Celtachor

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Summon: How did the band get started?

Anais: The band started with Stephen and Daithi in 2007, they had this project of a black/doom/folk metal band telling Irish mythology, enhancing its dark side. They released two demos with live members. I joined them on drums in 2010, then Fionn joined as second guitarist the following year, and finally Oliver replaced Emile on bass in 2013. We released our first album in 2012, Nine Waves From The Shore, we self recorded and released it. It got the attention of the German label Trollzorn, and we signed a two albums contract with them. Our second album, Nuada of the Silver Arm, is our first album with Trollzorn, and this time we recorded it in a real studio with an excellent sound engineer.

 

Summon: What kind of music do you play?

Anais: We describe it as Blackened Folk Metal. It differs from usual Folk Metal as there are no jolly jigs kind of riff, our music is more dark and ambient.

Fionn: I would describe it as Black or Dark Folk Metal, though the folk element comes more from recounting ancient mythological stories than introducing folk jigs or reels tunes. Of course we contain ‘Celtic’ elements, with the use of whistle and uilleann pipes in the new album. As an overall sound scape there’s definitely more of a connection with bands like Skyforger, Primordial and of course Bathory than your typical ‘Folk Metal’ band.

 

Summon: How has the fan response been?

David: Extremely positive, with our last album we experienced a lot of attention and worked hard for the exposure which our newly gained fans appreciated. I can safely say we worked hard for what we have and we’re ready to work even harder.

Anais: We are very pleased with the feedback we got all over the world, people seems to be interested in our music and in the Irish mythology tales. We got to play gigs in UK, Germany, France, and we are soon traveling for the first time to Netherlands to open for Heidevolk. fans from all countries contact us everyday, and it’s amazing!

Fionn: People have been really supportive, I look forward for everyone to hear the new album as it’s a massive step up from our last release, I think as an artist you are never 100% content, but this album comes very close!

 

Summon: Where did the band name come from?

Anais: The name came from two words: “Celta” being another form of the word keltoi, which the Romans named the Celtic tribes of Europe, and “Chor” being the Irish for “all”.

 

Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.

Anais: Daithi and Fionn are the guitarists, Oliver is the bassist, Stephen the vocalist and main whistle player, and I am the drummer. Fionn also plays a bit of whistle, and we all do a bit of chanting.

 

Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?

David: There are a few different answers to that question. Fionn and myself usually come up with different ideas present them to the band and see what happens. There is no set formula, we pull them apart and see what works and how they feel. If its right its right if not then it doesn’t go in.

Anais: Daithi used to write all the music until Fionn arrived, now they share the music writing. Fionn probably wrote most of the main riffs in the second album, but Daithi definitely completed his work by bringing his own groove to it. Stephen writes all the lyrics, always.

Fionn: The last album, “Nine Waves From the Shore” was practically half written when I joined the band. For this album I had a far greater contribution, writing most of the main ‘themes’ and riffs, but that’s not to say that we have any one writer who contributes the music. It just happened to work out that way on this album, and I think you can tell. I can definitely hear a darker side creeping out, it was hinted at in “Nine Waves…”, but this time you’re really getting a smack in the face! Of course Daithi has tasty riffs thrown in as-well, the two separate styles work really well together. Stiofan comes up with the overall concepts and Lyrics, and we work from there.

 

Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?

Anais: All the lyrics (and the music) are about Irish Mythology. Stephen decides of the concept, we write the music around it, then he writes the lyrics.

 

Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?

David: I don’t have an opinion on either.

Anais: I don’t know about the guys, but personally I am quite fascinated by Satanist and Occult art. I am a professional artist, and my taste for this type of art got me work into horror films and band album covers. However I don’t follow any religion.

