– Hello Greg, thanks for your time. What’s currently going on in the band’s camp?
Hey,no problem. At the moment I’m in the studio with Paradise Lost,recording a new album.
– First of all I would like you to tell us how did you come up with the idea of forming VALLENFYRE, how those well-known artists got together.
It started at the beginning of 2010 as a bit of catharsis after my father died at the end of 2009. Slowly throughout the year it flourished into a band.
The guys I got to do Vallenfyre with me are all old friends. It is a matter of coincidence that they are in various bands.
Scoot,Hamish and I grew up in the same town and have been friends for around 20 years. Adrian is also the drummer in Paradise Lost and Mully is my very good friend from the pub.
– And why did you pick that name for the band?
It is two words from the old English dialect. Vallen meaning strong and fyre meaning fire. I just liked how they sounded together.
– You have just released your first album, «A Fragile King». How’s going its feedback so far? Is it fulfilling your expectations?
The feedback has been great,however I have no expectations. I am doing this because I enjoy it and for no other reason.
– For all those who may be interested; how could you describe this album in just a few words?
– I read this style (Death Metal) is what makes you happy, and after your dad passes away you wanted to do something like this. But coming from a band like PARADISE LOST, is strange that you aren’t expressing your feelings with Doom Metal, as Doom Metal seems to be the perfect style for that, isn’t it?
None of this was preplanned. I just kind of fell into it. It started with me writing down how I felt as a response to what happened to my Dad.This turned into lyrics and the music came from me thinking about the past I guess. I don’t write the lyrics in Paradise Lost so this kind of became a very personal thing to me.
– You and Hamish come from British bands that have meant a lot for the Doom Metal scene, while Adrian has played in many different bands of different styles. But you guys are playing pure Death Metal that can remind us to old school Scandinavian bands. Is this maybe what you haven’t ever played but were anxious to do it?
Some of the influences for Vallenfyre are the same as very early Paradise Lost but I also included even earlier influences from my past that were even more extreme.
It’s basically a mixture of all the music I grew up with between ’84 and ’90.
– And due to this and considering your different musical backgrounds, what are your musical influences?
These influences range from Celtic Frost to Carnage,from Discharge to Death,from Terrorizer to Trouble,from Amebix to Autopsy and a lot of other stuff in between.
– We could say you are an all-star band; does this put more pressure on you? As this term uses to be a double-edge sword.
You answered your own question. I hate the all star tag. It’s not as if I got Bono and Elton John to do a grind band. We are just a bunch of mates having fun playing the music of our youth and that we still love today.
– This has been your first time singing; how has been the experience like? Do you prefer singing instead of playing guitar?
I can’t really call it singing,but yes this is my first time on vocals. I feel remarkably comfortable with it so far. It’s a new challenge,but it’s very different from my role as a guitarist. I like both.
– Lyrics on this record don’t have a concrete subject. Would you mind to tell us a bit where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to lyrical terms?
Well over 60% of the album «A Fragile King» are my thoughts,feelings and observations about what happened to my Dad. The rest of the lyrics deal with my views on religion, society and religion amongst other things. I guess I have a pretty grim outlook but I also think we have to make the best of what we have.
– You have released this album with Century Media, which I have seen is also the PARADISE LOST’s label; had this something to do with signing with them?
Yes. I mentioned to a friend of mine at Century Media that I was demoing some old school stuff and he asked to hear some. He loved it and asked me to do a record but we wanted to release an anonymous 7″ before to gauge whether anyone was going to like it amongst other things.
The guys I deal with at CM also grew up in a similar scene to me and I find it very easy to work with them.
– You have a video for «Cathedral of Dread». Would you mind to shed some light on this? I mean who did you work with, how did it was, etc.
We got a director called Matt Green to do the video. The song is about how people are led like sheep by the sinister powers behind religion.
The video is a quite literal interpretation of this with the overlord and the people being herded like cattle.
– Finally, what are your near-future plans? Do you plan touring with this band?
We are going to do some shows at the beginning of 2012 and maybe a few festivals in Europe. Hopefully we’ll get to the USA as well but we are just seeing what happens. If people want to see us then we’ll play.
– That has been everything, thanks for your time. If you now want to add some final words, feel free to do it.
If anyone reading this likes the album «A Fragile King» then annoy your local promoters until they book us for a gig. That way we can play in a town near you.