Artaius and the Gaulish Gods
Around 2008 the project Artaius was born. At the beginning the aim was the recipe to find a perfect harmony between metal and folk music, but the band has always been wide open to various influences. So gradually their work evolved into an experimental music project. All the members that have been part of Artaius in these past years brought their own influences. It’s hard to describe their music. They call it “Post Metal” because it is everything and its opposite. In addition to folk melodies you can find a bit of Swedish death metal and 70’s prog-rock smartly arranged by their keyboard player Giovanni. The band is hoping that they can continue the way they do for a long time.
Time to get to know them a little bit better!
Why did you choose the name Artaius for the band? What does it mean?
“Artaius is the name of a Gaulish god. Originally he was probably related to nature and herding, but later he appeared to be an epithet for the Roman God Mercury who among other things, protected travellers. We chose it because our homeland has always been a crossroad between different peoples and cultures, so we felt it was quite meaningful.”
In what kind of way do you think you are different than other (Folk) metal bands?
“Maybe we’re much more eclectic than other bands, but it’s difficult to say because every music project is a world apart and has its own specific sound.
It’s very important for us to reach a sound that could be immediately distinguishable. As said above, our peculiar features are the massive use of the keyboard and the prog- rock atmospheres.
On stage we don’t use face painting or specific costumes, like a lot of folk metal bands do.
We prefer a more modern style.”
What are you most proud of doing with the band so far?
“First of all, we’re very proud of our two albums. We managed to release ‘The Fifth Season’ and ‘Torn Banners’ very close together in order to go ahead on the positive path we started and we’re satisfied with the result.
We’re also proud of the two European tours we made with Vallorch and Dusius. Those wonderful and adventurous experiences gave us the opportunity to play in very good situations.
We’ve also joined some important open air festival such as ‘Fosch Fest’ and ‘Machete Fest’, sharing the stage with Ensiferum and Primal Fear among others. But most of all we’re very proud of our new sound. We made some effort to get it but it came out very well in the end.”
And what is your goal/dream for the future?
“Surely we’ll keep on looking for ‘The Artaius’ Sound’. This match is not yet closed! We would like to create something substantially different from ‘The Fifth Season’ or ‘Torn Banners though.’
Where do you get inspiration from when writing lyrics?
“Our lyrics include some cyclic themes such as time and the transience of life. The whole band works together on lyrics, so lines come out of various streams of inspiration and in very different ways. We tell myths and legends by metaphors, or talk about the big questions of life, death, universe and so on. There’s a lot of imagination in our writing.”
Not entirely Italian
On each of you album is at least one song in your own language, Italian. Would you ever like to make an album entirely in Italian?
“The Italian language has a great potential for what concerns metrics and rhythm and we’ve always been interested in searching the right way to mix it with metal music. Despite this, we don’t think we’ll ever make an entire album in Italian. Though the two songs you’re talking about have been much appreciated, we aim to reach as much as possible international audiences. Anyway we would like to make other songs in Italian in the next future.”
This year you released the album “Torn Banners”, how was it received by fans and critics?
“’Torn Banners’ is giving us joy on one hand, pain on the other hand. The album was greeted warmly by fans. Several songs strike at the first listen while others are more difficult to get. Critics seems contrasting each other.
Some of them has welcomed Torn Banners with wonderful words, while others showed quite a bit intolerance to our musical experiments, such as the continuous blend of genres. Italian critics are all positive and this is very good for us.”
One of a kind
What is your own personal favourite song on this album and why?
“It’s almost impossible to choose a song. They’re totally different, we cannot find terms for comparison. Each song is one of a kind.”
Are there any plans for a tour soon?
“We have played a lot of gigs, first in Italy and then abroad, since ‘Torn Banners’ was released in May. We went on a tour two months ago, travelling across Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Czech republic. For now we’re well satisfied. We’ll think about it not before next summer.”
Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of folk-metal.nl?
“First we would like to say “Thank you!” to the whole staff of folk-metal.nl for this interview! Thanks also to the readers for their support. Check us out!”