HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Hey. Right now in Norway visiting some friends but still somehow doing promo for the new album! Strange. Not really. “THE GATHERNIG WILDERNISS” IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? Thanks. Well right now everything seems to be very positive for the band, we are reaching another level with a new label and so many other things. There were hard times making this album but we came through the other side so that’s what counts in the end… IT IS SAID THAT 2003 WAS A YEAR FILLED WITH COURT ISSUES. DID YOU HAVE PROBLEMS TO GET OUT OF THE FORMER HAMMERHEART/ NOW KARMAGEDDON CONTRACT OR WHAT WAS IT ALL ABOUT? To be honest man I can’t really talk about it, all that matters is in the end we got out of the contract and moved to Metal Blade. And right now everything is working much better…that’s all I can say really. NOW YOU ARE ON THE “FAMOUS” METAL BLADE ROSTER, IS IT SOMEHOW LIKE BEING REBORN? LIKE NOW YOU HAVE ALL THE POSSIBILITIES TO GET THROUGH? I guess it is. Definitely it does feel like a new and very great chapter in the bands long history. So far I have no complaints for once. It’s taken a long time but you know its almost like testament to our willpower you know, and the fact if you don’t give in and keep pushing for your ideals you can overcome all the shit that gets thrown at you. HOW DID YOU GET IN CONTACT WITH METAL BLADE? I knew Gerrit from SACRED STEEL for a few years, he’s a good friend of mine and he works there and slowly but surely I got to know some more people and when we were free it was my first choice of label to ask and thankfully they were interested in us. “THE GATHERING WILDERNESS” HAS BEEN PRODUCED BY BILLY ANDERSON, A KNOWN EXPERT. BUT IF I MAY SAY THIS, IT SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT WEAK AND UNCLEAN. THIS LEADS TO A CERTAIN ATHMOSPHERE, I ADMIT, BUT IS THE RESULT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED? Weak? I don’t think so. It just sounds like a real band sounds. If you stood in our rehearsal room that is more like what we sound like. I’m sick of all the plastic, safe and computerised productions these days so we went the other way. Raw and uncompromising. We wanted something dark and filthy sounding. THE ARTWORK OF YOUR ALBUM IS VERY STRONG. IN MY OPINION IT PERFECTLY ILLUSTRATES THE MOOD OF THE SONGS AND YOUR LOVE FOR NATURE. HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR HOMECOUNTRY FOR CREATING YOUR STYLE OF METAL MUSIC? DO YOU PERSONALLY OFTEN GATHER IN THE WILDERNESS? Haha, Ireland and being from Ireland and our connection to it is really what inspires us or at least what inspired is when we began to marry our culture with our music years ago. This time round I wanted a photograph and something simple bleak and grim. Again in contrast to all the horrible photoshopped garish covers around today. The wilderness will gather us all in my friend. COULD YOU EXPLAIN THE LYRICAL CONCEPT IN DETAIL? You’ve got to be more specific man. There are tons of meanings, inspirations and concepts in the lyrics I’ve written over all the albums. I just open myself up to everything and when I have to write I have to write. This album has a more desperate bleak vision, feelings of alienation etc. THE TRACKS ARE GENERALLY ON A HIGH QUALITY LEVEL BUT “THE COFFIN SHIPS” STANDS OUT WITH ITS MOODY CALM PARTS. COUD YOU TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT THE CREATION OF THIS SPECIAL SONG? Yeah it’s kinda like the emotional high point of the album. It was composed like every other song was on the album so nothing new there. Basically we had wanted to write something about the great Irish famine between 1845 and 1849 where 3 and half million people died and emigrated for many years. So we finally did. YOU MADE A BONUS DVD WHICH UNFORTUNATELY WAS BEYOND MY REACH. WILL YOU TELL US WHAT WE CAN EXPECT TO SEE? It’s a 20 min documentary about the making of the album. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT IRISH METAL SCENE? ANY INTERESTING NEW INFLUENCES OR UNDERGROUND BANDS WHICH HAVE TO BE DISCOVERED? ARE YOU CONNECTED WITH THE LIKES OF CRUACHAN OR WAYLANDER? Yeah all these bands are our friends and have been for many years. The scene is small and close knit. If you want to check it out go to www.metalireland.com “GLOBALIZATION” IS A KEYWORD NOWADWAYS, ESPECIALLY IN EUROPE. ARE YOU AFRAID OF LOSING IRISH TRADITION AND IDENTY? DO YOU OPPOSE IN SOME PERSONAL WAY? Totally and absolutely! The real enemy for all of us whether you are on the right or left is globalisation, brand marketing and multinational corporisation. These things are stripping of our identity and also keeping the richer and poorer European states in constant struggle. Yet civil unrest is growing and hopefully the populace will rise up and let our governments and the multinationals know that they cannot keep rewriting our history to suit their concept of democracy or selling our culture. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? WHICH MOVIES AND BOOKS (MAYBE ABOUT ANCIENT HISTORY OR PAGAN NATURE) WOULD YOU RECOMMEND? I have tons of interests. It’s hard to say man there are tons of books out there about all the things I talked about in the last answer. I’m more of a political then a spiritual person to be honest in 2005. Be aware, beware, war…. WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU LIVE IN GERMANY AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? WILL YOU PLAY ANY OF THE LARGE FESTIVALS 2005? Hope so and surely we will be in Germany in 2005. It has to happen… 2000 I SAW YOU AT THE INFAMOUS WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN IN LEIPZIG WHICH BROKE DOWN FINANCIALLY AT THE SAME WEEKEND. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER OF THAT GIG AND DID YOU EVER GET PAID FOR IT? Haha I don’t think we were ever meant to get paid? I can’t remember. I’m just glad we got to play the day before it broke down. It was cool from what I remember. CODE 666 RELEASED YOUR “OTHER BAND” VOID OF SILENCE. WHICH FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS CAN YOU EXPRESS WITH “VOS” WHICH YOU CANNOT IN PRIMORDIAL? IS MUSIC SUCH A STRONG OBSESSION FOR YOU THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO CREATE, TO ARRANGE? Well it’s not my band, its kinda misleading on the website. I joined the band. Basically if you haven’t heard it get it. It might just be one of the darkest albums you will ever hear that for sure… And yes I’m always trying to do something creative. FINALLY ANY LAST – WILD – WORDS TO OUR READERS? I’m a wild child Come and love me… See u all soon THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STRONG EFFORT.