Thank you once again for being in Metal Invader’s service, George.
Thank you very much!
Well, you had a new album on November 2nd from Nuclear Blast, “Vile Nilotic Rites”. What did you expect from this album?
Mostly people to like it, although this is not the only thing we write for. We write according to what is going on and what we have in mind, but we should like it ourselves first. It’s an important record, definitely, because it’s essentially the ticket to our next deal with Nuclear Blast. It is important to present a good record at the end of an agreement in order for other companies to be interested or for the existing company to expand the contract.
Although Karl would be better at answering the question, this time, what is the title’s backstory?
Oh, come on! He writes the lyrics, he’s responsible for the concept and shares the lyrics with us so that we can write music. I have also written a song on this album, inspired by the lyrics I had in my hands. The same goes for Bryan, who has written 4 songs. The demands this time were high, to tell you the truth, so I didn’t focus that much to the lyrics. I wanted to sit down and study the music because this time the tracks were more technical. When the album was in pre-production, we probably did like 8 or 9 demos for the song. Every time we discussed what can be changed, we suggested new ideas, we did it again as it goes, and so there was no time for inspiration from the lyrics.
The lyrics were once again full of Egyptian themes, rivers and stuff.
This time he has been very inspired by various series he watches. He generally studies a lot. That is what he does, in contrast to us!
Do you think that all this can get tiring at some point, always lyrically speaking?
For those who pay close attention to lyrics, I don’t think so. Generally speaking, there are many sources of inspiration. To tell the truth, I never got into lyrics, not even for my favorite bands. It’s very important for Karl; I guess I found it all a bit funny from my own favorite bands when I was younger. You know, Satanism and so on. I’m not looking into it that much.
Nine records after, and four years since “What Should Not Be Unearthed”, many things have changed for Nile. Your music direction has also changed a bit, I think. How much did all these factors affect you?
At first, the album was delayed because we overdid it with touring. When it all ended and went to our headquarters to write for the next step, “Summer Slaughter” came up. Then, there was a tour offer with Soulfly we didn’t want to refuse. At some point we realized we were far left behind. Brad was already on tour with us and I wouldn’t say he’s a new member now. And Bryan brought a whole new air and lots of new ideas to the band. Nile is a live band mainly and that’s where all members can be seen on full perspective. The energy of the new members made a big difference. I’ve been in the band for so many years and it’s the first time I can honestly say that the team kicks ass!
Your performance was once again amazing on the album, we have to say. How hard can that be for you when it comes to live performances?
Look, I’ve been doing it for years and now it doesn’t affect me that much. I’m 42 years old now and I play way better than when I first joined the band 16 years ago. I thought I would be falling at my age by now. We do live dates continuously and we do it just fine. It’s easy for me now, because I spend a lot of time with the drums. I can spend 6-7 hours at home, andwhile on tour I have a jazzkit in which I practice many hours before the show. Drumming is a way of life.
In “Vile Nilotic Rites” the atmosphere is much darker and mysterious. Playing is a little slower, the speed is a little down in many places, which makes it a little more “nightmarish”. Would you see it as a challenge to make a slower album at some point?
Good question. It would be really challenging as Nile to do that. We like to play fast, especially me as a drummer, I am particularly chased by this. But it was not the purpose of my life to play fast. What I admire about the band and that’s why I’ve been for so many years, is that it’s all a challenge. You need to read and experiment with other elements. It’s not something I can do in just one day in the studio and finish the case right there. I like that we mix a speedy and an epic slow pace, because the dynamics are completely different. We spend a lot of time balancing our elements in the studio, and we would never do what many bands do now, unfortunately, to make something in the studio and on stage look completely different. I have lost interest in many bands for that exact reason. That’s why I say Nile is a live band. We are interested in the pulse and the flow. We want fast measures to have a pulse as well, so that people can be headbang to it!
Is anything planned so far as for live dates? Many years have passed since your last time in Greece.
Our last time in Greece was with Kreator, in 2012. It was a couple of shows, that due to really bad luck we had to only play like 5 songs. Imagine being a band with a Greek drummer, who hasn’t played in Greece for years, and that’s what happens! They booked us as if we were coming from Thessaloniki with a tourbus. We had a large production with our own catering and 3 buses coming right after us. It was four bands on the billing. We are pushing hard for a big Greek festival and if this won’t happen, we will do definitely arrange something on the next European tour.