Here we have an interview with British epic doom metallers SOLSTICE, rhythm guitarist Rich answered the questions...

What has SOLSTICE been up to since the release of the cd? Any new songs ready?
Since the release of the CD we have completed two tours. One in the UK with Sweden's Count Raven (14 shows) and one which took us to Germany,Holland,Belgium,Sweden, Denmark,Poland,Lithuania,Czech Republic,Russia (24 shows) with Anathema. We have drunk much ale and whiskey and bested many toes and been busy writing new material for our next album "New Dark Age". We have several new songs ready for it such as "To Ride With Tyr","Jehad","New Dark Age","September Dusk","Halcyon","Sleeping Tyrant", "The Ravenmaster" which are more epic and heavier than ever!! To band us over until the release of the next album we will release a new EP on June 15th,MCMXCV on Germany's Stormstrike Records in either 10" vinyl or Mini-CD formats - more about that later on. Incidentley the title of the EP is "Halcyon"....

What happened to the original recording of the album? Any plans of releasing them maybe as ep's or something?
The original demos for the album were just that,demos! They were recorded for our own benefit to get a more accurate interpritation of the material. If someone offered us,yes we would release them as a limited edition EP on certain conditions and a cash incentive...we shall be demoing several new tunes over the next couple of months in different studios before we record the full-album.

What do you think of the band SERENITY,as it features some x-SOLSTICE members? Are you good friends?
I am not a big fan of power metal,I like only Doom metal really. We know the bass-player really well - he's a nice guy. We don't know the other four at all.

How come your original second guitarist now plays drums in the band?
Because he's a multi-talented Dutch genious. Sadly though,Lennaert had to move back to Holland so we had to get a new drummer by the name of Sean Steeles - he's immensely powerful and has given us a new edge - Hail to Sean for his dedication and Hail to Lennaert for his time with the band - best of luck my friend! We are all pretty (We're not. We're ugly and evil,ha ha!-HE & MM) diverse as for playing goes. John plays lead guitar + bass,Chaz plays bass + lead guitar,Sean plays drums + bass, Simon sings + plays rhythm guitar and I play rhythm guitar,bass + drums! We all practice different instruments in case of emergancy (if one member was injured). Strange but true...

Tell me something about this tour you did...
Aye. It was a mighty crusade indeed around the shores of mainland Europe with our bretheren in the band Anathema over a period of four weeks,November MCMXCIV. We consumed much ale,played many live shows,met hordes of fellow drunks + warriors and paved the way for our next Euro-crusade later this year with Blasphemer maybe - who knows. Anyway,some of highlights include playing to over 3000 people in Poland,in Lithuania there was 2500 people. Getting mobbed in Poland by fans. Meeting up with Jochen Fopp of Mirror Of Deception (Write me,mate!-HE) in Germany. Also renewing aquantences in Sweden with Count Raven and our old drinking partners Nezgaroth. Aye,much was acheived and allegiances forged in blood over a cup of finest ale - Hail to all we met on the tour,we shal meet again!

Your opinions on the following:
Vikings and Viking beliefs?Vikings and Viking culture plays a large part in Solstice (as does our Celtic Heritage too). Members of the band belong to the military brotherhood of Jomsborg (a dark age re-enactment group). We do not do this as a fashion or pose,and anyone who would cast doubts upon our integrity - we will meet you on the field of battle in Horten ,Norway in the month of June MCMXCV. We shall be there - will all the posers though...
Finnish ice-hockey teams? They should learn how to fight. They have the combat skills of a new born baby...
Candlemass? Excellent. Sweden's greatest band who sadly grace us no more with their dark anthems of woe. Still,at least the mighty Count Raven are still with us.
Horny housewives? This would be best answered by John as he has a passion for more mature women but the less said about that the better.

There have been many line-up changes within the band. Have you never just though about splitting up the band because of this?
We never thought about splitting because we have much passion for what we do. The only reason we would ever split would be if all the members felt we had achieved what we set out to do and had no more to offer. As it stands,we haven't and we have! Even though,if we said split up we would regroup under a different banner and continue to create epic material anthems of true doom metal.

