Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gales Of Avalon Interview

1.Can i get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

1. Gales of Avalon began as a one man project. Mark Dillon had set out to write and record a black metal concept album drenched in Celtic folklore, but with an underlying theme of real life difficulties and consciences. After demoing several songs Mark was prompted by friends to play this music live, and so began the process of putting together a band. Jamie Gallo’s ferocious double kick and seemingly unending energy made him an obvious choice for the job as Gales of Avalon’s drummer. James Neill has an infectious enthusiasm for metal, as well as an unmatched guttural growl. The bass/backing vocals position was undoubtedly his. Dylan Hansen has one mandate, to shred. He is equally at home on six strings or piano keys. Lead guitar and keyboards were now filled. With Mark handling rhythm guitar and vocals, Gales of Avalon was now officially a band. The advent of 3 more personalities caused GOA's sound to morph. Adding elements of death metal, thrash, and traditional metal has made Gales of Avalon a much stronger entity than it had ever been before. They soon settled in to regular rehearsals and in February '08 they began to record their debut EP: a 5 song CD including the songs “Black Ocean/Black Island” “Blasphemy Incarnate” “Led Astray” “Cold Dark Valleys” and “The Final Gale”. With the EP finished and months of rehearsal under their belts, Gales of Avalon played their first and extremely well received live show in May of '08, showing that they could pull off what they do in the studio in front of a live audience with more intensity than anyone had expected. GOA went along to play a few more shows that year before they officially released the self titled "Gales of Avalon" EP in Aug of 2008. While recording the debut full length "Black Island" GOA went on a mini tour in British Columbia, filmed a music videos for the songs "Cold Dark Valleys" and "Blasphemy Incarnate," and introduced Pamela Porosky as the new full time keyboardist. The sound was as full and as loud as ever as a 5 piece, but that period was short lived as GOA parted ways with guitar player Dylan Hansen and continued on as a 4 piece. GOA filmed yet another video for the song "Second Sight" in Sept of 2010, but due to advances in technology, and the addition of a new member, GOA were still in the recording process of "Black Island." GOA introduced David Hickli as the new lead guitar player in April of 2011, and the full 5 piece sound was back. Once the recording, mixing, and mastering were complete, GOA released the album "Black Island" in Dec of 2011, and this was followed by the departure of vocalist/keyboardist Pamela Porosky in Jan of 2012. GOA are currently continuing on as a 4 piece, and have plans to record a new EP in the coming months.

2. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

2. On our first releases the lyrical theme is basically celtic folklore, but we are trying to get away from that in our new songs. Now we are just writing whatever comes to mind. Our full length Black Island is a concept island, so all of the lyrics on that album stick to the same theme. The EP features 3 songs, that are on the full length, as well as two additional songs.

3. How have the gigs you guys been doing been?

3. Gigging is always fun, you never know what is going to happen. We played a Woods of Ypres tribute show not too long ago, and half way through the first song one of my screws falls out of the bridge of my bass and the spring goes flying into the crowd. After a few alterations I was good to go and we finished the set. I can remember other shows where the pit was so crazy in front of us that there are people getting thrown on stage, microphones are getting smashed into my teeth and forehead. I can speak for the whole band on this one, we love playing live.

4. What equipment do you guys use?

4. For bass I use a BC Rich Warbeast, and a Washburn Taurus T14FL Fretless Bass with a Bugera BVP 5500 head out of a 4x10 Traynor cab. Mark Dillon uses a Line 6 head/cab combo with an Ibanez Destroyer guitar. David Hickli uses a Mesa Dual Rectifier with a 4x12 Marshall cab with a LTD MH 400 Guitar. Jamie Gallo uses Tama drums and Zildjian cymbals.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

5. Woods of Ypres, Primordial, Celtic music...... there are so many bands that have influenced us. I think every musician is influenced by every piece of music he or she hears. You can always find something you can take from other music and apply it to your own. Or else you hate the music so much you know what not to do.

