Keyboardist Marco Sneck of the extreme metal band Nothnegal spoke to me recently about the band’s new full-length disc, Decadence. The band hails from the Maldive Islands and they have toured through Europe in support of Finntroll and Samael. 2012 is shaping up to be a big year for the band and once the record is released they plan on hitting the road touring through Europe once again including dates with Opeth. Here is how the conversation went.
Now that your new record, Decadence is complete and about to be released how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
Marco: The album came out with a really strong sound; it is a package of aggressive metal teamed up with catchy melodies. It was recorded here and there, basically all over the globe, still it sounds really tight. It is our first one and we are really proud of it, playing- and production-wise!
Your EP Antidote Of Realism received critical acclaim worldwide when it was released. Did this put any pressure on you when you were writing and recording Decadence?
Marco: The EP had really good songs but we knew we had to change the style to really standout. There was of course a bit of a risk but it had to be done, even though the feedback was overwhelming. There was actually no pressure, but we really pushed the creativity to the limits while writing.
How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Marco: Some songs are always closer to your heart so especially when playing one, if people are really digging it, you can’t help feeling the rush. There are not many things in life that can overcome that. It kind of pays off everything you put into it!
Was there any different writing this CD compared to your last?
Marco: The songwriting on Decadence was a more collaborative effort, with almost everyone in the band contributing. With Antidote it was almost solely Hilarl and Fufu who handled the songwriting.
What is the significance of the title Decadence?
Marco:Decadence tells a story of the descent of mankind to madness of the mechanical tyranny.
What lyrical themes do you cover?
Marco: The lyrics are mostly based on a war between humans and machine which takes place in the future and each song is like a chapter of the whole story.
Any rituals before you hit the stage? If so what are they?
Marco: To be honest no rituals, it is just a mixture getting a relaxed state and going through the hardest spots of the set on your mind. After that everything goes with the flow!
Check out the song “Salvation” here.
What is the music culture like in The Maldives? Is there a heavy metal scene?
Marco: The music in Maldives is really diverse, with pop and mostly Indian influenced music dominating the mainstream market. But lately heavy metal has been growing fast. More listeners, more shows and more bands have started to emerge. Popular metal bands like Arch Enemy have performed in Maldives and as we speak, Opeth is scheduled to play here on February 7th so it’s going quite well in terms of heavy metal here.
Is being from such a remote location a hindrance on your career?
Marco: When it comes to travel expenses it’s always difficult as most tours and festivals happen in Europe quite far from where Maldives is.
What kind of touring plans do you have in support of the record?
Marco: Right after the album release, we will do some shows supporting bands like Opeth and Poets Of The Fall. We are also planning to do more shows in the spring time and fill the summer with festivals. We are prepared to promote the album and play to people all the way up!
What is next for Nothnegal?
Marco: Now we focus on getting tour plans straight, and then rehearse the show as tight as possible. We are really waiting to perform the songs from Decadence live!