CARACH ANGREN Three Times Thunder Strikes

Our favorite symphonic horror black metallers Carach Angren has just issued their long-awaited 5th full-length. I am just recalling time when we have done the first interview with CA when they have issued their debut record almost 10 years ago. So, the band has developed and became very popular during last years. Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten shows diversity, but also there are many moments which are very familiar. In fact, we could compare their latest issue with some previous records such as Death Came Through a Phantom Ship (2010) or Where the Corpses Sing Forever.

Could you tell us something to present the new album, Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten, from your point ofview?

We wanted to do something new and different after the last album which was dark and terrifying. I wanted more melodies and big stories with small stories in it. I also had this idea to make a listener a part of the story and I think we did that.

And when it comes to lyrical part, could you tell us something about the stories behind and the background when it comes to lyrics?

When we start the album with „Charlie“, you find out about this girl playing with Ouija. She summons this force Charlie, gets scared and she ran away. As we are listening the album, we stay with Ouija. We go through another stories like „Blood Queen“ and „Charles Francis Coghlan“. The album progresses and suddenly there’s a song called „Pitch Black Box“ which doesn’t really fit in there. And in the end there’s „Three Times Thunder Strikes“ where we found out what really happened to the girl, where this force Charlie took her and killed her. But we were deceived, so to say because, in the end we found out that she had the box. And the last sequence goes like: „Did you open the box before hearing the song?“. Also the album comes in the little black box so, whoever opens the box is haunted.

When it comes to this, it seems like all the stories are linked. Like, they are not separated stories. Also, when I was checking the album, not the lyrics, it seems like some of the stories have a historical background in one way or another. Could you tell us something more about this historical background?

Yes, actually. Like „Charles Frances Coghlan“, it’s a really cool story we came across. It was a story that needed to be told so we put it in there. Sometimes, when you have these historical stories, it feels like they want to be told. What’s so cool about it is that a lot of people will now learn about it. Like Blood Queen for example, they are all based on the real stories in one way or another.

Ok, now, let’s focus more on music. This album is, so to say, not more different musically, but definitely less complexed comparing, for example with the previous one. So, since you’re the one of the main composers, could you tell us something more about the whole composing process and the ideas as well?

The last one was very complexed and very dark, and also very aggressive. With this album I wanted to have a little bit more melody and more epicness. With that in mind I started writing based on these stories. We worked again with Peter Tagtgren. He is an amazing producer. We wanted clarity but it’s still very aggressive. Drums are really in your face with all the distortion, but still everything is super clear, you can hear all the details.

There are some tracks, for example „Blood Queen“, which have a classical heavy metal structure. Also, a few other songs have some kind of refrains which is not usual for Carach Angren. Tell us a little more about it.

Yeah, when I composed some songs, I composed them around the guitar riff. I don’t play guitar but I can compose for guitar on my keyboard. I used this on songs like Blood Queen and Three Times Thunder Strikes, and the songs like The Song of the Dead have more kind of an orchestral kind od approach.

Do you have a favorite track or any favorite lyrical background when it comes to new record and why?

Charles Frances Coghlan is definitely one of the favorites. I just love the story. We’ll also have a video for it next Friday.

And, when it comes to this new record, I would say definitely, but you can correct me, the Carach Angren has become more popular, especially in the USA through last 5 years. First three records were obviously more focused on Europe. Did you strive more to create new ideas like „This is not a Fairytale“ more closer to us public. Does it get any effect to you when you’re composing?

Maybe unconsciously but, also, the first three albums were written and produced in different conditions and with different equipment. We were growing bigger. We didn’t have agencies and management before. So what happened is, we discovered the US market and US bands. We’ve been all over Europe before. Sometimes fans don’t like us, you know. We’re not just a typical black metal band. It’s a little bit different.

Do you agree that the Carach Angren has become even bigger in USA than it was in Europe?

Yes, but still, the reviews that we are getting from Europe, especially Germany, are really great. We are trying to write music for the whole world. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, we’ve done a lot of tours in USA. We had great opportunities there, so we did focused more on that side.

Ok, could you reveal some more details about the forthcoming video?

We basically did everything by ourselves. We were working for more than two months. We would have to work through the day and shoot through the night. What’s also going on is that we didn’t tell the story of Charles Francis Coghlan directly, we kind of did an alternative version of the story. The first minute of the video is just a movie and then it will start. I’m proud of it. There’s nothing like this out there.

And how about horror movies and horror stories? Do you prefer more 60s, 70s kind of movies, or something newer, or even some more gore horror movies which are popular in US? Or do you prefer horror genre at all?

Yeah, I like Psycho for example. I watched it when I was home. And, I like the Asian style of horror movies. They have their own kind of unique style. Really sick. Also their music score, it was a big surprise.

So, you’re more about the modern style, rather than gothic, 60s, 70s style of movies like Dracula and vampire stuff…

I think you’re right.

Comparing to all the other dismissed 90s bands that were also symphonic black metal, Carach Angren has become really popular so to say. Not talking about Cradle of Filth but, all the other horror black metal bands as I like to call them, some of them were more symphonic, others not so much. Carach Angren has become really big. Did you have any influences among these bands back then?

Well, I always been a keyboard player, but yes, I liked a lot of those bands. I was like “Oh, you can do that in metal too, that’s impressive…”, I was always a fan of soundtracks. But I’ve always wanted to take a step further so we started this kind of storytelling in our music. I mean, I have respect for those bands and all the achievements that they have. A lot of them are dismissed. They’ve just recorded one or two albums. And some of them even started something different that I don’t like that much. But I respect all of those bands, Mayhem, Marduk… But still, Carach Angren is something different. I mean, we’re 10 years younger.

Since the new album is out, do you plan any tours or festival shows during this year? Are we able to see you anywhere?

Yes, definitely. We’ve planned some shows, not many of them, at least for now, we were more focused on the album. In 2018 there will be much more. We are working a lot now. We also work a lot on production, to make it even better.

And can we expect, for the first time, Carach Angren headlining the shows and the tour?

Maybe, maybe. But for now, mostly support.

Do you have any offers for now?

Yes, there are. I can’t really talk a lot now, but there are a lot of them. Especially in US. Great opportunities. Sometimes we get great offers in Europe, meanwhile, something in the US comes up too. Then we just have to sit down and think which one is better. But it will happen for sure.

The festival season is now starting here in Europe, I have visited a lot of festivals, and Carach Angren has also performed on many of them etc. Could you tell us which was the best festival for you here in Europe and, is there any festival you’ve not played so far that you would like to get a place?

Wacken would be nice. It’s a little bit tricky though. Last year, some of our shows from the festivals were on YouTube. It was a really great production. Hellfest is a really nice festival. There were a few festivals that were really big and epic. Some festivals even offered us to play during the night.

And, the last question. Since you come from Holland, they really appreciated black metal bands at the time, they even had some festivals. How did that effect you?

I went to a lot of festivals at the time. I remember Marduk was playing. I discovered most of the bands there at those festivals. I was like 16 years old back then when Metallica was playing at the main stage, and I went to festival to see Marduk. But to see all those bands in just three days, it was great.

I would like to thank you for the Interview. I wish you all the best.

Thank you. It’s always a pleasure.

  • Answers by Ardek (Clemens Wijers)
  • Interview by Marko Miranovic
  • Type by Darko Panic
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