Blackened folk metallers CELTACHOR have recently released their brand new album “Nuada of the Silver Arm”. I must say that the album has impressed me from the first listen (click here to read the album review) and surely, I wanted to know more about the album and learn a bit more about these Irish metallers! Here’s my e-mail interview with the vocalist Stephen Roche and drummer Anaïs Chareyre!
Hello guys! How are you?
Anais: Hi there, we’re all good!
Steve: Keeping well Basak, thanks for asking! Hope you are well!
Firstly, for the readers that do not know the band that well, can you tell us shortly about the history of the band? How did the idea of CELTACHOR arise?
Steve: The idea for the band started in 2007, myself and the guitarist David wanted to showcase the sagas of Irish Mythology in our way, we wanted to make it darker, more brooding but at the same time majestic and full of wonder. We played our first gig on August 27th 2010 supporting Cruachan. Shortly after that gig, Anais joined us on drums and Fionn soon after as second guitarist. Oliver has been our new bass player last few years, and we have all gelled well together.
The brand new album “Nuada of the Silver Arm” has recently been released! Can you tell us a bit more about this album?
Anais: This album focuses on the Tuatha’s High King Nuada, he was an important character of Irish Mythology. We tell his story from his arrival to Ireland with his people, the battles he fought, his kingship lost and taken back, until his death on the battlefield.
Steve: As Anais said above, this deals with some of the major events for Nuada of the Silver Arm from losing his arm at the battle of Magh Nia, to his new arm being forged at Tara. Nuada and Lugh setting out with their men to fight and defeat the Fomorian Leader Balor of the evil eye. Nuada is killed but the Tuatha rise up to avenge him and they win out over the Fomor(The Second battle of Magh Tuiread). Looking forward to continue the sagas and work on the next work, some work has already begun.
When you compare the upcoming album and the previous record “Nine Waves From The Shore”, what are the main differences?
Anais: When we started to write “Nine Waves From The Shore” (2012), we were a four-piece band, Fionn joined as second guitarist later. So Daithi was the main composer of the first album, whereas Fionn is the main one for the second. Since the last album, we learnt to play and write better together, and we improved individually as musicians. We also went for a real recording studio (Sun Studios in Dublin) and worked with an excellent sound engineer and producer, Ola Ersfjord. This choice made another dramatic difference in our sound. I think our fans will notice all of this…
Steve: The difference is like night and day, I think once you have worked in a good studio you will never go back to doing things by yourself. Depends on the situation really but we are really happy with how the new album has turned out!
Were there any new challenges or difficulties during the recording process? Were there any highlights?
Anais: During the recording there was a few difficulties there and there, but nothing we couldn’t fix at the end. We couldn’t afford to record for as long as we would have wished, but sure, we would spend an entire year in a studio if we were allowed, it’s such a cool toy! For me, hearing ourselves back with a big sound was the overall highlight, as well as getting a cello player (Rama Block) for some parts, and an amazing Uilleann Pipes player (Ian Lynch). And we got ourselves some real strong chanting with the help of Carl King (ex – Two Tales of Woe).
Steve: Too much coffee! It was an enjoyable experience and we have a better idea of how we will tackle stuff and organization in future. It pushed me much farther as a singer too,but I think for everyone collectively it was a great experience and one we cannot wait to do again.
The album artwork caught my attention from the first glance. What’s the story behind it?
Anais: I chose to make an image of Nuada while he watches his new Silver Arm in the fires of Teamhair. He had lost his kingship when his arm was cut during the first battle of Magh Tuireadh, as the Tuatha’s law says their leader must have a perfect health and body. With his new arm, he will be whole again, and will take back his kingship. Behind him his people are standing far from the flames, as they cannot take its overwhelming heat and brightness. In the fire I depicted the three Goddesses of Ireland, Fodla, Eriu and Banba.
“Nuada of the Silver Arm” is also an interesting title. What is the meaning behind it?
Anais: It is the way Nuada was called since he got his new Silver Arm made by his druid Dian Cécht. He was also called Nuada Airgead Lamh.
You guys have toured abroad last year for the first time in Germany and your performance in Dark Troll Festival was really fantastic. Did touring abroad add any experiences to the band’s progress in general? What were your impressions in general?
Anais: It wasn’t a proper tour sadly, but we play in Germany, UK and France. We LOVE to travel abroad to play, and we give it all our energy! The German crowd was so strong, so into it! We would love more of it…
Steve : It was a really great experience, we felt so welcome, it is always great to play to a new crowd and we spent a few days with our label Trollzorn. Really great guys and we hope that we can come back to Germany to play again soon as we get a chance!
Speaking of touring, what are your next destinations and which has been the most memorable touring experience that you had?
Anais: We are soon going to Arnhem to open for our good friends of Heidevolk, on May 2nd, and it will be a party and a half! My best gig memory is probably our gig in Paris for Cernunnos, packed room, crowd on fire… Unforgettable!
Steve : Cernunnos fest in France and Dark Troll Festival in Germany were great experiences and great to finally get out and start playing Europe, which was the main goal for us that year and we hope more opportunities come out of it! Also we were welcomed so well and was great to hang out with our label heads Trollzorn for a few days for plenty of beer and fun!
In the world of pagan/folk metal, there are many newcomer bands as well as the ‘legends’ trying to improve their sounds without repeating themselves. What are your favorite bands from the genre/Do you have any favorites?
Anais: To name a few ; Nokturnal Mortum, Skyforger, Absu, Moonsorrow, Bathory, Belenos, Heol Twelen, Primordial. But if I think of it too much I will write for too long.
Steve: Skyforger,Arkona,Metsatoll, Bathory,Falkenbach, Summoning.Ildra,etc.
What are your plans after the album release?
Anais: Get gigging! And get writing the next one too, we already have the next concept and the guys started writing riffs, I can’t wait to rehearse them!
Steve : Play as many gigs and fests as we can! If there are any promoters reading this that would be interested in having us, please send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, any last words to your fans?
Anais: Thank you for your support over the years! We hope you will enjoy this album as much as we enjoyed writing it!
Steve: Thank you for the interview Basak and we hope everyone will enjoy our new album! Support us when it comes out and pick up a copy! Cheers!
Special thanks to : Steve and Anais!
Get the new album : https://celtachor.bandcamp.com/album/nuada-of-the-silver-arm