Home SceneInterviews CELTIC HILLS INTERVIEW: If a chimpanzee wears an AC/DC T-shirt it remains a monkey!

CELTIC HILLS INTERVIEW: If a chimpanzee wears an AC/DC T-shirt it remains a monkey!

by Vjeran

Hi, when we started Metal Jacket Magazine, we wanted to somehow bring our readers closer to bands that might have a harder time breaking through to listeners in the sea of ​bands and music.

To begin with, it would be best if you introduced yourself.
J.V.: We are a trio; our name represents the history of the places where we live, which were inhabited by Celtic peoples before the arrival of the Romans. The name says something about the origin, not about the style of music.

Is it hard to keep all the members together since this music has no income?
J.V.: We adopt market segmentation, which means working on multiple fronts to cover total expenses. A band cannot make a living just by selling its music, but must be able to offer more by addressing an audience interested in other things as well, such as a recording studio…

How do you finance yourself and can you cover the costs of recording, equipment, concerts with music?
J.V.: Part of the costs are paid by the record label (Elevate Records), then come merchandise and live concerts. We also offer other musicians our skills, the paid use of our equipment… as I said, it’s a question of compensation.

What made you start playing metal music? Who were your role models in the beginning and has that changed over time?
J.V.: In the band every musician also plays other types of music. Bassist Jacopo Novello plays jazz!
The metal genre is one that knows how to combine technique and power. Music has evolved and telling what people listened to twenty years ago does not help to understand what they like today. It is the sounds and instrumental technique that evolve and consequently the way of playing.

Is it hard to find a publisher or is it better to self publish considering the internet?
J.V.: This question has more to do with economics than music, but let’s analyze it as a business question. There are different strategies to bring a product to the market, but the choice of the way will determine the success. You can rely on a publisher or do it yourself, using e-commerce. Observe how car brands behave! The different way of advertising between Ferrari and Volkswagen!

What have you published so far?
J.V.: In 2020 the full length Blood over Intentions and the Schrage Musik EP, in 2021 the album Mystai Keltoy, in 2022 the album Huldifolk, and in April 2023 Overvinna en forlust is released. All with Elevate Records

How do you create songs, how do you record them?
J.V.: Songs are born from a concept. The music is built around like a soundtrack and then we look for the best words to express the concept. Before recording the whole album in the recording studio, we record a pre-production to hear where and how to improve the final product with arrangements and sound choices.

Where do you get inspiration for the lyrics?
J.V.: Our texts talk about historical events that happened in our territory. From famous battles in Roman times, to the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, to the death of the Emperor of Mexico who lived in Trieste, to events of World War I and World War II. Our territory has experienced most of the most important events in history, so the texts take their cues from all of this.

What is your favorite song you’ve made so far and why?
J.V.: This year our drummer Simone Cescutti left the band to sing in his own band. We wrote a song for him, to wish him good luck, and he sings it himself.
I don’t know if it is the most beautiful, but it is the one that tells about our approach to music. We write about what is happening around us.

Where can readers listen to you and maybe buy your material?
J.V.: On all major digital platforms such as Spotify, Amazon, Youtube…for the physical copy directly on the Elevate Records website (https://www.elevate2records.com/categoria-prodotto/elevate-records/).

How do you organize concerts, is it difficult for you and how many people come to such concerts?
J.V.: We relied on Splitscreen Management for event planning, where professionals in this type of business take care of finding the best for us! Covid’s two years have not allowed us to perform live, and this year we have been at a standstill because we have not yet found a replacement for the drummer who came out.

In which countries have you played and where did you have the best time, where is the crowd the craziest?
J.V.: In the past we have performed in Slovenja, Austria, Germany. We are a band that started moving recently and the best is yet to come.

What do you think about the digital release and is it serious like CD or LP?
J.V.: Young people do not know what it is like to have a physical copy of a CD or LP because they were born with digital music. Those who grew up with CDs and LPs, on the other hand, have a different view on digital music. One cannot say for sure what is better! For bands, digital music has killed the market and there is less money as a result. There would be a lot of discussion on these issues and there is not all the space here, but we can say that we are still in a transitional phase and that today everyone has realized that things coexist together, but without giving benefits to the actors involved. Only Spotify gets rich without sharing profits with anyone.

Was metal music more honest than today?
J.V.: Absolutely not! In order to stay in the market, one must adopt economic choices, which are less artistic choices.

How do you comment on this bunch of sub-genres in metal and is it good for metal or is it destroying it?
J.V.: Subgenres were born in the 1980s and every time something changed, new definitions were born. I don’t think they provide an explicit definition of what a band actually sounds like! The best thing to understand what kind of music a band plays is to listen to it!

Do you support this commercialization of metal music and how about the wearing of metal t-shirts by some “exposed” people who do not belong to this philosophy of metal music?
J.V.: If a chimpanzee wears an AC/DC T-shirt it remains a monkey! If a metalhead is all naked he remains a metalhead. Why? Because it is the heart, the character, the personality that distinguishes, not the dress.

What would you change in the world of metal and would you like to go back to the time before the internet if you remember it at all?
J.V.: The world is moving forward and there is no going back. It is necessary to live in the present time without being afraid of making mistakes in order to make only right choices! Those who know how to dare and learn of their mistakes, have a better chance of facing the future. Imagine the water on the mountains: it does not know how, when and for where it will pass. One thing is certain. Its destination is the sea.

How important is supporting the local scene and can you single out a band from your area that you would recommend to our readers?
J.V.: Supporting the local scene is helping others as you would want others to help you. Our band is from Friuli, a portion of the Italian territory that is incatoned between Austria and Slovenja. I would suggest AQVILEA symphonic band that like us talks about history, but also Revoltons well-known powermetal band. I remember that bands from our territory include Rhapsody and Elvenking, historical and international bands!

How do you see this situation in the world and how do you think it will develop? Will they imprison us again, scare us or maybe send us into a big war?
J.V.: Are you asking what future awaits us? The tendency for a small group of tyrants to try to subjugate the people is perhaps one of the characteristics of the human race on this planet! My idea is to study a lot to increase our knowledge, to regionalize what is really good and what is not. The best antidote against wars, opressions always remains Love and Understanding. It is necessary to increase our Awareness in order not to be misled.

Finally, what would you say to our readers and why should they listen to you in the sea of ​​bands that are offered to them every day?
J.V.: If in this interview, expressing my way of seeing the world, I was at least a little bit interesting, then you can think that this is also reflected in the way we make music. We approach each other by similarities, by sharing common interests! We tell about our experiences, we tell about our territory. Everyone is unique in the Universe. Unique does not mean better, it means different. I cannot imagine a world of clones, all the same. Diversity makes it interesting. If you are looking for something different, try following the Celtic Hills. If you are satisfied and satisfied with what you have…try the same!

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