– Hello Arkadius, thanks for answering to this interview. Just after releasing your new «Book of Dowth» and finishing your mini-tour with EQUILIBRIUM; what’s SUIDAKRA currently up to?
Right after the release we wil hit the road to play an european tour with Onslaught and to promote the new album. After this tour we will play a lot of single shows and summer festivals before we play a russian/ukraine & USA tour for the second half of 2011. Beside the touring I will start writing some new riffs and take care of re-release some older SuidAkrA albums.
– To start with your new album, how has been its feedback so far?
Oh it’s incredible. We got really good press feedback. It’s always great to read after releasing 9 albums before that we still suprise the people. We also pre-released 3 new tracks on our facebook page and the fans also like the new material… We are more than happy with the feeddback so far.
– Where does it’s name come from? Please, explain us a bit the mythological story behind the Dowth excavations.
Dowth is an ancient celtic grave where the book, which captured the evil essence of the ancient creatures called fomorians was buried. Because of this the ancient celtic tribes called that grave “Dowth” which means “Darkness”. The book and also the grave is the main part of the story so that’s why we called the album “Book Of Dowth”.
– And how have you documented about this subject?
Kris Verwimp our Cover artist who created this story is really into the celtic mythology. He read a lot of celtic books & combined the celtic mathology with a real fantasy story. The whole concept is a mixture of this both aspects, which is much harder to write than only telling a story that is beeing told before.
– It’s obvioud Irish Folk it’s quite important in your music, is it so in your lyrics? How much interested are you in Celtic/Irish mythology?
When we first introduced celtic influence into our music we thought it would be great to deal with celtic mythology in the lyrics as well. That was the time where we began to grow our interest in this direction. We love to use this special mythology because the Celts were settaled in the whole europe so there are so many different stories and legands.
– Was easy to explain the history with your songs? How have you done it?
It was much harder for us than on the previous record “Crógacht” because on “Crógacht there is one heroic story which beginns with the first song and the story ends with the last one all in one time period. On “Book Of Dowth” the story is much more complex. At the beginning the story starts in the near future than we jump into the cletic mythology in the past, before we return to the near future and at the end the story tale place 4 billion years in the future. Beside this there were so many different musically moods to create. But at the end it was a great challange and we are really satesfied with the endresult.
– And in a general view, how do you work in your compositions?
First of all we dicide the whole story into chapters, so we knew from the start how many songs the album will have and the theme of every single songs. It’s much easier to work that way for us to make the whole album sound authentic because we want to make sure that every sond fits 100% to the lyrics. After doing this I start to write the first riffs on the guitar before we work on the new ideas as a band in the rehearsal room. It’s kind like writings a soundtrack for a movie for me.
– I could say this new album follows a similar pattern to «Crógacht» but, what can we expect to hear new in this release?
Yeah it was the second time we worked in the same process but we always want to create some new thing because we don’t want to copy ourselfs. This time we worked hard on making the whole album sound more powerful and a bit darker. Beside the Bagpipes which we used on the previous records we also introduced instruments like the mandolin for the first time. I also worked more with keyboards arrangements to make it sound a bit more bombastic and dark at the same time.
– I think it’s a pretty good balance between all your elements from all your different albums, an example of it could be «Dowth 2059″…
Oh yeah I agree totally with that. Of course we use all the experience we’ve made in the past as musicians and songwriters. We always try to get better and also in my opinion “Book Of Dowth” capture all the strengh of the typical SuidAkrA sound, a very well ballanced album.
– Anyway, each album you release has it’s own identity. Could you say your music is, somehow, a constant challenge?
It is a challange indeed especially when we’ve already release nine albums beofre. It’s really importnat for us that every SuidAKrA album has it’s own character. Every time we write the songs for a new album we don’t look back what we’ve done so far and it’s like every album we write is the first one. It’s really helpful to make sure that we create something new and fresh without doing the same stuff we’ve done on the previous album. I know that some SuidAKrA fans would like to hear for example “The Arcanum” Part 2 but that will never happen. There is no reason for us to repeat ourselfs.
– We can find female voices in «Biróg’s Oath», what can you tell us a bit it? The artist, how did you come up with the idea, what has she brought to the track…
It was the forth time we’ve worked with Tina Stabel the female singer. I have to admit that I’m usually not a a big fan of female voices in the metal because for me 90% of them sound the same, like a copy of Nightwish hahaha. But I really love Tinas’s voice because it’s different. It fits so good into our sound. And she’s a real proffesional singer and always try to make it better. These are the reasons why we always plan one song for each SuidAkrA album, that is beeing told from the view of a female person to add her voice. There is no doubt for us that we will continue working together.
