INDIAN NIGHTMARE (EN)
In these days where the Metal scene seems to be more narrow-mined than ever, where almost no one dares to take a stand and that everybody seems to convince themselves that nothing is political, finding a band like INDIAN NIGHTMARE, that stand firmly behind their position against any kind of oppression and discrimination, that has always put in the front the different cultural backgrounds of their members and that are self-proclaimed as «tribal Punks», feels almost utopian, not to say idyllic. So well, going straight to the point, the Berlin based international band are back with a second assault under the title of «By Ancient Force», which in every aspect follows up where their crushing debut left, even in its title. Because if in «Taking Back the Land» they referred to our everyday more fucked up link with nature, here they tell us the only way to mend it is going back to our roots (and first we need to be aware of our roots), back to ancestral ways, if we are not extinguished by then. Today we interview the band and with them we dig deeper into their history and the new album, we reflect on bigoted behaviors in today’s Metal scene and on how important is for the band indigenous resistance and in general, on the importancia of unity to face a capitalist system and unity between oppressed groups.
– Hello and, first of all, thanks for taking time to answer our questions. Your new album was released a few months ago, how is everything going right now in INDIAN NIGHTMARE’s camp?
Thank you also for this interview and for your support! We are very happy with how things are evolving, the feedback from our fans and friends is overwhelming, we are having lots of fun on the road, we have an amazing tour coming up in September with RAM and Vulture. We are stoked to be part of such things.
– You’re back with a new album after 5 years. 5 years to get to know each other better. How have you grown together as a band?
Well, I guess you mean the band was formed 5 years ago, but the first album Taking Back The Land was released in 2017! Anyway, Yes definitely, in the past we had lots of ups and downs, which brought us all even closer than ever before. We love what we do and we love each other, which is one of the most important things as a band. But also musically and technically we have learned so much during the recording of our last album. So you can even rise your expectations for future releases!
– Before starting to dwell into your new record, what does the name of the band mean? Literally and not.
Indian Nightmare describes the fear of being evicted from your home or your comfort zone, those who have power abuse it at the expense of others and the planet. If you have to face fear, you have to scream and fight against oppression. Our music is the voice of this cry and the spearhead of this rebellion. Indian Nightmare, however, has a collective meaning that does not refer to a single circumstance. We show solidarity with everyone out there who fights against oppression. But you can also understand the name differently. When the oppressed rise, unite and take back their land, the Indian Nightmare becomes the fear of the oppressors – a controversial name, of course.
– Now, considering «By Ancient Force», what could you tell us about the symbolism of the cover artwork?
The current cover was made by Poison Snake our singer himself. It is instinctively designed inspired by indigenous cultures! Death in the middle stands for the rising liberation, on the path of awakening and the progress it brings with it, destroy to create! The snakes skin themselves to be reborn, fire to purify, the jaguar is the power and the wisdom! It’s mindful and cautious but his attack is brutal and as precise as our live performance. The total work of art in indian nigtmare is the projection of our own realities in the universe that we inhabit, that’s what the stars stand for in the background! And the mix of all these elements is representing the band itself as well, showing the charachters we have built together in the years.
– In your debut album the main idea referred to our link with nature (more messed up everyday). What’s the main idea behind your new opus?
This unbending and raw power that is in each one of us and is released when it comes hard on oppression, demons or the like! Oppressors often try to deny us this power, but we show solidarity with everyone who is willing to fight, you are not alone, you are not the weak ones! The bastion as a band is the spearhead of this power! So in the end we are touching different themes: the relation between us as mankind, facing the goverments trying to oppress and destroy our humanity and society, but also playing in a metaphorical way the rise of the Mental power as a collective consciousness. And this is something that could have a great impact in this society, because we need to be aware of what is happening right now on our planet. We are trying to touch this topic in different ways of course, because there are differnt interpretations of the same problem: from fighting it aggressively, directly, with fire and violence. But also trying to deliver the spirit, like in Yang Terampas or Set the Spirit Free, or collecting power and energy to be invincible to reach your own liberation from obsolete behaviours!
– The message feels more political this time, dealing more with being aware of our roots, which can be applied and interpreted in many different ways…
Well, of course this being aware of our rootscan have different meanings, it depends onn HOW you want to see it! We don´t care of course about bullshit conservative ideas, wich create more division than unity. The difference makes a plus for us, multiculturality makes it interesting, the sharing of experiences create something new and unique. And of course, the more you know about yourself, about your roots, the more tools you have to face the future. The Western world in its rationality has suppressed aspects of our lives that are very human. But there is no ultimate ancient force that drives us because everyone has their own perspective and motivation for rebellion. This is again in the sense of the interpretation of Indian Nigtmare, we all fight for different things but we support each other with everything we have. We are all one, we are all family. Mitakuye Oya!
– You seem to explore various «traditions» through your music, also when it comes to the sound itself: from Heavy to Speed, from Thrash Metal to Black and Punk, all in an old-fashioned style. But where does your inspiration come from?
