Saor – From Roots To Origins: A Decade Of Caledonian Metal

SAOR are the main exponents of Caledonian Metal. The will appear live, for the first time in Greece together with KAWIR, on the 1st and 2nd of April 2023, in Thessaloniki and Athens respectively. We caught up with the band’s mastermind, the cool and condescending Andy Marshall, who made no secret of his excitement to be playing in our venues for the first time, talking about his love of Scottish heritage while, at the same time, referring to some fresh additions in the band. Let’s see what he has to tell us…

– Good evening Andy and welcome to THEGALLERY.GR. We talk for the first time and it is almost a week before your first shows in Greece. How do you feel about this?

– Andy Marshall: We’ve been looking forward to these shows for a long time, so it’s very exciting to finally be playing in Greece. I’ve always wanted to visit and explore the country’s rich history and culture, so it’s an added bonus that we get to share our music with the passionate metal fans here. We’ve been rehearsing and preparing for the shows, so we’re ready to give it our all and put on a great performance for everyone who comes out to see us.

– What shall we expect from your live performances? Will it be mostly from your latest  album “Origins” or are you going to make a deep dive into your past as well? Perhaps from your “Roots” era?

– Andy Marshall: As we are celebrating 10 years of Caledonian Metal this year, we will be playing songs from all of our albums, including Origins and Roots. We want to take our fans on a journey through our music and showcase the evolution of our sound over the years. So, expect a mix of old and new songs with a lot of energy and passion on stage.

– Many people from music press define you as “Caledonian” metal. Do you agree  with this term or perhaps you are more keen on the term Folk Black Metal?

– Andy Marshall: I appreciate the recognition and the attention that the term “Caledonian Metal” has brought to SAOR. It was my intention to create something that reflected my Scottish heritage and combinedit with black and folk metal elements, and I think this term fits our music quite well. Of course, folk and black metal are also very accurate descriptions of our sound, but I feel that Caledonian Metal gives us a bit more of a specific and unique identity.

– It has been almost 10 years since your debut “Roots” back in 2013 and you have already released five full length albums. Could you imagine that when you started the  band?

 – Andy Marshall: No, I couldn’t imagine that when I started SAOR back in 2013. I just wanted to create music that represented my love for Scotland and its landscapes. The success of ‘Roots’ exceeded all my expectations, and I’ve been fortunate enough to release five more albums since then. I never imagined playing live shows, but demand was there, and it was a great opportunity to connect with our fans. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost ten years since the debut album. Time flies by so fast. I hope that I can continue to create and play music for many more years to come.

– You are about to perform with a rather old Greek Folk Black Metal band, KAWIR. Were you discussing for a long time to do a co-headlining performance or was a last minute decision?

– Andy Marshall: Actually, I don’t personally know anyone in KAWIR and this is the first time we will be sharing a stage together. I saw them perform live at the Darkness Guides Us festival in Glasgow back in 2019 and was really impressed with their music and energy. As for how the co-headlining performance came about, I’m notreally involved in the booking process, so I can’t say for certain. But I’m excited to perform alongside such a respected and long-standing band in the Greek metal scene, and I’m looking forward to experiencing their live show again.

– What’s the feedback for your latest album “Origins”? Any live performance billed   for summer festivals?

– Andy Marshall: The feedback for our latest album “Origins” has been mostly positive in the press, but I understand that it may not be to everyone’s liking, especially for theblack metal purists. It was a bit of an experiment for me, as it is more influenced by heavy metal than black metal. However, I enjoyed doing something different and exploring new sounds. Currently, I am writing new material, which is more black metal influenced and similar to our older albums.Regarding live performances, we have a lot of festivals booked for this year, and you can find all the information on our official website. I’m particularly excited to return to Hellfest, which I believe is one of the best festivals in the world.

– You have also a side band called FUATH which is in a more 90’s Black Metal tune. Shall we expect new material after the release of “II” back in 2021?

– Andy Marshall: Yes, FUATH is my side project that allows me to explore my more traditional black metal influences. As for new material, I have been working on new SAOR music mostly, but I also have some new demos for FUATH that I recorded in 2022. I’m not sure when I will have the time to record the next FUATH album, but I definitely have some material ready for it.

– For your live shows in Greece you have hired Ella Zlotos for female vocals and also for pipes and whistles. Tell me more about this collaboration….

– Andy Marshall:

Ella is a talented musician who brings a lot to the table for our live shows. We actually only started working with her this year, so these upcoming shows will be her first with us. She’ll be playing tin whistle and uilleann pipes, as well as providing some beautiful female vocals. I think she’ll add a new dimension to our sound and help to transport our audiences to the misty mountains of Scotland. It’s been great collaborating with her so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing how her contributions continue to evolve our live sound.

– Andy I would like to thank you for your time and wishing you a real fantastic show. Tapadh leibh agus hello!

– Andy Marshall: (laughs!) Thank you and see you soon!

Interview: Dimos Karadimos
Cover Artwork:  Alexandros Soultatos
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Date: March 27th, 2023
External Link: SAOR – Official Page
Copyright © 2023 by THEGALLERY.GR

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