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Interviews Heavy Metal, Gothic Metal, Black Metal Interview - Kaitain - British Metal Through And Through

Kaitain Interview


Interviewer – Phill Bruce

Photographer – Sabrina Romdoyal, all images copyrighted (


Interview Date – 10th November 2011


Some bands you discover completely by accident and for me Kaitain was one of those. I was at a gig and Kaitain were one of the bands on the bill. I was blown away by their music but also by their front man Alan. With his fiery hair and harmonic vocals Alan is the perfect front man for Kaitain. After hearing their set I had to get an interview with them and they nicely agreed. So here is what happened when I caught up with Alan from Kaitain.


GC – Thank you so much for giving Grave Concerns Ezine this interview. Firstly can you tell us a little bit of a background about yourself and where in this beautiful world you are from?


Alan - My full name is Alan Conroy but i prefer Al (I only get called Alan when I'm in trouble). I'm 36 but thankfully most people think I'm about 10 years younger than this... Being a red head has it's perks sometimes. I was born and grew up and still live in Chester, which is about 25 miles south of Liverpool. I've been playing the guitar since i was 14. Although i did have a ten year gap in my playing from about the age 22 - 32 (It's a kind of love hate thing I have going on with it, but there's definitely more love than hate these days.)


GC – What was the true inspiration for you to originally pick up your guitar?


Alan – Well music has always been an important part of my life but I think listening to Master of Puppets by Metallica completely changed how I perceived music in general. I didn’t just want to listen to it, I wanted to play it. Guitar was the logical step. I must have annoyed the shit out of my parents because I spent the next few months trying to play the intro to Battery over and over again ha ha.


GC – Love hate thing, did you fall out with your guitar?


Alan – Oh yeah man. I used to be so hard on myself with regards to my playing and I kind of lost sight of the fact that it’s not about getting as good as other guitarists, it’s about finding your own style. Writing your own music becomes extremely frustrating when you keep comparing everything to the music of your peers. I would imagine it happens to a lot of musicians, especially guitarists. I’m pretty sure immaturity and too much acid played a part as well!!


GC – At what point in your life did you decide to form your band and why?


Alan – Well, i was in and out of quite a few bands in my late teens and early twenties and I suppose I reached a point of total disillusionment with the whole thing.  I just never seemed to meet people who wanted the same thing musically, although I'm not sure I knew what I direction I wanted to be heading in either, so I think I just decided one day, 'fuck it, this isn't for me.'

Anyway, I can't remember how it was that I got back into playing but I know that this time around it's completely different. I definitely feel more connected musically and more at peace with my playing. I suppose I just grew up a bit.

I've known Simon (Dodd) since I was 15 and we had played in a couple of bands together so I gave him a call to see if he would be interested in getting together for a session. I had a stack of riff ideas, lyrics and decided to give singing a go.  The songs just started to come together and I can remember feeling for the first time that buzz you get when your music feels right and you get that emotionally charged vibe.  We just needed another guitarist and a bassist....


GC – What sort of bands were you in in your youth and what experience have you drawn from them for Kaitain?


Alan – All kinds. A few cover bands. I was briefly in a doom band called “Grimorium”.  They were pretty good but their music wasn’t really my cup of tea.  A rock band called “Nation of Addicts” (I think that was ripped from a Senser song).  We were all too fucked up on speed, weed and acid to realise how shite we actually were.

The most important thing I’ve learned from playing in these bands is that me and drugs don’t mix too well ha ha. Personally, to write and play music requires that I keep my head on straight.


GC – How has the music of Kaitain evolved since you and Simon started?


Alan – When we started Kaitain we wanted to be a thrash band, but it’s moved in a slightly different direction which is great because it feels like we’re not forcing anything. The songs have more soul and depth than I would have ever expected. It’s like you come up with an idea and then let the song tell you where it wants to go.  You have to be honest with yourself and not be afraid to share your inner turmoil.


GC – Why did you choose the name Kaitain?


Alan – It’s from the Frank Herbert novel “Dune” Kaitain is a planet.  It just jumped out at me.


GC – Who besides yourself is in the band and what background are they from?


Alan - Simon Dodd (Drums), he's also from Chester.  We go back a long way.

Jack Gordon (Guitar), age 20 from Macclesfield.  Jack answered and ad that Si put on Band me, joined in 2010.  He's since moved to Chester.

