Monday, May 13, 2013

... About the Kreiz-Breizh Sessions : an Interview with STANGALA !!!

After their amazing debut album "Boued Tousek Hag Traou Mat All" released about one year and a half ago, psyched-out Breton druids STANGALA have crossed the path with  the ultra heavy and stomping Stoner band STONEBIRDS - for a split-album entitled "Kreiz-Breizh Sessions" !!! Aleksey Evdokimov recently interviewed Steven and Tom to get to know more about this great new release, immediate and future plans...

Hi Steven! Hi Tom! How are you comrades? What’s new going on in forests of Brittany? Did you already gather a harvest of first mushrooms?
Steven: Hi Aleks! Everything is going pretty well indeed, as the last months were pretty exciting on our side. I was working a lot on the production of our new split album with StoneBirds and we are now preparing to go on a small tour in France (and one gig in the UK), to promote it. I also started writing material for a new album, and I really look forward to trying these new recipes!
Oh, that’s a good news! When do you plan to hit the road? I would like to ask you share more info about tour, you know – dates, cities, bands and, well, maybe few gigs in Russia? 
Tom: The tour goes from the 23rd of May to the 2nd of June. I only remember the Breton part of it (Fanch from Stonebirds is in charge of the booking). So, here it is:
23/05: Lorient @ Le galion w/ Stangala and Burtul
24/05: Glomel @ Le korong w/ Stangala
25/05: Bressuire @ Anthems of doom w/ Stangala, Northwinds, Bottle doom lazy band and Children of doom
We’ll soon post a poster with all the information about the other shows! But as you see, we’ll meet up with friends from Bottle Doom Lazy Band. That’s great news! This show will definitely be a blast and a true doom celebration.About Russia... Maybe some day but this really needs to be interesting because it’s the kind of tour that leaves you damn exhausted! But hey, why not.

What kind of merch do you prepare for the tour and do you see any reason to spend a money onto it? And, okay, do you wear t-shirts or other relics of other bands? Which ones?
Steven: We don’t have plans for merchandising for the moment. And yes, we do like the idea of supporting a band by buying and wearing shirts from them if we like their music and attitude, but I really don’t think that it would be so interesting to give names here!

How does process of releasing of that promised split-album of Stangala and StoneBirds go? 

 Steven: At the moment, we are planning on releasing a “tour edition”, on CD, limited to 100 copies, but later on hopefully, a standard release on vinyl.

How many demos did you send to labels and were there any responses onto new stuff from some of them?
Steven: We contacted quite a few labels actually, and received a lot of encouraging answers but most are not willing to take the risk to release a split album. A single album from a single band would be apparently much easier to promote and sell!

New release is named “Kreiz-Breizh Sessions”, what is the story behind that title and art-work?
Steven: Kreiz-Breizh literally means Center-Brittany in Breton. Remember that we come from this particular region in the north west of France, where people feel closer to the Celtic culture than to the French one? Well we met these guys from a neighboring city and we came up with the idea of recording something together. We booked a studio in a small city called Guéméné-sur-Scorff, lost in the middle of nowhere in the so-called Kreiz-Breizh, next to StoneBirds’ hometown, and everything went incredibly well! We recorded 5 songs each, really took our time, drank a lot of whisky, slept in a farm, and the outcome of all this is this wonderful album that we are about to release.

Steven, of course I remember where you are from! Even though I’m right now under the weight of few portions of rum! You know – I always have an interest to bands lyrics, what are the lyrics themes onto new songs? Your vocal sounds sad and upset onto “Konk Kerne” song like if someone steals all mushrooms from your secret glade!
Steven: Haha! No one stole my mushrooms, no need to worry! Actually, the new lyrics deal mostly about anxiety, boredom and melancholy, mostly in the context of a withdrawal. Not that I mean to complain about my life like a spoiled western boy whose weed got confiscated by his dad, far from that. It is merely a simple set of feelings emanating from an utter social awkwardness. I guess I am meant to remain hidden in the forest.