Fionn: It’s hilarious. I find it fascinating how many people COMPLETELY miss the point, Satanism is simply believing in yourself and your own ability, nothing to do with painting your face and drawing pentagrams on churches! The Occult is definitely interesting, I’ve read the (LaVey) bible and to be honest it was just basic common sense with some wishy-washy nonsensical rituals thrown in! When I was younger I was fascinated with Ouija boards, and the idea of some sort of connection between a spirit world and the real one is interesting, unfortunately I’ve not had much time to research the matter.

Steve: Definitely have always had an interest in paganism, occultism and anything lovecraftian,I enjoy some stuff, while a lot of the material out there is total crap.

 

Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?

Anais: There are two old demos, a self released album, and the second album coming up.

 

Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?

David: There is a varied amount of influences on this album from trash to black metal and a few progressive grooves. ‘Nuada of the Silver Arm’ is a work that we have written, rehearsed and re written until it give the listener a kind of visual concept from both the musical and lyrical. I could go though each track but it’s really down to the listener to hear the stories within.

Anais: The album deals with Nuada’s life, he was the king of the Tuatha. We tell how he arrived to Ireland with his people, and battled to own the country, how he lose his arm and his kingship, and how he took it back. We also tell of his death. It’s a fascinating tale of blood and war.

Fionn: As the guys have said here, the album follows the story of Nuada and his struggle for the Kingship of Ireland. It’s a dark story with no real happy ending for anyone (horray! ), It was a great concept to write music for, there are some really dark ideas, particularly nearer the end of the album (I don’t know if we’re allowed to give track listings yet!).

 

Summon: Do you have any side projects?

Anais: Stephen has a good few of them, he is Mael Mordha new singer, he has his own side project Laochra, and him and I also have a black metal band with our guitarist David Baker, called Dirge in Extremis. Fionn has his own side project too, called Draìocht. Daithi also makes his own music on the side but i don’t think he has a name for it yet.

Fionn: I do yes, but it’s been on hiatus for a year now since this is my final year of college, hopefully I’ll have something more to comment on by the summer.

 

Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?

David: Black Sabbath, Ozzy (Jake E. Lee era), early trash and old school metal, but I do like a lot off progressive artists. I’m a groove/riff orientated player so ill work something I like until its my own and put my stamp on it.

Anais: Personally I am into bands like Opeth, Moonsorrow, Primordial, Shape of Despair… but I listen to a lot of different music styles, particularly classical music. I love Chopin, Sainte Colombe, Bach, Beethoven. And many other music styles and bands, Sigur Ros, Dead Can Dance… I shall not name them all.

Fionn: As for musical influences, Metal largely falls short for me, there is so much re-hashing and re-hashing “oh hey here’s the same old chord progression you’ve been listening to for the last 30 years, hurdy-gur!” Of course there are some stand out bands, Drudkh, Primordial, Ulver, Fen, Urfaust, I’m sure there are others I’m not listing here. Mostly I’m listening to experimental synth and minimalist music, such as Brian Eno, Robert Rich, Mùm, Lustmord, Boards of Canada etc etc.

Steve: Skyforger, Horslips, Jethro Tull, Old Traditional Irish music, Immortal, Drudkh, Summoning are some of mine.

 

Summon: Which current bands?

David: I’m in to a lot of different music, I don’t limit what I listen, Currently I’m listening to Slash, Kings of Asgard and the new Keep Of Kalessin. The really brilliant Behemoth’s ‘The Satanist’.

Anais: Recently I discovered Glaciation, amazing French band.

Fionn: Again, Brian Eno, Robert Rich, Mùm, Lustmord, Boards of Canada. Actually Paysage D’Hiver have some great ambient stuff too. I’m a big fan of Urfaust’s work, it’s never to far away, Giya Kanchelli is also an amazing composer, I’ve been listening to a lot of his work lately.

 

Summon: What is the band like when you play live?

David: It can be a really intense sometimes, Celtachor’s music has a lot of emotion to it, some songs can really pull you in so focusing on the feeling of the song while others make you feel like your in the hearth of conflict a you need to act or be doomed.

