1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
A (vocals): Well, FATHER MERRIN was born at the end of 2009 after the demise of our previous band CIRCLE OF HATE. At first we wrote new stuff and completed the line-up with a bass player. We started playing live in 2011. In 2013, we recorded our first official release, a CD / digital EPentitled All Is Well That Ends In Hell which saw the light of day on 2014, may 9th.. Earlier this year we also inducted a new guitarist so that I could concentrate on singing, and so far everything is working well.
2. So far you have released a demo and an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
S (drums): The "demo" was in fact a one-track CD-r distributed in order to get booking. It was a fast recording since it took us half a day. This track, « Hellride » was re-recorded for the EP because it is kind of a landmark for FATHER MERRIN.
A (vocals): The EP is a more accomplished vision, more arranged music, fuller also. All Is Well That Ends In Hell is no demo but a real mini-album. We worked with skilled people for recording, production and artwork which is an extension of our musical landscape. We didn't want to have any regrets and we almost succeeded.
3. 3/4 of the band members use to be in 'Circle of hate' is this newer band a continuation of your older band?
S (drums): FATHER MERRIN is a different beast to us. When we founded CIRCLE OF HATE itwas like "Hey, let's play some ASPHYX-oriented stuff!". By doing so, we set limits to our creativityand that appeared to be a mistake. There was also a lack of time, especially from our singer at the time, so our motivation went by... When we began working on FATHER MERRIN, the only rule musically speaking was: "no rule at all!". We just wanted to improve our songwriting and play live as much as possible.
4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
A (vocals): Without wanting to create unnecessary mysticism here, it is difficult to explain our words. We are the two band members that write; mine speak of religions, of the manipulation of the masses through faith, events, and things that can lead human beings to religion. And of course, excess from the present and the past. But we don’t preach, freedom of worship has a real meaning to us and we have pro, nor anti-religious speech. But these words are an outlet for me, you are free to read and understand.
5. I know that the band name came out of the movie and book 'The Exorcist' what the decision behind using it as a band name?
A (vocals): Our drummer is in fact a hidden son of Linda Blair!
S (drums): Haha! No, there was no decision indeed, just suggestions for a cool sounding band name. It's only afterwards that I felt it had the religious solemnity connotation that I mentioned above. And it was also a link with some of us' passion for horror movies, and movies in general. On top of that, it's cool to see that those who don't know this name (yes some still don't!) find it mysterious.
6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
A (vocals): For our performance and the stage / sound conditions, I would say our show with SURTR and CHILDREN OF DOOM in Metz last year. But we have great memories of each date,be it for anecdotes, meetings, amazing feedbacks, aftershows. Our shows are heavy andpowerful, with a breath-taking atmosphere. Come out and see us on stage and you will know!
7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
A (vocals): We work very hard to be able to play soon. If you read these lines and like your music strong and powerful, do not hesitate to contact us. We, like dead girls, don’t say no! We have very interesting contacts but concert places and promoters supporting doom metal are very few...
8. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
S (drums): We hardly got little attention when we contacted labels for the release of the EP. Only one label was enthusiastic but they couldn't release our CD before next fall, so we decided tofinance it ourselves. But we will certainly work with em on a future release. Beside that, we are currently searching for a label in order to have All is well... released on vinyl.
A (vocals): For the moment, we work with distributors or mailorders and with Metal Heart Media for promotion, people who keep the underground alive.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal, stoner and sludge?
A (vocals): People from many countries (Greece, Germany, Ukraine, Finland, USA, England...)seem to enjoy our music. So far all feedbacks are very flattering, even if we stay very confidential for the moment. But this is just the beginning...
10. When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
A (vocals): It's very nice to hear that a first full-length is awaited, but we will take the time necessary to make it far better than what we proposed so far. The first ideas are really excellentand I look forward to play them on stage, but don’t expect an album before 2016 I think. Our exorcism sessions are very exhausting and the promotion of All Is Well That Ends In Hell is very important for us.
S (drums): Regarding the musical direction, I don't think we'll change a lot but there will be surely new elements as some of our new ideas tend to prove. We introduced our personality on All IsWell... and the next step would logically be to affirm it.
11. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A (vocals): Each one of us listens to very diverse and varied bands, this is also why our music is not only made of doom metal. But in general, FATHER MERRIN members love CANDLEMASS, CATHEDRAL, CELTIC FROST, ASPHYX, BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN unanimously.
S (drums): Yeah. Concerning my current favourites, I have to mention the latest LOUDBLAST and CLUTCH, DEATH RIDES A HORSE from Denmark, and also the entire MAIDEN catalogue (as always) and the Roadrunner era of KING DIAMOND, but that changes every week or so!
12. How would you describe your views on Occultism?
S (drums): In FATHER MERRIN occultism is limited to the words of some songs, which do not necessarily reflect our personal beliefs. Moreover, each member of the band may have a different opinion on the matter. But as a band, we do not preach in favor of the occult, nor do we have a religious or political message to sell. We just develop themes that interest us and try to do it intelligently. And this can sometimes lead us to place ourselves in the shoes of characters who are not like us as individuals.
13. What are some of your non musical interests?
A (vocals): Apart from FATHER MERRIN, we have a more “normal” existence of course, we do not claim to live on the margins of society. All I can say is that if some of us are still looking for their path, one of us always finds the path to the bar!
S (drums): I must add that even outside of the band, our lives are still very marked by music: records hunting, gigs, writing reviews and live reports and so on...
14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A (vocals): A true and sincere “thanx” to you and your readers for your support and now, no more words and more music on www.fathermerrin.bandcamp.com. True masses should sound like ours!