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Marco Feltrin, William Ribeiro, Mat Maher, Colum Cleary, Niall Scallard (The Risen Dread)

Interview with Marco Feltrin, William Ribeiro, Mat Maher, Colum Cleary, Niall Scallard from The Risen Dread
by John Foley at 29 July 2020, 12:15 PM

THE RISEN DREAD are a Death/Groove metal band from Ireland with some members coming from Brazil. Ever since they burst onto the scene here in Ireland they have taken the place by storm and are quickly rising to become one of the biggest acts in metal in Ireland. 2019 saw the release of their debut E.P, “Delusions”, which garnered rave reviews from everywhere including ourselves here at Metal-Temple who gave the E.P 7 out of 10.  As a live act they have been described as a force to be reckoned with by commanding the stage with their presence with the crowd just eating it all up, and even got through to the semi-finals of the Metal to the Masses competition (which was then cancelled due to Covid-19). THE RISEN DREAD are made up of Marco (vocals), Will (guitar), Mat (bass), Colum (drums) and new member Niall (guitar). 2020 was set to be a big year for them with a European tour which unfortunately got cancelled due the Covid-19 pandemic. But like mentioned before they got a new member joining the band and signed a record deal with Wormhole Death Records with a full length album currently being worked on and to be released sometime in 2021. These guys are seriously ones to watch and big things are coming their way. Metal Temple writer John Foley recently had a chance to interview the band. So let's jump right into the chat!

So you have a new member, do you want to introduce yourself?

Niall:  Hi I’m Niall Scallard, I’m originally from Kerry but up here now in Dublin.

So how did you get involved with the band?

Niall: Over a year ago I put a post up on Facebook trying to start a band, always been into thrash metal but was getting into heavier stuff. So I put up the post looking for band members and Colum (drums) messaged me cause at that time they were looking for another guitarist. So he messaged me saying “We just recorded an E.P, this is our music video on Youtube and here is our Spotify” so was kinda like “oh shit” (followed by a few laughs in the room). I just sent them some guitar stuff I recorded. I didn’t happen at the time cause of some personal stuff going on. They had gotten another guitarist but things didn’t work out with him in the end. So was asked again midway through lockdown and said “yeah fuck it, go on”. We sent stuff back and forth and jammed and we clicked and I went to learn the songs. And it worked.

They say when a new musician joins an already established band there is always a bit of nerves and anxiety there, was there any of that when you came in?

Niall:  Yeah, its probably normal to be a little nervous. It was a different level then what I had worked with before.

Colum: Was like “we have an album. Right lets go”

Niall: There were even more songs than what I had heard from the E.P and now a bunch more too. Was a lot to take in really in a short space of time.

I know with the Delusions E.P came out first the bands sound was established with that so was there something new to the songs when Niall joined the band?

Will: I think, we didn’t have much time to get his ideas into it cause we have a deadline to meet with the album coming and during the lockdown I wrote about seven ideas for tracks so he has to sort of get into the what the ideas are in a way. But he’s done a bit of input into the songs. Like with this one new song there is going to be this guitar solo that Niall said he was gunna do. Its hard to get him involved with writing cause of the deadline we have otherwise more time to learn about the sound and mixing ideas, otherwise with the deadline the album wouldn’t be ready for sometime next year.

Niall: I think most of the tracks were already fairly fully formed so I’d give little tweaks here and there but there could be more towards the end of the writing cause most songs were about 80% when I got here so there might be more space for input.

Will: There is about 3 tracks that aren’t really finished yet so songs like those would be easier to bring his ideas in and by the time we get to those tracks he would be a lot more comfortable bring his ideas in.

Colum: From my perspective its like this, cause we all have different influences. Will (guitars) is more like technical death metal, Marco (Vocals) is more like thrash metal, I myself would be LAMB OF GOD mainly and brutal death metal stuff as well and then we have funky boy here (he then points to bass player Mat). So for me it was more interesting for some to bring in a BLACK SABBATH and MEGADETH background coming in with that riff building mentality. Will be interesting to mix that in with everything else as well.

Do to the Covid-19 pandemic, many bands have had to cancel shows and tours. Unfortunately you guys were one of them. So the European tour, what cities had you guys planed on going to?

Colum and Mat: We had London in England, Amsterdam in The Netherlands, Lille in France, Zurich in Switzerland, Leipzig in Germany, Bielsko Biala in Poland, Daskabat and Hodonin in Czech Republic and Budapest in Hungry.

So were there any of those shows you guys were looking forward most to playing?

Will: I think for me would be the gig in Poland, that was a big venue. London and Amsterdam too.

Colum: We even had a radio station in Czech Republic playing our music and did daily advertising for the tour.

Marco: I think I was just looking forward to being in Eastern Europe. I have been to a couple of gigs there and just watching that and the vibe from it and the Polish crowd would have been nice but you know if we can play again lets see if we can add those cities back.

So besides THE RISEN DREAD, were there any other bands on the tour as well?

Will: There was a Spanish band called ASTRAY VALLEY and we were going to co-headline with them. But they weren’t going to play London.

