|Archive | Interviews | Imperiumi.net Finland - May 2011|
Over twenty years have passed since
the birth of Primordial, so it's only suitable that you make an
album that deals with death and decay. But before you die, you live
and get old… What do these years mean to Primordial? Have they
brought with them (poisonous?) cynicism, safe stabilization or
Aging brings a mixture of things but i suppose in the last couple of years i went through something of a morbid phase, which is reflected in this album. i think we have evolved as people and as musicians without straying too much from the original desires and passions behind primordial. i think i was a cynic before i was in primordial so no change there. the world has changed a lot and we are living in very interesting and dark times full of turmoil and change, finding your place within that is the real test. you have ups and you have downs, for me at least trying to mould them into something creative is the question.
When a man understands and accepts his mortality, he usually doesn't have anything to prove to anyone anymore. I guess this has been the situation for Primordial for a long time, but can you recall when you left the shackles of expectations behind you? Or do you still need to prove something (at least) to yourselves with every album you make?
I don't think i understand mortality, i don't really think any of us do. accepting it is neither here nor there because it's going to arrive anyway one day. i think we do need to keep proving things and not rest on our laurels. we are our biggest critics to if things are generally ok for us they will be ok for followers of the band. maybe what has kept the band so strong is that we always have something to prove.
Aging is a double-edged sword - you can become tired and worn-out, or then you just become more aggressive with what you see and experience. How is it with Primordial? Is it getting harder to light the flame album after album, or does this flame burn all the time, brighter and brighter? And what was the situation with Redemption at the Puritan's Hand?
I think if we were locked into the cycle of endless touring and having to make albums to make a living we might have burnt out but we didn't start the band as friends, we became friends over time and we don't make a living from it so we don't actually have to really do anything.. we are ready when we are ready which gives us all some time to do things in our own lives and come back with something to say. dont forget also in my case i started in the band at 16 years old so i am only 36 with my next birthday, still plenty enough time to be connected to my aggression.
Bloodied Yet Unbowed gives you an opportunity to take a look into your past and go through some memories. But what is the general atmosphere and philosophy in Primordial (musically and ideologically): do you look into the past or into the future? You still have many historical themes and topics in your lyrics but usually they are connected to the modern world…
I have many old friends and acquaintances and just people you meet by chance who bring up this 'remember when we did that in 92' line of reminiscing. it's fine but fact is we are still out there creating memories and writing new stories. what's life without stories and experiences? we have a lot of history but there is also plenty more to come I feel. I'm comfortable with both, life is short so get living, stamp your individuality upon this world! simple philosophy!
You have always been the undisputed main character in Primordial and your thoughts have spread far and wide in interviews. But how united and solid a band is Primordial in the end? Do you gather together just for the band or do you spend time together in general? And what is that main factor that keeps you together?
Well in ways yes. maybe the frontman or whatever but often the other guys have the greater say when it comes to dealing with their songs, it's kinda like a tiered democracy with a head of state if you will o) we don't really socialise together, we live quite far away from each other but when we get together now it kinda feels like old family and we enjoy it for what it is, which is an institution in all our lives we probably could not do without in some way. then we part and go back to our other lives, it seems to work better this way. of course we bicker and fight like an old married couple sometimes because we know each other so long and so well but at the end of the day Primordial is bigger than any one of us.. also being Irish means there really isn't any rock star or diva behaviour, any one of us would be cut down to size very quickly.
How about with Redemption…, were there any musical/artistic conflicts or was the making of this album an empowering experience?
There is always conflicts. about the sound and production, about time in the studio about absenteeism about all sorts of things, some fights no doubt would break up other bands but we all try to not take it too personally. the band is the band, who you are beyond that should not be affected by that.
It is good to see that Primordial is still a band where the whole band is committed to song writing - the main credits are shared between MacUiliam, O'Floinn and MacAmlaigh. What does this three way approach bring to Primordial in your opinion - or is the common vision so strong between you band members that it isn't important who writes the songs?
It's really five ways to be honest, you will see and Primordial at the end of every song. we all throw in our ideas and come up with our own parts and work together but generally each song originates from that one person. this is what you see here. i don't think its' that important who writes the songs as long as they are strong.
Of course you've sung in other bands/projects than Primordial even before Blood Revolt, but I have to ask if the style and approach you utilized on Indoctrine in any way changed the way you approach singing and vocal arrangements - perhaps even opened your eyes to new possibilities as regards singing?
Sure in some ways. the vocals were definitely better produced than some of the primordial albums so i took some of that. listen to the gathering wilderness, cheap natty reverb, horrible. but this time i wanted more time taken with the sound and you can hear it's much better vocal wise. i also wanted more of a classic rock feel with a greater space between the instruments and the vocals and drums driving the sound a bit more, less of this dense wall of guitar. i think you always learn a few new things everytime.
And I have to ask this… When will we hear rough riffs written by Alan Nemtheanga on a Primordial album - or somewhere else?
Haha. good point. i actually can play the guitar and do write loads of riffs. i have a whole albums worth in my head or for my other band PLAGUED. maybe one day one will show up in Primordial, just doesn't seem to really work out like that. no big deal.
As I said before, you make quite clear and strong statements in Primordial interviews, but do the other band members agree with you? Of course this isn't politics and a band isn't a party where everybody has to agree with a general alignment, but still…
Some they do, some not. we have to make a division sometimes between the band and myself but the difference does become blurred sometimes. if i write a lyric with some political slant and someone asks me they are going to get my opinion and politics. this is the way it goes if you do the interviews, i think everyone understands that.
And how do you combine lyrics and songs? Some of your striking works like Coffin Ships are examples of a perfect collaboration between lyrics and music, but is it sometimes hard to find the words to match the notes?
I tend to write when i have to. when i feel moved i log something down. and then when we are in rehearsal you just try and feel your way around the atmosphere of the song and see what fits the best and slowly flesh out some ideas. it takes a while but we all know the score and when a song feels...primordial. in the case of the coffin ships i had been trying to write that song for years and years and finally found the right framework for it.
You are coming back to Finland after a fierce visit in Pellavarock 2009, and it seems that also in general you don't want to keep away from touring… But what does get you aged bastards on stage - is it the same cause that got you on stage in your early years? At Hammer Open Air you'll be sharing the stage with other veterans like Autopsy and Absu who haven't lost their touch during all these years; I guess this just gives you more energy to do the same with Primordial?
Personally i live for the travelling and touring. im not a huge fan of the studio. metal is supposed to be live. its the ultimate adrenalin rush and at least my reason for playing metal so without it i think i might leave any band. Finland has always been super cool to us so we are looking forward to getting back there and drinking with you bastards!
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