|Archive | Interviews | Nihil Magazine, July 2002|
When the Mcd "The Burning Season" was released (1999) you said to Grindzone mag: "We've always tried to capture different moods and atmospheres in our music". Your quest of a synthesis between epic and melancholic feelings went on with "Spirit the Earth Aflame". Is "Storm Before Calm" a new chapter of this quest or a turning point?
- It can be seen as a new chapter. All the releases are connected to each other in ways. Each one can be seen as a new Journey on the same path. The natural path of evolution for Primordial. What we try and do rather then place one riff after another is to try and encapsulate Tragedy and Might within the music. Light and shade, songwriting dynamics are very important.
The new album starts with a sonic storm, "The Heretics Age", then, fortunately, the rhythm slows down. Is the first track a sort of tribute to the black metal roots of Primordial?
- Primordial's heart has always been Black and you cannot change what is in your heart. We came from the second wave of Black Metal 88-94 so it should be of no surprise to people. We were tired of ushering in the music after a windswept 3 or 4 minute intro and decided to go for it right from the start. We will never betray our roots.
On the booklet it's written: "Storm Before Calm was recorded under duress and stress in Academy Studios". What happened during the recording session?
- Haha...many things, many problems with money etc. We went into the studio while the euro was coming into Europe and we were having big problems with the money translation from irish to euro to english sterling. A few problems with the label and time schedules and really we didnt have enough time to do everything we needed to. I dont really enjoy the studio too much actually.
I think the listeners will appreciate the guitarwork of the new songs, especially on "Fallen To Ruin" and "Sons of the Morrigan". The instrumental "Suns First Rays" remains impressed in your mind. It is a pity that it's so short, isn't it?
- Yes there is a real Thin Lizzy influence in there these days in the guitar work. We do really have a totally different guitar style to any Metal band I think, the Irish traditional influence has brought that to the band. Suns First Rays reflects in instant feeling of the land awakening...seems the perfect length for me ?.
"Cast to the Pyre" reminds me "The Light at the End of the World". Have you been inspired, for that specific song, by the british band My Dying Bride?
- no, not at all. I like My Dying Bride and they are great guys and helped us out a lot during the recording of the album. However I never would have counted them as an influence. I think we are both influenced by the same bands...i.e Celtic Frost, Candlemass, Bathory etc.
The bond between your lyrics and the rich cultural tradition of Ireland is clear. Will Primordial' strengthen the folk ingredients of its music so to create a perfect harmony between the lyrical and the musical contents?
- Sure, we try to get the harmony as close as possible. This rich, even organic feel to the music is something very important for us. We have folk influences but while many "folk" bands sound to me at least happy and jaunty Primordial is too dark for that. Too subtle and insidious. Who knows where the future will take us.
Might, passion, tragedy: all these elements represent the core of true epic in music. Think to the "Siegfried's Funeral March" by Richard Wagner (from the Götterdämerung) and to the "Hymn to Alexander Nevsky" by Sergej Prokofiev (from Alexander Nevsky op.78). Looking at the metal scene, do you find any band whose music could be said properly epic?
- Sure, we are playing Metal music, we always will be we view the compositions as a whole piece, not merely placing one riff after another...we consider the atmosphere of the piece as a whole. We are influenced and inspiried by passionate music and as you say classical music also soundtrack music can be very inspirational. Metal bands I find Epic ?....in different ways of course, but I find bands like...Manowar, Virgin Steele, Ancient Rites, Neurosis, Sacred Steel, My Dying Bride, Solitude Aeturnus, Graveland, Desaster, Destroyer 666, Nevermore, Nile, Amon Amarth etc are all Epic in different ways...I would have said the Black metal scene was Epic some years ago but nowadays none of the bands represent that anymore....
Everyone who visits Ireland gets fascinated by the landscapes, woods and castles. As an artist, how important is to you to be surrounded by such a beauty?
- I live in the city so it is even more important to reach out to that when I can. Ireland is a very inspirational place.
You surely remember the main theme from the soundtrack of Michael Mann' s "Last of the Mohicans". In the metal, do you think it would be possible to reach the same emotional intensity?
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