Do you know: Elder Druid Posted: 14/06/2019 by Philip Morrissey

For those of you who know, Saturday marks the debut of Metal United Worldwide in Cork. For anyone unaware, this is an event which takes place around the globe on the very same day. Gigs are being hosted in various countries including Australia, Thailand, Brazil, USA, Indonesia, Poland, Albania, Mexico, China, Germany and many more.

The Irish of this event is due to take place in Cyprus Avenue on Saturday 15th from 1.PM on-wards. It is scheduled to be a huge show with many different bands performing at it. Some may be familiar to you. Some may not. Here is an introduction to the many bands due to lineup.

They might have first come to prominence to fans south of the boarder through their recent support of Dead Witches back in March which took in Dublin, Cork and The Siege of Limerick. The Belfast lads have been making and playing music for a few years now. And blowing away those who see them live.

According to the lads, there was no real lengthy process involved in setting up the band. “We formed back in early 2015. All 5 of us went to the same school so we’d know each other for a long time.” It helps to have similar tastes and musical appreciation though. “I had been into doom/stoner metal for a few years before then and always had the idea of putting a band together in the near future. I discussed the idea with Gregg, and he said he’d be up for doing vocals. I heard from my cousin that a friend of ours that we skated with was a drummer, so I messaged Brien and he joined on drums. Dale came along not long after on bass as his old band had broken up and finally Mikey joined on guitar as well to form the full band.””

The name was somewhat more of a random use of a phone app. “It was essentially words that I came across on a daily basis that I really liked, and it was fairly expansive. I really liked the word ‘Elder’ as it had connotations of an all-knowing wisdom-filled oracle (in my head anyway). My friend picked the word ‘Druid’ from the list and we put the two of them together.

It would be easy to see a band and point towards their influences as being a certain type of band. Not always the case though. “Gregg’s vocal influences would be bands like Down & Acid Bath. Mikey came from a background of bands like Metallica & Deftones so that added a cool dimension to the riff-writing for doom/sludge music. Brien was into jazz/funk before joining the band and Dale has a very abstract taste in all music, so we all had varying backgrounds rather than all being into doom from the get-go.”

As alluded to earlier, they certainly have been busy lads when it comes to playing live. Even in their short spell together. But not necessarily restricted to just Ireland. “Some of the best shows we’ve played have been across the water in England/Scotland/Wales. Particularly St Patrick’s Day in London where we played to a packed-out crowd in the Dev with Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Ten Ton Slug and Mount Soma. We’ve had some great tours as well across Ireland and the UK, playing on bills with bands such as Conan, Monolord, Dead Witches, Orange Goblin, Belzebong, and Conjurer.”

Recent support slots to Conan and Monolord in Belfast stood out as major bands but obviously a band can dream. “supporting the likes of The Melvins, Sleep or Electric Wizard would be incredible.”

Doom and stoner metal can often thrive due to their lack of hold-ups. This is what the band are all about. “The most amazing thing about doom/stoner metal is the lack of elitism and the genuine, honest love for the music and the bands. The correlation between the music and the art and the general vibe of the people is incredible. In Belfast, there’s a wealth of new bands appearing and new festivals popping up all over the place. Absolutely nothing to worry about.”

The camaraderie element is what appeals to them about Metal United also. “I think it’s a great idea. It’s really cool knowing that all over the world, many bands will be playing under the same banner. It’s an honour to be asked to play with the Irish contingent and we’re very excited to grace the stage.”

Events like this are a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and catch some bands you are fans of. “We’re good friends with the lads in zhOra, God Alone, Coroza and Slung from a Tree so it’s always a pleasure getting to see those guys tear it up. Very excited to see Cruachan as well as its a band we never thought we’d end up on a bill with.”

No rest for the wicked though. “Our second studio album ‘Golgotha’ is in the final stages of mixing and mastering so we’re hoping to get it out before the end of the year. We have another UK tour coming up at the end of November which is yet to be announced and very excited to play the 4th instalment of Crypt of the Riff fest in Belfast in December. Cheers to everyone that’s supported us over the last few years. Doom on!”

Elder Druid are poised to take the stage just after the second break. Approx 20:30. Lining up some heft for the rest of the bands to follow.