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Chris Naughton (Winterfylleth)

Interview with Chris Naughton from Winterfylleth
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 23 September 2010, 3:09 AM

The British Metal scene is in a kind of hiatus for some years now, trying to reach the glory of the old days with no huge success. WINTERFYLLETH are here to change that and show that the UK can still kick ass, even when it comes to dark and somehow atmospheric Black Metal. Let's see what the band's frontman Chris Naughton had to say about the band's new album and their plans for the future as well…

Hello Chris. First of all congratulations on your band's new album. A fine sample of Black Metal. Why don't you give us a short bio of WINTERFYLLETH for those who don't know you?
Myself and Simon met over a mutual appreciation of, and passion for English History / Folklore and we felt like it was a subject that we wanted to explore in music, so in early 2007 we started rehearsing / writing songs that would go on to become the debut WINTERFYLLETH album 'The Ghost Of Heritage'. The idea behind the band was, and indeed still is, to bring relevance to the history, folklore and stories that interest us in the hope of insighting interest in others about a topic, such as English / British history and folklore that is so close to our respective hearts. Up to the current point we have released two full length albums: "The Ghost Of Heritage" (Profound Lore Records, 2008 / Candlelight Records, 2010) "The Mercian Sphere" (Candlelight Records, 2010).

Who chose the name WINTERFYLLETH for the band and why? What does it mean?
Simon originally chose the name of the band as it was representative of the time period and history that we wished to discuss in our songs. The name WINTERFYLLETH (pronounced Winter-Fill-Eth) translates as 'Winter Full Moon' from the old English language and is also the festival that celebrates the first full moon of Winter (usually in October), signifying the change in seasons.

Really, where is this beautiful and haunting place your artwork features? Was the picture taken from someone in the band? Simon took all of the landscape photographs that we have used for the artwork on the album cover and also inside of the booklet. The cover is a picture of Ullswater in the Lake District with the sunlight catching the water from through the clouds. This was done on one of our many trips to visit interesting and beautiful places in the British Isles. As for the artwork itself that was put together and crafted by the awesome Dan C?ppe, who was also responsible for our recent 3 Lions t-shirt designs. What is so great about this cover is that Dan totally understands the aesthetic of the band and the spirit we are trying to capture in our music and somehow manages to transform that into artwork that truly represents a visual manifestation of our music whilst at the same time represents the beauty of England's various landscapes. Check out this work here -

How are the reviews you have read until now? Are the reactions from the press and your fans what you expected?
We are very satisfied with the new album as it really represents a more focused and virulent WINTERFYLLETH and has managed to conjure up the atmosphere and spirit we wish to put across in our music in a way that truly represents how we feel about the stories and history we are trying to bring relevance to. The reaction in other magazines has been very positive and we have been getting 9 or 10 out of 10 in a lot of reviews and were awarded Album of the Month for 'The Mercian Sphere' in Terrorizer magazine and were featured on the front cover of Zero Tolerance magazine as well. Generally the response has been very positive from everyone who has heard the record and they seem to be in agreement that our new album represents a much stronger focus and dynamic progression in our music. I think, without wishing to delve into cliche here, that when you make an album, you never consider the response you will get from other people initially as you are so involved in the nuts and bolts of actually creating it that it can become quite an involved process. To have had the response to the record that we have had is totally humbling and speaks volumes to us about the numbers of people who care about the things that we are talking about in our lyrical themes and who want to support us because they believe in what we do. I'm glad that people have managed to see behind the controversy and nonsense to the point of what we are about and while we did not expect the response that we have had to this record, we are truly inspired by the response we have had as it has allowed us to take things to another level and reach out further than we ever thought we could.

This is your first album through Candlelight Records. Did the people from Candlelight approach you or did you send your album to them? How is your cooperation until now?
Initially we were in touch with the A&R people at Candlelight and we sent them our debut album "The Ghost Of Heritage". On the back of this we were asked to sign to the label in late 2009 to record our recent album "The Mercian Sphere". We were all incredibly honored to be involved with a label like Candlelight, because it is a label that has an amazing Black Metal heritage. As there is a real renaissance of Black Metal going on in the UK at the moment , Candlelight are doing a huge amount to support this emerging scene of important British and Irish bands at the moment, all with a similar unified message. So it seemed like, and indeed was the right move for the band, to be on a label that cares about the genre with which you are making music. Aside from us, they are also releasing records from our close friends WODENSTHRONE and ALTAR OF PLAGUES, both of whose records are utterly amazing.

Have you scheduled any live gigs or festival appearances to promote "The Mercian Sphere"? Yes. We headlined the 2nd stage at Bloodstock festival this year along with doing some featured shows with SIGH and WODENSTHRONE. Other than that we are looking to do some touring in the UK in December 2010 and in Europe in the first half of 2011 with the possibility of some European festivals in spring/summer 2011. Keep your ear to the ground and we'll hopefully get round to somewhere near you over the 6-12 months.

Your sound is not the typical Black Metal one. It is somehow melodic, melancholic and epic at the same time. Which bands have influenced your music and why did you choose to play this kind of Black Metal?
It really wasn't a conscious decision to specifically set up a Black Metal band that looked at Anglo-Saxon, English and British history, it was just a natural thing that occurred. We started writing songs that echoed the landscapes and the historical stories that we love and that are deeply set within our hearts. We felt and indeed still feel that it is a subject area that should be close to the hearts of all English/British people and is also one that seems to have had much attention diverted from it. This is mainly done, we feel, to suppress the English people from solidifying a sense of national identity. An approach that the government has taken in the past I personally find utterly disgusting. So as a group of socially and culturally aware people, this is something we seek to re-kindle…. a sense of proud ancestral heritage in our land, our people, our folklore, our stories and our natural landscape. As for musical influences, there are many of those ranging from the more Black Metal influences like DRUDKH, HATE FOREST, ULVER, ENSLAVED and PRIMORDIAL right through to more traditional folk like ALTAN or Julie Fowlis or traditional Gregorian Chant-type music that is synonymous with our country's history.

What are your plans for WINTERFYLLETH from now on and what goals have you set?
At the moment we are actively promoting the new album 'The Mercian Sphere' in the press and through shows. Following that we are getting ideas together for the third WINTERFYLLETH album and working on developing those so we can keep the wheels in motion.

You also play in a Sludge/Doom Metal band called ATAVIST along with your counterpart Simon Lucas. Are there any news from there?
We haven't done a whole lot with ATAVIST in the past 12 months, with WINTERFYLLETH taking up so much of our time, but, we are finally working on some new material with our friend Chris Fielding at Foel Studios, so hopefully there will be a new ATAVIST EP in 2011.

Thank you for your time Chris! I wish you and WINTERFYLLETH all the best! Anything last you would like to say to Metal Temple's readers?
Honour your ancestors, your heritage and your cultural identity. Do not let anyone tell you that you are offending somebody by appreciating your ancestral heritage. It makes you what you are. It is actually offensive to be told you can't! The people that hold power of you will tell you it's wrong and have a warped view of political correctness. The real truth about self, home and indeed wider reality cannot be found in the television set and as a wise man once said "A generation which ignores history has no past - and no future". Hail Heritage!


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Edited 07 February 2023

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