Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity?
What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?
Igor: Friendship, the will to create music, to play and experiment. Noctiferia is what we identify with. It is family...
Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are
stagnant. Is it just me, or is there any truth to this?
Noctiferia: Igor: I would call it natural progression first of all. We create music, most abstract art of all arts. We try not to put our creative mind in a box. We don’t like to repeat our selves or do something that we or any bands have done before. This is quite hard because we are a metal band and in metal most of the things were written. But we would never release a quick album just to have something out, you know. We notice many bands that stayed on the same level as 20 years ago and did not move further. We sometimes try to walk on the edge of metal genre or even widen the borders... and this is where the fun and joy for creation starts.
Musicscan: Right now, the harder music scene seems to go even more extreme than ever
before. Bands are pushing the boundaries as far as complexity, technical
approach and extreme arrangements are concerned. What are your thoughts on
this development, and how is Noctiferia affected by this?
Noctiferia: Igor : It is a natural progression to push the limits. Noctiferia is not that type of extreme metal band. Extreme metal is not necessary constant blast beat or complex technical abilities, etc. There are few different ways of extreme metal. Bands that would follow Hate Eternal, who did it all concerning complexity and speed and technical abilities... There are thousands of variations of extreme metal bands who would follow Suffocation, Immolation or Morbid Angel. Those bands put the fundament for extreme metal in some way, but there were also bands like Nocturnus who did it in a different way, more dramatic or atmospheric if you want. Today you have also all the mathematical bands who fit in the same category, but Noctiferia is different of all. We use some sounds, patterns or rhythms that can be quite unusual or strange. This fusion of different styles is very important to us.
Musicscan: Would you agree to my statement, that the acceptance for this kind of
complex, crazy and extreme music in between different heavy styles you are
playing has become broader over the last few years. What would you say is
the reason for this?
Noctiferia: Gianni: Yes I think that extreme metal and death metal in particular are progressive forms of metal where artist can do whatever he wants. I think we are coming to new era of bands that try to connect different musical influences to create a new form of extreme metal. There are few pioneers on different fields, who have been exploring different styles. There is Opeth one of the best examples, or even Nile, who were very original when they come out with first couple of records. At first I remember it was hard for some fans to accept such a big stylistic progression as putting Pink Floyd part or Egyptian national part within death metal. But this is how it has to be. Metal as a style must progress and we in Noctiferia must progress within it and always try to do different, cool interesting stuff. We were always trying to explore new musical territories and mixing different music together and progression as artists and musicians means a lot to us.
Musicscan: Of the songs you guys have written and recorded, which one do you feel
crosses the most borders? What other borders, musically speaking, do you
guys wanna knock down in the future?
Noctiferia: Igor: Samsara. I think we managed to keep that deep mystic spirit of Noctiferia, progressed within extreme metal, some retro electronics crossed the borders of extreme metal with keeping the tempo down and adding perfect clean national vocalist, more percussive style of rhythm. There are 3 different drum lines fused together on that song: main "metal" basic but also very percussive, then rototom and deep toms rhythmic that Gianni plays. And then there are tablas and karatals which is something like a tambourine, both Indian traditional instruments. Samsara is seriously influenced by Juno Reactor and Dead Can Dance. Then there are songs like Deluders and Followers where we go deep to the research of extreme metal with blast beats, but would cross that with clean backing vocals and certain atmosphere which is not so known within extreme metal normally. Or there is Terror where with military introduction mathematical theme that fits perfectly to this type of aggressive song. We would research extreme metal and would use any of the styles we have ever played, from death to black metal and would cross that with interesting atmospheres and influences. For the future we would like to research even deeper and connect extreme metal with different, scary, evil or beautiful stuff. We just played in Macedonia and met grandson of a famous Macedonian Gipsy singer and we would love to make cooperation with some Gipsy singers or something like that.
Musicscan: You have just completed your new album Death Culture: What sort of evolution
has Noctiferia gone through into this new album?
Noctiferia: Gianni: I must say that with Death Culture we finally did an album we wished to do for a long time. As I said there is always certain degree of progression in Noctiferia, but this time we just did it the right way. We are satisfied with the songs. Song structures are different, every song differs from the other and we were not afraid to experiment and try new things. We used many new sounds and rhythms that would normally not fit to a death metal band and there is one thing, sound. We never had so good sound before. This recording process we had was a great decision as we finally have the sound we wanted.
