Latest release: Triumph and Beyond (Prime Cuts)
Perth’s booze and battle-fuelled folk metal/extreme metal crew Claim the Throne has just unleashed their new opus Triumph and Beyond. With the band also due to hit the road – including the national support for Finntroll’s Australian tour in March – Loud spoke to vocalist/guitarist Brendon Capriotti (aka Baronaxe or Cabba) and guitarist/vocalist Glenn “Dysie” Dyson about the new record, wenches, their touring plans and of course, plundering.
Q: Dysie, you’re relatively new to the Claim the Throne ranks. Can you tell us a little about how you came to join the band and the experience of joining an outfit that had already been established for several years?
A: Dyson: I have filled and swilled in on bass a number of times while Lord Jim was unavailable due to working commitments. Now I have joined full-time on guitar and having already known the songs, it was very easy to make the transition from bass to guitar. The fact the band is well established, has a great following and is much loved by many wenches, (which) is of course magnificent. I’m very fortunate I can just step in and play epic shows straight off the bat. My first show on guitar with the band recently was in front of 250-plus people, so (it was) a tremendous occasion.
Q: Does the band feel the current incarnation is the best line-up Claim the Throne has had thus far?
A: Dyson: It could well be. The camaraderie at the moment with the new line-up is killer and I can certainly feel we will be able to work together most triumphantly.
Cabba: No doubt this is the most solid and “plunderous” lineup we’ve had. Five fearless Hulk Hogan look-alikes – including Jesse – are sure to bring us many more years of creating the best music and live performances that we can.
Q: The band integrates many different styles of music into the finished product. Does this make the songwriting process an even more difficult one?
A: Cabba: We really only try to combine folk metal with melodic death, so if other styles are heard in there it’s certainly not intentional. We do like the mix of mellow stuff with heavy stuff, so combining things like acoustic guitars for example does make songwriting more difficult, but also more rewarding.
Q: On the songwriting front, does this tend to be a collaborative process or do one or two members do the bulk of the writing?
A: Cabba: We all work on our own individual ideas then come together to create the finished songs. That then continues changing to fit with lyrics, structures, flow of the album and stuff like that. Meanwhile, Jim gets drunk and tells us which bits suck.
Q: (Laughs) You also re-recorded a few earlier tracks for this album – do you feel you’ve captured the same feel and energy on the new versions?
A: Cabba: The re-recordings were done to change them up and give a different feel to the songs. We recorded a track from the first album to see how it would sound with better production, also a heavy version of an acoustic song from our last EP, as well as an acoustic version of a heavy track. They were just ideas we wanted to play around with, and I feel they turned out very well and was heaps of fun.
Q: Indeed. What brand(s) of ale are the most helpful to aid the writing and recording process?
Dyson: For me I can’t go past Teds; otherwise some warm, soothing Jager hits the spot for me.
Cabba: Set sail on Coopers Pale Ale and Beez Neez, that honey infusion is good for the brain.
Q: Claim the Throne supported Alestorm during their Australian tour last year, which was a perfect stylistic fit for Claim the Throne. How did the band not die from alcohol poisoning by the end of that tour?
A: Cabba: That is something I can’t explain. There definitely should have been a few alcohol-induced injuries, but we escaped okay. As far as drinking went on that tour, the funnel of straight rum was a highlight.
Q: You’re also the national support for another similarly musically minded act in March in the form of Finntroll. What are your expectations for this tour?
A: Cabba: With bigger venues and growing interest for folk metal in Australia, we’re expecting bigger crowds and crazier shows. We can’t wait to get back to the East Coast to run amok, play some new tracks and test out the new beer funnel.
Q: Bands incorporating folk music into metal has been very popular in Europe for some time, but has only recently started catching on in countries such as Australia. What do you attribute the sudden interest in this style of metal to?
A: Dyson: Europe has a long, rich history and folk elements have been in that history for hundreds of years, so it would have immediately been popular over there. Australia just doesn’t have that, so I can see why it’s taken a while for this type of music to catch on. Australians of course have a large drinking culture and I think the fact that this style of metal is fun and incorporates a love of drinking and good times is the reason it’s catching on.
Q: On a more personal note, are there any new releases you’ve been enjoying lately?
A: Dyson: Heirs to Thievery by Misery Index was easily the best death metal release of last year and continues to make me fizz. Reptilian by Keep Of Kalessin also has me tingling and the Porn Grind Excess split by Cuntgrinder/Rectal Smegma is a winner for me also.
Cabba: The new Sabaton and Kalmah albums have been keeping me occupied. Sabaton play heavy and catchy power metal, while Kalmah have the most killer melodic death riffs going around.
Q: Dysie, you’re somewhat of a fixture of the Perth metal scene. Can you tell us about some of the other projects you’re involved with?
A: Dyson: Well yes, I guess I have been loitering around the Perth metal scene for quite some time. Apart from playing in many great bands over the years, some of my other interests include my label Prime Cuts Music, which now has around 30-plus releases of quality Australian metal. I am also part owner of Soundworks Touring, who of course has been bringing the best of extreme metal to Australia for close to six years now. Plus I have a merchandise company in Apparel Direct, which specialises in band and corporate merchandise.
Q: Any famous last words?
A: Dyson – Collect your loot, grab yourself a ticket to the Finntroll tour, check Claim The Throne out, enjoy it, buy a CD, have some beers, then come back to the merch table and buy a shirt.
Cabba: Keep on raiding!