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Martin Walkyier (The Clan Destined)

Interview with Martin Walkyier from The Clan Destined
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 06 January 2009, 11:27 AM

While the riots in Athens, Greece were raging I had the pleasure and honor to have a nice chat with my friend (this is how I see him) Martin Walkyier about the new THE CLANDESTINED album and all the most interesting stuff he is into. So, read on and then visit the band's webpage (www.TheClanDestined.com) and myspace page (www.myspace.com/MartinWalkyier).


 Hi Martin, how are you?

I am pretty good, how are things in Greece? I've heard that it is pretty ugly there?

Yeah, things are crazy here, there are riots everywhere after the incident with the policeman who shot a young kid in cold blood. Actually, due the economical crisis things got eve worse.

I know because things are also difficult here in England. You know Dimitris THE CLAN DESTINED was just released in the UK through Pinnacle Records and I just heard that the label declared bankruptcy. So, although I don't know the numbers I can say that all the money from the album sales so far are gone!

That's really sad. I mean this album was in the making for so many years and now this?

(laughs) Yeah I am pretty unlucky with this stuff… But I keep laughing Dimitris, it is the only way.

 I think it is best to start talking about music. So, how was THE CLAN DESTINED idea born?

I had this idea, after I have left SKYCLAD, to put together a different kind of band; like a community of people not just musicians but web designer, film makers and artists from all around the world that just wanted to work together. One of those people was Iscariah (ex-IMMORTAL) who e mailed me and said that he wanted to work together. So, I went to Norway (and I think it was 1992) where we worked together and it was really great. Then we came to England and I helped him to find an apartment and continue to work on the music arrangements. During the recording sessions Iscariah just quit saying that he didn't want to do this anymore! I was kind of desperate not sure for what to do next but thankfully Andy Sneap said that he would help me to finish this project; and so he did!

You are very good friends with Andy…

Indeed we are. He was very helpful and actually many friends of mine stepped in to help me when they found out that Iscariah quit. People like James Murphy who co-produced the album with Andy, played some solos, like Les Smith (ex-CRADLE OF FILTH) who did all the keyboards and many others who gave me a hand during this difficult situation.

 Now that you mentioned keyboards, I think you used more of them in THE CLAN DESTINED than you did with SKYCLAD.

Yeah, I wanted to do something new and to create a new texture of sounds…

So, can we say that THE CLAN DESTINED is a full time band or just a project?

It's more than a band. It's a collective of people and to tell you the truth we might have 150 members in THE CLAN DESTINED all around the world. We had Tristessa from the Greek band ASTARTE who came and play the bass for the video shoot and people from far away countries likes Argentina and Brazil who did something for this album.

Can we expect that THE CLAN DESTINED will get on the road?

We do not have plans at the moment but yes I would love to do so in the future. What I am trying to do now is some new recordings and without management and a record deal is kind of difficult to do. I managed to do the first one without them and I believe I can do it again. The problem I have now Dimitris is that I am with three bands; THE CLAN DESTINED, SABBAT and HELL. Actually, me and Andy are working on a new HELL album. Do you know about this band?

Actually, I do and I will see you on-stage at 'Keep It True' festival.

That's great! You know Dave Halliday their singer died before they could make an album. In fact Dave was a great inspiration for me and it is kind of strange and spooky to sing his vocals when he is not around anymore. But the material sounds great! Last week I recorded some vocals but now it is pretty difficult because Andy is also working on the new MEGADETH album in Los Angeles.

 Do you have a record deal to support you in this?

No we do not; you can say that we are doing this for ourselves, but hopefully when it will be ready then someone will be interested in it.

 Do you have only new songs for the HELL album or will you use any of the old ones and try to give them a proper sound production?

Andy has re-recorded everything and I can tell you sounds really great! Andy and I were the biggest HELL fans so we have the greatest interest to make this sound the best it can! HELL was the band that inspired SABBAT you know back in our early days.

Ok, this is great news! Let's go back to THE CLAN DESTINED album; what is the 'new philosophy you are talking about in Swinging Like Judas?

Even though we are living in a world full of problems (economic, environmental etc) it seems to me that our religious leaders are trying to divide us and make us hate one another for no reason. We are living in a world that is dying, we have global warming, climate changes and many social problems so fighting each other over religion is plain stupid and crazy thing. So, Swinging Like Judas says that religion is to there to bring people together even if they believe to something different. People have to learn to tolerate and understand each other.

