ANAAL NATHRACK : interview with
interview by Haavard Holm ___
official website: www.anaal-nathrakh.tk
LISTEN TO THE FUCKING MUSIC AND DECIDE IF YOU LIKE IT
my part there is very little doubt on what the best Black Metal release of
2004 would be. ANAAL NATHRAKH's "Domine Non Es Dignus" (released
by Season of Mist) ran over anything else in the genre this year, with
blasting, raw Black Metal, still infested with somewhat melodic tendencies
in a rather unique mixture.
just had to get in touch with vocalist V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and his opinions
around the new album, and he could also give me some more insight to what
the band also stand for outside just the musical side...
- First of all, I must say that "Domine Non Es Dignus" to me
is the highlight in the whole Black Metal genre this year, do
would you compare your debut "Codex Necro", your follow-up MCD
"When Fire Rains..." and this new effort ?
new album is broader, it has more of everything.
Some people have mentioned the more melodic aspects, and it's true
they sound like a new element. But
most bands who say thing like that are really talking about the fact that
they've become easier to listen to and more... nice.
Not Anaal Nathrakh. There's
some huge melodies, but also the fastest song we've ever done, and some
sections of total ferocious insanity.
The new album is just more of everything.
do the band handle the song-writing process ? With this kind of very
aggressive music it tells me that the band
necessarily. Anaal Nathrakh comes naturally to us, it is a part of how we
think about music. Plus we're
not so concerned with making sure everything sounds like typical Anaal
Nathrakh - we just do what we want to hear.
The song writing process is very simple.
Irrumator writes all the music, then I put the vocals on.
We spend a long time before starting work on a recording discussing
our ideas and coming up with things we want to use and so on.
So by the time Irrumator picks his guitar up, he's already got a
lot of the stuff in his head. The
music for this album was mostly written in about 3-4 weeks.
Once it's all recorded, we do the vocals and other parts that might
go on top of the music in sessions of a few hours at a time over a week or
two, simply because of the way we work in the studio and the fact that we
have the luxury of time because we record ourselves.
Most of the material is sorted out before we get into the studio,
so it's just a case of arranging what parts and ideas go where in terms of
the different sounds we can use. A
lot of the vocal styles are decided quite spontaneously, so there's not so
much of an organized writing process needed.
being a very rough experience, the track "Do Not Speak" is a
fantastic affair, but with more melodic leads and
came together in the same way most of our songs do - on the spot.
When Irrumator writes and records the music, it can still be
difficult to hear what the finished track will sound like.
We add bits and come up with ideas right through to the end of the
recording process, and the vocals and other sounds we add can change a
track a lot. So for example
the chorus on 'Do Not Speak' just came into my head when we were listening
to the track to record the vocals. So
until we actually did it, we didn't know exactly how the song would turn
out. It's not the only strong track on the album, but it was one
of our favourites. Because of
the way we work, part of the mixing and mastering process it to take rough
mixes to pubs and get them played over the sound systems, to get a
different perspective on what needs to be done.
And it was that track we used to begin with.
me if comparing AN to any band, it would have to be with Emperor, also
something that I've seen several other
It's not a problem, but we generally think it's irrelevant. It's gratifying to be placed in the company of talented musicians and writers like Emperor of course, but it doesn't really change anything in the end. Personally, I'm not sure where the Emperor comparison comes from because I don't think we sound particularly like them. Yeah, we both use a bit of singing, and we have both enjoyed listening to their music. But when we first heard of the comparison, we were both a bit puzzled. Emperor use keyboards! Maybe it's because I haven't really heard any by them since 'Anthems...'. In the past it was more often Mayhem we got compared to, or sometimes other bands. But that is all something for other people to worry about, it doesn't really affect us and won't change the music we make. It might be flattering sometimes, but in the end we just sound like Anaal Nathrakh as far as we're concerned.
rather unique experience is the fact that while using very aggressive
"typical" vocals in AN, you also combine them
Not really difficult, although it is quite a different style.
We like to throw various things into the cauldron to keep
everything interesting and give it more depth.
Brutal, ultra-grind vocals are something I like listening to, so we
put them into Anaal Nathrakh. With
the 'typical' vocals, we always wanted a totally extreme version of
singing, and we fucking got it! A
lot of people seem to think there's distortion or harmonisers used, but
there's not. The low vocals really are that deep, and the violent vocals
really are that savage. The
only places we use vocal effects are on parts that are obviously 'sound
you can say something about the influences of the band, would they range
only from extreme forms of metal or do
the band also enjoy other forms of music ?
listen to a wide range of things. Between
us, we vary from Japanese noise, Grindcore, Black and Death Metal to
traditional Metal to Jazz and blues to electronic stuff like LFO to
classical music. A variety of
things, although the bulk of it is made up of metal and extreme metal.
