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Interviews Dagorlad

Interview with AOD and Philippe

Interview conducted by Sargon the Terrible

Date online: October 29, 2003

Within the Folk-Black Metal field, the name of Dagorlad is legend - or at least it should be. This studio project has, through years of tribulation, continued to punch out high-quality epic folk metal with their own style and sensibility. After hearing the "Herald Of Doom" demo for the upcoming album, I was very pleased to get some words from the band about where Dagorlad are now, and where we can hope it is going.

Sargon: Can you give us a short history of the band? (Or a long history if you want. Go wild.)

Philippe: I start to compose the first songs for Dagorlad in June 1997. A few weeks later, by chance, I met Patrick DE VIDTS who became the first Dagorlad singer after he listened to an instrumental cassette of Dagorlad. We released our first demo "On the Moonless Nights" in December 1997 that gave us our first deal on the Dutch label "Two Moons Records". Our first album "Incantations" was finally released in February 1999. For the lyrics, the inspiration has been taken from horror movies from the thirties and from heroic fantasy novels. We recorded this album in my home studio. In 2000, Patrick DE VIDTS left the band because he was disappointed by the sales. He was replaced by a friend of mine: AOD. In June 2001, we signed a new contract with the Belgian "LSP Company". They released our second album "The End of the Dark Ages" in February 2002. That's a heroic fantasy concept finding its inspiration in fantasy comic strips, video games and fantasy films. The beautiful sleeve was created by the designer Kris Verwimp who, in particular, made albums covers for Absu, Marduk and Thyrfing. With the intention to find a new deal again, we recorded a new demo this year called "Herald of Doom"consisting of three songs that will appear on our third album.

Sargon: What bands or sounds have influenced Dagorlad?

AOD: I leave all the music part to Philippe, so there are no bands that influence Dagorlad from my side. I'm listening to all kind of metal, thrash, death, doom, heavy, black or Viking metal; you name it. You have good and bad CD's in all these kind of styles of course; the art is to make the difference and to try discovering new things. This being said, no Rammstein and other crap like this for me, thanx.

Philippe: When I start to compose our first songs, I was mainly influenced by Bolt Thrower and Emperor. Now, we have our own sound even if there are still several unavoidable influences in our music.

Sargon: Can you tell us some about the story behind "Herald Of Doom"? Also, I understand the tracks on the demo are out of order, what order should they go in?

AOD: The idea for the story of the forthcoming album was born in Slovenia, where I visited a castle somewhere at the beginning of the Alps. From that place you had a magnificent view over the valley with at both side the flanks of the mountains. I was imaging huge armies coming down from both the side and crushing into one another in the valley. All of this of course in a rain of fire arrows, and other projectiles. From that point on, I continued imagining the whole story, the basis leading to this huge carnage. I imagined the whole story already a long time ago, some parts being forgotten and having been changed. When writing the lyrics, I always change a lot of things trying to make it more original and interesting. The tracks on the demo CD are indeed in reversed order, we did that because "Silver Cross Brotherhood" was what we think the track which catches the attention the most. These three tracks are the beginning of the story.

Sargon: How is work progressing on the full-length album? When will it be finished? Any luck in securing a recording contract?

Philippe: The three songs of "Herald of Doom" will be part of our next album. That's the definitive versions of these songs. All the instruments of the seven other songs are already recorded but I'm recording the bass again with a better sound (actually, the sound I used for the demo). The vocals will be recorded in the next months. I hope the recording of the complete album will be finished for the beginning of 2004. Relating a new contract, a label manager got in touch with us. He was interested to involve Dagorlad in several projects. We will know more about that in the next weeks…

Sargon: How did you get the awesome cover art for the CD? Will you be using it for the full-length?

AOD: A the time we decide to create the cover art, the story was not written at all. As we were very pleased about our collaboration with Kris Verwimp who made the magnificent cover for the former album, it was clear that once again we would work with him. I told him the version of the story I had in mind at that moment and gave him carte blanche for making the cover art. He seemed to have been very inspired by my story, because only a few days later the artwork was done. I think you are absolutely right; the artwork really is awesome. The use of the colors is really excellent I think. The funny part is that it was inspiring me while writing the lyrics for the first tracks, making me change some essential elements in the story, like for example the Imptacar race. The plan is indeed this cover for the full-length album; we only released the demo for trying to catch a deal. Personally, I think some changes need to be made to it as some elements do not fit with the story, we will discuss this later on with Kris and Philippe I guess.

