the Bow interview by Yury Arkadin
1. What I must ask firstly is the reason, if possible, of why you have decided to disband Trial of the Bow? Surely there must be some peculiar reason, since both albums have been well received and your fan base has been growing steadily worldwide...
Who told you that we had split up? I didn't even realise that we had myself!!!! I just returned from overseas and Matthew told me he was no longer interested in continuing so I'm left at a crossroad at the moment. I have seriously been thinking of calling it a day. I'm quite dissapointed. Matthew became apathetic and it seriously has started to rub off on me. But we will see. I have PLENTY of other important things to do right now so as far as Trial is concerned, time will tell. I'd like to know how this rumour started anyway! (The one who first directed me to Renato, a gentleman whom he had worked with related to me originally of TotB's disbanding. It never quite advanced to the status of a rumor! - Yury)
2. Looking back at the two releases under the name Trial of the Bow, are you satisfied with what you have accomplished? Are there any changes you would have made in consideration of your present experience?
Yes, I'm relatively satisfied. There are a couple of tracks that I wouldn't have put on the album. I'm so self-critical though. Almost to the point of being obsessive! That's just my character.
3. What thoughts have you on organic music versus electronic, especially taking into mind the rapid expansion of technology taking place currently?
I definitely think that there is SO much more emotion, passion and soul in organic music. Electronic music can be quite cold and devoid of any substance. There is SO much shite around that either way it doesn't even matter!
4. Have you or Matthew ever travelled to the Middle East? If so, can you give some thoughts on how you felt and what you've experienced there?
I just returned from 1 month in Morocco and a few weeks in southern Spain. Morocco was absolutely mesmerising. Sensory overload! I have been interested in their unique culture for some time now. The things I saw and experienced cannot be put into simple words. One thing though, music is in their blood. It's part of their identity. They make music out of anything. Moroccans have an amazing sense of rhythm. Witnessing a Gnaoua ceremony was just unbelievable. Here, trance is REAL. It's not a marketing term like in western culture! This is a country deeply steeped in magic. Music plays a VERY important role. The first introduction to this is the chant of the muezzin as he calls the faithful to prayer 5 times a day. In each city it sounds distinctly different. The words never change but each muezzin has his own way of calling the faithful to prayer. But being woken by it is even more incredible. It feels like you're dreaming. Totally mesmerisng. There was one night where we camped out in a nomadic tent on the fringe of the Sahara desert and we were with about 8 Moroccans (2 of whom were Tuaregs, or Blue Men as they are commonly known to Westerners) and we were playing music into the small hours of the morning under the dark, ominous desert sky. It was just unforgettable. The sound of drums and wailing and the passionate faces of these people as they sung ancient songs passed on from generation to generation. I felt lucky to be sitting there with my girlfriend playing along with them. It made me realise how different our worlds were. These simple people living a simple life, deeply spiritual, while we are slaves to the cruel, harsh and cold MACHINE. Needless to say, I returned feeling like I had just stepped back in time for a couple of centuries. I brought my tape recorder with me and recorded LOTS of sounds. We are returning next year for a little longer. It's a special place for me.
5. While on the subject of travel, have you ever visited America and would you go back? What are you feelings about this crazy place?
ALL I will say is that, personally, I have ABSOLUTELY NO interest in visiting America. We'll just leave it at that.
6. What are the primary artists that have influenced you and continue to do so?
David Hykes and the Harmonic Choir was my initial inspiration. I must admit, Dead Can Dance were also quite influential. There's no point denying it, even though we are continuously compared to them. Nothing to lose sleep over.
7. Have you any plans for the future at the moment?
Well I had planned to record another Trial album entitled 'Let it come down'. Our label have been silent for months. Our manager, Steve, is fed up. I told him he's just wasting his time. Things take soooo looong to happen. That's one of the other reasons why Matthew had had enough. It's really frustrating! We've all become really apathetic with the lack of 'this' and 'that'. I say to myself "is this all worth it?". We were meant to do an album for RYKODISC with the Kama Sutra theme but I don't even know what is happening with that anymore. This idea has been up in the air for 2 years now!! I've lost complete interest.
8. Do you have any opinion on the madness going on in Iraq with Saddam Hussein? Will the stupidity of men leading each other to war and ruin ever end, you think? (This was written some time ago, obviously - Yury)
This world is going to hell. Sometimes I really wonder whether there is any truth in Nostradamus' prophecies. It would be fantastic to see the reign of Sadam Hussein put to an end but UNFORTUNATELY I don't think these problems will EVER finish. Violence! Violence! Violence! That's what we are surrounded by! Violent cultures ARE the root of this global problem. We SERIOUSLY NEED TO LISTEN to the Dalai Llama. That's where I think THE solution is.
9. That's all... thank you for your time. My best wishes to you on all your future endeavors, Renato, whatever they may be. Have you any last words?
Thanks for the interview Yury. Don't give up yet. There just MAY be some new material out in the future if situations improve. Cheers and thanks for supporting Trial of the Bow!!!!