Sunday, 13 November 2011

Nachzehrer interview

I'n not gonna bore you with a long introduction to this interview... Let me just remind you how much I liked the demo from NACHZEHRER - read the review on this blog somewhere - after which i quickly contacted the band to arrange this interview. Here's it is. About horror, black metal and few other things...

1.I would like to start this interview asking you about the band’s moniker… After some research, I’ve found out that nachzehrer is a word taken from German myths and according to the folklore in Bavaria (but also in Poland’s Kaszuby) it’s a vampiric creature, one which doesn’t suck blood though, but feeds on already dead bodies. Man, what a cool name for the band! How have you chosen it? If you looked for obscure meanings, then I think your choice if perfect! I was wondering once, if legends about such creatures have any relation to the actual events from the past… do you think that nachzehrer legend was based on some real stories?
Czarnobóg: Yeah, the "Nachzehrer" comes from Germanic folklore, but in New England, the region where we're from, there was also a belief in similar vampiric forms (in the 1700/1800's at times of disease outbreak). We thought the name was a good fit for us. It’s interesting that most cultures have some form of 'vampire' archetype in their legends and folklore, even going back to ancient times. Real or not it is a collective expression of the darker parts of human psyche that is as old as recorded history.

2. Vampires are subject of new Hollywood trend, one which I must say I hate a lot. All this teenage shit that movies like “Twilight” made popular is just fuckin’ crap and personally I can’t stand it and it only makes me vomit. What do you think about this or even better, about people who – after watching such movies – start to behave and dress like their movie heroes? Which vampiric characters in the literature or movies, you find as most influential and interesting? Don’t you think there won’t be more creepy character than Murnau’s Nosferatu?
Hräsvelgr:  Nosferatu is the quintessential vampire movie. Where do you go from there? Max Schreck’s character, Count Orlok, is amazing. To be honest, outside of this one movie, I’ve never been much into vampires. So, while I agree that movies and books like “Twilight” may be annoying it really doesn’t bother me that much I never really cared about it in the first place.

3. A. Sz. La Vey wrote (in his Bible) about the psychic vampire, which is a person or being who claims to feed off the "life force" of other living creatures. What do you think about such theory? I personally think this is truly interesting concept.
Czarnobóg: I watched a documentary awhile back where they did supposedly find a change in heat patterns and electromagnetic fields generated by the human body in response to so-called 'psychic vampirism' so who knows, maybe there is something to it? It is an interesting concept but I personally think that most people are just really fucking draining to be around in general, nothing supernatural about it.

4. Boston as a city has nice connection to the classic horrors, this is where Edgar Allan Poe was born, but also the action of many of Lovecraft’s and Stephen King’s books are taking place in Boston. Tell me, are you horror fans and which do you prefer – books or movies? Which are your favorites?
Hräsvelgr: Boston has a great history when it comes to horror, but New England as a whole is much more interesting. We are lucky enough to live in an area that was once ripe with superstition and strange happenings. There is an excellent blog that is constantly updated with tons of interesting folklore from the area. I highly suggest that anybody interested checks it out: As an avid horror fan, I take about as much as I can get, books, comics (the CREEPY and EERIE comics are a personal favorite of mine). I have an extensive library of DVD and VHS horror flicks (over 1,200 in all, and I’m constantly adding to the collection).  I’m really big into exploitation and revenge films. If you haven’t seen Christina Lindberg in “Thriller: A Cruel Motion Picture”, I suggest you do so now.  I also love the Italian giallo films from the 1970’s, “Don’t Torture a Duckling”, “Black Belly of the Tarantula” and “Twitch of the Death Nerve”.

5. OK, let’s talk about NACHZEHRER finally. The band was formed only recently in 2009, but you already have two materials recorded. Tell me, is “Black Thrash Ritual” demo equally good and extreme as “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows”? Because I’ve never heard about your band earlier, tell me how have you promoted the first demo?
Czarnobóg: When we recorded "Black Thrash Ritual" we were barely even a full band. We just recorded the four songs we had at that point. As far as demos go it’s ok, but we've definitely evolved since then: more black, less thrash. A small local label (Reaper's Grave) put it out as a limited cassette release and we've sold copies at shows and sent a few out to friends and contacts. A few of blogs reviewed it or posted the download link, but other than that not much promotion. [Reaper’s Grave has just re-released the “Black Thrash Ritual” tape again, copies are available through the band].

