answered by: Babs Brawand (vocals) & Maede Baumann (vocals/drums/synths)
Babs: These days are quite busy and exciting as well, as some days ago our second full-length album 'Of Stones and Stars' finally came out! We worked hard on it the past two years, so now we're of course quite curious about what the audience will say - I hope theywill like it! :)
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Babs: In typical Caladmor manner we just tried very different styles and genres on our album, so every song is in one way quite different from the other, but still you can hear Caladmor in every of them. That really was our aim: To do what we want to but without losing our typical trade mark. And in my opinion we succeeded. :)
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
Compared to 'Midwinter', our first full-length album, we worked even more with choirs in order to make the sound more epic. On 'Of Stones and Stars' you can also clearly hear the improvement of every musician of the band, especially of the female vocals.
Maede: The new Album is also harder and faster in some aspects, we have more agressive guitar riffings. But none the less, it's more epic!
Babs: I'd say the main topic of the album is enlightment and wisdom. To follow these subjects we wove a lot of different myths and legends in our songs, such as the greek tale of the odyssey ('Curse of the Gods') as well as the one of Promethee (Helios Sky); old northern european myths such as the story of Alvíss (who has to prove his wisdom to Thor) and about Yggdrasil (Mimirs Born) as well as Ragnarök/Doom's Day (Heralds of Doom). As the name is saying, 'Laudine's Lament' is telling the wailing of Hartmann von Aue's Laudine crying about her dead husband. In 'A Nymph's Lure' you'll find a cursed and lonely mermaid tearing a sailor down to the seabed; 'Taberna Trollis' is the safe place for travellers not being eaten by some hungry spirits of the forest :) While 'The Raid' is telling about a mercenary's dilemma, 'Dawn of the Deceiver' is in some way lirically different from all the others, as it deals with greed, egoists and too big manager salaries.
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?
Babs: Indeed the band started 2001 under the name Pale and compared to the sound of Caladmor today we were in the beginning more dedicated to our "Grungey side of life" and thus made some kind of 'Alternative Metal' much influenced by Nirvana, Hole, Pearl Jam and more great bands like that. During the years our sound grew heavier and darker and so more and more moved on to Metal. In 2008 when we decided to make our first album 'Midwinter' we also wanted to leave the past behind and have a new beginning with a first full-length album and a new name, expressing more what our sound is like - Caladmor means "dark light" and this is exactly the paradox that can be found in our music.
4. I know that the band started out as Pale, what was the decision behind the name change and also how do you feel the music has evolved since them?
Maede: "Caladmor" is Sindarin language from Tolkiens Lord of the Rings by the way.. :)
please see above
5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Caladmor?
Babs: The best shows have always been those on which the audience and Caladmor has fully melted together to one piece - sounding a bit strange so far, this is really it: To me, it's like the best drug ever to feel that the audience in front of us is totally with us and our music. It's only then when I lose my fear of doing or saying something stupid actually ;) Luckily we quite often have awesome crowds on our concert and thus had already a lot of great shows - just recently our CD release show for example!
6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Our stage performance could be described as wild, very spontaneous - sometimes even a bit weird though and always not too serious, but always a hell of party! :)
Babs: As we were quite busy with the album release the past half year, we couldn't make any definitive plans so far, but the idea is to get around with the album a little bit. We'd love touring our neighbour's countries and visiting all the nice people outside our country :) This of course is a question of money and unfortunately we first have to check our possibilities before being able to take any decisions :) But we're defenitely looking forward to realize our ideas!
7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Babs: Maede and me met Chrigel and Anna Murphy several times some years ago - I think it was shortly before Eluveitie's third album 'Slania' came out - in a pub in Zurich and had some drinks together. And so throughout the years Maede and Chrigel kept in touch. After Maede had completed the composing of 'Dawn of the Deceiver' we all at once knew that there could only be one who would be able to play the whistles the way Maede wanted them to sound: Chrigel! So Maede asked him and Chrigel immediately agreed to help us with some whistles and bagpipes - it was his idea actually to therefore use the beautiful Uilleann Pipes on 'Dawn of the Deceiver'and 'Heralds of Doom'. And the result is just mind blowing I'd say!
8. On the new recording, you have some quest appearances from Chrigel Glanzmann of Eluveite, how did you get in contact with this musician and also where you satisfied with the final results?
Maede: We have actually seen Eluveitie long time ago at their release shows of the first two Albums! :)
Babs: Thanks to wonderful Markus Eck from metalmessage.de we get along quite good with the album release so far, even when being unsigned. As you may know, we've made our experience with our former label Twilight Records. The bankruptcy of them made us a bit sensitive on that subject. But we'd love to have a label though that would help us especially with touring/booking and the distribution of our CD outside Switzerland. So yes, we're still looking for a label, but it depends what deal they are offering.
9.For the new album you are unsigned, are you planning on having a label release the album in the future?
Babs: The first echos have just been more than overwhelming so far! Our audience seem to like that we put in our album very different types of metal, somehow this seems to be very appreciated - meaning the audience is very open minded and cool! Thank you all for that!
10. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the new album by fans of folk metal?
Maede: I have written a few new song ideas already, there is a very nice drinking humpa song and some epic and melodic death metal songs (rough ideas and demos).Babs: As both our releases showed such great diversity regarding style and genre, this is really difficult to say. Surely there will be more stuff like the songs 'Midwinter' and 'Alvíssmál' - heavy, mystical riffs with a dark depth in it, but as usual we'll just see what's growing during the writing sessions; anything can happen! :)
11.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
Babs: Well, some influences certainly audible are bands like Moonsorrow, Amon Amarth, Ensiferum, Amorphis and of course Eluveitie. Especially Maede loves to listen to all these bands and as he has written almost the whole new album it is no wonder that these bands can be heard... Besides, our bass player is listening to stuff like Primus who have influenced his bass play a lot - our guitarist Nick is more influenced by classic rock and other old stuff such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, but also by some Black Metal Bands. The other guitarist Mäsi is more into Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum and Devildriver - and last but not least we all adore good Celtic Folk Music! My main influence are bands like The Gathering and Amorphis as well as Loreena McKennitt.
12.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Babs: It's a very interesting movement with a lot of different facets and characteristics, but I'd see myself outside this movement as I simply don't know enough about it. What I definitely like about some pagan views is the aspect of honour "mother nature" and of taking care about other beings. And of course I love especially old greek and german myths and stories and tales, which is also somehow related to Paganism I guess.
13.How would you describe your views on Paganism?
Babs: I still have to finish my studies at the University in german, history and philosophy, so this is taking a lot of time beside Caladmor and all the other musical projects - but if still there is some little time left, I love to invite friends, to sew my own stage dresses, to paint a little bit and to read.
14.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Maede: As u can see from our lyrics, we are interested in philosophy and ethics. :)
And by the way: I'm brewing mead and beer, and I will soon open a webshop!
Babs: ... the best thing about Maede's special interest: Me and the guys from the band are always to first to have a taste of Maede's new beer and mead creations :D
Babs: Well first of all: Thank you very much for this interview! It was really a pleasure to us.
15.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Of course all you readers out there are welcome to drop by on our website www.caladmor.ch or facebook sitewww.facebook.com/caladmor and have a look&ear on our new album Of Stones and Stars! Looking forward to meeting you one day!