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Nachtmystium - Triple Threat: NACHTMYSTIUM, TWILIGHT And Battle Kommand Records - Online Jun 2006


Thanks a lot for doing this interview with “The Metal Observer”. I definitely appreciate it, and I’ve been a fan of yours ever since I heard “Eulogy IV.” So, thank you once again.

Thanks for your support!

 

First I’d like to talk about NACHTMYSTIUM for a little while. You’re on the brink of unleashing your third full-length since 2000 – congratulations, by the way – with the title being “Instinct: Decay.” To me, it seems as if you’ve come a long way since 2002’s “Reign Of The Malicious.” Not only have you moved away from the DARKTHRONE-esque cover art, but you’ve also changed your logo and essentially risen to prominence within the Black Metal realm. What do you think the above changes can be attributed to? Or have the transformations been natural?

A lot has changed in the last few years for NACHTMYSTIUM. As I grow older, I change, as does everyone, and over the 6 years I’ve been doing this band I’ve discovered a lot of new music that I like, have become a more skilled musician just from playing longer and have just experienced a lot more than I had when I started, so I believe all those things have caused NACHTMYSTIUM to change both musically and aesthetically over the last few years. I would say that all transformation into the new NACHTMYSTIUM sound has been entirely natural and if you pay close enough attention to the last few records, none of what may seem strikingly different on our new album will come as a surprise.

 

Of course the Black Metal split is very popular these days, especially within the USBM scene. What attracts you about splits, or perhaps more specifically, what are some advantages of releasing a split as opposed to yet another demo or EP?

Well, in the case of my dealings with Battle Kommand for XASTHUR and LEVIATHAN, a split was the only way to do a release for either band due to their current contracts with Moribund Records. It was really cool that Moribund allowed the bands to work together for a split independent of the label and we (BKR) were really excited to get to do both of the releases we’ve done for LEVIATHAN, one of which was the split with XASTHUR, which was also great. In my opinion, splits can be great and they can be horrible. It’s all about the bands that you match up. For example, I think the EMPEROR/ENSLAVED split CD was an amazing combination and a perfect example of a classic split. However, sometimes you’ll see labels just taking two EPs from certain artists on the label, and they’ll just release it as a split to prevent from having to manufacture two separate releases because it’s more affordable that way. I’m sure that’s not the case all the time, but some splits are just such an awful mismatch that you must assume that’s the situation.

 

To get back to your forthcoming, though, the cover art of “Instinct: Decay” is stunning. Who composed the artwork? Can you elaborate on its significance at this point in time, or should the listener be able to gather the meaning once the album is fully digested?

Thanks for your compliment on the artwork. The artist’s name is Rebecca Clegg. She’s responsible for the artwork on the “Demise” LP, the NACHTMYSTIUM/XASTHUR 7” EP, many little bits and pieces of artwork in layouts of ours over the years, and she painted the cover of an album for the band ASHES (released on Supernal Music) and she’s currently doing artwork for FOREST OF IMPALED. The piece was totally conceptual and actually is complemented by every page/portion of the layout for the CD and LP with other artwork based off of the design. As for its meaning, I will let the listener make the connection. The art direction on this album is more involved than any previous record we’ve done and is entirely conceptual with the record, so I think it will add a certain element to the final package to make it a complete piece visually and audibly.

 

With the new album dropping on May 31st, 2006, you’ve already outlined a tour plan, which includes SUNNO))) and BORIS. Do you feel that NACHTMYSTIUM, by playing with the aforementioned, is removing itself from BM tradition? I mean, usually relatively underground Black Metal groups either join up with other Black Metallers, or don’t tour at all. Besides the connection you have to Southern Lord Records, why do you feel this type of tour will be rewarding (for both performers and audience alike)?

Well, the tour with SUNNO))) and BORIS is definitely happening, and I attend all of our most gigs, but it was decided by me that NACHTMYSTIUM will not attempt to perform on any of these shows as we have a full line of gigs starting with our own release party on 6/6/06 (fuck yeah!) at Double Door in Chicago (legendary Wicker Park music venue). And then we’re performing at two Black Metal festivals, The Gathering of Shadows Fest in Colorado and Sacrifice of the Nazarene Child Festival in San Antonio, Texas. As for the SUNNO))) tour, I will be there helping sell SUNN’s merchandise and will have the entire Battle Kommand distro with me. I was planning on going just to promote BKR and help out the guys in SUNN as they offered me the position after we toured with them on the east coast last December. When it came up that NACHTMYSTIUM could get on some of the gigs, I thought it would be great, but due to the fact that our current drummer resides in Los Angeles, it would’ve made it very difficult to do the gigs and go out to do merch, so I opted to step down and just do the merchandise deal for this one.

