Swiss epic folk metallers CALADMOR released their second debut album Of Stones and Stars on August 2013 and with the release of the album, they have immediately caught my attention. Normally, when it comes to folk metal bands, I have to admit that not all bands are quite unique but what I loved most with Caladmor was the fact that they are female fronted and the diversity in their sound
After reviewing the album, I also decided to do an e-mail interview with Babs (vocals) and Maede (drums, growls, clean vocals, synth).
Check out their answers below! 😀
Hello! Firstly, congratulations on your new album „Of Stones and Stars“. How do you feel?
Babs: Hey! Thank you very much – actually we feel very good about the release of Of Stones and Stars. We are especially happy about all the awesome reviews and the fact that our fans seem to love the album as well. We worked almost two years on the album, gave all our time and hearts to it –so we feel of course also a bit revealed that all went that well and the result is convincing.
Maede: We are happy and a bit tired! 🙂
You guys have recently played a gig with Swiss metallers ELUVEITIE. How has the feedback on the album been in the gig? How was the whole atmosphere?
Babs: Ah it was overwhelming. The audience was amazing – open minded and open hearted – and we rocked our asses off to let them have a great time with us. 🙂
Maede: It was fantastic to play in front of 1000 People! I think people liked us very much, we got a lot of good feedback and sold a lot of merch. 🙂
It’s been 3 years since you released a new record and I think the band’s evolution can be clearly seen in this album. What changed in these 3 years musically? How did you evolve as a band in this time?
Babs: Well thank you! Indeed we improved a lot in our instrumental and vocal skills. I feel more confident with my voice now than I did on Midwinter. Concerning songwriting I guess we also made some progress as the songs might sometimes show more depth and emotions than on Midwinter – at least in my opinion.
Maede: Songwriting and arranging have become more complex during the continuous improvements of our skills and experience. We can also say that we even grew stronger as a ‘family’. We still are quite different when it comes to our personal styles and this explains the variety in our music.
When I listen to the album, a lot of legendary folk/pagan metal bands like ELUVEITIE or WINTERSUN come to my mind. What were your musical influences for “Of Stones and Stars”?
Maede: Well, when I (and the others too I guess) write songs, I don’t have specific bands or songs in mind I wanna sound like, that would be cheap. But bands I most listen to are Ensiferum, Turisas, Amon Amarth, Amorphis, Eluveitie, Therion, Tyr and quite a few others, so I think you are automatically ‘influenced’ by those big bands. 🙂
We try to get our inspiration from not only bands but different sources; literature, philosophy, history etc.
Another thing that got my attention is the stories behind the songs; every song tells a story. How did you get inspired for that?
Babs: Well observed 😀 This is truly one fact behind the motivation to call our music “Epic” Folk Metal – the songs are indeed lyrically inspired by some old greek or medieval epic poems. When it comes to tales I kind of never really grew up – I love every kind of tales, stories and mythological legends and since I’m studying German linguistics and literature at the university, I’m happy to come in touch with lots and lots of legends, tales and epic poems, and they often inspire me to make a song or to weave them in our lyrical content.
Speaking of ELUVEITIE, two bandmembers from Eluveitie were also featured in this album. How did you get to work with Chrigel and Päde?
Babs: Actually Päde was only involved on Midwinter (1405 A.D.) while Chrigel only supported us on the new album on ‘Dawn of the Deceiver’ and ‘Heralds of Doom’.
Maede: When I composed ‘Dawn of the Deceiver’, I knew that only Chrigel could play those flutes as I intended to. We know each other from earlier days (a few beers long time ago) and I just ask him if he would play flutes and bagpipes on a few tracks. He liked our songs from the preproduction and consented.
The name of the album is also interesting. What does “Of Stones and Stars” mean?
Babs: Actually it first was the name of the song and then became also the title of the album because we loved its poetic sound. But I really also love the lyrics of the song ‘Of Stones and Stars’ because there are several stories woven into it. Maede wrote the song and came up with a part of the lyrics. His first intention was to make a song inspired by the fable of the greek philosopher Thales of Miletus who fell into a well because he did observe the stars while walking, not taking care what was lying in front of him (so the ‘stones’ in the title of the song are metaphoric for the wall). We changed the meaning of this a bit into “When you look upon the stars, you realize you are nothing compared.” We added also some other aspects to the lyrics, for example such as “free your mind from all that dies”, which is reminding of the baroque Vanitas poetry (memento mori).
What is your personal favorite from “Of Stones and Stars”?
Babs: Hmm that’s a difficult one! 🙂 ‘Mimirs Born’ is the one I love most to do on stage because of its energy and the singing passages. ‘Helios Sky’ also means a lot to me because I wrote the whole choir and I just love how the result is sounding. And ‘A Nymph’s Lure’ is the most interesting song to sing as it demands a certain interpretation of the Nymph done by the vocals.
Maede: I like all songs very much. ‘Of stones and stars’ and ‘Alvissmal’ are great. I really love Babs’ vocals on ‘A Nymph’s Lure’ and on ‘Laudine’s Lament’.
A lot of fans will wonder about the touring schedule for sure. Is there a possibility of a tour in Europe? I would personally love to see you play in Germany!
Babs: Sure we would love to tour through Europe! We already checked some possibilities and as usual it unfortunately is a question of money which we do not have. So we’re thinking about a crowd funding action to collect some and conquer at least our neighbor countries! Would be a blast of course!
You guys are from Switzerland, which is a country that is kind-of known when folk metal is considered. What can you say about the Swiss metal scene?
Maede: The good thing about the swiss metal scene is that it is very small, the bad thing is that it’s quite intolerant and not very open. Most people just listen to death and thrash metal. For some idiots, female fronted metal is still not real metal, that’s just bullshit. But we made the experience, that our fanbase is constantly growing and very loyal, so we stick to them!
A big problem is also the organizers. You always see the big names on stage and you have no chance as a ‘smaller’ band to play on big stages, if you don’t have very good connections and lots of money. And quite a lot of organizers book only death/thrash and black metal as I said before.
CALADMOR has a long history; you guys have been formed in 2001 and it’s been 12 years now. When you look back, what can you say about the biggest achievement on your career so far?
Babs: Yes it is a long history indeed. I think the new album can be set as a milestone as we really feel comfortable with it, feeling that we have made an album that is really representing us.
What lies in the future of the band? Do you have any plans?
Babs: Yes, one plan is as mentioned to tour different countries outside Switzerland. Caladmor wants to see the world! 🙂 Also we plan to write new songs, Maede has already some stuff in mind. And who knows, maybe there will some side projects, too…
Lastly, what do you wanna say to your fans? 🙂
Babs: Hey ya crazy fellows out there! We’re coming to get you as soon as possible with one of our shows!! Thank you for all your support so far! Keep visiting us in our virtual homes for any news from the Caladmorian lands.
Thanks to : Babs, Maede from Caladmor and Markus Eck from Metalmessage! 🙂