Australia’s Drakkarus have just issued their debut independent self-titled album. Formed out of the untimely demise of one of my all time favs in Trollgasm, Drakkarus is forging a new path in Viking metal from the land down under. Vocalist Dani Read and guitarist Mick Krucler tackled some questions for us regarding the new band, the new album, playing some fests and some other things…check it out….
Congrats on your debut self-titled release…… how has it been received so far?
Mick/Dani: “Thank you, so far, we have had a pretty good response. Pretty positive feedback from most people we talk to. More and more views are happening daily on You Tube.”
So let’s go back to the end of one of your previous projects in the still epic Trollgasm…..why did you call it quits? How did Drakkarus form and who is currently in the band?
Dani: “While we were having a lot of fun doing it, Trollgasm had just run its course. We all had different projects that we wanted to pursue. Drakkarus was formed by Mick, he had written a bunch of songs and wanted to see where they went. Current members are Michael Krucler (guitar), Dani Read (lead vocals), Brett Pigram (guitar), Troy Ervine (drums) and Tim Read (bass).”
How did you come up with the name Drakkarus for the project?
Mick: “It originally started out as Drakkar Belfor, but we didn’t really like the name. We wanted something shorter and a bit more catchy, so the name Drakkarus was born.”
What did you want to do whether similarly or differently from Trollgasm? Are there directions you can see taking this project that Trollgasm never would have gone possibly?
Mick/Dani: “We wanted to take it in more of a Death metal/ Viking metal way than Trollgasm while trying to keep some of the folk element. Chunkier guitar riffs, thumping bass, pounding drums and a more guttural growl and deeper screams. When you listen to the album “War Charge” is a good example of the chunky guitars and then the song “Dragons Flight” takes us back to the folk.”
How do the tracks come about? Are lyrics first and then music? Is it a collaborative effort or does one member of the band direct the song style and writing?
Dani: “Michael writes all the music, we can all make changes if it suits the feel or style of the song. Lyrics are written collaboratively, and Dani figures out vocal patterns and where to use the low growls or the screams.”
The release I would consider a full length debut album…..was it supposed to originally be an EP?
Mick: “It was originally only going to be an EP. We had so many songs that we liked that we just decided to record a few more.
What music acts are the biggest influence in the Drakkarus sound? What other things outside of music influences what you write about?
Mick/Dani: Outside of music our main influence is Norse mythology. Our main influences musically are Ensiferum, Equilibrium and Eluveitie.”
You have done stints as either the bassist or drummer as well as main vocalist in various projects….what role do you have the highest level of comfort in doing?
Dani: “I enjoy all of them to be honest. Being able to change the tempo and the feel of a song behind the drum kit. Just going with the flow on the bass guitar. I guess I feel the most comfortable as the lead vocalist. I love being out front and entertaining the crowd and getting them to interact with the show.”
Australia has some epic acts In the metal scene…..how is the overall metal scene in the land down under?
Mick: “Its going pretty well, there seem to be some really killer acts popping up all over Australia. Plus, the guys who have been doing it for a while, bands like Beast Impalor, Enviktas and Saralisse just to name a few.”
You have played some pretty killer fests including Mirkwood, Questfest and most recently, Dragonsbane….how is playing the new music live been so far?
Dani: “It’s been a lot of fun playing the new stuff. So far, we have had really good crowd reactions and positive feedback from every show. We had a pretty good review from Questfest. Looking forward to playing future gigs.”
Are there any plans on touring either in Australia or internationally with this project?
Mick: “That definitely is a plan of ours to tour domestically and internationally. We want to get our name out there a bit more before we start planning anything, but we will keep everyone up to date.”
I see that the album is available for listening on YouTube at this point…. how else will it be available for listening/purchase?
Mick/Dani: “You tube was our starting point to get the music out there. We are looking at Spotify and setting up a Bandcamp page to give people more options to listen to and download the music.”
Any favorite music from 2018 so far?
Dani: “I haven’t really heard much new music this year so far. I have recently been going back through some of my playlists just to listen to some of the older stuff. Recently I am loving Mushroomhead.”
Mick/Dani: “Thank you so much for this opportunity. Though our current line is still quite fresh, we have only been together for around 4 months. We feel like we are getting better every gig and the only way to go is up. Thanks again and stay tuned for more Drakkarus in the future.”