Nocturnal have existed over 9 years. I’m impressed that you have managed to keep the spirit of this music alive for as long as you have. Do you feel that you are at a comfortable point now in 2009 in the existence of the band?
I think at this point we do have the best feeling in the band ever since we started. And musically we’re in best condition I would say. I hope we can manage to keep the flag of hate high as long as possible…
How is it like today, writing, recording, rehearsing music and playing live, in contrast to when you first started around 2000? Is this a special time for Nocturnal?
In 2000 I started the band alone. So compared to that it’s way different than today. Nowadays me and Hellbastard work on the song arrangement until the song is done in a raw form, then Tyrannizer puts in the lyrics and if necessary we change something in the arrangement or add something here and there…
I got finally your new album “Violent Revenge” and I’m very satisfied with the final result, one of the best Thrash Metal albums for 2009 as sure. True old school German Steel! Your comment:
Today, about 4 months after we finished the album in the studio I’m still very satisfied with how it turned out, there’s still nothing I would change afterwards. When we recorded Arrival of the Carnivore there was one song which bored me already while recording it, and some other parts shortly afterwards. The sound of the Arrival… album is another thing which I think could have been a lot better. But that’s to a large part our own fault, this time we had a more clear vision of what the result should be and we could tell the producer better what we want. Last time we thought “He’ll make it…” but he didn't….
Anyway, if everything would have been perfect at the first album we would have nothing to improve at the next album, right ? Therefore I hope I’ll find some things to improve on Violent Revenge, otherwise we’ll have a problem recording next time, ha ha….
What is your favourite track from the new album? My fave is “Creation of the Possessed” with the Sodom like headbanging riff in the first part.
If you would ask me that about Arrival… I would easily name 2 or 3 songs, but with the new one I have no favourite really. I love them all…. I don’t think Creation.. sounds anything like SODOM. Listen to Atomic Warfare or Beast of Hades beginnings and you’ll hear some obvious SODOM inspired riffs…. If you like Creation… you should check our split 7” with ARMOUR where is a demo recording of that song with me on vocals, he he. I’ve warned you….
Tell me some great stories about the recording sessions of the new album!
I don’t think there’s anything exciting to tell really. We went into a metal bar in Koblenz and drink quite a lot a couple of times after the studio, but nothing special happened beside me sleeping while standing next to a cigarette machine. In the studio Wally the producer fell asleep a couple of times during recording but that’s nothing special either…
I have only one problem with the new album, the vocals. I think a bit monotone, Metallic Mayhem did a better job on Arrival, what do you think about?
I completely disagree! Listen again more close and you'll noctice the vocals have way more variety than on Arrival. For example compare Slaughter Command to the rest, also you will find lot's of different “Ryhme” parts, on Arrival they where more or less the same on every track. Preventive War being an exception because of Blumi doing the vocals and the lyrics. I had to tell Mayhem every word how I wanted it, it was really hard working with him because he had problems thinking of vocal lines himself. So his “job” as you say is more or less what I told him to do. I don't want to work like that, I want my singer to work out lyrics and lines him/herself as much as possible. On Violent Revenge 7 out of 10 lyrics are done by me, you will notice the most difference in vocal structure if you listen to the tracks Tyrannizer wrote. Take Hellhunt, Disgracer and Hells Forces and compare it to the others, I think you can find a difference in there!
Arrival of the Carnivore contains songs with dates ranging from the early years to 2004. Can you please talk more on the recording of this album? Did the band as a whole decide on which songs to include on this album, or only you yourself? What is your relationship like with the others today?
All songs for Arrival… we wrote between 2003 and 2004. Most of them where written in about the first half of 2004. There where no songs to choose from … That’s all we had at that time. The relationship in the band is very good, we have the same vision of what NOCTURNAL should be and that’s the most important thing.
What’s happened with the picture LP version of the “Arrival of the Carnivore” album? I’m talking about the missing track(s), which appearing an a chip cd-r as bonus.
It’s explained on the backside of the CD-R ! The original vinyl had the VIOLENT FORCE cover “Sign of evil” as bonus, but I fucked it up and forgot to add the bonus track to the master CD-R of the Picture LP edition! Hurricane of Master’s Throne Records only noticed it after he approved the test pressings so we had to find a solution. And I think adding this CD-R was a whole better idea than NOT giving the people the vinyl bonus track at all. The song was listed on the tracklist of the cover sleeve, so we knew people will ask us about it, so we thought that´s the best idea. We added a live song with Reaper on vocals who was our singer during that time. He quit the band some time after….
What bands or releases have most influenced your music, that you consider your favorites?
