CALLENISH CIRCLE INTERVIEW
Can: Hi Pat! What does the C.C. do these days? What is the name of the movie you watched lastly?
Hello! First of all, I’m not Patrick, but Gavin, Callenish Circle’s drummer. What do we do these days. Uhm… what the band concerns we’re working on new material for our upcoming album. We booked 3 weeks in the Stage One Studio in April where we will record the new album with top-producer Andy Classen (a.o. Rotting Christ, Krisiun and Die Apokalyptischen Reiter). Up till now we finished about 6-7 songs. Compared to the tracks from our last album “Graceful… yet Forbidding”, the new tracks faster, more aggressive and more in your face. So get ready for the ultimate Thrash Attack!!!
Well, we’re ready to read C.C.’s bio, line-up and the releases till now, and any other thing you wanna add..
O.K., a quick history. The band was initially formed in 1992 by our current vocalist Patrick Savelkoul and former guiterplayer Jos Evers. The band was founded under the name of Genocide and back then we played covers from our favourite and legendary band like Death, Bolt Thrower and Pestilence. A few months later Ronny Tyssen joined the band and in 1994 I (Gavin) decided to join them as well, so their endless search for a drummer finally succeeded. At the end of 1994 things started to get more serious. We started creating our own music and we booked the famous Beaufort Studio’s (o.a. The Gathering / Always) to record a professional demo-tape. In the summer of 1995 our first one and only demo “Lovelorn” was released and we changed our name into “Callenish Circle”. The music back then can be described as “Various and melodic Doom/Death”. We were really satisfied with our the recordings. I could even hear my own bassdrums, haha!!! We didn’t really expect much from it but the reactions were totally overwhelming. “Lovelorn” even became best Dutch demo of the year in the Dutch major-magazine Aardschok. The demo got unbelievable reviews worldwide and it quickly sold out with 1.000 copies. Nowadays it even became a collector’s item as a lot of people are still looking for a copy of the demo. Anyhow a few months later the young Hammerheart-label offered us a record-deal. So in early 1996 we entered the Beaufort-studio again to record our debut album “Drift of Empathy”. It was released just before the summer and the reviews were again very positive. Unless the good reviews we and Hammerheart decided to split ways due to several reasons. A good year later we recorded the Escape MCD that was released on mini-label Polar Bear Records. Short after that release in 1998 we decided that we wanted to make a big step forward. Creating a superb album, titled “Graceful… yet Forbidding”, so we could get a decent record-company to back us up and get us going with the real thing. Our bassplayer John Gorissen had some problems with his motivation so we actually dropped him at the fishing-pool for our current bass-maniac Roland Schuschke. After the recordings of GyF not less than 8 recordlabels showed interest in the band and as DSFA-records did a great jobs for bands like Orphanage, Within Temptation and Trail of Tears our choice wasn’t so difficult. What appeared to be a dream-company turned out in the worst nightmare you could ever imagine, horrible!!! The worst decision we ever made!
What does CALLENISH CIRCLE mean and why did you choose this name?
CallAnish Circle is a circle of stones similar to the Stonehenge-stones but they’re situated in Scottland on the island Lewis. We decided to choose the name because it fits to the different spheres in our music. But, we changed the second A into an E so it’s more easily to speak and we have a completely unique name now. This way we won’t get any problems when some moreons decide to use this name as well.
I know it is a bit late to ask this question, but how was the peirod up to the launching GyF?
It was a period of big development for us (and of course it still is). You must know that the band started without any musical knowledge at all. The guitarists just bought their guitars and started playing around. When we got the reviews of the demo we were totally amazed. We got the chance to record an album which was like a dream come true back then.
Improvement seen in GyF is wonderful with regards to the previous releases. Did the inspiration help you too much or it’s just an improvement..
Thanks for the compliment. Yes, of course we developed during the years. But we invested a lot of time and money in the production of the GyF-album. More time than we could spend on the previous releases. That’s also very important of course. We chose a different studio. A studio that fitted better to the heavy and aggressive parts in our music, instead of the Doomy and more sphereful parts that was a trademark in the Beaufort-studio. I think it’s a combination of both factors that made “Graceful… yet Forbidding” the killer album it has finally turned out.
How are the reactions to the GyF?
The reviews from the magazines are really good. We did some promotion-activities at the big Dutch and Belgium summerfestivals (Graspop, Dynamo, Waldrock) and the reactions were really good. People got the chance to listen to the album and then decide to buy it or not. Well, our complete stock was sold out before the end of the festivals were reached! A sign that people really dig our music when they at least have the chance to listen to it.
In order to talk about your lyrics, what is the importance of the lyrics for the CALLENISH CIRCLE’s music
The main part of our lyrics have been written by our guitarist Ronny. He bases his lyrics on de different emotions people can have. I think it's a question that he should answer.
Ronny: The inspiration for writing lyrics comes from different situations. A few are based on own experiences where heavy emotions are the biggest influence. That kind of lyrics are written in a pretty short time compared to the other ones. The most are based on made up situations in which I try to manoeuvre myself in to, such as loosing a loved one or even describing a dream. The lyrics are written in such a way, that everybody can give an own interpretation to them. There’s no message in them.
How are your relations with your label-DSFA-? Are you satisfeid with their promotion? Why did you release a picture LP from Painkiller Rec. Does it mean that you will end up with DSFA?
