T: We're a two-piece black-metal band from Scotland; we used to play more traditional black-thrash, but nowadays I'd say what we play is black-metal with loads of different styles under the surface; there's still thrash amongst it, but also old-school heavy metal.
R: We've been on the go since 2013. Along the way we've changed quite a bit, that includes line-up changes, and an evolving of our style and a honing of our process for writing and performing, particularly with the two-piece dynamic in mind.
2.So far you have released 2 ep's, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
T: Our first EP was quite conventional in some respects. This time around, I think we're letting ourselves be more inventive – we both love old-school metal, but we're developing a style of our own, too.
R: Yeah we are developing a strong identity as we go, it's very much our own mix of styles. As Tam said the first EP was more black thrash, but even then there was a lot more going on than that. The sound on both EPs was raw, the second EP is our first two-piece recording and much more accurately represents how we sound today.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
R: As our EP title suggests, I have looked a lot at blasphemy. That obviously refers to religion but more importantly it refers to much that is considered sacred or unassailable. I write about opposition, smashing head-on into delusional schools of thought, and about the conscious, willful destruction of certain social customs that many people bow down to. To quote the EP's title track, Tear Down All Such Idols.
These very real themes are central to the lyrics but more recently I have combined them with some more fantastical, dark scenarios, using physical elements like chasms, fume, spirits etc. It's a way to expand the lyrical landscape but to still keep certain messages coming out.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'NNGNN'?
R: NNGNN are the initials of our original name, which literally came to me in a dream around 2007 or so. It's pronounced as the initials. So the only real meaning there is that it came from my own subconscious. The gist of the dream was that the name (Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta) was a title awarded to a demonic spirit that vanquished an enemy.
The dream aside though, it's five letters that we go by. It's not a classic or conventional name for any genre we may represent with our music, but the name fits us, it refers to us and only us.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
R: For me what stands out was the tour we did in April 2016 with Inconcessus Lux Lucis. It was our début run as a two piece and something of an epiphany for us. And I think the Manchester show of that was the peak of that run. More recently, supporting Possession in London was a great experience.
T: Opening for Inquisition us one of my early favourites. In our current incarnation, playing Manchester with Ninkharsag was a really enjoyable one, as was playing with Possession in London recently. I think our performance is always improving, or I hope so – that's always my goal; trying to better myself as a musician – we're getting more and more accustomed to the two-piece line-up now, too; we're more comfortable on stage than ever.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
R: We have a small tour arranged for August with Live Burial and Blasphemer, and we have a fantastic tour line-up in the works for 2018 with a UK band and a European band. Other than that we are looking at festival appearances, and getting over to Europe ourselves.
7.The new EP was released on 'Eldritch Lunar Miasma' are you happy with the support they have given you so far?
T: It's a small label, granted, but I'm glad it's been there to help us cover the costs of pressing our CDs and Tapes, it's been a real boost in a time where we barely had any money left after paying for recording and artwork for the new EP.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and thrash metal?
R: We've had a decent response on the whole, in our time. Neither of our records have been released with much fanfare but we've had positive response from various areas worldwide.
T: It always impresses me that people are taking the time to listen to music I've helped to create – if they enjoy it, which people seem to – I'm even more pleased. Sending out merch-orders to all sorts of places around the world is almost surreal.
9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
T: We're planning to make a full-length relatively soon. We're writing new material already after releasing the EP. Stylistically, I don't keep to close a track on what our music is doing; we write material by instinct, and then think about it later on. We're working on a new track just now that we're both very pleased with – it carries on in our accustomed style, but it has an identity of its own, too, and that's how I like to do it.
R: Exactly, each song starts off from a different place, but our own sound runs through all the material. I don't really know how to accurately describe our sound but that's all good.
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?
R: I listen to all sorts of stuff, by no means is it limited to metal. If we're talking metal though, there are many bands and styles of raw metal that shape my ideas and inspire me to create.
T: I don't really keep track; I listen to loads of stuff and what I end up playing, on the drums, is an amalgamation of the things I like. I can't really think of any one band to which I go “yes, I want to sound like that” - and maybe it's better not to. Listening-wise, I enjoy metal, hip-hop, 80s pop – all kinds of stuff really.
11.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
T: I enjoy those themes as part of the mystique and showmanship of metal; they're dark and interesting subjects, that suit the music in question, when they're done right. Much like war, death, fantasy, philosophy, paganism, theology – the sort of topics that metal is so known for. It helps to create exciting music which can imbue the listener with a sense of liminality and awe.
R: I think Satanism means different things to different individuals. In some places a lot of the more common ideals of Satanism will touch on my own views, it influences what we are doing. In other places I'd just as sooner not be associated with any particular ideology. I can't say I've studied it extensively.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
R: I'll say thanks for the interview and for your support!