-- Cathubodua gets shredded --

Stijn Daneels
During the second edition of the Black Out Jam competition, which took place in the Boogiewoogie music bar in Geraardsbergen, I decided to employ my shredding skills on several bands on the lineup such as Waves of Decay, Oath of Vengeance and Cathubodua. And the first of these three bands that got put on the shredding table was Cathubodua. Band members Sara and Peter sat together with me to talk about Cathubodua’s early years, the making of their Glorious Days music video, how the band blends heavy metal with folk and medieval music and we discuss Gaulish mythology. By Toutatis!

Many thanks to Jo De Boeck for his pictures during Cathubodua's show as well as to my friend Kevin Van De Mergel for taking the picture of me with the band.

BMS: Hello Sara and Peter. I’ll start off by thanking you for presenting your band to be part of the most recent episode of the Metal Shredder Showcase.
Peter: The pleasure is all ours! Both Sara and me listened through the entire Showcase and we’ve discovered some great material we didn’t hear of before.
Sara: Yeah, it’s always fun to explore new acts both similar and different to the music we play. Keep up the good work!
BMS: Thanks! Now tell me how Cathubodua got founded?
Sara: Cathubodua began in 2013 when Katrien, our violist, had the idea to start a band that combines heavy metal with classical and folk music. She asked around for people and I was one of the first to offer her to play with her newly formed band. Shortly thereafter, I suggested to Peter that he would be Cathubodua’s bassist and after a few changing guitarists, we finally firmly established ourselves as a music act.

BMS: I see. And how did those first few years go for Cathubodua?
Sara: It wasn’t easy. In the beginning we were pretty much total strangers to each other and we had to get to know each other both personally and musically. In addition, Cathubodua was the first serious music act for most of us.
BMS: How did you come up with the name Cathubodua?
Sara: Well, we wanted to have a band name that was inspired by folk and history, a name that sounded a bit mystical. Cathubodua is inspired by a Gaulish war deity of the same name who’s depicted as a woman with a bird head and wings. Hence the reason why our logo also features wings and a bird’s head in the middle. You know, not even we are completely sure how you should pronounce Cathubodua, so you can say the name any way you want to.
BMS: Oh don’t worry, I’ll ask Astérix and Obélix to help me out with that.
Sara: By Toutatis!
BMS: Ha, ha! Now, I really enjoyed listening to your debut EP, Opus I: Dawn. So I was wondering whether we’ll be seeing an Opus II soon.
Sara:  The thing with Opus I: Dawn was that the songs didn’t have a common theme. In the EP we deal with medieval fantasy, Ancient Roman history and other topics. The main goal for Opus I: Dawn was to introduce ourselves to the world and hype people up for a successor! This time, we’re aiming to write a concept album. We already have a few songs in our minds for the album but there still is a lot more stuff we want to do with Opus’s follow-up.
Peter: Indeed, a lot of ideas may still come up in our minds during the following months and it can all help us in improving our craft both in the studio and on stage.
BMS: I look forward to it! Now, I see you like to use some props and effects during your show.
Sara: That’s right. For example, during the song S.P.Q.R. I carry around an Imperial Roman flag on stage with an eagle and the song’s letters written on it. S.P.Q.R. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase: “Senatus Populusque Romanus” which means the Senate and People of Rome. And I also use confetti, lots and lots of confetti! I love it when I go to a concert and during the final song the band shoots confetti, slingers and other stuff into the crowd! As for tonight, I’ve got my confetti shooter ready right here!
Peter: When it comes to theatrics, effects and objects we only add stuff that’s relevant to the song’s story. We also don’t go overboard with the visual elements during our shows. Our music is what counts the most as that’s what brings in the fans.

BMS: Indeed. Now, let’s say you could bring your Cathubodua spectacle anywhere you want. Where would you like to play?
Sara: One day I’ll hope to play a Cathubodua show in a medieval castle, a Viking village or in the caves beneath Valkenburg.
Peter: I think we would also fit the Wackinger Stage quite well, musically and thematically. I would love to play there!
BMS: Yes, it sure would be great to have you there! Aside from making a full-length release, what are your other future plans for Cathubodua?
Peter: We currently have plenty of shows here in Belgium but next year we wish to do some gigs outside of our home country.
Sara: I hope to go to countries like the Netherlands, where female fronted metal is very prominent  and Germany where folk and power metal are popular. And playing in the Celtic and Scandinavian regions are on our wishlist as well.
BMS: What are your other activities aside from playing with Cathubodua?
Sara: I love watching movies in the cinema and series on Netflix. I enjoy thrillers, crime drama, dystopian science-fiction and Disney productions.
Peter: I also spend a lot of time watching Netflix series, PC gaming to a lesser extent and I love playing board games such as Descent, Zombicide and many more.
BMS: Personally I prefer movies rather than series. My attention span isn’t long enough to follow an entire series from beginning to end. Although I did like 24 a lot! And my friend Kevin and I occasionally play Magic The Gathering.
Peter: I see. You know, my problem with movies is that they are over so quickly. Just when you start feeling attached to the characters, the ending credits start rolling! In a series there’s a lot more screen time available to fully establish the setting and characters.
BMS: You’ve made a good point there, Peter! Now, tell me something about your music video for Glorious Days. I’ve got to say it was an impressive little film.
Sara: Thanks, Stijn! I met Franky Van Daele, the music video’s director, at a Cathubodua gig where he congratulated us on our performance that night. He arranged for us to shoot the video at the Van Poecke castle in Aalter and we asked the Facebook group Cosplay Cloud for people to be part of the party scene you see in the video’s ending.
Peter: Things went very smoothly. We recorded everything in a single day and we’re very happy with the result. BMS: And it was my pleasure to add that song and video to the Showcase. Well, I’m almost finished here. Are you ready for tonight’s competition?
Sara: Yes, we are! As Cathubodua, we provide a fine cocktail between metal, folk and classical music, between clean vocals and harsher grunts and between clean  melodies and heavy beats. In other words, we’ve got something for everyone and we just love to go out and play. Hopefully you, the jury and the other people in attendance will love the party we’ll be throwing here tonight!
BMS: I’m sure I will! I wish you the best of luck tonight!
Peter: Thank you! Shall I get the other guys over here for the band picture?
BMS: Yes, please!

Cathubodua - Glorious Days