I terms of influences on Anaal Nathrakh, when we started out we
were thinking of things along the lines of Mayhem and the nastier end of
the Black Metal spectrum. Since
then we haven't really been influenced by anything, we've just thought
about how we wanted Anaal Nathrakh to sound.
I suppose outside influences might be present without us thinking
about them, but generally speaking we've just been influenced by
ourselves, if that makes sense.
recordings you've made so far has been in your companion Mick's Necrodeath
Studios. Do you feel comfortable
ideal for us. Both from the point of view of the time we have, and from the
point of view of the way we work. If
there was a clock ticking in the backs of our heads, or we had to think
about the fact that in a studio, time is money, then we wouldn't be
concentrating fully on the music. And
with noone else involved, it makes it easier for us to concentrate on how
we want things to sound, without having to explain things to another
person, who might not immediately understand.
We both think about Anaal Nathrakh and sounds in general in a
pretty similar way, and that could be hard to get across to someone who
doesn't deal with us day in day out.
For example, when we went to the BBC studios to record our Peel
Session, we had a bit of difficulty explaining some of the sounds we were
trying to get to the studio engineers, despite the fact that they were
very good at their jobs and helpful guys. The process of creating sounds and shaping the feeling of the
recordings we make is one of the things we enjoy about being in Anaal
located in Birmingham, how is the local metal scene in the area ? Do you
follow what other British bands are
a lot more people around now than there used to be.
There was a time before we were really old enough to be involved
when there was a lot happening around here with Napalm Death and
Benediction and Bolt Thrower etc. all starting out.
But that had disappeared to a large extent by the time we were
around. A few years ago I
never thought I'd ever see another person who'd heard of Impaled Nazarene.
Now there are girls in Mayhem shirts in the pub I normally drink
in, it's very strange. We
don't follow British bands in a studious way, we follow the music we like
regardless of where it's from. But
we have contact with bands like Labrat or Narcosis or Akercocke through
playing Mistress gigs with them and finding out they're good guys, or in
some cases seeing them in the pub (most often Napalm and the other
Benediction guys). We have
been criticized by some local people for not supporting the 'scene', but
to be honest, we are interested in things that interest us, and not in
things that don't. That might
sound blindingly obvious, but that's how we think, regardless of what that
might have to do with any scene.
you feel a general discrimination for the fact that you are from England
when you try to promote the band ?
really. People might remark
that we're English but that's natural because there aren't so many English
bands that sound like us. Or maybe they'll say they were impressed that we were giving
Scandinavian bands a run for their money or whatever. But that's not negativity, it's just speaking the truth.
But then we don't go round trying to convince BM fans to like us.
Fans of any kind will either like us or they won't.
If they refuse to like us because of where we're from, or have to
be persuaded that we're OK, even though we're not from a country where
it's dark for 6 months of the year, then who cares?
Fuck them. Listen to
the fucking music and decide if you like it, end of story.
Non Es Dignus" is your first album on a more commercial metal-label.
Do you feel comfortable now to be
not sure that more commercial is the best way to describe the difference
between the labels. Despite the fact that bigger labels tend to be more
commercial, there's a certain level where that's not always the case.
You can be big enough to have good distribution but not so big that
they're money driven monsters.
I am not a big fan of Black Metal in a live-setting, and in any case with
Anaal Nathrakh's music I can
sure we could. I'm not sure that we will, but I am sure if we decided to do
it, we could succeed. But it
would take a lot of time and effort, which makes it harder for us to
consider. Without wanting to
sound like rock stars, it would have to be a concert that was offering a
comparatively large amount of money because of the costs involved.
We will see what the future brings...
of the Anaal Nathrakh albums are available in the vinyl format, is this
something the band care for at all or
not out of choice. In fact,
we would like to see vinyl releases.
I'm not as convinced as some people seem to be that vinyl sounds
better. Unless you've got
stereo equipment that costs far more than we could ever afford, a really
good CD player sounds just wonderful to me (I have an Arcam CD73T, which
is superb). But vinyl is just
cool! A picture LP would be
something I'd love to see come out.
do you think are the 3 best albums released so far this year ?
be perfectly honest, I lose track of when albums I like come out, so I'm
not sure whether the stuff I've heard recently was actually released this
year. Was Human
Harvest released this year or last? That
is a simply brilliant album, just because of the whole sound of it.
The production's hardly perfect on anything but the vocals, but
it's just so fucking brutal! Real
Gone might not be as good as Alice, but I'll say that just because it's
new Tom Waits. I wanted to
see him play in London recently, but first of all the tickets were £70
each, which is just a huge price. And then second, when I looked back to check, it had sold
out. Apparently the gig sold
out in around 20 minutes, tickets were going for hundreds of pounds on
Ebay. If only I had fucking
bought a few when I had the chance!
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