Five years ago, in August 2010, Folkmetal.at did a review of a yet pretty unknown band called Cruadalach. The demo „V rytmu staré krve“ (review in German) represented the very first release of the Czechs. Since, we have had the honour to analyse all other outputs of this quite uncommon Folk Metal tribe. However, for no particular reason we have never done an interview so far. Time to change this fact! Jan Vrobel the band’s singer answered our questions:
Folkmetal.at: Hi, first of all we would like you to introduce Cruadalach to our readers!
Jan Vrobel: Cruadalach is the Prague based tribe of eight people blending metal & hardcore punk with acoustic instruments. People often say we use traditional folk music. That’s bullshit. Just because you have violins and bagpipes doesn´t mean that you use traditional melodies. Our last album „Rebel Against Me“ (review in German) was released this year by MetalGate Records and it’s really a unique piece of music packed with social commentary and in your face message. Give it a try, folks, we put all our blood & sweat into that. It is honest, it is authentic and I’m very proud of this album.
Folkmetal.at: „Rebel against me“ was released in January – more than three years after your debut „Lead ? not follow“ (review in German). Why did it take so long? And how is the bankruptcy of your former label Black Bards Entertainment connected to this?
Jan Vrobel: It is not connected at all, since the terms of our releases have never been adapted to the wishes of our labels. Anyway, the „Rebel Against Me“ album is released by MetalGate Records that treats us as best as possible. We know the people from MetalGate personally and we are on very good terms with them.
Why it took so long? I actually don’t see it as a long gap. I prefer when the band releases new material when it has something to say. I don’t want to be bored to death by bands releasing the same album all over again per annum. We wanted to release something when we felt like it’s a good time to show how we developed both musically and as people. I believe that „Rebel Against Me“ shows a huge progress thanks to that.
Folkmetal.at: Being released for half a year now, a second leg of promotion for the album recently started. Did „Rebel against me“ not get enough attention so far in your eyes?
Jan Vrobel: This is a tricky question. Few years ago I would tell you that every album gets as big attention as it deserves. Now I know it’s not true. The attention your music gets is the combination of natural elements such as „people really like you“ and money that a label/band spends on promotion. After all, metal is really nothing more than entertainment business. I don’t want to sound as a lovelorn asshole which I’m certainly not – I wouldn’t dare to bullshit that my record didn’t get more attention, but it is true that I notice more recognition coming with more media cooperation. This is how it works. But I still appreciate most of all the bands getting their attention by „word of mouth“. That means they do really great stuff.
Folkmetal.at: Tell us more about your current album. Is there a certain concept behind it? Rebellion at least seems to play a major role in it…
Jan Vrobel: I don’t even know where to start, mate. „Rebel Against Me“ album is a huge thing for us. You can read the concept in the description within the booklet. Every song has even its own description above the lyrics, so we are sure everybody gets the message. The album is dedicated to the known and unknown heroes, who decided to do what they believed to be the right thing to do despite the will of society and common morale. There had to be the first person fighting for women´s rights, the first person who wanted homosexuals to be treated as equal people. In their times, it was a rebellious thing to believe in. Today, we live in the era of big shifts again. We live in a globalized world. The civilization we live in might cause wars or social injustice in other corners of world. I consider it extremely important to take my part of responsibility for that and try to help everyone as much as possible – as the sampled voice of Charlie Chaplin says in the beginning of our album: „I believe this is what it takes to be human“.
Folkmetal.at: Compared to other folk metal bands your lyrics are about more serious events – often related to the presence. In ‚Revolt without a Name‘ for example you mention the Syrian and Ukrainian-conflict. What is your intention behind this?
Jan Vrobel: Nothing more or less than the compassion for victims of brutality and oppression. And you are right, I scream about the stuff that matters to me. I have a voice and I would find it very sad if I wasted it telling stories about Ragnarök all over again. No offense to anybody who does so, but this is nothing for us.
Folkmetal.at: In earlier releases Czech language was regularly used in your songs. Nowadays, you focus more on the English tongue. What is the reason behind this development?
Jan Vrobel: I want our message to be easily understood globally, it’s easy as that. And we play 50% of our shows abroad. Also, it is easier to state a simple message this way.
Folkmetal.at: As our online-magazine is situated in the German-speaking part of Europe our readers are mostly from this region. Please give us a short overview about heavy metal in Czech Republic in general and the folk metal scene in particular.
Jan Vrobel: I can tell you few names that are really amazing. First of all, the brutal Hentai Corporation, it is really in your face Rock’n’Roll with a proper Rock’n’Roll attitude. These guys don’t give a fuck and they create amazing music. Then I would love to mention Atari Terror and Modern Day Babylon, these bands deserve attention. When it comes to the folk metal scene, I recently noticed a few young bands rising, so people are still interested in this genre which is pretty nice.
Folkmetal.at: What can we expect from Cruadalach in the future? Will it take another three years before your next release?
Jan Vrobel: I honestly don’t know at the moment. We live „Rebel“ now. We perform shows and we’re thinking about the third album, but how will it sound, what will it be about? We have lots of ideas and paths to choose from, but it takes time to decide properly what we really want. I can tell you one thing – the third album will again be absolutely honest and authentic. And probably it will not fit the genre boundaries.
Folkmetal.at: Time for some last words…
Jan Vrobel: I know Folkmetal.at has been supporting us all over the years and I’m really grateful for that. Thank you so much and I hope you’ve enjoyed „Rebel Against Me“ despite the fact that it is not a typical folk metal album.
Folkmetal.at: We have to thank your for taking your time to answer our questions!
Interview by Wallace of Folkmetal.at
More information about Cruadalach:
Homepage of Cruadalach
Facebook Page of Cruadalach