– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with AGALLOCH?
John Haughm: We are getting ready to tour the midwest/east coast USA.
– You are about to unleash your new album, entitled «The Serpent & the Sphere». What are your expectations on this opus?
JH: I expect it will be as divisive as our other albums.
– Since 2002 you are a releasing a new album each 4 years, is this just coincidence? Will we have to wait that much until your next opus comes out?
JH: Time doesn’t matter to us. We release albums when they are finished. The four year plan seems to work well with our impossible personal schedules. Yeah, it is likely you’ll have to wait another four years for another album. Maybe longer…
– Do you think this is the necessary gap of time to create albums as yours? With such a unique and diverse nature.
JH: Again, we don’t care about time and we don’t work by schedules or deadlines. Labels have tried to inflict deadlines on us and every time they’ve had to fuck off because we refuse to compromise. Our records are done when they are done!
– Digging depper into your new «The Serpent & the Sphere»; what do some of its lyrics deal with? Or what were some of the main inspirations for them? Your lyrics also feel quite personal and I think people can interpret them their own way so, is this something you strive for with them?
JH: I hate discussing my lyrics. They are very personal and I feel that people should take what they will from them. More often than not their interpretation is totally wrong, but that’s fine…
– As I said, lyrics feel quite personal so, what’s AGALLOCH for you? An outlet for your feelings and thoughts?
– Your sound is also really personal, it’s just impossible to tag it, as you blend nuances from different music styles so, are there any bands that you could point as the most influential ones for the AGALLOCH’s sound?
JH: If I had to name one band that has inspired me the most, I would say RUSH. However, I try to write from a pure perspective without influence from other bands. I’m more influenced by things like films/documentaries, books, musical equipment, the fact that someone close to me is dying of cancer, etc. Those things are far more influential on my creative/mental pulse.
– Your compositions are dynamic, but always really introspective and inspiring. What inspire them? With such a diverse sound, is there place for improvisation?
JH: We improvise live sometimes. More often than not it comes and goes with the mood…or making up for a mistake.
– In fact, once more, on this opus you have experimented a lot, for instance you used an electric saw. What could you comment on this?
JH: It is a saw with a guitar pickup that is played with a bow. It seemed like a good idea at the time to use it.
– All your albums are different and one of a kind, even songs on each albums are different, but they seem like they are part of a «whole». For instance on this new «The Serpent & the Sphere» it feels like everything works together despite the different nature of the songs on it. How easy is to keep this correlation when all your tracks have such a strong individual identity?
JH: We don’t like to paint ourselves into a corner compositionally. There are no rules to the way we work, but there must be a red thread and a theme. I look at our albums as variations on a theme or atmosphere.
– As I said earlier, is impossible to pigeonhole your music so, where are the musical limits of AGALLOCH?
JH: We won’t be making a disco record if that’s what you are asking. We have a foundation that has remained the same since 1996. We simply add to that foundation with new creative ideas and natural influences. The foundation keeps us grounded, however.
– All this about «The Serpent & the Sphere» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
JH: How can I reduce such a complex and personal album into 3 words?? If it can be described as such then it must not be a very good album, right?
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
JH: To tour the US, maybe Japan/Australia and then Europe. Beyond that is a dark, mysterious void.