– And the same with Matthias Zimmer, since he has cooperated with his voices…
Compared to Tina it was the first time we worked with Mathias. We know him for years because he is the singer of the Band Perzonal War and our producer Martin Buchwalter is the drummer. We looked for someone knew how’s diong backvocals on the tracks, we asked Martin, he asked Mathias and we agreed. We are very happy to have his voice on our new album because I like it a lot.
– We found a bagpipe and even a mandolin. Who played them and why did you choose those instruments for the release?
The bagpipes were played by Axel Römer, the piper we work with since 2005. It was sure that we will work with him again on this record. He is really into a lot of folk music and brings a fresh wind into our sound. I played the mandolin because it fits so well to the song “Stone Of The Seven Suns”. I always want to try thing and new instruments. On “Crógacht” for example I played a banjo and this time a mandolin. The cool thing about it is that I also will play this mandolin live on stage.
– This makes a final result where Folk instruments have a bigger role than in previous works. Could we say is this a new approach?
What was your focus before or while creating «Book of Dowth»?
I wouldn’t say it is a new approach for us because we used all this folk instrumens also on the last 2 previous album but the way we introduced them into the songwriting is new. New is the way we introduced them into the whole sound. On the other albums we finished the whole songwriting before we add these instruments to the final result. This time we planed them right during the songswriting. We’ve met Axel to write the Intro “Over The Nine Waves” insted sending him the finished song.
– Production sounds, as usually, great, clear and powerful. If’ I’m not wrong, you have workd once again with Martin Buchwalter, so I guess he really knows what you ant to achieve with the production…
Oh yes. Martin became a very good friend of us and in my opinion he knows our music better than anyone else. So this time we sent him a few pre-recordings right before we even entered the studio, to make sure that he knows the new material before the recordings. Martin also have really good ideas and there are some many new things that are created in the studio. We all like experiments and the real songwriting is finished when we leave the studio. And in my opinion Martin did again a great job.
– During your career you have worked with different labels, even you were some years ago with Century Media. How was that period? I guess some big labels as such can’t promote all the bands in the same way…
To be honest we experienced a lot of shit in this buisness in the past. Even with Century Media. We were so happy to get singned with them and tought that it would be helpful for our career to make a big step forward. But nothing happened. Comparing to bigger bands like Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil etc we were just a small number on this label and didn’t get the support we should get to. I can tell you we were disappoited and happy when our ways splited and we could look for a new label, that stand much more behind SuidAkrA and it’s music.
– And how’s going with AFM thus far?
Until now I have a real good feeling. This is the first cooperation with them and I can’t tell you a final opinion because we work for such a short time now. But the things they have done so far for us are great. AFM really like the new album and they try everything to promote this record. This is the first time I can tell you that we have the feeling of having a real good label.
– You’re pioneers into this music style, let’s say in the mix between Folk or Celtic music and Metal. How do you see the evolution of the genre has been? It seems there’s now a big hype for this kind of mixtures.
Oh yes there was a big hype of Pagan Metal in the last few years although I have the feeling that it’s fading ways right now. To be honest I wasn’t really interested in this Pagan Scene Hype, because it’s like every trend for me. There are a few bands that stand out and are really good and 1000s of band that are boring because they all sound the same and start copy the bigger ones. We as a band realized that trend but it had ever an effect on SuidAkrA.
– You toured just a few weeks ago Spain with EQUILIBRIUM. How was that tour like? Any nice memories from Spain?
We always have nice memories from all our spanish tour. I have to admit that we love to play in spain. The spanish fans are so into the metal that you really can feel the passion during the show. I’m sure that wasn`t our last spanish tour and I can’t wait to get my ass back to spain. Equilibrium are good friends of us since years and we played a lot of festivals together but never a tour and this time we could finally beein on tour in spain together. It was a real fun and we all wanna repeat tha as soon as possible.
– And you will really soon start an Europea tour with ONSLAUGHT and DEBAUCHERY. What do you expect from it?
A great time on the road hahaha. I love beeing on tour and spent a great time, no matter if the shows are sold out or not. I enjoy talking to the fans before and after the show. There’s nothing better than playing a show everyday! We never played with Onslaught and I’m really excited to share the stage with the guys.
– And finally, beside touring plans, what can we expect from SUIDAKRA in a near-future? Do you already have plans for an upcoming album?
I talked to Kirs these days about a few ideas of a new concept album. But first of all we will enjoy the time on the road and play the new material live as often as we can. Of course I will write riffs on my guitar but I don’t think that we will start a new songwriting this year. Maybe at the beginnig of 2012.
– That’s all, Arkadius, thank you once more for your time. If you now want to add any last words, take the last lines.
Thank you a lot for this interview. I want to say thanx to everyone who supports SuidAkrA! Chack out the new album “Book Of Dowth” and I hope to meet you all on a SuidAkrA show! METAL \m/