Hail and welcome to Iron Backstage! Before we begin the interview, could you please introduce yourself to our readers and provide a brief history of your band?
Hi, thank you for having us. Fraught was formed in 2018, originally under the name Drought. However we soon learned that we shared the name with another band of a similar sound, so in 2019 we decided to change our name to avoid any confusion. Each of our members have played and toured in many previous bands, some of which sharing multiple members with Fraught, but we were all friends for a long time before Fraught's formation. We all shared the desire to pursue something new musically, so it was a natural formation so to speak.
How would you describe your music, and which bands have been your biggest influences?
We prefer to not categorise our music too much and instead let the listener decide what they hear in our music, but ultimately we play extreme metal in the form of a chaotic amalgamation of Death Metal, Black Metal, Sludge Metal and a touch of Doom Metal. Our influences are far and wide, not only across the Metal spectrum but in other art forms such as films, books, life experiences and human emotions. Again our aim is that a listener can tap into those emotions through our art form and in a way relate to the same influences and experiences. I'd say the best place for a listener to start is with "The Hunt" taken from our upcoming album, which we've also just released a video for on YouTube. It showcases multiple colours from our sonic palette.
How many albums or demos has FRAUGHT released so far, and which ones are your personal favorites?
We've released 1 demo and 1 EP to date. Our debut album is due out on 24th November 2023 via Argonauta Records and even if it's the predictable answer, our upcoming album is definitely our favourite. Although each recording captures a moment in time for us, we feel that we've captured the best representation of us to date on this album. A lot of work, sweat and also patience went into the creation of it and we are immensely proud of it.
Has FRAUGHT's music evolved over the years, and if so, how?
The underlying sound and themes of the music have stayed constant, but we've tried to push ourselves further with each release. We've grown as a unit and as a result we feel our songwriting skills and technical abilities have also grown which definitely reflects across each release. We started this band with no limits or rules on our sound, which has given us the freedom to go further in any direction we choose. Some of this takes the form of faster and more technical Death Metal orientated tracks, whereas others push further into the hypnotic and resonant focus of Doom and even Post Metal.
How long does it typically take for FRAUGHT to record an album?
That's a very hard question to answer as it depends on a lot of things. The creation of the songs is definitely the longest part of the process as we spend a lot of time tweaking riffs or drum parts or arrangements until we are happy the song is the best representation of itself and that we are all satisfied. This process can take months for one song to come to completion but we often work on multiple songs at once. The actual recording of the album itself is quite short as we aim to be well rehearsed entering the studio so that we can record them quite efficiently. Our previous EP "Splitting Tongues" was recorded completely live in the studio for example, so this one came together in about two days, plus another day or two for mixing and mastering. We spent a little longer, around a week, recording "Transfixed on Dying Light" as this was more complex with more layering etc. that needed to be done. We worked with Shaun Cadogan from Last Light Recordings to engineer/produce and mix/master the album and since he was very well versed with the sound we were aiming for it meant that the recording process and final mix and mastering times were quite short.
Can you tell us more about your latest album, "Transfixed on Dying Light"?
"Transfixed on Dying Light" was written across 2021/2022 and was recorded in the winter of 2022 with Shaun Cadogan at Last Light Recordings. It contains 7 tracks that we feel are the best representation of the band to date, from the fast frenzied assault of Death Metal, to the slow depths of Doom, all interwoven with the atmosphere of Black Metal. Without revealing too much, the tracks deal with a range of topics such as personal struggles and grief to frustrations with what was going on in the world at the time we wrote the album. There is an 8th bonus noise track that will exist on some digital versions of the album, which again extends the boundaries of our sonic palette into other territories.
What's next for FRAUGHT? Are you working on any new albums, and if so, can you give us some details?
Yes we are always working on new ideas and we have a number of songs in the melting pot currently. However the form that those will take, be it another album, EP, singles etc. is yet to be determined. We as a band would always prefer to release in long form album format, but in today's society with shorter attention spans that may not always be the best way forward. At the moment our main focus is on the release of "Transfixed on Dying Light" and showcasing the tracks from that, but we will definitely have another release coming in the hopefully not too distant future.
Do you have any upcoming tours or gigs planned to promote your latest album?
At the moment we are billed to support Venomous Concept when they play in Dublin in January 2024 and we are honoured to be a part of that show. Outside of that we are currently in the process of booking some shows to support the release of our new album, so we will be releasing details of those in due course. We're hoping that a number of friend's bands can join us for these shows.
Are there any plans for FRAUGHT to play in Europe or the USA in the future?
Absolutely, we are setting our sights on central and eastern Europe at the moment and would welcome the opportunity to play there. If there are any promoters reading this that would be interested in having us, please get in touch! As far as the USA goes, it's a little bit more challenging for us as it requires visas and quite expensive flights, but it's definitely something we will look to in the future and again would welcome the opportunity. Ultimately we want to take every opportunity we can to perform in all corners of the globe.
Have you ever done any opening acts for major heavyweight bands? If so, when and where?
Yes, in 2022 we opened for Gatecreeper on their Irish shows in Belfast and Dublin and we've also played alongside Memoriam as well as a number of well established Irish bands. As mentioned above, we are also supporting Venomous Concept in Dublin in January.
What is your opinion on the metal scene in your city?
In Dublin the scene is quite strong although quite fragmented. There is healthy support for a lot of the bigger more mainstream international acts that doesn't always transfer down to more extreme or more local acts. Within the more extreme space there's also an element of fragmentation largely due to people's own interests. Which poses further challenges when trying to get out in front of people and win over new fans. However we try to not get too bothered over "scenes" or what's "cool" and we write and release music that we want to hear as a group and if other people like it and pay attention to it then that's great.
Overall though the scene in Ireland is quite strong, with more international acts being brought over to our shores by the likes of Bad Reputation in Limerick, DME in Dublin and the Distortion Project in Belfast. We're seeing a lot of bands coming here that in the past would have been a rare occurrence. With Ireland being an island it's often more financially prohibitive for bands to come here, but thanks to those promoters the fires are still burning strong.
Do you have any messages for our readers?
Thank you for checking us out, your support is greatly appreciated. You can check out our video for "The Hunt" on Youtube as well as stream it on all platforms now, with our full album "Transfixed on Dying Light" coming out on 24th November 2023 via Argonauta Records.