In general everything I listen to or hear somewhere can influence me to write a good song. But bands like METALLICA (Kill ‘em all ONLY), DESTRUCTION, SLAYER, KREATOR, SODOM, RAZOR and SEPULTURA are the reason why NOCTURNAL do exist. DESTRUCTION are the main reason….
Do you have some favorite songs from this album, or from earlier releases? What makes a song most successful or rewarding for you? My favorite songs from the Arrival of the Carnivore right now are Temples of Sin, Merciless Murder and Victorious Night, but I can say honestly, that I love the whole album as fucking hell!
My fave tracks from Arrival… are Preventive War, Awakening the curse of souls and Merciless Murder. From earlier releases Forces of Night from the Slaughter Command 7” and The Final End from the Fire or Revenge 7” are great songs I hold in high regards.
I’m not sure what makes a song good, I think for everyone this is different. For example I don’t understand what people like at Victorious Night, I just can’t listen to that one mostly because of the vocals which do sing along with the riff, I can’t stand that ….
What’s happened with your previous singer Metallic Mayhem? I read somewhere, that he was kicked off from the band, why? If I’m not wrong he is in Witchburner now.
Maybe he got kicked, I know he thinks that way. He is the singer for WITCHBURNER and he was for already a year when I told him to decide for one band. It made some problems in the time schedule, he wasn’t there when we rehearsed because he was doing something with WITCHBURNER. You should know that they are something like 200km away from where Mayhem lives and where NOCTURNAL do rehearse. So it’s not like he can attend to 2 rehearsals the same day. They are a very active band as well, and with NOCTURNAL we planned on doing more live shows again and it was only a question of time when serious problems will occur because of this. It worked for him with 2 bands when NOCTURNAL where quite inactive because I became a father in 2005 and had to concentrate on my family more. Then again Mayhem isn’t exactly the guy who can handle 2 bands. He is more like the “things will go on whatever I do, I don’t care” type of guy. It wasn’t an easy decision for the band, especially for Hellbastard since Mayhem is his brother. But he thinks too that Mayhem wasn’t giving 100% for NOCTURNAL and it’s not fair keeping someone in the band who concentrates on another band while everyone else is trying to give the best for NOCTURNAL…
Do you consider yourself a theist, a materialist, Satanist or something else? Do you think there is something more to reality than energy and matter, and what physicist today construe the four fundamental forces? Do you think there is such a thing as the supernatural, or that the supernatural can be possible?
No, I strictly don’t believe in anything spiritual or supernatural. That’s all complete bullshit. I believe that everything on this world can be explained in one way or another. If we can explain it with our current knowledge or not is another thing, but it’s in human’s nature to look for answers and philosophers and religions where giving easy answers to everything. Only few questioned those answers and where looking into other directions be it Satanism on a more spiritual side or alchemy which was already a more scientific way. I believe in the system of the “Survival of the fittest” not that I think that’s great but I have accepted that our world works this way. So concerning ghost stories, myths, legends, religions, philosophies, aliens or whatever I’m a strictly non believer.
BUT that doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in all of that. I see most of it as entertaining fiction and I can sometimes understand why people at a certain time (even today) do believe in those things. Take for example the Nordic or Greek mythology that’s something I can understand and follow in some way. All the gods are more or less metaphors for very earthly things and happenings. So there’s a direct link to reality, I don’t see this is in Christianity or any other religion. The lyrics to Beast of Hades were obviously inspired by the Greek mythology… Materialist? Maybe when it comes to my vinyl collection, he.
Why do you think Thrash Metal and not black metal, death metal, or something else, has become your form of musical expression? Do you think Thrash Metal will ever die, fade away?
Well, maybe this isn’t the right question asking to me since I have so many bands in different playing other forms of music. I simply can’t put all my ideas into one band and still keep it “pure” if you know what I mean. Most of the time I don’t like Black/Death/Thrash Mix bands… They are not pure. I think the music lacks something if you put trademarks of certain metal genres into one song. It can work, but most of the time it does not, at least not for me. As all metal thrash will never die, but it will go more underground again. Like it happened to Death metal and Black metal….
How do you feel about the renaissance of Thrash Metal nowadays? Do you perceive any dramatic differences in quality from the 80s? any differences in direction or aim?
I haven’t heard much from the new hyped thrash bands so can’t comment on that. We’ll see who’s left in a few years… I don’t think there’s anything different than in the 80´s. There where crap bands too who just played whatever to get success….
Do you think the internet has hurt music, or improved upon it in some way? How central is the internet to your life?
