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Nephente (NETHERBIRD): I have found more of a calm inside myself

Nephente (NETHERBIRD): I have found more of a calm inside myself
BANDS : Netherbird

Netherbird is a name that is not unknown for the metal music listeners in Romania. Since the group will return in autumn in the country and will participate for the first time at the festival November to Dismember, I took the opportunity and invited Nephente, vocalist and band leader, to a discussion that you can read in the lines below.


 

Metalfan: Hi Nephente and welcome to Metalfan.ro! What do you remember about Romania? What is the first good thing and the first bad thing that comes to your mind based on your experience in Romania?
Nephente: Hello and thank you, it is a pleasure talking to you! Both the band and me have extremely fond memories of Romania, we did our first festival gig ever in Satu Mare and it was such a great experience. To spontaneously pick some certain aspects I really love about this country is the people: kind, respectful and very supportive. We have had so many great gigs in Romania, and the crowd is always great, both when we hang out with people before or after the show and when we are on stage. I also get a sense that the metal scene is a bit more open-minded and interested in discovering new bands, a bit like it was in Scandinavia in the early 90’s. And the county is beautiful, but still it is the people and the metal scene that come to mind. I have actually never had any negative memories from Romania, besides hangovers but that is how it should be after good parties.

Metalfan: Netherbird is far from being an unknown band for the metal fans in Romania, but for those who don't know you yet, it would be great if you could tell us the story of the band in a few words...
Nephente: Netherbird is metal band from Sweden and we started out in 2004, though it took until 2010 before we did any shows. We have released three albums and a number of EP:s and singles as well. Most of our stuff is actually free to download: netherbird.bandcamp.com.

We play our own blend of metal with a lot of influences from black and death metal, but we also have some doom and heavy metal there as well. We have our fourth full-length album coming out in October 2016 and we will premiere some of the tracks from that album when we perform at November to Dismember fest. We are all looking forward to that!

Metalfan: Netherbird have split up in 2014, but have reunited in 2016. What was the reason that pushed you in this direction to bring back to life the group? Please, tell us more...
Nephente: We had to take a break to regain our inspiration and to think a bit about what we wanted Netherbird to be and where to go. We had been active for ten years and made three albums, so it was needed to take a step back and reflect. I guess that says quite a bit about us as people. We are passionate and we need constant inspiration, and we want to see ourselves making the band better constantly, and we felt we had done the same thing for a bit too long. But the time when we were away has been used for a lot of rehearsals and also to focus on making our upcoming album The Grander Voyage. And now we are back and we will keep busier than ever, but we will do fewer live shows for some time; but when we got the chance to return to Romania we all knew it would be the perfect time to put the band on the stage again.

Metalfan: What else have you done in this time when you've been away from the scene with Netherbird?

Nephente: Me and Bizmark have been working a lot with Netherbird actually and we have endless creativity going, so we have already started to work on the next album, but that is for another interview, haha. Personally I have been doing some recordings alongside old Netherbird member Grim for his new project called Arx Mortem. There is an EP recorded and it will be out at some point. It will not be any live gigs or anything but it is always a pleasure to make extreme music, and I was quite happy to work with him again.

Me and Tobias (lead guitars) also created a new band called RIKET (Swedish for “The Kingdom”) where we let our passion for crude death metal out. We wrote and recorded four tunes and brought in Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates etc) in to do the drums. Adrian is an old member of Netherbird, so it was fun to work with him again as well. The EP is out, so those that want to hear a less melodic side of me should check out riket.bandcamp.com and www.riket.org.

I have also been working on a book project, among other things. So I tend to keep busy at all times.

Metalfan: The new version of the band features Fredrik Andersson (ex-Amon Amarth) on drums. How did you convince him to play drums in Netherbird? What do you think that it's the most important thing that he brings in your music?
Nephente: Fredrik Andersson is a friend of mine since some years, so when he left Amon Amarth we had decided to bring new life to Netherbird and had no drummer, so it was natural to ask him since I knew he wanted to keep playing music. So it wasn’t very dramatic, but I am of course damn happy to have him as a part of the band. We have rehearsed together and it feels damn good, but the first time we are on stage together will be in Bucharest when we come there in November.

Fredrik brings a lot of experience to the band, he is a seasoned veteran when it comes to live shows and the business, so that is of course a great addition on top of him being the perfect drummer for our music. I also really like his sense of humour, and the chemistry of the band is great these days; we also have a new bass player Micke André who also is a great musician and a great dude, and they have both added a lot to the band dynamics and our sound. 

 

 
Metalfan: So, The Grander Voyage, your fourth full-length album will be released this year in October. Could you explain us the title of this record?
Nephente: I try to keep both titles and lyrics open for every listener to find their own meaning in. But to me “The Grander Voyage” is about the perspective I have gotten on life as I have become older. I was a very frustrated and sometimes angry person when I was younger, but with time I have come to see things a bit different and I have found more of a calm inside myself. So this album is my way to describe that growth, or evolution. But I think every listener who reads my lyrics can find their own meaning in them and I hope “The Grander Voyage” will mean something else to them.

Metalfan: Will it be released by Scarecrow Music Group just like your previous album from 2013 (The Ferocious Tides of Fate) or would you like to work with a different label? Could you tell us more about this decision?

Nephente: We will release The Grander Voyage through Black Lodge Records in Stockholm, Sweden. We have been working with these guys for years since they are part of Sound Pollution that distributes all our albums. So we had a meeting with them where we described where Netherbird is going and they liked what they heard and offered us to join forces. They have been doing extreme metal for ages and I really respect them and what they have created, so it feels fantastic to work with them for this release.

