MM:"Apotheosis" is an amazing Album, how pleased are you with the responses from media and fans?
Naut: Thankyou! We have enjoyed a great response from critics, as well as from our fans. We have received kind words and support from all corners of the globe, and that is of course a great feeling.
MM:Please tell us about musical direction and lyrical themes of the new album
Naut: For us the lyrics and musical direction are very much linked. Apotheosis' explores an abstract concept: The deification of anthropomorphized 'emptiness'. A god created not out of worship but out of desperation and fear. The idea was fleshed out into more of a treatise on the underlying systems that the existence of a god depends on, and what the impact of a physical confirmation of belief would be on those systems. In laymans terms, its about creating a deity for existential nihilism, about worshiping emptiness itself. This is a subject inspired by Frederick Nietzsche's work, which is at the same time despairing and uplifting, and so that was the vibe we were going for with this album, too. The lyrical matter is very esoteric and grandiose, and so we focused on big, epic songs, but we also wanted the overall feel of the album to be quite gloomy and dark, with just small moments of respite to uplift the listener from the gloom. We like to use musical motifs to highlight the lyrical content, and so the songs take different turns to serve the narrative of the album.
MM: How does the song writing process work within the band, Is it down to one particular person or do you all get involved?
Naut: Whilst I do the lions share of the songwriting work, the band is still very collaborative. When we're in a preproduction phase, the ideas can come from anywhere, we like to go in with as much material as possible. I make a demo in my home studio, and so here I make all the decisions about song structures and transitions and things like that. Beyond that point we just start recording the final piece, but what I find most rewarding about doing that is that these are still very creative times, Slugh (Drums) puts a lot into his drum performances and offers up a lot of cool ideas for the songs in the studio, so once we have our drum tracks, the way that e played will have an influence on the ways that we are playing our riffs, we are adding a lot of ideas even until the last moments before the mix. Even if it is a song I have written by myself, it is important that everyone in the band is behind the direction, so we all have to like it! Anchorite (Bass, Melodic Vocals) takes the lead with the lyrics and concepts, and he and I work closely together to be sure the lyrics are just right before he and I record our vocals. Carcarrion (Guitar) contributes a lot of cool riffs and song ideas, and also has a great mind for visuals, so he does a lot of work on the album art direction, photos and videos and stuff like that. So to summarise I'd say that I lead the process, but with plenty of room for
expression, and ensuring that everyone in the band makes their contribution to the whole.
MM: Which two tracks from the new Album would you play me if I had never heard Necronautical before?
Naut:“Apotheosis” is written to be played as a whole, each song takes a different movement and shows a different side of the band. However if I were to choose only two, I would pick the first single “Nihil Sub Sole Novum” and the albums title track to introduce you to the band. I think those two tracks in particular are a good example of what we are doing and where we are as a band today.
MM: Did you or will you be having have an Album release party?
Naut:It was something we considered, but we already had concerts booked close to the time of release in the major UK cities, and so it didn't really seem like a necessary thing to do. Perhaps for the next album. We did, however, have an album release party for just the band members, as we felt we had something to celebrate, and it's good to mark the completion of a large project with something like that, as well as to plan the next chapter, of course!
MM: Can you tell us your plans for tours and festivals in 2019 and going into 2020?
Naut:We only have two shows remaining in 2019. On Friday 11th of October we will be playing in Manchester with Sojourner and Havukruunu, and then on Saturday the 30th of November we will be in London as main support to A Forest of Stars. In 2020 we are forming some exciting plans. We will be performing in Lisbon, Portugal for the first time in March alongside Akercocke and Nader Sadek. In April we will be back in London to support Behexen. We have a lot of stuff in the pipeline that is not yet announced, but we can confirm we will be doing some dates in Europe in April, and we should be making some appearances at some major summer festivals as well, there's a lot to come!
MM: What can we expect from Necronautical live?
Naut: We try to create an immersive and atmospheric environment for our live shows, the look and the feel of the show hopefully reflects the same feeling we take from our music. They are dark, gloomy and over the top, but at the same time with high energy and brutality. Every show is different, all we can do is urge you to come and see for yourself!
MM : What do you like best about touring - how do you rate the importance of being seen live and meeting fans whenever possible?
Naut:I think its very important, but its also quite a difficult thing to do, especially when you are going into unknown territories, it is impossible to know what to expect. However I think its vital for the band to be playing frequently, it keeps us in shape and its actually the best chance we have to exchange ideas creatively and make plans for our next steps, so its important for us to have that time together. There's a lot we love about touring, for me what I like best is that when you're living out of a bus or a camper and playing shows, you're kind of living in your own world, you feel very separate from your normal life and fully involved in the band and the artistry with little regard for what's going on outside. And as well as that of course we get to play some great shows and see new places, which is what we enjoy the most!
