"People will have heard a few descriptions over the years... the best one we all remember though was that the music sounds a bit like “Honeycomb in a cement mixer”.
Ireland has a very good metal scene with most well known bands being the likes of Cruachan, Mael Mordha and Thin Lizzy (OK they're Hard Rock / Heavy Metal). But what about the waves succeeding them? Well you have bands like Dead Label and then there's the 16 year-old Lazarus known as Two Tales Of Woe, who this year released their single 'Order Of Lies' which dated originally back in 2011. This proved to be a nostalgia trip for the Dubliners (the city dwellers and not the band), given this news GMA decided to interrogate the group (no guinness involved, nor was Catholicism brought up; even if said drink is a form of holy water). They discussed Brexit, their new single, what there is to do in the city of Dublin and what their own genre label 'Sloom' means.
For those who have not heard of Two Tales Of Woe, could you give us a brief history of the band? What does the band name mean?
"Truthfully – Two Tales Of Woe has been 16 years of blood, sweat and tears. 16 years of our lives, that helped shape every person who has ever been in this band - past and present. The proof is in the puddin’ so its better to just get stuck into “A Conversation With Death” and work from there – you will feel what we feel in the music that we have created.
The name Two Tales Of Woe was originally intended to be a project that would be two releases – two tales.
The past few months has brought a whole new meaning to the name and it shall go on to completely redefine everything we have ever done. The last 16 years led us all through the first tale personally and we know in our hears that it has been a positive tale that our fans and listeners have enjoyed. Through all that’s been loved and lost – a new Woe has been born and it is, so far, an endless tale and the best is yet to come."
You recently released the track 'Order Of Lies' (unreleased in 2011), surely this was a nostalgia trip? How did this come about?
"Yes indeed, a nostalgia trip like no other! Ha ha! That track was written and recorded during a time that became a big turning point for the band and it was a major milestone that marked quite a significant change in the bands line up – don’t blame the f**kin’ song though, alright?! Ha ha. It was one of the last songs written as part of the original era and line up of the band, prior to Ross’s departure. Its the song both our guitarist Dan and former drummer Kelvin Doran auditioned with and its always been a song that has held importance to us all and was the beginning of our Oak of Memory era – the unreleased album which, to this day is still lying in wait for the world, especially our brother and former bassist Dave Buttner – we owe it to ourselves to get it out there because it really is something else!
Through our Woes – pun intended – we’ve all had our differences as friends and brothers, something that really did take its toll on each and every one of us, but the past is the past and our love for one another and the music we’ve all been a part of for so many years has been resurrected into something that the fans and friends of Woe, really will not be expecting at all. The reunion of friendship and brotherhood with our long time guitarist and Co-Woe creator; Lar Bowler is the reason for the decision to release the song now as it has marked something significant to all of us but especially Carl and Lar, so it means a lot to be able to share that with everyone.
Lar is still working on his own music, which we can not f**king wait to hear in the future. And any other Woes we’ve not yet unleashed – will be freed within the foreseeable future."
You released your EP 'BloodWood' last year, what was the reception like? Did you have people from outside in Ireland buy a copy?
"The reception we received from 'BloodWood' was incredibly positive as far as we are concerned – anyone we’ve shared it with over the last year has had nothing but kind words to say about it so we’re very humbled by that. It was a long time coming as we had really felt we were at a dead end for a while but we never gave up and with the return of Chris De Brabandere on bass, Ross Duffy alongside Dan Walsh on guitar and the return of the badass that is Johnny f**king Kerr on drums, it really turned into something that gave new life to the band.
We’ve met many people from all over the world over the years, who have become friends and fans of the band and we continue to make more and more connections as time goes by so we know they’re listening, no matter where they are!"
How would you describe your sound without the use of genre tagging, given you play Sludge / Doom (or as you call it, Sloom)?
"Haha, Sloom. That was just being too lazy to say Sludge and Doom hahaha. Many people will have heard a few descriptions over the years: Heavy and Slow, the way of the Woe, was the original sound but, throw in some real f**kin’ Thin Lizzy-esque guitar harmonies and solos and some real groove and just a little bit of aggression and tonnes of power. The best one we all remember though was that the music sounds a bit like “Honeycomb in a cement mixer”. Haha
It doesn’t matter what we think though – find out for yourself. ;-) "
Tell us more about the Irish Metal scene, when did metal arrive in Ireland? What challenges do bands face?
"Metal landed in Ireland about 800 years ago, maybe more. The Irish metal scene is one of the most thriving and f**king incredible metal scenes imaginable. The calibre of talent in this country is insane and its absolutely f**king mind boggling how unappreciated and unnoticed it has been. The Irish fans of metal are amazing, like any fan of metal! Any person to set foot on Irish soil and get to experience the bands that are on offer – will never, be disappointed. There are too many incredible bands to start naming just a few – as mentioned earlier – the proof is in the puddin’ so don’t take our word for it – see for yourself. If metal is your friend – you know where to find it."