We have a lot of different influences since we come from different scenes and each scene is unique in itself. And the places we grew up, societies and experiences are very important for our musical inspiration, as the music we listen to. For example, our guitarists Dodi and Butch for sure have a Medioriental – Asiatic feeling and taste, our drummer Lalo and bass player Cedro have this mixed influence from European extreme music and styles, and the singer Poison Snake interpretates in his singing the Mexican roots and throw out the violence and difficulties of his country. And our personal past musical projects (I remind you, some of us have been playing music since more than 20 years), we are this great mix each of us, and even more together which we channel into this: METALPUNKSTEEL!
– What thoughts, emotions or ideas are chanelled through your songs? Beyond your lyrics
As said, we push the accelerator, spreading violence and aggression, energy and darkness. But at the same time we want to give also moments of mental releasing, discovering different parts of human emotions. But the most important is what emotions the music triggers in you as a listener hehe!
– As on your previous album, there’s a song in Indonesian, «Yang Terampas Dan Terhisap». How important is for you to have at least one song written in your own language?
We like to experiment since we have so many different laguages in the band, and it is becoming a thing for us to put at least one song in a different language, we are currently experimenting with even some indogenous ancient languages like Nahuatl. And we think is interesting to listen to this kind of music with different languages than English: it gives a different feeling, doesn´t it? Sometime is a cliche´to listen metal or punk music in English (wich we do, as you can listen of course), and we have this possibility to go through our original languages, so we are gonna continue this way.
– Besides there are songs as «Serpent’s Eye», with melodies that may sound foreign to the average Western listener, or «Fire Meets Steel», showing an Islamic influence in its sound. Are these the songs that define INDIAN NIGHTMARE the best?
We wouldn’t say they describe it the best since our music is living from the vast diversity we build in our itm but since both guitarist grew up in Islamic cultures for sure this left its traces in their influences. But the history of the band shows what is the evolution we´ve made since the beginning: Dodi was the only composer, and many songs of the first album came out from his head, but the more the formation was more compact, the more each of us started to make riffs and finding solutions putting the differences we were talking earlier. Fire Meet Steel is for sure one of our most known songs, and we are very proud of it, but we would not say it represents us the best!
– In fact all of you come from a different country or city. How does this affect your sound and way of writing?
We found a very good way to work with each other, it´s very interesting to see how each of us works for himself, but the process that unifies the songs is very organic and we all contribute to all the parts, our drummer Lalo brings guitar riffs or Dodi on the guitars writes lyrics.
– You make very visible your different cultural backgrounds. What are you communicating by doing this? How do you think this message you are trying to communicate fits in the current Metal scene?
Well first of all we are standing for unity, we are all different but we are all the same. We definitely need to be more open-minded if we want to survive the upcoming challenges of the next decades as a species. We are getting great feedback for speaking out what many people are thinking, there are tons of people out there, which are also annoyed by the narrow-minded behaviour of the scene.
– Today’s Metal scene seems to be more narrow-minded than ever. Not a lot of bands make a stand but you do with a strong anti-discrimination and anti-oppression message. How important is for you to position yourself and proving that everything we do is political?
Basically that’s our major message and it’s very important to be aware of this fact. The biggest power that humankind has is actually the ability to collaborate in large numbers in order to face complex problems. In the past it was maybe killing a mammut and today is facing climate change. This is how we got on top of the food chain. Some people are taking things for granted and are not used to be shaken in their beliefs or every day live but the only constant we have is change, so this will not work for them on the long term. There is simply no other way, but sooner or later we are all gonna realize this even if it is the hard way.
– You don’t lose the sense of «subculture». In fact it seems your roots are closer to Punk even though musically you play a lot with Metal. Are you doing Metal from a Punk perspective?
That descibes it pretty well. We live for Metal, but we die for Punk. Metal fills our hearts with power but Punk opend our eyes so these things go hand in hand for us. And our way of life is much more punk haha!
– The DIY attitude also seems to be your way of doing things, am I wrong?
Yeah we have an amazing network across the globe supporting each other which we are very happy about. Even if we are on a more bigger label like High Roller Recods now we still keep doing DIY releases and soli gigs!
– On your Facebook page you share posts and inform on indigenous resistance of different communities from México, Brazil, etc. Do you think these are some of the most important struggles right now? Are we misinformed here or are we just turning a blind eye? Do these people also serve as influence and role models for you?
Well you actually are describing rightly the reason we make these posts. In first place because we want to show what’s going on with indigenous rights and how these people actually act to save our planet, our mother nature, to leave a better place for our future generations. As we mentioned in past interviews and as well as when our first full lenght came out, these people were and are facing hard times becaue of goverment greed trying to robb their lands only to cut down nature and pollute it. Another important fact we must touch is that much of the information that is in mainstream media right now, is very manipulated and one sided, we belive that once who have them control just want that Western societies can simply ignore the pollution and then people are being killed and left to die in poverty. So you can continue being the gear in the kapitalist system without much concern. Right now there are lot of important actions happening all over the world, where people are rising their voice against opression, human right and coservation of our sphere, showing their inconformity against failed goverments. For sure these people are a big inspiration for the band. We admire their braveness, will and their honesty.
– Before wrapping the interview up; how could you describe «By Ancient Force» in just 3 words?
Set Spirit Free!!!
– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering to interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
We´de like to thank all our friends and famliy as well as eveyone who is walking this road with us! The devil is by our side!