Hail Falls of Rauros, welcome to Sick And Destroy. Before we start the interview, I would like you to introduce yourself to our readers. To begin with where are you from and a brief history about your band?
We’re a folk (and otherwise) influenced black metal band from Portland, Maine, formed in late 2005. Our current line-up has been fully functional since 2010 but we originated as a two-piece home recording project dealing with partially improvised and loosely arranged demos. We now operate as a democratic four-piece: old friends and family.
How would you describe your music? And what bands have influenced you the most?
Our music certainly calls to mind black metal and “extreme metal” but we try to incorporate other influences and styles into our compositions to hopefully yield a product with some degree of originality. Plenty of acoustic guitars are used, but we also try to use melodies and melodic phrasing choices that are unusual in black metal without sounding jarring or conspicuous. As a band we’re probably most influenced by the obvious Emperor, Enslaved, Bathory, and Ulver, but bands like Primordial, Agalloch, Summoning, Moonsorrow etc. have made their mark. Of course I’m only talking metal bands here. Outside of metal there are influences from nearly every major genre of music, but we keep it subtle or even subconscious.
How many and which albums/demos has Falls of Rauros released so far?
To date we’ve released a couple of demo compilations and four full length records. The debut “Hail Wind and Hewn Oak” came out in 2008, “The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood” in 2011, “Believe in No Coming Shore” in 2014 and most recently “Vigilance Perennial” in March of this year. We also released a split with the beloved Panopticon in 2014.
Which ones happens to be your favourite songs? of Falls of Rauros and personal.
I really can’t say what my favorite songs of ours are. We approach them all with equal care during the compositional stage and by the time they are finished we’re usually quite burnt out on them. Then there’s the whole recording and mixing stage. It takes years to finally hear the songs as “songs” and dissociate somewhat all the writing and recording experiences from the listening experience.
Personal favorite songs: as in by other artists? Also very difficult, but only because there are way too many amazing songs and records out there. To just throw a few out there I’d say “The Lake” by Bathory, “Hold On, Magnolia” by Songs: Ohia, “I Could Drive Forever” by Smog, “Bravitzlana Rubakalva” by Mariee Sioux, “I Say “No”” by Mount Eerie.
Do you feel that Falls of Rauros’s music has changed over the years and how?
It’s definitely changed considerably, but not so much as to be unrecognizable as “Falls of Rauros.” We put more care into our compositions these days, and we also write democratically as a four-piece which is a recent development since “Believe in No Coming Shore.” We try to expand our tonal and timbral pallette on each release but always keep it within certain boundaries. We don’t want to entirely change genres or anything overly drastic, but continual evolution is an aim of ours. Our latest record is heavier and more “metal” than the previous couple, but we also incorporated more synth parts and guitar effects.
How much time does it take for Falls of Rauros to record an album?
Usually awhile. The band is not our full-time job so we have to fit it in around the rest of our lives. When it happens, it happens. Typically we peck away at a recording over a few months (once the writing stage is complete). Writing a record usually takes a year or so, but it all depends on the circumstances of the moment and how much time we can put into it. We don’t want to rush anything.
Tell us something more about the latest album ‘Vigilance Perennial’ (by Bindrune Recordings / Nordvis Produktion).
This record is our most detailed in terms of tone and timbre, with the most prominent synth presence on one of our records to date. Somewhat more lush arrangements as well. We spent more time in the studio trying out ideas and really filling out the spectrum. Other than that it’s simply another Falls of Rauros record, another step forward and toward new approaches and directions. We composed it in the same manner we composed “Believe in No Coming Shore.” Most of the parts were written and worked through together at our practice space. Everyone contributed a lot of ideas, edits and feedback to the songwriting.
Whats next? Working on any new album? If so, some details please.
Nothing is in the works yet but we, of course, will do another record when the time is ripe. We take our time with these matters.
Any tours, gigs for promotion of latest album?
We toured this spring on the East Coast of the USA in support of the record, and will be doing a midwest/Canada leg this winter. We’ll announce those dates as soon as everything is locked down. Furthermore, on October 13-14 we’re participating in the Into The Aether festival in Portland, Maine. This is a showcase of Portland, Maine’s thriving heavy/weird music culture as well as a showcase of other great bands from the Northeast.
Any future plans for playing in Europe or USA?
At this moment there are no concrete plans, but we will eventually hit the West Coast again, and some day finally play in Europe. It’s way overdue, but logistics and schedules have always prevented us from landing in Europe for some dates. I’ve been saying that for years it seems. Anyway, there will possibly be some shows in the spring, and next summer for sure. Where? I don’t know yet. It’ll come together.
Has Falls of Rauros done any opening acts for other major heavy weight bands? If yes, then when and where?
We don’t typically play with very major bands considering all of our tours are DIY-booked van journeys. However, in April we performed at the Decibel Metal and Beer Festival which included “heavy-weights” like Immolation, Pig Destroyer, Sleep, Muncipal Waste and whatnot. We opened for Pentagram in Richmond on that same tour. We’ve never opened for Iron Maiden or anything. But we’re open to it, yeah??
What do you feel about the Metal Scene there in your country?
We’ve always been somewhat reclusive and autonomous, being from Maine and all, so it’s difficult to say. Each city in the US has it’s own musical ecosystem, and I suppose USBM has some sort of identity, but it’s fragmented at best. The US certainly produces an immense amount of great records every year, but I equate “scene” to going out to shows and socializing with other punks and metalheads; I only do that on occasion. I’ll always support the metal and punk scene but I don’t know how actively I participate in the day-to-day.
Any messages for the readers?
Thank you for your time and continued support. It means the world, always.