Your bandcamp profile says that there’re 10 tracks are already prepared for “Kreiz-Breizh Sessions” but there’s only two of them were shared: StoneBirds’ “Game Over” and Stangala’s “Konk Kerne”. I see that you’re combining not only stoner and folk music in your new stuff but also few black-metal elements as it’s in your project Netra. Did you decide just gather all of your artistic ideas in one band?
Steven: It’s always a struggle for an artist to segment his inspiration! I myself feel more and more the need to somehow simplify all this. Although there will always be an indelible boundary between Netra and Stangala, I tend to be more open than I used to when it comes to choosing where my latest riff belongs.

What’s about other new songs of Stangala? How much do they differ from your previous work and can we make any conclusion about them considering only “Konk Kerne”?
Tom: Since Konk Kerne stands as a transition between our past and future musical experience, you can obviously draw some conclusions. The next songs will lean on the black metal side of doom music. Slow, dissonant chords and heavy drumming! But we’ll always keep the classic doom and Breton licks as a lead. Stangala is a place of experience and feeling: nothing should get in the way of that!

Tom, how did you and Alexandre accept new “black” ideas of Steven? Do you have a mutual point of view in Stangala or do you compose songs separately from each other?
Tom: Steven is the main composer of this project. His ideas are great and since we can’t jam often, we kind of leave the composition to him. That’s how things have always been working and I think we’re all glad of what blooms out of his hands! I personally have played in a few extreme metal bands so I’m not afraid at all to join the forces of evil for the next record (laughs).Steven knows I can follow him in any direction he decides to take so, this can turn out to be very interesting once again!

Will you support this release with another official video and didn’t you ever think to record a song together with StoneBirds? Guess it would be universal and good solution for any split-album…
Steven: We might release a new video indeed, but if we do so, it would be much simpler than the previous ones, that is without plot or anything like that. As for the idea of recording a song together with the birds, that is something that we actually talked about but did not have time to do, unfortunately. As a matter of fact, the bands kinda merged after our experience together, we needed a bass player, they needed a drummer, and now there are only the four of us for two bands! So I guess you can say that we are moving in the direction of recording some more stuff together for sure! I really hope that this split album is only the first step of a fruitful collaboration.

How was expensive those videos which you did record before? Do you see a reason to continue perform Stangala in visual way in a future? I’m meaning – did both of your previous videos help you in band’s promo or was it only a kind of outlet of artistic energy?
Steven: It certainly helped getting the band more exposure, but my primary motivation with producing these videos was to have fun. I managed basically every step of the production in both cases and the mission was accomplished: it was a lot of fun! We did both videos on a budget, of course and I am really glad of the result, many people liked it! You will definitely see more video material from Stangala in the future.

Hm, it’s just a curiosity – how much of your free time Stangala takes? And how does it help you in a daily life?

Steven: This is hard to assess. I could spend a whole week-end editing a song just as I could spend 3 months without doing anything related to the band. It sure takes an important part of my life, as my girlfriend tends to remind me sometimes, but it is important to me and I never see it as a constrain or anything like that. Everyone with at least bit of personality needs a channel to express oneself, otherwise one becomes crazy.

I don’t force you to tell you but what’s about new stuff? Do you have something certain on your mind after final release of “Kreiz-Breizh Sessions” or will you take a break for a while? What’s about Netra, Steven?

Steven: I already started to write a second album for Stangala. I am confident that it will take quite some time, so don’t expect anything soon. I think that it will be a logical successor to BTHTMA, maybe slightly darker. As for Netra, I have plans to release an EP later this year, which, I can already tell, will be an interesting blend of genres. But wait and see…

 Thank you guys for this interview, it was really cool to chat with you about music and other stuff, but I really need to go to sleep – eyes are closing, rum is boiling, so have good dreams too! And don’t forget to let us know how about other news from Stangala! Oh, and send my best wishes to Alexandre for he’s absent today. Good night! 

Thank you for your time! Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Great news :) its a very cool band !