Who are you and what do you do in your band?
'AC here. I play guitar and am one of three vocalists in the band'.
When/where was your band formed?
'The band formed when JK and MB decided to see if they could come up with some death metal, the sort that had not been represented in Ireland. That was around 2011 or so. Myself and PG were invited to try out once they realised they had something good to work with and things fell into place quite naturally from there. It was clear that the energy and creativity among the four of us was something we needed to explore'.
Why did you choose to play Death Metal?
'There are a lot of death metal bands in Ireland but most bands here tend to lean either toward more technical or brutal forms, with a few melodic types knocking around, too. As we all tend to be more interested in the weirder, darker ends of things, be it doom, death or black metal, it was an obvious decision to try to develop something together with a focus on that side of things. That was, I suppose, the initial impetus. Once we all came together and realised we were creating music that we found genuinely exciting, ourselves, the band took on a new meaning. It became its own focus, the impetus shifted to one of pure creativity and exploration- seeking out those weird and unexplored corridors of darkness and obscurity and that remains the focus today'.
How do you compose your music? Does only one guy do everything or does everyone contribute?
'Myself and MB tend to bring the riffs to the table, either pre-written or else through spontaneous jamming. We then fuck around with them in rehearsals as a band until we feel they are something we are truly happy with. Nothing is sacred in that sense. If a riff is good but needs a bit of work we chop it up and play around with it until we're happy. If a riff isn't worthy it soon gets fucked in the bin. Ultimately, the song is all that matters so there is no point in being precious about who's riff gets axed or kept. We are hard on ourselves in that way as we see ourselves as being part of the wider death metal community and if we want to be taken seriously, have a real impact and stand out, then we need to write songs that sound both strong and identifiable as our own'.
Tell us about your lyrics, writing, inspiration etc.
'I write most of the lyrics and my ideas can come from anywhere. I read a lot and I work in archaeology which has offered some inspiration to me over the years. I'm no storyteller, I find that trying to write in a linear way to be creatively stifling and unnatural to me so my lyrics tend to be more kaleidoscopic and fragmented. I like to find the strands that draw seemingly disparate images together and give them a little twang. Usually there is some underlying focus on death/ life after death (both physical and, well, I don't necessarily like to use the term spiritual but maybe something more esoteric?), the loss of sanity- our minds can seem so fragile- and how that may be tied into religious belief or self-abuse. The physical landscape is of interest, too. I like how we look at the surface of this modern world we live in, so sanitised and clean, but if we physically dig beneath it we will find evidence of weird old spiritual practices, violence and brutality. We were looking at the idea of liminal spaces or points of transition on the new EP so that kind of underpins the whole thing. The image of the hengiform from the title was a strong visual cue that we felt tied things together nicely. A hengiform was an Iron Age structure that would have been used for ritual purposes, human and animal sacrifices, and was seen as a gateway between the physical world and the afterlife. As well as all of the above, I also enjoy playing around with word formations and I have recently made a bit of a small breakthrough in my head- one that probably seems incredibly obvious in light of what I've already said- but I plan on being a bit more playful in how I approach my writing in future. I want to break free of structure completely, maybe reverse the process a bit. Once the various ideas have been brought together why not shatter them again and reshuffle them? Allow them to create new associations with new formations. If the links are already there, and already somewhat tenuous, breaking them apart further doesn’t seem so radical to me. We'll see what happens'.
Is there an ideology behind your band?
'Lyrically, all of what I mentioned in the last question could be seen as a loose ideology. Musically our plan is to create something that sounds strong and identifiably our own. Our approach to riffing can vary from simply writing a monster, simple crusher of a riff that gets your head going to trying to capture some sort of a concept through the music. Trying to manifest the idea of being caught between two planes of existence like life and death, sanity and insanity or whatever, in musical form is a challenge. Trying to do that and then make it memorable is another challenge but that is essentially what our goal is. That is why our music tends to hinge somewhere between a more, maybe forward looking approach, and a style closer to old school death and black metal'.
How do you see the state of Death Metal music these days in your country and in general?
'The death metal scene here is active but as I said most bands seem more concerned with technicality and/or brutality than writing music that we would consider to be especially dark. Zom and Vircolac are the obvious exceptions, and we share a similar outlook to those bands. There are a few other new bands rumbling in the depths of the underground but have yet to release anything or gig but hopefully something of value will emerge in time'.
What are your long term plans as a band? What do you want to achieve?
'Our plans are to write a full length album and we expect that it will take us a good long time as we don't want to write some half-assed bullshit that will get lost in the ever-growing mire. We will play whatever gigs or tours that come our way as long as the bands are right for us, too. That is really it. It boils down to the music for us'.
Name an other Death Metal band from your country that everyone should hear.
'Venusian Death Cell'.
'Thanks a lot for the interview'.