Why did you decide to play this kind of music? Why didn't you get a death metal vocalist like everybody else when you started? Don't you think it might have been a lot easier for you get noticed with a death metal singer?
We all love the dark,slow and morbid sounds of this genre. It appeals and fits with our persona's. I could not see us playing anything else. Yes it would have been easier for us to get noticed by a narrow minded death metal scene with a death metal vocalist,but we are a Doom metal band who prefer to adhere to the grand traditions as set by such timeless classics as Black Sabbath,Saint Vitus and Candlemass. Then again we are also influenced and inspired by other bands such as Manowar,Bathory and Celtic Frost too.

Why the name SOLSTICE? Have you never thought of copywriting the name because of the (at least) two other SOLSTICE's?
The name Soltice is just one of the many tacets of our own beliefs - we are not a fucking christian band and although many of our true doom brothers are,wish nothing more than to see this weak and oppresive bastianof Western society destroyed. It has nothing to do with our ways. The name is not ours to copywright. It's a time of ancient religious (pagan) festival - we only borrowed it from our ancestors. And so we would never consider such an act. Shit American death metal band take note - you are not worthy of such a glorious moniker! I believe the reasonable Dutch outfit of the same name have no problems with us and we have no plans to have them change it.

Tell me something about the idea behind the cover of the album...
It's a time of mourning (Where are they now?-HE), when one of the mightiest warriors is laid to rest by the rest of his bretheren! Because of the connection between Solstice and the Jomsvikings we used it as a tribute to them - Hail! Of course we have an interest in all Ancient North European cultures (we are not interested in the supposed superiority of one over another) and wish to see our histories and heritages preserved, not used in some bastarised fashion game by adolescent ex-black metallers.

What is the greatest thing about being in SOLSTICE? Why? What is your favorite SOLSTICE track?
The music and the ale,mixed with our brotherhood. Every day brings us a new challenge and strengthens our convictions,this itself is rewarding. I love playing shows and basically creating new musical and lyrical works which we can share with others. Tales of bravery,heroic quests,soul destroying misery and lost love. My favorite songs are "Only The Strong" + "Winter Moon Rapture".

The music and the lyrics. Who does them? Does the whole band do them or just one or two individuals?
The music and lyrics are created by all (I thought he was in Abruptum?-HE playing dumb). We are a band and not a single egotistic entity. No one takes credits over another. To me,that would be selfish and we could not play as a band without each other.

For how many albums is your deal with Candlelight? Are you happy with them so far? How many copies has the album sold?
Our deal with Candlelight is for as many albums as we can be bothered. Both Solstice and Candlelight can choose not to work with the other whenever we wish. There is no pressure from either side. To be honest, I and the rest of the band are unhappy with the promotion we have recieved but this shall be rectified or things will happen which will cause much grief. The problem lies with the distribution company, Plastic Head. They suck shit from the festering bowels of a leperous pig! I fucking hate them. They are liars and cheats. Soon we shall smite them mercilessly for their crimes. I have no idead how many copies we have sold at this moment in time and do not wish to make a guess due to our "friends" at Plastic Head cheating us and Candlelight.

Seen any good porno movies lately?
Yes,at least two (one of them was hilarious). Have you? (No not in a while. The last one was "Virgin Treasures" I think...-HE)

Last words,thank to me,what you've got for sale,etc...
Aye,thanx and Hail for this my friend. Anyone who wants a shirt in Europe send $16 to us. If you want a copy of the "Halcyon" EP then send 20 German Marks (It will be hard to find 20 German guys called Mark,ha ha!-HE,trying to be funny) to Stormstrike Records. The "Lamentations" album is availble from Candlelight Records or order it in your local store. Hail + Kill to all who support,we cherish and thank you eternally. Crusade! Rich...

You can contact this cool guy at the following address:
c/o 105 Garden Street,
WF13 3AN,

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79312 Emmendingen,

P.O.Box 328,
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