A Interview With Brigantia – Nostradoomus Told You To Listen   Leave a comment

Aleks Evdokimov returns with Doommantia’s second interview with the mighty Brigantia. They are one of the very best of the Irish Doom Metal bands after having form in 2007 and their most recent release “The Chronic Argonauts” got rave reviews and the band has had a steady run of live-shows which have also had a positive reaction. I dig this band and if you haven’t heard them yet, it is about time you did. This interview is with guitarist, vocalist Dave Gleeson.

Q: Hi Dave! I’m very sorry for delay but finally here’s a handful of questions for you and Brigantia. What is a current state of the band, man? You have two demo-albums and though the last one “The Chronicle Argonauts” was released in February of 2010, it’s time for new songs or at least for old ones but in a form of full-length CD.

Hi Aleks. Well, at the moment we are in hibernation mode. Busy writing songs for the forthcoming debut that is due in September next year. This is the first time since the band began that we have actually taken the time to breathe and plan our next move!
On the subject of using old songs for the album, we most probably will not include anything from “The Chronic Argonauts” preferring instead to delve a little deeper into our back catalogue.

Q: What about “Nostradoomos” EP which you were going to release a year ago? Did it just turn in “The Chronicle Argonauts” demo?

Nostradoomus became “Argonauts” yes. I thought the title was a little too jokey, too self aware..
Add to that the fact we had some abortive attempts at a demo under that name and it’s fate was sealed!

Q: You take this band’s moniker as dedication to the ancient Celtic tribe – it’s a bit unusual for a doom-band, but there’s another question: how this barbaric name reflects upon your music?

To be honest, we originally saw the name as a pleasing alternative to the scores of doom bands with similar names! It gave us a celtic connection and also alludes to a grandiose and proud type of music, something I hope we can live up to.

Q: Oh, there must be a national pride in your heart if you allow me to make such a conclusion from the band’s name. I may be wrong, but I know not too much of Irish bands and such popular pagan activists as Primordial or Cruachan are one of the best representatives of their genre, didn’t you want to stand with them in one line playing a pagan sort of doom?

Not really, no. First of all, Ireland is very well represented in the pagan metal genre by the bands that you mention, along with others like Mael Mordha, Darkest era and Cealtachor.

Secondly and more importantly to us we wanted to play doom the traditional way, we wanted the big riffs, twisting song structures and sheer heaviness that comes with that style.

This was not something that we talked about, just something that happened naturally in the practice room.

Q: Dave, you and John, the drummer of Brigantia, play together in different bands from the earlier 90s. What kind of music did you play? And what do you think about such term as “band’s popularity”? Mourning Beloveth is a popular doom band for example though it’s a very comparative sentence as you understand. Is there any conditions that exist now to make any doom band really famous?

Ha ha, very bad music.. We started in 93 as Cerberus playing mid paced black metal in the vein of Hellhammer, we had a rehearsal tape but that was as far as it went.
After that the 1st incarnation of Brigantia was born. We released two demos and split in 96. Not before time really, I sometimes wonder what we were thinking back then…..

Ah the follies of youth, ha ha!

I think that there is a conscious effort to elevate doom metal beyond it’s current status at the moment. We have seen Electric Wizard’s cult following becoming a much larger concern, Hour of 13 signing to earache and you can hardly log on to the net without seeing adverts for the latest Cough album.

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, maybe I’m just more aware because of being in a doom band but it does seem that doom’s popularity is rising in certain circles.

In saying that, it’s in the nature of the music to oppose these revelations and come back with something more off putting than before..

Doom will always remain in the underground, even after some brief flirtations with the sun.

Q: How did you record “The Chronicle Argonauts” songs? They sound great and I am interested to hear which equipment did you use recording that material…

It is a home recording done by a very good friend of ours, we were happy with the way it turned out. We spent 3 days getting the basic songs down and then returned to record the extra layers at a later stage. We didn’t use anything special during the recording, just our basic rehearsal room set-up. Everything as you hear on the demo is exactly what you will hear live.

Q: Dave, and how did your record sessions and rehearsal sets go? You know there’s a mention that rehearsal or studio work are great chance to drink the booze, joking and so on. As instruments play by themselves and songs record themselves by some magical ways.

Ha ha, yeah sometimes rehearsal’s are a good excuse to drink a couple of beers and have a laugh. Why not! Lately however it has gotten increasingly difficult to find the time and rehearsal space for jamming so every opportunity has to be used to our advantage. Usually a lot of the groundwork is done at home, recorded roughly and then shared so can make better use of our time in the practice space.
(Please send me the details of the magical instruments in a private e-mail 😉 )

Q: Oh, and I must ask you about the song from your first demo – “Better off dead than red”. Comrade, do you still afraid of “commies”? 🙂 And man right now our secret services checking your id to get you out of Ireland and sacrifice on the altar of Lenin! Sorry, I’m just kidding…

Yes, death to all commies! Well, no it’s far more mundane than that I’m afraid!

This is a rather pathetic attempt at self aware humour regarding a band both myself and John had played in before Brigantia. The bands name was Red Dawn and the rest as they say is history.

Q: I would like to ask you to comment on songs from “The Chronicle Argonauts”, because maybe I’m too inattentive but I see not that Argonauts or even a conception of the big quest did appear in this album.

The Title for the Chronic Argonauts is taken from the HG Wells book of the same name that actually pre dates his famous Time machine novel and also deals with the subject of time travel. There is a loose thematic connection between the songs, time machine of doom and Prisoner deal with time travel, loss and redemption while The eyes of Lugosi is a sentimental look back at the highs and lows of a horror icon from a golden age.

I thought that the title would be a fitting description for the songs contained within.

Q: Dave, Brigantia played with Pentagram, The Gates of Slumber, Lord Vicar, Pagan Altar and Mourning Beloveth – what do you feel playing with these gentlemen? What is their… well… secret? Is there something behind devotion, hard labour and patience when you play doom metal?

Believe me it is an absolute privilege to play with these bands that are some of the main reasons why Brigantia exist in the first place. We know how lucky we are and we hope that we could emulate at least a fraction of their class and longevity.

I wish I knew their secret Aleks! These guys just have the magic that’s needed to come up with the goods time after time, their quality is in their consistency which can only come from hard work and lots of touring.

Q: Tell us please about the Dublin Doom Day festival, how long does it exist? I’m sure that you mentioned that – there are a lot of good doom festivals happen each year, I’m glad that you have your own fest in Ireland.

Ah yes, Dublin Doom Day festival is starting to look like one of Europe’s premier festivals after the absolutely stellar quality of the line-up this year (And I’m not just saying that because we played!) It was a real coup to get HO13 to play their very first show on Irish soil and then to have them play after Mourning Beloveth and before Pagan Altar no less! A masterstroke.

The festival began last year and is the brain child of Mark Leigh. The third edition has already been announced and there are already a couple of definite names on the bill. Knowing Mark we are also in for a few surprises so I would advise anyone reading this that may be thinking about travelling for it – DO IT!

Q: Man, I did ask that stupid question long ago – do not ask me why I’ve reminded of it right now! Just tell me – do you have pets at home? Dog or cat… or cockroaches at least?

Ha ha, No comment, I’m already under investigation from PETA 😉

Q: And as you know we must end our interview with some final words… As for me… I just wish you all the best, man – to you, to Neill and John. Spread Doom carefully and all will be fine! And yes, I think it would be very good to see you one day in Russia.

Thank you very much for the interview Aleks and apologies for the delay with the answers.

For anyone reading this our demo is available for free download Here
Interview By Aleks Evdokimov


Posted November 30, 2010 by doommantia in Brigantia

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