Interview with Ade Mulgrew
Ade, „Severance“ the second album is out now. Excited ?
Yes we are incredibly excited! It has been along road to get here, but we’re very proud of the album and excited that finally people will hear this record.
Again the new album tells tales of the Ireland history. Are this the bands main messages, you want to tell your listeners ?
That’s not true actually we don’t write about Irish history. Our lyrics are in someways linked to Irish folklore but this is more in the style of writing, the atmosphere, the aesthetic and the imagery we use. We don’t write about historical events but rather we talk about other things that we want to express and explore. For example on this album the main theme is decay.. decay of all things physical and metaphysical, the unstoppable nature of time as a force of decay and the philosophical idea of solipsism.
How was the writing process for „Severance“ ? How long does it take for writing a new song ?
The writing process for this album was completed in a rather short space of time, around 10 weeks. We had been thinking about what we wanted for the album for almost a year but we started in November 2012 and finished writing Janurary 2013, and we were still writing a little in the studio during the recording. The process was quite intense and stressful, as there was a lot of internal tension in the band. The lineup was falling apart and we found out very late that Metal Blade would not be releasing it. So there was a lot of pressure... but we managed to find inner strength and bring to life this album nonetheless.
„The Last Caress of Steel“ was an unexpected surprise when it was published. It got great feedbacks and reactions of press and fans. Do you think the new album can continue with that ?
Yes I hope so, it looks that way at the moment at least. I think we have more of our own voice and own identity on this album so it should be a little easier for people to understand what we are about. The songs are more focused, we feel the melodies and arrangements are stronger and it is a step up for us all around. Hopefully people will enjoy it.
People often compare you with Thin Lizzy. Sure, there are some related parts in the songs. But I think your influence lies wider that this, or ?
It does, Thin Lizzy are one of many influences. Usually people make this comparison because we are Irish and have a lot of guitar harmonies, and some of the playing has the same style etc. But each of us has a very wide range of influences, and I’m sure you can hear Iron Maiden, Bathory, Judas Priest, Candlemass, black metal, even Alice in Chains or something.. but we are not the sum of our influences, we are doing something unique we feel.
By the way....what does Phil Lynott means for the rock scene in your eyes ? Have you ever visited his monument in Dublin ?
He is a hero, probably the greatest ever Irish songwriter in my opinion. Often people look to stars from their own country for inspiration and certainly he continues to influence a lot of Irish kids, and indeed people from all over. The monument is just outside Bruxelles bar in Dublin which is where there are often parties after metal gigs. People from Belfast often travel to Dublin for metal gigs so yes I’ve seen it a lot..
What does the album title „Severance“ mean ? Does it mean a break of anything and how is it related to the individual songs ?
Severance is a little mysterious of course but it embodies all of the main themes on the album in a way. It is the severing of all that we know in this world.. the breaking apart of life, the tearing at the seams of reality.
For me „Blood, Sand and Stone“ is the absolute highlight of the album and it comes in the end. It unites all elements Darkest Era's music contains in one song. Is this your new signature song ?
Often it’s the fans that decide this, not the band, so we’ll have to wait and see! Sometimes it is a shame to put a very strong song at the end of the album.. originally this track was right in the middle but it just didn’t flow well enough, it broke the album up. But I like it where it is. It isn’t a very long album, and although it takes a few listens to understand I think it works well and I agree this track contains all of our elements. It is a 50/50 composition between myself and Sarah which is perhaps why it contains all elements.
What's the main difference between the new and your first album ?
It represents a growth in the band, as people and as songwriters. We do not stand still in this life, or stay the same, and this is what you hear on the album. As I mentioned the songs are more focused, a little shorter but also darker and more aggressive. It is a little more heavy metal in a way.. more guitar solos and choruses. Overall it is the most like ourselves we’ve ever sounded.
How is work shared in Darkest Era ? Who is responsible for the lyrics, who for the music ?
I wrote almost all of the lyrics on the first record but this time it is much more a collaboration between myself and Sarah. The music comes from both us at the start but when we have some firm ideas we open it to the rest of the band and jam it out, and everybody adds their parts and their thoughts on the arrangements and so on. Some songs come together a lot more easily than others, but usually there is someone with a strong vision of what should happen and we follow that for the most part.
I think some songs sound parly like your neighbours Primordial. Do you know Alan and his band and what do you think about them ?
Yes we know the Primordial guys well, and we’re a fan of the band. We’ve played with them a few times, including the show that they recorded their All Empires Fall DVD which was a special night indeed. We’ve been compared to them before but I think more on the first album.
With your songs you are painting pictures for the listeners. Are there also any plans to visualize your music (videos, projections in live shows etc.) ?
Yes we have a video for Beyond The Grey Veil out now, which we are really proud of. We have no plans for projections and so on, but I would like to another video sometime which is almost like a short film set to our music. We have some other plans for a very special live show combining film in the future but it’s something we’ll perhaps be working on at the end of the year if we have time.
As talking bout live shows.....are there some shows coming up to promote the new album ?
Yes we have a UK tour coming up in September, which is our first ever headline tour. We hope to hit Europe again in the spring.. we’ve been longing to return to Germany for quite some time in particular.
With Sarah you have a female guitarist in your band. She is also founding member. How is it working with a lady in the band ? I mean it is not usual to have a female guitar player....
It’s not usual, but it’s no different than having another guy. When we started people used to point it out to us more but these days not so much. She is a great songwriter and a great guitarist.
What is coming next ? Any future work planned yet ?
After we tour this autumn we will begin work on a follow up to Severance.. It took a while for this album to be released and we have a new lineup now so we are already looking forward to writing a new album and opening the next chapter.
Cruz del Sur have some good epic bands in their rooster. I would think your sound fits perfectly to them. So for now I think you are glad to be signed to them, or ?
Of course, they are a fanatastic label that have released some of my favourite metal from the last 10 years. We are very proud to be among such mighty company as Atlantean Kodex and Argus.
Thanx for spending some time for us....your final words finishing this interview.....
Metal Or Death!!