We had a conversation with Cal Lewis.Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
1. Tell our audience a few things about BORN OF IRE.
We create heavy metal, it’s thrash in places but with plenty of broad influence from a lot outside of that genre. If you like old school metal and are open to fresh modern take then just maybe you’ll like Born Of Ire…
2. Your debut album was released in 2018. Are you happy with the distribution and with the feedback from the press etc?
Feedback has been great. We’ve had nothing but positive reviews, check em out online. They are all 4.5 to 5 stars, 95% etc.I think the only criticism it’s received was from a small handful who found the production to be polished but too old school for their personal taste… classic metallers and others seem to dig the sound. Interestingly it has been most frequently compared to And Justice For All… which of course is both credit and criticism.What’s great is when you read a review and someone really gets it. We’ve sold a good amount of records from our site, surprising numbers of physical records given our exposure has been so low and we’ve not promoted it at all. Seeing that there are people who really connect with it and enjoy it and get inspired by it is great to see.I’m excited to hear our next record and looking forward to seeing what others make of it. It’s certainly unique.
3. How difficult (or easy) is it for a musician to compose himself all the tracks and what difficulties did you encounter during the recording of ''Born Of Ire'' album?
Writing riffs and music is the greatest pleasure in the world. Refining songs is challenging, but rewarding. Recording is a mixed bag…The problems we had were endless. We had problems with individuals from studios who over-promised and under delivered; problems with amps and equipment; ran out of money; personal set backs (I won’t go into detail); problems with Duda and his coming to and from Brazil; and truth be told more than a few bad decisions about how to go about stuff.I’m sure the mistakes helped shape the album into what it became. And we’ve certainly learned from them.
4. Why did you release your album on your own (Private Release), instead of searching for a label?I am pretty sure that many labels would like to release your album! So, what would you prefer: Label or DIY and why?
In the past musicians were entirely reliant on labels (even smaller ones) to fund recordings and to get exposure (beyond playing live). That’s no longer the case. They have a diminishing role unless they can offer you something you need.Some of the labels who have approached us simply haven’t offered us something we need. They offer us recording time and funding but we don’t need the capital for recording a new record as we already have a competent recording setup and team…. Go listen to the production on the debut album, it’s rich and interesting and done by us! So the only thing they have to offer us is access to a broader listenership. We want this but it has to be the right label with the right reach and so far we haven’t had the confidence in any of the labels that approached us.
5. As the main songwriter what gives you the inspiration to compose songs & which are your main influences?
Surprisingly I rarely look to other music for inspiration these days, maybe I did when I was younger.I’m more heavily inspired by film, books, art. “Devil to Pay in the Backlands” is inspired by a famous Brazilian Portuguese novel; “Spire” was inspired by Last Day of a Condemned Man; “Asylum” is inspired by H.P.Lovecraft’s Reanimator; “InFiction” was inspired by the Christopher Nolan film Inception.
I like seeing and seeing and listens to things and imagining what a musical interpretation would sound like.This is further explored in Album II which is well underway!
6. When you start to write a song, which are the steps for you? Lyrics first and then music or vice versa?
Generally I write the music with a vocal melody in mind, sometimes the lyrics take a lot longer to come through. I also tend to tweak the music and lyrics right up to (and even during) the recording process. This typically pisses everyone off, but hey.
7. The cover artwork of the album was made by Hana Robinson.Did she make it after she heard the album or did you tell her what to do? Which is the meaning behind this cover artwork?
I love the artwork, Hana did a great job. I actually sketched a couple of things and passed them over to her, but she took that and designed a fantastic piece of art. There is some meaning behind it, but it’s more about the feel of the art. A claw coming out of the abyss and clutching the chess piece in the foreground… it’s awesome.
8.What do you think is the best way to promote a new Heavy Metal band and what do you think is the mistake of today's bands?
Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Well, we clearly don’t know how to promote a metal band… mistakes and success mean different things to different people.I think if you are inspired and creative but have your own vision for a sound that you want to achieve then that’s all you need.
9. The album was produced in CodeTalker Studio. Did you take part on the production process? Was it difficult for you to find the right and correct sound for the album?
Yeah I was heavily involved in every element of the recording. The guitar tone is quite particular, I’m sure you noticed. It takes some seriously tight playing to make that work. There’s also a lot of layering of different pieces of guitar, some of them quite abstract… it needed someone to pull that together and make it work as intended.The record was largely pulled together by myself and Tim at CodeTalker Studio, there were others a long the way who contributed where necessary.
10. You made a video for the ''Marionette'' song. Do you think that is important for a band to do a video?
The video was fun to film. Me and Duda just turned up with a small quantity of recording gear and just drank a load of Boddingtons. I had very little to do with the production of the video. We just wanted it to feel both empty and somehow still dramatic, it oddly seems to achieve that.I think videos are important as a lot of people like to have something visual to get a better sense of the band they are listening to. That being said, I don’t think people should make a video just for the sake of having a video. Videos should serve a purpose and be a piece of art in of themselves.
11. What are your future plans? What’s with this new album? Is it coming soon?
Next album is written, we just need to practice it before heading in to record. I can’t imagine that the next album will arrive before winter as there’s so much to do. Born Of Ire is currently a three-person group, we are looking for a bassist.
12. Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thanks Stavros. Keep up the good work on the Webzine. We’ll give you a heads up when the next album is ready!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.
BORN OF IRE CONTACT: