Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Interview with Chain Of Dogs done by Patrick

Chain Of Dogs are a great band out of The Netherlands that do a great mix of Folk music/metal and Thrash Metal. The band has a new cd "Burning Bridges In A World Of Death" out on Witches Brew Rec.

nterview with Chain Of Dogs done by Patrick

1.Hails Chain Of Dogs please give a history on the band? What is the current line up for the band?

We started in 2005, a bunch of metalheads and punks who wanted to have a band that was somewhere in the middle between folk metal and celtic punk (as we thought most folkpunk was not heavy enough, and most folkmetal was too slow). We've come a long way since then and have developed our own type of "thrash folk".
We've had a lot of lineup changes over the years but kept going and have released a demo, two EP's and by now, two full-length albums. We've played a lot in the Netherlands and our neighbouring countries, toured through Europe and played with acts like Heidevolk, Arkona and Suidakra. In late 2012 we decided to split up, but our two founding members rebooted the band last summer with the current line-up:

Olaf Nijssen – vocals and mandolin
Arne Gerits – violin, whistles and vocals
Samana Rikers - vocals, acoustic guitar and whistles
Kenneth Martens – drums
Tim Skerka – guitars
Remy Maes – bass guitar

2.How long did it take the band to write and record 'Burning Bridges In A World Of Death'?

As it is actually a compilation CD it took us about 8 years... The two EP's are on it: Deathworld (2012) took us about 9 months to write, produce and release, Bridgeburners (2008) was done within 4 months. The demo was recorded and released in early 2006, I think most of the songs were written in a few months. It was recorded in one or two sessions of about 5-6 hours. We've had another recording session somewhere in early 2007 of which you will only find one track because the rest was re-recorded for the first full length in 2010. One track is a remixed version of the opening track of that album. Remastering the compilation cd took about two weeks.

3.Who usually writes the lyrics for the band? What are some topics/subjects you all write about?

All the lyrics of our own songs have been written by Olaf. We have two major themes - the first is the folk metal "standard" of singing about where you're from but then without the pagan religious part or the back-to-nature angle. Where from an industrial region that's been shaped by mining industry in the past, and the lyrics in our own dialect are about that part of our history. The other ideas are brought in by the dark fantasy, horror and SF books and movies we read or watch, most of our English lyrics and the band name are based on those.

4.How has the response been for 'Burning Bridges In A World Of Death from the fans and the press?

Very good! People are glad we combined the EP's in a proper release - we self-released the EP's on a really low budget because labels usually don't go for EP's of unknown bands, as they cost just as much as a full length to produce. Also it was a good way to re-release the less embarrassing of the demo tracks. We've had great reviews too, ratings varying from 7 to 9 out of 10. Usually the lower grades were from people who didn't like the demo tracks: the recording and performance were less than perfect as we were playing for about 6 months when we recorded it.

5.How did you come in contact with Witches Brew Rec.? Are you happy with the job they've done so far?

We were contacted by Cheryl of Witches Brew back in the days when Myspace was still a great format for bands. We had quite a lot of followers and had just posted some of the recordings from our 2007 session and she liked them. When we released the Bridgeburners EP we sent a copy to WB and they were very enthusiastic about it, which resulted in the cooperation for our first full length, "Gebroake, Gehange en Gewroake". We are very happy with the job they're doing and we're planning to continue our cooperation for another couple of releases!

6.Are there any Chain Of Dogs tours/shows coming up that the readers should watch out for?

At the moment we're in the process of writing new songs. We're not going to play a lot of gigs before summer but we are now booking for the rest of the year. One big gig we will be doing is playing at Metaldays festival in Slovenia, it's our first large multiple-day open air and we're really looking forward to it.

7.Who all are some bands you have shared the stage with? If you could set up a dream tour/show who are some bands you would love to play with?

We've shared the stage with bands like Heidevolk, Arkona and Finsterforst. We've toured through Europe with a package called Black Trolls over Europe with Suidakra, Waylander, XIV Dark Centuries, Odroerir and Cruadalach. We've played at festivals where bands like Ensiferum, Immortal and Primordial were playing.
Our dream tour would be something like Finntroll, Skyclad, us and maybe a lesser-known Dutch band to open up. Or a combo of something like Dropkick Murphys and Equilibrium and a mix of some other folkpunk and folk metal bands, with us in the middle.

8.Have you all started writing any new songs for the next release? How long does it usually take to compile a song?

We have started writing, the first new song is almost ready and we're beginning with the next couple of songs. A song can take us as little as a few weeks up to half a year, although it's usually not worth it if it has to take that long. Somebody writes a song in Guitar Pro or makes a rough recording of it and then we take it into the rehearsal room, where we work on transitions, breaks, vocals and individual instruments. We're not the type of band where jamming in a studio suddenly produces loads of new songs.

9.Are any of the members currently working with other bands? If yes please tell the readers about them?

At the moment, Tim, Kenneth and Remy are involved in other bands. Tim is playing guitar in a rather inactive (at the moment) S.O.D.-tribute band called "Z.O.D.", Kenneth is also the drummer for progressive rock/metal band "Unwritten Pages" and Remy plays bass in a skaband called "Jean and the Piepkes".

10.Chain Of Dogs comes out of The Netherlands so I was curious what is your opinion on The Dutch metal scene?

We don't have a very strong link with the Dutch metal scene, because we're from the southern province of Limburg which is actually wedged between Germany and Belgium. It's often been easier for us to get gigs in these countries than in the Netherlands because of that. A lot of the metal bands in our region are biased towards metalcore, deathcore and death metal, although some great bands in completely different genres hail from here as well. It used to be a struggle for us to balance that with our type of thrashy folk metal, and in the "Holland" parts of the country it often still is.

11..Who are your all-time favorite bands from The Netherlands? Are there any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?

The first two bands that come two mind are Heidevolk and Carach Angren. Not necessarily because everyone of us likes their music, but more because of the way they managed to get out of this sinkhole called the Netherlands by working hard and spread their music all over the world. Some interesting new Dutch folk metal bands are J├Âtnar, Anwyn and Nachtval. There are always a lot of new bands who deserve the attention, so it's best to keep your eyes and ears open and try anything you might like.

12.Well Chain Of Dogs we have reached the end of the interview do you have any final comments for the readers?

Well, get in touch with us! Like and contact us on Facebook and let us know what you think of our new cd. Come see us live if you have the chance so we can have a couple of beers and a nice slice of roasted hobbit together! Howls!

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