PRIMORDIAL When I was reviewing your album it occurred to me that the number of famous bands from Ireland is relatively small, then again, most of them are of really superb quality - I mean: U2, S. O'Connor, Cranberries (not sure but I think they are Irish), Cruachan, Pogues, etc. - Why do you think is that? Something in the air, or are there other reasons?

Primordial: Don't forget Thin Lizzy, The Chieftains, PLanxty, Christy Moore, The Horslips, The Dubliners, Van Morrison etc...we've produced a lot of major bands for a small country. I wouldnt really count either Sinead OConnor or The Cranberries (yes they are irish) as superb quality, although I do like old U2. Music is a very important part of Irish culture that would probably be the main reason. Although musically Primordial is closer o second-wave black metal than anything else, you seem to always deny the connotation - why so? Where do you see yourselves in the context of modern day scene?

Primordial: We never denied it, its plainly obvious that Primordial was part of the second wave Black metal scene (89-94)we just always left it to other people to categorise us. We just concentrated on making music not scene politics. The Heart of Primordial is Black Metal this much has always been true but we leave the job of categorisation to journalists. Well, m'afraid we will have to go through a bunch of boring but necessary questions, which you probably have to answer in each and every interview, but still… So the album has been out for a while now and you must have gotten some feedback from both the fans and the critics, and well to make it more fun, what were the weirdest things/opinions said about 'Storm Before Calm'?

Primordial: Yeah you're right I do, but I'll try and keep my patience. Well, you know, one guy interviewed me the other day and his second question was how much we were influenced by Opeth and why they werent in our thanks list?, which has to be the stupidest comment I've heard this year, how anyone can think we sound remotely like Opeth and can dismiss the fact that we are actually going longer then they are in one moment, that was fuckin stupid and aggrivating. Opeth are an ok band but their fans can be a pain in the ass...treating Opeth like some religious experience. Whatever. Apart from that sometimes I look around the net and notice by now we have some very hardcore fans who analyse everything we do to death...and all have different favourite albums which is quite interesting...some people like the more aggressive stuff and some the more mellow Journeys End kinda stuff.... yet they sometimes cannot seperate the albums and realise that not every album can be the same and if Storm is seen by some as too aggressive...roll with never know whats up ahead. What is your personal opinion of the new release and do you have special expectations concerning it?

Primordial: I think it is a very strong album and hopefully the band can grow with the album. The production and sound is stronger and more focused then before. As far as I am concerned we have kept an extremely high and original standard over the years and this album is no exception. During any recording process everyone tends to fuck up every once in while, some more than others - so who was the biggest fucker-upper in Primordial during this recording session and why?

Primordial: who ?...haha, we had so little time in the end that no one had time to fuck up. A lot of what you hear are actually first takes in a lot of things. You have been working with HHR for a while now so how is the relationship developing and are you satisfied with the promotion you are getting on the new release?

Primordial: I think that when Art and business mix things are bound to be fucked up. I dont think I would be completely satisfied with any label, Im just that kind of person. Hammerheart in my opinion are a growing label with prospects but as far as I am concerned need more quality control, need to stop re-releasing old albums and concentrate on pushing a handful of bands. It may sound harsh but they need more ambition I think. However they are cool guys and we get along ok as anyone can get along with me! You're about to go (or have already gone - depending on when you receive these questions) on tour with label-mates Callenish Circle - what expectations you have about this (or how did it all go)? ;)

Primordial: Nope, thats next week actually. I don't know, I'll approach it with an open mind and although it will be some of our first headlining shows in Holland and I have to be reasonable that we cant expect that many people...but you never know do you ?. Sometimes when you think a gig is gonna be packed 60 people show and when you have few expectations 300 people show up ?. We have a lot of friends in Holland so at least we can meet up with them! On 'Storm Before Calm' you use both screams, which are - as they say in Australia - toadily brilliant, and clean voices, which, intense as they are, cannot be called exactly Pavarottish, if you know what I mean (no offence meant, please) - the question here is - do you plan in the future or probably are already working with a vocal tutor? And why of course?

Primordial: nope I never did, I know what is in and out of tune of course and in relation to the Metal scene these vocals are at least in my opinion quite accomplished, however compared to opera well then you're probably right. I was in a band singing covers of Iron maiden, twisted sister, manowar, judas priest thankfully I can pretty much do what I want vocalwise. Some people connect with the Black vocals others with the clean vocals... Artwork- & design-wise 'SBC' is probably one of the most tasteful things I have seen lately - I really liked the soft brownish colours, the sorta minimalistic concept, truly elegant fonts and such - who came up with the whole idea and how did it happen?

Primordial: The cover is my idea and we did it at the Hammerheart offices. I try and have a close connection between the artwork and the music....its one package and we have to compliment each other. I dont really like bright and lurid covers. Actually the album looks great on vinyl if you can get one. Your other label-mates of the Cruachan Clan invited none other than the legendary Shane McGowan to work with them on their latest effort - do you plan to work with him at a certain point of time? And what is he currently up to anyways?