Probably a topic that hasn't been brought up in ages, Brexit, as a band are you worried about it or not fussed?
"Many people have worried about that but its one “word” that gets on everyone’s f**king nerves to be honest ha ha. There's no force field at the border, last time we checked and any “border” that was ever recognised in Ireland was nothing more than an imaginary line – drawn on a map, and when you cross that line – the road markings change mysteriously from one colour to another and the road signs also transform into something, almost alien..
So, in a nutshell, no. No worries whatsoever.
“Its well for some”, some might say – but we were all born free so unless you intend to kick some unsuspecting soul, up the arse for no good reason – then no one should worry. Ireland is still one of the most old fashioned places in the world in terms of agriculture so we’ve plenty of land and plenty of food - if you’re willing to get up off your arse and make it happen. Just like anywhere else."
For metalheads visiting Dublin, what sights / attractions and bars / venues could you recommend?
"All metalheads should be travelling to Ireland in general – there's metal everywhere here. In Dublin – Fibber Magees, Parnell Street – a legendary Rock and Metal venue that has a very long history in Dublin and there's many a tale to be told about it! Bruxelles on Harry Street – home to the infamous Phil Lynott statue that everyone comes to see. Sound Cellar for all your Metal needs.
Belfast brings you Voodoo and Katy Dalys/The Limelight. Sally Longs in Galway. There's many places to see whether its metal related or not and who knows what lies in the future of the metal scene and live music scene in general but we remain positive about the future and so should everyone!"
Do you have any thanks or greetings you wish to send to friends, family or fans?
"We would very much like to thank anyone who has ever been a part of the last 16 years of the bands existence. Friends, family, and fans – regardless of who you are or what part you played – you played your part in shaping what this band is today and who we are as people so we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.
Check us out on all the usual platforms – you know what they are – contact us, say hello, buy something, dont buy something, listen to the music, love the music – or don’t! Hahaha. You’ll be pleased you did though.
Also, Carl has a great podcast called KingWoe’s Court, in which he chats to our friends in metal, far and wide – mainly focussing on the talented bunch of lads and lassies in the Irish Metal scene but there’s a few surprises in store with that too, so listen in and find out for yourself!
And if you like something a bit different – Ross and Dan also played in CausticGod who released the album Sullen Sanctuary. Ross also plays in Strangle Wire – a Belfast based, beast of a Death Metal band, not to be underestimated. Johnny has Okus – something very filthy and nasty. And for the old school – Chris had Run With The Wolf – some of which is available along with other Two Tales of Woe releases.
And lastly, we’d like to thank Global Metal Apocalypse for taking the time to reach out and speak with us!"
Having already arisen from the fairly-ignored Irish Metal scene and pushed themselves onto newer plains be it Bloodstock or Japan, Dead Label are certainly one band that cannot be ignored - any reason given will be invalid upon deliverance. Having this year dropped their infectious second album "Throne of Bones", GMA wanted to discover what drives this three-piece force. Naturally seeing as Claire was at one point our Irish correspondent, she duly answered our questions - we promised to go light on her, but this was not to be...
For those who do not know your band, could you please give a brief background of the band and what your band name means
"We started eight years ago, just writing songs and playing local gigs. The three of us were in previous bands together too, but this was our first real one! After doing an EP we then went to record our album 'Sense of Slaughter' in the UK. This was our first step into the real world. We travelled to Japan for our first big festival and it all kind of came from there. When we started it was around the time of the murder of Sophie Lancaster. We wrote a song about her murders, which was called 'Dead Label'. When trying to think of a band name, we were saying we didn't want to be labelled within metal, just being metal so we ended up taking the name Dead Label, and we renamed the song called 'Rest in Pieces'."
Things have certainly sped up since your Bloodstock appearance, do you feel it's grass-root festivals like BOA that give bands that platform to gain exposure more easily?
"Bloodstock is an amazing festival. The people who run it are very helpful from the beginning, before you even book a festival, they can be seen helping bands with Metal to the Masses. They create a platform for bands to flourish and they encourage all the things you need in getting a band to the next level. I hope we can return to play Bloodstock for many many many years."
Claire, there seems to be an increase in female musicians over the years, do you feel that the stigma towards female musicians is still there or has it gone?
"I think the stigma is dwindling big time. There are still people who are surprised but in a more pleasant way. They're has been a big change in the attitude to girls in metal. Its not just about the vocalists any more, there are female musicians being treated equally to men, which is all anyone ever wanted!"
You released your album 'Throne of Bones' this year, what was the response like? What track(s) are your favourite and why?