Metalfan: Will the musical direction of Netherbird be in the same approach of the one from the previous record or are you looking forward to try something else?
Nephente: In the past we have been holding back a bit, to be truthful, sometimes not going “all the way” since we were a bit afraid it might scare our fans. With the passing of time we have grown more into the band and have started to broaden our sound and the way we write songs. One example of this is Along The Colonnades on our previous album, there me and Bizmark actually wrote without any limitations exactly what came into our minds, and that song was written in one evening.

The Grander Voyage we wrote together in perhaps two weeks, and much of what we recorded in the first demo version is actually what ended up on the album... Less changes and more spontaneous. I think that is also very evident to our listeners, this is a more dynamic and sometimes surprising album than anything we have written. It is not a big change style-wise, we are who we are and we sound like we do, but now we let more of our “colours” show. This album has some of our fastest songs ever, but it also has acoustic passages that are parts of the songs rather than interludes. Netherbird will always be an extreme band, and we will never change that, but we need to evolve in order to enjoy what we do!

Metalfan: Speaking of trying something else, would you consider embracing a solo different musical approach like David Vincent (ex-Morbid Angel) or Nergal (Behemoth) for example? What do you think about their non-metal works?

Nephente: I must admit I haven’t listened to either of these solo works. But I will of course! I think it is pretty natural for artists to do different things. I have RIKET where I get to do death metal. But personally Netherbird is everything I really need so I have no real urge to make something drastically different, but I guess Dave and Nergal needed to and I applaud them for doing so. I have a lot of other interests than music so I tend to do that rather than a lot of different musical adventures, but we are all different!

Metalfan: How many new songs are ready at this time? Could you tell us some of the titles of these songs?
Nephente: The album and two singles are done, in total nine tracks. Each single will have one tune from the album and one exclusive tune, so for those too lazy to do the math that means the album will have 7 tunes. I can actually reveal the titles and release dates:

Windwards (single) release date 2016-06-28
Pillars of the Sky (single) release date 2016-09-28
The Grander Voyage (album) release date 2016-10-28

Metalfan: Even if we want or not, politics affect our lives in a way or another. What are your views regarding the whole wave of terrorist attacks that have happened in the last time in Europe? How can this madness stop?
Nephente: Nobody can be really neutral to innocent people being slaughtered by religious fanatics. It is terrible and we do need to find a way to stop it. But obviously bombs and border controls does not help. Our only way is of course short term to do our very best in stopping these events, but it near impossible to defend ourselves from people who are ready to die for their cause. So we need to hurt them back by education. Enlightenment is what made religion lose its grip of Europe, at least the more dangerous aspects of religion. So we must remain resistant, defend what we have created as a civilization and fight back with education, reason and science. It will take a long time, but with Internet and a world where more people travel thoughts move faster and spread wider. That is our only chance of addressing this issue, we must cure it by attacking the very root of the problem and that problem is religion that makes people ready to die and to murder in order to reach a paradise that does not exist. This is by no means a weak stance, it will take all we got to succeed and we must fight the poison of dogmatic religion wherever it appears, not just in the Middle east, it is all around us. That being said I am fine with people believing in whatever they like, as long as it does not inspire them to kill innocents.

Metalfan: Euro 2016 it's here. What did you expect from the mighty Zlatan Ibrahimović and the national football team of Sweden?
Nephente: Haha, funny, I am most likely the one in Netherbird who knows the least about football. I have heard of Zlatan though... In all seriousness, not even Zlatan has what it takes to help Sweden go far this time, we have a too weak team currently. I look forward to see some matches on TV if it happens to be on when I am at a bar, but as for who will win, I have no idea!

Metalfan: Here at Metalfan.ro we are fans of mix-tapes. I personally believe that a mix-tape it's a good way to understand what are the musical influences of a person and also a good way to discover interesting bands. Would you like to choose 12 songs from 12 different bands for a "virtual mix-tape"? Which it would be the title of this compilation?
Nephente: Ah, great question. I am currently sitting on a train so I got some time to ponder about this one.

“Dark Variations”

01. Fields of the Nephilim – Dawnrazor
02. Loreena McKinnit – Dante’s Prayer
03. The Ugly – I am death
04. Entrails – The Epitome of Death
05. Current 93 and Nick Cave – All the pretty little horses
06. Suicide Syndicate – Reject the Daylight
07. October Tide – Of Wounds to Come
08. So Hideous – Yesteryear
09. Sig:Ar:Tyr – Eternal Return
10. Crippled Black Phoenix – Hold On (Goodbye to all of that)
11. Bob Wayne – Spread my ashes on the highway
12. Rome – A legacy of Unrest

Metalfan: This year you will perform with Netherbird at the third edition of November to Dismember Metal Fest. What have you heard so far about this festival?
Nephente: We have heard a lot of good about November to Dismember Fest from bands that played there and since we know Coro and have been working with him before it felt natural for us to see if it was possible to make something happen 2016. So now we look forward to perform at this great event alongside a lot of great bands and in the company of the awesome Romanian metal crowd. We look forward to it!
 

 
Metalfan: Thank you for your time and for your answers! In the end would you like to add something or to send a few words to our readers?
Nephente: Make sure to listen to our music, most of it is for free download from Bandcamp. Make sure to listen to our upcoming releases and see you at November to Dismember Metal Fest 2016. Noroc!
Autor: H.
   July 08, 2016  | 0 Comments  | 2869 Views « BACK

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