Ur Draugr is an extreme metal project based in Perth, Western Australia and was founded in early 2014, and recently put out their debut EP The Wretched Ascetic. We caught up with Drew, who performed vocals, bass and guitar on the EP, for a chat.
You recently released your debut EP The Wretched Ascetic – what’s the overall response been to it so far?
Overwhelmingly positive, to say the least. I’ve personally been quite humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve received in the weeks following the release.
How would you describe your writing and recording process?
Ur Draugr was originally conceived as a writing experiment; an attempt to build heavy, progressive music from the ground up by using bass as the primary writing instrument, rather than guitar. When it became apparent that there was some potential in the resulting tunes, Dean Lockhart (guitars) and Dan Grainger (drums) stepped in to flesh out the song structures and bring the material to release. Throughout the process, it was very important to all of us that none of the material become ‘overcooked’ (for lack of a better word), as we’re all very aware of how damaging it can be to lose sight of the organic and human qualities of music.
Which song would you say you’re most proud of?
Though the obvious choice would likely be the title track itself, with its ten-minute-plus runtime, I think I’m more tempted to nominate Unseen Golgotha because of the myriad challenges it represented.
So was that song more of a challenge to get down?
The introduction to it proved to be particularly sensitive in terms of tracking, and a great deal of trial and error was involved getting the right acoustic tones. Otherwise, the vast majority of the writing and recording process for The Wretched Ascetic was remarkably free-flowing.
If you could go back and do anything differently, would you?
These days I actively try to avoid looking over my shoulder too often. Every success and every failure is a lesson, and without those lessons a band (or, indeed, a human being) could never hope to progress or evolve. All rhetoric aside, I feel that The Wretched Ascetic is a very good representation of the roots we intend to grow from. Given that we are a fundamentally progressively-minded group, I have no doubt that we’ll explore different territories in the future.
Moving on, have you got plans for any live shows?
Live performance may well be an important facet of this project in the future, but for now we feel that our collective energies are better spent on further writing and recording.
If you could play anywhere in the world, with any band, what would it be?
That is an extremely difficult question…Sigur Rós, inside the Red Pyramid of Giza. I imagine that the acoustics would be quite something.
If Ur Draugr could put their name to a product, what would it be and why?
Magical guitar picks that never wear down. If I had a dollar for every pick that we annihilated while writing this material… I would probably just use that money to buy more guitar picks.
And finally what does 2015 have in store for Ur Draugr?
We’re already working on a debut album, which will feature all new material and follow a common conceptual thread. There will most definitely be a few surprises along the way.
Ur Draugr: Facebook