Friday 5 August 2016

"Masters of Deception": An interview with Willie Caulfield of Zlatanera & Exclusive Album Stream of "Legerdemain"

Zlatanera are a Belfast, Northern Ireland based heavy rock band formed in 2012 who cite influences such as Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Entombed, Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, to name a few, the latter of which they were pleased to open for in Belfast in May 2016. Although personal musical tastes are varied within the band, whose members are made up of local circuit veterans, they found common ground in their musical tastes to create what they believe to be the most worthwhile and productive project they've been involved with to date.

The quintet have become known for their riff based, groove rock sound, surreal lyrics and immersive live shows. Not so easily pigeonholed, the band's music consists of a variety of rock genres, which their solid hometown following have come to recognise and admire. Needless to say are a band to look out for and experience.

Their long awaited eight track album debut “Legerdemain” is released today and it is our pleasure to bring you the album in full.  But before we do that, this is what the band had to say, when I spoke with guitarist Willie Caulfield of Zlatanera to get the low down about the roots of the band, what we can expect from the new record and what their plans are for the remainder of 2016 and beyond. The riffs come directly after the interview so check it out and make sure you pick up a copy

SL: Can you give us a brief history of your playing career to date leading up to the formation of your band and release of your current record?

Willie Caulfield:  Prior to Zlatanera, Anthony, Andy McCallister and myself (Willie) played in thrash/metalcore band Residual Effect. Keith and Andy Campbell were both in No Grace Given, although at different times. We all knew each other well, having played several shows together. When Residual Effect split up, the three of us decided to keep going, but in a different direction.

At the time we didn't know what that direction was. Keith had been out of the scene for a while due to personal commitments. By chance, around the time we were searching for a drummer, he was looking to get back into it. So, after bumping into Anthony at a local metal gig in May 2012, he decided to come down and jam with us and it worked instantly. For the next 6 months we wrote and rehearsed together, then in early 2013, we found out that Andy Campbell was on the lookout for a new band so we got in touch. And thus, the line up was complete. 

The next 2 years were spent writing and playing shows, then we began recording the album in July 2015.

SL: What can you tell us about your upcoming record and where do you feel it sits within the context of the current doom scene?

Willie Caulfield:  The new record is made up of several rock sub-genres, with riffs, surreal lyrics and some tongue in cheek references to the Devil. It meanders through doom, stoner, groove, metal, hard rock and even blues. We know that some don't feel comfortable mixing things up like this, but to us it just comes natural and makes things interesting. With regards to the current doom scene, although there are some slow, doom riffs on the album, I think we have more in common with classic doom bands like Pentagram, Trouble, Cathedral and of course Sabbath. That sort of occult/doom rock sound has had a bit of a resurgence lately and I think we fit right in there.   

What was the mood in the camp going into the recording of the new record

Willie Caulfield:  We had been playing these songs for a while and desperately wanted to record them. As always though, personal circumstances got in the way. Also, we wanted to do it right but lacked the finances to pay for a professional, reputable studio. So, when it finally came to making the album, we were like giddy children. The sheer excitement and blatant relief, that we were finally going to be able to share these songs that we'd been living with for about 2 years, was palpable.

SL: What can fans look forward to from you over the next 12 months? How is your schedule shaping up?

Willie Caulfield:  Well, we have quite a lot coming up later in the year. The album release, of course. A couple of festivals in Ireland, North and South, in October. Also, we will be playing a couple of mainland UK shows at the end of November. The highlight of the year, though, will be playing the Jagermeister Stage at this year's Bloodstock Open Air Festival! Beyond that, there are plans to make a music video for the song 'Bad Case of the Devil' and hopefully more UK and European shows. 

Legerdemain” is available here

Band info: facebook