If I thought that Noctem’s latest album “Oblivion” was impressive, then mainman guitarist Exo was even more so, contacting me immediately to get an interview done to spread the word about his happening band!
Greetings Exo, easy question first (at least for me ha ha) – what does Noctem mean?
Exo: Ola, Noctem means ‘night’ in latin language, is the accusative form of it. The concept of the night in the most primitive way. The themes that the band treats about evolved during the years and nowadays everything is more complex.
Hows the current The Oblivion Spanish Tour 2011 going given your sharing stages with bands like Vader, Krisiun, Entombed and Rotting Christ!
Exo: Really great, the feedback this album is receiving is being brutal, we had the pleasure of sharing stage with these great bands like Vader, Krisiun and Entombed and in September we will do in Farmer Fest festival with Rotting Christ. The spanish audience gave to us all their support and we’re more than satisfied but now is time to present this new album beyond our frontiers and there’s a lot of hard work to do.
If I’m not mistaken, this is the 10th year anniversary of Noctem being together so how does that feel given you co-founded the band?
Exo: Well, our early days were not really active, so we consider that ten years for a band like us is not a significative period, we will celebrate our twenty years. Now we recently released our second full length album so this is only the beginning… and we’re not going to stop.
Looking back over the last 10 years what would you say is the single most important event in Noctem’s history?
Exo: The most important things are happening now, with the release of the new album and the european presentation of it in the Lux Mundi Europe Tour 2011, and more important news that we will announce in a near future. With Divinity we reached a lot of goals and toured with great bands like Gorgoroth, Napalm Death, Malevolent Creation, etc. But that was only the beginning.
It’s been a while since I heard from a Spanish band (I remember when Baron Rojo was like the biggest Spanish rock band!) so how is the metal scene for bands (rather than the fans cos I know there’s plenty of Spanish metallers) there right now.
Exo: Depends on the kind of music you’re practising or listening, metal has always been a secondary genre, but in Spain the classics always had a better acceptance. The most extreme styles remain in the underground scene, but everything is growing up in the last years and I hope that this evolution can represent better the most extreme spanish bands. This new generation of bands is more international and is influenced by so much music I think, good examples are Dawn of tears, Angelus Apatrida or Kathaarsys.
Your style of metal is pretty extreme and seems to have more association with Northern European countries – do you think violent music seems to go hand in hand with history and is more likely to take place if there has been much bloodshed in a nation?
Exo: I really don’t know, because in Spain we also had a lot of violent episodes in our story. In Europe, the cradle of metal is Germany and countries where germanic languages predominate are more associated to metal and the most extreme styles. Latin countries are more associated with softer music and we need to change this.
It says on your biog that the ‘… the ideals of violence exaltation, misanthropy and antithesis to the totality of the absurd religions created this most excellent machine of War..’ which is quite a bold statement given Spain is still a very religious and conservative country so how is Noctem viewed there?
Exo: We had a few problems in the past because of our live shows, but nothing to do with Catholicism. Noctem is against any kind of religion that manipulates people’s faith and illusions only to enrich themselves and add new followers. I think we would have more problems in a country like United States because they are “offended” by a lot of things like this. Behemoth for example, they had problems in their own country, where Nergal was demanded for destroying a bible and throwing the pages to the audience, so these kind of situations happen everywhere.
Your image and look seems to have a particular theme so can you explain what it is to us please?
Exo: Yes. We come from a latin country, our attitude and personality is different than nordic countries. The image and looking has to represent us and the band, the way we are, we use different corpse paint than classic black metal bands, use to cover our faces with grey and dark colors because of our source. Our wearings are based in former warrior civilizations, we always add our personality and influences to our costumes.
Speaking of religious beliefs your past lyrics and indeed cover for this album are based on civilizations like Atlantis and the Mayans so do you share their vision of the end of the world?
Exo: Really not, we treat the mayan theme because we worship it. I mean, we’re going to suffer a change, but is not going to be the end of the world. The mankind doesn’t need any kind of catastrophe to end, ourselves are ending with our own civilization, we need the earth to survive, but the earth doesn’t need mankind to exist, it’s just a cycle, we came to this world and we’re going to disappear, it happened before and is going to happen again, something natural… and of course we deserve it, because we don’t respect our environment, so we don’t respect anything.
So if the end of the world is definitely gonna happen in 2012 and there is no escape on the last space shuttle what would you do?
Exo: Destroy a stage in a great metal festival would be a perfect end in that situation!!!!!
I hope I’m there – I couldn’t think of better company to be in!
Exo: Cheers my friend, really interesting questions, it was a pleasure to answer it 😉 !