NEGURA BUNGET (Eng.)

– Hello and thanks for your time. What is the band currently up to?
We just got back form the tour with Enslaved, so now we have a quiet period, and we start working on some new materials…

– I think it’d be nice to start with the band’s name. I read somwhere «Negura Bunget» means something like «Foggy Forest». Does the band name represent your sound?
A powerful dark presence of an intense nature, connected with the local nature and with its spirit, ascending and descending, shaping through the clouds of the present. You can sometimes feel it is there, but you cannot grab it. Only your clean mind and soul can came close of its presence. From the very beginning we shaped ourselves into relating with it, so that is now part of us. That’s how we understand Negura Bunget.
Negura Bunget is a black fog coming from a deep dark dense forest. The name tries to picture somehow the kind of atmosphere, both musical and spiritual we’d want to create through our music. It has also a symbolical nature, standing for the inexpressible parts of our ideology. The two words are also from the Tracic substrate of the Romanian language (the oldest one, containing about 90 words) as the interest for our local history and spirituality is something of crucial importance and meanings for us as a band.

– Passed 3 years between «Om» and your albums from 2010. How was the composing process for both «Măiestrit» and «Vîrstele Pămîntului»? As «Om» is considered by some as your masterpiece, so I wonder if you went under some pressure while creating both 2010’s albums…
There were actually some different processes. We started working on «Măiestrit» for quite a long time, we had then the line-up change on 2008, and the two former members finalized that material. For «Vîrstele Pămîntului» on the other hand we started working before the end of 2008. We did then for the first time something we wanted to do… we went for a couple of month on a remote place in the mountains and focused solely on the music. It was an amazing experience! It’s always a pressure from within when you start a new project… but at the same time you have to put everything you did in the past aside, and start from 0.

– Why did you decide to release two albums in 2010? Do you never run out of ideas?
It just worked out that way, they not only were released on the same year, but almost on the same day… he he. It was also a bit of a schedule mixture, as the two albums were released on different labels (Prophecy for «Măiestrit» and Code666 for «Vîrstele Pămîntului»).

– And, what was the band up to during those 3 years?
The last years have been the most intense in the history of the band. Beside the new materials we did almost 200 gigs as well.

– Both albums got amazing reviews, did you expect that? As I see your excellent creative flow, I guess you only released an album if you are sure the stuff delivered is really good…
We had indeed an amazing response both in media and from the audience. All we can do is work on each material until we are completely satisfied with it. Once the album is released it out of our hands…

– And, how has been this time feedback for your new EP «Poarta de Dincolo»?
The MCD had some different response… some got the point of what we tried to experiment on it, while some didn’t. We were expecting this as it’s difficult to express a lot on such a short material. On the other hand this give you more space for experiment, which exactly what we did.

– This year you have also released a live album with the original line-up in different formats (double CD, DVD…). So basically, why did you decide to do so? And how much input did you have in this release?
It was something we were working on for a long time. The material was recorded in January 2008, at a gig in Bucharest. Since then we worked on all the details, until again were satisfied with everything.

– What else could you tell us about this live? Your memories, why did you released that concrete show…
We wanted a DVD to portrait the atmosphere of a true Negura Bunget gig. It’s nothing fancy, as it is focused solely on the concert experience. But I think it offers an accurate experience of the actual performance, which was exactly our goal. We choused that concrete show because it offered us the opportunity to take control directly of all the logistic and artistic aspects of the gig.

– You have always been a quite active band, and proof of it is what we’ve just talked about. What motivates you to keep on going?
It’s just a personal dedication… this is who we are.

– During these years you have gone through different line-up changes. Could you say is this current line-up a steady one?
Well, we had this line-up for abut a year now, did a lot of gigs together, worked on some materials as well, so I’d say it’s pretty stable. On the other hand we are not an easy band to be in… lots of gigs, releases require a high level of dedication and involvement.

– After you fullfiled your contract with Code666 you have moved to Prophecy Productions. How is this cooperation going so far?
We are working great with Prophecy. We started this cooperation a few years ago already, and they released so far our early albums, and now we are working on some new releases with them as well.

