PW: Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
E: Conrad was formed on August 5th 2009. At the time the project was known as “Ravenous Reapers”. The name was then changed to “Tohara Harakati”, since I wanted to add historical West-African themes into the music. I thought I had translated “Purgatory Process” to Swahili; then someone informed by that Tohara Harakati actually meant “Circumcision Movement” (or something of the sort). Upon this discovery, I started searching around on the internet and for names of any historic local paranormal creatures that would stand out both in the Metal community & the country. Eventually I found Conrad. It’s said to be a local ghost or spirit who possessed women and live in their stomachs. This became the official name of the band.
Also during the “Tohara” era, there were 3 other members (one on Rhythm Guitar, one on Bass and one handling keyboard duties). But it turned out that two of the guys had different musical interest and goals and we had also lost contact with the other guy so I decided to do everything myself.
The first song I recorded was an instrumental Burzum cover of “Ea, Lord of the Depths”. This along with some other random covers was (surprisingly) appreciated by people world-wide.
On the 17th of August, two session members formed the new horde; Lord Ifrit & Fornost.
Lord Ifrit is the mastermind behind Jamaica’s first and only Black Metal project called Orisha Shakpana. Even though we share common interest & goals and our bands are pretty identical there are a few differences. Conrad incorporates symphonies & atmospheric elements into the music while Orisha Skakpana is simply raw and more aggressive with darker themes (such as Satanism, Necrophilia, Rape, Torture, etc)
Fornost hails from the Republic of Nicaragua and performs vocals for the Raw Depressive Suicidal Black Metal band Angest (I recently joined the band as the drummer under the pseudonym Xanthrope) & Manic Disorder.
PW: How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
E: First of all, I just want to make it clear that Conrad is NOT a Black Metal band. The genre, however is the main influence on the bands musical composition and expression. Although I do not wish to use this term, many people still choose to describe the music as “Melodic/Atmosheric Black Metal” or simply “Folk Black Metal”, which is ok I guess. Personally, I use the term “Bajan Folk Metal” since the band is based on dark Barbadian folklore in the first place. I also use Orchestral/Symphonic elements in the music as well to set a nice eerie atmosphere.
Conrad is mainly influenced by the groundbreaking bands of the early Black Metal scene such as, Emperor, Burzum, Mayhem, Immortal, Bathory, Darkthrone, etc. I’ve also been amazed & inspired by the composing skills of Terje Bakken (better known as “Valfar” of Windir). Valfar’s use of folk instruments from his native homeland in Norway and lyrical themes about the history and events that took place there caught my interest. Also the transformation of Norwegian Folk songs into full-on Extreme Metal versions instantly poured ideas into my head. Sepultura and their use of traditional Brazilian music in their material also inspired me to use elements of Afro-Caribbean music in my future releases. Ocultan from Brazil use such elements in their music. Such bands have broadened my vision towards Conrad.
Composers of Dark Classical music like Bach, Beethoven, Wagner & Mozart have a strong impact on Conrad as well.
PW: Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
E: Well none are on sale at the moment (I hope hahaha) and probably won’t be for a while. All the releases are currently free, and will be for a while.
But hey, if any future released are for sale, you should only buy them if you like Conrad’s musical expression & vision. Makes sense to me…
PW: What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
E: A Burzum cover promo: “Lord Of The Depths (2010 E.V.)” & the band’s first original demo: “Oseaan Kroniek” were released this year via file sharing sites.
The reactions for these were pretty decent. I advise those who like them to look out for the upcoming demo called “-Conrad Within-“. It will haunt you…
PW: Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
E: No live shows. There probably won’t be any in the future either. Reasons for this are simple.
1) Barbados is an anti-metal community. Therefore venues/gigs for extreme metal bands will be nearly impossible to find. Most of the “fans” consist of trendy mallcore kids who I couldn’t careless about. They have this pathetic “rockstar” fashion craving mentality where everyone cares about impressing each other with their latest clothes & hair designs. No one cares about the hard work and time that we (local musicians/bands) put into composing & practicing. No one cares about the music. They only care about the attention and popularity among their peers. Most of these same people also tend to act a little retarded when it comes to extreme musical art and find it difficult to appreciate such supreme art. I would be most displeasing performing for such people.
2) It would be difficult to find musicians who are open-minded and interested in playing metal.
3) I can be a lazy bastard at times. I don’t want too much on my plate at the moment.
But who knows what the future may hold?
PW: What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
E: Conrad is (currently) the only metal band in the island (and probably the first). I think that’s enough.
PW: What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
E: After the “-Conrad Within-“ demo is completed, I intend to so some splits with various bands and also some Black Metal cover releases.
PW: Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
E: Well nothing is one sale at the moment. Music can be downloaded via filesharing sites. The links are located on the band’s myspace page: www.myspace.com/conradbb. Music can also be heard at http://www.youtube.com/user/Conradbim. Also, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you encounter any problems.