NOVEMBERS DOOM (Eng.)

– Hello, thanks for taking your time. First off, what’s the band currently up to short after releasing your latest “Aphotic”?

PAUL: Hello Tania, you’re quite welcome. Well the first thing we did to promote the new album was hit the road and play some live shows…

LARRY: …Yeah, we did a small number of tourdates right when the new cd came out back in May, and since then we’ve been doing alot of press to promote the new cd, and making future plans for more shows. Normally in the summertime we’d be doing festivals or more live dates in general, but not this year.

– And how has been its feedback so far?

LARRY: The new cd has been doing great in terms of response from most fans and critics. Probably our best since 2005’s “Pale Haunt Departure”, to be honest. We’re very pleased with the response.

 

– When we interviewed Larry in support of “Into Night’s Requiem Infernal” he explained to us you guys rushed a bit in the studio for that album due to changing drummers. Have things gone more smoothly this time? And is that a result for such an ovewhelming result?

LARRY: Well to be more exact, we didn’t rush the process in the studio but we sort of rushed to get into the studio, and didn’t have as much time in the rehearsal room refining the songs as we’d have liked. But even so, I stand by that record, I think it came out great and was exactly what we’d wanted it to be. We were rushed in the studio for other reasons beyond our control, and yeah there were some things I wished we could’ve done differently. But this time, for “Aphotic”, we definitely put more time into the songwriting process and the pre-production process and it shows. It did go more smoothly because this lineup we have now works so well together and everyone was on the same page. It made a huge difference.

 

– This is your first CD with Mike Feldman; what has he brought to the band’s sound? And how could you say has improved the rhythmn section?

LARRY: Mike is a fantastic musician, and his influences add new dimensions to the rhythm section. He really focuses on playing tightly with Sasha and he’s always eager to try and put his personal stamp on the songs, without going too overboard and just showing off. Our rhythm section is pretty amazing nowadays, just listen to a song like “Six Sides” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

PAUL: We had heard Mike playing locally with his two bands, Degradation and Judas Beast, which is a Maiden/Priest tribute band. Hearing him play, we knew he would fit well, so he was approached, auditioned, and landed the job. His style fits really well with how Sasha plays.

 

– In this album everyone was involved into the songwriting. How did affect the outcome of the record?

LARRY: I think the main areas that it impacted were in terms of the band being much tighter than before, we put alot of time into the writing together so by the time the song was completely written and ready for pre-production, we were already pretty tight and everyone already had a strong idea of their role in the song. And there was far more diversity in where the songs went structurally because there was more input from all members early on, rather than just one person’s style and input influencing the song’s direction.

 

– Though all your songs have different details and there’s not a track similar to each other, I could say one of the most outstanding songs off the album because of its originality may be “What could Have Been”. What can you tell us about it? And why Anneke’s vocals?

LARRY: I wrote the music for this song, and right from the start Paul and I agreed that if we were to do another mellow acoustic ballad, we wanted it to be something different than what we’d done on the last few albums. The two things we both agreed upon early on was that the song was begging for a violin to be included, and also that we could really hear female vocals on this track….and not just any female vocals but Anneke’s specifically, because we’re both big fans of her voice and her work. And we’ve known her for years, she and Paul became friends after we toured together many years ago, so it was a natural choice to ask her to work with us, it really needed to be her voice on this song….

PAUL: Anneke’s involvement was very important to the overall song. It wasn’t about just having a female vocalist, but it was about the sound, tone and quality of Anneke’s voice. It had to be her, or the song wouldn’t have worked, and we’d probably have shelved the song if she would’ve said “no”.

 

– You haven been working now with Dan Swanö for several albums, so I guess you’re satisfied with his work so far. How has been the production process this time?

LARRY: Dan is always a pleasure to work with, and as you can hear, his mix was fantastic this time, perhaps the best one he’s done for us to date. Hopefully we can keep working with him.

 

– He has also provided some guest vocals for “Of Age and Origin – Part 1”. How did you come up with the idea?

LARRY: Actually, we didn’t come up with the idea! Paul had suggested that the choruses of the song were missing something, and had asked Dan if he could think of anything he could do, mix-wise, to make it sound better. To our surprise, Dan’s solution was to add his own voice to the mix and fill it out, and we were extremely happy with it. Not only because it sounded amazing, but it was great to have Swano growling death-metal vocals on our cd! He’s been hesitant about doing those kinds of vocals anymore, so for him to pull it out again for our record was really something special and we’re quite grateful.

