Interviewer: Frederic Cotton for Khimaira
Your new album Apple Pentacle is presented as a concept-album around the character of the “Green Man”. Can you tell us more?
Apple Pentacle is the green twin of Alabaster… The Green Man (Puck, Robin, Face in the Leaves) imbibes… The Apple Tree Man, evoked by the 5-pointed star at the core of an apple… sign of the Illuminati. In the Book of Taliesin, the poem ‘Avallenau’ refers to trees revealed by Merlin to Gwendoleu. (He and his) consort Lady Bercilak, Green Lady, Witch in the Wood (are) more than fertility icons, they represent creative rebellion. The apple (as) a gift to the dead… feeds the spirit. Apple Pentacle (also) explores parallel lives… wave-curtains (the windrow), faerie trysts, mirrors… phantoms, marionettes, passing of seasons and caravans in the dawn.
The album is divided in two or three parts. What do ‘Atho’ and ‘Ardhuu’ mean?
Atho, like Pwca, is a Welsh name for the Green Man; half of my ancestry is Welsh. Ardhuu is another name for the Spirit of the Greenwood. The album is divided as halves of an apple, to distinguish between the producers with whom it was cut: Brett Taylor and Harry Williamson.
Apple Pentacle is your fifth album, and also your fifth ‘A’ title. Would you consider that Argo, Alexandria, Ariel, Alabaster and Apple Pentacle do form your own pentacle?
Yes; and the album being released 2005, 5th year of this millennium, its timing felt right.
For this album… you were inspired by various sources… but we would like to know more about the tale that inspired ‘Escalder’s Tree Ride’.
In my story… Escalder the waterwitch dives down through a tree to meet her lover – a treespirit Thelderbrin – and his brother Sir Malder… She also haunts the Singing Fountains of Alderbee, a city in Elderbrook. We made another recording of her on the collaboration, Love Sessions 1.
At the same moment as Apple Pentacle, you release the much anticipated Love Sessions 2, with Francesco Banchini and Lys. This album is different from Love Sessions 1, isn’t it?
Yes. Just as there is a spirit of place, so there is perhaps a spirit of time… By the time Francesco Banchini and I made LS2, we’d toured together through Italy, Belgium and France. Our LS1 collaborator Spyros Giasafakis (from Daemonia Nymphe) wasn’t present, though did reunite with me afterwards on Ghost Fish. Instead of singer Marlene, we had harpist Mandra…
Your collaboration with Ikon was really amazing. Have you thought to a full complete..?
Chris McCarter is great to work with… I found it easy to compose lyrics and vocal tunes to his guitar riffs; he has a clear sense of melodic direction. His producer, Adam at Toyland, has excellent instincts… (re.) Melbourne gothic / darkwave / neoclassic talent, from Wendy Rule to Eden.