Winterfylleth - Home is Never Behind
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: I'm particularly enamoured with the acoustic/violin interlude "Aefterield Freon." It's expertly placed in between "The Swart Raven" and "A Memorial." Who's responsible for the amazing violin work?
Naughton: My partner Caroline is responsible for the violin parts on the album, as indeed she was on the last one. She’s really rooted in the folk traditions of this country and it is great to have some of her creative input on the more acoustic/folk/ambient material. It was always an ambition of ours to pay tribute to the early music of our islands, and I think in these acoustic folk songs that we really do that. As well as this we’ve also been working on some traditional songs for a release after the album. More details to come! Keep your ears to the ground.
Blistering.com: For the last album, you used The Codex Exoniensis as your lyrical inspiration. Since a threnody is an ode to lost loved ones or friends, who are you directing it to?
Naughton: I suppose it’s about things on numerous levels. It’s about the transition of a person as they move through the stages of death and is a testament to how our ancestors believed in spiritual ideas such as this. On the other hand, it’s also a wider social commentary about the state of affairs in the world and the imposition of power over us all. It’s open for personal interpretation so I would like people to relate to it and not give too much away.
Blistering.com: You've based a lot of your lyrical focus on nature and your British heritage. It's a topic few bands from your country are willing to tackle, so do you feel any sort of responsible in telling these stories through your music?
Naughton: Well, the reason Simon [Lucas, drums] and I met was over an appreciation of history; in particular the stories of the Peak District and our local area. We wanted to start playing black metal based around the stories and history in which we were so interested and bring them to other people. I think we also wanted to reconnect people to their history and backgrounds, because we feel that a link to history can have important applications in the modern world. We need, as people and as nations, to learn from our mistakes and triumphs to make sure that we are mindful of them in our policy making and decisions in the now. As such, this theme of history and its powerful lessons has always run through our lyrics. As for responsibility, I think it’s more a passion. People should be responsible with the information and do something with it.
Blistering.com: In America, there's a noticeable lack of awareness for our country's forefathers, especially from our youth. Have you discovered similar notions in Britain?
Naughton: Absolutely, that’s why we started to do what we do. I’ve talked a lot in interviews about the link between knowledge of your heritage and the struggles of now. I think it’s a social and cultural issue that many people are disconnected from their history and do not value knowledge in the same way as in the past. Without going into too much detail, I have a feeling that there is a power construct within governments and society that perpetuates this disconnection to remove people’s identity and impose things such as the EU upon them, particularly within Europe. We need to oppose it and a knowledge of the past is a way to do this.
Blistering.com: The cover art is simply breathtaking and I'm guessing it's a shot from an area close to your homebase. Can you elaborate?
Naughton: The artwork was taken by the very talented Sara Lovisa at Austere Photography. The image is of a scene in Snowdonia, in Wales. A little further from home than say, the debut album, but a beautiful image of the UK countryside.
Blistering.com: On the live front, how are the new songs translating? Some are awfully long, so it must be a test of endurance for some of the guys...
Naughton: We’ve held back playing lots of them live until the album is out, so it’s still a bit of an unknown quantity in some senses. We’ve been playing “Void of Light” at most shows, as this is the one we’ve put out on samplers, cover mounts and that the label has been streaming in preparation for the album. I tend to find it quite self-indulgent when bands roll out loads of their new album before people have even heard it, so I wanted to wait till it was out. The first chance people will have to see some new stuff live is our set at Damnation Festival in Leeds in November. After that we will start to include it a bit more, but until then we’ll be getting to match fitness on those songs and seeing which will translate best into a live environment.
Blistering.com: Finally, what's on the agenda for the rest 2012, going into 2013?
Naughton: We are playing Damnation Festival on 3rd November at Leeds Uni and in London with Anaal Nathrakh on November 30th. We will be planning a tour for 2013 and trying to get out to the festivals again next summer. The new album is out now, so pick up a copy and keep supporting what we do, as we couldn’t be where we are without you all.
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