A year has passed since we last caught up with local Symphonic Metal band Selene, and what a year it has been.
With a critically acclaimed debut album under their belt, we met up Selene guitarist John Connor ahead of their homecoming gig in Masons Venue later this month.
“Since the release of the album it's been non-stop for us” said John. “We did a show last December in Belfast with our friends Maverick where we performed the new material live for the first time, then we did a big run of gigs from February to May this year which was great.”
Their debut album ‘The Forgotten’ went down well to say the least. Going top of the Bandcamp Power Metal Charts upon it’s release, it was also the best selling release overall from Ireland across all genres and the second best selling from the UK. It’s safe to say that the band were pleased with the reaction to the album.
“Yeah the reaction was great” said John. “The reviews were also really good which we are thankful for because writing eleven tracks that are good and holding somebody's interest for that long is a challenging thing, especially when it clocks in at 55 minutes.
“Overall though it felt like a necessary next step for the band to help us raise our profile. The album even ended up being leaked on a torrent website a few days early which I know we should be kind of annoyed about, but its great to see people care to the point that they would leak it. Nothing would be worse than if people didn't care enough to steal it.”
With a hometown gig planned for Masons Venue on September 24th the band are looking forward to playing in front of their local support. “I’m really looking forward to it” laughs John. “Its been 18 months since we last performed a hometown show but we have had a lot of people locally travelling around to see us so it will be good to have something handy for them.
“Obviously though the dynamics of a show like that will be different too. Being a smaller city, the crowds and venues somewhere like Derry are obviously more intimate than some of the Belfast shows and we will personally know more people in the crowd.
“It's actually a bit more intimidating compared to something like the Siege of Limerick where you are playing to around 300 people because you look into the crowd and you can clearly pick out people you see all the time as opposed to seeing a sea of faces you don't know.”
Also appearing on the bill are four-piece progressive rock band Ghost Origin and local dark metal band MOTH. “Yeah it really came together well in the end. We have been trying to get a show here sorted for a few months now but got caught up in the chaos of venues and promoters until we were put in touch with Ryan Campbell from Raw productions with a few suggestions of bands we would like on the bill and we couldn't be happier.
“Ghost origin are about to go into the studio to record their debut EP the week after the show and Moth are just back from a Hiatus so there's lots of energy about both bands at the minute” said John.
But before the madness of the local shows, the guys will hit the road for a special appearance in the HMV store in Belfast which John’s looking forward to. “YES! That one will be very cool” he said. “I have no idea how the average person that doesn't know us will react as we aren't something you would hear often on the radio. But the chance to play in such a public place for promotion is invaluable.
“We also know lots of our fans around Belfast are under 18, have kids that like metal or its awkward for them to go to gigs because they would need babysitters etc so the fact it's all ages is very cool.
“We also have a guest appearance lined up from a member of a popular band from Belfast that anybody that follows the rock scene there will recognise.”
Joh told us that the band’s follow up album is well underway. ”We have around five of the tracks completely recorded with about eight more in various stages of being demoed.
“There's no release date in mind yet because we are recording it as it is written but we are considering playing some of the new tracks in the upcoming shows.”