An Theos Interview
Romania’s An Theos has certainly been on my folk metal radar since their first album “Seminția Dacă” and they have yet to disappoint. 2019 sees a darker/heavier album come from them in “Renăscând”, their 3rd full length released independently in September. The band was able to answer some questions regarding the new album, the song writing process, the touring, the scene and a few other items of note….check it out……
Your 3rd album “Renăscând” has recently been released….how has the response been to it so far?
“I think the best feedback is having such a large audience while promoting this album. Even from last year, the single Alean got a wonderful response, being integrated in the playlist with which the band won the 3rd place at Wacken Open Air. All in all, this album really reflects the work we put on and the people saw it and supported us, and we hope they will continue to do so.”
Could you give us a brief history of the band up to this point?
“An Theos took shape at the beginning of 2010. The music and the lyrics are about our ancestors that were once well established in the Carpathians Mountains, the band style being epic-folk-metal.”
On 20th of April 2013 “An Theos” released the first maxi-single “Chemarea Străbunilor” (The Call of the Ancients), having as bonus 2 other songs : “Brațul de fier” and “Seminția Dacă”, one of our most request songs from that period.
“The first discographic effort was released on October 2016 (“Seminția Dacă”) . The second album came the following year, in 2017 (“Spre cer”) and now, in 2019, “Renăscând”.
Because the music scene in Bucharest, Romania is very active and effervescent we had had many switch of members but we think this is our most valuable and strong line-up so far. The plans we have for our anniversary next year will re-establish An Theos’ place in the great world of folk-metal as “a force to be reckoned with”.
The band had and has many concerts in Romania, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Germany and many more countries soon. For the next concerts please stay tuned on Facebook!”
What is the writing process in An Theos? Does everyone contribute their own parts/riffs or does one person start the process to be worked on?
“Everyone may come with one or two ideas, we chose the best of them and we start working on it. We cannot tell you we found the magic recipe, we just work with any idea, our process being very constructive and harmonic.”
Being an 8 person act has its challenges…. how do you make everyone have a “voice” in each track? Is there a lot of editing to make sure everyone has a role?
“Every song has its own “soul” and we focus on what makes the best sound for each song, but we rarely avoid one of the instruments or one of the two voices, there is always a place for everyone.”
Could you tell us how “Renăscând” became the title of the album and what is it’s meaning in relation to the album?
“We read the lyrics after we wrote them for the song and decided that the title for the song and for the album was perfect. They are also correlated with our day to day struggles and battles which we overcame and on a strictly musical point of view we decided to change a little of our sound and experiment a little with other influences. We thought it was time to re-think everything and try something new. “Renăscând” is a continuos process that involves every single spectrum, spiritual, personal and artistical. It is also part of this word which is now presented as a continuos verb with many synonims. We simply decided to re-think, re-arrange, re-evaluate our lives and our music!”
I felt that you slowed some of the tempos down a little bit on this album….just coincidence or was thought given to an overall different feel this time around?
“It was a mutual agreement because by trying to show a darker side of our folklore, a musical perception shift was needed in order to embrace these feelings more profoundly. We can say this is a musical adaptation in line with the album’s story.”
You have 2 vocalists in Loredana and Florin… how do you decide who sings what parts? Does it depend on the heaviness of the track or lyrics?
“Since both Loredana and Florin’s voices work so well together, they shared their parts complementary in order to make the final product the icing on the cake. We can tell you that they have worked hard on the tracks and it’s the best reflection of what we wanted to share with our audience.”
You have always had lyrics in Romanian… was this the best for the style/feel of the tracks or have you considered ever doing lyrics in English? Would there be something lost in the translation if you switched to English?
“To be perfectly honest, English might impoverish our songs of their true meanings. Our words and lyrical combinations have a certain feeling that can’t be reproduced in foreign languages or adapted at best. I don’t think that writing in English is out of the question but we haven’t taken it in consideration. Who knows? We will try it sometime. 😊”
There are numerous folk metal acts from Romania besides yourselves including Asheana, Bucovina, E-an-na and many others….how is the overall metal scene in Romania? Does the folk metal scene cross over into other metal scenes?
“The metal scene in Romania is not great not terrible 😊) I think it is fair to say that we kinda lack in numbers compared to other countries, however it is full of great musicians that are not afraid to play what they like. I think it is growing both artistically and in terms of quantity.”
We simply decided to re-think, re-arrange, re-evaluate our lives and our music!
What are the biggest influences musically on your sound whether it be other bands or traditional music?
“We have different tastes and we like to combine our tastes to create the music we all enjoy to play. Besides traditional music, we are influenced by several bands from different genres. I can give you examples like Ensiferum, Arkona, Eluveitie, Finsterforst, Dark Tranquillity, Gojira, Five Finger Death Punch and so on.”
What other things influence your sound (Books, TV, Movies, etc.)?
“We are all people who read, watch movies and documentaries. We have a passion for folklore and Romanian mythology, but we cannot say that a certain book or movie has influenced us, yet they contributed to our development, both as individuals and as a band.”
How do you feel about touring/playing live? Is it something that you would like to do more of?
“It feels great! After all, this is our passion and we worked long and hard to achieve everything we have. Our lives revolve around the band and our passion for music; therefore, we will tour and play as much as we possibly can!”
You are an independent act at this point releasing music via Bandcamp, YouTube, etc……is this the best/easiest way to get your music out there? Are you able to support the band financially by doing this?
“So far, in terms of finance, we can define ourself as sustainable. We are always trying to grow and online platforms are helping us a lot by giving us the chance to share our music worldwide. We aim to work hard, to dedicate ourselves more and more to this dear project, and alongside our staff we set off on a new journey, a professional one. We have an important fanbase, and that reflects in our income through the merchandise they buy, that helps us a lot, and with this we thank them. With them, the An Theos family grows everyday.”
Favorite music from 2019 so far?
“Finsterforst – Zerfal, Mgla – Edge of excuse, Sabaton – The Great War”
“We invite everyone to listen to our new album, Renăscând and we recommend you to follow us because this tour may be ending, but next year An Theos celebrates a decade of existence with a special tour, a brand new show and lots of opportunities for moshpit.”