We actually had a chance to play with SUNN and BORIS together (and THRONES) in Los Angeles, CA early last November, and it was an amazing experience for us. I feel that, for us at least, playing with bands like this can only help broaden our fan base. My personal music tastes cater more towards bands like SUNN and BORIS these days compared to most black metal coming out, so it’s cool for me in that regard as well. Plus, on our new record, we’ve really cranked up the Psyche-rock influence, so I like to think that fans of the aforementioned bands may find some value in what we’re doing currently. Our tour with SUNN last December was an amazing experience for us and we were seemingly well received, and also brought a lot of our own crowd out and in a very small way may have helped introduce some new people to SUNN, so it was a great thing for both bands and we had a blast doing it.

 

Now, as far as TWILIGHT are concerned, I’m elated that you guys are going to put out another full-length. “Twilight” was great, I thought, even though it was fairly easy to pinpoint the disparities and each member’s ideas. Still, judging by what I’ve read, it seems like you all are very different people with different views on what Black Metal should entail. How do you function as a group if everyone is so opinionated? Out of the line-up, who is the hardest to work with and why?

TWILIGHT is a freak show. I think all four other members, besides myself, are some of the most brilliant human beings on the face of the earth personality-wise and musically. We’re all extremely opinionated and very different musically, so it’s kind of a strange thing. I think this new record will be the real test of if we can all work together or not. The last record was done in numerous sessions, some through the mail, etc. It wasn’t a band-in-the-studio kind of thing. It was a “dudes in a hotel room with a four track” kinda thing. As for us bumping heads or anyone being any less difficult to work with than another, we’re all unique in our own ways but we all respect each other a lot. With that being said, no one really creates problems or arguments, so it’s easy for us to try to function as a unit on some level despite our physical distance. My involvement with all the members of TWILIGHT is a little more consistent than anyone else’s I think, just due to the fact that I’ve been releasing records for Malefic (XASTHUR, TWILIGHT) and Wrest (LEVIATHAN, TWILIGHT, LURKER OF CHALICE) on BKR, and Imperial (ex-KRIEG) has been playing bass for NACHTMYSTIUM for the past few months and recorded on the new record with us, so I see and talk to all of these guys regularly due to all this. No problems thus far and we’ve all been in contact and working together for quite a few years now. I only have good expectations for the future of the project.

 

I think it was cool to see some of the best, prolific USBM individuals unite under one banner, and successfully release an album. So, since you’re aware of BM on a global scale, which country is producing the best Black Metal? Who are some musicians/bands you’d like to collaborate with on, say, a split or a project akin to TWILIGHT?

Shit, you can’t pinpoint a country for having the “best Black Metal.” Running a label and distro, I hear a lot of Black Metal and a lot of it is just boring or unoriginal these days unfortunately. There are too many bands and too many people reusing old ideas and just morphing it into some bullshit rip-off, done-ten-thousand-times-already garbage. I like to think that the U.S. at least has finally been put on the map in the eyes of the European scene. Bands like LEVIATHAN, XASTHUR, THRALLDOM, KRIEG, etc. have all released monumental records in the last few years that are absolutely worthy of mention, and it’s cool to see the rest of the world finally waking the fuck up and realizing that to some degree.

 

On to Battle Kommand Records…. I think it’s great that your label is putting out rarities, reissues, re-releases, and new stuff rather than concentrating on simply one of those. With Battle Kommand, it doesn’t appear to be a vehicle for you to peddle NACHTMYSTIUM incessantly – as a few disdainers have suggested – as much as it is a chance for you to unchain BM outings that should be heard. What would you say to those who peg Battle Kommand as a way to make a quick buck? What things do you consider when hunting for discs to put out?

