Steve, Anais and Daithi


Ireland appears to be quite the melting pot for Folk Metal bands, what with star class acts such as CRUACHAN and PRIMORDIAL. CELTACHOR is one such band, playing a dark, epic mix of Folk and Black Metal, their music influenced and powered by the band's pooled love of Irish folklore. The band has a sophomore album out this year, titled "Nuada Of The Silver Arm". Matt spoke with 3 of the bands members on a range of topics: the recording process for the new album, how they incorporate Irish folklore into their music and their individual opinions on how digital music.
By Matt "Wolverine" Johnson
May 12, 2015
From where did the inspiration for "Nuada of the Silver Arm" come?

Steve: The inspiration for the new album came from continuing the story set out from our demo "In the halls of our ancient fathers" Which begins the story of Lugh and Nuada making an alliance at Tara to overthrow and stop the coming Fomorian armies led by the tyrant Balor of the Evil Eye. This albums main focus was about the life and death of the High King Nuada, Losing his arm at the battle of Magh Tuiread,  having a new arm of Silver made in the forges of Tara by his druid Dian Cecht, Reclaiming the throne and then fighting with Lugh against Balor in the second battle.

How long, from conception through post-production, did this album take to write and record?

Steve: All in all about the guts of about two years, we have all grown so much as musicians creating much better music now, more than ever. It was a definite plan to go to a studio this time around and that was a experience in itself. Ola Ersfjord was our sound engineer for the new album and learned a hell of a lot from working with him. Total professional, easy going and yet serious at the same time, can't recommend him enough.

Anais: It took us a while, as we had to figure out a new way of writing our material, with the arrival of Fionn in the band. Some bands like to get to the studio and create most of their music on the spot, we are the total opposite of this. We all really wanted to know our album inside out before going to the studio.

Daithi: As steve said the guts of two years. Getting our ideas together and seeing how they fit in to what we had planned. We spent a lot of time gelling the band together and listening to each other.

What were some of the challenges during the process?

Steve: Personally condensing the story of Nuada into 40 or so minutes lyrically. The guys worked hard on the tracks to get them perfectly in tune with the story atmosphere wise and i think they hit it nail on the head in terms of delivery and atmosphere required. Nine Waves had its moments definitely but we seem to be getting stronger with each release, I am looking forward to see where it goes from here. Lots of plans afoot.

Anais: The main challenge was money in my opinion. We all agreed there would be no half measure for this album, and we wanted the best sound we could get… and we got it, thanks to Ola and Sun Studios! But we had to pay it all from our pocket, and damn that was hard… Otherwise on the musical side, once we figured out our new writing process, it was only fun to me.

Daithi: A process like this takes a lot of work and commitment, We really wanted to be confident on what and how we presented the album. All the way from the conception of the tracks up to the actual recording with Ola. You learn a lot about doing this and you need to push that little bit more but over all it was an enjoyable process and we have the album we wanted.

Fionn: As Anais said, finances are always an issue, let's be honest and say the 'metal' band lifestyle is a complete myth! It was more challenging in all aspects, but that is to be expected. We were much more professional this time, and you can really tell on the record.

How did you as a band incorporate your personal styles into the music?

Steve: Whenever we write together its a mixture of everyone's influences, that why sometimes it is hard to put a "genre tag" on us as generally we are influenced by so much. A big mixing pot where all influences are fired in and whatever comes out is what comes out on the album. Be if from Doom to Black, to Thrash to Folk, if it works it goes in!

Anais: I don't know if we did this on purpose. We all have different influences, and it's natural for a musician to write something that relates to what he/she loves. It just worked out naturally.

Daithi: I like to think there is a lot of diversity in our playing styles, everyone has leaned how to play by listening to other bands, musicians, genre so Anais says its natural for you own styles to come in to the sound. I know my playing and Fionns are different, we have different interests and ways of approaching our instruments so its natural that our styles differ.

Fionn: It's not something I think about particularly, I don't 'try' to incorporate any influences, I guess it just happens incidentally.

Will Celtachor be touring in support of this album and if so, when can the world look forward to the next tour?

Steve: We want to play in Europe as much as humanly possible, touring is a huge financial strain especially since we are flying out from a island. But if any promoters are interested in booking us for a show or as part of their fest, feel free to send us a email to So far we have Netherlands with Heidevolk on May 2nd, then Latvia July 11th with Skyforger, Obtest and more at Zobens un Lemess Open Air festival.
If you would like to see us, get in touch!

Anais: Once again money is getting in the way, but we bleed ourselves to pass this obstacle! This is why we need our fans to support us, buy our album and our merch, and we will be able to come to your country and give you the best show.

Daithi: At the moment I think we will have to be in a way selective towards touring. Dont get me wrong, we'd tour the world over if we could but we also have to be practical. I would like to think that with every gig we play we put a lot of ourselves and pride in to performance. It means a lot to us to play these song to people so if there is a chance for us to play and we know we can make it, we will.

Fionn: We have lot's lined up for the summer, but no tour yet unfortunately, as the guys say, we would love to, but money is always an issue. As we're on an island, it can be very expensive to travel over seas, if you want us to play in your area please get in contact with your local promoter and ask them!

