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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

NekKralai Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
The band 'NekKralai' (yup, it's not 'NekKralia' :) ) consists of 3 people
Simonas (Guitar)
Gytis (Bass/Vocals)
Simonas (Drums)
At the moment we are all living in Kaunas, Lithuania, but all came from smaller towns. And the band itself began its life in Seredzius village, where Simonas (guitar) and Gytis lived at the time. In short - we want to play music that makes you feel like you just woke up with a hangover in a cold winter's night, and just want to take the axe and put it through your neighbour's head, because he owes you money and his dog won't stop barking... Something like that.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

We wanted our sound in the recording to be 'straight in your face' and aggressive, and have that depressing undertone which comes from black metal. That's why we recorded in the studio of a well known Lithuanian occult black metal band 'Nahash', with the help of their leader. We wanted that the listeners would feel the angst and anger that we feel while creating and playing our music and I think that the final result carries  this out quite accurately.

3.The band has been around since 2009 but waited until this year to release any music, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 5 years?

The first couple of years we basically were learning to play. Because Gytis has only picked up bass 10 days before the band was founded. Also we didn't have a drummer so Simonas (guitar) was on drums and at that time our friend Lukas was on guitar. Then it took us a lot of time to start writing songs, which even then seemed stupid and bad, and to get the idea of what we actually wanted to play. When the idea was clear we didn't have a good drummer. (Lukas left, Simonas went back to guitar). The guy playing drums then wanted to play slower songs and didn't have the same idea, so we parted ways. Finally in late 2013 we found Simonas, who is a good drummer and with him we finally were able to try and create songs the way we imagine them.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?

When you live in a small town, especially of a post-soviet country, while growing up you see and hear a lot of messed up stuff. Peoples' lives are hard, so they drink. When they are drunk they are angry, beat their spouses, can't get a job, don't have money, so they drink some more, and some cheaper stuff. Since they drink more, their lives become even harder... and it all ends up in a stupid, degrading circle, which somehow becomes funny in its absurdity.
Basically this is the atmosphere which we want to create with our songs. So lyrically the songs do not carry a strong message, like 'do this' or 'don't do that'. Our lyrics are created in the manner of a babbling alcoholic's way of speaking, because they always have what to say on any topic, they always think that they know what's right and wrong, but in most cases nothing they say makes sense. And we fnd it interesting because when it might look funny from the side, they usually live very depressing lives and their anger and fear about the future's uncertainty can be felt very clearly.
So if someone wants to translate our lyrics - go ahead, we can even help you. But the point is not to get their meaning but feel the atmosphere that they were made to create.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'NekKralai'?

As I said, in the beginning we didn't know anything about what we wanted to do with our music or the band in general. I should probably lie about a deep existentialistic meaning, but I won't. The name is as non-sensical as the lyrics and it was created in a daily beer drinking session even before the band started playing together. It is a mixture of words 'Nekastruoti Kralikai' which would translate to English as 'Not castrated rabbits' or something like that. We liked the idea that it is a word that we made up, and if somebody would search this name on the internet they wouldn't find anything else, so we didn't change our name later. Plus it sounds kind of cool, like it would have something to do with necrophilia.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We have not yet had many concerts, so each concert had something interesting and new for us. From what I now remember most was our first concert with our new drummer which was in Kaunas with such great black metal bands like Luctus(LT) and Kult (IT). Also we had a fun concert in Panevezys. There we played second and when the first band was playing there was practically no movement from the people. When we got on stage people started moshing even while we were doing sound check, so that was fun. Also something different was when we played in Lithuanian bikers' gathering in Sweden. Not that it was a great concert, but it still was our first concert abroad.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
In the very near future we have a couple gigs in Lithuania (10.17 Kaunas; 10.26 Vilnius) and one concert in Latvia (10.25 Riga).
We are trying to organize a little tour end of this year or beginning next year, but nothing is yet set in stone.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Nothing yet. We are looking for a label and are open for proposals.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and punk?
On a worldwide level I think you are the first one to write something about our release. Besides that there was one guy from Turkey who said that he really liked our stuff and asked to send him a few copies so he could distribute them in Turkey, so we got that thing going.
Locally we had received some encouragements as well as some good, constructive criticism. But nothing major.

10.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
Our guitarist is a local concert promoter, if someone wants to get a gig in Kaunas or in Lithuania in General, they can contact us. But no other bands.
The bassist/vocalist has some side projects, but nothing released and nothing really worth mentioning. He is the main creator of music in NekKralai, so with very little spare time this is quite enough for him.
The drummer is the most active member as he is a member of 4 bands (some rehearse more, some less) in different metal sub-genres (our black/punk, industrial metal, power metal, death metal) and also he sometimes helps other bands which hire him. He has his own facebook page with all the information if anyone is interested

11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I guess it would take at least a year or more to get the material for a full length album, so not yet planned. But we are working on new material and people coming to our shows can already hear several new songs which we created after the recording of this 'Kliudžiau'.
The new material is a bit faster and a bit more 'evil', aggressive. We like it and hope to continue in this direction.

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?

That's a hard question. In the beginning the big influences were Motorhead, Darkthrone, Burzum, Ramones, The Exploited... and other big names. Now those influences remain but we get more and more new experiences and see new bands which do something that grabs the ear and eye, which we want to incorporate in our sound to make it fuller and more aggressive. Like crust bands Tragedy and Wolfbrigade, or even local Lithuanian bands like Luctus or Argharus, the list could go on and on... We don't think about what influences us, we just try to think something up and if it sounds like us to us we try to use it in a song.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

We all have our daily jobs which doesn't leave too much free time on our hands besides playing.
The drummer has a lot of bands so no time for other activities.
The bassist/vocalist sometimes creates short films and does some editing. So in our upcoming shows we will try to use visualizations which he created.
Also each summer the band members are organizing a small open air festival, called 'Daubos Griaucmas' . you can read about it here

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
'Burn rubber, not your soul' - Biker boyz, 2003, a.k.a. the stupidest quote in any movie ever.
No, but seriously, thank you for the interest and for spreading our music to the world. And a big thank you for all people who are listening to our music. We will ask Satan to bring you a bottle of Lithuanian moonshine.


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