sobota 27. února 2021

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Interview - NUCLEAR - Our music and energy comes from our experiences and our way of life in South America.

Interview with thrash metal band from Chile - NUCLEAR.

Answered Francisco, Seba, Matías, Punto, Roberto and Gisela Brünker Perez, thank you!

Translated and questions prepared Duzl, thank you!

Hi guys, after five years you are releasing your fifth full-length album "Murder of Crows" at Black Lodge Records, I will ask right away - what happened that you leaved Candlelight Records? When we did an interview in 2017, I remember you praised your collaboration with Candlelight, and as far as I know, you had a three-record contract, so where did it go wrong?

Francisco (Guitars): We had never and will never badmouth anyone. I will just say it didn't work. After the release of "Formula For Anarchy" (2015) everything seemed great but shortly after, Candlelight got acquired by Spinefarm/Universal Music and things went to the drain. The relationship and chemistry were good at the beginning but soon after the communication went from poor to none. Out of nowhere we found ourselves dealing with a wall and nothing was happening. Right after that interview you mentioned, we paid Candlelight a visit in London and told them what was happening. We were told everything was set to remain the same but the truth was they did not comply.

The new album is much more mature and sophisticated, not only in terms of sound, but also production. It seems to me that with „Murder of Crows“ you are crossing the usual boundaries of thrash metal, it is not just the straightforward thrash like on previous albums, why you decide for this „step out“?

Francisco (Guitars): It was just the way it went out I guess. We weren't looking for new sounds or trying to change ourselves. The band was under a little bit of stress and these new ideas came more violently, I guess. We have never felt comfortable by being labelled a "Thrash Metal" band, we play extreme music and if that means going further to death or grindcore, we feel it is ok. I don't see the point on putting a label on music. Now, if you go way back, it is possible that the band has changed but always pointing in the right direction, I guess.

Where did you record the album, who produced it, took care of the mix and mastering, and mainly tell me - who drew the cover and what exactly does the „character“ symbolize? I've been thinking for a long time about the hidden meaning of why this character is completely naked, can you explain that to me, please?

Francisco (Guitars): The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at AudioCustom Studios in Santiago, Chile. Produced by Sebastian and I, recorded and mixed by Seba and mastered by Cristian Olivares. About the artwork, it is something we wanted for a long time... someone to draw something out of just music and basic ideas, we did not put any influences in it. Gisela Brunker Pérez, a German-Chilean artist did all the work. Further details on the artwork should be addressed directly to her.

Well so let’s ask her! Gisele, please tell me something about the cover artwork...

Gisela Brünker Perez (Artist): The idea for the cover came to me while searching for symbols for human cruelty, abuse of power. I connected old war images, Hieronymus Bosch creatures and Goyas nightmares with the ideas of the band and was pretty quickly sure that this is the right direction - namely into madness and the deepest darkness. The picture is composed of the drawn demon and a picture collage, which is digitally processed and printed on foil and treated again. The demon sits as an all-dominating creature on a ruined pavilion (remains of the human world) and spits a dead crow on the "cross staff" (crucifixion) into the corpse mountain. Only one figure sits - the only survivor in a world in which nothing is anymore...

Five years is a long time, have you been composing songs continuously, or is it a question of the last months? Tell me about how the album came about. How much material did you actually use from what you have accumulated during the entire writing process?

Seba (Guitars): Murder Of Crows is an album that was written mostly with new ideas. I don't know exactly how much previous accumulated material is in it, as we don't like to write songs as puzzles, we prefer to work music and lyrics together to each new song. For five years we had tours and a lot of activity in Chile and Europe, and that allowed us to develop a lot of new ideas to compose new material, more mature and sophisticated. When we decided to write the new album we focused on writing each song and I think that was for one year.

Do you return the unused material back to the "table" and you use it later, or do you start each record absolutely from the beginning with „clear tabs“?

Seba (Guitars): Mainly with "clear tabs".

Thrash metal has always been mainly about raw energy, but there are not many bands that have it in them. NUCLEAR is one of the few for me, where definitely is not lack of energy, both from recordings and especially concerts. Where does that energy constantly come from? After all, you are no longer a twenty-year-old boys;).

Seba (Guitars): Our music comes from our experiences and our way of life here in South America and I think that energy comes from there. We have a lot of conviction in what we play and sing and that must be done with energy. We love what we do, we love extreme metal music and we think that it must have that "special energy". It is something natural to us, it is not something planned or a script guideline. That is our spirit and I hope it will be that way forever.

