Warren Hately of Samain

Interview by Brett Benzie

In the series of interviews with Australian metal bands I have planned (Misery, Armoured Angel + more coming soon), we catch up with Warren Hately, vocalist/bassist for Perth celtic/folk/blackmetal band, Samain, and Australian Undernet's #blackmetal's resident celebrity...

For the uninitiated, give us a quick biography.

Samain was formed in the Summer of 1993 out of the ashes of our guitarist Nick and mine's previous band Nazgul, which was a conventional blackmetal band. We have had four drummers in our time, working currently with a new member by the name of Mark Boeyen, who is so far proving to be the most talented and experienced of the lot. Our second drummer Liam recorded three times with Samain: an unofficial promo-tape (a prelude to our second recording), a full-length 35 minute demo, "An Leanabh Naomh [brsite]", and an hour-long album "Indomitus." The CD was recorded in September 1995 and released exactly one year later after many hassles. Samain now has another album's worth of material we are rehearsing and editing with our newest drummer.

Sounds good! How has "Indomitus" fared, in terms of sales? Are you happy with the way the album eventuated?

I am quite happy with it yes, and it is a steady seller. Some people complain a little about the production of the album, but this is because they are unused to different production values, values which see an equal emphasis upon the drums and bass as upon the electric guitar. We are interested in a full sound, and do not set out to be ultra-heavy, even if we do fare well in that arena. I wish the CD had been released quicker, but that is the sort of difficulty you can expect dealing with a young label and a temperamental distributor.

From where do you draw Samain's lyrical influences? The Celtic feeling of immenent battle is immense!

Samain's lyrics are a fusion of "what happens" and a pre-modern, archaic Celtic-inspired ideological basis. The lyrics are a critique of modern life, worked through in metaphor.

Has Samain received any negative/positive press or reaction regarding their philosophical approach?

I think most of the press is too dense to truly understand what the philodophical approach is, and so we have not received much flak for it. Most people prefer to try and fit what we are saying into some pre-established pattern set up by other bands and a long tradition in this kind of music, rather than seeing the differences, appreciating only the sameness. Musically, Samain has received alot of support from the press and so we appreciate that.

How about MUSICAL influences? There are some subtle metal-type influences in there, but what about the folk ones too?

Scots-Irish traditional and folk-fusion bands (some in Australia as well). Bands like Planxty, Wolfstone, Horslips, Clannad, The Fling (ex-Press Gang), as well as metal bands from prior to now and more recently. The bands I consider important recently are Darkthrone, Ved Buens Ende, Arcturus, Ulver and Dark Tranquillity.

Any plans for a tour? (outside Oz?) Who would you like to tour with?

There are no plans because there are no finances as yet. The label has spoken to us about an eastern states australian tour, and other people have approached me about the same thing, but no one as yet has offered us sufficient motivation or encouragement to actually put our lives on hold to leave Perth and do this thing."

What does the future hold for Samain? Any new recordings in pipeline?

We are hoping to record a new full-length fairly soon, hopefully in the break between the university semesters, whenever that is... provided our financial backing is still present, or unless we receive a better offer in the interim. The new epic is so far titled, "Revenge of the Natural.

Look out for Samain's CD "Indomitus" out on Bloodless Creations, through Modern Invasion Music. Heres some contact details for you...

Samain (/Warren)
P.O. Box 237
Leederville WA 6007

Email: oghma@argo.net.au

Bloodless Creations (label)
GPO Box 118A
Melbourne VIC 3001

Modern Invastion Music (distribution)
PO Box 1417 M
Melbourne VIC 3001
Fax: 61-3-9596-3468