In this interview for Demon Reports magazine with one of our Journalists Vladimir Cincovic had an interview with Keith Fay Vocalist and Guitarist from the Celtic Irish folk metal kings Cruachan about the recent events with the line-up changes in the band, about the upcoming new record, about their plans for the possible new tour in 2021, what would Keith change personally in the sound – as well in the lyric form in their music/songs, more exclusive details, below:
1. You had some line-up changes in 2020 regarding bassist Rustam and also regarding the departure with drummer Maruo Frison and as well with Violinist John Ryan and Guitarist Kieran Ball on July 28th this year, tell me how did the band continued after that, how are the things in the band after this events?
”Yeah it’s been a bit of a mad time for us but we, or I, have always had a lot of people come and go in the band so it’s all good but I was still really disappointed that some of the guys did that. So, we brought in former member Joe Farrell in Feb 2020 and around this time Mauro had told me he is moving to Sweden so, that was fine, Mauro is leaving – time to find a new drummer. Then the pandemic hit which affected Mauro’s departure. We recorded a single during the pandemic which brought us all back together to work on this. There were a few creative differences during the recording, nothing major but that, and the time for reflection afforded to Kieran and John during the lockdown, made them lose interest in being in Cruachan. It was a bit of kick in the teeth to be fair, to have two members, two friends, leave at the same time but I respect their decision. So, I brought in Dave and Audrey as direct replacements, Mauro’s move finally happened so Tom came in on drums. We’ve started rehearsing again and it’s going really well. Having one new member join a band is tough and a lot of work, having four is a huge challenge, something I never thought I would experience but here we are. Although, the quality of the new members makes it all worth it. When we get to where we need to be, people will see a much better, much more professional sounding Cruachan.”
2. You performed with the band on the 70000 Tons of Metal cruiser 2020, how were the experiences from the festival and cruiser in your opinion, is it different from your other festival experiences?
”It was our second appearance on 70000 tons of metal and as it turned out, our last live appearance thanks to the bloody pandemic. It definitely is our favorite place to play, it’s such a fun time. Actually, this time we were one of those rare few bands who got to play three shows onboard, we played a traditional Irish pub night gig that was a huge success.”
3. What are your thoughts on Covid 19 lock-down, how did you feel about it, did you had an inspiration to write new music/songs?
”It’s been pretty awful. I live alone so when it was really strict in Ireland it was very hard going. I did write a bit of music but I prefer to work with the band when writing and that obviously wasn’t possible.”
4. You will release your upcoming song “The Hawthorn” this year on October 2nd, is there any chance that you will record new album in nearest future or even maybe this year?
”We should have been so far along in the writing of the new album by now but covid totally messed everything up, that’s why we wanted to get a single out there asap. Writing has restarted and we hope to have a new album recorded and released in 2021.”
5. As a Guitarist, tell me your thoughts on how a perfect folk metal record should sound in your opinion as a Guitarist?
”That’s a tough one haha, as the years have progressed, folk metal has branched out into many forms. When I first started Cruachan there was no clear template as to what folk metal should sound like so I just did my own thing. Irish folk music is a mix of happy and sad music, melancholic music. Sometimes I despair at the amount of bands that stick to only jolly happy music. Real folk music is a lot more than that and I try incorporate that into my music. Cruachan has a lot of serious and melancholic music.”
6. Since you are as well the Vocalist of the band, I was wondering is it hard for you to play and sing on the stage at the same time?
”I guess it can be at times, especially with the strange timings you find in folk music. Sometimes I need to simplify a rhythm as it is like a puzzle to try sing over it haha.”
7. Are you planning to go on a tour in 2021?
”We hope so, but right now it’s just so bloody hard to know what is happening. We usually book things months or even years in advance – but since Covid, bookers are afraid to risk booking bands as we really don’t know what the future holds.”
8. Would you change something personally in the sound of Cruachan as well the lyrics – to add something new and fresh in bands sound and storylines in general?
”I constantly change how Cruachan sounds, sometimes dramatically and sometimes very subtle. There is so much variation over our albums but you still know it’s a Cruachan album. Even lyrically I am quite dynamic with what I write, we did favor Celtic mythology in the early days, that is still there but with so much more.”
9. How do you feel about all achievements from the beginning of the band in 1994 until this day, also which moment’s made you proud in this journey?
”Well we actually began in early 1993. I would have to say I’m a mix of proud of what we have achieved, basically inventing a genre of music, but I am also always a little saddened that we didn’t do more. We never got to the level of folk metal bands that came after us, copied us, so it is a little sad but we only have ourselves to blame. In reality we should be happy to have the opportunity to do what we so after all this time.”
10. For the end of the interview, do you have a message for the fans?
Check out unplugged version of the ” The Hawthorn” by Keith Fay, here: