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Global Domination | Interviews | Primordial - A.A. Nemtheanga

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Primordial - A.A. Nemtheanga

10/08/12  ||  sincan


Primordial is a metal band from Ireland who have been active for quite some time now. They’re often labeled as a mixture of black and folk metal, but it’s not like the soundtrack to a mead drinking party with too much male representatives, like other bands labeled with the same genre. Somehow it was the Folk labeling (during a weaker period of my life) that caught my attention a couple of years ago and I must say that I didn’t find what I was expecting, but wow I was stuck. Primordial is always giving the listener an epic historical journey full of emotions and imagined pictures of things like rainy and cold landscapes. Global Domination asked Primordials singer A.A. Nemtheanga some questions and here are the answers:

Global Domination: Without sounding too cheesy I first have to say that Primordial have been one of the most important metal bands in my life. The dark, sad and yet beautiful music you create reaches the heart, awakening and capturing emotions and gloomy memories which I wasn’t aware of before. It is a nice way to get away from today’s fucked up commercial society full of plastics and whatnot. So, starting with the first question, you have been playing a couple of shows this summer but what is the status at the moment and what are the plans for the future? Are you going to lay a little low with Primordial, or are you preparing for an new album as a follow up to “Redemption at the puritan’s hand”?

I got the moves, maaan! A.A. Nemtheanga: I guess we always lay kinda low. We aren’t a professional band, we do what we can as regards touring and festivals but we will never be that busy. We are going to America in September again for a short tour, have some weekends and offers here and there but nothing huge. The plan is at some stage before the end of the year to at least think about writing some songs. 2013 will hopefully also bring a trip to south America.

Surprisingly there might be people/sheep/failures who have never heard about Primordial. Can you describe the band and your music?

I guess there is. This isn’t exactly music for everyone. I think the easiest thing to say is if you are looking for something with genuine spirit and originality you might find yourself in us, if you want the same old run of the mill – turn the page now.

Since “Redemption at the puritan’s hand” have been out for a while now what are your thoughts about the album, how the fans reacted to it and what is your strongest memory of creating the album? As far as I can see people seems to be pleased.

Sure. Of course some people thought we might make a whole album of “Empire falls” and make things more ‘commercial’ whatever that means? Nothing is planned and conscious, we just do as we feel and if “Redemption” sounds darker and more involved it is by accident, to us it’s all Primordial. I think it’s a strong album which surprised and rewarded people in some new ways. My memories of making the album are nearly all negative. I became very ill and don’t remember much of laying down vocals.

What is the best and worst thing about being in a band nowadays?

The best for us will of course be being able to travel the world and have an audience of people willing to come out and see us perform what we create. The worst is of course trying to get paid for doing that.

You have been active for quite some time now, what have changed the most with playing music now compared to earlier in your career and what is your perception of the Internet’s role in the music industry, is it a disease or a remedy?

It’s both really. The main problem is that right now for the last decade people have felt it was their entitlement to own what other people create for free. We cannot turn back the clock now. I also don’t think music is as important or defines young people as much as it did in the 80s at least, the connection has been broken for good. Of course it’s been positive to make music more widely available to the 2nd and 3rd world and allow bands from there to get to us but you may strike the profession of musician off the list soon enough. The only people who get paid are bands in their 50s and 60s by and large.

According to what I have read about and from you, you seem kind of pissed on the society and music industry? Do you ever think about going all “fuck this shit, I’m fed up with this!”? Or do you rather use the anger as a motivation or source of energy to create?

Both. Of course I’m angry and pissed off, there are loads of things to be angry about. Of course I’m glad Primordial has 20 years of history to trade on but I would hate to be starting off again right from scratch right now. I’ve always used anger as motivation, this is metal right?


Which type of music do you usually listen to and do you think there are any interesting relatively new bands in today’s metal scene?

In today’s metal scene only underground bands, virtually everyone new that is in the mainstream that isn’t an old 70s or 80s band FUCKING SUCKS COMPLETELY… I choose the likes of Funeral Mist, Deathspell Omega, Urfaust, In Solitude, Hour of 13, Revenge, Destroyer 666, Venenum, Christian Mistress, Pilgrim, Zom, Portrait, Jex Thoth, 40 Watt Sun, Solstafir, Solstice, Black Trip, etc….

Good bands! If you were able to freely choose some bands to tour together with Primordial, which bands would it be?

You mean bands I like who wouldn’t pull enough people so we could all lose money together? Haha….can I choose Black Sabbath?

Yes, I guess you can. Do you have a favorite Primordial song? It can also be a favorite one to play live or similar.

I don’t know about that really, I have ones I prefer to sing over others or some I prefer to watch the audience reaction etc. right now ‘bloodied yet unbowed’ is hard to beat for me.

As the Bathory fan you are, do you have a favorite Bathory album/era or is it too hard to pick one?

It is kinda hard but I’ll pick “Blood Fire Death” which sits between the old black and the epic period.

No offense but it’s my belief that there are very few Irish metal bands. Why is it like that? Does the church, with its molesting priests, still have their claws in the Irish people?

Well usually in countries where the church is strong there are lots of great metal bands? Like south America, Mexico, Poland, Italy? …there are quite a few metal bands here of course but not that many really well known ones but they are all there if someone wants to search. It’s a small country with a small scene….

Being from Sweden I must ask about your experience and opinion when it comes to Metaltown festival in Gothenburg. I myself have troubles getting over not being able to attend to your gig. Besides that I think that the festival is a bit too commercial and tends to attract people who are mostly listening to mainstream music. Yet they always book some awesome bands like Primordial or as earlier, Ghost and Watain, which attract people like me. Maybe it’s just an unintended way to lure people and to poison their ears?

Well, the first thing is Gothenburg is fucking hard to get to, 4 flights there and back and hours of waiting. Sure this was a commercial festival but we were treated well and although our tent was small it was packed and we had a great show, at the end of the day this is what matters. Of course we have to take these opportunities when they come to play countries like Sweden because you are not on the touring schedule you know? For me a gig is a gig.

Not on the schedule?! If I meet you in a bar, which whisky shall I buy you?

For Irish Jameson but actually I’m a whiskey vulgarian, I prefer Jim Beam and coke!!!!

Is there anything else you want to add to Global Domination’s readers? Feel free to put links and stuff related to you and Primordial here.

Nothing more. Hope to see you back in Sweden sometime in 2013. Keep the faith.