 

– Talking about voices, what are the main differences (in to this matter) between THESE ARE THEY and NOVEMBERS DOOM? Is singing in NOVEMBERS DOOM more changelling?

PAUL: In ND, I push myself more to try new things vocally and explore different aspects of my voice and what I am capable of, whereas in TAT it’s more about old school aggression and pay homage to my death metal roots and my influences like Troy from SINDROME, Duane from DEVASTATION, and so on.

 

– And do your vocals change also because of the lyrics? As I think lyrics in NOVEMBERS DOOM are more personal, quite introspective…

PAUL: With THESE ARE THEY, I view it as a different outlet than Novembers Doom. In ND, things are more personal, and emotive. In TAT, it’s just fun, without expectations or limitations. Just basic, old school death metal created in the same style as when death metal was great, but adding a new twist and using modern production. I write 100% of the lyrics in ND, whereas in TAT, Steve comes up with lyrics and concepts as well.

 

– Regarding this, what are the main topics in the album? How do they fit with the CD’s title?

LARRY: Well, “aphotic” basically means the absence of light, in simple terms. This cd really delves into various things that mainly have to do with the darker side of the human personality & psyche. Though this cd has it’s quieter moments, they’re not really what you could consider to be very “light”, there’s still a darkness and heaviness to it. The darkness definitely permeates the entire cd, musically and lyrically.

 

– Your music has plenty different influences and details, bust most people tend to tag you as a Doom Metal band; what are your feelings about it?

LARRY: We hate tags. I understand why people feel they’re necessary but we’ve never been a band who can be easily tagged or categorized, and I think in the past the pre-conceptions people have had about us due to tags has hurt us as much or more than helped us. We’ll always have doom metal elements to our sound but clearly there’s far far more going on in our music than just doom. But alot of people won’t even check us out because they presume we’re doom metal, and they might not care for most doom metal bands. We’ve had alot of fans tell us that they arent really doom metal fans but they love ND ,and I think that says alot. We’ve worked very hard to not be narrow in scope with our music and not pigeonhole ourselves, so it’s frustrating when other people decide to pigeonhole us anyhow.

– Moreover, I think this record seems to have some more Death Metal elements. Was there any concrete reason behind dis? Or did the fact of having the whole band more input into the songwriting had something to do with this?

LARRY: That’s funny you say that, because that seems to be the opposite opinion of most people, who felt that our last two cds had more death metal influence than “Aphotic”. To be honest, we didn’t go into the writing with the idea of being more death metal, or less death metal, or anything else. We just wrote whatever came naturally to us. There were so many different influences on this record, most of them having nothing to do with death metal or doom metal, but in the end it just comes out sounding like Novembers Doom. I personally just think of this record as being very dark, and maybe a bit more progressive than our last few cds.

 

– Do you have any tour plans to support the album live?

LARRY: Well like I mentioned earlier, we already did a handful of live shows, here in Chicago as well as some on the East Coast with WOODS OF YPRES, which was fun….

PAUL: …yeah, the plans right now are to use 2011 to play as much in the United States as possible, hopefully getting out to the West Coast at the end of the year and then possibly hitting Europe again in 2012 and maybe festivals next summer, but who knows, in the meantime we may start to write soon for the next release, we’ll see!

 

– A couple of years ago you toured Spain for the very first time. What are your memories from it? And, is there any chance of seeing you anytime soon once more in Spain?

PAUL:….the beautiful women!

LARRY: Haha, yeah the band was rather impressed with the women, especially the fact that the crowd was almost 50/50 men and women, which isn’t usually the case here in the U.S. at metal shows. We were really surprised at how well we were received by the fans, we didn’t know too much about our fanbase there in Spain so we were worried that noone cared about us, but we found out that they do care! In the last two years we’ve toured Spain twice, and both times they were cool and really enjoyable shows. We look forward to getting back there again.

 

– And finally, what’s next for NOVEMBERS DOOM?

LARRY: Time will tell. As we mentioned already, we want to do more touring and festival appearances and we’re working on that now. At some point we’ll start writing for the next cd, probably sooner than later as Paul said, because it already feels like “Aphotic” is so old to us, we’re eager to be productive again. And in the meantime there might be some other cool projects happening, but it’s too soon to say anything about them so you’ll just have to wait and see!

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

 




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