The Order of Israfel combine classic Doom, prog rock and a dash of folk. We asked head songwriter Tom Sutton some questions and he answered them..
Interview with Tom Sutton from The Order of Israfel
Could you tell us a little about band's name 'THE ORDER OF ISRAFEL ' and why you chose that name?
It basically started when I heard the name 'Israfel' from a friend of mine. He mentioned it as the name for the angel of music. As soon as I heard that, my eyes went a bit wide, and I immediately thought it could be something good for a band name. It turns out that it's actually the Islamic archangel of music, and that it has been used by Edgar Allen Poe in one of his poems too. When I heard the name, I immediately had this idea of an order that includes all music-lovers around the world. I've found that no matter what kind of music people listen to, once we recognize each other as music people, there's a kind of connection and understanding, and I love that. To me, music is one of the strongest forces for good on the entire planet. It's almost a kind of magic. The Order Of Israfel includes everyone who loves and lives for music.
Is 'Wisdom' your debut album or have there been releases before that?
This is our absolute debut. This is the first thing we've ever released. We didn't even do proper demos or anything before this, just rehearsal room recordings. It's funny, Sebastian, the guy who signed us to Napalm Records said he's never signed anyone before without hearing proper recordings, or seeing artwork or anything. It was just rehearsal room recordings and live footage on Youtube that got him interested.
Is there a central songwriter in the band or do you all get together and write as a unit?
So far, I'm very much the main song-writer. I had all but one of the songs on the album completely written before I met the guys in the band. There are parts on the album that came from jamming together, though. The first acoustic guitar you hear on the album is what Staffan came up with to accompany the main acoustic guitar figure, and the end of 'Promises Made To The Earth' was the result of everyone working together too. I might write the songs, but the guys have said they really feel like they have the space to play their own way in the songs, so it is absolutely a band sound.
I know you are a former Church Of Misery member and Patrik Andersson Winberg from Doomdogs. How did you guys hook up and with the rest of the members?
Once Patrik and I had decided to play together, we started looking for the rest of the band. We found Hans first. Patrik had never actually met him before, but knew who he was, and knew that he was Black Sabbath-obsessed. We jammed together and tried a couple of songs, and it felt really right straight away. Staffan and I actually lived together. He needed a housemate for three months while he was waiting for his cousin to move in, so I lived there. We became really close friends, and at one point he asked to hear these songs I was talking about. He loved them, we tried him out with the whole band, and that was it. I had auditioned a few other guitar-players, but Staffan really was the guy. And now it just feels perfect with everyone in the band. It's one of those things where we feel just so comfortable together, and love hanging out as well as playing. It feels like we've known each other for years even though it's a pretty new band.
How did signing with Napalm come about? That label seems like a good fit for your style of music.
As I said, we just had some rehearsal room stuff and live footage, and Patrik thought it wouldn't hurt to send it out to labels, just to get the name out there. We were planning to record the album, pay for it ourselves, and then find a label once it was done. Somehow Sebastian from Napalm saw those videos, and got in touch. He really loved the band and really wanted to make it happen, which really appealed to us. It wasn't just a case of, 'yeah, we can probably sell this'. He honestly loved the band. And so far, it's been wonderful. They've been great to work with.
Any plans to do a music video? If so what song what you chose?
Actually, our first video, for the song, 'Wisdom', has just been released. It turned out really well, and we've had a lot of good feedback. All 10 minutes of it. He he! We were happy that neither Napalm or the director had problems with choosing such a long song. We really strongly felt that this was the song that represented best what the band is about, and it works. the illustrations in it are by Henrik Jacobson, the same guy who did all the artwork for our album. We have a lyric video for 'Morning Sun (Satanas)' coming soon too, and we're thinking about doing one more video too. We'll see.
What are the tour plans in the near future and do you think you'll make it to North America?
We'll be on tour in Europe with Lonely Kamel from Norway from September 12th for about 3 weeks, which will be fun. We of course want to play in the US. As soon as it's possible, we'll be there!