1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the solo project?
Nettelorth moniker has been brought to life at the beginning of 2020, shortly after all Covid19 pandemic has started. I was already planning to record solo black metal album back in 2018, as a follow-up to my previous black metal record (“Void” by Widziadło, project consisting of me and former Opus Elefantum member – Zguba). However, until early 2020 I wasn’t convinced enough if all those dark and minor emotions were sharp enough to be captured.
As soon as isolation time started, however, I felt that finally I could give it a try, at least to check if I was ready to let my shadow self speak. And yes, that was definitely a good moment to start with Nettelorth.
2.Recently you have released your first full length with this solo project, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
The initial plan was a bit different than the final result turned out to be. I was planning very raw, lo-fi and noisy record, drawing inspiration from famous 2nd wave of black metal releases. Over time, however – I was recording and adding more and more new instrumental tracks (another layers of guitars and synths) and developing the original ideas to that extent, that they were no longer as raw as I initially wanted. But I was totally fine with that, therefore decided to keep everything as it was. I think that the final result is very close to the black metal styles I am listening on a daily basis.
3.Besides black metal you also have experience working with shoegaze, how would you compare both of the musical styles?
I’d say that those two definitely like each other. We all know blackgaze as a separate genre, which combines those two musical styles. However, my black metal is not heading towards shoegaze and my shoegaze is not heading towards black metal whatsoeaver. I am not a fan of blackgaze genre. I think of shoegaze and black metal as separate styles, using different means of expression, both having their own unique moods.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you have explored so far with the music?
As can be seen and heard, lyrics on “Nocte Ignota” recall some well-known black metal figures and motives. They are transferring the deeper message, as the whole album speaks about life’s disappointments and nihilistic state of mind. However, paradoxically, that emotional void turns out to be a relief.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Nettlelorth'?
Back then, at the turn of XIX and XX centuries, every town, village and so on in my region had its German name – those names can be easily viewed up on historical maps, which I am viewing very often. And yes, when I’ve found Nettelorth (currently: Władysławowo) on it, I knew right away that it sounds so evil, that it needs to become the name of the project.
One more thing related to that topic - what especially brings my attention are the old, German evangelic cemeteries, located all over the region. One of the most popular epitaph being written on the gravestones was “Dem Auge fern, dem Herzen nah!”, which I have made the main topic of one of the songs from the album.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
I am the person who can be seen in the front cover. From the very beginning, I wanted to refer to some classic black metal photos, emphasizing the corpse paint and dark, gloomy atmosphere.
In the end, the cover refers to classic black metal look but at the same time – it is telling that this record is not another by-the-numbers black metal album, but something that really tries to draw the influences from the different black metal sub-genres.
7.With this project you record everything by yourself but have experience working with other musicians, which one do you prefer?
Correct, “Nocte Ignota” is already the third album recorded 100% on my own. My other experiences, however, are not that far from solo working experiences, since both Widziadło (black metal project, consisting of Zguba and me) and TBA post-rock project (also being recorded with Zguba) are 100% online collaborations, which don’t seem to me like something significantly different than working on my own. I was also collaborating a lot with Janusz Jurga (polish ambient forest techno producer) and Vysoke Celo (space ambient / psychedelic folk / electronic), also in the form of online collaborations. In my opinion, if both sides give each other space, time and understanding, good things might come out if that. If I had to choose, however, I would always choose working 100% on my own.
8.The new album was released through both 'Opus Elefantum Collective' and 'WitchCult Records', can you tell us a little bit more about both of these labels?
Opus Elefantum Collective is the label I’ve been working with since 2016, being actually one of the founders, therefore it’s not a simple label-artist relation. All my records so far (2x Foghorn, 1x Widziadło, and mentioned collaborations) were released by OEC. You can buy “Nocte Ignota” CD via Opus Elefantum Collective Bandcamp page - https://opuselefantum.bandcamp.com/album/nocte-ignota
Regarding WitchCult Records – along with the European premiere, we wanted to co-release the album with some USA-based label and we found WR very much attractive in terms of black metal label. We have quickly found common ground and established the release details. You can buy Nettelorth’s cassette via Witchcult records – more details on their Bandcamp page - https://witchcultrecords.bandcamp.com/album/wc044-oe009-nocte-ignota
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
As it usually happens to one-man black metal albums, I suppose it needs some time for the wider recognition. By now, however, I am satisfied with the feedback, it looks really nice from my perspective. I know that many people were surprised with how much it differs from the Foghorn music, but, well, this is why I decided to use different moniker.
10.What is going on with some of your other musical projects these days?
Both Widziadło and Foghorn are active. I would not expect anything from Widziadło in the next 2-3 years though. If it comes to Foghorn, there will be a new album coming in early spring 2023. And, of course, new not-yet-named releases will be announced this year.
11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I have absolutely no idea, and this is the best part about it. I will probably keep all my current music projects active, although I am not sure which one I will work on next. As I already mentioned, post-rock/slowcore album with Zguba is 90% finished, I have a lot of ideas for at least 2-3 Foghorn albums, I’m also recording indie pop / indie rock record with my friend. Nettelorth also has some demos / unfinished drafts that were not used on “Nocte Ignota”, surely I will come back to them in the future.
So, as you can see, as a musician I am heading towards terra incognita. I don’t want to put any label on myself and make any statements regarding my next steps as I really don’t know what the future will bring. But I can promise I will not be confining to one particular genre and will always be recording only when having some real emotions to express with music.
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?
Speaking about black metal – unfortunately I can’t recall any new band that lately got my special attention, however, in regards to “Nocte Ignota” – I was listening to a lot of 2nd wave of black metal in the time of recording - acclaimed classics like Darkthrone or Mayhem. It all has started with those and I think this could be heard. Over time, however, with adding some extra instrumentations, I have abandoned the idea of recording extremely raw and lo-fi record and tried to let the other influences speak through me.
Apart from the famous 2nd wave of black metal, I am listening to many different black metal sub-genres, represented by bands like Wolves in a Throne Room, Paysage d’Hiver, late Celtic Frost/Trypticon, early Striborg, Drudkh, Negură Bunget or Urfaust. Does “Nocte Ignota” sound like some of those combined? This needs to be answered by the listeners.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the opportunity to elaborate on “Nocte Ignota” and the origins of Nettelorth moniker, I’m really glad that you liked it! If anyone hasn’t listened to the record yet, I encourage you to do so! And, of course, stay tuned for more music from OEC! Yours truly, Nettelorth.