Heavy Metal OTD meets Sean

Interview with the Guitarist of The Sluagh

The Sluagh is a six piece progressive death metal band from Dublin, Ireland who consist of guitarists Sean, Killian and A'avi, bassist Krzys, drummer Oleg and vocalist Jorge.

The Sluagh is member of the UnderWorld Map

Kostas :: What type of band are you?
Sean :: That's a bit of a tricky one, we fall mainly under death metal, but we've mixed a lot of progressive structures and elements into the music that wouldn't typically fall into the death metal genres ie. orchestral, sound design, accoustic etc. The song we're currently mixing, titled "What we are", is over 30 mins in its entirity so it has to offer up a lot in terms of substance to keep people listening...... so really that question would be for the listener to decide.

Kostas :: Tell us the brief history of your band.
Sean :: Thats a loaded question. In brief, about 2 and a half years back, adverts were put up by myself to begin a search for musicains to join The Sluagh. Anyone who starts a project like this will tell you the hardest part is finding the right people. Among many replies, Krys (bassist), Jorge (vocalist) and Killian (guitars) responded throughout the various fourms. I was introduced to Avi (guitars) through a mutual friend and Oleg (drummer) heard we had a vacancy and dropped us a line. We make a lot of noise together on a regular basis.

Kostas :: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Sean :: Anything instrumentally driven really bends my ear. Musically, I try to keep as broad a spectrum as possible. Growing up, it was all Pantera and Slayer, which made me want to pick up a guitar and gradually my taste became heavier and lighter in equal measures listening to death metal genres, classical music and what's inbetween, then I was handed Dimmu Borgir's Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia and I must have felt I had a musical direction at that point because it was around that stage I started writing music. Non-musical influences would be modern polictics, consumeristic mentalities, the current shitty condition the powers that be have our existence in and being made sit through another f#@king episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians", because my woman calls it "spending quality time together", are generally enough to influence some hate-filled, loathsome, venom-spitting metal..........we all suffer for our art.

Kostas :: What are your dreams and goals?
Sean :: Simply pushing our project as far as it can go. People tend to reach goals and stop, we haven't got a goal, just a direction: head down and work.

Kostas :: Who writes the songs, what are they about?
Sean :: Our vocalist Jorge generally writes the lyrics. If I feel I've some thing to contribue il speak up but for the most part, that's Jorge's cross to bear. He's been studing environmental science and generally keeps a good level of zen about himself until he's handed a mic. There's a focus on sociology, politics and how we as individuals play a role in that. It's important that we leave something up to the listeners interperation and conclusion as music can be more personal to the listener than the artist.

Kostas :: How do you promote your band and shows?
Sean :: We've not hit the stage yet, we are currently preparing for live shows and finishing our album. They are the two main focuses for us at the moment, we do make a lot of effort to push our online presence, to let people know we're moving and operational. Wer'e building a monster and that takes time, effort and calculation. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Kostas :: Describe your show, visual and musically.
Sean :: We have a few things planned that will make us stand out from the rest but I can't say anymore than that for the minute. You could probably tell from our online presence that there's something unpredictable around the corner and you'd be right. If our rehearsals are anything to go by, it's going to leave punters with missing teeth and sore necks. We write for the pits and that uncontrollable energy that comes with a great live show.

Kostas :: What do you think about downloading music online?
Sean :: The market has changed in the last few decades, will continue to change and it's up to bands to adapt and evolve to survive. There is no point in worrying about something you have no control over. You have to be a problem solver regardless of what industry you work in, music or otherwise. Your business model must reflect the market. There is no point in pushing a business model to a market that existed decades ago. Yes, the right thing to do is support the bands you listen to and buy their records so its easier for them to survive in a difficult industry but people are going to do what they want and thats a variable you have to work with. The other side of the coin is, as an artist you should be glad people are even paying attention to you to begin with.

Kostas :: What's your outlook on the record industry today?
Sean :: The record industry operates through a business structure and, as such, record labels are only interested in what they would view to be a marketable product which is what we consider everytime we make decisions on what direction to steer with The Sluagh. I'd love to just play a guitar, arrange songs and play live gigs but the industry is based on more than being a good musician. Gradually, the art world has merged with music and people expect more than they used to, for less, and on multiple platforms, so you've to consider the consumer in the equation a lot more now than back in the day.

Kostas :: What's your claim to fame?
Sean :: I've built stages, PA's and lighting rigs for a lot of big live acts in Dublin. I've worked as stage crew on festivals a fews years back and Seasick Steve was playing my tent (at the time i was oblivious to who he was) when his backline rolled in and was put on risers, I stood looking at the worst piece of shit guitar I've ever seen with 3 strings on it and with about 3000 people behind the curtain. A person, who I thought was a roadie, appeared beside me holding a bottle of jack, wearing a pair of dungarees and with a foot long beard, stood staring at the piece of shit guitar next to me for the guts of 2 mins. I check my watch noticing it was lunch time, turned to him and recomended he "string that piece of shit guitar" to which the "roadie" laughed. I came back off lunch to find the roadie on stage playing the piece of shit guitar to a crowd of 3000 strong.......Seasick Steve never showed up.

Kostas :: Tell us a story about a day in your life.
Sean :: I'm a heavy metal dad and a sound engineer outside of The Sluagh, so, when I'm not scraping breakfast cereal off a kitchen counter or pluging stuff in and then out again, my time is spent playing guitar to a click track, working on everything I don't like about my guitar playing, organising rehearsals (we get 2 a week in), sorting the social media, emailing the recording studios, arranging meetings with artists, writing and recording new material, rearranging rehearsals because someones schedule has changed etc.

Kostas :: What inspires you to do what you do?
Sean :: Mental illness.....mainly.

Kostas :: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Sean :: Don't.......just don't. Unless its a Wednesday, in August, at 4am, you had no idea she was married and she lured you back to her place with a lasagne

Kostas :: How does music affect you and the world around you?
Sean :: For me, it's a definitive thing, it's part of who I am. I've always played music, I could sit in a room with a guitar and write for 10 hours a day and be content doing that. I feel privileged to have a passion in my life like it, some people never have that in any field and I can't imagine life without that drive.

Kostas :: What's new in the recording of your music?
Sean :: Everytime we start a piece of music we look at what we haven't done and approach it differently so we try to do something new with every section and every song and try to be as unpredictable as possible.

Kostas :: What are the biggest obstacles for bands?
Sean :: Honestly, the individuals you work with can make or break a band so the main thing is to work with positive people who want to work and want to progress and move forward. You need problem solvers and people who can handle stress constructively because there are enough variables working against bands that, if the unit implodes, there is no hope outside of that, so you can't let the biggest obstacle be the band itself.

Band's Link

The Sluagh