Interview: Jenny Green [2011]

Since March, Cryptic Age have been on the rise in the British metal underground supporting acts such as Hecate Enthroned and Skyclad, as well as Ravenage and Morpheus Rising. The release of their Homeland EP also helped gain them exposure, being reviewed on several different sites. Cryptic Age will also be releasing a new album early next year. Valkyrian Music editor and promoter, Nico Davidson, has a chat with Cryptic Age’s frontwoman “The Manx Maiden” Jenny Green about the new album, the band and their previous gigs.

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Nico: Aside from the concept of the new album, do you feel that it will differ in any way – lyrically or musically speaking – from the Homeland EP?

Jenny: Definitely. The lyrics cover a more expansive range of material – we still keep the Manx folky aspect but we’ve also got other songs that look away from this. Musically, it’ll be a more progressive album overall with more symphonic elements, but still keeping the folk metal as the main feature. We’ll also be getting a few guests to play and sing for us – this album’s gonna be epic!

N: Do you feel that Cryptic Age’s music differs from most folk and female fronted metal bands? If so, why and how?

J: Well in folk metal you normally have a growler or at least someone who sings cleanly but isn’t classically-trained. I also think that the fact I play keyboards while still being the front-woman is a unique edge to our band.

N: Since March, Cryptic Age have shared the stage with a long list of bands and played a number of shows, which one, for you, has been the best one you’ve played so far?

J: For me I’d say it was our second gig at Stereo, which we headlined. It was great to see so many people there and it was one of the gigs we’ve played our best at! The first round of Metal 2 the Masses was pretty good as well – we played our first two songs really badly but then everything changed and we got a really great reaction from the crowd.

N: Are there any shows that you’re looking forward to playing?

J: Well yes – there’s Valk Fest [Valkyrian Festival] of course, and we’ve also got the S.O.P.H.I.E fest in Manchester we’re playing at beforehand. We haven’t really got any more shows planned  for now, however we’re hoping to get a couple lined up with some new bands we’ve never played with before. There is another show we’ve got lined up for February which is VERY exciting, but it’s all hush-hush I’m afraid so I can’t say anymore.

N: Cryptic Age’s lyrics – as you stated in an interview with another site – are mostly influenced by legends from the Isle of Man, so where is it that the influence from the music comes from?

J: Well On the Bare Cold Ground is the best example. It tells the story of the Moddey-Doo (Black Dog) which haunts Peel Castle in the west of the island. Guards normally travelled in groups to lock the gatehouse for fear of being killed by the ghostly dog, and a drunken guard becomes so overconfident he decides to lock the gatehouse on his own. Of course, to the horror of the others, he never returns. The Manx lyrics in Homeland are a poem about a storm in Port St. Mary harbour where a family of fishermen are trapped on their boat. In the four-parter Sounds of Infinity the lyrics are based on a legend even I didn’t know about which consists of travellers being able to hear the sounds of other-worldly men at the top of a mountain. Also another one of our songs in-progress for the new album has been taken from Manx history and we’ve turned it into our own story. There’s many Manx legends so we have a lot to work with.

N: Cryptic Age are booked to play our [Valkyrian Music‘s] charity event – Valkyrian Festival – on 27th, this will be the second show that Cryptic Age will have headlined, how are you feeling about it?

J: Very excited! For me it’s always more fun headlining gigs because you get a bigger audience and more people will have come to see us, in theory. It’s also great we’re headlining a festival – even though it’s not the biggest in the world it’s still something we can tell everybody, and I know there’s lots of our fans coming so it’ll be great!

N: Does the band have any plans – aside from the release of Sounds of Infinity – for 2012?

J: Well we never get out an official checklist and say, “We need to get this done by such and such a time.” and then tick it off. We’re currently in the process of sending out press packs to record labels, and basically promoting ourselves with bigger festivals such as Bloodstock and Metalcamp, the latter of which we might be playing at if we get enough votes!

N: How is the progress with the new album going? Are there any more details you can tell us about it?

J: Well I’ve revealed a lot more stuff already I guess, but the writing is going alright. We’re currently in the process of writing Sounds of Infinity Part III which’ll be a good old instrumental, and we’ve got a few riffs we’re playing around with for some new songs. Part I is coming together quite nicely behind the scenes. It’s going to be folky and mostly acoustic, based on a Manx sea shanty.

N: Cryptic Age are known to perform a metal cover of the “Game Of Thrones” intro medley at live shows and the band have also released a recorded version of it on Youtube, are there any more plans for covers like that?

J: Not really, certainly for now. The cover for GoT was a pretty spontaneous thing – we just liked playing it because it’s such a good tune and then we thought, “Why not cover it?”.

N: Are there any bands from your area that you’d recommend our readers to check out?

J: If you haven’t checked them out already, take a look at Lost Effect. They play melodic death metal and they’ve recently got a new singer. Infernal Creation are a great band too – they play insane Black Metal and put on a great show!

Cryptic Age will be headlining Valkyrian Festival on 27th November at The Ringside in Hull. For more news and information about the band, check out either their official website: http://crypticage.co.uk or their official Facebook: http://facebook.com/crypticage
For live videos for Cryptic Age, go to the official Valkyrian Music Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/user/ValkyrianMusicUK

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