Sargon: Are there any plans to turn Dagorlad into a full band, or will it remain a studio project?

Philippe: No, unfortunately, because of a lack of time and money, Dagorlad will remain a studio project. AOD and I have a normal job and we only have the time to compose and record our songs.

Sargon: Is there much of a metal scene in Belgium? I confess I have not heard of any other bands from there.

AOD: Ah com'on, sure you know other Belgian bands! The most known are Ancient Rites and Enthroned, without forgetting Manic Movement of course. Next to that you have lot's of other bands which more or less known in the Belgian Metal scene, like Axamenta, Suhrim, Oceans of Sadness, Mystica, Epica and many more. But you are right, it is pretty hard to get know outside the countries borders, but I think it is the same everywhere. Sometime I have the feeling almost everybody is making music nowadays trying to release a CD. Unfortunately, I do not very often hear very good en original things…

Sargon: Do you have any other musical projects or bands you work with?

AOD: Actually yes, I guess it is not a secret. I'll be featuring as a guest singer on the third Finnugor album. The plan is to do one whole track. Finnugor is a Hungarian/Finnish project. Gabriel Wolf of Finnugor seems to really like Dagorlad and thus contacted me and asked me if I wanted to do that for him. I agreed immediately since I knew the first Finnugor album, which was in my opinion very interesting! Wolf is working on the music, once that is done, we will record the vocals here in Belgium so he can mix them later on in Hungary.

Philippe: Yes, I'm working on a very special project!!! I'm creating the music for a CD that will be sold with a heroic fantasy comic strip. The designer of the book is Kris Verwimp…

Sargon: Dagorlad seem to have gone through some problems securing a good record deal, can you tell us more about that?

Philippe: Yes, indeed!!! At the end of 2002, our label "The LSP Company" sent us an e-mail to inform us that they wanted to stop their activities as label because of a lack of profit. So, we are still looking for a new deal.

Sargon: What recent albums or bands do you enjoy?

AOD: I must admit I was not buying too many new CD's lately since I am very busy. I really liked the new albums of Enslaved, Dimmu Borgir and Epica, I recently discovered Katatonia that I really liked. I'm really looking forward to albums already released or coming up from Carpathian Forest, My Dying Bride, Type O Negative, and if I remember well there is a live album of Kreator out, right? As you can see lots of different stuff, I like for example also the music of Marilyn Manson.

Philippe: I didn't buy any CDs for a long time. For the moment, I listen to some old albums of "Porcupine Tree". I also enjoy the following bands : Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Bal-Sagoth, Bolt Thrower, Opeth, Garden of Shadows… I like a lot to listen to non-metal bands like Labradford, Stars of The Lid, Hawkwind, The Cure, Ozric Tentacles… This kind of stuffs relaxes me a lot!!!

Sargon: What music do you hate the most? You can pronounce a curse on it here if you like.

AOD: It is simple: I just don't listen to music that I don't like, and there is a lot of it. As I said before, in all different music styles, whatever it is and thus also in metal, there's really good stuff but also very bad stuff. I prefer hearing let's say a very good rap song than a very bad metal song. I'm pretty tolerant; don't you think so?

Philippe: Hate is a little bit excessive!!! I have the same opinion as AOD. If I don't like a kind of music, I just don't listen to it!!!

Sargon: Is there anything else you would like to say?

AOD: Only one thing: I just hope we get a fucking deal soon so we can unleash the new Dagorlad album making many people that like our music happy! And of course, I'd like to thank Metalcrypt for their interest in our music. Keep supporting Metal! Amen.

Philippe: Thanks a lot for your great support!!!

Other information about Dagorlad on this site
Review: Herald of Doom
Review: The End of the Dark Ages
Review: Herald Of Doom
Review: Herald Of Doom

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