With the release of their new album Aus schwärzester Nacht we thought it was about time to chat with the German band Nachtgeschrei. We managed to chat wit Nik about the dark edges of Nachtgeschrei and some other interesting stuff.
In between Rammstein and the Scorpions
It doesn’t bother me, but when I have to write a review of something else about Nachtgeschrei, I always find it difficult to describe the music. It’s kind of in between all other German bands and sometimes it’s a mix of them. I wonder how they describe their music themselves.
Nik: “You mean like in between Rammstein and the Scorpions? Just joking…” Nachtgeschrei uses the attributes folk, rock, metal and medieval when describing their music. “To me it’s basically folk metal without, yet not the polka, party and booze type. Just music.”
These ingredients stretch out over a rather large number of styles and while it’s not all mashed in a blender to one distinct sound you guys touch the styles of some bands lightly sometimes. Do you find it difficult to avoid sounding like another known German band, or does it come naturally that you are in between their styles.
“It feels pretty naturally to us. You see, Joe and I played in an Irish Folk band before. Tilman and Oli came from heavy metal, Martin sings with several progressive projects. So, what we do with Nachtgeschrei is pretty much a mixture of all these influences…”
So, in what way do they think they differ from the other German bands, we wonder?
“Actually, we never tried to be different than this or that band.” They just try to do their own thing and the result of that work is Nachtgeschrei. So there might be some similarities as well as some differences. But what remains is one of the most important facts for them is that Nachtgeschrei is based upon the combination of folk, rock and metal while other bands quite often either started as a purely acoustic outfit or as a metal-band-plus-x concept. While each of these concepts has an appeal of its own, it can also become a limiting factor, from Nik’s point of view. In Nachtgeschrei they try to approach all instruments more or less equally. “Neither rock-with-bagpipes nor bagpipes-with-rock.”
A little bit more labeling
We can say Massacre is a real metal label for sure. Nachtgeschrei isn’t a pure metalband. How is it to be on a metal-label when you might have some different point of views.
“Great, man. Feels quite naturally for us.” The band has a lot of friends in the metal scene and often plays together with “pure” metal bands. To a true metal fan, everything is about the music, an idea I find quite appealing.
Fresh catch from the Mekong Delta
Nachtgeschrei started of rather productive with an album every year for the first three years. But it took a while before Aus schwärzester Nacht was released. Was this caused by a slight burn-out, or were they busy with other stuff or something else?
“Well, the behind the scenes things were less easy this time.” After the release of Ardeo the band was pretty busy with the first club tour, a support tour for Subway to Sally and some great festival shows. In fact, 2011 was pretty exhausting. Then their old singer Hotti felt he couldn’t keep up with the pace and had to quit. So they had to start all over again in 2012.
By May 2012 they finally came across Martin LeMar, singer of progressive metal cult band Mekong Delta who was a perfect fit for them. So the actual songwriting for “Aus schwärzester Nacht” was done pretty much completely in summer/fall 2012. By January they hit the studio again… So, despite looking like a rather lazy two-and-a-half-years break it was actually a pretty tight schedule for these Germans.
Speaking of Martin, he’s not a singer/guitarist but is a singer purely, so we want to know if it’s very different to work with him.
The most different thing for them is Martin prefers using a keyboard for his songwriting, while Hotti – coming from singer/songwriter roots – preferred an acoustic guitar. Hotti also played the acoustic guitar live for a couple of songs – something we will have to find a solution for. But as Sane also plays acoustic guitar, they’re sure they will work something out.
We learn form Nik the songwriting in a large band like Nachtgeschrei has it’s positive and negative aspects. It gives you opportunities at one hand, but it can also quickly become overwhelming. They had to learn that sometimes, less is more and they tried to give every instrument room to breath this time.
Aus schwärzester Nacht has a rather dark edge, in our opinion that side of the album is even stronger compared with the previous ones. Nik totally agrees on this. “Oh, yes it’s a bit more edgy than its predecessors. I would not consider it dark, nevertheless. I think it’s a bit very intense, very fierce album.” The band has had a hard time after Hotti quit and had to cling on to this “never say die” attitude. Nik thinks the album evolved from that darkness. They had taken a deep look into the abyss and came back to the light. So Nik definitely agrees with the edge, but he sure hope it has some positive vibes as well…
Fortunately the scene in Germany is very nice for Medieval bands. This doesn’t mean the band is limited to their own country, they’ve played in several other countries in Europe and always had a great time. But they are definitely in for more and would be glad to travel any place where someone would like to hear them play live.
And the band still has some goals for the future. At the moment they’re doing a short club-tour for “Aus schwärzester Nacht” followed by festival shows in summer. And there are already plans for a fifth album in the closet, so they just might get this project going in summer. “You see, our long hibernation break is over – we are definitely back on track.”
Is there anything more you like to say to the readers of Folk-metal.nl?
“Cheers to all folk-metal-heads! Thanks for the interview and thanks for reading – drop by on nachtgeschrei.de or facebook.com/nachtgeschrei and tell us how you like our new stuff. See you on the road, keep on rocking!”