How are you and your label going about promoting your new album in „Covid pandemic“ times with a restrictions? Have you considered some e-gigs as some bands done? Is performing without fans an option for future, what do you think?

Matías (Vocals): To be honest, we don't like so much the e-gigs format. We're a live gigs band. We love to play in front of real audiences but we understand these days it is impossible o very hard to put live music on stage again, at least in the way we knew it. We have discussed the possibility of organize some online performances, but it isn't a thing prioritaire for us right now. We don't discard it, but let's see how things are going in the next few months.

Well, for sure you are missing life on the road, aren’t you? How are you all filling your time at present?

Matías (Vocals): We miss a lot the road, but I think this hiatus was necessary. Mostly related with health and security for Us and the metal fans who regularly attended gigs or supported tours. In the pandemic blast we spent time mostly at home. During the hard days of pandemic here in Chile, with total lockdown, curfew and other stuff, we managed to finish the recording sessions for "Murder Of Crows" and organized the first rehearsals after months of no seeing each other. Out last live gig was in march 2020, one week later everything went into a downward spiral. But we never stopped, we work a lot alongside the label to release the album past November, releasing videos and recording stuff at the studio during the last months. Some of us participated in "pandemic videos" playing some cover songs and stuff like that. We never stopped as you guys can see, so this activities helped us a lot even in the tough times. Aditionally, we're starting to write new music and planning some things for 2021, stay on alert!

Records used to be bought and then listened, nowadays it's the opposite - records are first listened and after people decide to buy it or not, do you think it's right?

Matías (Vocals): Personally, i prefer to buy records. But there are a lot of people who like to give a listen first to some new release before buy it. For me it's OK, the existence of platforms such as Spotify or Band-camp doesn't will replace the great feeling of have a new record on your hands or searching some record store to buy new music or old pressings.

Next year with the band you will celebrate „majority", can you tell me which year was the best for you, which you like to remember and why?

Punto (Drums): Each year is different, but enriching in experiences for the band, even now that we are living a new stage. Since we released our first album until now with Murder of Crows, they have been with good and experienced years. Each album has something in particular that makes it different from one to the other, but I couldn't say which year was the best, but rather that since we formed the band, there have been great moments and experiences. But I could tell you that this 2020 was a very good year for the band, since we were able to do and end a tour of Europe with great artists and musicians like Abbath, 1349 and Vltimas. Added to this, being able to sign with a new label like BlackLodge-SoundPollution ; having finished producing a new material in these pandemic times worldwide; launch a video clip and everything that has taken when a new album is released. Let's hope how this comes and to promote our new album.

And conversely? A period you would rather forget or skip completely?

Punto (Drums): The truth is that I didn´t like our last phase that we had with the previous record label, who when bought by a larger company, we lost communication and we preferred to step aside and continue on our way.

Obligatory question, what are your plans for the future? Can we look forward to you In Europe, we all know that now the situation is quite unsure, but are you planning a European tour, can you reveal some details already?

Punto (Drums): We are working with our booking and manager to promote our new album. There are tentative dates for a tour, but we must be attentive to the situation we are experiencing. Let's see what happens during this first stage of 2021. We would love to be able to play in Europe again, so let's see.

And before we wrap this interview ... last time I got a tip (from Matias) for a great band BATTLEGRAVE, so which band you will recommend me this time, what are you listening to?

Roberto (Bass): Lately I am listening to a lot of old death metal classics such as Morbid Angel or Entombed. In that sense, the last releases from Asphyx and Memoriam are both fucking brilliant. In a more underground unearthing I can recommend some Chilean acts like Slaughtbbath and Soulrot are brutal! Highly recommended!

Thank you so much for the interview, I appreciate it! I wish you a lot of success with the new album, great sales and reviews and hopefully see you next year! The last words are your guys…

Matías (Vocals): Thanks a lot to you Dáša and the Deadly Storm crew! It's been great to reply to your questions and we hope to see all of you as soon as we can. The support to "Murder Of Crows" has been huge and we want to show to you guys on stage how this beast sounds live, we're working in something for late this year... fingers crossed! Cheers fellas and stay safe and healthy! Fuck Covid!

Recenze/review - NUCLEAR - Murder of Crows (2020):

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