Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mares Of Diomedes Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

The band consists of my brother Shea and I and we grew up together in Ireland. We got into playing music in our early teenage years and although we jammed together a lot, we had only ever played in separate bands until we decided to put something together in 2014. We are both influenced by a wide variety of music and have quite different tastes, but the area that we tend to converge the most is in doom and sludge. We both bring together different influences but in the end we both worship at the altar of the heavy riff!

2.So far you have released an ep and also have been a part of a split, how would you describe the
musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?

There is a progression in terms of our sound between our first EP and the songs on the split. The main elements of our sound are there on the EP but we definitely managed to bring a lot more of our heavy live sound into recording the split. Thats mostly due to me experimenting a lot with my guitar setup and working out what equipment works for me to achieve the extreme heaviness on one guitar and also keep it dynamic. I use the same amount of guitar and bass amps as a full band and it took a while to work out the ideal setup!  We had a much better idea of what we wanted going into the studio the second time. Niall Doran at Start Together is a master of recording heavy music and he was a great help in getting the sound we were after.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

We don't follow any particular template for writing songs. We work very collaboratively on the music together and once a song starts to form we usually use that as inspiration to write the lyrics, based on the feel of where the music is taking us. We tend not to follow any particular structure for anything and the songs usually grow organically from the riffs that we write. We write about personal experiences using dark and epic imagery, certain myths with themes that relate to our own lives and a variety of other things. We print all our lyrics on the record sleeves for anyone who is interested in reading them. Primarily we set out to write music for ourselves and the whole process of expressing the darker aspects of life through heavy music is very cathartic.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mares Of Dimedes'?

We grew up in the countryside working with horses when we were younger and when we were thinking of a band name we wanted something that we felt some connection to, or that represented something about growing up as brothers and our identity as a family. I had heard of the Mares of Diomedes from Greek mythology which relates to a group of savage,  uncontrollable, man-eating horses. We use a lot of epic heavy imagery in our songs and we just thought it fitted really well with the general feel that we were going for. There isnt a much heavier image than a group of mythical flesh eating horses.

5.Currently there is only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?

No we choose to remain a duo. As brothers we have a strong connection and understanding playing together, which we don't feel would be improved in any way by adding someone else. One of the things that we really enjoy about the band is the uncomplicated nature of there being just two of us, locking ourselves away in the studio without any hassle, writing the heaviest riffs and being able to deliver them with no complications or need to compromise with anyone. As I mentioned, I did a good bit of experimenting with gear to make sure that I could create a really full and heavy sound from my guitar, but I think at the end of the day, its the tone and energy of the delivery that comes across, and not the number of people making the sound.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We toured Europe for the first time at the start of this year and we played loads of really cool shows, in a variety of different places. We played a mixture of clubs, DIY spaces, festivals, squats and all of them were brilliant for different reasons. Some nights its the the performance itself, other times its the experience of playing in the middle of some forest, sometimes its the people that you meet before and after. One of the highlights of this year though was playing two gigs in Scotland with Samothrace. Shea and I are both huge fans of their music so it was great to share a stage with them and hear them play. They are an incredible band live and also really sound people.  In terms of our live show, one our reviews recently described us as 'fuzzed out heaviosity'. I think thats a pretty good description of what to expect when you come to see us!

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

At the moment we have some shows planned in Ireland/UK at the end of year which we will be confirming soon, but our main aim at the moment is to finish writing our debut album. We plan to use any time that we have to work on that. Shea will also be on tour in Europe with his other band Absolutist during September. We plan to tour more next year and hope to get on the road with Dreich at some point then.

8.Recently you where a part of a split with 'Dreich', what are your thoughts on the other band that had participated on the recording?

Shea came across a video of theirs on youtube and had some awareness of who they were through his DIY scene contacts. It was a live recording but just from listening to it we thought that they had potential to be really good. At the time we were looking for band that we thought would fit well on a split with us, in terms of their music but also their ethos as a band. Splits can be extremely difficult to organize as so many things need to align at once to be able to get the record out in the same decade! Luckily Dreich were sitting on some nearly fully recorded tracks, and when they sent them to us we loved them straight away. They are really cool guys and their music crushes so we couldn't be happier with the outcome of the split with them. I have been listening to their tracks a lot and I can't wait to hear their new material that they are currently working on. I expect it will be more disgustingly bleak heaviness!

9.Currently you are signed to 'Heavy Earth Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

The label is relatively new, starting in 2015 but there are already a couple of releases on it. The first release was the Mares EP followed by a band from the south of Ireland called Venus Sleeps, who we will be playing with in Ireland later this year. The Mares/Dreich split will be the third release. The aim of the label is to support the release of the kind of skull crushing heaviness in the vein of bands like Mares of Diomedes/ Dreich/Venus Sleeps. There will be a lot more to come from the label as it develops over the next year or so.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge and doom metal?

We fit pretty comfortably into the sludge and doom metal genre so we have had positive feedback from those kinds fans. That's where most of our following would come from. It really helps that there are guys like yourselves that do so much to help bands share their music with a wider audience. We have had a lot of good reviews coming in from different parts of the world, UK, America, South America and beyond!

11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

We are currently working on our first full length and have a few songs already down for it. The plan is to get the rest of it finished before the end of this year and hopefully get into the studio to get it all down in one go. The are going to to focus any time we have on that before booking too many more shows. In terms of the future, our plan is to continue our quest to write the heaviest riff ever written.

12.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?

I think that is always a difficult question to answer as we both have quite varied taste in music and it's hard to pin point any particular band. There are four years difference between us so as we were growing up our influences tended to weave between different genres of heavy music but never really coincide too much at the same time. It wasn't until we were sort of older that our tastes started to converge a bit. I think we tend to draw a lot of influence from bands that we have some connection to and see live or play with. Then through that we become influenced by bands that came before them that we might not even be aware of. Its interesting when people review our music and find similarities with stuff that we haven't heard. We then go and listen to it and you can really hear it and it ends up being something we do start listening to! Through playing gigs we have discovered a lot of cool stuff, like a band from France called Lost Pagan. We had never heard of them until we played a number of shows with them in Europe, and their live show blew us away! Also other bands like Link and Geranium who we know from touring. There are loads of awesome bands in Ireland at the moment as well, like Venus Sleeps, Subordinate, Slomatics, Nomadic Rituals, Tome, Graveyard Dirt, Harvester and Tusks. There are also a few really good labels in Ireland, like Chainbreaker, Distroy and Freak Flag Recordings. There is an abundance of great stuff going on at the moment.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

Mainly Nihilist memes.  Aside from that Shea is a master cocktail maker. If you ever see him, challenge him on it. Outside of music I still work a lot with horses. Of the non flesh eating variety.

14.Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?

I would like to thank everyone that has made the release possible, our good friends at Dreich, Niall Doran at Start Together Studios, Franca Vecchio who did the artwork, Emmet Connell who did the layouts and Doomed to Darkness for taking an interest in our music! Thanks!

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