Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Back in 2008 when I was in university, a friend named Ryan Preston approached me to do a parody song for a contest entry. We collaborated and had a good times doing it. He then shot me an offhand remark: "you know Dave, we should make a fantasy metal band". Given that it was hot off the heels of our parody song, I brushed it off as a lame joke. A few months later, I found myself writing riffs and lyrics and noticed a startling trend: they all had to do with fantasy and folklore themes. I approached Ryan and agreed to give this idea a shot. He made a few phone calls and all of a sudden we had a line-up... The line-up that would carry us through to the release our first record "Of War" back in 2010.
We were still a bunch of university friends at the time and many of the musicians (including Ryan) wanted to pursue other interests. The band dynamic was not working and it was clear that most of the members had other places to be. Terry Savage stuck it out and wanted to keep doing Scythia. Therefore, within a few months of the departure of the initial line-up we had found a new serious group of musicians to work with.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
Foremost, I'd like to say that even though we dress up in costumes and have a Celtic/Gypsy vibe at times, we still consider ourselves more progressive metal than folk metal. Often we are characterized as folk metal and compared to bands like Korpiklaani and Eluveitie, however, there are several characteristics of our music that place us more in the progressive camp. Our full-length albums are arranged as concept albums where a story is told revolving around a centralized theme and the use of ambient sections, narration and sound scoring is present. Secondly, we draw upon many different styles of music (not all metal) in our songs. Changes can vary from neo-classical to jazz to straight up power metal to death metal all in one song. Thirdly, the use of time signatures and complex instrumental arrangements are borrowed from the progressive metal domain and are the anti-thesis of 3 chord drinking songs.
With that said, we do recognize that some songs of our are much more straight forward and can easily be considered folk metal. But I thought I'd just clarify that we cannot be painted with a single brush stroke.
Bands that influence our style include: Black Sabbath, Savatage, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Judas Priest, Skyclad, Alestorm, Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Sonata Artica, Stratovarius, Tool, Symphony X, Steel Eye Span, Strunz and Farah and Porcupine Tree.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
If one finds themselves drawn to the imagery on the cover, our promo pics, our live performances, our singles that stream free on the net then they should buy our records. We try to make a cohesive package where everything looks and sounds like it belongs together.
This isn't music for everyone, we aren't replicas of old-school thrash or purveyors of technical death metal. We are for people who like a strong emphasis on melodic metal with lots of diversity in style.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
We have 3 releases so far. In our opinion (and our critics opinions), they have each got progressively better.
Of War was a really raw recording we did back in 2009 and released in 2010. It has our classic tracks, but admittedly, the performance and production does not reflect the caliber that we perform with now. It was received with mostly polarized views. Some were scathingly harsh and others loved the rawness and totally got into the storytelling.
Of Exile was our second release. With more recording know-how and a different line-up, we put out a much more elaborate release that featured orchestration and lots of counterpoint. It was mixed as a progressive rock record and unfortunately, it was too 'soft' for some metalheads. The biggest criticism we received was that the mix was too light/thin. With that said, this release also impressed a lot of reviewers and garnered us quite a bit of new attention and global fans.
For the Bear is our latest EP. This one is big, heavy and unapologetic. Every reviewer so far has commented that this is a step forward for the band and have sung many praises. However, some dwell on the fact that we are re-releasing new versions of older songs and lament that there isn't more new material. I guess everyone needs something to complain about!
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We are definitely a live band. It's easy to hide behind the production of our records, but the energy and interaction of crowd and performers is priceless. A testament to our live performance is that the longer we do this, the more bodies end up in the crowd and the more merch we sell.
What sould labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Because we are doing something that is truly unique. It's not just about the music, but about the show, the spectacle and the fact we work our asses off to constantly out do our previous accomplishments. We are an endless plight aimed at becoming an international touring band that is on the tips of all metalheads' tongues.
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Tours, more music and hopefully some label support to bring our plight to other countries.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
You can see us currently in Major cities across Canada. We head out on tour at the end of September. Our schedule is posted on many metal sites as well as our FB page: www.facebook.com/scythiametal
Our songs can be found on youtube under scythiaband and we normally sell most of our merch/cds online at scythia.bandcamp.com/merch