viernes, 15 de marzo de 2024


 Good morning, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going in Louisville?

Things are going well! It has been a very exciting time for the band with the positive reception the new album is getting.

1. The band started up around 2018, what led you to create the band? Why did you choose the name Volcandra and what does it refer to?

Volcandra formed after three of it's founding members left another band they were in. Volcandra was the name of a song from this previous band. It is essentially a made up word, but we like to think of it meaning something like "scored earth" or "scorched moon".

2. You have just released your second album “The Way of Ancients”, how have you approached the process of composing and recording this new work? What brands of instruments have you used in the process?

The composing process usually starts with one of us recording a pre-production demo of a song, and sharing it with our drummer Mike Hargrave, who will then record drum ideas over it. Once the basic arrangement of a song is established, we will practice it together at our rehearsal space to fine tune the arrangement. We use ESP and PRS guitars, and Crush drums.

3. I don't know if consciously, but in the new album there is a greater weight of elements that we can relate to melodic death, although thrash and black continue to have an equally important weight, is this a logical evolution in your sound? How would you describe the sound of the new album for those who have not heard it yet? What bands and styles are influences for you?

I would say it was a conscious choice to impliment elements of melodic death metal and thrash because we love many different subgenres of metal, and like to experiment with influences that will fit into Vocandra's sound. I would describe 'The Way Of Ancients' as a blend between melodic death metal, black metal and thrash. Influences would be bands like Skeletonwitch, Amon Amarth, Opeth, Carcass, At The Gates, Goatwhore, and many more.

4. In the past your lyrics covered themes related to video games and dark fantasies, why this relationship between your music and video games? Do you continue to adopt this theme in the new album? Who is in charge of writing the lyrics? Does music adapt to lyrics or vice versa?

There's a lot to be inspired by when it comes to video games, especially when there are elements of fantasy or science fiction involved. 'The Way Of Ancients' is indeed inspired by a video game series from the late 90's and early 00's. If you are familiar with these games it wont be hard to guess where the inspiration came from. I (Dave Palenske) write all the lyrics for the band. The music comes first, and then the lyrics based on the mood of the songs.

5. Your bassist Dyer Keathley left the band in 2022. How have you coped with having to replace him when recording the new album? Who has been in charge of these functions?

Dyer is a good friend of ours, and a founding member of Volcandra, but he decided touring wasn't for him. Our friend Andrew Casciato filled in for us in the latter half of 2022, and recorded bass on 'The Way Of Ancients'. Andrew is also a good friend of ours, but he is unable to tour as much as this band does, so Travis Meredith has been with us now for over a year and is our bassist moving forward. 

6. To shape the final sound of the album you have counted on the figure of Mike Low, at what point and why did you decide to work with him and what do you think he has contributed to the final result of the album?

Mike Low has been a good friend of mine for a very long time, and has been producing metal albums for a great while now. We knew from the start that we wanted him to record 'The Way Of Ancients'. He is very professional, and knows how to get the best performance out of everyone. Mike offered constructive criticism, and added a few small touches of his own that ended up making a big difference. His wife Emily Low also does vocal work throughout the album. 

7. For the cover you have worked with Varises Otak, why did you choose Varises for this feature? What does this cover represent and how does it relate to the content of the album?

Varises is a wonderful artist, and is very easy to work with when trying to make a vision come to life. The album cover is a place of trial, where brave warriors must do battle with ancient battle lords to prove their worth before pursuing their final quest to take down forces of evil.

8. Unlike your first album, which was self-released, for this second one you have the support of Prosthetic Records, with whom you had already worked for the edition of your previous EP a couple of years ago, how did this alliance with Prosthetic come about? Records? What do you think being able to work with them will give you?

Steve Joh from Prosthetic approached us about signing to the label back when we released 'Into The Azure' in 2020. When we finished our EP ' Border World' we came to the label with the new music and sealed the deal from there. Prosthetic has been fantastic to work with, getting us in touch with so many people, websites, and magazines to promote the new album. They also do a wonderful job at distributing the music as well.

9. You have found an interesting balance between melodic death, black and thrash, and not always in this order, all of this presented in this new album in a superb way, offering a sound that can respond to classicism within death sounds, classic melodic black that you have been able to blend with more current proposals within black thrash, how have you been able to combine this more classic aspect of extreme metal with more current sections, managing to offer a sound that somehow sounds different thanks to the balance between violence and melody?

Thank you! I think this has come rather naturally for us because we have such a wide array of influences. We love the more extreme side of metal, like death metal, and black metal, but are also huge fans of old school heavy metal, and classic rock. What we try to do is combine all of these influences into a cohesive work that flows nicely. This takes time, as we listen back to the songs many times and make changes that serve the music best.

10. The United States has a fairly eclectic black scene, how would you describe the black metal scene in your country? What bands would you recommend from Louisville?

There aren't a lot of black metal bands in Louisville admittedly. Crown Ov Serpents is a good one though. Stormruler from St. Louis, MO are a great band and friends of ours. Valdrin from Cincinatti, OH and Immortal Bird from Chicago, IL are great as well. We are fans of Wolves in the Throne Room too. I think one of my favorite black metal releases of the last decade is 'Tales of Othertime' by Stormkeep. 

11. Have you started the live presentation of the new album? How has the response been from your followers? What upcoming dates do you have closed? Who would you like to tour with due to affinity of sounds?

We had our album release show in Louisville, KY on the day the album came out and the reception has been fantastic. As of 3/12/24 we will be announcing our first tour of the year with Micawber (death metal from Wisconsin). We would love to tour with bands like Amon Amarth, Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse, Midnight, Dark Funeral, etc. 

12. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives that pushed you to want to be musicians?

The first metal show I ever attended was Sounds of the Underground festival in either 2009 or 2010. So many great bands played that year like Goatwhore, Behemoth, Job For A Cowboy, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, and many more. I've never been the same since. Music changed my life in my early teenage years starting with bands like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and Motorhead. It has remained a constant for a very long time and I don't think I could go on in life without wanting to create more of it.

13. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What latest albums have you bought?

Obviously bands like Bathory, Darkthrone, and Emperor laid the groundwork with their early work for what came after. I think if you are new to the genre it's important to know where it originated and study how it has evolved over time. I have to mention again that  'Tales of Othertime' by Stormkeep is easily one of the best black metal albums of recent times. Stormruler are putting out fantastic work as well. What I've heard of the new Borknagar is excellent too.

14. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Volcandra fans this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

It was a pleasure! All I can say is please check out our new album ' The Way Of Ancients'. We really tried to make something special. Check out the music videos for "Fouled Sanctity" and "Seven Tombs" that we shot with Malcolm Pugh. We can't wait to get out on the road and play these songs live to many, many people. Cheers! 


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