"The response has been massive! We had been sitting on this album for some time, so we were nervous as to how it would go down, but all the reviews have been over and above what we expected! Everyone seems to really be liking it which is amazing and we are very excited by how into the risky things on the album! Like 'The Cleansing' and 'The Gates of Hell', these were both somewhat risky for us, we obviously liked them but we weren't sure how people would react!"
With the UK pulling out of the EU are you concerned it may hinder your chances at playing in the UK?
"Yes, when the vote came in my first worry was touring. Right now, it is so easy to come back and fourth to the UK. Also were bigger bands touring is concerned, if they do not go to the UK, they may not come to Ireland. I am hoping there will be provisions to ensure the ease of musicians playing in the UK. After all, it hosts some of the most amazing festivals and bands tour all the cities. They simply have to come to good method of maintaining the ease of musicians travelling in and out of the UK!!!"
Taking interest in the Irish Metal scene, what is the current status of the scene? Is the scene still going strong? What challenges specific to the scene are there?
"The biggest challenge for the metal scene here is the population. with the amount of people who live here, you have to consider how many like metal! Don't get me wrong, the metal heads here are die hard but its just not as many as you would find in other countries. There are a lot of amazing bands though and when you do find yourself at a gig it tends to be full of energy! But there are not many options within the scene itself. Hopefully the increased number of bands here will encourage the fans to get out more and go to gigs."
What plans have you got for the rest of the year and into early 2017? Have you got any greetings you wish to send out?
"We have a lot of touring plans in the works, and we are in talks with some cool festivals for next year! We hope to tour Throne of Bones as much as possible now that people have a chance to check it out before we come to their city! We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supported us, particularly fans that took us on board on the Fear Factory tour. We played to a lot of new faces and so many people came up afterwards and bought merch and talked to us. That means a lot to a band and it helped keep us alive on the road!"
Ilenkus are a Progressive Post-Metal quintet from Ireland, the lads have recently released their latest album "The Crossing" (15/09/14) and have also unveiled their latest music video "Over The Fire, Under The Smoke" which in total honesty is a rather special video, no visual effects, no gimmicky tricks or fancy stuff, just one lad by the name of Chris Brennan strolling through the streets of Galway, singing to the song to bemused onlookers.
You can watch the video further down.
GMA managed to catch up with the lads and talk to them about both the new album, their music video, what they think the Irish Metal scene should have and whether or not they should ditch the euro.
Hi guys, a lot has happened in the Ilenkus camp, can you give us the background behind your new album?
We recorded the album in different locations in Ireland but we wanted to go with an engineer who understood our goals and the sonic real estate in which the album would sit in. We spoke with many engineers about making the album and eventually Chris Common (Chelsea Wolfe, These Arms Are Snakes, Pelican, Chelsea Wolfe) agreed to take the reins, he does not mix music as heavy as ours for the most part but we knew we needed a unique approach.
What inspired you to opt for a Progressive / Post-Metal approach? Do you feel it lacks representation as a genre?
That is the style of music that we play as a group, and there was no conscious thought about it when it came to style on this record. I don't feel that this genre lacks representation but it is a hard style to pigeon hole, and some people are scared of doing that.
Focusing on the Irish Metal scene, what do you feel lacks in the scene? What could be improved?
Wild West themed metal festivals. (Ed: are there even any Wild West metal bands?)
How nervous was Chris Brennan when recording the music video? What did the public think of the production? Who came up with the idea and do you feel this is a great way to promote Galway, Irish culture and connect yourself with the city?
Chris is the only person i know with the right temperament and bottle to have done this, he was cool as a cucumber and there was a very mixed reaction from the public. We chat a lot of s*** in the van and on the road and come up with all sorts of crazy ideas. Josh came up with that idea while we were recording the drums and bass for "The Crossing" in Limerick. The video does promote Galway I guess, but that wasn't our intention - we just felt that it was most appropriate to shoot the concept in our home town.
What plans does Ilenkus have for the rest of the year and into 2015 besides the tour?
We have plans to write some new music.
Since joining the Euro, do you feel Ireland has gotten worse or better off? What are your thoughts on the euro and E.U.?
It's convenient with the money but Ireland has plunged into recession since joining the Euro. Probably would have happened anyway, who knows?
How do the three vocals differ? Could you explain why you have three musicians covering vocal duties?
They were all arguing about who should do the singing and then the voices in the argument turned from speech into singing and even further into screaming, I was scared but the melodies were soothing.
Individually, what song off of 'The Crossing' is your favorite and could you explain your choice of song?
I don't have a favorite song because i have not heard the record, the lads wont let me hear it.
Finally are there any hello's, greetings etc you wish to send out to friends, family, etc?
"The music just tends to, we try to write it as if it's a soundtrack for war you know?"
