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CIRITH UNGOL INTERVIEW WITH
EXPERIENCE THE POWER/ GREECE 9/01
1. I BELIEVE THAT THE FIRST QUESTION THAT EVERY FAN WOULD LIKE TO ASK IS IF CIRITH UNGOL IS STILL ALIVE AS A BAND.
GREG: Spiritually, at least, CU is still alive. Rob and I live 90 miles apart but we are still great friends (probably because we live 90 miles apart). Since I left CU, I have never played seriously in another band and I feel like I was put on this earth only to play bass and guitar with Rob. There are scores of CU songs still unheard!
ROB: Boy, I wish I still had my drumset!!! The main problem is Tim and Flint are not interested anymore in the band, and Jerry is dead. Although Jimmy from our last line-up and Greg wants to play it is pretty hard for me to believe it will happen again.
2. TELL US A FEW WORDS ABOUT THIS DOUBLE CD THAT METAL BLADE IS ABOUT TO RELEASE? WAS IT YOUR DECISION TO MAKE IT? WHO HAD THE IDEA OF SUCH A RELEASE?
GREG: Rob is the idea guy, and he sold Metal Blade on the project. We spent weeks and weeks going through stacks of our old tapes, and for me, it was a voyage of rediscovery.
ROB: By the way it is only being released in Europe, Metal Blade in the US chose not to release it for reasons we have not figured out?
3. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE FINAL RESULT? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE FANS WILL LOVE IT? IT SOMEHOW REFLECTS THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THE BAND, EVEN GETTING INTO DEEPER GROUNDS.
GREG: I’m very happy with the album, especially considering the condition of some of the tapes. Brad Vance at DNA Studios, did a great job getting the most out of them. I think our only disappointment is that we have lots more great songs that we were not able to use simply because the sound quality of the tapes was just not good enough. I guess that means we’ll have to re-record them!
4. SO, IS THERE ANYTHING MORE TO EXPECT FROM THE BAND AFTER THE RELEASE OF “SERVANTS OF CHAOS” DOUBLE CD?
GREG: Well, we have at least 20 songs that have never been properly recorded. We could definitely come up with 8 or 10 strong songs for an album. “Shelob’s Lair” and “Route 666” are a couple that I think would make the cut.
ROB: Once again I an very interested in this but Metal Blade has told us that without Tim singing they would not be interested and we just don’t have the funds to do this sort of project ourselves.
5.YOU ARE CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE BEST, TRUE EPIC METAL BANDS OF ALL TIMES ALTHOUGH YOU WERE CONSIDERED AS A QUITE PECULIAR SOUNDED BAND. CIRITH UNGOL NEVER PLAYED BY THE RULES, ISN’T THAT RIGHT? LOOKING BACK NOW WHICH WERE THE MAIN REASONS THAT NEVER LET YOU RECEIVE THE PUBLICITY YOU DESERVED?
GREG: We never set out to sound peculiar, it just turned out that way! Our sound was a product of our musical influences and the chemistry between us. We never tried to sound like any other band, which may be part of the reason we never became popular. I think a lot of critics just didn’t know who or what to compare us to and tended to dismiss us because we didn’t sound like Judas Priest or the NWOBHM.
6. YOU WERE A BAND THAT YOU KEPT ON PROGRESSING FROM ALBUM TO ALBUM, REACHING FINALLY TO YOUR LAST STUDIO ALBUM “PARADISE LOST” WHICH I CONSIDER YOUR BEST EFFORT! CAN YOU THINK WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN THE NEXT STEP AFTER “PARADISE LOST”?
GREG: I may be biased, since I had no involvement with PL, but I think it’s a rather inconsistent album. However, the Chaos trilogy on there is definitely some of the best stuff CU has done. Hopefully, we could produce an entire album of songs of that caliber.
ROB: The CD “Paradise Lost” was really destroyed by the producer at the time who forced us to record the album totally without artistic merit. We had little or no control over the final product at the sadness of this whole affair really drove the stake in our hearts and was probably the main reason for the eventual split. Our original goal was to make each album heavier than the one before, unfortunately for our fans “King of the Dead” was the last album we really put out where we had complete artistic control.
7. WHICH IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE METAL SCENE NOWADAYS? ALTHOUGH THERE IS A STRONG COMEBACK OF TRUE HEAVY / POWER METAL DON’T YOU BELIEVE THAT THE REAL TALENTED BANDS ARE RATHER FEW?
GREG: I think there are probably more talented heavy metal bands around than ever as far as technical ability goes, but I don’t hear that many songs that stick in my brain. The new bands I listen to are usually more the stoner/doom sound like Nebula, Firebird, or The Quill, or hard rock like the Hellacopters and Wildhearts, ‘cause they write great songs.
ROB: I don’t get to hear much but I like the band DoomSword from Italy that has done a cover of our song “Nadsokor” and I was really impressed with the new Riot album.
8. EPIC METAL! FANTASY LITERATURE! TWO TERMS THAT GO TOGETHER HAND BY HAND. WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO YOU? NAME YOUR 5 ALL TIME CLASSICS FROM BOTH CATEGORIES.
GREG: I don’t listen to that many epic metal bands, but here’s my top 5 albums that to me have a truly epic feel: CAPTAIN BEYOND’s first album, ANGEL’s first album, BLACK SABBATH-Heaven & Hell, DUST-Hard Attack, KANSAS-Masque. My fave fantasy books are: The Dying Earth series by JACK VANCE, Fafhrd And The Grey Mouser series by FRITZ LEIBER, Elric Of Melnibone by MICHAEL MOORCOCK, anything by CLARK ASHTON SMITH, and of course, The Lord Of The Rings.
ROB: I am pretty much a fan of any classic metal, I tend not to listen to much speed metal, mainly real heavy stuff with a good beat and good riffs. My favorite literature has moved from the Elric vein into more pure supernatural horror. My favorite author is definitely H.P. Lovecraft!!!!
9. CLOSING THIS INTERVIEW, LEAVE YOUR OWN MESSAGE TO THE FANS WORLDWIDE.
GREG: My sincere thanks to all our fans over the years. We hope you enjoy Servants of Chaos and let us know if you want to hear more from Cirith Ungol.
ROB: I know we have many friends and fans in Greece and only wish that we could have come and played for all of you! Hopefully a new generation of metalheads can be exposed to our music and maybe get some inspiration or at least some enjoyment out of it, as we really enjoyed making it!!!!!!
The being called Ungol is dead, its resurrection is doubtful. But heed it’s teachings oh faithful, for on these memoratic disks contain, the wisdom of the ages, and by your iron fists, may the horror, of false metal be extinguished.
As you now join the swelling ranks of the Legions of Chaos, together we will drive before us, the cringing herd of False Metal, crush their spineless lackeys, and purge the world of their mutant plague!!!
Visit our web site: Cirithungol.org All photos by Greg Hazard ©