Summon: How did the band get started?
Chad: Cultellarii was formed in July 2007 by guitarists Chris Wicklein and Chad Bailey (me). After recording material for the newest Killing Addiction album, Chris and I started writing and messing around with different ideas we thought should define the overall sound for the band. We knew we wanted to write differently than we’d done in Killing Addiction and go off in new directions, especially with style and song structure.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Chad: We play what we consider to be dark, doomy rock/metal with female vocals. Chris and I made a conscious effort in the beginning to distance ourselves from metal. We did this primarily because we wanted to see how things with this band progressed if we stayed within the margins of rock. This meant gigging with mostly rock bands, writing music that – while heavy – sounded like rock songs with rock tempos. Ironically, despite our efforts, most everyone who heard us considered us metal.
Summon: How has the band response been?
Chad: The response has been rather good. We’ve had many compliments on our stage show and sound in general. People seem to like the songs we write, and those who have taken the time to read our lyrics like those too.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Chad: The name Cultellarii comes from a story called “The Book of the New Sun” by Gene Wolfe. It’s an absolute masterpiece of Sci-Fantasy and speculative fiction. If you haven’t read it, it’s like nothing you’ve ever read, and afterwards nothing else will equal it. The word Cultellarii refers to fanatical assassins (cultists) that wield long, curved blades.
Summon: Introduce the band members
Chad: The band consists of Chris Wicklein and Chad Bailey on guitar, Gary Miller on drums, Steve Strothers on bass, and Alanna Gunter on vocals.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Chad: Chris and I have written and arranged nearly all the music and lyrics. Some of our earlier lyrics were written by our first vocalist, and Alanna has written lyrics for two of the newer songs.
Summon: Where do the lyric ideas come from?
Chad: Most of them come from stories we’ve read. The first three or four songs were written about things in the Gene Wolfe books, but we’ve also paid homage to Lovecraft, paganism, and even Marvel comics. Chris and I are constantly finding new, interesting things to write about, and we discuss these ideas with the others, so everyone’s on board with what we’re doing.
Summon: How many albums/cd’s have you released?
Chad: At the moment we’re still writing songs. We’re recording again in the near future, but not to release an album. Once we have enough songs recorded we will likely release an EP.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Chad: We have a song called “The Revolutionary”, which is about a torture device in “The Shadow of the Torturer” by Gene Wolfe. The Revolutionary awakens in its victim a second personality or ‘self’ that is aware of, and tries to kill the original personality – a process that results in a slow, horrible death that spans weeks or months. We have another song called “Suffer the Witch” which is about pagans declaring war on Christianity in retribution for centuries of persecution and torment.
Summon: What do you like about this band better than your Death Metal band “Killing Addiction”?
Chad: Well, we have much more room to breathe, so to speak, with the writing. We can pursue any idea or direction we wish, whether musical or lyrical, without regard for convention or listener expectation. We have no limits.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Chad: I can only list mine since I’m answering these questions. I know the others have different influences than I do. Mine are bands like SUNN O))), Equimanthorn, Ulver, Arcturus, Darkthrone, Voivod, Electric Wizard, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, Possessed, and Devils Blood – just to name a few.
Summon: Which current bands?
Chad: All of those are current bands.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Chad: We’ve taken to wearing stage costumes that fit with the ‘cult’ like theme of the songs. For instance, I wear a hooded cloak with a bird mask, Chris wears one of several masks he’s created, and Alanna has several different outfits as well. We all have a different idea going. At the moment, our stage show incorporates fog machines, and intro-music, but we’ve come up with new ideas to add into it, so we’ll see how it goes. People really seem to like the stage costumes a lot. No one else around here is doing anything like it, so we’re off on our own, which is how we like it.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Chad: No, but we’d like to. How about Hell-fest? Haha!
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Chad: This should read: “On average, how large are the crowds at your shows?” The crowds we get depend largely on the amount of promotion the shows get. Typically we play for 60-80 people, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Chad: The crowd response is always very good. We’ve gotten nothing but good feedback from our gigs.
Summon: Any plans on writing any new material?
Chad: We are pretty much always writing new material. At the moment we have two new songs in the works.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Chad: We plan on recording three new songs in the next month. Other than that, we’re planning on adding to our live show, writing new songs, playing more gigs, and hopefully releasing an EP once we’re ready. Obviously the goal is to expand our influence and fan-base, so we’ll be doing whatever is necessary to achieve that.
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