 It's like looking at the tree and loosing the forest I think. So, what would you do if you were a Devil For A Day as you say in the homonymous song?

This one is a little bit strange; it is a love song to someone that you hate (laughs). These are the strangest lyrics I have ever written in my entire career. It is pretty difficult to explain but I will try anyway… It asks the person you is listening to the song what he would do if he was the devil for a day. Personally, I would punish George W Bush and Tony Blair for starting wars.

 What about TC Lethbridge, can you give us some data about this writer?

Indeed I can. First of all these are not my lyrics and not THE CLAN DESTINED's music. It was originally written by Julian Cope for the band THE SONS OF TC LETHBRIDGE. Tom Lethbridge was an archeologist and a lecturer in the university, he was very interested in history and had some very interesting ideas about the birth of the universe, metaphysical ideas that were many years ahead of his time. The people at the university were laughing at him clearly because they did not understand him. The sad thing is that I could not find any copies of his books in the central library in England. You can only find some copies in the internet and the original ones in ridiculous prices. So, although he was such an motivating writer you cannot find his books to read them.

Yeah it is a shame. What about the video clip you did; how did you feel acting in front of the camera?

That was really good fun Dimitris. About a year and a half before I met a group of young film makers from Blue Dog Films and I realized that we shared the same ideas. So, they became a part of THE CLAN DESTINED and helped us with the video clip. One night while we were drinking in a bar we had the idea to make a really interesting video clip with some Nazi uniforms…

(interrupting) How did it feel wearing a Nazi uniform?

It was fun since I was playing a character, the one with the mask and the monocle. The video clip was inspired by the German drama film Aimee $ Jaguar from 1999. It was funny shooting the video clip because I had to shout and scream in German to the two girls to 'help' them look scared and frightened, it was fun. We had to get special permission to run around the city's center with guns in our hands… it was really good fun, as all the things we do with THE CLAN DESTINED.

It sure sounds fun. It is common knowledge that you are a strong writer; do you have any plans to write a book?

I am kind of doing this at the moment. I write a story for a UK magazine called Devolution. Also, when the story is complete I want to make a film of it with the guys from Blue Dog Films using the same atmosphere with the video clip. Actually, the video clip was something like a demo; to see how it looks and how our co-operation would go by having little money. Of course, there will be a fitting soundtrack to the film with music from THE CLAN DESTINED and SABBAT.

Now that you mentioned SABBAT; what is the current situation there?

We are going to play some more shows but we do not plan to write new music. We have a DVD to release with live and backstage footage from all the shows we did. Hopefully it will be released sometime next year.

There is no chance to write new music with SABBAT?

The truth is that we were very young when we were with SABBAT and if we try to do it again it will sound very different to the original music. We are so old and so different now. I cannot write lyrics like that and I think neither will Andy write guitar riffs like those. I think we would disappoint all the SABBAT fans. Maybe we could take some of the demo songs and re-recorded them for an EP or something like that.

How was the US tour with SABBAT?

It was really great! Despite the fact we had 200-300 fans in each show there were hard-core SABBAT fans who knew all the lyrics and were really passionate about. We met a lot of nice people but we had also travel hundreds of miles…

You have a pretty long career in the Metal scene; do you feel satisfied? Do you any regrets?

I am very happy with the time that I had. It is a shame though for some things that happened. Things could be better for me in the business especially and I would be able to do more music. So, I can say that I wish I had taken some better decisions in the Metal business. This is what I say to all the new bands; try to focus on the business and to be careful not get ripped off by the record labels or the managers. These things are bullshit! I wish I had done some things different but this is how life works.

So, is there any chance that SABBAT or THE CLAN DESTINED will come for a live show in Greece? I think you know that Greece loves you, don't you?

Yeah I love Greece! It's been such a long time Dimitris. But we will come with SABBAT in the 8th of March with EXODUS but do not publish this since it is now yet finalized. (note: this concert has been already confirmed).

Ok, Martin thanks for this pleasant talk. It was really an honor.

The pleasure is all mine Dimitris, please send a massive hello to all the Greek fans and that I am looking forward to meeting them again!



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