Monday, November 20, 2017

Norilsk Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Le passage des glaciers is being released on November 24, which means we are currently preparing all the pre-orders, including a new shirt designed by Misanthropic-Art.com. We also have a new lyric video for the song ''Noirceur intérieure'', to be premiered the same week. The band has been rehearsing for the album release show, planned on December 8th, in Ottawa. Aside from this, there is always plenty of planning, booking, and media communication surrounding a new release, which keeps us busy.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

The previous releases were rough around the edges, intentionnally imperfect, and full of fuzz/distortion texture. The new album is more melodic, colder in texture, its structure are a little more varied, and overall the lyrics are more personal. I think people will recognize the guitars and the general sound that we developed previously, but with a few tweaks in the amps setting and mixing. We are very pleased with the work of Mike Bond, producer/engineer at Wolf Lake Studios, who has been instrumental in defining our sound on this album.

3.Your lyrics cover mythological and historical themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?

Most of our lyrics are in French, which may create a bit of mystery, and sometimes confusion. We had this song ''Japetus'' on the previous album, which has been interpreted by many from the standpoint of mythology (Japetus was a Greek titan); however the lyrics are about the former Japetus (or Iapetus) ocean, which we use as a metaphor to our music. We take a great interest in history and culture, but when we incorporate it into our artistic universe it's symbolic or a means to express something. For example, on the new album, we have a song called ''Namolennye'', which uses cultural space and religious objects (icons and iconostasis) to express a certain form of passage and estrangement.

4.I know that the band was named after a city in Siberia, Russia, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

I would say it's isolated, harsh, cold, nordic, vast, and beautiful like our brand of death-doom metal.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Each of us may pick different shows, but mine would probably be the Black Mourning Light Festival in Edmonton, October 2016, and the Earslaughter Festival in Montreal, June 2016. I have been told that our stage performance sheds a different light on Norilsk; I think our shows are equal parts solemn and heavy. This contrast can be witnessed by moments when the music is slow and the crowd is contemplative, and other times when we pick up the beat and deliver solid headbanging.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

The album release show is planned on December 8th, at House of Targ in Ottawa. Mostly because of Winter in this part of the world, we do not plan to hit the road before the Spring. It is our intention to play dates in Central/Eastern Canada in the Spring, with the possibility of a tour later in the Fall. We will definitely consider any reasonable invitation in 2018.

7.On the albums the band works as a duo but has another line-up for live shows, are you open to expanding the line up in the studio?

This is something we will probably discuss and consider every time we hit the studio, so the answer to your question is yes/maybe. Vision, time, commitment, contribution, interpersonal compatibility, and budget are considerations that would continue guiding our decision in that regard. For this last recording session, Nick Richer and I had a clear idea of what we wanted, musically speaking, and our intention was to move through the studio process relatively quickly; this is why we recorded everything just the two of us with engineer Mike Bond, and opted for guest musicians.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of the more dark and extreme genres of metal?

Without pretending to please everyone in these genres, it is clear to me that a majority of dark and extreme music fans are more open-minded than the 'mainstream' type of audience—even when it comes to commercial metal. As you know, black, death-doom, sludge metal and similar genres benefit from a certain niche, which in return provides international reach. Quantitatively, Norilsk probably received more positive comments from UK, or US; but the amazing thing with the underground scene and extreme genres is that there will always be someone across the globe that will listen to your music and connect to it; whether it's in our hometown or in Norilsk, Russia.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that the band members are a part of?

It's true that we play in a constellation of bands, and some of these have been very active lately. Nick's long-standing band Outrage AD is scheduled to release an album through Nosral Recordings this Winter; my other band Mortör has released its third album last Spring; I also released an EP with a collective called TGRE in September; our live guitarists Tom and Chris have been busy releasing a split with their band Fumigation last Spring, and Tom released a solo album.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

It's hard to say where this will lead us, but it does not exclude exploration, or revisiting some of the harsher sides of the first album (ex. funeral, or sludge). Among the things we want to maintain however, are elements of both continuity and progression between the albums; like a reference and a dialogue, while we undertake the next chapter.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Le passage des glaciers contains music that was composed from 2013 to 2017; during this period, we drank from the fountain of death-doom to compose this album, especially using influences like Paradise Lost, old Katatonia, October Tide, and Morgion. Having said that, we probably listen to old and new bands equally, and genres ranging from black metal, funeral doom, death, thrash, sludge, post-everything, dark wave, and much more. Tonight, for example, I was listening to the latest Kauan, Bell Witch, and Zao.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

For me, I'd say architecture and history; for Nick Richer, probably photography and beer reviewing.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

I would like to acknowledge the help of our good friend Nic Skog at Hypnotic Dirge Records, who worked hard for releasing and promoting this album, and respecting our artistic vision. Visit the label's website and check out the great black and doom albums released under the HDR banner.

Also, a special thanks to you for your time organizing this interview, and for listening to our music.

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