Colum: Yeah there were a couple of local bands that were gunna come on. Mainly from Wromhole Death Records.

So are there plans for another tour or any other upcoming gigs once Covid-19 fucks off?

Colum: There is The Gathering if that can go ahead.

So what is The Gathering for those who don’t know?

Colum: The Gathering is the first event being put on by the Ireland Metal Heads group which is a Facebook group which has little over 10,000 members now. And it’s a social page that brings everyone together so they have decided to put on gigs to make more social events here in Ireland. But this was going to be there first gig in Drogheda, County Louth on November 28th. It was originally meant to be on in March but due to Covid-19 it was pushed back.

So the band recently signed to Wormhole Death Records, how did that happen?

Mat: Luck (laughter fills the room)

Will: It was due to the tour that got us attention. So Carlo, the owner, contacted us back in December and we had a conversation before the Christmas break, then some back and forth after that. There were a few other small labels interested but we decided on Wormhole Death Records based on what he wants to do and what he can offer us. The offer is the album is going to be released in the Europe, USA  and Japan through Wormhole Death Records. In Brazil and Argentina they have partnered with another label to release it there. Once he sent me all the details we were like “Yeah that sounds good”. We have had video chats with him and he seems like a really good guy. So hopefully we can begin recording the album at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

Colum: My Father who has a background in law so when we got the contract we were very iffy at first. So rather then just sign it then and there Carlo spent two hours with us going through it with us bit by bit and explaining every part of the contract. So to me it seemed like this dude is really interested in getting this project down.

Will: Since Wormhole Death Records is getting bigger. We can see they are signing bands.

Mat: They seem to care more about the muisc then anything else.

Colum: That’s one thing we wanna look at when we are touring again is be a support act for bigger band so with the stuff the label are putting out that would be a good name to have behind us.
Like what happens with some labels they try to get involved with the bands creativity. Do you guys find that Wormhole Death Records take a step back from that?

Colum: Carlo is producer of the album, he will have a little bit of creative input as such but we as a band have 100% creative control of the finished product that comes out. He’s like try out his idea and if we don’t like it then we don’t use it. Its all up to us.

Will: There was something that we wanted to have someone else’s opinion on the tracks. Sometimes its hard to judge when you’re in there and you listen back and think am I 100% happy with this? Like since the E.P has come out the songs on that have changed a bit.

So you mentioned that the new album is coming out next year. What can we expect from the new album?

Mat: new songs

Marco: The songs are going to be a bit different then the way they were on the E.P. we are experimenting a lot with the things that we do. We don’t really worry about style when we are writing. But it is way heavier than the E.P and a bit more technical then before so Colum is going to have a lot of work to do.

Will: The tracks are going to be more consistent. The E.P has three tracks on it, three different styles. On there album there is going to be one track different but not going to take away from the rest.

Colum: There will be a bit of experimentation on it but we will be following much more of a common thread. It’s a lot more technically tight with lots of rhythm changes. The E.P was very this is track 1 and 2 and 3 whereas this will have a lot of themes inter-woven with each other.

I know in the past some of you have said that yous weren’t totally happy with the mix on the Delusions E.P. would there be any chance of re-recording any of those songs for the album?

Marco: It’s not something we are thinking right now to re-record the tracks. As we mentioned before we worked on those tracks again and they sound completely different. It would be nice but we want to wait to see the final result of the album to see if maybe we can fit one of them in. The initial idea is no.

Will: I think we should know by November if we want to put one of those tracks on the album cause by then we will have all the tracks finished. It wont sound like it does on the E.P anyway.

Colum: There is a bit of a narrative element to the album that it would have to fit into. Like the new song will be a lot more technical then the E.P like we would re-navigate that track again to make it fit with the new way we are doing things.

Niall: There is a lyrical theme running through the album.

Marco: Yeah there are songs about mental illness and they have one connection with all the songs which is the theme for that album. It makes it easier to write the lyrics and I like that connection like many bands that I love, their albums they have this singular idea and they have a common connection that will be revealed in the album.

So what influences, musically, are you trying to bring into this album?

Niall: Some of my own influences would be BLACK SABBATH Tony Iommi’s riffs and the way he structures the songs. I’m a big MEGADETH fan as well, I like their style and their use of melody and stuff. Just from a guitarist point of view would like to use a bit of blues like famous Irish guitarist RORY GALLAGHER and try and bring some of that into it.
Marco: I’m a big thrash metal fan and there is a lot of influence on my vocals from Phil Anselmo, that was bread and butter for me when I was younger. I like Randy Blythe vocals as well, there is sort of this melody behind the way that he sings and those fry vocals I try to go in that direction, but I sort of lead towards PANTERA and maybe old SEPULTURA like Max Cavalera was a big influence. But nowadays I lean towards that Randy Blythe and that false-chord of early Phil Anselmo.

Will: I listen to a lot of different shit, for now for guitarists, its not about being technical its more of the feeling behind it. I like things that sticks in your mind. Even though I come from a death metal background but I always liked ACCEPT, DIO, BLIND GAURDIAN. So the guitar is going to have lots of harmonies and dynamics change. We just want to get the groove that we want and keep getting it tight with the band.