By Rhys Stevenson
On Sunday 11th 2013, GMA managed to get a few words with Irish Death Metal bruisers Warpath, well we say a few, probably more than that but enough to get the answers we wanted LOL. This was on a hot day and the beer was flowing freely and well the interview just sums up the mood in the camp, bloody happy as larry.
Listen to the audio version for the in between bits, banter and more as well as some questions we left out of the text form. We have chosen 5 of the questions for text form, the rest are on audio.
Duration: 16 minutes
Rhys Stevenson for Global Metal Apocalypse with 3 band-members from the Irish Metal band Warpath, who are you, what do you play and how did you become part of the band?
Joe: My name's Joe, I play guitar and I gave them all blowjob's to get it.
Darren: My name's Darren, I play vocals and I... (laughs) 'play vocals', I DO vocals and all I do is give a two-ey blowjob.
Eoin: I'm Eoin, I play bass now and I used to play guitar but then Joe gave me a lot of blowjob's so I moved to bass.
Darren: Already off gone are the homosexuals... (banter continues) 'we are drunk man'
So Warpath, what does it mean and who came up with the band name?
Darren: It's funny actually it's a funny story man, I was out drinking when I was about 17, 18 and eh this guy was walking down the road and I reckon he was out of it on some sort of drugs, but he was f**king running down the road, bursting on doors, kicking in f**king gates, everyone was just going crazy and we just started up a band and were called Manslaughter at the time you know it's a f**king retarded name, but like we were we have to change that, so we were trying to think of a name and one of our mates was like look at this f**king madman he's on a warpath and we're like man warpath that can be our band name, so that's basically how it started. Now the music just tends to, we try to write it as if it's a soundtrack for war you know? That's basically it man, just a drunken story (all laughs). We're Irish, that's what it is, they're always the best stories.
So you would say a lot has changed since because you used to have the Irish Punt, didn't you? Now you have got the Euro, so has everything gotten dearer?
Eoin: Yeah well I think so, the drink has definitely got dearer I tell you that man, it's ridiculous.
Joe: Euro only came in 11 years ago, I've only gotten used to it nowadays.
Darren: Don't forget the Punt issues, it's f**king really handy! A lot of places tend to cause the state of the f**king econonmy, people try to have drink promotions and put on special offers like 2-for-1 and stuff, so that kinda helps a bit. But it's weird coming over to England and you use Pound Sterling and we're trying to figure out what we're actually paying because you have to try and convert it and stuff, (Joe adds: and then it will actually be cheaper when we do!), aye it is a bit cheaper.
And of course you're signed to Underground Movement, how did that happen?
Darren: Ian Lawless runs the whole Underground Movement scene and he does a brilliant job, he's a one-man show, it's a DIY label you know? It's kinda like what you put into it, you get out of it. Ian is like the host that would promote your music, you know he doesn't take anything and he doesn't make a lot of money out of it. He just loves to promote the local scene and does a great job. As a label I wouldn't say we're really signed to him, the new album I say we will try and get something different... (Joe or Eoin interjects): He independently released the last two albums so, we're hoping and looking for a better label support. (Darren rejoins): We call it Debt Metal sometimes, D-E-B-T Metal like Death Metal, it's not cheap to be in a band nowadays man. It's a hobby at the end of the day, it's not a lifestyle or a career, well it is a lifestyle but it's not a career like you don't do it for money, you do it for the metal. In my eyes every hobby costs you money anyway, if you're going to join the gym you need a membership card, if you're going to play golf you need to buy clubs, all that kind of shit you know?
Finally have you got any hello's, greetings, thank you's, you wish to issue to your fans, your friends, your family, etc?
Joe: Thanks to all the Bloodstock owners and everyone that voted for us in the competition and everyone that has saw us live or bought any of our merch and helped keep us doing what we do. Cheers for that, we appreciate that, that's why we do it, if we broke down we wouldn't be here. Also I'd like to say thank you to anyone who came down extra early yesterday for our set, because our set times got switched and if they hadn't have come earlier then we probably wouldn't have had a crowd, because towards the end of our set we had a bigger crowd.
Darren: Yeah man, same as Joe really I suppose all the promoters that put the shows on for us cause without them there wouldn't be a show, H from Dublin Metal events, Ian Lawless from Underground Movement, everyone who voted for us and comes to the shows, our girlfriends, our families they're all very supportive, they're always by our sides and so yeah like all you guys, thank you (laughs). We love you! Simon Hall from Bloodstock, because he's the main man here, if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have had the chance to play this festival, and I'd like to say thanks to you Rhys for the interview, it's guys like you who get the word out! Every bit of promotion helps. It's an underground band at the moment so every little bit of promotion really helps.
Eoin: Thanks to everyone who comes out, yeah all the bands we've played with over the years and gave us influences, everyone who comes to the shows, everyone who voted for us in this competition, it was a great f**king day to play yesterday, we're all so happy to be playing.
Cheers guys and stay Metal \m/