Interview with mastermind Jeanie Keebler of
YE GOAT HERD GODS
the Heavy Metal hotbed of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. YE GOAT HERD GODS
are straight ahead in your face old school Heavy Metal taking
influences from all sorts of genres of Metal to give it a modern edge.
I sat down with creator Jeanie Keebler all things in the wold of the
Why the name YE GOAT-HERD GODS?
Venom was taken, haha. I had a list of
decent names that I was going over out loud, when I jokingly threw
in, YE GOAT-HERD GODS, as it was the title of a poem I was enjoying
at the time. People laughed, but it turned out, no-one forgot it! I
think it’s a great name for my style, because I am inspired by
poetry, have a goat-like independence, and feel that to be a part of
metal is a sacred experience.
How would you describe the music of YE
I love many genres of metal, and it
probably shows in the music. Although I have influences that range
from Black Sabbath to black metal, my songs are not a jumble of
styles slamming into one another, but more of an organic synthesis,
distilled into tunes that are meant to be simple yet powerful, with
an emphasis on song-craft.
How did you and the band decide to go
with this style of metal?
When I wrote the songs for Becoming
Flesh, I did it alone. That would account a great deal for the
chordal style of guitar playing that influences the overall sound.
Most of the guitar parts are playable on one guitar, or were simple
enough for me to hum a second part on top of one guitar. It’s
funny, but as simple as the tunes sound, they are actually not that
easy to play! To get a rich enough harmonic content, I couldn’t
just use all power chords, so the shapes are actually quite unusual.
Having Gord as the vocalist adds the blacker element that the lyrics
demand, yet the solos he contributed are some of the most beautiful I
have ever heard. There was never an effort to fit into any genre,
this is just how it emerged.
What bands were you and or the band
Many bands, from classic, thrash, black
and death metal. Anvil, Unleashed, Lord Belial, Immortal, and Amon
Amarth might be the biggest influences.
What made you want to play and listen
to Metal music?
I always loved music, singing in choirs
and playing various instruments, but I would invariably pick out the
heaviest, darkest pieces of music I could find and play only them.
Bach was, and still is, my favourite composer. I’ll never forget
the day I went over to play at a school chum’s house, and heard
“Iron Man” for the first time. I had just stepped in the door,
and upon hearing the intro, stopped dead in my tracks. The song spoke
right to me, to my sense of alienation, and I had to know, what is
this music? Soon, I was listening to metal radio shows, practicing
guitar, and discovering the whole world of metal.
Your a female but usually metal bands
with a female they are usually the singer. So you are unique in that
sense. Is that planned or just the way it turned out?
I like power, and I feel it the most
with an electric guitar in hand and an amp cranked to 11. I can sing,
but I’ll never sound as raw and heavy as I’d like. Plus, it’s
much easier to write songs if you can play a guitar!
As a guitarist were you influenced by
any particular guitarists?
Well, I have formal training in
classical and jazz, so I might’ve picked up a thing or two from
that, but I was a rabid reader of guitar mags, so I probably took a
little something from many famed rock and metal guitarists. Who
hasn’t been influenced by Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, or Randy Rhoads?
Where is your lyrical inspiration drawn
The lyrics are all expressions of
themes that I think are quite universal. I have, literally in some
cases, set favourite classical poems to music, and in one case, some
of the words came from ancient Mesopotamian writings. I was excited
to receive permission from the translators to do this, because much
of this scholarly work is only newly being done. Themes of struggle,
power, and sacrifice, individuality, warfare, disease, the
inevitability of death, primeval creation and destruction, descent
into licentiousness, and the transience of life, all appear on the
What are your thoughts on Metal music
It’s taking over the world.
What are your views on the abundance of
females in Metal bands these days?
It’s nice to see when a woman is
recognized for her talent.
Are you influenced by any current Metal
No, but there are still some fairly new
bands that I love! My top three listened-to albums from the last year
are: Agony, by Fleshgod Apocalypse, March of the Norse, by Demonaz,
and Hive of Mutation, by Gord’s band, Demisery.
When your not playing metal music what
do you for fun and to get away from it all?
I’m history buff, so I read a lot,
and I have an awesome German shepherd/Red heeler cross that tries
hard to keep me sane!
How does your band stand out from all
the other Metal bands to try to be unique or different?
I think the old-school emphasis on
solid song-writing distinguishes YGHG from much of the current trend
of trying to be the fastest or the most technical or whatever.
Tell us about your debut cd? Favourite
The intention was to create an album
worth listening to in its entirety, with every track taking the
listener through different moods on a complete journey. Every song
has been my favourite at one time or another. I was pleased to find
that many different types of metal fans got in to the album, and each
had a different favourite song that drew them in.
Where can someone purchase or check out
That’s easy! I would personally like
to meet everyone that likes my music, and I would be happy to talk to
people wanting a CD through my website or facebook page.
Digital distribution will be available
through CDBaby and all major online outlets. The album will be out
July 16th. Until then, there are a few tunes on YouTube
you can check out.
Thanks for taking the time to do this
interview. Any closing thoughts for The Metal Pit readers?
Thank-you, Blake, for your
thought-provoking questions, it was fun. May horns be raised and
goats thrown in your honor!
Metal Pit readers, thanks for reading
this ‘til the end! May you destroy mighty mountains with your axes.