Musicscan: What ideas and “strategies” went into the process of setting apart this new
album from your previous releases? Did you guys do something differently by
choice to keep things progressing?
Noctiferia: Igor: This is not done on purpose, you know like we will probably change in the future, but not intentionally. This is a process that starts in our rehearsal room with putting new riffs and stuff together. It is a play in the beginning, jam session usually, where nothing is forbidden. From that session basics the songs are born.
Musicscan: Noctiferia has always been a forward thinking band, never sticking to any
formulas. But listening to the new album quite a bit, I have been noticing a
little more groove and flow. Is this something you guys tried to do with the
new stuff or did the writing process just head in that direction?
Noctiferia: Igor: We were in much more organic writing mood this time and it took us quite some time to finish the writings and to record it all. You are absolutely right! Some songs on the record sound really groovy. We tried to operate with basics like simple groove for example. It works perfectly with orchestration, electronics or ethno lines driving in the background. With some songs like Demoncracy we would just take the main groovy riff and work on it as a main theme. Mass of Samael had an idea to make this song more rock sounding and simple. I think that was cool idea; to relieve the tension and intensity of the album. Same goes for SlaveDriver.
Musicscan: Is it an intentional drive to make the songs as dark and brutal as possible?
And how do you know when a song is finished and ready for recording?
Noctiferia: Igor: Well, we wanted all the songs and the album to sound deep as an abyss and enormous, mystic or evil. Simply arranged but multi layered, so you dont hear everything on first listening, it takes you some time to hear all the lines or you hear every time something new. Brutal and aggressive parts are also important because our core was always death metal. The nature of Noctiferia was always this dark deep ambiental technical metal and sometimes is very dramatical, but can be groovy or bizarre, and would use the form Evil as most intentional drive. It has to sound "evil".
Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can
modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing
forms and elements?
Noctiferia: Gianni: There is so much of unexplored music field where bands can investigate. It is important to take death metal as a core or foundation, but it is also a free form of art without any limitations. Those are not necessary new sounds that would make extreme metal sounding new and fresh. There is a lot to discover in old sounds, like traditional instruments, traditional singing. There are so many combinations that can sound new and progressive. But on the other hand lots of bands put the fundaments in different styles and now is time to cross the best stuff. I mean for typical Florida death metal no one can do more than Death already did, but this is only one particular style of death metal. In other type of Florida death metal Morbid Angel did it all long time a go…and the list goes on because Cynic did the best in their field….you know what I mean. A lot has been done but a lot of new things will be discovered in the future.
Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you do
well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Especially in the
context of Noctiferia?
Noctiferia: Gianni: Hm. I like this kind of deep questions. I think there is no certain line, but we will always keep our roots as main influences. You know death and black metal, old one especially! But we will progress in sounds and different ideas in Noctiferia’s nature. This will turn traditional to modern and normal to abnormal, because you need certain experimentation to make things different. It is quite impossible to invent a new style of metal, because all has been done, but there are certain possible renovations and changes that can be done within extreme metal. This is why we think is the best to be categorized as extreme metal, because who the hell needs a new style? But in the reality fans and musicians always look for different and new styles and it is important to progress as an artist and we just would not be happy persons if we were not experimenting with different styles, opening new fields and experimenting in new dimensions.
Musicscan: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical
tastes are getting Noctiferia? And is this something that matters to you?
Noctiferia: Gianni: This is important to us and means a lot to us. First of all we are metal band in the metal community and we make music for ourselves first of all. But there were always metal bands who brought attention of non metal public and this is great for all metal community, because a person like this is open minded and will be interested in hearing more metal and his friends will realize that this is not some kind of music for psychos only- but that metal is great music. We had a video at national TV for 8 weeks and I know that at that time we turned many non metal people to metal fans that still say that Fond of Lies changed their lives. This is far the best compliment we can get.
Musicscan: What makes the band special to you? How would you describe the essence of
Noctiferia: Igor: It is deep, massive ever growing force. With no prejudices what so ever. We search our influences in everything that surround us. This is why it is important to be open minded; to filter important messages and be focused on the details. Everything is connected.
Musicscan: Final thoughts?
Noctiferia: Igor: thank you for this interview, i enjoyed answering your questions. Death Culture is already out so give it a chance and see if you like what we do. The album is very diverse, so more listening are recommended, hehe, and hopefully we play in Germany soon and see you there.