6. “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows” is an uncompromising and devastating piece of thrashing black metal. These few songs that you’ve recorded have strength of napalm and I’m sure that many maniacs will like them. How’s the feedback on it so far? You’ve released it on tape in cooperation with two labels, what your next steps will be considering promotion and release of “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows”?
Czarnobóg: Thanks. We try to bring together the best parts of first and second wave black metal with an overall aggressive thrash approach. Cold, raw and filthy. The respons
e has been good so far (we're actually surprised how good it has been because we're all pretty sick of playing some of those songs, haha). Demons Gate Records contacted us about putting it out as a limited cassette release (along with Tombs in the Valley Productions, another UK label), and it has been selling well for them. They might even be sold out at this point? A CD version is also available for anyone who is interested.
Hräsvelgr: We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback which is great, but, as Czarnobóg said, we’ve gotten a little tired of playing the songs. When we made “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows” we had re-recorded what we thought were the two strongest songs from our “Black Thrash Ritual” demo and then recorded four more. We have been very busy writing for our next recording, which is slated for recording sometime this winter. Expect it to be more of the charging black force you got with this latest release.

7. You’ve released it on tape first, which I think is the least popular format for the music nowadays. Personally even though I started with cassettes almost 20 years ago, I haven’t got many left because I never really liked this format that much, mainly because it’s difficult to keep them fresh and they’re easy to break… also the sound is not as good as on vinyl or CD. What’s your opinion on the tape traditions, especially if we talk about the demo tapes? Why have you chosen cassette for the format for “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadows”?
Hräsvelgr: I personally enjoy the sound of a crackling tape over the crisp quality a CD has to offer. Something about listening to metal on a cassette just feels right, low-fi and distant... it’s like listening to a record in a cave, only you’re in your car or apartment. Also, a tape is generally more personal, the “Black Thrash Ritual” demo was dubbed by hand by some dude in his apartment, no fancy pressing plant or anything like that. There is also the fact that I know a lot of people that just lose and/or break CDs all the time, myself included. I feel that with cassette somebody (as clumsy or forgetful as myself) may be able to hold onto the release for a bit longer. Hell, I’ve got a copy of Destruction’s “Sentence of Death” on cassette that gets constant rotation in my deck that plays better than some of the CDs I bought last year.

8. Your EP is available for a free download in the internet, which I think may have sense, if you released it only as limited tape, but I think it’ll also be released as CD one day, so I’m just curious don’t you think that no one will be interested in buying the CD, if they have the album downloaded? Besides, downloading is very controversial nowadays, some see it as kind of modern tape trading, only on large scale… I think I would agree with it, if it didn’t get out of control and the number of downloads some people do – without buying any original CD/LP – is scary… What’s your opinion on this matter?
Czarnobóg: I like knowing that anyone with access to a computer, anywhere in the world, can give our band (or any metal band) a listen. Obviously it’s a different dynamic than the old tape trading days, where you really had to be dedicated to find out about new underground bands. But it has its advantages too. Scenes are less isolated, and you're able to have more of an appreciation of the international scope of black metal music. If anyone really supports what we're doing they'll hopefully buy a tape or t-shirt or whatever on top of just downloading our music, but we're not too worried about it. No one expects to ever make any money off this band.