– I read you will do a new recording of the album «Maiastru Sfetnic» featuring a traditional Transylvanian orchestra as well as re-releasing some of your previous works. Have you already started working on this? Could you advance us anything about it?
That was the plan for «Măiestrit». But there have been some changes and it the end everything worked out a bit differently.

– Your lyrics have always been in Romanian, so I think this is a natural way for you to express yourself but, have you ever thought about singing in English?
Negura Bunget was always inspired and influenced by the local spiritual, historical and folkloric traditions. Dealing with such matters in English would mean to be fake to ourselves. We also work in detail on the lyrics, every word, sound and meaning is important, we research lots of ancient local collections… and there is just no way you can create or translate that into another language. Also we always believed that if you have something meaningful to say, people will get the point of it, one way or the other. So we don’t see an inconvenient the fact that we sing in Romanian, it’s just a natural thing to do.

– I read at your Facebook something about the Transilvanian Trilogy. Could you please elaborate a bit into this project?
Our next project is a musical and visual trilogy centered around the Transilvanian lands. It is both our personal and band destiny to undertake this exploration and presentation of the things that inspired us since the very beginning. Everybody can rest assure, we are not here to perpetuate the typical stereotypes, but rather unveil the unknown treasure
s the Transilvanian lands are so rich in. Each part of the trilogy will evolve into fully developed musical and visual sides, which will be available separately, with an identity of their own, but also combined for a complete experience. The first part of the trilogy, entitled Tău (engl. your) will unveil the natural landscapes, by exploring 9 unique natural places, with their mystique, atmosphere, legends and meanings.

– Due to that mentioned above and because of some titles, sounds, etc. I think your country is such inspiring for you but, how inspiring is it? What does it mean to you an to you music?
We have been inspired from the very beginning by the local nature, history and spirituality. We see Negura Bunget as personal reflection of the local elements.

– And how much does influence your lyrics? You also sing about mytholohy, spirituality, etc. though. How’s the writing process in NEGURA BUNGET like?
This influence goes towards all the aspects of the bands, from concept, imagery to music and lyrics. But as I said, it is a personal reflection… everything goes through our personal censure, so the result is something that represents us as individuals the same way it’s a reflection of things that go far beyond our individualities.

– Your sound has always been quite varied so, what are your musical influences? Both non-Metal as into Metal.
We listen to a lot of music… from the Black Metal classics like Emperor, Immortal or Enslaved, to the conceptual ambient orf bands like Dead Can Dance, Tenhi, to the psychedelic port rock of Neurosis, Black Speed You Black Emperor!…

– Is it difficult to create and performance a sound with that many instruments? How does it work for tours?
It’s not easy, but that’s all the charm… to work hard and find ways to achieve and complete your intentions into reality. We always travel heavy, we bring all the things we need on our own, and try not to cause problems for local organizers. We have been doing this for some times now… so we are getting also better with everything, so there’s not much we can complain about.

– We don’t know that much Metal from Romania so, is it easy playing your music un Romania? How’s out there the Metal scene like?
This are getting better around. When we started the band back in 1995, it was pretty much different… there were almost no other Black Metal bands, and the public was not prepared for such an experience. But nevertheless, we always had a great response from the local audience, and played a lot of gigs all over the country. The local scene is growing a lot lately, there are a lot of good bands, more and more gigs… the only aspect that lacks are the labels to really promote the movement.

– You’re a band that is constantly touring. Do you consider yourself as a touring band or more as a studio band?
I’d say both elements are important for us. We always work on new materials with the live aspect in mind, so that you can experience the same intensity and atmosphere both live and on the CD. The two experiences are complementary in the end… and we enjoy experiencing both.

– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Well, the Transilvanian Trilogy will take a lot of our time and energy, and I’m sure will also take Negura Bunget a lot further. We are looking forward for all the experiences associated with it.

– That’s all, thanks again for your time. Now feel free to add any final words to the interview.
Thanks a lot of the support! Stay Black!

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