Folk-metal heroes from the Brazilian countryside
Tuatha de Danann is one of those ‘well known unknown bands’, starting way back in history and still playing. Influenced and with an obviously great fascination for Skyclad the band is representing a small but strong piece of the folk-metal scene in Southern America. That must be reason enough to have a little chat with these guys and so we did. Bruno took the time to talk about his great band.
Tuatha de Danann started many years ago. How did you guys start, how did you meet and what were your reasons to get to play together?
“Yes, we are quite old fellows today! We started as a band in 1994. We used to play a sort of death/doom metal with some medieval contents on the lyrics. I was 13 years old, and in 1995, we evolved into a sort of folky doom thing and we changed the band’s to Tuatha de Danann in 1996 when we released our first demo tape. We live in the countryside where people kind of know everyone and specially when you are metal guy it’s easier to make friends due to the mutual interests… that’s how we started, kids intending to have a band.”
Things seemed to be going great from the start. What caused the band to stop after many years.?
“There’s loads of things always, right? We had some problems inside the band with members which are no longer with us, we had also issues with our manager and there wasn’t a different way to continue at that time. We where kind of lost so the band stopped for 3 years.”
In 2012 the side-project Kernunna started. Was this a one time experience?
“Yes, Kernunna was a project I loved to do, but there’s no reason to keep it going nowadays. We released the album when Tuatha de Danann was resting and Kernunna was formed by 3 TDD members. Most of the songs on Kernunna’s album were composed to Tuatha de Danann and I conceive that album as the continuation of Tuatha after our last album at that time (Trova di Danú). You can see that Kernunna is much more progressive and it’s an evolving music growing from Trova di Danú.”
Ok, Kernunna was more of a way to go on with the band in an other way. What did it make to get Tuatha de Danann back together in 2014?
“We kind of miss to do things as Tuatha de Danann with all that old guys, and when released Kernunna’s, and the album was pretty good, we all see that if we keep Kernunna alive Tuatha de Danann would never return again, so we all decided to join the band again.”
What is the (folk-)metal scene in Brazil looks like. Can you play there a lot?
“Considering Brasil is a latin country we have a very nice folk metal scene (of course it’s not a mainstream thing). There’s some nice bands, concerts, festivals, ‘dinners’ hahaha. I believe also that those series like Vikings, GOT, etc, influenced people around.”
There always seemed to be a fascination in the band for Skyclad. Is there a special reason for this?
“The reason is that Skyclad are the creators of Folk Metal. I know some other people/bands that claim it to be an achievement of theirs or even pointing to some other artists, but the way I conceive it, Skyclad was the real pioneers and since I heard them for the first time I was enchanted… the fiddle, the folky melodies together with the heavy guitars and aggressive vocals…. Just loved that! The lyrics and all the contents are amazing… They where our first and major influence on folk metal.”
The tribute to Skyclad on YouTube was a magnificent one. How did you think of this, because it’s quite some work with all these videos.
“It was very nice to have it done. It was in the middle of the pandemic and we were isolated, each one on his place and doing that…. Was very funny and nice to do this tribute to them.”
Can we expect a new album in the near future?
“Sure! Since the band returned, we released 3 albums, Dawn of a New Sun, The Tribes of Witching Souls and In Nomine Éireann. We just released also an anthology, a cd kind of ‘best of’ Tuatha de Danann. We are planning some new songs to be released this year.”
Is there anything else you like to say to our readers?
“I’d like to thank you for the interview and for you who’s reading it and still don’t knowing Tuatha de Danann, give us a chance, check out our songs on digital platforms… Our last album was released on 2020 and it’s a special album of irish music, there’s songs and tunes, traditional and heavy metal pieces, with some friends on it, like Keith Fay from Cruachan, Marc Gunn, John Doyle, among others. See you!!!”