Rock Impressions

CRUACHAN INTERVIEW WITH Keith Fay! (italian version)
by Giancarlo Bolther

We had our last interview after Folk-Lore, since then a lot of things were happened, would you like to tell us about your line-up changes?
Yes a lot of annoting things happened. It has been in the media what happened with my brother John, he left, came back and left again just after Pagan was recorded. His reasons are personal and to do with his private life, there was no fights or falling out or anything. We have a new member more or less in the band now called John Ryan, this is the first time I have mentioned this is an interview so it is a bit of an exclusive!!

And how are you changed as persons (if something is changed)?
We are always changing aren't we? John Clohessy has had a daughter called Lana and will be getting married to his sweetheart Tracy in August, I broke up with my girlfriend of 5 years and had to move back in with my Mum and Dad, I am currently looking to purchase a house of my own, Joe bought a farm and raises cattle and chickens and Karen has aged considerably.

In my opinion Pagan is heavier in comparison to Folk-Lore, it may be put in the middle between your first album and the third, is that true?
We think it is the natural step after Pagan.

Why have you felt to play heavier?
We never intentionally plan to be heavier or have a certain style in certain songs, we just do what we want. Also, we have always had harder more extreme songs, even on The Middle Kingdom we had aggressive black metal parts but due to problems in recording etc. we had to drop these songs and use the parts on later albums.

Which are the responses that you are experiencing to your new album?
So far so good. We have had fantastic reviews so far, many people have said it is our best album yet, although we have also had a lot of reviewers mention the poor sound quality which is something that we are very aware of and will not repeat on our next album.

Can you tell us more about the new songs?
a.. "Michael Collins" - A song about an Irish hero who helped our country regain its independence. The music is very typical Cruachan, heavy and rocking!!
b.. "Pagan" - A scathing look at the catholic church, musically it sounds very black metal with a mellow foilk part thrown in for good measure.
c.. "The Gael" - This song is a continuation of the track from folklore called "death of a gael", it starts verl mellow with very soothing vocals from Karen, then the violin plays on its own for a while then the metal guitars join in.
d.. "Ard ri na hEireann" - The story of Brian Boru, the viking slayer. This is a very rocking track!
e.. "March to Cluain Tairbh" - A very medieval sounding instrumental.
f.. "Viking Slayer" - A fairly heavy sounding song about a battle were vikings are torn to shreds.
g.. "1014 A.D." - An instrumental.
h.. "Some Say the Devil Is Dead" - On every album we do an Irish ballad and this is Pagan's one. It is a lively folk tune.
i.. "1000 Years" - This song is about the last 1000 years of Irelands history. The music is upbeat and fast.
j.. "Lament for the Wild Geese" - An Uilleann pipe slow air.
k.. "Erinsong" - A very old Cruachan song. It sounds dreamy and distant. The lyrics deal with invoking the land of Ireland.
l.. "Summoning of the Sidhe" - A very ethnic sounding instrumental.
m.. "The Fall of Gondolin" - A very old song re-done for Pagan. It is about a story from JRR Tolkiens "The Silmarillion".

And about the making of the new album?
The whole recording process was a f**king disaster, the studio was really poor. Even the guitar sound caused so much hassle, we just could not get a decent guitar sound. I spent one whole day going back and forth from a music shop trying different distortion pedals and stuff, in the end I had to go out and buy a bloody marshall amp to get a half way decent sound. Then we found out the producer was just no where near the quality of producers that we have worked with in the past. He would settle for badly played music, he would not notice if guitars were out of tune or anything, it was a nightmare from day one to the end.

Through the years Folk Metal became a specific music style, how is the scene today?
To be honest I dont really follow the folk metal scene too much, I like the few bands that I like and I am happy with that, I know that may come across as lazy or whatever but thats just the way I am.

I've read that you have had some problems with Gathering, can you tell me more about, please?
Yes, I dont know wether the band themselves were to blame or their tour manger but we were very p*ssed off with the gig. They were playing here in Dublin last year and we were the support for them, they arrived late or something but still insisted that they have to take 5 hours for their sound check and would not cut their sound check at all. In the end they took so long that we could not play at all in the end and a lot of Cruachan fans had paid the full price of a gathering ticket to see Cruachan and could not see us play.

I've visited your country about six or seven years ago, but it seems to me that your country is changed in the meanwhile, which are the main changes in your opinion?
I suppose because our economy has gotten stronger over the years the country has had a lot of development going on, house prices are through the roof at the moment.

Some of your songs are about Tolkien's Tales, what do you like about this artists?
We are all big fans of Tolikens work. I cant even remember the first time I read Lord of the Rings but needless to say it was a long time ago. The first band that I formed was an homage to Tolkien, we were called Minas Tirith and our songs were about Tolkien only.

In your opinion why Tolkien is still so influent over the artists of today?
I suppose it is due to the theme of his book being typical Heavy Metal really, Tolkien was Metal fan but did not realise it haha. The characters in his book range from heroic warriors to dark, evil
spiritis, that is as heavy metal as it gets really isnt it.

Have you seen the trilogy of Peter Jackson? Did you like it?
Yes, I thought they were fantastic films, in fact I would say they are my favourite films of all time at the moment.

In our last interview we speaked about the song "Bloody Sunday", after that it was realized the movie (i saw it and i believe that it is a good film), does it was changed something since then in the public opinion about these facts?
In Ireland it has not because it did not need to but worldwide it may have opened up peoples eyes to waht happened, and in England aswell a lot of people were stunned when they seen the film when it aired on BBC because it was kept from the news a lot over the years, it was almost a
taboo subject in England.

Are you planning a tour to support Pagan, will you come in Italy?
Yes, we have small european tour lined up for after the summer and a proper tour is being arranged in 2005.


Interviews: 2002

Reviews (in italian): Folk-Lore; Tuatha Na Gael; Pagan; The Morrigans' Call

Live reportage

Web Site


Back to the Interviews' List

| Home | Articoli | Recensioni | Interviste | News | Links | Rock Not Roll | Live | FTC | MySpace | Born Again |