crushing metal riffs and grooves with cinematic symphonic arrangements.
2011 saw the release of Xerath’s second album ‘II’ – A huge and fully
refined slab of Xerath’s unique sound, from the production genius of
Jacob Hansen at Hansen studios… Xerath have combined the most brutal and
technical elements of modern extreme metal to offer you something
massive, cinematic, heavy, groovy and ultimately epic beyond compare.
Owain: Things are going very well for us at the moment, thanks.
2. I read that you guys initially had your roots in cinematic scoring and orchestral composition. How did the film scoring come along with heavy metal? Was that a direction you guys were planning to head on initially or did it eventually happen as a result of putting in individual ideas?
Owain: It was part of the original concept. We didn’t really have an idea of how we’d sound until we started recording our original demos.
3. So it was Andy, your ex guitarist who initially focused on making something new, blending metal with film scoring but apparently he left the band. You can sort of say that Xerath was his child. Why did he leave? And why did you guys continue with the same idea Andy left behind rather than taking a new direction?
Owain: It was very much his child. I don’t think being in a band was his number one desire in life. He’s much happier now and there’s never been any bad blood. As a band we sound slightly different, but I wouldn’t say there’s a change in direction.
4. Your debut album was titled “I” and the second one “II”. Any particular reasonconcept for such titles or is it just because it’s your first and second album? I read that your third album will be called “III”. Is it a trilogy of some sort?
Owain: Not in terms of lyrical content, but musically and graphically it’s a trilogy. Once we’re into album number four we’ll probably have to start thinking of album titles.
5. You guys use a lot of interesting quirks and ideas in your music especially using some polyrhythms here and there. I think Metal could really change and linger in new directions with the intense use of polyrhythms and you guys are just doing that! What is your song writing process like? Are the orchestral parts composed first and then ideas improvised over it?
Owain: We don’t really have one process, sometimes a song will start with a riff, sometimes an orchestral figure. Polyrhythm’s and polymeters come about in our music as a byproduct of trying to create interesting grooves.
6. Xerath was formed in 2007. Xerath won the ‘’Terrorizer Magazine best unsigned band” competition in the same year and also signed a record deal with “Candlelight Records” within 2008. All this in less than a year of formation! Wow. Quite an achievement! How did that happen? Were the metal heads initially amazed after hearing you guys?
Owain: 2008 was a big year for us! I think we were helped by a big buzz when MySpace was big. We had above average production on our demo tracks and we had quite a wide appeal. We dipped our toes into a variety of genres.
7. You guys played at the NITW Springspree in India this March. It was your first time in India. How was the experience and how did the fans react to your music?
Owain: It was unreal. I think we all fell in love with the country, and the fans were so responsive. There are a lot of metalheads in India which I think surprised us a little.
8. Xerath is scheduled to play at Indian Metal Festival in December opening for the mighty GOJIRA and playing alongside Bloodshot Dawn, InnerGuilt, Flayed Disciple, Gutslit and Agnostic! What are you expecting from India this time? This is going to be a killer show, can’t wait!
Owain: We’ve shared the stage with Bloodshot Dawn and Flayed Disciple before in the UK and we know for a fact you’re in for a treat! And playing with Gojira has been something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I think this is going to be a great show.
9. So, can we expect a “Symphony and Xerath” anytime soon? That would be epic!
Owain: We hope so. There are no concrete plans right now, but only because we don’t have the funding. Maybe a little further down the line, if we get a big enough following we’d definitely love to do it.
10. Tell us about your Future Plans and what’s going on in the Xerath camp? Have you guys started working on your third album?
Owain: We’re concentrating on writing “III” at the moment, interspersed with some tours. We went out with Decapitated (and Bloodshot Dawn) recently, we’re going out around the UK and Holland with Testament shortly. And maybe have something in the pipeline around March. Once “III” is released we hope to see a little more of the world and get out into Europe, the US and maybe even come back and zip around Asia.
11. I heard you guys were looking for musicians in India to collaborate with, preferably Indian Classical musicians after your last gig in India. Is it true? So can we expect some really good diversity in your third album?
Owain: On a personal level, I’m utterly intrigued about eastern music concepts and composition. I would absolutely love to jam with some Indian musicians! I’m sure it would give us a wider palette when it comes to our own material. I wouldn’t want there to be just one song that sounds Indian, I want to take the experiences and knowledge and let it come out naturally through all of our material.
12. Since you guys have established this unique genre of your own, we would like to know who your influences are, be it metalotherwise.
Owain: Personally, I listen to surprisingly little metal, it depends on my mood. I can have John Coltrane on one day and Strapping Young Lad the next. Right now I’m listening to Scissorfight
Thank you for taking time off and talking to us! See you soon in India! Cheers!