Interview with Cnoc An Tursa

Cnoc An Tursa 2016We went to see about a Sheepshagger with Cnoc An Tursa and while we didn’t get the mutton inspired ale pumping on tap we did get some chat on the new album from Reni.

“I believe Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.”

You’ve got a new album coming out soon, what can you tell us about it?

It’s called The Forty Five and its a concept album based on the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland during 1745.  We started recording the album in august 2015 at LSD studio in Germany with producer Lasse Lammert where we tracked the drums. We then finished the rest of the recording back home in Scotland. The album was mixed by Scott McLean of Falloch and mastered at Grindstone Studios by Scott Atkins.

We have a few line up changes on this one with me taking over on Vocals and Tony Dunn (ex-Falloch) on Bass and clean vocals.  It’s also the first time we’ve integrated blast beats and clean vocals into our music while the tracks are also considerably longer than on the Giants of Auld. There’s a lot more going on in this album; there’s everything from bagpipes, penny whistles to a fifty piece orchestra!

Do you watch Outlander, is there a connection, what do you think of the shows portrayal of the times during the auld alliance?

Never seen the show so I can’t comment on that.

Although the Scottish Indy Ref was successful in keeping the UK together is there any political undertone within the Forty-Five?

There’s no political meaning behind the album title, it’s just a coincidence.  The Forty-Five is also known as Bliadhna Theàrlaich (Charles’ Year) in Scottish Gaelic and it represents the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland during 1745.

“The front cover is of the shores of Glenfinnan where in 1745 Bonny Prince Charlie landed to begin raising an army to overthrow King George.”

What’s your favourite Tartan?

I wouldn’t really say I have a favourite because they’re all pretty cool in their own way.

Did anyone or anything in particular inspire your interest in Scottish heritage?

I’m very patriotic and have been since an early age; I believe Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I actually spend most of my spare time site seeing or visiting historical landscapes, castles, monuments a lot of this inspiration came from my grandparents and uncle reading me Scottish folklore tales as a child, and I’ve always loved the sound of the bagpipes!

The whole facepaint idea we have is taken from the picts which is another part of history the band is keen to cover in the future, possibly album number three. In all honesty my facepaint is a direct rip off from the character Etain played by actress Olga Kurylenko in the 2010 epic movie Centurion!

Tell me the story involved in the album cover art.

The artwork was created by Jan Yrlund at Darkgrove Design, he’s a very talented artist and has done an amazing job of capturing the story with the artwork. The front cover is of the shores of Glenfinnan where in 1745 Bonny Prince Charlie landed to begin raising an army to overthrow King George.

What does the tour schedule look like for the future?

We don’t have anything booked yet but we will definitely be getting back on the road in 2017 to promote the new album.

You wear kilts as part of your show. Are you true Scots on stage?

We’re currently wearing the Black Stewart tartan on stage as part of the Jacobite concept and it’s worth noting that this was the Tartan Jacobite army wore at Sheriffmuir in 1715, which is an area located not far from our home town Falkirk.

About David Oberlin 330 Articles

David Oberlin is a composer and visual artist who loves noise more than a tidy writing space. You can often find him in your dankest nightmares or on twitter @DieSkaarj while slugging the largest and blackest coffee his [REDACTED] loyalty card can provide.

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