Friday, June 29, 2018

Nidstang Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1. Greetings. Nidstang is very raw black metal/punk band I started around the beginning of Winter 2017. I had been wanting to work on a new project while my main band was on hiatus and seeing as I've been a part of the underground punk and metal scenes for a very long time now, i wanted to create a project that could work as a bridge between those two aspects of my musical life. So far i have released 2 full lengths and plan to continue to write and record. To me, Nidstang is a musical manifestation of so many often conflicting feelings and themes: self-hatred, nihilism, freedom, destruction, strength, weakness, witchcraft, nature, ignorance, regression, misanthropy, violence, inner-peace and so much more. There is also a very conflicting vibe of both beauty and hideousness, which i feel the cover of the first album captured perfectly and which comes out musically through the use of the more serene synth focused tracks and interludes and the overwhelmingly harsh metal tracks.

2.So far you have released 2 full lengths, how do they both differ from each other?
2. I would say that one of the most obvious differences between the two albums would be the production. I recorded the first album by myself at home on a four track i had recently acquired and worked within the limitations of that format to produce "Retribution Will Come".  For "Angstloch" I decided to record with my close friend Joey Seward in his home studio, I had recorded many albums from different projects with him and wanted to try and give the 2nd album a heavier over-all production that i felt was lacking a bit from the 1st. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the low fi and necro sound of the 1st album, but just wanted to see what i could do with more tracking possibilities and a thicker sound.

Musically I would say that the two albums are fairly similer. The newer one uses a bit more different time signatures and beats but the general atmosphere feels very similer to me. I would say that the lyrics for  Angstloch are a bit more focused towards depression then on RWC but most of the same themes are still there. The new album definitly feels more emotionally charged to me but perhaps that just because the feelings going into Angstloch still feel fresh and familiar to me

3.A lot of your lyrics deal with Witchcraft and Occultism, can you tell us a little bit more about your interests in those areas?

4.I know the bands name comes from a cursing pole from Germanic Pagan tradition, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Germanic Paganism?
3/4. Im going to cover these two questions in one answer as I feel the 3 subjects are heavily intertwined. I was raised in Cascadia and spent a lot of time in the forests and mountains around where I grew up. This deep love for nature and natural areas eventually gave birth to an early interest in Wicca, mythology and folklore from around the world. As I grew and became an adult these interests changed and continued to grow, particularly in the directions of chaos magic, celtic and nordic/germanic paganism. Nowadays I am particulalrly interested in runes/sigils and the magical energy that can be put forth through song and incantations and the way that this force can effect different people in different ways.

 I believe that magic is all around us, all the time and that if trained, people can become more aware of it and potentially recognize how to harness it. I believe it is very important for people to learn how to utilize the forces of chaos in their favor and for people to recognize what they are unable to influence and accept what they cannot change. I honestly believe that there is life force in all things, animate or otherwise, and something i always strive for is focusing my energy towards harmonizing with the long forgotten spirits of the natural world.

5.On the albums you record everything by yourself but have used other musicians in a live setting, would you be open to working with a full band in the studio?

5. At this point in time I can not foresee a point where i would be interested in working with someone else in the studio. I have other musical projects as outlets for collaboration with others but am content working alone in this endeavor. I am very much interested in the ways that we can come together as a greater community and benefit each other mutually but I also have a great appreciation for self reliance and would not want to compromise this particular project by adding anyone else to the creative or decision making process.

6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
6. The cover of the new album is a photo that i took at a ghost town near where I live in Olympia. The photo is taken from the outside looking into a basement area of one of the few remaining structures that is left. When writing and recording the album i was going through a particularly bad period of depression and I decided on the name Angstloch for the album.  An Angstloch is an opening into a dungeon cell or similar area and i wanted the album to serve as an opening into myself and my frame of mind at that time. I thought that the photo that i had taken would be a fitting cover for the new album as it shows a facade that is dilapidated and unkempt with a portal entering into utter darkness, representing myself and the darkness that I am so often overwhelmed by from inside

7.So far you have done a couple of live shows, how would you describe your stage performance and also are there any plans for any future live shows?
7. I would describe the live performances as pretty raw and powerful. After RWC came out i got together a live line-up to do a few shows in support of the tape featuring myself on guitar/vocals, and my close friends Danny and Mirce on bass and drums respectively. We did 2 shows that were pretty well received and then split up. In preparation for the release of Angstloch I have gotten together another live line-up, this time featuring myself on drums/vocals, Mirce on guitar and another close friend Jaysen on bass. We have one show planned so far, we will be playing a tape release show on July 5th at Cryptatropa in Olympia supporting Icesword. We will probably play at least one other show here in Olympia this summer and possibly one in Portland as well before splitting up again. After that we may play a few shows here or there but wont have anything specific planned until I put out another album.

