INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Raum Kingdom are a four-piece that hail from the Republic of Ireland, comprising of vocalist Dave Lee, guitarist Andrew Colohan, bassist Ronan Connor, and drummer Mark Gilchrist.
Playing a dark, emotionally intense and intriguing mix of post-metal and ambient rock, influenced by such outfits as Neurosis and Tool, the band won much acclaim for their 2014 self-titled debut EP, which enabled them to tour mainland Europe for the first time.
Now, with the Dublin quartet’s first album, ‘Everything & Nothing’, coming out at the beginning of next month, Dave gave me a detailed insight into the upcoming offering’s recording process, what can be expected from it, as well as their origins, songwriting approach, lyrical inspirations, and much more.
How did the band form?
We have all known each other for a very long time, having been friends for that period in eastern Ireland, being respectful and understanding towards each other, but for quite a while, we never had the opportunity to devote ourselves full-time to music.
Then in 2009, we recorded a song as part of an experimental recording session by multiple musicians just trying to do something different.
The style wasn’t anything like what happened later on, so when the time arrived, once we were all free, we all said, “Now is our chance to explore and have a blast“, that was in 2013, so it was only a matter of time until we could come to terms what we were all about…
From where did the name Raum Kingdom originate?
The idea was that the name was to tantalise a place or world where the ethics and feelings that one believes that they have are turned on their head, where ultimately, the thought process is that is what you believe is real or just a subjective view of reality, given that generally emotional tendencies towards exterior experiences are possibly not realistically grounded.
That was the view in which we wanted to express in our music, to give the listener some time in which they might think, “Am I wrong?“, not in a negative way, but on reflection.
What would you say was your songwriting approach?
Our songwriting approach comes from a place where we don’t feel safe, just comfortable pushing the environment that we are in to a plain whereas we don’t push out too far to the place of abstraction.
We have played around with different dynamics in the lead-up to our latest release, and we’re pleased that we can captivate a certain emotional spectrum that is both pleasurable to us and to the people that take time out of their day to listen to our music.
We write music for our own ears and to our own delight, but gladly, we’ve found that we are not the only ones who enjoy our songs.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Most of our lyrical content is essentially about hope and redemption, some of the fundamental basics for human survival, also, coping with the loss of loved ones and how to move forward from that, however, also tempting the mindset as to “What are the reasons?“, “why?“, but not “why me?“, basically, the view that one can reflect on one’s actions in a manner in which they can conduct themselves in a way that if you don’t want it done upon yourself, then why do it to others?
In early 2014, you brought out a self-titled debut EP, which was met with much acclaim. Were you surprised by the reaction that it got?
We would like to say thank you for the kind words that the above question implies, it means a lot to us.
Honestly, we didn’t expect the positive comments that we had received, and it gave us a little personal validation, in that the approach we had decided to take, which was a long and careful one, got noticed.
We didn’t want to be too harsh, but at the same time, it also gave weight and gravity to the experience that we wanted to get across.
And that enabled the band to tour Europe for the first time. How was that as an experience?
Given the fact that we managed to play aboard, outside of Ireland, was an amazing experience and a great learning environment for us. Our friends from Belgium, All We Expected, gave us the foundations to set foot on the mainland.
As small of an achievement it might appear to an outsider for an Irish band of our calibre to have done so, that was a nice little kick that we needed, because at that stage, we had not even released an album.
Next month, you will be releasing a debut album, entitled ‘Everything & Nothing’. How has the recording process been for that?
It was an experience I think all of us would have loved to have been able to do many years ago. We were given an opportunity to have as much time as we wanted in the recording studio, so we took advantage of that the best that we could, and during that time, we learned a lot.
The patience and care that was given from Johnny Kerr of Dead Dog Studios in Drogheda to us for the upcoming release was that of the characteristics of a spartan.
And what can be expected from the upcoming offering?
We hope that we have managed to evolve and create a much broader spectrum of harmony and hell, so that not only is one in a realm of hope and redemption, but also in a place of comfort and solace.
It has always been our objective to make music that makes you think for yourself without telling you what to hear.
What are the band’s plans once the album has come out?
That is yet to be determined, as a band, we have found a new love for making music after this experience, and we hope that we can continue doing this for as long as possible, in any format that we can.
To have gotten to this stage has been wonderful, and a lesson in the art and skill of doing what we are passionate about, and our hopes for the future, at the moment, are that we can at least get back to the mainland of Europe and play a few shows, but whether or not it becomes a reality or not has yet to be seen.
We greatly appreciate the opportunity to have been asked these questions from you guys, and we hope that you enjoy the record as much as we do.
‘EVERYTHING & NOTHING’, THE SELF-RELEASED DEBUT ALBUM FROM RAUM KINGDOM, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD AND PURCHASE FROM JUNE 1.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: