– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you currently up to? You have just released your new album, “Silencing Machine”; how are you feeling about it?
I’m actually sick at the moment, but we’re having a good time out on the road other than my dealing with a cold. ‘Silencing Machine’ comes out on Tuesday so I’m very excited to finally get that out there and let the fans start hearing it. To me, it’s one of our strongest records yet (maybe THE strongest) so I hope everyone enjoys it.
– And how is the feedback being so far?
Everyone has had a pretty great response so far, I’m pleased with that. I think people were still expecting it to be closer to what we did with the two Black Meddle records, so there was a bit of surprise there but the reviews have been very strong. All the feedback from the fans and the media has been very strong as well. To be honest, I’ve done more press before this album came out than I did in the whole campaigns for the last two records so I think that means that people really like it, which is great.
– You released 4 songs prior to the release date, did this help you doing a better promotion? I imagine the more people get to listen about the album, there are more options of having them buying the album if they dig what they hear.
Yeah, definitely. Nachtmystium’s manager and I had a long talk about the promotion for this album before we started premiering songs and we agreed that it’s important to have more than just one or two songs out there before the album’s release. It’s also important to reach people – you have to put more songs out there now to give people more of a chance to hear them now. Later today, we have the full album stream going live for this weekend and that will be the last thing that we put out there before the release on Tuesday.
– With this new opus you have gone back to your Black Metal roots. I read you were burned out of BM, has your interest for this genre came back now?
I was burned out on BM for a while. It was a combination of things. I was still running Battle Kommand and, on top of that, Nachtmystium was getting busier so I was just completely entrenched in black metal so much that I became more burnt out on it. After spending some time away from it during the last two albums, I got back into it in a big way. I started listening to my old records and I’ve started checking out the new stuff as well – it’s been a big influence on me and, ultimately, the way the new album was written.
– You’ve managed to make new fans with your two previous records as you were bringing something new and fresh to the Black Metal scene so, do you think has been a good moment to go back to your roots? Anyway I guess you will also get some of your older fans back…
Yeah, we set out to do this. The plan all along was to do something totally different and experimental with the two Black Meddle records and then go back to the sound that we’ve been crafting before that. It turns out that after we were done with ‘Addicts’ and starting to write again, I still felt that way and so that’s what we did. I think the fans that we gained from the Black Meddle records will still find stuff that they like on this record and I feel like people who liked us more during our ‘Demise’ or ‘Instinct: Decay’ phases will find stuff they really like on this record as well. So, I think it has something for anyone who likes Nachtmystium.
– Though “Silencing Machine” is a real Black Metal album, tunes as “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams” have certain elements form your two previous recordings, with some 70’s vibe and subtle psychedelic elements as well. Is this mix of your roots and certain 70’s sounds your current/future sound? Could you sat NACHTMYSTIUM is still shaping its very own sound and musical personality?
I would definitely say that. We change out sound all the time because we just play whatever we feel like when it’s time to make new music. At the root of everything we do is black metal but we will always continue to experiment and do whatever we feel is interesting.
– Anyway, for “Addicts” I think most people expected another BM psychedelic album, but it also contained a lot of songs that were really unique and hard to describe, and I could apply this way of not being stagnant to any concrete formula to your new opus as well. Is the surprise factor something that works as a positive element for you? Anyway the Black Metal community doesn’t uses to be that open-minded.
Well, I wouldn’t even call it a surprise factor really. Nachtmystium just writes the songs that we want to hear. We try things because we have a lot of different influences and we want to get those out there and see what they sound like when they are tangled up in the black metal sound as well. I guess you could say it does work well because when we’re writing, I never get bored. We don’t write the same record every time, we do new things and that’s definitely a positive for me.
– And for the band itself, does that evolution and subtle different musical directions makes you feel more alive or excited toward creating new stuff?
We had a great time in the studio making this record. This was one of the few records I’ve done where I’ve included the whole band on the writing process. It was cool because each of us were writing parts that we felt connected to and when we rolled them all together, they still worked and sounded great so it’s a different record from what we’ve done the last few times around but it’s still similar to the overarching themes of Nachtmystium.
– In fact you changed your style after leaving Battle Kommand and started working with Century Media. Did this had something to do with those more experimental records?
Well, when I signed with Century Media, I signed with the intention of doing the two Black Meddle records only and then going back to Battle Kommand and doing my own thing again. Those records were supposed to live on their own. But, when the time came for those two records to be finished, I realized that Century Media had put a lot of effort behind us and still allowed us to be very creative. I was happy with their work around Nachtmystium and I still wasn’t quite ready to relaunch Battle Kommand – so, I decided to resign with them. Our writing process has always been different though. If you go back and listen to any of the records from before we were on Century, you will hear that we have always pushed the boundaries and made very different records from one to the next.
– Coming back to “Silencing Machine”, it’s overall more aggressive than your two previous releases. I guess each record may reflect a moment in time, is that true or did you just have clear since the beginning how did you want this new album to sound like?
I knew that I didn’t want to try to do another over-the-top experimental record right now. I wanted this to be a record that we could play live easily without extra musicians and I also felt that if we kept trying to “outweird” ourselves, we would have made a record that seemed too forced. I think we had a good balance on this record and I’m happy that it came out more aggressive but still a bit experimental.
– Anyway keyboards help adding some melody to the tunes, which creates an interesting contrast with the overall atmosphere on the album. In general is an album full of different contrasts, was this what you were striving for?
Not really, we just started writing and this is what came through. There are definitely some atmospherics so it’s not just a black metal record but there are definitely contrasts between songs like “Decimation, Annihilation” and “Borrowed Hope and Broken Dreams”. It’s a very varied record, that’s for sure.
– I guess this more straight-forward approach will work better on a live setting, did you also think about it when you started writing “Silencing Machine”?
Yes, absolutely. The last two records were great but they were very difficult to play live just due to the fact that we needed any number of other musicians on stage with us to play it. It was important to me that this album was easy for us to play live, from front to back.
– This record reminds me to “Instinct: Decay” on several different ways, even in terms of lyrics. How did you work on the lyrics? And what do they deal with?
What you’re probably picking up on is that this is the first record I’ve written all the lyrics by myself on instead of working with our good friend Chris Black. We have very different writing styles. I generally write more lyrics and place them in the songs differently so there is just more being said overall. Working with him was great and he brought out some great moments in Nachtmystium, but I had a lot of fun writing these lyrics and I think it came out very well. The lyrics deal with a lot of the same stuff for us. We didn’t do the drug thing this time around but there are a lot of intense highs and lows in our lives and we tried to express that in these songs.
– All this about our new piece being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Ildjarn with keyboards.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
We are currently touring in the US and then we’re planning a big North American tour for the fall. Next up, we are coming to Europe on a tour that is still in the works so I can’t announce anything yet but it will be great. We’re also trying to get into some new territories this time around. We’re planning to make it into Australia, South America and more. We’re a busy band so we’ll stay busy and we’re very excited to make it back over to Europe.
– That has been everything from my side, thank you once more. If you want to add some final words; last lines are all yours.
Thank you for the support and the interview. Hope to see you on tour soon!