Monday, September 7, 2015

Nekyia Orchestra Interview

Interview w/ DoomedToDarkness Zine
Answers by: Wolf (full name: Wolf-Georg Zaddach), guitar and composition

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We’re a 5-piece band from Berlin, Germany, founded in 2012 as an instrumental band. After playing a few shows we quickly decided that we wanted to work with a vocalist, too. In summer 2013 our vocalist Felix joined us. We had all played in several different bands and projects before, from sludge to death metal to jazz. Our music can probably described is a compelling and progressive combination of such different sounds and style.

2.So far you have put out 2 releases, how would you describe the musical sound that is present on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
The sound quality developed a lot between the two recordings. Our first EP “Limbus”, released in 2013, is rather rough and unfinished production-wise - the vocals, especially, are not intense enough. It was a first demo recording. The step between the first EP and “Magnum Chaos” is huge, I think. In Backdraft Audio from Berlin we found a very professional working producer who really helped us enhance our sound. We’re really proud about the crisp and manifold sound of the album. Every instrument and the voice are important for the overall sound, everyone plays an important role in the music. He really understood that. We also developed a lot musically, I think. The first EP had an overall dark and doom-ish sound, whereas “Magnum Chaos” is way more diversified. We combined more diverse musical sub-genres of metal and tried to create a unique sound.

3.Your lyrics cover Greek mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
Greek mythology offers a lot of inspiration, especially the themes of tragedy, pain and suffering in combination with deeper philosophical insights. A lot of timeless problems and fears and the unfathomable depths of human nature are reflected upon within Greek mythology. It offers us a very abstract way to talk about extremely complex problems we observe in our society today – they still work, so to say. The lyrics aren’t meant to be a nostalgic retelling of old myths at all. The Song “Charon” for example isn’t just a story about the ferryman who takes the souls of the damned to Hades. It’s also a story about depression and isolation. Our vocalist Felix, who wrote all the lyrics, uses the ferryman as a metaphor for the escape people seek in suicide. It’s a very dark song.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Nekyia Orchestra'?
A nekyia is a necromantic rite in Greek mythology. It narrates how a godlike hero or a human being walks down through the fires of Hades and bring a doomed soul back to life. It describes the power that pure willpower can develop to face Thanatos and the inevitable death he brings. It’s a myth about unbreakable desire and extreme willpower. We found it very fitting to describe the uncompromising sound of our music. A journey through death and hell, and back to life, accompanied by a modern, dark sounding orchestra.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We played a lot of amazing shows in the past years. Highlights this year were, for sure, the Doom Rotten Death Fest in Berlin and just a few weeks ago a show with Rosetta from Philadelphia. Some of the best and most fun shows were probably the spontaneous DIY-shows we played in abandoned houses and squats. Those were insane. I remember a gig we played in a squat in Berlin. There was no stage, we just played right in the middle of the audience. It was way too loud, it was extremely hot and the acoustic was horrible. On a show like that the band just becomes a part of the audience which creates an unbelievable atmosphere.
Our stage performances are in generally pretty intense, I think. We usually have little and minimalistic cold light from the ground, and everyone moves heavily the way he likes and feels in the moment. Together with the music it’s hopefully an experience of pure compelling energy.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yeah, we’ll have a few shows this year in the beginning of October and November. We hope to play some festivals in 2016 and maybe put a little tour together to cities where we haven’t played yet. Booking for an unsigned band, however, isn’t easy. But we’re really excited to hit the stage again – we can’t wait.

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yeah, we’re still unsigned. We’d definitely be happy to find a good deal at some point. We did negotiate with labels for that album but couldn’t find a solution. Honestly, I think the most labels we contacted didn’t even, unfortunately, listen to our stuff. The music business is pretty tough, and the first steps, especially for young bands, are very hard. 

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
The album has been out for several days now and we already got great feedback from fans and journalists from Argentina, the UK, and Russia. In general, the support of the community is awesome. We just released a video for “Odyssey,” too. This video is a professional and great production by fans and friends of the band, who got inspired by the music and the lyrics – and presented us with that. We’re really grateful for that. We’re also a little bit proud that one of our just few Facebook likes is from Jason Netherton of Misery Index.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’re looking for a unique sound. We really love to bring together many different subgenre-sounds in a narrative way. That’s why our songs are usually a bit longer. I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to write a 3:30 min song. Would be an interesting challenge though… The first new songs of the next album combine post-black metal and groove sounds in a progressive manner, with a jazz fusion touch in harmony and rhythms. We definitely want to make the music we like and can stand up for.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We all embrace a lot of musical styles. I studied, for example, jazz guitar and musicology, and have been a metalhead since my teenage times (I am even writing a Ph.D. about metal). So I listen all the time to jazz, classical music, and of course metal. If the band would have a shared playlist, it would probably include music by Between the Buried and Me, Lord Mantis, Celeste, The Contortionist, The Bad Plus, Decapitated, Opeth, Wayne Krantz, Nile, KRS-One, Intronaut, Shostakovich, to name just a few spontaneously. A common ground for our sound are definitely Neurosis and Meshuggah, for their expressivity and musical vision.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Music is everything, everything is music.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Folks, if you are into interesting, complex extreme metal music, listen to our stuff on Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes or so, support us and spread the word. Thanks a lot! 

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