GALADRIEL Gets Out of the Darkness

Dark metal act GALADRIEL's frontman and bassist Dodo Datel talks about this darken project and the band it's come to be.

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Dodo: Yes, I will try to be short, haha... GALADRIEL is dark metal band from Slovakia, Central Europe, founded in July 1995 by me (vocals, bass), guitarist Voloda Zadrapa and drummer Victor Gieci. The first musical direction of the band was doom metal with heavy and melodic influences. In 1996 female vocalist Sona Witch Kozakova entered the band and this line-up later supplemented by guitarist Chulo Malachovsky recorded our first album "Empire Of Emptiness". We have started the cooperation with British record label Unknown Terriotry Records and they have also released our second album "The Mirror Of Ages" (1999) and third album "Oblivion" (2000). The most important point in the early history of the band was entering guitarist Tomax Gabris in late 1997. Tomax and I became a strong creative duo, we were 17 and 20 years old back then and reaching for new horizons.

Our cooperation expanded more on our fourth album "From Ashes & Dust" (released in 2002 by Slovak label Metal Age Productions). In 2003 the band overcame the hardest changes in their line-up when Sona Witch Kozakova, keyboardist J.S.K. and drummer Victor Gieci left the band as a result of disability of communication between all of us. With guitarist/keyboardist Matus Hanus we have created album "World Under World" (released by Metal Age Productions in 2004) supported by couple of guest musicians. In 2005 Tomax Gabris decided to left the band and focused on different musical activities. We have rebuild the band with Matus Hanus and brought female vocalist Sona Witch Kozakova back home. With another guitarist Skkipi Skuppin in line-up we recorded succesful album "Renascence Of Ancient Spirit" (released by Metal Age Productions in 2007) which was marked as an Album of the year in Czech and Slovak chart of Slovak magazine Rock Planet. As the existence of the band is like fire and ice, so there were some line-up problems again. In the late 2009 guitarist Tomax Gabris returned to the band and replaced Skkipi Skuppin. The writing process of new songs was little bit difficult because the line-up was unstable but the we have definitelly entered the recoding studio in spring of 2012 to record our new album "The 7th Queen Enthroned" (finaly released by Gothoom Productions in November 2012).

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Dodo: We were big fans of fantasy literature back then in 1995 and we decided to use some name from the work of Mr. Tolkien because we thought (and still think) he is the most important writer in this category. So there were many possibilities and we were for example thinking also about Amon Amarth, haha. I am glad we have definitelly decided for GALADRIEL because I think it is a nice female name and nice word.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Dodo: We are comming from Bratislava, Slovakia - small country in the Central Europe. Until the end of 1992 we were in one country with Czechs - Czechoslovakia. So, our music scence is still more or less connected as one. There are many good bands in our contries... for example folk metallers SILENT STREAM OF GODLESS ELEGY with their local medieval influences, old school doometallers DOOMAS, blackdeath metal horde EMPYRION, great grinders ATTACK OF RAGE, noise R N R exgrinders CAD or progressive new and fresh bands like SYMBIOSIS or SIC. The problems of our local bands are they are often too lazy to work on their promotion and are only waiting if somebody come and offer the record deal or some tour slots etc.

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Dodo: Well, there is not only one theme we are talking about. But I think the most important theme in our lyrics is about enviromental problems. We know mankind is not very kind to our planet and there are some things turned into really big problems. It is too foolish to think these problems are not touching us. So our message could be "Stop thinking in dollars, look around the world is dying. Let s save what left alive!". But yes, there are also some other themes in our lyrics. Erotic passions, death sadness, stupid wars, hate of religions, terror... whatever, you know... When you turn on the News there are thousands themes make you pissed off and you need to sream or cry it out.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Dodo: In the begining we were under the influence of Amorphis, that is truth. Their album "Tales From The Thousand Lakes" changed my life for sure and we tried to follow their way. But as we were older we have customized our sound and style. Maybe yes, there were also some influences of Paradise Lost but you know this band was maybe most important band in gothic or doom metal subgenre.

