First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews in April 2017. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
I am Ash, founder and mastermind behind the German Metal sole project NARGAROTH. I am from German descent, but call the world my home (somehow) due my nomadic life style.
You guys have mentioned you have something new in the works. What's the progress on your next release, and how do you feel this next release is going to evolve the sound of the band? How was the production of the album like compared to previous albums? Who was the producer you worked with, and how did you feel he helped contribute to the overall sound of the album.
In May we gonna release the new Album “Era of Threnody” via INTER ARMA PRODUCTION. The writing process took all the involved about 3 years and we are very satisfied with the result. It was recorded in Sonic Fortress Studio Vienna. The lyrics I wrote when I lived in Mexico and Canada. I worked with Bernth, a great musician and guitar player. Also I worked with Krimh, who is an outstanding drummer. I wanted to combine classical Flamenco elements with Black Metal and without them I never could have brought this concept to life. In the studio Daniel Fellner recorded my Vocals and he inspired me to modulate my clean singing and by this, increased the atmosphere on the album a great deal.
How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant Black Metal community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
I do not seek nor do I want any interference with the black metal scene in my private life. I am not well around other people and don't seek their company. I lived my life as wanderer a big time of my life or I lived in secluded country regions on farms or cabins. My creativity influence is therefore never rooted in any scene, but in the experiences in my life. I considered myself more as a song writer anyway.
What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Metal music scene?
Authenticity and dealing with more real life events instead of promoting artificial topics. My authenticity includes my failures who partly have shameful qualities. By this – so I assume – fans connect very well with my music as it might reflect their own real life experiences and self-reflections. On the other hand this fact makes me a target for guys with a different approach on Black Metal.
What does Nargaroth mean to you guys in 2017? And how does that compare to what the project meant to you guys when it was formed?
As it is a sole project I can only answer for myself. Its an instrument to deal with impacts in my life that made me struggle, re-think my life or just affects me to an extent. Its therefore a way to communicate these reflections through music and poems. When I formed it I was an impulsive, uncontrolled teen with the intent to kick asses. I guess, now in my fourth decade, I've grown out of this by now.
When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself?
Thematically it has been always what affected me in my life. Musically I was drawn to the polish band GRAVELAND who can be considered as inspirational element.
When you write music there is a lot of trial and error. Would you consider yourself a person who goes into production with a defined sound in mind, and you work at it until you achieve the closest to the results in your head? Or would you consider yourself more of a person who feels and grooves music, letting songs progressively evolve and define themselves throughout the creation? What sort of processes do you go through when making music?
I have always a concept before my inner eye, including a sound perspective. But I let myself drive by things that happen through and in the recording process. Often the mistakes happens to be special elements that became a signature element of an album.
When it comes to making music it can be difficult to balance atmosphere, song progression, musicality, and excitement. Do you have any tricks, techniques, or methods that you commonly use to help your music sound coherent and engaging?
No tricks, no techniques, no methods. I don't compose strategically. I compose affectively. Therefore most of my songs doesn't sound modern or “up to date”. The actual album has seen a bigger effort in real composing and thus sound maybe a bit modern. But truth to be told, I needed exactly this kind of composition to reflect the thematically background.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes? If you could say there are underlying themes or messages that permeate throughout your discography, what would you say are the most important concepts and ideas you've tried to express throughout your artistic career, political, spiritual, or personal?
As told before I am always and only inspired by life events that affected me. Its my way to deal with heavy impacts in my life. I don't drink nor do I drugs to 'ease my pain'. That doesn't work for me. I must somehow go through a hard time with 'an open eye'. And this don't happen when you numb your senses. When I made through the hard time, I start to write it down in form of poems – and eventually write songs which become an album.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feel that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
It somehow just comes to me. Others are good in drawing or handling instruments. I am good in writing. That – by the way – doesn't mean I haven't done songs with lyrics that are...lets say it euphemistically: dull. Some songs or topics are just not meant to be deep.
When it comes to your musical self and your real world self, would you say that their is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
Emotionally there is no separation as I express my daily life experiences. Professionally I don't want any music business matters affect my normal life.
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?
No, I haven't. But personal encounters with the private, sometimes tearful life of some fans as well as Latin America experiences deeply touched me.
What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
I do not listen to anything in Black Metal since maybe 2000/2001. Of course once in a while someone gives me his CD or someone passes me a link to a song and sometimes I check it out, but nothing really caught my attention. I have other music to listen to. Music that isn't so contaminated for me.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
Lies and stupid as well as terrible accusations (mainly about an non-existing political orientation of NARGAROTH) from Scene People, that affected my personal life negatively.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
It did change my life since I started. My progress as human being is only partly rooted in music, but definitely in my psychology career and of course in growing older. Nothing spectacular as you see.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
Hiking, hunting, bike riding.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Thanks for reading this to the end, thanx for any support and for getting original merchandise.
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Discussion with Nargaroth about the New Album!