"'The Weeper' is the new Stuka Squadron song which was played as a world exclusive on the Steve Göldby show. The tune itself is based on an English folk song I remember was quite popular in the reign of Harald Harefoot. I haven't heard it much since so I am not sure it still gets played.
"It tells that familiar old story. Boy meets girl. Girl doesn't want to meet boy. Boy brings all his mates and they do terrible things to girl. They make the usual fatal error of hanging girl from The Old Tree. They are all killed under The Old Tree by other warriors. The boy is cursed. He lies under the ground tied to his earthly remains. He sees, hears and feels everything, but can he move? No! He is but a skeleton, denuded of sinew and muscle.
"The girl meanwhile inhabits the tree. She has become a malevolent dryad. As the boy's bones sink into the dank, moist earth she pursues him with the roots of the tree to torment his body. Trees move slowly and she can only go at the speed of the growing roots, so the whole process takes a millennia. Her mind is gone almost entirely beyond the burning thought of revenge. His existence is one of terror and pain. I would love to make a video of all this. If anyone out there wants the job, let us know.
"People ask me how I think these things up. Actually we vampires aren't particularly imaginative. It happened to a mate of mine. He was called Seawolf. The girl might have been called Gudrun. Forgive me if the details are a bit hazy. He's just a skeleton and was a berserker back in the day so he doesn't make a lot of sense.
"'The Weeper' was originally written for what became the Iron Knights' 'New Sound Of War' album, which happily I didn't play on. Fortunately the band were too dysfunctional by that point to try something this ambitious and a departed member didn't like it, so it was never used. That's good news for us now because it is back in our arsenal.
"The song is based around a folk pattern because I had developed a vampire obsession about Pentangle, Steeleye Span and the darker of the 1970s folk bands (the songs about elves and so forth - not the ones about putting things in their hats)..
"Originally I wanted this to be a duet between Duke Fang and Emily Ovenden, my favourite Mediaeval Baebe, who is also the original singer of Pythia. We had the gold for that from the 'Tales Of The Ost' album. Unfortunately that went into the coffers of our record company at the time, so for this recording, an affiliate Squadron member, Gerhardt Blitzkrieg, stepped into the breach. He arranged the harmonies on 'Tales...' and has performed with us on occasion. His performance on this was terrific - listen for yourself and see.
"The song also highlights Duke Fang's versatility as a performer. He performs most of 'Tales Of The Ost' using his character voice, but then we broke out his operatic skills for 'Zabulon's Inferno'. Here he uses a much softer singing style, which really showcases his voice.
"People have variously asked us if this is a new direction, told us to do more like this or never do this again. The answer is that this is a one off. The next couple of songs are quite different. 'Pit Of Fire' is in our traditional Stuka Squadron style and is about our famous torture chamber for former members and our wartime exploits. 'Tell Me Strange Things' is written by Gravedigger Cox and is different again. Where 'The Weeper' is an exceptionally complex piece, 'Tell Me Strange Things' is far more basic and elemental. The music is in the vein of Ron Asheton from The Stooges, or maybe like The Kinks. The story is about our nemesis, Montague Summers, who staked Duke Fang last year.
"So why did do this song now? Because we can. We love the New Wave Of Traditional Metal and were one of the first of the NWOTM bands. We have played with a lot of the bands in it - great acts like Toledo Steel, Seven Sisters and Dark Forest. The standard of musicianship in all these bands is amazing and we love them all. What we would say though is 'push the bar higher'. 'The Number Of The Beast' wasn't a great album because it sounded like what went before. It was great because it did something new with the sound. Let your imaginations run free.
"This week we are doing Folk Metal. Next week Stooges-era punk. The week after trad Metal. The week after that we could be doing early Metallica type stuff, industrial or who knows what - and it is all still Stuka Squadron.
"The new album will break new ground every song, because that's how we like it. Still. It could be that we do have a bit of an advantage. We've been going for over four hundred years.
"Some people have asked what the whisper at the beginning of the song is. Well that's an Anglo-Saxon spell - real of course. If you feel anything when you hear it please contact us at stukasquadron.com. It could be important - particularly with Halloween coming up."
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!