

Daithi: We have a lot of elements in our music, It comes from each of us having different styles of playing and influence. I think as a collective we work really well together in that we are open to a lot of ideas from each other and that we actively looking to play and write music. Celtachor is not defined by one sound, we dont write songs in any sort of usual format we play and construct them as an extension of the overall stories we are conveying.

Fionn: It’s definitely ‘Irish’ in nature, style and approach, people often say they can hear a similar sound through bands like Primordial or Mael Mordha, or Waylander and Cruachan, we are probably an extension of this. What makes us stand out from other ‘Folk Metal’ bands is our much darker, less whimsical or ‘party-drinking’/hero type sounds that many Folk metal bands do. As Daithi says, there is a wide array of influences between members and we all bring something to the table.

Anais: It is always hard to describe our style exactly, as we don’t really care about fitting in a genre. We are black, doom, folk… The only thing that matters to us is to create the right music to tell Irish Mythology in a beautiful and dark way. I think what makes us different is our sound, I believe we have our own stamp. Also I don’t know of any other bands who has the same strict concept than us, many bands did cover parts of Irish mythology of course, but I think we are the only one who wants to stick to it 100%.

Steve: What makes us stand out is that we are the only band to cover in detail the full Irish Mythological Sagas. This will be the way of things for many many years to come, some exciting material ahead and a treasure trove of stories to be retold. It is hard to tag us generally maybe Irish Mythology Metal would suit us better, but most call us blackened folk.

What have been your major influences or styles?

Daithi: This is kind of weird because Im know for been more of a thrash/eighty metal influenced player, I like doom, stoner rock, modern blues and zztop so it get a little lost when a good part of Celtachor's music has a black metal edge to it. I guess for myself that when we where constructing the bands first demos that I felt it needed to have a darker feel to our music yet my thrash roots come through as well.

Fionn: I can’t speak to much for the others personal influences, but we had a general awareness that this album had to be darker, nastier, and have a sharp edge to it that perhaps wasn’t present in ’Nine Waves…’. For me, I’m more into atmospheric bands like Drudkh, Paysage D’Hiver and I guess Bathory too, there’s many more I’m not mentioning here. As far as Metal goes, I enjoy the freedom, ambience and overall moods provoked by BM. More and more however, I’m getting into Electric, Minimalist and Ambient works, Boards of Canada and artists like Brian Eno or Robert Rich have been my ‘go-to’ music lately.

Anais: The five of us are quite different in our influences, I am into classical music as much as I am into black metal or folk. I am constantly listening to the rhythm, whatever the music, and I try to come up with original drumbeats and compositions. For example, I love Eric Moore (Infectious Groove) as a drummer, I also listen a lot to the likes of Watain, Primordial or Immortal for there incredible tribal drumming or angry blasts, or also Dead Can Dance for their amazing acoustic percussions.

Steve: Black/ Ambient Metal, Classical, Skyforger,Cruachan, Jethro Tull, Absu, and a whole host of others. We all take our influences and add them into the mixing pot of creativity, what comes out from that is our material.

You new album is released today.  Can you tell us about the release?

Daithi: With our previous album “Nine Waves From The Shore” we had worked for a few months gelling our band together and writing new material so a lot of the riffs and ideas dominated that time when Fionn joined but I do feel a he did get to make a big mark on that album. On “Nuada Of The Silver Arm” Fionns ideas are more dominate. It is in no way a race to see who comes up with the best ideas but Fionn really got to express his ideas this time and we created a storming body of music.

Fionn: I probably contributed a lot of riffs, ambience’s and moods to this album that maybe weren’t so evident on ’Nine Waves…’, like Daithi says, there’s no contest to see who can write more riffs, it’s just the way it happened on this album. I think it works though, the concept this time was much darker, the story of Nuada is a quite tragic, and we explain in the lyrics his struggle for the Kingship and eventual descent. Stiofan as always presented us with the concept and we worked from there. The artwork was done by our talented Anais and, and passionately portrays the forging of the Silver Arm.

This album is the first to be released on Trollzorn Records.  How different was this for the band compared to self releasing?

Daithi: I really has been a huge and brilliant experience with Trollzorn. We self promoted and distributed our last album and any artist will tell you its one of the hardest things to do. Our label is hugely supportive of us and its brilliant to have the feed back from review to let you know “hey man you guys are doing it”

Fionn: As Daithi says, it’s been great. Trollzorn are really great guys and they are really supporting us with this album, we have all this extra help with printing, promoting, distribution. It’s fantastic to be involved with a label who is as passionate about this type of music as we are!

Anais: It’s the first time we are signed to a label, even individually as musicians, and we really got lucky. Those guys have contracts with Menhir, Obscurity, Nothgard, and even Cruachan now, it is already an immense honour to work with them… We are really impressed by all the work they get done. They even got us to play in Germany at Darktroll festival!

How do you feel your music has developed since the release of your 2012 album, Nine Waves from the Shore?

Daithi: Again with the addition of Fionn to the band with his writing and playing ability’s and having a solid Bassist in Oliver, he also contributing It has really boosted the development and musical ideas we have. As musicians we always strive to push on an learn more, we enjoy playing these songs we feel connected to them. Not that we don’t have the same connection with older songs but you can feel the progression of our ability’s on the new album

Fionn: Yep, we’ve all grown and taken on more influences, as said earlier, this story was much darker, and we needed to express that in the music. We approached the whole ordeal in a much more professional manner this time, we learned a lot from ’Nine Waves…’ and there were plenty of mistakes that we didn’t want to make again! Overall, we were better prepared in all aspects.
Anais: I just want to add that I think each of us is a better musician since Nine Waves, we have been pushed a lot by our love for this music, and we got stronger together.

There is some great music coming out of Ireland at the moment - what is your experience of the metal scene there?

Daithi: Its very vibrant, there are massively talented bands that people will hear in time.

Fionn: It’s really growing, there are a wealth of bands from all over the country. It’s encouraging to see really. We’ve always had great fun playing at home in Ireland, the scene is so small that there’s always somebody you know around and conversation flows easily.

Anais: It seems like every single metalhead in Ireland has at least one band. This country loves its metal, and does it good. Check out Malthusian, they are amazing!

Steve: Yep its a small but strong scene check out Into the Void /Sarlaac/ Invictus Records, and to find out more about more of the bands we have go to metalireland.com! Great source! Check out  Mael Mordha, Corr Mhona, Eternal Helcaraxe and Thy Worshiper!

Do you have plans to tour this year?  Is so, where are you heading?

Anais: For financial reasons touring is very hard for us, we live on an island and flying us to Europe is really expensive. We did get offers, but we would have have to spend thousands to honour 90% them. We are however playing in Arnhem with our friends of Heidevolk, on May 2nd, and we are really looking forward to it! Last year we played in France and in Germany, we did a good few gigs in UK too… Gigging is our passion and we give it all we have! We will try our best to get out there again, it will cost us but we will come to our fans! We would need them to tell their local promoters that they want us. Please contact us at celtachorbooking@hotmail.com if you want to arrange a gig with us!

What else is coming up for Celtachor in 2015 and beyond?

Fionn: We’ll begin writing for the next album undoubtedly, I think number 3 will be the difficult one for us this time!

Anais: Do you think so Fionn? Haha! I am actually really looking forward to it, we already have the next album’s concept and the guys have already started to write new riffs…

Steve:  We plan to gig as much as humanly possible! Thanks for the interview Emma! Slainte agus Tainte!

Massive thanks to Celtachor for taking the time to talk to us here at Femetalism and we look forward to seeing you play live in the UK maybe one day soon!

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Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.