|Archive | Interviews | Metalnews.de - March 2010|
METALNEWS.DE, MARCH 2010
Hi there Alan and PRIMORDIAL. Your first full DVD, “All Empires Fall”, will be released shortly. How long have you already been toying with the idea for such a DVD? What should a good DVD output include in your opinion?
Hi. I don’t know to be honest, it came up before but then over the last two years I began to notice we were one of the few bands out there who didn’t have a DVD so we came up with some kind of plan. Honestly im not really into bands dvds so I’ve not seen that many but I think quality over quantity definitely. Who wants to sit through 7 discs of the same show? Not me.
Please tell us more about the ‘vintage look’ of the live footage of the show in Dublin. Is this kind of a visual continuation of your analog approach when recording “For The Nameless Dead”? What makes the footage different when compared to other DVD releases nowadays?
I guess you could say that alright. I don’t care for modernity or what most people perceive as progress. To me it usually sounds or looks soulless and machine like. I’m not interested in that at all. I watched some old classic shows from the 70s and I really liked the old technicolour and haze that seems to be over everything so we more or less took some inspiration from that and then also some modern shows but more people like Nick Cave, Portishead, that kind of thing. The footage simply has some imagination, we always try and think outside the box as we say. You can see that when you watch the show. You won’t have seen another live metal DVD exactly like this before.
Why did you pick Dublin as the concert location of the first DVD? Or was it as simple as that that an Irish band would be best portrayed when playing in front of an Irish audience in their hometown? And why did you specifically pick the Ragnarök, Hove and Graspop shows for DVD 2?
Well for a few reasons, the first being we could work with the crew here and arrange everything easily, otherwise we would have had to fly out a whole crew of people filming etc. and we just liked the idea of putting Dublin on the map metal wise. Too many bands simply throw out the free shows that are filmed at festivals as the main show. We decided to do something special. As for the bonus stuff? No huge reasons, they just looked the best!
Please tell us more about the special package that will be available for “All Empires Fall”? On the promo info it says that it includes the full Dublin show? So, will other songs be featured on those CDs?
No, you get the audio mix of the Dublin show. I think it gives an interesting perspective on some of our really old tracks from the early 90s to hear them now. Don’t forget there is also a 90 minute documentary as well about the band from the late 80s til now!
When and where did the filming for the documentary “Gods To The Godless” take place? How did it feel to have a closer look at PRIMORDIAL’s history? Is there anything you would like to change?
Aha. We were getting to that. We filmed it over a 4 week period around Dublin in difference scenarios and situations. I’m proud of the history. We never compromised and did what we wanted before anything else. Of course some things could have been done differently but we are still here when many others wouldn’t be. So for me that says it all.
What is the most memorable experience and what is the worst during all those years in the band? Maybe Paul’s burst appendix so he couldn’t play the first Button Factory show in January 2008?
Fuck that’s a difficult question. I guess most of the worst times thankfully were back around 1996 or 1997 when there really looked like we would quit. The end of the Hammerheart records years were also very frustrating. Yeah that was bad for Paul but we made up for it. Thankfully there have been way more positives then negatives.
What is your favourite PRIMORDIAL album, and why, and which is in your opinion the most important one for the band and its recognition/’success’ as such?
That is really difficult to say. They all mean different things to me but probably the last album. I think it perfectly marries a more direct stronger songwriting approach with good production and aesthetic and definitely this is the most important one if we are talking about recognition and success, To the nameless dead changed more or less everything for the band and definitely dragged us into the spotlight.
“Imrama” and “A Journey’s End” have recently been re-released, featuring bonus material. When are the other albums going to follow and what kind of bonus material will be featured on them? Do you think that this an ideal platform to make mostly younger fans aware of the fact that there is not only “The Gathering Wilderness” and “To The Nameless Dead” but several other great releases by PRIMORDIAL as well?
Yeah the next two will have more bonus material. I understand the way things are in the market you have to make the editions as interesting as possible for people but I also just wanted to make the fullest package for people and myself as well. Spirit will actually have some songs that were never released anywhere before so this is the really special one if you ask me! Of course some younger fans don’t know these albums at all and were only born when we recorded them so it’s important to have them out there and available.
Can you give us an update on the progress on the new album, please? Is there anything you can reveal yet regarding any possible concepts, ideas, the songwriting etc? Will you return to Foel Studios again? And do you feel a certain pressure due to the expectations after the huge success of “To The Nameless Dead”?
Yeah we are looking at recording in June to come out after the summer. Maybe we will return to foel also. There is pressure but so far I’m not too worried, what we have so far sounds great and full of energy. There are loads of ideas, maybe 6 or 7 even right now. Some sound complex and 70s others grim and tragic. Really too early for all the themes but right now the lyrics are varied but often return to faith and redemption.
Your [i.e. Alan’s] messages on the state of things and the world as such have become a regular feature on the PRIMORDIAL site, for example “If the state had one artery I’d gladly sever it”. How do you view the state of Ireland at the moment? Have you ever thought of collecting those messages, include some more material and maybe release it as a book or something similar?
The State of Ireland? Well if we had enough space for all my thoughts on this you wouldn’t have much else in your magazine. The country is falling apart basically, the old institutions that Irish society were built on are crumbling or have finally been revealed to the people as based on nothing but lies, croneyism and false promises. The old vision of the republic has failed and we I consider Ireland now more or less a failed state. The main political party have been revealed as the charlatans and liars they always were, the church as nothing more than a paedophile ring and the property and banking sectors an economic black hole. We are on the brink of exporting our youngest and brightest once again to the rest of the world. There is nothing here for them anymore. It’s really changed my views on nationalism lately to be honest. You’ll hear more about that on the next album. It’s crossed my mind alright to put some writings together, it’s maybe something I’ll look into in the future.
How do you view the tours and festival appearances for “To The Nameless Dead” in retrospect, especially the American Paganfest and the reaction of the fans over there but also the European Heidenfest and its billing?
Well believe me we had to think long and hard about this. We do realise to some older fans it might have seemed we were selling out to the whole pagan metal trend but I think people know we were there at the beginning of it all, before anything. We had the right to do these tours and especially in America where it was the first opportunity we had to tour there. It was also a chance to challenge some younger people with something different and also to reach new people on a bigger scale. However nothing against any of these bands but it’s generally not really my kind of music and maybe we will try something different next time but I don’t regret it for a moment.
On the DVD you broach the subject of downloading and file sharing. How much does this issue affect a band like PRIMORDIAL, especially when being on a major label for Metal music? Where do you see differences between the tape trading of the late 80’s or early 90’s and nowadays? How has the music scene changed as such – what is positive, what is negative according to your opinion?
Again another huge question! Well I think the main problem really is the how music is simply another commodity like any other for kids now. You right click and you get. Without any real appreciation for the creativity behind the sound. Strangely enough despite being on a major label and the sales dipping for many bands ours have paradoxically gone up! As if your fans are making a stand against this somehow and because of the nature of Primordial and the themes and what we stand for downloading the album for some people simply isn’t enough. For that I thank them. One very positive thing is that its opened up many 2nd and 3rd world countries to the rest of the world. In 4 clicks I can listen to a band from Peru or China now. You’ve just got to roll with the punches, it’s an uncertain world we live in!
Okay, that’s us done, Alan! Thanks yet again for your time and for the interview. Any ‘famous last words’ to our readers? – Cheers and all the best! Alex | Metalnews.de
Vae Victis. Thanks for the supportAAN
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