(Xerath’s 2011 album “II” was one of our favorites last year — check out TheMadIsraeli’s review of it here. Recently, he caught up with the band’s stellar guitarist Owain Williams for this real-time interview conducted via Facebook chat — a conversation to be continued at a later date.)
TheMadIsraeli: Hey Owain, totally random ass question…
Owain: Fire away
TheMadIsraeli: interested in doing an on the spot interview right now?
Owain: I’m game
TheMadIsraeli: Xerath. How did it start and why?
Owain: It was actually the brainchild of Andy Phillips, the old Xerath guitarist. Myself and Michael Pitman were merely there to facilitate his ideas. His vision was to marry classical music to technical heavy metal. All Mike, Rich and I have done (as well as recruiting Chris) is understand and realise that goal and try our hardest to make it our own and achieve it. While Andy’s no longer in the band, I think we were in agreement in the first place about how the band should sound
TheMadIsraeli: And Andy was on “I” and you were on bass at the time. So in a sense you’ve kind of taken the helm of a band you were just assisting along in its goal originally. How does that feel?
Owain: I was credited as bass/guitar for “I”, so there are some songs that Andy or I would call our own. “Alterra” for instance was all Andy, “Right to Exist” was me, some we played about 50/50 guitar. We’re such a multi-instrumental band, it’s hard to put a finger on who’s responsible for what anymore. For example I think the first song we ever wrote together was me showing Andy how you could have different tiny Polymeters on drums over different limbs which ended up as “Intrenity”. Rich (vocals) wrote a LOT of riffs on “II”, like “Sworn to Sacrifice” (my favourite!), and Mike (drums) wrote probably the most technical “guitar-wise”, “The Call to Arms”.