I was born in 1970. Two years later NECROMANDUS came into existence yet very few seem to have heard of them or even remember them. But that is about to be changed now. Answers from FRANK Anders Ekdahl ©2017
My first question is; why have I not heard of you guys before? You started already way back in the 70s when I was born. Why are you making a comeback now?
-Necromandus was formed in 1972 and worked closely with bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, They were signed to Tramp Management and Vertigo records and were set to tour the US with Sabbath, but the lead guitarist left and the members went their own way. Their recordings were subsequently released and their most famous album was “Orexis of Death”. In 2016, drummer Frank Hall, in conjunction with John Marcangelo (Violinski), and producer Tom Tyson (Music Farm) linked with John, the son of original vocalist Bill Branch and the results were a stunning recreation of the original sound. We decided to record a full album on our own label, Mandusmusic and signed with distributor Plastichead. The result is “Necromandus” with 3 original and 8 new songs, to be released on July 21st.
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-The name was created by Frank Hall and reflects the dark rock style blended with some interesting melodic numbers and passages.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that
made you want to do the band?
-The original band was an assembly from different Cumbrian bands who came together, partly because of their closeness to Sabbath, who they were very much linked to in the 1970’s when handled by Tony Iommi. The legendary Bill Ward who continues to be a fan a played “Borderlands’ from the new album on his LA rock show recently.
With so many genres and sub-genres today what is your definition of the music you play?
-Rolling Stone magazine described the Necromandus sound as “Yes plays Black Sabbath” and that is still the best description.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?.
-The track order was agreed by the whole band in discussion with management and production, thats the great thing about having our own label! The intention was to create an album which showed a fairly full range of the bands style, gave the listener a variety of sounds and told a story of our homeland, the wild mountain, lake and borderlands between England and Scotland.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-All the bands numbers are written by them, with some collaborations. They are all first class musicians and contribute to the sound through constant discussion during the production process. Frank Hall and guitarist Dean Newton are prolific writers and John Marcangelo has written many musical scores and arrangements.Strong personal inks to guitarists Dave Colquhoun and Albert Lee have also been influential.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-Very, very important. Frank Hall is responsible for much of the inspiration in the form of drawings and ideas. The new album cover is by Adam Burke of Nightjar productions in Oregon USA. The name “Nightjar” comes from the alternative name for the new albums first track – “Don’t look down Frank”, when it was previously issued on Orexis of Death. Adam Burke is a big fan!
I get the feeling that more and more fans are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-Its an interesting point, but we are seeing a mass of pre orders for both CD and Vinyl already through Bandcamp and Amazon. The return of vinyl will, we hope, create a revival of people valuing an album, particularly with the additional information albums like ours provide.
Are we killing our beloved scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-Its a fact of commercial life that many want to download individual tracks but we create albums, carefully working to ensure that the tracks link to each other to tell a musical story We will not change from that approach, particularly because there is such variety in our output.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-We have had a lot of interest and pressure to start performing in public and we are considering festival and stadium gigs which would better suit what is a very “big” sound. Interest has been strong the UK and Germany and as previous albums have sold in Japan and Scandinavia we are thinking about those markets.
What does the future hold?
-We want to re establish the unique Necromandus sound. We already have 5 tracks recorded for another album which will feature guest artists like Dave Colquhoun.
Watch for Necromandus making waves in the rock world!