Colum: I think it’s fairly obvious to everyone that my main influence is Chris Adler who is ex-LAMB OF GOD, his groove is something that I strive for. His ability to mimic the guitar lines just adds much more punch to the groove is just fucking beautiful. Navene Koperweis who used to play for ANIMOSITY who also stepped in on the new WHITECHAPEL album who is amazing. The stuff he has laid down for that album is insane. And loads of other bands like PARKWAY DRIVE, not specifically their drummer but the sound that he adds in and when they play it just fills out the sound so much better. So that’s the kind of stuff I’m coming from like Iadore brutal death metal drummers for their speed and power. Also Inferno from BEHEMOTH is just brilliant.

Mat: I’m the complete opposite to the rest of the lads, don’t really like thrash metal I’m a big nu-metal fan like COAL CHAMBER, KORN. So my biggest influence would be Fieldy from KORN or Paul Gray from SLIPKNOT. That is just me through and through, I love the slapping and popping. But lately I’ve been listening to a lot of PARKWAY DRIVE so I’ve been really getting into that.

So as a bit of a teaser, sonically, what are you guys hoping to accomplish with the album?

Mat: That they will need to listen to the songs a couple of times. Like if you listen to the song once you would be like “oh I didn’t hear that bit in it” and then listen again. Like little flicks that wouldn’t be totally noticeable the first time.

Will: For people to sort of look past the technical stuff and think “oh this is nice”. In general people will think “the drums and the guitars and all, they sound cool” but al long as we are happy with the whole album.

Colum: kinda like what was mentioned before, there are tricks that PARKWAY DRIVE and LAMB OF GOD use like they may play the same riff again but the drums are different.

Marco: And I think now with the support from the label the reach we are going to have and get to different countries and different audiences, its amazing cause some of our most views are in different places but like bring the music of our people and bring it to different audience and kind of this is our signature from this album and we are happy with it and we hope that the people are happy with that too. But like what was said before “look what the bassist did there” or “look what they did here, its pretty cool”.

Will: I’ve said it to the guys before I want to sound as good as we sound live. Cause the feedback we get is “I’ve listened to you guys but after seeing yous live, fucking hell that was insane”. We need the album to reflect that cause the album is going to make people come to our gigs. We can sound live better then the album but we can’t have the album sound better then us live. But we have to be the same level of love and album feedback which is gunna drive the band.

Colum: I think listening to it and hearing new things is great but I want songs that when people listen to it they get right into it, like I want people to listen to it once and go “I fucking love that” but you get into it from the first listen.

Niall: A point to go with that is a lot of those types of bands like DREAM THEATER, they are bands for a musician to listen to. We want to make something that everyone can listen to.

At the start of this year yous got involved in the Metal to the Masses competition, what was the mind set going into that as well?

Colum: Tear the fucking place apart.

Mat: Have fucking fun.

Marco: it was kind of like, you have the competition behind but when you face every single gig the same way, live performance is very important for me.

Colum: We found that playing in Dublin it can be hard to find a gig that would have a good attendance so for us it was a guaranteed big crowd.

Marco: We were the last band playing that night, a lot of people coming in and out but at that point we had a good crowd there. And we put a lot of energy into our performance and the crowd was great and the way it was organized so everyone got involved so when you get that feed back from the audience its way easier to get going. Was probably one of our best performances ever. We got the votes from the crowd in the end and going to the semi-finals. And we’ll see what happens next.

Will: Well our plan was to win (a few laughs in the room). Like playing is fine but when you’re there it’s a competition from the beginning. We were the last band up and I remember saying to Colum “if we don’t move forward I don’t know why” cause the reaction from the crowd we got was nice.

Colum: one of the best highlights for me was when we took everything off the stage Jean-Claude (living legend in the Dublin metal scene and has done the sound and p.a for bands for many years here and is a very well respected man) came up to me on stage and says to me “you guys have been the best band of the night” and I was like holy shit he’s telling me this especially with all the bands he has worked with and then we won the crowd vote which was a higher highlight.

Just for those reading who don’t know do you want to tell us what the Metal to the Masses competition is?

Colum: So Sophie Lancaster (who was murdered in a park in England for being goth/alternative back in 2007) has a stage in her honour at Bloodstock which is kind of equal to the new band stages at most festivals so basically the Metal to the Masses winners from the U.K and Ireland make up most of the line up on that stage. In the U.K it’s just one round and your through, in Northern Ireland it’s a little bigger but here in Ireland its so much bigger with around 35 bands starting on 7 different heats and 2 bands go through from each heat and then there is the semi-final and then the final and the winner gets a slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage.

So there you have it. These guys are The Risen Dread, got great momentum behind them with so much more on the horizon coming up. They truly are a force to be reckoned with great songs and an insane and intense live show. Their Delusions E.P is on Spotify for everyone to check to out, its really worth a listen. Their new album through Wormhole Death Records will be out at some time next year and is one to really look forward to.


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