INTERVIEW WITH Keith Fay! (italian
by Giancarlo Bolther
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!!
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
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
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
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
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'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
Yes, we have small european tour lined up for after the summer
and a proper tour is being arranged in 2005.
Reviews (in italian): Folk-Lore; Tuatha
Na Gael; Pagan; The