November, month of Dalriada

By: Nick

Dalriada isn’t that well known outside the borders of their home country Hungary. However, they’ve been playing for many years, and they just released the album ‘Napistan Hava’. After following the band for many years, I had a lot of questions to ask them, and this was the perfect opportunity to get the answer to all these questions. I spoke with Riekmann – Tad – Dadeusz, drummer of the band.

Hello! How are you doing at the moment?
Hi! I’m fine thanks, just bought myself a sixpack of Becks. 

You just released Napistan Hava, how is it received up until now, and how went the recording process?
Well, it is still in the Hungarian top 10 charts, I guess that’s a really good start! We began the recording sessions back in June, in Sopron (where most of the band members live) and in Szolnok. Both studios know us and our music well and we have been friends with the whole crew for a couple of years now.

How do you write your songs? Is it a group-process, or is there one who writes everything?
Back in the early years we wrote the first two albums altogether but since then Andris, our lead singer and guitarist started to dedicate almost his whole time to this band and to writing new songs and lyrics. So nowadays the biggest part of ideas comes from him.

What is your main source of inspiration, in terms of music and lyrics?
Hungarian culture and folklore, the history of this region, famous commanders and battles ancient myths, legends and ballads of one of the greatest Hungarian poets, János Arany.

You have a really defined own style of playing, how did you come up with this style?
I guess it depends on three things: first of course, since Andris writes a big part of the songs on his own, his specific „trade mark” is inevitable. Second, we are always eager to keep it traditional, therefore many ancient Hungarian melodies found their way into our songs, this is a great source of inspiration – not just for us . And last but not least I guess we are more than band mates and as friends sooner or later you develop some kind of group sub consciousness to play it the „right” way. 

All album titles have a month in the title, how did you came up with this concept, and will it continue throughout the next albums?
Those are old Hungarian month names and since we devote ourselves in our music to Hungarian history and traditions we thought it might be a good idea to call our first 12 albums after the months and of course we’d like to keep it up!

Since we can’t understand all of the lyrics, where are they all about? And does it have a specific reason why you sing in Hungarian?
I think this genre of metal is mainly about the people, traditions and region of that land the band comes from. Many other folk metal bands sing in their own mother tongue as well, it’s authentic. Especially since we wrote among others the music to some stunningly beautiful ballads from János Arany and with all due respect to translators but it wouldn’t be the same in English for example.

Will your lyrics be forever in Hungarian, Or can we expect some songs in English in the future?
I think we’ll keep it Hungarian for the time being. Although we once did a Manowar cover – of course in English – but that was ages ago. 

We heard that you left AFM-records. Why is that? And did you already find a different label?
We are a very active band and therefore we want to play as many gigs as possible, especially abroad. Since that was always a bit difficult for us to organize and we know how many people know us out there. AFM did a great job when it came to the promotion of the new album, back then it was „Ígéret”, but they couldn’t help us with shows abroad. In the end it was an interesting experience and we wish the crew of AFM all the best but we are quite excited about our old/new cooperation with Nail Records and our new distributor/label for the German speaking regions, „Einheit” Records.

You’ve changed your name from ‘Echo of Dalriada’ to ‘Dalriada’, why is this? And did this have any influence on the band?
The only reason why we changed our name back to Dalriada was for the sake of simplicity. It’s easier to remember and to shout on concerts as well ! It had no influence whatsoever on the band.

While everything from you is Hungarian, the name Dalriada seems to be derived from a Scottish clan, why is that?
Yes, the Scottish origin is true but there is another interpretation of this word. According to a certain theory in Hungarian linguistics „Dalriada” contains two words: „Dal” means „song” and „riad” is related to „riadó”, which means „alarm”. So according to this – not too well known – theory our name is a Hungarian composite word and means „song that calls to arms”.

Your main vocalist is pregnant, does this have any influence on the rest of the band?
Well, she couldn’t join us on our tour with Arkona and Darkest Era – Anita Kun from Hungarian melodic metal band Ideas took over for those gigs – and she can’t participate in the last few Dalriada shows this year either but apart from that her pregnancy has only positive effects.

What is the folk-metal scene like in Hungary?
It got really bustling in the last couple of years. Even back in the day when we started Dalriada there were some really talented folk bands, but some of them don’t exist anymore. The young groups are promising and as far as I can see they do a lot of gigs and festivals.

What is your own favorite song from Dalriada, and why?
Tough question…I have one or two (or even more) on each album. Maybe „A tavasz dala” from „Kikelet”, „Ágnes Asszony pt. 2” from „Arany-Album” and „A juhászlegény balladája” from „Napisten Hava”, all three of them have a stunning, apocalyptic atmosphere that gives me goose bumps every time I hear them. But I could name many more as well!

What are your biggest goals and ambitions?
To see the world, meet our fans and friends, to play with great other bands and to give concerts till we drop.

While already playing for many years, it seems you still didn’t have your breakthrough in the rest of Europe. Why do you think is this? And do you have plans for playing throughout the rest of Europe (Especially Holland!) one day?
I really can’t tell why, maybe because for the first 5-6 years we didn’t play outside of Hungary at all. I guess our first step in this direction has been our EU-tour with Arkona and Darkest Era in October and some German/Austrian gigs in the last 2 years. It was a real success I think. Of course there are already some negotiations regarding gigs in 2013. At the moment I’m not supposed to go into detail, but you can trust me: next year will be huge and Holland is on our must-go-list ! As soon as we have confirmed gigs we’ll post them on our homepage and on Facebook.

Is there still something you want to say to your fans, or to the readers of folk-metal.nl?
If you’re reading this you have to have a great taste in music! Keep it up guys and hopefully see you soon ! Tad – Dalriada