Canada’s Scythia recently released their EP “For the Bear”, which was intended to capture the energy of the band’s live performances. The band will also be headlining the second installment of Nerdfest II which takes place in Vancouver on Nov 23 at the Biltmore Cabaret. I caught up with the band’s Oboe player (yes, you read that right) Morgan Zentner where she talked about the band, nerds, video games and other things!
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I was really impressed with “For the Bear” as the songs seem to have a lot more energy than your previous albums. What led to the decision to try and capture your live sound onto album?
We really wanted to get how we sound live now as opposed to the previous line-up of Scythia. We feel that “For The Bear” really represents who we are as a band currently.
It was really impressive to hear the original versions of “Fierce Riders of Scythia” and “Black Death” and then listen to the remixes. The newer versions sound more lively and fleshed out. Are you planning on re-releasing more of your material like this in the future? It would be interesting to hear more of your songs re-done.
I am not sure if we plan on doing more of the older songs, but if I were to pick one to re record it would be ‘Adamantium’ . It’s a very cool song!
What are your plans for your next release? Have you already started working on it? When do you think it will be released?
We are working on a tavern song currently and there is talk of doing a music video for it in the future. There are new songs in the works for a new album down the road as well. You will have to keep an eye out for the announcements!
You guys are headlining Nerdfest in Vancouver next month, can you briefly go over exactly what it is and why someone would want to go to it? My understanding is that you are the organizer correct?
Correct, I am the organizer of this epic nerd night. Basically, the band wanted to do up a show that would be fantasy themed and being really inspired the idea I just went with it. Last year was the first year and the band came together and we pulled off a great night. I describe the event as a variety show meets Renaissance fair which involves anything medieval fantasy related. We will have everything from vendors to burlesque, roaming actors making it a fully interactive night and even a sword fighting demonstration. There is something there for everyone and if you are interested in any aspect of the theme, its an event not to be missed!
Would Scythia ever do a song or album that didn’t contain fantasy elements in it? Why or why not?
In all honesty, I doubt we would really stray far from our fantasy theme. Its in the very nature of the name of the band and part of the history of the band. That and we got these really cool costumes, would just look silly if we were talking about star wars or something…
Do you ever care about the stigma that folk metal gets as “geek” or “nerd” metal at times? Do you think the music can appeal to those who have no interest in things like the Lord of the Rings or Dungeons and Dragons? Reversely why should someone who isn’t into that type of stuff check it out?
I don’t really care about that stigma because in the end, anyone that likes metal has a little geek in them! I mean lets be honest, we were all geeks and nerds at one point. But there are a lot of people that come to see our show that wouldn’t necessarily be into folk metal (or are closet folk metal heads!) but they enjoy the different elements that we throw into the song as well as the stage show itself. We have gone all over the map with some punk, progressive and thrash influences as well as having the oboe player. Really, when was the last time you saw an oboe player on stage in a metal band?
Watching your video of the Video Game Medley was a lot of fun. Are all of you guys big video game fans? Any recommendations for both old school and modern video games?
I am sure I can speak for the boys that they are big video game fans, especially Terry! But we all enjoyed the old school Nintendo and Sega from back in the day. I love God of War myself!
Do you have any other shows planned before the end of the year other than Nerdfest?
Nerd Fest will be our last for the year and once we are done with that show then we will probably start talking about potential shows in the future. But it’s looking like writing will be playing a big part of our plans for the next few months anyway.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to do the interview. Anything else you would like to say?
Thank you for the interview! Well, hope to see everyone out and partying it up at Nerd Fest this year. The Biltmore is excited to be hosting and Scythia will have a rocking set put together specially for this show. Cheers!