There are releases where you know after just a few seconds that you will fall madly in love with this music. In 2022, that’s what happened to me with Gott – To Hell To Zion. A few weeks ago, this indescribably beautiful feeling was repeated – again with an EP: The Sigil – Argante. On their Facebook page the Swedes write about themselves: “We are here to reform and rekindle your love for melodic rock music. Join us.” I am sure they will succeed. I am very happy that singer Thomas Clifford was available for an interview with the Epic Metal Blog to talk about The Sigil and all kinds of other topics.
André: Thank you very much for taking the time for us. How is June in Linköping?
TC: Thank you for reaching out! June is a month of drought. The dry, hot days are followed by cooler nights with clear skies. I wish the planets would align and bring us some rain. Other than that it’s good!
André: What was the last album you listened to before this interview?
TC: I was actually listening to our EP Argante, as a way to rehearse the songs for some upcoming things…. But before that I probably listened to the excellent album Aşk by Altin Gün, a new acquaintance I discovered through Besvärjelsens vocalist Lea.
André: Are you a vinyl freak? Or do you not really care about the format?
TC: I have collected a bit over the years though I am far from extreme. I think I’m quite picky, and even more so since the prices have gone up like crazy. I enjoy the format but have more of an appreciation for the cassette. It’s small, versatile, cheap and can be played in the car. AND it’s analog!
André: Some readers might not know your band The Sigil yet. Please tell us something about your band history so far.
TC: We are all seasoned musicians with decades of music behind us. Me and TG founded The Sigil when we wanted to do something new, after playing extreme metal for many years. So, it’s been a journey to get to where we are. Just changing from guttural growls to a clean vocal style took me a good while, for example. Now we’ve added more members who are equally experienced but from other genres, so it’s a good mix of people.
André: I think your music has an extraordinary depth and an intense atmosphere that captures you immediately. Yet at the same time it is light and invites you to dream. That’s why I have two of my all-time favourite bands, Blue Öyster Cult and The Devil’s Blood, in my head when I listen to your songs. Furthermore, I sometimes also think of another commercially very successful band that has its roots in Linköping and that I admire very much … But what would you say: Which artists have influenced you the most?
TC: I think we come from a bit different backgrounds, me and TG. But the bands you mention of course have some impact, but we honestly just wanted to do something that wasn’t death metal, and this is how it turned out. Anything from Blue Öyster Cult or Thin Lizzy to music in the vein of The Hellacopters might play a part, but there’s no one band that has been a clear influence. And even though I understand the Linköping connection, it’s not something we actively strive for. Though we do like both Ghost, MCC and other such acts from our area.
André: Following on from that, which albums have shaped your musical taste the most?
TC: For me personally it’s been a lot of Iron Maiden albums. But also Edge of Sanity (when it comes to death metal) and Dan Swanö‘s stuff in general. Listening to his work spanning from Edge of Sanity to stuff like the AOR act Nightingale made me appreciate the versatility and also in some way opened the door for my own vocal transformation.
André: You have just released your amazing debut EP Argante. Please tell our readers first of all what the title is all about?
TC: The title Argante refers to the Silver Queen of the Arthurian saga. Sometimes referred to as the Lady of the Lake. She is an entity that captures and embodies the occult and supernatural overtones we like to incorporate in our lyrics and music.
André: How is the songwriting going in your band?
TC: So far, TG writes all music and I write all lyrics. Now that there’s five of us, that is bound to change since we have access to a new pool of ideas, influences and talent. But TG‘s songwriting will always be at the heart of our sound.
André: Which song on Argante embodies everything your band stands for?
TC: I think they all do in their own ways, but “The Shape of Shadows“ is probably the one that most captures what we want to achieve.
André: I think the artwork of your EP looks excellent. Who is responsible for it?
TC: It is my friend and former colleague, artist Måns Larsson. He is extremely talented both in 2D and 3D art and I knew if I asked him, he could bring the vision of Argante under water to life. And what an amazing job he did! Check him out at @monslarsson on Instagram.
André: Are you planning to perform live in 2023? Are there already fixed dates that we should note in our calendars?
TC: Yes but nothing is written in stone yet. Keep watching our channels and you’ll find out.
André: How would you define the term “epic” regarding music?
TC: Great question! I think we’ve moved from the original meaning which was something like “wow this is long” to something that is sublime and evokes strong emotions.
André: Have there been any albums released this year that have excited you?
TC: Honestly, I’ve been so busy with the release of all our singles and the EP that I’ve had too little time to dive deep into new releases. Sorry for the boring response!
André: Last question: Let’s assume time travel would be possible. In which era would you most like to live, at least temporarily?
TC: Wow hmm. Of course, I’d love to go back temporarily to the 60s and 70s to witness some of the bands back then. But for actual living I think the past 20-30 years have been pretty decent in many ways (and shitty in other ways, but I guess that’s true of all times…).
André: Thank you very much for this very interesting interview. I really hope to see you live in the near future. And to our readers: Listen to this amazing EP – it will enchant you.