We paid the recordings of “Graceful.. yet Forbidding” album ourselves to get a good deal at a descent record-company. We agreed with DSFA that they would release the album worldwide. We agreed also that it would become a full-priority release with all the promotional activities they did with bands like Within Temptation and Orphanage. But… unless all the efforts and money we invested in this album DSFA records totally screwed it up! Due to their lack of money (which they never told us) DSFA was never able to promote the album outside the Benelux. No promotion at all. So for us the album was never released outside the Benelux, up till now. We own the legal rights of the album again and Patrick (bandmanager) is working on several license-deals to have the album out in the rest of the world as well. So, yes…. We are totally fed up with DSFA. Records. Our sincere excuses to all the magazines and radios-stations who didn’t receive a promotional copy at the actual release-date. We’re doing everything we can now to promote it outside the Benelux. Laurent of Painkiller Records offered to do a picture-LP of GyF. A picture-LP is something every band wants (or am I wrong?) and we agreed with DSFA that Painkiller Records could release it. We’re very satisfied with the LP. It looks really awesome!
What is the deadline for your following release?
As I mentioned earlier we booked the studio for April 2001. As we broke the contract with DSFA-Records we don’t have a record-deal yet although Patrick negotiated with several recordcompanies but we learned from the labelshit in the past and we will never sign a crappy deal anymore so we turned their offers down. We are truly convinced we will get a descent record-deal with the new album cos it’s gonna blow everybody away, mark my words!!! Anyway we want to have the album out after the summer and besides a European support-tour is planned to promote the album in the rest of Europe as well.
How was the “Brutal Assault” fest in Czech Republic? Did you have any interesting points worths mentioning?
Great! We really enjoyed being there. It was a great festival. This year we went with a big touring-car with some people/friends from the Netherlands and we really had a great time. The Czech-people are really nice and pretty crazy, I must say. We had some great response from the people there. For us it’s one of the best concerts we’ve ever done. I want to thank everyone who was there and supported us in such great way. Hope to play there again in the future. You guys fucking rule!!! Thanx!
Now it is the time for my cliché question No1: What do you think about the frequent usage of Internet and technology in our electronic worlds.. We’re being revaluated to androids, aren’t we?
Androids? No, I don’t think so. At least, I’m not however I’m working as an application developer. Technology helps me doing a lot of things a lot easier and faster so I have more time to spend on other things.
Cliché Question No2: What is your opinion about the demonstrations against the capitalism and globalism? Do you support them, why/why not?
People who demonstrate against capitalism and globalism shall have their own good reasons for it I guess.
Well, Utku emphasized me to ask this question: Holland is known as a “rich and free” country. Is it true? And as we know government gives a financial aid to cultural events like concerts, festivals, a kind of sponsorship. So it is too much easy to hold a concert in Holland than any other European country. What are the affects of the aids of government? Doesn’t it influence your musical and artistic independence badly? I mean, isn’t it a kind of threat to the underground and any other sub-cultures? As a personal I’m a sub-culture supporter, so that kinds of things (financial aids of government) make me too angry..
Uhm… rich and free… I don’t think we have any reason to complain. But, when your own health isn’t that o.k., you can be as rich as you want! What freedom concerns, I think, in comparison to a lot of other countries and cultures we are doing really o.k. Freedom of speech, freedom to express yourself the way you want. It’s all possible. Yes, it’s correct that the government gives some financial aid to cultural events. At the other hand, the taxes in the Netherlands are changing and a large group of musicians have to pay more taxes now. Up till now everything we received were expenses, so we don’t earn anything and we don’t have to pay taxes. In the futures we still won’t earn anything but due to the new tax-system we do have to pay taxes. We, as a band, don’t have any influence from the government.
Well, is Holland a good country for a metalhead? How is the scene over there?
I think this country is really good for a metalhead. If you want to, you can visit a concert a few times in a week. Maybe too good!? People sometimes have to make choices where to go to, with the result that the smaller bands often play only for a handful of people. Although there’s a lot of quality here.
How do you evaluate the current global underground scene? Are you optimistic or not?
What I notice is that there are still a lot of people who are dedicated to the underground. So I’m quite optimistic. The internet made the communication much easier, so that helped as well.
What about Turkish underground scene…Do you know anything?
Uhm… Sorry… But there isn’t any band that comes into my mind right now.
What is your top10 nowadays?
My top 10. It’s a mixture of old stuff and some later releases. I think it’s a good representation of my various musical taste.
Corrosion of Conformity – Blind
Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime
Soilwork – The Chainhard Machine
Dream Theather – Scenes from a Memory
Psychotic Waltz – Into the Everflow
Death – Spiritual Healing
The Crown – Deathrace King
Creed – Human Clay
Rush – All the Worlds A Stage
The Gathering – Always
Who are the people gave the inspiration to CALLENISH CIRCLE?
I can get my inspiration from anything. Nothing particular. Sometimes I see someone and he/she reminds me of something or I see something happen what will be stuck in my mind.
What about the tulips of Holland?
Yes, what about them??? Uhm… Holland is more than wooden shoes, tulips and windmills. At least I don’t have anything of those in my surrounding. Don’t you have tulips?
What do you think about Anneke of Gathering? We are her fans.. Heh heh heh... (cheers to Anneke)
I think she has a good voice. I never met her in person but she seems nice. However… I am not very impressed by the latest albums of the Gathering. For me Mandylion is the best album with Anneke. But the Always-album stands far above everything! No doubts about that.
Any last words for the gloomy readers of Sonic Splendour ‘zine??..
Best wishes to you and all of your gloomy readers. Visit our website at www.callenish-circle.com and sign our guestbook. Thanks for supporting Callenish Circle. To everyone out there….keep on watching for Callenish Circle, now and in the future! For more info contact Patrick at: email@example.com