6. Do you remember your first show and what was it like?

6. I remember our first show like it was yesterday. We played an open jam night, at the Thirsty Dog in Calgary, and did three songs. Our first full out show was shortly after that with our good friends in Sacred Ally. We played a tiny little club that was packed to capacity. It was a lot of fun, but was not our best performance.

7.What made you guys decide to form a band?

7. Mark Dillon, Jamie Gallo and myself were in a band together before GOA formed and it was called Black Void. The band never took off like we wanted it to, and Mark was looking for something darker sounding. We figured since all of us could play instruments, and we were all good friends, why not form a band.

8.What is your opinion on sites posting your guys material and other bands material?

8. I wish every site that posts music, or torrents, would steal our music and post it everywhere. It would save me a lot of hassle in promoting the band. I would prefer that someone buys our material, I mean we worked hard on that album. But if someone wants to download it, then they go on to show it to their friends then I don't really see a problem. As long as our music is out there and available, and people keep coming to shows, then we are happy.

9.Is there any bands that you guys enjoyed playing with more then the others?

9. We had a chance to play with Woods of Ypres in 2010, it was such an honour because at the time Woods was one of our favourite bands. We also love playing with all of our brothers and sisters in the Alberta Metal scene. I believe that Alberta, and all of Canada for that matter, has such an awesome metal scene. So many great bands and so many great people.

10. How do you guys feel about the classifications in metal? like deathcore, metalcore and other subgenres and how some get a negative rep.

10. Personally, I hate classifications, and I think some of these subgenres are hilarious... GOA is a Heavy Metal band, and we play Heavy Metal music. You can call it Death Metal, Power Metal, Black Metal, Folk Metal, Fart Metal, whatever you wanna call it, Metal is Metal.

11. What song do you enjoy playing the most?

11. Either Homecoming or Black Ocean, Black Island. These songs both have awesome build up endings, and are just a lot of fun to play.

12. When not doing things with the band, what can you guys be seen doing?

12. We all hold day jobs, and are involved in the local metal scene. Myself and Mark Dillon run a webcast called Extreme Metal Television ( ), as well as a podcast called Vinland Radio ( ) Myself and Jamie Gallo also play in a Calgary band called Misanthropy ( , ). David Hickli works at a wood production plant, and when not jamming with the GOA, or playing with his wood, David can be found shredding on his guitar in the band Orphan Hammer ( , ). Jamie Gallo also played for Orphan Hammer in 2010-2011. Myself and Jamie Gallo also play on an ice hockey team called the Spartans, one of the worst teams in division d hockey.

13.Your biggest band moment?

13. I don't really know what the biggest moment was. There were a lot of moments, but I don't know about big moments. I remember coming home from jam one night and turning on the radio to hear our band playing. Being interviewed on live radio is always fun. For me the biggest feeling of accomplishment was after we played our full length cd live at our cd release party in December of 2011. We began recording that album in 2008, after touring, member changes, and the loss of all hope, we finally released the album.

14. What is your opinion on the current state of metal?

14. I would like to see more recognition for heavy metal musicians and bands. There is so much talent out there, people idolize dj's that spin records of other peoples music and are thought to be amazing, yet bands that continuously pump out album after album of original material are still playing bars and consider themselves lucky if they get paid. I don't understand it. I love metal because your are using all of the instruments to their full potential.

15. How did you guys come up with your band name?

15. Mark Dillon created the band before anyone else was in it so he called it Gales of Avalon. Mark always said he wanted to call it something that reminded him of his home. Since Mark is from Newfoundland, Gales of Avalon was deemed a good choice. Gales of Avalon sounds a lot better than Winds of Newfoundland.

16. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

16. We are currently writing new songs, we have a plan to record a new EP in the coming weeks. We have lots of shows in Calgary coming up this summer, and we don't plan on stopping.

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