Jan Vrobel, singer of the Czech group Cruadalach, agreed to answer some of my questions. Here you can read his answers and some words about the band’s work.


1. Firstof all, for the readers that do not know your band yet – what can YOU say about Cruadalach? How would you introduce your band to people who do not know you?

Cruadalach is the tribe of eight. From the beginning we are considered to be a folk metal band, but I believe it is pretty symptomatic to us that we never cared about any borders or genres and we simply follow what we believe that is good and honest music. So what you can hear on Rebel Against Me album comes straight from us. It contains in your face message and elements from the genres you might not really expect. Give us a try, we sound our way and we are authentic and very honest about what we do. Regarding to technicalities we use typical metal instruments as well as violins, bagpipes and plenty of other stuff. We have one demo, one EP and the debut album Lead – Not Follow up to be followed by Rebel Against Me in January 2015r. We performed around 120 gigs in 11 countries so far from Rotterdam to Bukuresti and we performed with such acts as Primordial, Eluveitie, Ensiferum and dozens of others. Cruadalach is basically my second family and I´m very thankful to these people for having opportunity to create. It is one of things human beings really need in their lives as I believe.

2. The upcoming album’s title is Rebel against me. Why? Is it a name of one of the songs, or does it have some story behind it?

Rebel Against Me has many possible meanings since its not said who this “rebel” is supposed to be. To me personally it should be more like “Rebel Against Myself”. The rebel is me. And I rebelize against myself to take control over of my life as much as possible and to dig out the most of it. Conceptually the album has two layers, inner and outer one. In its inner layer, all songs are very personal. It describes moments when I realized something about my life, or at least thought I realized it. Sometimes you follow your daily routine and then you come to conclusion something is wrong and you need to make a change – to rebelize against ongoing order. So, all songs deal with anger & frustration about the world, politics, state of nature, relationships… but always eventually turning to hope when you take your guts to follow what you believe it´s right. Whole album is positive – maybe not joyful or merry in classic folk metal way, but very positive for sure. Even euphorically, maniacally positive. When we create, it always gets to this point, because creation is to me one of the moments I feel incredibly happy. In its outer layer, the album is dedicated to all the known and unknown “rebels” who fought for what they believed in, even when they might risk a lot – careers, family and possibly life. The album ´s booklet shows around 100 faces of some of them, people we strongly respect or have them in memory. Considering you are Polish, you might find interesting that one of them is Ryszard Siwiec, the man who set himself on fire in protest of Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968.Crojdlach2013_IMG_0070_web

3. Can you tell us something about the songs included on the new album? The story behind them, something about the inspirations?

I could talk about it for hours, literally. But I don´t want tobore your readers to death, but on in the other hand it gets so shallow when I want to make it brief, so I will pick up the particular song: Revolt without a Name, an opening track, deals with the idea that the Old Testament might not be important for its religious meaning but for something else. What if the main message of Jews getting out of Egypt is not about following the God’s plan, but simply about the desire for freedom when people prefer to risk death in desert before living in slavery? If you think the ancient people, they all probably had the same troubles and desires as we have today. We also quote Charlie Chaplin´s movie The Great Dictator in that song, I believe its one of the best movies in the history of cinema. A movie appreciating freedom, strongly humanistic, strongly anti-war. That correlates with our beliefs.

4. The song Shiva World Dance Party was released some time ago for the fans to listen to. The title of this particular song seems very interesting. Why “Shiva”? And why “World Dance Party”?

Since my childhood I always was somehow into philosophies, particularly zenbuddhism and hinduism. Shiva is “the dancing God”. He turns the order into chaos and vice versa – when he starts to dance, cosmos starts to crumble. To me its the epic symbol of impermanency of things.. Whaow, its sounds pretty wannabe posh when I talk about it like this, but the message is really simple: something ends, get the best out of it. Party on the tomb of the past. And no, I don´t want to teach somebody a lesson, this is more like a message to myself. I write lyrics for myself. I write lyrics to remember what I consider to be important every fucking time I scream it. The name of the song is a little joke through, I don´t think we should take our lives or music too serious. “Shiva World Dance Party” simply sounds really cool and untypical for a metal track.

5. It’s been quite a long time since you released Lead – Not Follow. Do you think that the band has improved? Would you say that Rebel against me is better than the previous album?

If the band improved? Well, definitely! We just spoke about it like a week ago, it´s pretty interesting actually. Not in terms of musical ideas necessarilly, we had enough of them even back in 2012, but we got much more experiences by spending time both together and in our daily routines, by touring and so. For that reason I wouldn´t say Rebel Against Me is necessarily better, but it´s definitely more mature. I´m glad that we took our time to do the new stuff, I believe listeners can feel the difference. We want to keep our eyes open to do things as best as possible.

6. Was recording this album hard, or was it fun for the members of Cruadalach?

It is always both. When I´m recording, I have the time of my life. The every new album is for me like a diary: after every few years, I sum up all my recent personal history in several songs. We´re creating and that´s an euphoric feeling. It is about turning our musical ideas into reality when somebody can actually sit in the other corner of the world and listen to it. But it takes ridiculous amount of time and hard work to make it done, considering the fact it´s just a fucking silly little CD. There are more than thousand metal records being released every year, our “Rebel” is one of the many and it still took all together maybe thousands hours of work of more than 15 people to get the shit done. And nowadays with the Internet it might be forgotten in few days, when it will be overrun by something more fresh. I have to laugh when I think about this. But doing music is what I love, so it´s worth every second.

7. What do you think about playing music? Is it more like a hobby to you, or do you think of it as your side job?

It´s definitely a hobby, I would be crazy considering it a job.

8. Are you planning a tour, related to Rebel against me? If yes, will you visit Poland?

Yes, we do and we already got some very nice offers from your homeland for 2015, but unfortunately, so far we didn´t come to conclusion from various reasons: especially because of regular work of our members. We have Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Switzerland planned, but I definitely hope that we will have at least few stops in Poland. Polish metal fans are amazing, we have many friends in your country (cheers Helroth, Percival Schuttenbach, Radogost and many others!) and it is always a huge pleasure to get to you. I hope we will make it. We love Poland 🙂