German metal band Suidakra, with eleven studio albums and a wealth of experience under their belt, are ready to unleash their new album ‘Realms of Odoric’ (Click Here To Read Our Review) on May 20, 2016. In the vein of Kris Vervimp’s and Suidakra frontman Arkadius Antonik’s collaboration under the same name ‘Realms of Odoric’, this soundtrack-inspired project contains thirteen tracks that show the band in full musical splendour.
Metal Wani’s Rishabh Mansur had a chat with Arkadius Antonik about the new album, musical direction of the band, folk metal, creativity and inspiration and more things Suidakra.
Suidakra released a single recently, “The Hunter’s Horde”. What has been the initial response from fans?
The response was very positive actually, which was not completely what we were expecting. Usually a release which is in a slightly different direction may have mixed views, but our single had a hundred percent positive feedback.
We heard the new album ‘Realms of Odoric’, and we thought it was great and refreshing. How will the fans’ experience be different this time?
This time around, being inspired by soundtrack music, the fans experience will seem more connected I think, as the songs sound more epic and have the balance between metal and folk at the same time. The record sounds a bit lighter this time, and I think it lets all the other elements come in.
How did you guys go around turning your Realms of Odoric soundtrack music into a metal album?
It sort of came naturally, and the process seemed to complement each other when we made a metal album out of an old soundtrack project. I didn’t think I’d be writing such material for Suidakra but then when we tried it, it sounded really epic, so we went with it.
Folk metal bands often use flutes, kanteles, accordion etc, many times making music feel authentic. Now you guys are popular for bagpipes. How does it add to your music?
Bagpipes have always been a part of Suidakra, dating back to almost 2005, and Axel is a superb bagpipe player. When we had toured India as well, he was performing with us on the shows, and even at Bangalore Open Air. It adds to the folk element of our band but not only the bagpipes, we also use a lot of other folk elements like the sitar.
Many songs in the album felt like a journey, and even the filler songs made the whole experience complete. How do you structure this album if it’s inspired by a previous music project of yours?
I think the album feels like a journey because the tracks tell individual stories of characters going through some events. In the soundtrack project, there were stories as well, but this time each song has its own story and so it feels like one, continuous story.
In terms of the mix, how do you place the folk elements?
Many times we are called Celtic metal but there are so many more folk elements to it. For example, there are some Chinese violins used in the new record, playing underneath. This way, we use many folk instruments but also try to keep the balance between metal and folk, which fans know as the Suidakra sound.
Some bands will stick to safe music, while some will experiment even if they’re veterans. Does Suidakra intentionally aim for evolving musically or does it come naturally?
It comes naturally, and we don’t force it. ‘Realms of Odoric’ as well saw such evolution, and even though people know Arkadius as the guitarist of Suidakra and Lars as the drummer, the sound keeps changing. Some folk bands end up releasing the same-sounding music over and over, but we keep evolving naturally as musicians and as a band.
What are your plans for touring in the near future?
For the first time, despite being around for so many years, we are playing at a release party for the album on the launch date. I think it will be quite interesting, but after that we have some shows lined up in Europe, especially in Germany. However we would also love to come to India again and perform.
Will you continue to work with special musicians and/or use samples live?
It’s going to be a combination of both, as guest musicians are not always available due to timing and geographical constraints. In the live shows we’ll use samples but whenever possible the guest musicians will join us, as the bagpipe player Axel had performed with us in our India shows.