Tolkiens speedy black attack

Die in Europa vollkommen unbekannten Kanadier BARROW WIGHT zelebrieren einen rohen Speed- und Black-Metal, der sich lyrisch mit dem Schaffen von J.R.R. Tolkien beschäftigt. Nachdem ihre letzte EP begeistern konnte, musste ein Interview via Atlantik erfolgen.

Hello Antero, can you tell us something about the beginning of BARROW WIGHT? Are the actual members from the start in the band?

To go back to the true beginning of BARROW WIGHT you must go back to Colonel by High school in April of 2005. I was at a school talent show and was thoroughly unimpressed by all the bands and acts my school had to offer; they were either emo bands or acoustic acts that covered Rihanna. I got my neighbour Simon who drummed and my school friend Matthew who had a guitar and formed a band as the singer. No one would play bass so I did both sing and play bass. We covered MAYHEM, VENOM and BLACK SABBATH. Eventually we played at our high school and played VENOM songs. After high school the guitar player had to leave for school so I continued the band on my own playing all three parts. That was the true genesis of BARROW WIGHT; when I wrote the songs for the first demo. Eventually the demand for a BARROW WIGHT live show surfaced so I got my old drummer and a guy who played guitar at my work. Since the last guitar player we have a new one who is a neighbourhood kid is named Akiva.

Is there a mystery around you boys, or why do you have so beauty pseudonyms?

I suppose there is a shroud of mystery over the BARROW WIGHT name. We are new kids on the block in a lot of ways. We have only done one tour so far and have a small discography so far. I have no interest to turn BARROW WIGHT into a household name though, I hope to keep it a very underground operation but put on the best shows I can and maybe even put on a big show or tour some day. BARROW WIGHT has a DIY agenda about it.

Who is the main-songwriter or did you write everything together?

I mainly write the music but as the band plays the song it adapts to be played live. A Prime example of this is `Rock Into Mordor` where the second guitar player Robert came up with a few arpeggios to the very simple primitive riff and added a layer.

How does a song develop … from the first ideas to the complete song? How did you write?

Usually I record a riff I have been playing on my own and then I show it to the others and we jam until it works. Lyrics come last when I perform my lyric ritual of writing at the breakfast table over a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice with an omelet. I keep a copy of the Tolkien Bestiary at hand too for any reference I may need. Of course the three books are there too.

Did you write only in the same mood?

I tend to keep to the same routine for writing; usually I play the guitar around noon or ten AM.  I always aim to write catchy riffs that haven’t been done. The mood may vary.

Tell us something about your own musical influences, and the influences of the other band members?

From what I know of the others Akiva is very influenced by post punk guitar heavy bands like the PIXIES and hardcore punk acts. I detect a Jimmy Page influence too. My influences as a bass player are mainly Lemmy from MOTÖRHEAD, and John Paul Jones from LED ZEPPELIN. As a vocalist Cronos from VENOM is the main influence but I also like similar singers; like Evo from WARFARE, CATHEDRALs Lee Dorrian, Greg Lake in ´21st Century Schizoid Man`, Clive Archer the original singer for VENOM, Dan Beehler, and The Baron from AMEBIX, Quorthon, Tom Araya, Tom Angelripper, and Tom G. Warrior.

Have you or the others a musical Idol?

We all idolize Sauron.

Do you want to follow in it footsteps?

Yeah, but we want to win the war.

Do you often stay on stage?

We often play for a half hour and then leave, but we would like to play longer.

How is the scene in your area?

The Ottawa music scene is pretty strong, not necessarily on the metal front but we have a fantastic symphony orchestra, a great punk scene, I’m told there is a decent hip hop scene and it’s a pretty ok city to see music. We have a big music festival called blues fest and they bring in big acts ranging from IRON MAIDEN to LADY GAGA and everything in between. In Hull the city in Quebec across the river from Ottawa there are pantheons of bars that play all types of music and have an all vinyl metal night at a bar called Le Petit Chicago. Bigger cities have bigger music scenes but Ottawa isn’t a bad one.

What is more important – studio or concerts?

I stress more over live concerts but the Studio is more important. When I am dead in my Barrow that record will still play on turn tables.

It is mostly J.R.R. Tolkien or do other writers inspire you too?

For BARROW WIGHT all lyrics are about Tolkien’s books, so for this band that’s the only author that inspires me.

Did you read all of Tolkiens Books?

I have read a lot of them, I haven’t finished the Silmarillion but I have read most of it.  

I think some pagan-metal-bands around exists with Tolkien inspiration, but nobody with speed-early-heavy-black-metal! Who came over with this idea?

People often come up to me after shows and say “I love VENOM, and I love the Lord of the Rings”. So I think its neatly combining the two things very well in a little package. The when BARROW WIGHT was conceived it was going to be called Nazgul or Ring Wraith but there are heaps of other bands called that. The idea came when I began to write lyrics and realized I didn’t have a brain for writing about satanic things or pagan things but ever since I was a child was a huge Tolkien fan so I wrote about characters in Middle-Earth like they were subjects in black metal lyrics. I think it’s good that I did decide on this because I am an advocate for Originality in this style of music. Mostly everything has been done before with the same riffs, drum beats, vocal styles, album art and band logos.

Did you continue with this lyrical theme?

I have and I intend to until I put the Wight back in his crypt.

What are your next steps? Can we hope for an album?

Let’s just say the board has been set and pieces are moving.

In which formats it should appear (LP/CD)?

BARROW WIGHT will never appear on a CD again, cassettes and vinyl only from here on out.

Which format do you prefer for yourself?

Vinyl; it looks better, sounds better and is easier to get a hold of for cheaper.

Are the old demos still available?

Yes by request I can make one. BARROW WIGHT keeps me quite busy though so it may be a while before anything happens.

When do you come to Europe on tour?

We would really like to go on tour in Europe, play some festivals and visit the cities. I personally have never been to the old world but I have always wanted to go.  I don’t think the others have been across the pond either.


VENOM is the best band in the world, HELLHAMMER is good but I still like VENOM much more.


If I had to choose I would pick CELTIC FROST, but I think the two are one in the same and should be listened to in the same sitting. Reed St. Mark is my favorite metal drummer so I have to side with CELTIC FROST. Also I am a huge H. R. Giger fan.


I would have to say IRON MAIDEN in the Dianno years, but I would take `Screaming For Vengeance` over `Piece Of Mind`.


I’m not the biggest fan of either so I pick MALICORNE from France; everyone should listen to MALICORNE it’s possibly the best French rock group ever. (And begin with the great `Balançoire En Feu` LP – MH) For Canadian bands though the real prog rock band from around here is HARMONIUM from Montreal. HARMONIUM never got too big because they are a francophone group maybe but the stuff is sublime. (hear from HARMONIUM the `Si On Avait Besoin D´Une Cinquième Saison`-LP – MH) I don’t even speak French but I have a soft spot for the French. The best beer in Canada comes from this brewery outside of Montreal called Dieu du ciel! In St. Jerome Quebec, if you can get it anywhere in Europe buy it!

BLACK SABBATH with Ozzy or with Dio?

I’d have to say with Ozzy just because that’s the Sabbath I grew up with. That being said they are two different bands all together. It’s basically asking if I like BLACK SABBATH as a blues band or a metal band. `Heaven And Hell` is a masterpiece, but I like the more bluesy end.

Thank you for your words …

You didn’t ask whether I like BATHORY or HELLHAMMER, I like BATHORY better.

Look for Péché Mortel from Dieu du Ciel you won’t regret it!