9. Would you mind telling me something about the lyrics, in songs like “Howling and the Imminent Stench of Decay”, “Bärsärkar-gång” and “Incestual Demoncy”?
Hräsvelgr:  The lyrics I write are often based on works of horror fiction or local folklore. These particular songs are no exception. “Howling” is based on the novel “The Wolf Leader”. Written in 1857, the plot involves a peasant shoe-maker, Thibault, who encounters a wolf walking on two legs like a man. The wolf offers Thibault a chance for vengeance on those who have harmed him. The wolf offers to grant Thibault any vindictive wish he desires. In addition, Thibault gains the ability to communicate with wolves and is casted as a werewolf by the local townsfolk. Eventually, through various twists, this backfires on him until the end. I’d rather not give everything away, but suggest you read it if you ever have the chance.
“Bärsärkar-gång” is somewhat based on Grettir’s poem “Saga”, but is more of a forward account of the Norse warriors commonly known as berserks. It’s the account of a Norse warrior that has consumed psylocybin mushrooms (a common belief that these warriors ate drugged food before battle) going into battle and the frenzied charge that ensues.
“Incestual Demoncy” is based off the account of the Exeter, RI vampire legend of Mercy Brown. Tuberculosis was a wipe spread epidemic for last part of the 19th century. Mary Brown, the mother of the family was the first to die of the disease, then followed their eldest daughter, their son Edwin became sick and finally one last daughter, Mercy, contracted the disease and had died in January of 1982. All of the family members who contracted the disease had died. Locals suspected that somebody in the family was a vampire. They exhumed the two corpses and had found nothing wrong. When the time came to exhume Mercy they found something, that at the time, was undisputable evidence of a vampire. Mercy’s body had suffered little to no decomposition and there was still blood in her heart. Rather than rationalize that placing somebody in an above ground crypt in the middle of winter would halt the rotting process, they believed this was evidence of a vampire. They removed Mercy’s heart, burned it and mixed the ashes with water to give to her sick brother Edwin, who proceeded to die two months later.
10. Cool! Don’t know about you, but personally I just love such stories. I need to ask you about two of the pseudonyms NACHZEHRER members have. First one is Czarnobóg – which in Polish means “black god” and the second one is Hräsvelgr ("Corpse Swallower"), which in Norse mythology is a giant who takes eagle form. Why have you chosen them?
Czarnobóg: My family background is Polish-American and I am interested in old slavic paganism. I figured if I was going to play bass in a black metal band, why not pay homage to the god of darkness, storms and death?
Hräsvelgr: I chose the name that I thought best suited the style I was going for with my vocals; screeching, dark and harsh. Other than the fact that the tale of a giant eagle who is the Norse god of winter, feeds on corpses left to rot and “sits on the edge of the world and causes the wind to blow when he beats his wings in flight” is pretty fucking cool, I think the name is pretty suiting.

11. Two of the NACHZEHRER members have played in UNHOLY GOATFUCKER earlier. I’m not going to ask about the band’s extreme moniker, but I’d like to know if they’re still around and what kind of obscure noise have they been playing?
Czarnobóg: This was me and Draak's old band. Originally it was mostly just an excuse for us to make some drunken noise, nothing we took very serious. Eventually we started writing some proper songs and put out a demo and a split EP (w/ HELLHUNTER from San Francisco, CA... on Buriedinhell Records) and then it fell apart in 2009, right before NACHZERHER started. Our old singer Ansgar lives in Philadelphia, PA now and she has a new project called HEXER (

12. I’ve seen a flyer advertising your gig with the mighty ABSU. I must say that I worship this band already since about 1995, when I’ve heard “Barathrum” masterpiece for the first time and always considered them to be the best US black metal band. How this gig was for you and what do you think about ABSU and their specific style? Which of their albums is your favorite?
Czarnobóg: We're all huge ABSU fans and definitely looking forward to sharing a stage with them. By far one of the best USBM bands, and one that doesn't just stick to one particular formula or strict style with their music. "Tara" probably still gets the most play for me, but I like pretty much everything they've put out over the years. The newest album is worth checking out if you haven't given it a listen yet.

13. Not yet, I’m waiting for some spare cash to get the vinyl, as I have all the previous ABSU works on L
P format. OK, I think it’s about time to finish this short conversation, but I hope to see something more from NACHZEHRER in the future, maybe with the next recordings! Any blasphemies to finish this interview?
Hräsvelgr: Stay tuned for any details our next aural assault. In the meantime, make sure to pick up a copy of “Pestilence Hungers in the Shadow”.
Czarnobóg: Thanks for the interview. We're working on some new stuff now, and have plans to record again in the winter. Hopefully for a full-length this time around (labels, get in touch!). Also some potential splits in the works. Keep an eye out. If anyone wants to contact us about tapes, cds or t-shirts:

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