Dratna Release Third EP An Cat

Dratna is a one-man black metal band operating on the outskirts of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

His third EP, ‘An Cath (The Battle)’ follows the critically-acclaimed records ‘Cliodhna’ and ‘Altar’, both released in 2018.

Taking inspiration from the wildness of Ireland’s Mourne Mountains, Dratna combines the sound of the landscape with ideas from Irish mythology, Black metal as well as unlikely sources of inspiration including Celtic history, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd and 1980s pop.

We spoke to the man about this project. This is what he had to say…

Q: Could you please tell us about the formations of this project? 

Dratna started out purely as a love for playing black metal. In my high school days I played the guitar in a punk/metal band, we had a laugh doing that for a few years. We played Green day, Metallica, Slayer, done lots of partying and boozing, but that all ended when we went to uni, the band split up and we left the music behind. 

After a 15 year gap of not playing any music, I picked up my first guitar late 2017, I was walking past a Guitar shop and just went in and bought the cheapest setup I could. In those 15 years my musical taste got heavier and heavier ultimately leading me to Black Metal, and I cannot get enough. I listen to everything btw, Pink Floyd, techno to 80’s pop but black metal is where my heart lies. 

I run my own business and I spend the majority of my time doing that, but having your own business has it perks, I have certain freedoms and one of the choices I made was to make time for playing music again. This is where Dratna was born, It’s the work life balance thing and doing shit you love. 

Q: As a one man project there are of course many challenges. Is working alone as such a decision you choose or just the way it all worked out? 

The choice to work alone is solely down to time management, I spend so much time on my business when the chance to make music arrives I take it. The beauty of a one man band is you are not relying on anyone else but yourself.  I don’t have to leave the house to go to rehearsal or the studio, setup takes me 2 minutes and I’m jammin. All the music of Dratna is recorded in my home office. It works for me, and fits my lifestyle. I do everything myself, the music, the artwork right down to promotion. However I am open to working with people. 

Fenriz of Darkthrone describes black metal as ‘individualism above all’. Dratna is individualism, it’s my personal take on Black Metal. Some of my favourite BM artists are one man bands, but I only found out they were one man bands after listening to them for a while. Evilfeast is the perfect example of this. “Elegies of the Stellar Wind” is probably my favourite Black metal album. If you haven’t heard it and like black metal check it out, it is a masterpiece. Theres so many Black metal one man bands, when I found that out I was like f*k it I’m gonna give it a go. 

Q: What drives you to create this music and do you have any plans when starting the next release or let it all flow organically? 

When I was younger teens and early 20,s ( in my 30’s now) I was a bit of a bum, I would  laze about with my mates smoking weed and spend days chilling out & drinking, Its Ireland we drink from no age! But the older I got the more driven I became. These days when I start something I need to complete it, Im a driven mutha f*ka.  I think this all stems from running my own business. So when I recorded the first dratna track I just kept going and then came the first ‘Clíodhna’ EP.  Within 6 months I released my second EP ‘Altar’ and now just past the year mark I have my 3rd EP An Cath (The Battle) just out. If you said to me a year ago you’ll have 3 EPs out I’d laughed at you.

As soon as An Cath was finished I started writing riffs for an album, It’s now time for an album, I have found my direction and style and I’m ready. It has to flow organically, If I pick up the guitar and have to force a riff I just out it down again.

Q: Have you thought of playing this live or is it just a studio project now?

I’ve thought about it but for now it just a studio project. I don’t have the time to organise and play live any more. I really enjoy doing what Im doing. There’s zero pressure on me and that’s the way I want to keep it, I like the writing and recording process more than the live playing. I don’t think anyone would show up if I had a gig haha. 

Q: Is there anything you would like to ad? 

Be an individual, and don’t be afraid to listen to non-metal music. Hope you enjoy the record, Thanks for your time Burning Metal !!!! 

Bandcamp: https://dratna.bandcamp.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dratnaband/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLuXjbu0XjXFqFkSICExWpA
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3EGtaS7RlMSCoY6GdZcaKj

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Filed under: Burning Metal Ireland

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