6. Is there any story or concept behind the The 7th Queen Enthroned title?

Dodo: We feel there are many bad things and situations in the world and everyday we re waiting for some another bomb or terroristic attack. Greed and recklessness of people in combination with aggressivity and arrogance move our world more and more to extensive conflicts. Also the drop of mineral resources and environmental blindness and fails and mistakes of mankind fill us up with very bad feelings. Our  7th Queen  is some status of mankind after collapse of life on Earth. However she (the Queen) tries to do something to save the life, but everything she touch is turned to death and dust. She s a mirror of mankind. Hopeless she fight for the change (like few parts of people) but all her endeavors are smashed by aggressive and destructive thoughts and feelings. So she was enthroned by mankind. People have chose this way of extinction.

7. Who produced The 7th Queen Enthroned and what was it like working with them?

Dodo: We were producing this album on our own. we were cooperating with engineers Michal Kolejak in 999th Studio and Miro Kamoto in Kamoto Studio in Slovakia.

8. Who did the cover art for The 7th Queen Enthroned and how much input did you have on it?

Dodo: So, we had maximum of input because the whole graphic design was created by myself. I was also managing the photo shooting of model Lizzy Meow who is the face of our album. We tried to put our thoughts from lyrics and songs also to the cover. So we wanted to show some desolated hopeless woman in pain in a dead world. We decided to ask Lizzy for the cooperation as we knew she is opened for some kind of destructive or cyberpunk ideas. She is a professional from Vienna, Austria where all the photoshooting was taken by photographer Marius Sachtikus. We were selecting from more than 200 really good ready-to-use pictures. So the postproduction process was not so hard because we had many high-quality sources and we are satisfied with the result, haha.

9. Select two songs from The 7th Queen Enthroned and what inspired the lyrics.

Dodo: OK, first song on the album is "Evilution". This song is inspired by today s life of many young people, I mean people around 26 - 36 years old, and their reckless hunting for money, great career, power and success and they are not look around if their way of living is not make the pain or death to somebody else. They are like blind. And the worse thing is they think this way of life is the best way to do and this thinking is supported by the media and society. I think this way of life brings so much pain to many and it is the evolution of evil.

And another song is "Eosphorus". It s the last song on the album. This song was inspired by the death of our friend s daughter in very young age of 16. She died out of nowhere because of heart failure. This song is about the feelings of the mother after this terrible situation and about hard trying to find the meaning of life. The name of this girl was Zorka. It s the morning star in Slovak language and we take the name from the Greek mythology where Eorphorus was the morning star.

10. How does it feel to have released your 7th album to date, thoughts, comments, opinions? What are your expectations for this release?

Dodo: This is the first album we released under Gothoom Production (Slovak metal label) so we are really looking forward to this new cooperation. Yes, this is our 7th album and we are not so young band. So the expectations are sober. We know we are not in first league of labels like Nuclear Blast etc. so we know the promotion of our album and band is/will be not massive. But music is what makes our lives better and that s why we are still here, haha.

11. Do you guys have any new music in the works as far as a follow-up release?

Dodo: We are starting to collecting new ideas for new music. We would like to release EP with songs influenced by the novels of Mr. Robert Holdstock (Mythago Wood and Lavondyss). We wrote 2 songs in the past with this theme ("Lavondyss" on Oblivion album and "Strong One Against The Storm" on From Ashes & Dust album). Now we would like to write new songs with these themes and put it together with those old tracks as one EP. It would be nice to release it on vinyl.

12. What is it you d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Dodo: Hmmm, nice question. I think we are band strong in melodies so probably it could be some melody. We are also trying to make music with little things different from some classic way of writing while we are trying to keep the straight direction of the song. So we would like listeners found these differences and keep us in mind like the band which offers hidden details in straightforward songs.

13. What are your upcoming touring plans?

Dodo: We have played several shows in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany this year. In the autumn we are planning small tour in Turkey and Romania... then we will see. As I mentioned we would like to work on the EP and maybe we will be in the studio at the end of this year.

14. Has GALADRIEL ever played in the States or plan to do so in the future?

Dodo: No, we've never been in the States before. Of course we would like to come to US to play few shows out there but it s not easy for us because we are still unknown band there. That also means we should do anything on our own and it s not cheap to travel from Slovakia to US in 5 band members with their musical instruments etc.

15. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Dodo: It is not good to talk about things we could offer in the future because life is so strange and could cut your plans or dreams. In this moment we know we want to make the EP I was talking about and for sure next regular album. We would like to play shows in countries we have never been in and share our music to fans.

16. Any final words of wisdom?

Dodo: Ah yeah. Live your life as best as you can. And don't be indifferent to things and people around you. And check out our music, pages and profiles.

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