Cathedral hat als Band maßgeblich das Doom Metal Genre mitbegründet und geformt. Nun gibt uns Garry Jennings vor dem Release der letzten Scheibe “The Last Spire” die einmalige Chance auf unsere Fragen über sich, die Vergangenheit und die Zukunft einzugehen – Enjoy!
UG: You have already announced in 2011 that the end of Cathedral would be after the release of the last album “The Last Spire”. I think that for a lot of fans the end of the band still comes somehow unexpected. Was there any doubt in the last two years since the announcement or is it really, and I quote: “Deciding to end the band wasn't an easy decision to make but we knew deep down in our hearts that it was the right thing to do.”
Gary Jennings: The decision to end cathedral had been thought long before we actually made the announcement to the press and public. We actually talked of quitting right after we did the garden of unearthly delights. After we did that album and the actually title track which was 27 minutes long we thought it might have been a good idea to finish everything then. We did a tour then after that didn’t really have much contact with each other for about a year. Me and lee then got together to see if we wanted to write some new songs to see if we had any good ideas and we came up with the material for the guessing game. But after we recorded that album and toured it we then made the decision to break the band up. So there has been no doubt at all since we announced it that we knew that this was the last album we would record.
UG: Is there any hidden message or a special meaning in the title of the new/last album?
Gary Jennings: No there is no hidden meaning just the title says it all really that it is the end.
UG: With “The Last Spire” you are about to release the 15th Album which is a hell of a lot even in nearly 25 years of the existence of the band. What do you !personally! consider the most successful album of Cathedral and why?
Gary Jennings: I think the most successful album in terms of record sales was probably the ethereal mirror but don’t forget we were signed to a major label for that album and also it had a huge press campaign behind it. The promotion behind that album was pretty big and we also did two pretty big budget videos but that’s not to say it’s the best album. I suppose most people still talk about forest of equilibrium as our most influential album. Still people talk about that album today which considering we recorded it 22 years ago is pretty crazy. It’s also very cool and an honor that people still dig it.
UG: Your last concert was in 2011 in London – Why don’t you give your fans the chance to listen to the new stuff live? I mean come on!?
Gary Jennings: No I don’t think so. We announced our last ever show in the uk then Australia so I’m afraid that’s it. What would be the point of announcing a last ever show then going back on that decision and going out on tour. I think all those people that came to the last show in the uk would feel cheated.
UG: Can you imagine a missing Cathedral album? Some kind of record/musical experiment you would have done if there would have been more time, no pressure, another genre a blow to the head with a shovel or something like that?
Gary Jennings: I suppose after the guessing game we could of gone even more psych/prog than on that record but after we announced that the band was disbanding we decided that the last album should be a heavy record to finish on. I’ll tell you one thing though we did record around 5 extra tracks when we were recording the last spire. Most of them songs probably wont see the light of day but one of them was about 30 minutes long and hopefully one day that song may get released. We finished the song musically but lee never had time to get any vocals down for it. It’s a pretty cool song with some great Hammond work on there. The good thing is rise above own the rights to the recordings so lee can go in anytime he feels like it and work on it till it’s finished. I’d like that track to come out at some stage in the future.
UG: Cathedral was one of the bands that formed Doom Metal in the 90’s as we know it today. And even if some critics and reviews say that Cathedral has turned more and more to rock, no one can really deny that. In retrospective, does that make you proud in any way?
Gary Jennings: Of course it does. We started playing this kind of music when nobody was interested or even cared about it. Back in 1990 there was only a handful of bands playing slow/ doom metal. You look how many bands came after us and how many there is now. The style of playing music slow is pretty healthy nowadays and I think we have had a pretty big influence on that.
UG: Please tell us about your worst and your best experience you had on concerts or festivals over the years!
Gary Jennings: Theres been many highs and lows over the years, we've played with some great bands over the years. Sabbath, Motörhead, Trouble, St. Vitus, Napalm Death, Entombed, Fight, Carcass, Grand Magus, Witchcraft, all super cool bands and great people. Some bands Morbid Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Mercyful Fate had pretty shitty arrogant attitudes but hey that’s how it goes. Mercyful Fate are one of my all time fave bands ever and when we got the chance to tour with them it was like a dream come true but they use to put us on right when the doors of the show where opening. So say we were playing a gig and we were the opening act there roadies would fuck about around till 7 o clock then we could get our gear on stage have a quick line check then doors would open at 8 o clock then we would have to go on at 5 past 8 when there was nobody in the venue or there would be a handful of people in the venue. A really shit thing to do to an opening band. That tour was an unpleasant experience. Compare that to touring with Sabbath a year later. Tony and Geezer were the most professional and nicest people you could meet. Always asking how we were and if we enjoyed the tour. Super cool people.
UG: It’s the year 2015 – What are the ex-members of Cathedral doing right now? Working in the “Rise Above Records” management?
Gary Jennings: No. Scott works for a film company in LA and is doing some European festivals with his band Repulsion. I have no idea what Brian will be doing music wise. I’m working on a solo project by the name of Death Penalty. I may get round to recording it later this year.
UG: As Undergrounded we support more than 20 underground bands, mostly in Germany – Are there any tips or suggestions you could give our bands for their future?
Gary Jennings: The only advice I could give is work hard and you need a little bit of luck on the way. It doesn’t matter if you’re the greatest guitarist or the greatest drummer in the world you need luck. Cathedral were never that great on our instruments when we started out but we were lucky in that the style of music we played no one was really doing it and so we came around just at the right time. There were bands like Candlemass and Trouble who were much better players than we were but we had an underground extremity in our music which for some reason it appealed to people. Had we come around 5 years later we may never have made more than one or two albums. Who knows? Just right place right time I suppose.
UG: Thanks a lot for your time and for the great music you gave to your fans. I really can’t wait to listen to “The Last Spire”!
Gary Jennings: Thank you very much for the questions and good luck in the future with everything you do.
Das Interview führte Grave von Undergrounded und Gary Jennings von Cathedral.