Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ninkharsag Interview

Introduce the band and their roles….
The band consists of Kyle on vocals and guitar, Paul on guitar, Jay on Drums, and Steve on Bass. Paul and Kyle handle the basic song structures then we all bring things to the table to complete the song. We find this is a good way to keep working on new material but it is in no way an autocracy...everyone in the band has ideas to offer and we will work at a song until we are all satisfied with it.

Lyrically, what are the bands inspirations and what topics do you deal with?
The themes of the lyrics are ancient and alternative histories, occult philosophy, science, and literature. The name ‘Ninkharsag’ is an alternate spelling of 'Ninkhursag', who is the Sumerian mother goddess. She was the consort of Enki and she bore him a daughter, who Enki then impregnated. Incest reigned for a time, then after several incestuous relationships with his daughters and their daughters, Enki's seed was buried in the ground and the first plants grew. There is an alternative version of this story which states that The Anunnaki, as the Sumerian deities are known, were actually alien being who mixed their DNA with that of apes on Earth to breed man into slaves. This is the version that we are most interested in. This is also one of theories concerning the 2012 scenario which makes it even more important. There is too much interesting information in the world for us to pigeon hole ourselves into singing about something as stagnant as Satan!

There’s a definite old school vibe to your sound, mayhem being a comparison. Where do you guys draw influence from and is that a fair comparison?
That is a fair comparison as we are all fans of Mayhem and bands from the early 90's. None of us really listen to any modern black metal and we believe the golden age of this music was in the 90's. That is not to say that we don't want to put a modern touch to our songs, but if we can achieve something similar to the classic black metal sound, then we will. We purposefully used a grimy old valve guitar head to record with on the demo to give it that extra menacing sound. We don't want to record in the best studio with pro-tools and the like. We purposefully want the rawer edge like the early Bathory albums.

How do you describe your sound?
We would describe it as a’re-awakening' of the old black metal sound. We don't want to wallow in the past but we do believe that black metal has gotten stagnant the last 10 years...bloated and pompous if you will. We are trying to achieve a stripped down, no nonsense attitude where the music will do the talking but without compromising on song writing. That said, we are interested in keeping the music fresh and interesting. We don't believe in dragging out songs for 10 minutes so we try and keep the song going until we feel it has had its course then move onto the next.
Christophe Szpajdel designed the logo, which is a great logo…was he your first choice and why chose him?
Christophe was our first choice; we felt it natural to use his talent as he has created some of the most well produced art within black metal and has a great catalogue of work. We have been lucky enough to be featured in his book ‘The Lord of Logos’.

What has reaction been like to the demo?
We have had a generally good response to the demo but I think it is time we stepped up our game somewhat. We are waiting for more feedback from some online zines so only time will tell what people from around the world think. We all feel like we could have done a better job with the demo so we are determined to make the next release as good as can be.

What future releases do you have planned?
We are putting the final touches to the last of the songs for our debut album which we hope to record this winter. The two songs off the demo will be on it as well as about 8 others. We also have a track on the new UKEM 'Disciples of Extremity vol.2' compilation which is a great honour for us.

You guys appear to be active giggers.  What can we expect from you live and are you choosy about when and where you play or is everywhere fair game?
We have played 6 gigs so far, with others planned for this year. We've been lucky enough to support Bal-Sagoth, Old Corpse Road and Primitive Graven Image to name a few. We also have gigs supporting Ingested in Leeds in November and a Black Metal Christmas (?!) special in December in Liverpool. When we play live, we keep it simple. No stage dress and no gimmicks. We feel that the music should speak for itself without having to rely on such things. That is not to say we are aloof from other bands that choose to do this as it is an integral part of the black metal movement and can appreciate the heritage, but it is not for us. We are willing to play most places but we need to cover basic petrol costs and the like; if so, we are there.

What merch do you guys currently have for sale and where can we get it?
At the moment we have a t-shirt, the demo CD and stickers which we give away at gigs. You can buy them from us at shows or you can order from

What are your thoughts on the current underground BM scene and do you feel a part of it?
It is a great scene, full of enthusiasm and good people. All the bands in it are bringing something unique to the table which is rare in a metal scene where most bands are content to follow whatever nonsense is doing the rounds at the time. We have only been together since April yet we feel we have been welcomed with open arms which is brilliant for us. It means we can get on with what we want to do without having to struggle to get gigs or get our name out there.

Thanks once again for speaking with us. Any last words you wish to share with our readers?
Thank you for taking the time to read our words and come and watch us play. You won't find us sacrificing virgins on St. Swithin's Day but you will find quality metal to make you wake up with a sore neck the next morning.

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