Metal bands in the nineties are legion it seems, and few make a major impact on the scene. But NIGHTRAGE do, relentlessly they go their own way but still packs a punch. The phenomenon appeared over ten years ago, in 2000 to be precise, under the direction of guitarist Marios Iliopulos (and Gus G). Members have come and gone but the lineup of Marios and Olof Björck on guitars, Antony Hämäläinen on vocals, Anders Hammer on bass and drummer Jo Nunez seems stable. But the attitude of the band gets them both kudos and hardship. A no nonsense head on metal band without compromise ought to be everyone´s dream…or not? Who better to explain than Messrs. Hämäläinen and Iliopulos? Hi guys, now…
FP: What about the new album?
- We´re only doing what we always do, says band leader Marios.
Antony chips in that Marios writes most of the stuff, and that their influences range from IRON MAIDEN to AT THE GATES. They feel that the guest list of the album, including Thomas Lindberg of AT THE GATES, is a homage to the band over the years. . When they first discussed the album at a café on Gothenburg we wanted to create DISSECTION-like riffs. The initial starting point was that they were pissed-off, and felt a need for super heavy yet melodic music. Actually, there were no clean vocals at all on the album in the beginning.
FP: I try to get them to discuss the meaning of the individual songs, but Antony is very clear on that subject;
- Everybody is entitled to their own interpretation, says the versatile vocalist. Apparently he has his own bad memories of having your view of a song crushed.
FP: After all this attention, and seeing other international bands like ARCH ENEMY break big on major labels, how come you are still on a smaller French label?
NR: - Quite frankly it is because no one else wanted us. We don´t do trends to support any family or so, we live by our beliefs, states Antony. He really lives as he learns, sporting a diploma in computer science he could easily leave the band for a well-paid job. But that would not happen in NIGHTRAGE by the looks of things.
FP: Band members have come and gone, why should this lineup last?
NR: - Because were such good friends, when recording the album we actually got together days before, just to hang out. We also share more of the creative process than before, making everybody part of the band to a larger extent.
FP: Speaking about creating the album, how about some of them, a song like “Cloaked in Wolfskin”, a favorite, what´s the story? And the instrumental “Solar Corona”, not quite what I expected, how did it come about?
NR – “Cloaked…” is actually an old song, it has been suggested and bandied about around many recordings before ending up on this one.
“Solar Corona” stood up to be recorded for the album. The clean vocals come courtesy of Tom of EVERGREY. We felt a sudden need for strings, and decided on that arrangement. Actually, just about anything can be tested in the future.
FP. Where do NIGHTRAGE go from here?
NR: There will be more tours, we aim for Europe in February 2012. We certainly aim for festivals, and, when we´re ready, we will begin on the next album. We feel that the best is always in the future. We´re not a major band in the US, but we need to show ourselves and get good PR. Europe has grown for us, things look even better now than with the previous album. About Scandinavia we hope for ten to twelve shows, perhaps even in connection with German dates. Small towns seem to suit us best, a good move or not it is a fact.
FP: And from the stage point of view, who is your average fan?
Antony, spontaneously, - A kid who loves to play guitar!
It also seems musicians love us. It was a moment to remember when we got to write autographs for the guys in TRIVIUM.
FP: Finally, how do you keep a multinational band that is not a computer based project, together?
NR: Aw, well, we actually write a lot of songs that are sent for scrutiny over e-mail. Antony fix things up and we get together to record them. The rest is a
matter of being rally good friends.
FP: And that is where the fun ends and we say goodbye. But not before Marios says a very heartfelt goodbye to the fans. He expresses his humble and dedicated views, saying how much the fans means and how they aim to please them. That is the thing about NIGHTRAGE. They will not quit, they will not change, and they do it for the fans and for their good friends in the band. They all feel so genuine you gotta love them. Please do, and remember to get the album, it is after all the possibly best melodic brutality you´re hear in 2011.