Anais: We love to play live, we really give all we have. We are constantly discussing how to make live shows better. Stephen is one of the best show man I have ever seen.

Fionn: There’s a lot of energy there that you can’t really emulate on a record, of course it’s never going to be as technically tight and perfected as a recorded track but there is a lot of raw energy and showman-ship that you can’t pick up on just listening to a track!

Steve: Intense, we try to live out the mythology with strong performance and get people immersed in the music. Live is where it is at!

 

Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?

David: Yes England, France and Germany so far, we are currently looking at other countries with the release of “Nuada of the Silver Arm” and there maybe a few audiences to break ground with later in the year.

Anais: Netherlands soon.

 

Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?

Anais: That totally depends where we play! As any starting bands we have played in front of very small crowd a few years back, but now we usually have a good crowd in front of us. I’m not very good at guessing of many people there is in a crowd though.

Fionn: Totally depends on when and where! I’m sure we’ve played shows just to Jim and his dog Ben, on the other-hand some gigs are really packed, I’m remembering when we played with Alestorm (2012?), and of course the Siege of Limerick, and most recently for me over in Germany last summer. I don’t think you can put a number on it.

 

Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?

Anais: We communicate a lot with the crowd, especially Stephen, he calls each of them to join us. The crowd is usually awesome, it depends of course but the more it goes the better it gets!

Fionn: Usually it’s great.

 

Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?

Anais: Amazing scene! Obituary, Cephalic Carnage, Morbid Angel, Agalloch, Decide… and the biggest hero of all to me: ABSU!

Fionn: I think Europe, the Slavic countries, and Scandinavia are always going to rule the BM scene. I enjoy the music of Leviathan and Xasthur, and of course you have to recognize the contribution bands like Slayer, Von and Sacrafago had on the wider BM sound. Agalloch too used to be a big one for me. But by-in-far it’s a case of simply trying to hard to be ‘trve’ or ‘kvlt’.

Steve: ABSU and The Flight Of Sleipnir are great!

 

Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?

Anais: Overseas as in the rest of the world I guess? Metal from Scandinavia usually gets most of my favorite bands I think, but we can find good bands absolutely anywhere. I don’t make a difference between US metal and the rest.

Fionn: I personally enjoy the Slavic scene, there is some absolutely phenomenal music emanating from those countries, with an honesty that hasn’t been heard in European and Scandinavian bands in the last 15/20 years or so.

Steve: Cant really tell myself as i my travel has been fairly limited apart from some time in Poland, Germany and UK. But from what i had seen the scenes were very healthy.

 

Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?

David: A young German band called Firtan are extremely good check out the album ‘Niedergang’.

Fionn: Without a doubt, Urfaust: not strictly ‘new’ but definitely the most original European BM band to surface within the last 10 years or so.

Steve: Urfaust, Angantyr, Absu, Sargeist, not into death metal at all myself.

 

Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?

David: Music is a never ending learning experience so you are constantly learning new things and new ideas come from them, We have a few ideas so we’ll work on them when we have time.

Anais: It’s kind of already started.

Fionn: I’ve already recorded down some ideas for later songs, it doesn’t really stop.

Steve: Some ideas at the moment, but just starting to get a few ideas together.

 

Summon: What does the future hold for the band??

Steve: More shows hopefully and some more fests would be the right step forward, if any promoter is reading this interview and interested in getting us for a show/fast send an email to celtachorbooking@hotmail.com

David: With the release of this new album I do hope we meet a greater audience of listeners. Our sound is unique and honest and will continue to be so.

Anais: I think our new album will open new doors to us. Whatever happens, there will be more albums and more gigs, we love to write music and play it live.

Fionn: Constantly bigger and better things hopefully, it’s all about progress, I’m personally never content with what I’ve achieved, I always want to do more, be better. I would enjoy playing some bigger festivals!

 

 

 

 

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