Interview with Agalloch ...answered by John Haughm
1. There have been a lot of descriptive words attached to your music by critics. What words would you use to describe your music?
Sigh...Dark Metal, for now. We don't really want to be confined by classification. I mean, sure, there are elements in our music that will always be there. However, we are all open to trying new things with these elements.
2. Iím curious if there were any specific musical influences that you drew from as you created "Pale Folklore"?
Well aside from our 'natural' influences (emotions, thoughts, surroundings...), our musical influences at that time were a mixture of various styles. Metal bands like old Ulver, Katatonia, In The Woods..., as well as gothic stuff like Fields Of The Nephilim, Sisters of Mercy, Love Like Blood were quite influencial to us. Over the past few years, I've become quite fascinated with electronic music as well as neo-folk and some modern classical music so I'm sure that our next album will reflect some of that. I do compose as an individualist. I don't try to write in this or that style. I just let it come naturally, as it should.
3. I feel like your music draws from some of the more primal Black Metal, but has a much more polished and ethereal sound. Would you agree?
Yes. I mean, I do like grim black metal. I think that is how it is supposed to be. Harsh, cold, dark and passionate. Older Darkthrone is a good example. Of course Mayhem, Burzum, Ulver's "Nattens Madrigal", Pocculus and even stuff like early Abigor, DornenReich, old Katatonia, and so on.
4. Do people often express surprise that such music was created by an American band?
Yeah...many people think we're from Sweden or Finland. I think it's quite stupid but what can I say? Agalloch was originally formed in Missoula, Montana but is based in Portland, Oregon. All of the members are Americans. Big fucking deal...
5. There is a real sense of power, even in the quieter parts. How do you create this mood?
I don't know. I guess it just comes naturally. It might be a result to our (every member's) interest in classical music. I really enjoy music that is both dynamically and emotionally powerful.
6. What would you say is the overall theme of "Pale Folklore"?
I can't say there is any single theme to sum it up. It's more of a mixture...the tragedies of life, the coldness of winter, sorrow, hatred of this lame human race, etc...
7. Could you explain the albumís title?
Pale refers to snow. Simply, "Winter Tales".
8. Is there something new in the works?
Yes. We have one new song pretty much finished. It's about 9 minutes long and it's working title is "I Am The Wooden Doors". We also have a couple others that are nearing completion and several riffs that could go towards other working titles. Also we are planning to release a MCD around the end of 2000 which will contain our old, unreleased 7" session remastered and a
couple other suprises...
9. What would you like to say to the metal world?
Nothing much as always...