Exclusive Interview: Akilla talk “The Gods Have Spoken”!

Last month finally saw the arrival of the long gestating debut album “The Gods Have Spoken” from Cambridge Melodic Death quartet Akilla arrive after the better part of six years of hard labour on the part of mastermind, guitarist and vocalist Ross Wilson. Written, recorded and mixed by the band themselves with the exception of drums and mastering which were handled by Jack Helliwell at DC Studios, the album is a triumph against adversity and force of nature, so naturally we took some time out of their busy schedule for an interview…

It’s been three years since “Echo” and “Cosmica” were released as singles, so does it feel like a weight off the shoulders to see “The Gods Have Spoken” finally released? Were there any dark times when you thought the labour of love might never see the cold light of day? “Massively, we gained some momentum before covid struck and the band had to be put aside. With some line-up changes also slowing down the process, it’s both awesome to hear these songs fully finished and to finally have them out in the world!”

How did the band’s line up changes affect the album’s progression? Were you forced to spend re-writing parts and making changes to fit the new players, or was it just a case of teaching them the material and away you went? “Luckily all of our songs are precisely written out in guitar pro, so integrating a new member was fairly easy with them working with the files in that respect. David and Kath more brought a flavour to solos and fills rather than structure as much of the writing was already established.  That said, the tracks were forever developing and being tweaked right up until the final masters”

There have been a wealth of live shows before the album; how important were those shows in terms of learning what worked and what didn’t in front of an audience and making small adjustments? “We’ve all had a lot of live experience so the devil was definitely in the details. We’re incredibly proud of our live shows and some of the places we’ve played (Touring in Iceland was incredible and we can wait to go back!). but watching footage of ourselves and critiquing it as a group has definitely helped alot!”

Given you now have  Elimination guitarist David Hill and former Atorc keyboardist Kathryn Hailes (now on bass) in the ranks, what are the chances of Akilla sharing the stage with those bands and the pair pulling double duties? How was it that they came to be involved in the project and what did they bring to the writing sessions? “David joining made a huge difference to the outlook of the band drawing on a lot of his experience in Elimination was crucial to actually getting the album finished. Kathryn joined a little later but her contacts from Atorc days have been great in helping us book up bigger gigs and push forwards. In terms of double duties, the first gig that Ross and David played together following David joining was actually Bloodstock 2021 when Ross filled in on guitar for Elimination on about 3 days notice! We’ve gigged quite extensively with Elimination over the last couple of years, its always a great time and David loves it as much as he hates himself. Atorc aren’t active for the time being”

If we are made up of our genes and our influences, what is in your genes and who would you consider your influences?

Vocalist and guitarist Ross: “Insomnium, Wolfheart, In Flames”
Drummer Ginger: “Sikth, Lamb of God, Tool”
Guitarist David: “Insomnium, In Flames, Rotting Christ”
Bassist Kathryn: “Eleuvite, Nightwish, Iron Maiden”

What’s next for Akilla? “Right now we’re focusing on promoting this album as best we can but some writing for Album number 2 has already started including a one inspired by our recent trip to Iceland” 

The Gods Have Spoken” by Akilla is out now and available over at bandcamp.

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