TRIDDANA: „Our songs work perfectly with the audience!“

Slovenská verzia TU.

Those, who were honored to ever hear the Argentina power/folk metal band TRIDDANA, have surely appreciated their albums such as the debut Ripe for Rebellion (2012), or Power and Will (2015) or 10 accoustic pieces (2017). These metal “pagans” have recently added to their collection another wonderful masterpiece called Rising from Within (2018), in which they show again their true, authentic, sometimes an angry, but still melodic and catchy, folk metal storm comprising of 11 songs. If you still think you have not heard of this band, you may remember their well-known song When the Enemy is Close, accompanied by an imaginative video clip, coming from their second album Power and Will. The band is formed by four zealous and amazing musicians: drummer Joaquin Franco, bass guitarist Diego Rodríguez, bagpiper Pablo Allen and the guitarist and singer Juan José Fornés who we talked to in the following interview which is not only about the latest album Rising from Within.

TRIDDANA released the latest Rise from Within in June this year. There were 3 years between it and the previous Power and Will. How do you see the music progress of the band within this period?
When I was writing the songs for “Rising from Within”, our main objective was to bring our music to the next level, improving our style and sound, but keeping the essence of the band. We wanted very direct songs with more production and arrangements.

Has the recording/composing procedure changed any how in comparison to the previous albums?
The procedure was very similar. I write the melodies for the bagpipes, the whistle and my voice. And I build the structure of the songs that way, adding the chords, the arrangements. First of all I record a demo version. And I did the same with the previous albums too. This time I wanted to get out a little bit from a very classic style, by providing the songs new sounds, other kind of arrangements, and not so traditional structures. Trying to make the songs different themselves as much as possible. I think each musician did an exceptional job on this album. Joaquin Franco (Drums) and Diego Rodríguez (bass) were just awesome. And Pablo Allen made magic with his bagpipes and whistle.

You have released the album via an independent label. Did you consider approaching big labels to release the album here in Europe? Or you think any big label would not fit the band
We’ve released the album independently. Get a good contract with a label could be great maybe, but I guess that it only works for very big bands, because they can sell a huge amount of copies. Otherwise the bands never earn much money or distribution. So, at least for now I think the best way to sell and to distribute our music is by our own.

Here in Slovakia or Czechia we have never had the opportunity to see TRIDDANA playing a gig, which is a pity as there are many fans of folk metal and in particular TRIDDANA. Any idea when or if this is going to change?
That’s cool! I really hope we can go to Czechia and Slovakia next year. It’s something that we want since a long time ago. We are searching for organizers who want the band in their festivals. Hopefully it will happen in 2019.

This summer you played again lots of gigs in Germany. Which songs of the new album, but also old ones, work perfectly live in front of the European audience? Do you like coming back to Europe? Is there anything else than music that you like Europe for?
I think in general all songs work perfectly with the audience. Actually is really difficult for us to select the songs for the shows, because normally in festivals we have time to play no more than 11 or 12, and inevitably there are songs that we have to leave out. We love Europe, definitely. Not only for the tour, of course, but for the people, and the amazing places too. Europe has a lot of history and beauty everywhere.

You are the author of lyrics. What do the songs deal with on this particular album? Do you tend to discuss the lyrics also with other band members or it is just your business that you keep for yourself?
Actually in “Rising from Within” Pablo Allen is the main author. He wrote most of the lyrics, and also Juan Manuel Lozano (our sound guy) wrote some phrases. I wrote two lyrics, but I was more focused on the music and on the recording.

I read you quite object catholic religion. Is there any question you would like to address to Vatican or the Pope?
No, I don’t think so. I have no question for the Pope nor for the Church. They talk about a god, a supernatural being, who is described as the source of love and truth, but whose dogmas are totally against the human being, and whose existence can’t be proved. There’s no truth on that. I respect the fact that each person has its own beliefs, but those beliefs can’t be the source of the moral values for everyone.

I enjoyed a lot the video to When the enemy is close from Power and Will but since then you have released only Lyric video, including this album. Are you going to work on any new official video?
Yes, we want it, and we are thinking about it, but there’s not something concrete yet. We’ll make a video for sure, but maybe a different kind of video. We’ll see.

TRIDDANA has always been strong also in slow songs. What is the ballad on this album The light you left behind dedicated to?
Thank you! But the song is not dedicated to anyone in special. It talks about a woman who is burned because everybody thinks she is a witch. It’s interesting in this particular moment, when the women are fighting more than ever for their rights and against the archaic values of society.

What exactly does Blind Hope deal with? What are the things you hope for?
Blind Hope” is about the lies of the Church, and religions in general. It’s blind, because it needs their followers to believe something that they can’t see. The promise of an eternal life after death; A salvation by adopting moral values from a god. What I hope is about what I do here and now. At the present time. I try to not deposit my faith in a magical thought.

The album is called Rising from within… How does this title relate to the idea of the album?
When we started to write the songs, Pablo and me talked about the concept of the album and the lyrics. We wanted to tell stories about how the civilization tames the human instinct, by killing its basic impulses. Our deepest desires became sins for the religion, and crimes for the law. There is something animal inside all of us, trying to come out. That idea was very interesting for us.

The album cover is also amazing… Something to be tattooed on my arm, ha ha. How does this cover relate to the content of the album? Who made it?
I made it, thank you! So, the cover art was made based on the concept that I told you before. In the center of the cover you can see two wolves, represented as jewels. They are the animal part, which is rising to the light. Between the wolves there’s an inverted cross, going down directly to the flames. That represents the religion, the law, and everything that tames the human instinct, going to its destruction.

I can say that out of pagan bands in the world, TRIDDANA members have the most sophisticated image with all the details and attention to the clothes, accessories. Did you particularly work on this with an image/design specialist or it developed naturally?
Thank you so much! 🙂 We have an image which is a kind of mix between the Celtic folk style, with the Scottish kilts, but also with a modern hard rock style. I like to use a top hat, a black shirt, and a lot of accessories. All of we have that taste to use this kind of clothes. I think it is a good mix of styles.

Do you and other band members live out of music? Or do you have second jobs?
We have other jobs too. But most of us work in other things related to the music. For example, I work in a recording studio, as a music producer and sound technician.

Before you mentioned that folk-metal scene in Argentina is not that big. Has the situation changed? Do more people come to your shows there?
Yes, I think something is changing in the Argentine scene. Heavy Metal music never were too popular here, but it’s still alive and that’s a good new definitely. In the last years maybe young people are more interested in Latin music styles, or something like that. But I think rock music has still something to say.

What is your greatest music experience? As a singer/musician or as music fan…
I think the experience of compose and record music, and then come to Europe to play it, was the greatest experience ever for me as a musician, until now. As a fan I couldn’t tell a unique experience; it would be impossible. I love music and it always surprises me.

Do you have any plans/ambitions/dreams regarding TRIDDANA? What are they?
Yes, there’s a lot of plans and dreams, but we’ll tell them in due course! Haha. We already have some confirmed shows for the next year and we are searching for more right now. So I really hope we can go there in 2019. I would like the band grow as much as possible and play our music all over the world. Thank you very much for this interview! And we hope to see all of you next year!

Adriana Jakubíková