With the debut EP a great piece of occult rock got released by Year Of The Goat. As this is a new band I took the chance to sent over some questions to learn more about Year Of The Goat. Thanks to singer / guitarist Thomas Eriksson for answering them!
You first thought about starting an occult rock band in 2006, right? Was it easy to find people who shared the same musical vision?
Not in the beginning. I talked to Fredrik and Per in 2006 about this project and they was absolutely thrilled over the idea, so we started to seek for people who has the same type of philosophy and vision. In the beginning we had two stand ins but only for rehearsal so we could come in order with the songs and so on. In 2010 we had Jonas and Tobias in the temple of YoG and the circle was completed!
Why did you named the band Year Of The Goat?
The Year is not so much a period of time but a state of mind, and the Goat symbolizes rebellion against the dogma and stigma of whatever religion and moral values you have had the misfortune of being raised under.
When did you start writing songs for Lucem Ferre? And how much influence did your band mates have?
I started in 2006 but it was little bit different sound, it was more in the vain of Sabbath. So I started to combined different elements of the 60's and 70's in the sound. Soon enough we had the sound for YoG and Of Darkness and Vermillion Clouds was born. Every body has their own opinion in the band some are good and some are bad, I think it is important to share different ideas with each other, it is developing for you to here other band mates thoughts. That is the way to get a strong band.
What inspires you? And at which point do you know if a song will be suitable for Griftegård or Year Of The Goat?
70's music has shape my musicality, like with my song writing and approach in music. I think that the 60's and 70's has more to offer in every aspect wether it be listening or playing. I find that the creativity of most 60's and 70's bands far exceeds the bands of to day. When I started the band I wanted to create the same dark and dank atmosphere that permeated the occult psychedelic music, and movies, of the 60's and 70's, while adding my own twist to it. Bands like Coven and Black Widow are, needless to say, great sources of inspiration. My first and only written song in Griftegård is Wedded To Grief. I wrote the music to that song except the part in the middle and the lyrics, that is Ola.
You are obviously inspired by 60's and 70's occult rock bands, how did you get into that sound? It's not like you experienced it...
Yeah, I think 60's and 70's produced lots of amazing bands! That time I think, still have a big impact on different music styles now days.
Of Darkness and Vermillion Clouds are quite different, but still sound homogenous. Two different sides of Year Of The Goat?
That is correct! Of Darkness is a shorter rock song and Vermillion Clouds is longer and more progressive one. And we trying to combined the sound to the style of the song, so they are like you say, homogenous.
You choose to cover Sam Gopal's Dark Lord, why this track? And why not another song you wrote?
First of the song is brilliant and YoG is the right band to do a cover on Dark Lord in my opinion. I wanted to do a cover on that song for a very long time, and I think this song was applied for this EP.
The EP is fantastic, just way too short. Okay, it's an EP, but why not a full-length debut?
Thank you very much Claudia! I think it is good to start with an appetizer, that will give us some time to establish YoG for the great mass.
Please tell us a bit about the cover artwork! Was it your idea? And what's the story behind the artwork?
Yeah, it was Valentin and my idea for the CD artwork. I had this picture in my head and Valentine who is a great art and graphic designer helped my out with the creation of my illusion. The vinyl artwork is made by Valentin and Tod White. Tod is a friend of Valle and he is a great painter and Tod is responsible for the dark art on the vinyl, except for the photo. The inside of the digipack and CD booklet is related to the song Vermillion Clouds. On the CD cover, she got a golden apple in her right hand and that is a symbol of life. In her left hand she's grasping a knife, that she's harvesting the souls with. But the cover for the vinyl is different. It is a altar with all the dark elements that combines for a invocation of Lucem Ferre.
Would you like to do a video? Which song would you visualize?
Vermillion Clouds would be awesome! I think the lyrics will paint the picture for you.
There was a 12" vinyl edition which is already sold out. A big surprise for you? Please tell us a bit about the second edition! How will it differ from the first edition?
It is cool to se that people appreciate your art and a big thank you to everybody for supporting YoG! Second edition is purple that is the big difference and it was our label managers idea for that one and we thought it was a great idea.
Talking about vinyl... Are you a vinyl lover? Glad you had the chance to do a vinyl version?
Jonas, Per and Tobias is the biggest vinyl freaks in the band, I don't have the guts to start collect vinyls I will probably ruin my wallet! It is awesome to do vinyl releases it is a dream come true, especially when our label manager comes up with great ideas for vinyl releases.
How long do we have to wait for a full-length album? Any idea when you'll hit the studio?
For the moment we are in progress of writing songs for the album, and we will start to record the album in the middle of November. Our goal is to release the album in the end of February or in the beginning of March.
This kind of music have to be celebrated live... Any plans for shows?
We planning to do many gigs as possible next year, we have some offers but I'm waiting to reveal them. The only gig that I can confirm at the moment is with Graveyard in October in Norrköping (Sweden).
Wouldn't it be nice to do a tour - when you have the full-length out - with your label mates The Devil's Blood? Or is there another band you would like to hit the road with?
Yeah, it would be awesome to play with TDB such a great band and great people! There are many bands that would be nice to tour with. One of my favorites would be Electric Wizard or Down!
Allow me an off topic question... What are the plans for Griftegård's near future?
The same as YoG, in progress of writing songs and get as many shows as possible for the upcoming release. Ola is writing songs and lyrics for the second upcoming full-length with Griftegård.
Anything you want to add? Something I should have asked?
No I think that is all. Thanks a lot for the interview Claudia. Best of luck with your magazine. And to the readers, make sure to catch us on the road when you get the chance, you won't regret it.
I can't wait to hear more of Year Of The Goat and hope they will hit the road as soon as they have a full-length out. But it would also be nice to see Griftegård on tour...