8.The new album was released on cassette by 'Einsamkeit Tapes', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
8. Einsamkeit is a label that i started in 2009 as a vessel for releasing music by projects that I'm a part of and other bands from the Cascadia area. I mostly focus releases on black metal and dark ambient but also release some neo-folk and punk as well. In general I keep the label fairly low key and try and let the releases speak for themselves. At this point I do not intend to put out any tapes by bands from outside of the Cascadia region but perhaps someday that may change. I feel that even though vinyl sounds good and is appealing to look at, it is becoming more and more expensive and is a rather fragile format for shipping. I want to make my releases available to people from all over the world and from all different economic backgrounds, therefor i fully support free downloads and I release tapes for people who would still like a tangible but comparatively inexpensive release to collect and listen to.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of black metal?
9. It seems like the albums have been received pretty enthusiastically. The  first tape sold rather well and the few live shows we did seemed to get a great response. Since the release of Angstloch, there's been a lot of spreading of the album and the tapes have been selling rather quickly as well. Next week we are doing our first show with the new line-up and we'll see how it goes over. It has been interesting as well reading about people debating whether Nidstang is a punk or black metal band, or a combination of the two. To me the band sits solidly on the line between the two but some people only hear one or the other. I figure that I must be doing something right if people are debating whether it is punk or not.

10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that you are a part of?
10. Ive always played in multiple bands/projects but lately there's been even more then usual. Huldrekall is my main focus, we play a very fast and psychedelic style of black metal. We've been on a bit of a hiatus for the last year but things are beginning to pick up again and we've got a new split tape with Spektral Hatchery coming out soon. I've recently started a new solo dark ambient project called Mourning Cloak which should be recording sometime this summer. For many years now I've been playing in a neo-folk project called River, we've been fairly inactive for the past few years but have been recording a new full length for a while now that should see a release before the end of the summer.  A few months ago i joined a local BM band called With the End in Mind. They've been playing together for a few years but they asked me to join a while back on 2nd drums and its been pretty interesting experimenting with multiple drummers. On top of those I've also been playing drums in 2 different hardcore punk bands, No Reason and Hoarder. No Reason plays 80's American style hardcore in the vein of Minor Threat and Jerry's Kids and Hoarder plays fast hardcore in a similar vein to bands like Gauze and Infest. Both bands have new tapes coming out within the next few months.

11.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
11. As far as Nidstang is concerned, I intend to play a few more shows with the current line-up and then probably disband before the end of summer. Once the fall comes I intend to begin writing again and working on a new album. So far i don't have any particular plans for new recordings. I often will think of new ideas that i really want to try out and then when the time comes decide that it may be best for a different project or the idea just doesn't work how i want it to after all, so i try not to get too far ahead of myself. For me different seasons lend themselves to different styles of creativity and inspiration, typically with the Autumn and Winter being the most productive for me. I also am usually so busy throughout the Spring and Summer that i rarely have a chance to sit down and work on new material. Nidstang songs in particular have a tendency to hit me like an unforeseen blizzard that totally envelopes me and I will sit down and write many songs all at once or over the course of just a few days. The musical future to me remains unseen and unwritten but i feel comfort in that abyss.

12.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?
12. There is a lot of music that has made huge impacts on me over the years. I got into punk/hardcore at a very young age and then got really into metal when i was around 15. From there things just kind of progressed and i continued to dig deeper. In general I have a tendency to take a lot of influence from melodic black metal, 70's kosmiche rock/ambient and punk/hardcore from the 70's-now.  When it comes to Nidstang, i feel that some of the bands that have had the biggest influence on me would be Ildjarn, Rudimentary Peni and Hellhammer.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Paysage d'Hiver, Kitaro, Nagelfar, Ildjarn and Andreas Grosser but my tastes often change depending on my mood. Typically I fluctuate between mostly fast and harsh black metal and very soothing ambient but I also listen to quite a bit of hardcore, hip hop and folk music from around the world.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13. Many thanks to my friends and collaborators, all the folks who have shown enthusiasm for the band and to you for setting up this interview. This world is a bleak and destructive place but there is still much beauty left in nature that is worth defending. 

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