Kindra Ravenmoon gets some insight on the band Nothgard and their latest album titled "Age Of Pandora" from the band's drummer D. Ziegler.
On your website you state the history as to when and how Nothgard came to be however my question is: what is it that inspired you to put together such a band and create music of this nature?
At the very beginning it was just the love of the music and the big desire to do so like our big idols.
What inspires you/the band now a days? What is your inspiration to create music, what is your drive?
Nowadays music is the funnel to spread out some deeper intensions, feelings and attitudes. But there are also the fans who move us forward.
It appears that most if not all of the band members also take roles in other bands and not just simple projects but serious established outfits such as Wolfchant and Equilibrium. Does this effect Nothgard's direction and does the shadow of these other bands play a factor with influencing Nothgard's music?
Definitely not. Wolfchant and Nothgard are two separate bands. Dom writes all the material of Nothgard and I think you can hear that when comparing Nothgard with Wolfchant and Equilibrium. Dom joined Equilibrium after the newest Nothgard album was written, so songwriting-wise there isn't a (big) influence. Nothgard is it's own thing, and we are keeping it that way, making one of a kind epic music. We will always be keeping our road.
Aren't you scared that with all the recording and touring with various other bands outside from Nothgard will burn you guys out?
Of course playing with Equilibrium and Nothgard is very stressful and demands a tight schedule, e.g. just this weekend Dom had to play three shows with three different bands in three days (!). You have to stay healthy and it is very exhausting giving 100% on every show. But making music and performing is what we love doing and is some sort of 'relaxing' as we love going on stage even though it can be exhausting. But one may also not forget that playing shows is just a small part from all the bands work you have to handle when playing in a band.
There has been a long wait between your first album "Warhorns Of Midgard" and your latest work of art "Age Of Pandora" -why so long?
It's true that it all took a long time. One aspect e.g. has been the line-up change over the time after "Warhorns Of Midgard" was released. We also took our time writing "Age Of Pandora" as we wanted to create an epic album with the best songs and material we had. We weren't lazy over all that time, but worked very hard writing and creating the songs we will be releasing in September, and we think that it is hearable on the album! You won't find any fill-in songs or something like that, only songs with which we are 100% comfortable!
"Age Of Pandora" is really a masterful piece of art and it really stands out and beyond what you have done in past. Musically with the recording what did you change-what did you do different this time around?
The whole material on "Age Of Pandora" was written and created by Dom R. Crey, the same goes for "Warhorns Of Midgard". I think that over the time you develop, change yourself and get better on your instruments which all leads to this fact that one album is never the same than the one before. One aspect has also been, that we changed the studio and took our time to get the best sound we could achieve. We have tried lot's of stuff, e.g. loads of different amps and recording techniques and I think this all leads to the point that the new album got the epic sound it has.
With everything we do in life especially with a creative mind there is a continuous learning process and a unquenchable curiosity. The intelligent mind learns through experimentation,trial and error. Tell me what have you as a band learned over the years and what lessons of you learned through recording? Also what have you learned with recording of this new album "Age Of Pandora"?
One important aspect was, that you shouldn't push the creating process! As I said, we have taken our time to write the whole material on the new album. We had tons of song ideas before, but put lot's of it aside as we only wanted to put the best stuff on the new record we had, and even when we thought the song would already be finished, we still changed stuff on it, even though they were mostly just small aspects. Writing songs takes it's time, I think you could say it's a growing process. Dom told us one he has tried to play one and the same notes in different styles just to hear if there is any advantage. For the orchestration it’s also better for him to work during the night or at least start later the day. The same goes of course for recording the guitars. We think recording stuff is the best practices and much more useful than tons of rehearsals if you wanna better play your stuff.
"Age Of Pandora" --what does it mean? and what does this mean to you, how did you come up with such a title?
It was up to Dom again. The album was called different before. I don’t remember right but I think something like "In Hatred United". But as said before we recollect our ideas and add something, change something and sometimes even come up with total new ideas. This was exactly what happened. One day Dom R. Crey said, “hey guys I would like to name the album "Age Of Pandora" due to some new and important inspirations. I have to change some lyrics but at the end it all fits better”. Well yep this was the way how it turned out this time. "Age Of Pandora" on the one hand stands for our new musical orientation and power. We have changed, grown and become adults. So it’s a new “AGE” for us. On the other side the lyrics are about more serious topics this time. Not singly mythology like on "Warhorns Of Midgard". This time Dom wrote about the good and the evil, the light and the shadow in the world and among us. There is even one song 'Black Witch Venture' which deals with the very serious topic child-abuse. Our society is fucked up, from the depth within, all so called authorities are the blackest seed and people who obviously seem to help others are just about to exploit their weakness. But there are also passages of hope like in 'Wings Of Dawn'. Pandora is the person in the ancient mythology which symbolizes both sides and this is more or less what the album is all about.
Your work with "Age Of Pandora" is simply amazing ,technical but still very melodic holding melody with a mature aggression. Are the members of Nothgard musically educated or are you all self taught?
Not everyone was musically educated, especially not in the metal genre, as this is something we learned ourselves and will always keep doing, developing ourselves on the instrument. The one and only who worked as guitar teacher was Dom. He overtook the students of his former guitar-teacher at the age of 16 and had to learn the harmonies and theory of music but it also was self taught or that stuff what you learn from your teacher. No big education at all.
Ok you've got 3 guitarists ,how did this come about and where did you come up with such a concept,like how did you know it would work?
We weren't sure at the first time, but after we tried it, it all sounded awesome as we got much more power life and are able to play the songs without missing power e.g. at solo parts. We got one lead guitar and two rhythm guitars, so there will always be a powerful guitar wall coming right at your face!
You've got a very mystical vibe which laces each track on this album with the keyboard work however I noticed with your current lineup there is no official keyboard player-will you have a keyboardist when you support this album live or are the keys just for the recording?
Everything you hear on the new album, you will hear live! Even tough you won't be seeing a keyboard player on stage, as we use live samples. Compared to the line up before, this is much more comfortable.
You call your music epic melodic death metal,well "Age Of Pandora" really actually is an epic work-where do you think this album will take the band's future? How are you going to top this album or do you think that you will be able to?
You never know what comes next. This also applys to the next album we will be writing. I think we've managed to top "Warhorns Of Midgard" with the new album "Age Of Pandora", and hopefully we will be able to top "Age Of Pandora" with our next record, even though I think it will be very very hard, especially sound-wise as we already tried to get the best sound possible. But you can definitely expect us to work our asses off topping "Age Of Pandora". I think the sky and the mind are the only limits here.
Where do you think or where do you want Nothgard to be 10 years from now?
Our goal is to get bigger and more known, which in my opinion will be happening with the release of "Age Of Pandora", as we already will be touring twice, promoting the album. Of course we would also like to play the big festivals and more tours as this is what we love to do!
I thank you on behalf of myself and on behalf of BRUTALISM.COM for taking the time to answer these questions . It has been a pleasure to interview you.
Thank you for the interview. D. Ziegler.