Absolutely. Yonder Realm is a five piece folk metal band from Long Island, NY that has been active since 2009. We have had the privilege to share the stage with some of the biggest names in folk metal during New York and New Jersey tour dates including Korpiklaani, Turisas, Tyr, Alestorm, Arkona, Blackguard, and many more. We also appeared as the first international act to ever perform on the Semana del Rock festival in Quito, Ecuador 2013. We have just recently signed to Maple Metal Records.
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I would describe the sound of The Old Ways as having a majestic blend of some of the oldest and newest styles of music. It is a very heavy album that is in spirit, defined by the extreme melodic death, thrash, and even black metal punch to it all. It has a fluent Celtic folk tone, with a mix of classical and cinematic elements. On top of all that, an unmistakable influence of many different forms of world music including even Asian and African styles can be heard at parts throughout the album. The bottom layer of the music is seasoned with electronic spacey sounds throughout the albums entirety, which really sets this music apart from our previous work.
3.According to the bands fb page, the band refers to itself as 'cosmic folk metal;, can you tell us a little bit more about this tag?
Cosmic folk metal is basically an attempt to convey all that I would describe the band’s new sound as, in a simplistic term. We are a folk metal band, and what I think differentiates us from others is the spacey/ cosmic overlay of synthesizers, pads, and strings. On top of that, our music is filled with flute and violin melodies, with guitars often complimenting each other in harmonies. These factors are vital to the term “cosmic” put at the beginning of the tag, for they provide the spacey tone added to the folk metal mix.
4.With the new album and single that where released recently there was no new material for 3 years before that, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
Yes, the gap was largely in part to a lot of focus going into playing many shows and getting our name out there before we released new music. We also had a line-up change with acquiring a new bass player, Eddie Carrella, as well as adding keyboardist/ violinist Dana Lengel to the band making us a five piece for the first time ever. This change also altered the music for the new album, with the new members making significant contributions to our sound.
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Lyrical topics include astronomical phenomenon, nature, anti-theism, mythology, Druidism, animals, spirituality, and anything else that happens to come to mind by any means of inspiration.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Yonder Realm'?
I wouldn’t necessarily say there is meaning behind the name as much as I would say it has a nice ring to it. Inspiration for the name comes from an interest in discovery and exploration of the mind, and the boundaries of fantasy and reality.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I think most of us would have to say the best show we ever played was the Semana del Rock festival in Quito, Ecuador during the summer of 2013. It was totally unlike any show we had ever played, with the reaction from the crowd being absolutely amazing. We have been dying to return to South America ever since. We’ve also played a lot of great gigs at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City (they have been known to refer to us as the “house Pagan band” there) which includes our performance at Paganfest 2012 as well as many other folk metal shows. Our stage performance is one that has a lot of elements and happenings such as full intros and outros, fierce energy from the band shown through headbanging and dancing, and even the switching of instruments during songs.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Oh yes! Everything is currently in the works, but were working on a US/ Canada tour with our new label Maple Metal Records. On top of that we’ve been confirmed for some summer festivals that will be announced quite soon!
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of both extreme and folk metal?
Better then we could have ever hoped for. Our musical style definitely appeals to more of a European and South American audience so far, but we are warmly welcomed by the US folk metal scenes that do exist in the nooks of the states. The album has gotten really great reviews from webzines worldwide.
10.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Yes our bass player Eddie currently plays for a Long Island, melodic metal band called To the Depths. Other then that though, none at the moment.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Yonder Realm will always be musically the folk metal band we set out to be from the very beginning, only through experience and adaption will our music change and take new form with future releases. We are all very happy with the musical direction we’ve taken thus far and are extremely eager to release more of our music.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Speaking for most of us to some degree, a lot of where we gain our metal influence comes from Swedish death metal, and other European melodic metal bands like In Flames (old), Children of Bodom, At the Gates, Soilwork, Wintersun, Dimmu Borgir, etc. On top of that, the band is heavily influenced by movie and video game soundtracks, as well as folk music of all types though mostly Celtic. As of late, my music choices have been artists such as Shpongle, Finntroll, Alice in Chains, the Pogues, Lunasa, Equilibrium, the Doors, Eluveitie, Down, Blood Ceremony, Eyehategod, and the Faceless to name a few.
13.Does Paganism play any role in your music?
It definitely does somewhat lyrically with certain themes bearing influence from Pagan mythology and Druidism.
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Reading fiction by writers such as Michael Moorcock, J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Terry Goodkind, George R.R. Martin, Hunter S. Thompson, as well as nonfiction by writers such as Sam Harris, Carl Sagan, Terence McKenna, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens to name a few. Other interests of mine include hiking, RPGs such as The Elder Scrolls series, psychedelic research, cats, meditation, and science.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Many thanks for the interview! And to all those reading check out our new album The Old Ways and pick yourself up a copy if you like what you hear! Cheers, and support underground folk metal!