Tom Wild (Bass), age 24 from Chester.  We met Tom in April this year (2011) when we recorded our first EP at Whitby studios in Ellesmere Port.  Tom was our sound engineer and we just kinda hit it off with him.  Although I put all the bass tracks down in the studio we wanted to get out there and gig.  To be honest, up to that point we hadn't had any luck finding a suitable bassist. Tom was into what we we're doing so that was our line up complete.


GC – Do you feel the line up at the moment is solid and what is it do you think that keeps you all together?


Alan – Yeah I think we’re pretty solid. We know we’re onto something with the music and we have mutual understanding of how hard we need to work in order to get the best out of the songs. The fact that we can listen to each other is a massive factor in what keeps us together. I bang on about this all the time with the other three. There are no big egos in the band, we just want to write great songs.


GC – What does Tom help add to the initial sound?


Alan – Bass. Honestly, Tom and us are still finding our feet with the bass side of things. We spent quite a while writing and playing before Tom joined. We desperately needed a bassist but once we had one it changed everything in terms of the band dynamic and the sound. But we think the bass is sitting in there quite nicely now.


GC – What are your musical influences?


Alan – Well we're all into different things. Personally, I'll listen to anything from classical to Chimera... Si is into bands like Chilli peppers, S.O.D, Metallica.. Jack listens to everything but he's quite a bit younger so i know he likes some of the new metal stuff, Killswitch, In flames.... Tom listens to all kinds as well but i know he really likes the doomy side of things... Mastodon, Kyuss etc... This list would take forever to write!


GC – How would you choose to describe the music of Kaitain?


Alan – Shit man, that’s a hard question. It seems to sound like so many different things to different people. It’s metal it’s grunge it’s thrash. But above all it’s honest and from the heart.


GC – What is your greatest achievement as a band so far?


Alan – I don’t feel like we’ve done enough yet to really answer that question. We only started gigging a few months back. Getting five tracks down in ten days and having a respectable EP has been our greatest achievement up to know I suppose, but we’ve only just started.


GC – Where do you see your band in five years and what are your hopes for the future?


Alan – In five years I would love to think that we have released at least two albums and to be touring our asses off.....

I hope the future brings us success and the freedom to keep evolving musically.


GC – Have you any ideas in the pipeline for a Kaitain album?


Alan – Most definitely. We have enough tracks we just don’t have the money to do it. The songs need and deserve a lot more time putting into them in the studio than we can afford right now.


GC – If you could have anyone to do the artwork for a Kaitain album who would like to do it?


Alan – Shit man that’s a tough question. All I know is it would need to be fucked up and abstract. Would be interesting to see what kind of visual interpretations different artists would come up with after listening to our music.


GC – Is there any place or venue you would like to play at and why?


Alan – Festivals.  Sonisphere, Download, Reading, Glastonbury. Any of the big UK festivals would be a dream come true for me!


GC – Is there any band that you would love to tour with?


Alan – American Head Charge. They just need to get back together.


GC – Do you prefer to play big or small venues?


Alan – As soon as we’ve played some big venues I’ll let you know. Right now we’re just happy to get out there a play.


GC – Without giving too much away is there any instrument or program you wouldn’t be without and why?


Alan - Yamaha LL16 acoustic...


GC – If money was no object what guitar would you buy?


Alan – ESP F series. My main guitar is an LTD 30th anniversary F series and it’s the nicest guitar I’ve ever owned. A top spec version of that would be fucking awesome.


GC – What music are you listening to at the moment?


Alan – The Feeding (Head charge) Anthology (Alien ant farm) Lulu (Lou Reed/Metallica)


GC – Ok let’s have a little fun now. If you were stranded on a desert island what film, book and album would you want to be stranded with?


Alan – Blade Runner.  Any James Herbert novel. The War of Art (Head charge)


GC – If you were abducted by aliens what is the first thing you would ask them?


Alan – Does the probe really have to go up my ass?


GC – What is your favourite TV program?


Alan – At the moment it would have to be “The Walking Dead”


GC – What is your favourite season of the year?


Alan – Summer. I love hot weather.


GC – What is your ultimate holiday?


Alan – I haven’t been to the states yet. California. New York.


GC – Thanks so much for giving Grave Concerns this interview, is there anything you would like to add?


Alan – Thank you for the interview man. Grave Concerns rocks tits!


Thanks again, good luck for the future.

See Kaitain on Youtube:








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