Fuck anyone who thinks I’m doing this for some mass-financial gain. If they had any idea that I sit in front of a computer for 60+ hours a week in a one-bedroom apartment that’s flooded with boxes full of music (my living room is a warehouse practically), they probably would realize that their speculations are inaccurate. With BKR, I release the music I like. A record’s retail success potential is not the first thing I consider when debating to release an album or not. I put out ARCHGOAT’s “Angelcunt: Tales Of Desecration” on picture LP (probably the most expensive vinyl format), and that was kind of for die-hards only. It wasn’t something that I expected to make a shitload of money off of, and I didn’t. I barely made my money back, but I got the satisfaction of knowing that I got to do the official re-release of one of my favorite records of all time. As for the other stuff I put out, the XASTHUR/LEVIATHAN split CD fell into my lap because Blood Fire Death fucked around for two years with it and the bands finally decided with BFD that I should release it instead, so that just kind of happened quickly and was a lucky break for me I suppose. I love the record, and as I mentioned before, I like working with the guys from both bands. The release was a great opportunity for me as a fan and for the label.

When I listen to a demo or a record that I may consider releasing, I look for something that is very “real.” I’m a sucker for droning, depressing shit and also a sucker for totally disgusting, ugly black metal, so if it’s something that can touch on those aspects of my tastes, I’ll put it out. I’ve never released anything nor will I ever release anything that I wouldn’t buy myself if someone else put it out. We just released a great and very unknown German band called THE RUINS OF BEVERAST, and the album is called “Unlock The Shrine.” It’s a perfect example of the kind of “sound” I’d like BKR to be associated with. The record has all the best elements of Black Metal and Doom, while creating a total new twist on the style in doing so. I think people that found the creativeness of LURKER OF CHALICE to be intriguing would definitely find something they like in THE RUINS OF BEVERAST.

 

Why’d you decided to misspell “Command”? With the recent advent of Nu-Metal – a subgenre notorious for intentional misspellings – do you think you’d ever be called out for your version of “Kommand”? Black Metallers are constantly under scrutiny, as you know…. Is there anything that’s been said about you – NACHTMYSTIUM, TWILIGHT, or any other project you’ve been involved with – that has really gotten under your skin?

I chose to spell “command” with a “K” for the label because I thought it was more pleasing aesthetically in the logo. No one has ever said anything about it really. As for the people who talk shit about NACHTMYSTIUM or TWILIGHT, fuck ‘em. I don’t really give a shit what these people think. I’ve got people who support my label and my band(s), and that’s what matters. Also – I like to think that if people think you’re worth even mentioning or better yet talking shit about you, it’s only because you’re doing something they noticed. Good or bad, you got someone’s attention.

 

I think it’s difficult to predict changes in the Metal current, especially when it comes to which country is going to own a scene. France and the U.S. are currently producing the richest BM there is to be produced, which is still debatable. Any guess as to who’s going to dominate the Black Metal world within the next few years? Could be a specific country, band, album, or even individual.

I’m not sure. I agree that France and the USA have churned out some amazing music for the genre in the last couple of years, but let us not forget about bands doing great records as well that get no mention such as Russia’s OLD WAINDS or Ukraine’s DRUDKH! I think that the entire old Eastern bloc is producing some amazing music currently, particularly DRUDKH, HATE FOREST and OLD WAINDS. I’d like to think that in coming years these bands will get the exposure they definitely deserve.

 

Finally, when will DARKTHRONE play live?

Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Also, last words are yours:

NACHTMYSTIUM will be performing at the fests mentioned earlier in the interview, for all information concerning NACHTMYSTIUM, TWILIGHT or Battle Kommand Records – contact www.battlekommand.com.

Discography:

NACHTMYSTIUM

 

2001: Nachtmystium/Zalnik Split (CD, Majestic Twilight Creations)

2002: Live Onslaught (Tape, Majestic Twilight Creations)

2002: Reign Of The Malicious (CD, Regimental Records/Sombre)

2003: Nachtmystium (EP, re-release: Battle Kommand Records)

2003: Live Blitzkrieg (LP, Autopsy Kitchen Records)

2004: Nachtmystium/Xasthur Split (CD, re-release: Battle Kommand Records)

2004: The First Attacks 2000-2001 (CD, Regimental Records)

2004: Demise (CD, re-release: Battle Kommand Records)

2004: Eulogy IV (EP, re-release: Southern Lord Records/Battle Kommand Records)

2005: Live Onslaught #2 (CD, Independent)

2005: Visual Propaganda: Live From The Pits Of Damnation (DVD, Pagan Flame Productions)

2005: Nachtmystium/Krieg Daze West Split (CD, Eerie Art Records)

2006: Instinct: Decay (CD, Battle Kommand Records)

 

TWILIGHT

 

2005: Twilight (CD, Southern Lord Records)

Jason Jordan



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