For those who didn’t know them, Drakonis blends a mix of contemporary black and death metal. The band indeed wants to create something without the limitations of one genre. Meet guitarist Saul and learn more about the band’s latest release ‘The Great Miasma‘ in the following interview!
Hello guys. Thanks for taking time to chat with us here, at Distrolution. Could you please present your band “Drakonis” and what your roles in it are? Hey, Saul here from Drakonis. We are an extreme metal band from Lisburn, Northern Ireland who are heavily influenced by 2nd wave black metal.
Stephen Reynolds – Lead Vocals
Saul McMichael – Guitars/ Backing Vocals
Tommy Hewitt – Guitars
Lee McCartney – Drums
Stephenie Dickey – Bass
You guys have recently signed a deal with Hostile Media, which results in releasing a new record named ‘The Great Miasma’. Can you tell us more about this release? Are you indeed happy with the way your fans and the media have both responded to your EP so far? The release is a 3 track EP following the story of a small village engulfed by a mysterious cloud of smoke, disease and insects. Each song will be accompanied by a music video, all of which will be released out of order, showing the events which take place.
It was quite an ambitious project to take on. But we felt that we needed at least one more EP to get our name on the map before releasing an album. And if it was only going to feature 3 songs, then we needed a concept to take it above and beyond anything we have done previously.
As for the feedback we have received from the media and fans, it has been unbelievable. Every review so far has received a very high score, with a few 10/10s which we didn’t expect at all. We’ve also been short listed for a few awards, so we’re a bit taken aback and humbled by its reception.
Which of the new songs on this EP were you most excited for people to hear? Any particular reason? The songs were specifically written to follow the mood of each chapter of the story. And luckily, that mood varied a great deal as the story went on, giving us an opportunity to try new things.
The opening track “The Great Miasma” really stands out for me as we got to slow things down and really focus on the dynamics of what makes a song heavy. That being said, “Queen of Swarms” has become a bit of a fan favorite, with most reviews listing it as the CD’s stand out track. It probably is the strongest of the three, but for me “The Great Miasma” is something we really haven’t done before and sound enormous live.
I noticed that each band has his own way of writing and recording songs. How do you usually write and compose yours? I have a small studio in my house, where we have recorded all of our releases to date. It’s there where I spend thousands of hours (literally) experimenting with new ideas and recording techniques. I’m always trying to take the band’s song writing to a new level with each release.
Having a studio to write from has a lot of benefits. We can take an idea from a simple riff, to a fully fledged piece of music with drums, keys, samples, etc within minutes. This lets us know if a section of music is able to deliver the needed emotion, without any guess work.
Though when it comes time to recording a full album, I’d rather hand the production side of things over to someone else. As I don’t think I could handle the stress of mixing 10+ songs.
You have been nominated for “Breakthrough UK band of 2017” in the GMA Awards. Isn’t it crazy? What does it represent to you? We are delighted that our EP has caught that sort of attention. Last year we won “EP of the year” from a few places, with our “As They Rot” release. So the bar was set very high when we started working on the current one, but already, it’s on a few short lists!
Winning these sorts of things is nice, but we see it as no more than confirmation that we are going in the right direction. As a lot of public vote awards quickly turn into a “who has the most friends” type thing, just being nominated is recognition enough.
Last but not least. What are your plans for 2018? We like to evolve with each release and try something a bit different from before. So our current goal for 2018 is to take things up a notch and truly find “our sound”. If that means another experimental EP, then so be it. But if things quickly fall into place, you may see a full album within the next 12 months.
Huge thanks to Saul for taking time to chat with us, here at Distrolution. If you haven’t heard it yet, please make sure to check the band’s latest release ‘The Great Miasma’!