Well, I don’t think it has hurt the music in some way, and it’s way easier to get news and everything about bands and gigs. It hurts the “music industry” yes, but people in underground metal shouldn’t care and in the other way it helps to spread non commercial music. It made things sometimes very uninteresting because you get bombed with tons of useless information. I think it’s sad many bands set up a myspace page even before they recorded some songs just to tell anyone which songs they are currently working on and when they want to record a demo and that the guy they checked for the bass guitar last week didn’t show up at rehearsal today and so on. Stop spreading useless crap no one cares about.
I might say the internet in my life has a very important factor. I work as a technician who set’s up/fixes internet/phone lines and equipment. Without the internet I would be pretty much unemployed. The problem and the same time good thing is that everything you did through other ways/sources you can now do through the internet. The problem with that is that you are very dependant from those damn computers these days…
A cliché question but what does each of you do outside of the band, as a way of earning a living?
What I do I told already in the last question, he. I’m not sure if the others want that I tell here what they do. 2 of them are studying…
Are you generally pleased to live in Germany? What is it like, living in your hometown?
Yes, I can honestly say that I like to live here. Sure there are problems like everywhere else, but in general life is OK here, I’m free enough to do what I want and can live a more or less secure life. My hometown is very small, only 1200 people living here, it’s a village area, the next bigger city has about 80000 citizens.
Are there any magazine/fanzines that you follow today? Any favorites? Any that you think should stop production? What’s your opinion of print magazines over webzines? Of metal journalism at all?
I prefer printed zines over webzines any day. I rarely read an interview on a webzine. Reasons are that I sit already enough in front of that damn computers and I prefer having paper in my hands while reading. I do really enjoy zines like ANCIENT SPIRIT TERROR, THRASH ATTACK, HELLPIKE, EVIL’s BEST, PAGAN HAMMER and many others.
A few years before, you put to ice your label Deathstrike Records, but in the last months some releases came out under the Deathstrike banner. What’s the current situation with your label and if you planning to release some new stuff in the near future feel free to promote it in few words.
Well, DEATHSTRIKE isn’t very active as a label, but not dead as I announced it few years ago. I do have some releases planned which will be out next as the PHANTOM 7” EP and the EXORCISM / NOMINON Split 7”EP. I will get on putting out a release or 2 a year under the DEATHSTRIKE banner.
Please comment your bands in few sentences:
Well, this is my main band which I dedicate the most time to. We rehearse regularly and do live shows.
This one is even older than NOCTURNAL, I play some kind of old school black metal influenced by bands such as BURZUM, GRAND BELIAL’s KEY, TORMENTOR and the Greek 90´s black metal bands. A new MLP will be released on 10” and CD by Undercover Records soon. And the vinyl edition of Black spells of the damned as well as a “new” 7” will be out these days through Hell’s Headbangers.
Was more a one time thing of pre SARCÓFAGO worship music. I recorded 4 tracks in 2003 and a polish friend of mine did the vocals. Those recordings were released on a 7”EP the next year. Too bad we never managed to do some more recordings…
Angel of Damnation
AOD is traditional doom metal in the vein of BLACK SABBATH, PENTAGRAM, ST.VITUS, CANDLEMASS and so on. We’re currently working heavily (unlike the last 4 years) on a full length album which we want to record this summer. Hellbastard (Nocturnal drummer) is playing in this band as well.
This is the pre-NOCTURNAL band. We tried playing old school thrash from 1997 ‘til 2000 when we buried the band because of trouble with each other, or better to say I went on alone with the same aims under the name NOCTURNAL,
Well, kind of a one time thing as well. Recorded one demo in the BEHERIT style, but with shitty PC drums. My friend Ricardo Necrosadist from UNHOLY MASSACRE did some backing vocals on this one. The same lineup formed a new band in 2007 called SCALARE…
Formed in 2005 we play old death metal influenced by AUTOPSY, NUNSLAUGHTER as well as all the old Swedish bands. We rarely rehearse and record something, but we plan on recording a full 7” still this year. One of the few having a full line up other than me….
Some people say it sounds the same as FRONT BEAST, well maybe when you compare it with older FB stuff. But nowadays I’m heading into 2 very different directions with both. SZARLEM is more the lo-fi polish/French black metal style and it has some keyboards here and there….
Black Priest of Satan
Black metal with down tuned guitars and some doom parts implemented in the sound. Would be nothing without the incredible voice of Molestor Kadotus, a friend of mine from Finland. He is known for his other bands ANAL BLASPHEMY and MUSTA KAPELLI for example…
Do you have free time for other activities beside the music and your label?
Well, I’m married and father of a 4 year old daughter, with my fulltime job and a house to take care of I’m quite busy I would say. But I have no other hobbies than metal anyway…
Thank you Evil Avenger, for your response to my questions.
Thanks for the interview and support! All hail evil thrash!