Primordial: We don't have any plans like that really, it suits Cruachan but it wouldnt suit us. Someone like Brendan Perry from Dead can Dance, no there is someone who would be cool to work with. And as far as vocals go I dont think I could compete with that voice !...Shane lately looks very unhealthy and has a broken leg...however he is indeed a legend! Okay let's switch to some more general topics - Nowadays the Celtic thing has become a sort of a trend - I mean everyone is sporting a Celtic style tattoo, and listening to Irish folk music, and what not - what is you personal opinion towards this - do you feel like someone who is clueless is messing with the history and culture of your country and all that, or do you view this as rather a good thing?

Primordial: I'm not sure, but I do realise and understand that everything has to start somewhere and the more people are interested in something even because of a film they saw or a song they heard means ultimately the more people who may take a deeper interest in not only Celtic culture but their own indigenous culture. Despite the trend in the fullness of time it can only be good. Of course most people shift and change like the weather here... Dave Mustaine - formerly of Megadeth - who has had some very unpleasant experiences in Northern Ireland in his early days (I now refer to the unfortunate show in Antrim he had during the 'So Far, So Good' era when he fucked up a show by making some very politically wrong statements, thus insulting the whole audience - just in case you don't know the whole story what basically happened was they were playing there in Antrim and noticed some guy selling bootleg T-s in the lobby, they wanted him removed from premises but the local promoter said you couldn't do that because this was being done for 'the Cause', being clueless of the whole thing at that particular moment Mustaine went up on stage and sad something like - 'This one is for the Cause' and then played "Anarchy in the UK"), so anyway he once said that before he came to Ireland he considered himself partly Irish (I think he is something like one/third Irish) but being there he understood one thing - "there, if you are not full-blood, then shut the fuck up." Is that really so?

Primordial: I know what you're talking about, I remember the Dublin show the night before, Sanctuary supported them. So many people claim to be Irish these days I dont think it really matters that much. Irish people just get on with being Irish. As for the political situation in Ireland its not really something I get into in interviews to be honest with you. Okay, seems like I am through with all the serious questions so now let us proceed to our traditional stupido-race - off the wall dumb questions requiring an equally silly answer to it, so if you please… It is S. Patrick's day out there and everyone is rejoicing and drinking and Prinmordial are asked to play a traditional song - what song would it be and why?

Primordial: We can between us actually play lots of traditional songs so it would be no problem, I think you would find it hard to stop us once we got going. Maybe next year we can play in Russia for St.Patricks, huh? Invent a universal execution for anyone who would be arrogant enough to say that 'Guinness is a very good English beer'?

Primordial: I think a firing squad would be apt, or perhaps starvation by potatos? One day the band receives a picture of a gourgeous full-breasted red-haired green-eyed lass with a letter accompanying it which says she is being held a hostage by some terrorist group in Russia and that only Primordial can save her - your masterplan?

Primordial: Our masterplan would be ...perhaps there are enough girls in Ireland who look like that so she'd have to be pretty special. Maybe I can summon an army of evil leprechauns to storm Russia...leprechaun blitzkreig and prize her from their grasp. Sounds like a plan, where is she...Gulag 41? Your masterplan worked and you have freed the beauty - but lo and behold - as it turns out she is happily married and is truly in love with her husband - your actions?

Primordial: Be nothing new for a woman to be lying and scheming, and duping some stupid men into carrying out her will. Shrug my shoulders and say..."oh well...". You book this small gig in a tiny little town in your homeland, the club is something you have never heard of but still you agree only to see when you arrive that the whole audience consists of leprechauns - your actions?

Primordial: Haha... I never even looked at this question before answering the questions above. Don't fuck with leprechauns this much is true. And I as their leader would launch an offensive against Russia...Hitler and Napoleon ...pah, nothing compared to an army of leprechauns. The next Primordial album will be titled: a) 'Leap Before You Think' b) 'Curiously Killed Cat' c) 'Biting Dogs Seldom Bark' d) 'You Can't Tell a Song by its Cover' e) 'Love Can't Buy You Money'? - and why?

Primordial: I think by now it could be called "Leap before you think" and have tracks on there warning bands about evil label bosses out there and their dastardly machinations. Although I like the sound of "Love can't buy you money" either got one or the other right? You always end your interview with the words 'See you on the Battlefield' - why?

Primordial: Not always....its my daft reference to playing gigs and meeting with people at them! Okay, thanks very much for the interview and patience and now you final statement to all of your fans out here in Russia?

Primordial: Hopefully you can all get our albums out there, if not, copy them...bootleg them, just get the music out there and someday we can perhaps get out there and play. I know Cruachan did and although they play something a little more suited to St.Patricks day I don't see why we can't bring this Celtic Invasion to Russia... anyway, thanks for your support. Stay Strong.


(November, 2002)

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