Cryptic Age Talks Game Of Thrones, Upcoming Album "Sounds Of Infinity," And More
With the debut "Homeland" EP (reviewed here) released earlier this year, female-fronted folk metal act Cryptic Age is already busy working on the new full-length "Sounds of Infinity."
While work progresses on the new album, Metalunderground.com got in touch with front woman Jenny Green to get an inside view of the band and what Cryptic Age has in store for fans of symphonic metal.
xFiruath: Let’s start with some history. How long has Cryptic Age been together and how did the band originally form?
Jenny: The full band has been together since August last year and we’ve been gigging since last February. However the idea for the band came up in around January 2010. The original concept was a “metal opera” project which Hallam (guitarist) came up with and he got a few people together including me. However us two were the only people who kept up the idea of forming a band. After the metal opera idea we thought about being a symphonic metal band, but after concluding we’d be too generic and discussing some things with Tom (bassist) and Alex (drummer) we decided to try and go down a more folky route.
xFiruath: In your own words, what do you think Cryptic Age sounds like and how would you identify the music to someone who had never heard the band?
Jenny: What we’ve said so far is that we’re a female-fronted metal band with some symphonic and progressive elements thrown into the mix. So far it has worked pretty nicely.
xFiruath: How is progress coming on your new full-length album, and what’s different about this material from earlier songs?
Jenny: The songs on our EP were basically the first good songs we came up with. There was no active motive of keeping everything to a similar style or have themes going on. In “Sounds of Infinity” it’s going to be completely different. While it’s not a concept album per se, except for the four-parter, we’ve made our styles merge a lot better and each of the styles we have comes out a bit each in different songs, but I’m sure you’ll see that the album overall is going to be more consistent. Also this album is going to be considerably more progressive.
xFiruath: How does Cryptic Age usually write material?
Jenny: What tends to happen is that Hallam comes up with a couple of guitar riffs and then shows them to us. Then the drums, keyboards, and bass parts are established, and then I write the vocal melody and usually the lyrics last. However this isn’t a set way that we do it. Sometimes Hallam and I come up with the bulk of a song, or very often the four of us actually come up with stuff together when we practice.
xFiruath: What do your lyrics deal with?
Jenny: Usually folk legends from the Isle of Man, or something similar. Tom also helps to write lyrics and he likes to put in lyrics which are I guess a bit more to do with the Vikings than Celts. However it’s not a blatant thing, no one’s ever come up to us and said, “This song sounds like a Viking song and this song sounds like a Celtic song.” “Homeland” is the only personal song as well. I tried writing personal lyrics a few years ago but that didn’t go down too well.
xFiruath: You guys did a Game of Thrones theme song cover. What prompted that, and how do you feel the show translated from the book to the T.V. series?
Jenny: We all watched Game of Thrones when it came out. I’d never heard of the books and I was totally hooked from the first episode! I’ve also started reading the books and I love how accurate the T.V. series is compared to the books. Also the intro music is bloody brilliant and we thought it would make good intro/walk-on music. So we metal-ized it a bit and added vocals.
xFiruath: Tell me a bit about your local metal scene and the bands that play regularly.
Jenny: Well the metal scene here isn’t really that massive. When we play with people in York it’s normally bands we don’t know. Metalcore is more popular here and sometimes we’re thrown in with a bit of that for gigs. Luckily several people want to get the metal scene here bigger and so far plans are looking pretty good.
xFiruath: Do you guys have any upcoming live shows?
Jenny: Yes we do. We’re playing at two festivals, one being the S.O.P.H.I.E Festival in Manchester, and the Valkyrian Festival (the latter of which we’re headlining), which both take place in November. We also may have a couple more confirmed: one in about a week’s time and another few in December.
xFiruath: Have you personally been to any interesting or crazy concerts lately?
Jenny: Well the craziest thing I went to recently was Bloodstock. For my first ever real festival it was amazing.
xFiruath: What albums are you listening to these days and do you have a favorite release so far this year?
Jenny: I’ve currently been listening to two albums non-stop, “Design Your Universe” by Epica and “01011001” by Ayreon. I got the albums a while back but I’ve basically resurrected them and now I can’t stop listening to them. When it comes to a favorite release, I’m waiting for “Imaginaerun” to come out in November, as I am the biggest Nightwish fan this side of the Pennines.
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