What was it like forming a band and getting your name out in Ireland?

Steve: When i got the band together with Daithi, originally our whole view point or ethos was to direct it towards the mainland of europe and beyond. The pivotal focus was to spread the Irish mythological sagas to further shores than our own, it has worked immensely well i have to say. In the five years together as a band things have just got bigger and bigger, we are a second family in a lot of ways and that has helped create the music we put out. Mind you, we would be nowhere without our fans who have supported us from day one, and just keep our journey alive with support and spreading the word about us. It is very humbling.

Anais: Ireland loves its metal, it feels like each metalhead has at least a band… and there is some amazing music coming out of it! Therefore it's not that easy to get noticed.

Daithi: To be honest to get Celtachor together and on to the stage, it hasn't been the easiest of things to do. With every band you get trial and error so you struggle on but it really boosts your self belief when someone walks up to you and says hey I wanna be in your band. You don't find that very often in Ireland especially with the music we play. We didn't think there was much interest in "another" Folk metal band but hard work pays off and as Steve said we have a lot of people to thank for listening to us.

Fionn: There is a lot of Metal in Ireland! As well as playing, promotion and creating contacts has played a big part. The two are equally important I think, you have to get the name out there, but you also have to have the goods to back it up!

What can you say to describe the synergy of individuals as a band?

Steve: Tight as a tight thing. We have gelled extremely well over the years and when we play live we give 110% every time. We have been lucky to find the right members for the band and at the moment things are good, looking forward to the work for the next release!

Daithi: Playing wise I think we feed off each other a bit, learning to listen to what the other person is doing really helps so when it comes to writing, practice and performance its really a very comfortable feeling even though live can be quite intense.

Fionn: We all bring something new to the table, it works really well!

How much does the realm of Celtic mythology influence your music and lyrics?

Steve: The realm of Irish mythology is what influences the music and i need to be clear that there is a difference between Irish and Celtic mythology absolute. Where Celtic myth was spoken orally, Irish and its Welsh counterparts were written down. Our stories are unique to Ireland and the Irish/Gaelic people of this land and that is what we portray in our work. All of the bands work is inspired and based on Irish Mythology in the full concepts and context.

Daithi: With our songwriting we try to bring both ourselves and the listener in to that specific moment we are concentrating on. Its more the essence of the story that influence the music than anything else so if its a epic tale with a dark out come we'll need to portray it as we can and keep the atmosphere with in the listeners grasp

Fionn: Irish Mythology forms the entire basis for the lyrics, as for the song writing we provide an aural sound-scape for these stories.

How has the digital music format helped or hurt your success since Celtachor first formed?

Steve: For the whole music industry it has has been nothing but hurt full in my eyes, when everything is so accessible where is the value put into it? Bands work hard to create music and when people illegally download it off a torrent, that in my opinion is a total kick in the face to a band. My hat goes off to many of our real fans who actually pick up a copy or some merch or pay for the download and actually support us.

This is what helps the band get to places and with most music streaming these days there really is no excuse to steal bands hard work and have this "fuck the band" attitude. The sooner people wake up and realize this the better. But once again a massive thank you to our fans who actually support us and help spread the word!

Anais: I'm not all negative about it, the digital format is also a way people can discover us, on Youtube, Bandcamp and co, and it's also possible to buy our music in the digital format. I myself found that I rarely buy physical copies of album anymore, simply because I don't have enough space to store, and I listen to music on my mp3 like most people, so I simply buy albums digitally.

Daithi: Its a double edged sword. A necessary evil to some. We sell both digital and physical copies of our material so it go's hand in hand. With out the digital music format I dont think a lot of bands would ever be heard. Media is hugely accessible nowadays but its down to how you use it.

Fionn: Digital is great for promotion but terrible for sales as it is so easy to torrent these days, physical is great for sales, but terrible for promotion. What can you do?

What bands can Celtachor list as influential of the musical style exhibited over the course of the band's history?

Steve: For each of us we are influenced by different bands absolute, but we could definitely agree on Skyforger, Bathory, Immortal as some influence. For myself Skyforger, Jethro Tull, Arkona, and some traditional Irish music make up some of my influences. We are not doing this music to mimic what has already been done as to do so would be a great waste of time. I am happy to say that we are the only band doing Irish Mythology in the full sagas and concepts, which makes me very happy indeed and it was the fire that got the band created in the first place! Onwards and upwards! Thank you for the time for the interview Matt and a massive regards to our fans overseas!

Anais: Bathory and Skyforger indeed, I'll add Watain, Primordial, Menhir, Alcest, Vali, Opeth… But we could make a huge paragraph of it.

Daithi: There are a lot of nod's toward Bands like Bathory, Skyforger,Immortal in earlier works. I think over the past few years for myself personally I have been listening to a lot more music and bands that I ever did before which is really cool. Opening your ears to other sounds pays dividends and as I said before you develop your own style by listening to others. Its in your nature.

Fionn: Too many to list in any one interview I think, as individuals we all have our own palette of influences. For a certainty Primordial, Bathory and Skyforger have all been influences over the years. It's impossible to pin it down so finitely.

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