LOS ANGELES, February 7, 2014 — Scythia is a folk metal band from Canada. Their new album, …Of Conquest, is due out on February 25. Scythia lead singer and guitar player Dave Khan took some time to speak with Wells On Music regarding their new album.
Scroll below video to read the interview.
Kevin J. Wells: How would you describe your sound?
Dave Khan: I’d say traditional power metal with a little bit of folk influence in there. We’re sort of evolving too. I’d say the last few records we did were way more folk metal influenced. This one is heading more in a power metal direction.
KW: Was that a conscious decision?
DK: It’s a conscious shift. I think it’s the direction of the writing. The folk stuff, we really like that, but there’s been more collaboration with myself and the bass player. We seem to be writing more riffs, just like getting into the harder, traditional metal and the power riff, the big guitar harmonies and that kind of thing.
KW: What made you want to infuse metal with folk-type music?
DK: That’s a good question. I didn’t really know what folk metal was when I started. My exposure to that came from bands like Blind Guardian, Dream Theater, Withering Heights, Symphony X, Pain and Salvation. These are all progressive metal bands that kind of throw some aspect of folk into the music. When I heard that I was like, hey this is cool. Maybe we can make a band that focuses more on these little folk tinges and make full arrangements out of that. So, we kind of took these little niches that our influences were doing and we elaborated on those and tried to make an album full of that stuff.
KW: Your new album, “…Of Conquest,” is set for release on February 25. What can fans expect from this new record?
DK: It’s got a lot of the epic nature, but it’s not done in that really derivative, sort of cheesy way. It’s done in what we think is a little more mature concept album. You know, we do have fun on a few tracks and there are a few times we go over the edge, but for the most part, it’s a little more of a darker, mature concept album. Expect really catchy parts, but at the same time, expect great instrumentals. Expect traditional metal redone with a real modern tinge to it and then a whole bunch orchestration thrown on top of it all to make it a big mixed bag.
KW: Is there a song on the new record that sticks out more to you than others?
DK: No. I say that honestly. We’re trying to figure out which songs we’re going to promote first. We did the Bear Claw Tavern first because it had a music video, but the other one, we had no idea. We could use any of them, really. There is probably five or six of them that are really great. I really like them equally. And then there’s a few on there other people in the band like, but they don’t necessarily do it for me.
KW: Of Conquest also has some impressive cover art. Will it be available on vinyl?
DK: You know, you’re probably the third or fourth person to ask me that. I think that is in the works. Just we haven’t gotten around to doing that yet. We’ll probably do a limited edition thing with the vinyl.
KW: I saw you are doing some Canadian shows and some American Northwest shows in April. Do you have any plans to play more shows in the U.S. this year?
DK: Potentially, yes. I just got off the phone not too long ago with a booking agent from the east coast. We’re throwing ideas around about potentially coming back later in the year. We might be doing an opening slot for a bigger band or something along those lines. Also, next year in 2015, since we have more U.S. contacts, I think we could get something bigger where we actually go around the whole U.S. I think for what we do, we’d probably go down the west coast, along the southern edge and then back up the east coast. That’s sort of the plan we’re working out for 2015.
KW: Is it tough as a Canadian band to break into the U.S.?
DK: Yeah, I think there are challenges. In my experience, American bands are much more motivated than Canadian bands. I think what that does is up the ante for everyone. In the U.S., there are established bands that have their fan base, they have a wicked sound. So, to come in as a Canadian band, how can you be at that level? How can you bring something that great into the picture? A lot of the bands I have talked to in the U.S. have been really helpful and really nice. I have a lot of respect for a lot of the bands we talked to in the northwest and down into San Francisco. Sometimes venues can be a little apprehensive of [foreign bands]. The real challenge though, I think, is the whole visa thing. We’re just going through that right now. You have to have everything finalized 60 days in advance of going down. Really, what that means is that a lot of times with tours, in my experience, your shows start to get booked in the last two months and you start to fill in a lot of the dates. There’s no room for that here. Everything’s got to be finalized.
KW: Is there anything else you would like people to know about anything you’re working on?
DK: Just keep an eye out for us. I can’t announce all of it, but we’re going international in the next year and a half, not just the U.S., but to other continents as well.
Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for Communities and also writes about Major League Baseball, punk rock music, and food. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball