With so many cool bands out there to check out I offer you some minor guidance by introducing you to NAILED TO OBSCURITY. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
Ole: Of course we always wanted to play big festivals stages and tours, etc. But in the beginning we never thought that this would be possible at all. So even though we are super happy with how things are developing right now, this wasn’t our intention when we founded the band.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
Raimund: Yes in every possible way. After we released “King Delusion”, we really felt it was the right album to start the next chapter in the history of the band. We wanted to make the next step in our evolution. When Ole and Volker started to write the first ideas for what would become “Black Frost”, they made sure that the songs wouldn’t turn into copies of the songs we did on “King Delusion”. They always start to collect the first ideas in advance and then we write and arrange the songs all together in the rehearsal room. The basic idea behind the new material was to make it more dark and more obscure in a way. And in my opinion “Black Frost” is definitely our darkest and most atmospheric album to date. It also brings a lot of new nuances to the table like the ambient guitar sounds and the variety of vocal-styles.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
Ole: We had the feeling already on King Delusion but even more with Black Frost and we want to keep building on that but also keep developing our own sound.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Raimund: I want my lyrics to be open to any kind of interpretation. The lyrics and our music are my channel for struggles and negative emotions. Through the metaphors within the lyrics, I want to allow the listener to find his/ her own key to the lyrics. I think the general message is: “You are never alone when you struggle.” You can also find a social-critical point in the lyrics because they are all about inner conflicts that society doesn’t allow people to express. I think lyrics shouldn’t be just random words that fit a certain rhythm or rhyme scheme. They are definitely more than that.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
Raimund: A cover artwork is very important in my opinion. It is the first impression that you get from an album. The cover is like a statement: “In this image you can see what you get – lyrically or musically!” We are very proud of the imagery that Argentinian artist Santiago Caruso came up with after we sent him the first instrumental versions as demos as well as the lyrics. He really nailed the atmosphere and the lyrical direction of the album. When we play a song off “Black Frost”, I always have his images in my mind. I don’t make a difference between a digital download or a physical copy of an album. It’s likewise important to have a strong artwork.
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
Raimund: In general, it’s hard for bands in this day and age. The music industry has changed and the bands have to work a lot harder, I think. But success is also a wide term. For us, the most important thing is to reach out to as many people as possible. It would be a success to move people through our music. We play the music we like ourselves and it’s just great to see that there are people out there that like our stuff. We put a lot of effort into our music and everything around it and it’s great when it pulls off.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
Raimund: I think, the focus on live-shows is a lot more important. Like you said, it’s hard to stand out of the huge variety of bands. We try to write the best music we possibly can but besides that, we try to make our live-shows special. Therefore, we created our own light-show and we always bring our own sound-guy to the shows. It’s about experiencing our music while you see us perform. The visual aspect is very important: the stage-presentation, the imagery, etc.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
Raimund: I think it is important to have the support from you home-base. But on the other hand, we don’t consider ourselves a German band. We really feel like an international act. We can’t deny that we feel home in the area where we rehearse and where our girl-friends and families live, but we like playing everywhere. That being said, a band always grows in circles. You have a starting point and from that you are making bigger and bigger circles. It’s like building a house. You have to have a strong foundation.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
Ole: It’s not really like in Finland here where we come from. Most people think it’s just noise and don’t understand how people can listen to such music 🙂 But especially since festivals like Wacken have been in the media every summer, I have the feeling that it’s way more accepted than it used to be before that. And actually there is a quite active underground metal scene in which we grew up as well.
What does the future hold for you?
Raimund: We try to play as many shows as possible in support of “Black Frost” and are working hard on our live-performance to make Nailed To Obscurity a special experience worth checking out.