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
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
We actually had a chance to play with SUNN and BORIS together (and THRONES) in
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
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
I’m not sure. I agree that
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.
NACHTMYSTIUM 2001: Nachtmystium/Zalnik 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 2006: Instinct: Decay (CD, TWILIGHT 2005: Twilight (CD, Southern Lord Records)
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
2006: Instinct: Decay (CD,
2005: Twilight (CD, Southern Lord Records)
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