MM: if you could 3 bands dead or alive would you love to go out on tour with
Naut:Emperor or Immortal, because of the strength of their influence on us. For third selection I'm going to say Pantera, simply because I (like many) grew up watching the Home Videos. Besides, if Satyricon did it, why not?
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why?
Naut:I saw Dissection in Bradford Rios in 2004, it was my first black metal concert and I was sixteen years old. Just being that age, falling in love with the genre and having the chance to see one of the greatest Black Metal bands of all time perform from the front row... it was a life-changing experience for me, something I am incredibly grateful for and that I will never forget.
MM:What is your opinion about Lords of Chaos Movie?
Naut: I didn't have any particular objection to the film being made. I don't really have any reason to oppose such a thing. Though I am of course aware it caused something of a furor amongst the Black Metal community, ironically I don't think the film really made much impact outside of that. I don't think myself or the others in the band really get caught up in these kinds of dramas or outcries in the scene, I just prefer to keep out of that. In any case, whilst I wasn't necessarily “against” the film, I don't think it was a particularly good film. I'm in no rush to watch it again. Nevertheless it could have been worse.
MM: Are you satisfied with Black Metal music “evolution”, from the beginning of the genre until today? How do you see the future of Black Metal music?
Naut: I don't think it really matters if I, or anyone else is satisfied with the genres evolution. A lot of people like to say “Black Metal should be...” like this or that, I don't think there's any way that music “should” be. Art is art, and people have the freedom to take influence and push music into new directions, and that is what is most important, not whether or not people are happy about the directions. So yeah, there's been a lot of change in the genre that I haven't enjoyed, and a lot that I have. What I really love about Black Metal music is that it has become very broad and expressive, there are a lot of styles that fall comfortably under that banner in one way or another, and I think that's a good thing. Besides, for all the artists that push the genre into new territories, there are many who play in a traditionalist style and keep the 'core' of the genre alive, and I have a lot of respect for that as well. I think there's still a lot of room for growth and exciting new music in Black Metal.
MM: What was the last Album you brought?
Naut: I just got “Fire in the White Stone” by Wolcensmen. Wolcensmen is a kind of pagan/neofolk project from Winterfylleth guitarist Dan Capp, and he just released this amazing concept album on Indie Recordings. I'd recommend it to anybody who is into Burzums ambient stuff, or anything like Wardruna or Ulver, but at the same time it really does have a quality all of its own, it's not a sound-a-like kind of project. You hear in every moment of the music that this is a project of passion and heartfelt expression with a very clear vision behind it, and that's what I look for in music above all else. If the artist put their soul into it and it's sincere, it can really connect with you. I'd have to digest the album more to talk more about it really, but I'm really enjoying it so far.
MM: Which are your Two favorite Metal Albums of all time and what they have meant to you personally?
Naut: It's really difficult to narrow it down to only two when so many albums have been of major significance to me. I'll say Emperor's “In the Nightside Eclipse”, because it was the first Black Metal album I owned, it took me a few listens for it to truly get its hooks into me but I just remember being a young teenager and feeling absolutely fascinated by the CD, it just had this dark atmosphere and romanticism in the music, artwork and lyrics that I found totally intriguing, I found that I kept coming back to it, before long I was a huge fan and became quickly obsessed with the genre. For another selection I'll say Led Zeppelin IV, I don't want to get bogged down in whether or not that's a metal album, but its the first album I really fell in love with. I'd listen to my Dads vinyl copy of it repeatedly, I was completely obsessed with Led Zeppelin when I was a kid, and I think if it wasn't for me being in awe of that album and that band then maybe I would never have committed myself to music in the way that I did, so even though we're going back a long time in my life there, I think that album is extremely significant to me,
MM: Can you tell me why we should buy “Apotheosis”
Naut: I think the strength of Apotheosis is that it has a lot of “classic” Black Metal in its sound, but at the same time it's a modern album. The album was intended to take the listener through many different moods and feelings, for me I found it cathartic to make the record and I hope the listener can take the same feeling from it when they listen to it. It's a huge piece of work that will definitely reward repeated listens and getting involved with the themes and philosophy behind the lyrics, but at the same time I think it's an enjoyable record from the get go, and there would be something to please most fans of the genre in there. However I'm fully aware that our music is not for everyone, so all I could ask is that people check it our if they're interested, if they like it, they can buy it, if not? That's fine too. Whats most important to us is that we've expressed what we wanted to, in the way that we wanted to.
MM: Four Words to describe NecronauticalNaut: Nihilistic Black Metal Majesty
MM: Final Words for your Fans and our readers
Naut: Thankyou for reading! The new Necronautical album is out now via Candlelight Records, and if you haven't already I urge you to take a listen and see if it's for you. We hope to see as many of our fans as possible at our shows in support of the album, see you on the road in 2020.