Nihtwintre was formed several years ago as a personal outlet for musical musings when the mood struck me. The name is from Old English made up of Niht (night) and Wintre (Winter). I have a fascination with languages, particularly old and dead ones such as Old English and Latin. The music itself is largely improvisational – I don't come with an idea or a melody before I start recording. I just pick up a guitar and begin playing. Whatever happens, happens. There is no plan. I usually get inspired by a broad idea or concept, such as necormancy or the decay of the natural world, and I let the energy of those ideas influence what I play. I keep playing until I come up with riffs and I build on those from there in the same fashion. Songs generally take just a couple days to construct and then I smooth out the edges into something cohesive and record vocals, which are also generally fairly improvised. It is a very personal and DIY process, and I intend to keep it that way.
2.Since 2017 you have put out 3 ep's and been a part of a couple of splits, how would you describe your musical progress over the years?
Over the years I feel like I have gotten more confident in my process and my end product. Usually I take long breaks before productions because I think I need to “recharge” before I can put the kind of energy into my creative process that it requires. I think that as I have progressed I have gotten closer to the true sound I am seeking, that platonic sound that exists in my head that I seek to express in the real world. I doubt I will ever truly get there, but it is always about the journey, not the destination. My favorite part of the project is the act of creation. The rest is secondary.
3.The musical project was formed in 2014 but you waited until 2017 to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the earlier years?
Early recordings were fragmentary and often not worth saving. It took my a while to figure out my process, and, as I said above, I need to be in the right mood and mindset to be able to just sit down and do a recording that is largely improvised. My process has improved a lot, and honestly, I am more confident in my own abilities, so it all comes a bit easier now than when I first decided I needed a creative outlet like this.
4.Some of your lyrics cover Occultism and Necromancy, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the dark arts?
Necromancy is the magic of reviving the dead and extending one's own life beyond it's natural limits. It is considered taboo and evil. I think it is fascinating because necromancy in its essence is an attempt to escape mortality. It is a manifestation of the evilest and most grotesque way to live forever, and the costs are great. Generally the price is one's own soul, or sanity, or worse. It is a fascinating thought experiment – what would you sacrifice to live beyond death? Your loved ones? Your principles? Your own sanity? Ultimately, it derives from a mortal fear of death – and ironically it is obsessed with it at the same time. The dichotomy there makes for a great subject matter to explore.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Nihtwintre'?
As I said above, it is Old English, compounding Niht (meaning “Night”) and Wintre (meaning “winter”). I wanted something that felt dark and cold, but also was unique sounding. I am also very satisfied with the logo, which was designed by Dan Capp.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
This project is a solo only project. It is my very personal creative outlet. I would be happy to work with other artists, but it wouldn't be Nihtwintre then, it would be something else.
7.So far you have shared splits with 'Verminlord' and 'Albanach ar Deis', what are you thoughts on the other projects that had participated on the recordings?
Both are great black metal projects headed by great guys with a clear artistic vision. It is interesting to have a solo project, but also hear about others' artistic processes while you go through your own. It can be very motivating.
8.Currently you are signed to 'Epicurus Records', can you tell us a little bit more about these labels?
Epicurus is a micro-label located in my city of Seattle that only deals with small local Seattle bands. It was a natural fit.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
No idea. I don't pay attention to how people perceive it. As I said, it is a very personal project that I do for myself alone. I would hope others enjoy it, but they don't need to.
10.What is going on with 'Woodland Crypt' these days?
Woodland Crypt is my dungeon synth project. It is a nature inspired project – very different from Nihtwintre. It is another creative outlet for me, but the creative process and the inspiration is completely different. I have put out one EP for Woodland Crypt and appeared on two compilations. I am currently working on more Woodland Crypt material, but with no certain release date.
11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I don't know if I will ever do a full length for Nihtwintre. I think it works best as a series of EPs. The way I create the music lends itself to the smaller productions and not well the the revising and editing that a full-length would require.
As a musician, I plan on continuing on what I have been doing: making music that expresses how I feel at a certain time, and releasing it when I feel it is appropriate. I have no grand designs to become famous, or tour, or make money off this project.
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?
I am a big fan of the second wave titans Darkthrone, Taake, Burzum, Emperor, Immortal, etc. But also like some newer black metal like Falls of Rauros, Agalloch, Aorlhac, Uada, Dawn Ray'd, etc. One of my absolute favorites is Summoning which perfectly combines those elements of black metal and dungeon synth I really enjoy.
Recently I have been listening to a lot of dungeon synth: Mortiis, Barak Tor, Murgrind, Old Sorcery, etc. However, one of my favorite releases this year is Par le Sang Versé by Véhémence – absolutely stunning.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
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