Nevelheim - A chat with Nevelheim
A while ago I went to a small metalfestival in Doetinchem (NL) called Metalpest. I visit that event almost every year. This year the line up was very nice again: the bands that played there were Deification, Total Lost, Soulnerve and Nevelheim. I knew of the existence of Nevelheim, but was never able to see them play live. Well, I was quite pleased; great music, I really love it. Now it’s time for you to get to know the band!
Can you tell us something about how the band was founded and the musical backgrounds of the members?
“well, Maree always wanted to play in a band. She did make some attempts, but that wasn’t a success. Then Maree asked Ruud and Marc to play in a band. We wanted to start writing and then we started looking for other members to complete the line-up. So Joost and Michel became members as well. And since may last year we are rehearsing together as a complete band. Before Ruud was asked to sing in Nevelheim he was the vocalist in a band called Opgeroth, later re-named in Aesunt. Marc also played in a band called Croatoan, but that band has quit a few weeks ago. Michel also plays in a power metal band.”
Are you aware of the fact that there is another Dutch band with the same name?
“Yes, we do know that. Actually the band seems to be just one 16 year old guy. It sounds horrible. It was founded in 1996. We’ve heard some recordings; it sounded like he was bashing some pans he found in his mother’s kitchen.”
Any consequences for the band’s name?
“Well that band quit, so screw him.”
Personally the music of Nevelheim reminds me of Darkthrone, Nargaroth, Burzum and the early Emperor. Which bands influenced Nevelheim the most?
“Well, the early Enslaved meant a lot to us, perhaps it’s hard to find the link to them in our music, but it leads in their direction.”
What kinds of music do you listen to at home?
“Some of us don’t listen to black metal, some do. But actually we all listen to different kinds of music. Like electronic music, doom or stoner. All like to play black metal, but if we were only listening to black metal, we would not be able to grow.”
Nevelheim is the Dutch translation for Niflheim, the realm of the dead in the Nordic mythology. Are all of the songs based on that mythology?
“Actually, not quite. The core of the lyrics has links to the Nordic mythology. But most lyrics are about the present and the weird things that dwell in the minds of people. There is also no connection to satanism.”
How do you write the songs?
“Most of the time the foundation of a song are some riffs written by our guitarist. These riffs are combined, some things get changed. And then in the rehearsal room the other bandmembers get involved. The lyrics are written after the music, mostly by Maree or Ruud.”
Who is in charge?
“That would be Maree. We are a very open minded band, haha.”
When you are on stage you are supported by a violin-player who actually has quit the band recently, or so I’ve heard. I really liked the violin addition. Are there plans to write more songs that involve violins or other instruments?
“She has too much to do at the moment at the conservatory. When she has some time she will help out, but she is not a real member of the band. She is also looking for a replacement for us, but most of the violin-players seem to be non-metal fans. And we really want to write some more songs with violin. Just a few, not all of them. And if we have some more money in the future, we also want to add effects to intensify our music.”
How does the audience react to your performances?
“Surprisingly positive, actually. None of us actually expected that because the music is not quite mainstream.”
Until now, you have mostly shared the stage with bands of other genres, like Soulnerve, who play melodic thrash. do you prefer playing with bands of the same genre like you, so the audience consists of just fans of that genre?
“Well we like playing for a mixed audience, so we can hear their feedback as well. But we wouldn’t mind playing for a black metal audience. Because they come to the venue to listen black metal. They know the style, and their feedback is deeper than the feedback of non black metal fans. The people come to see you, and not the thrashband after you, and just seeing you as a time filler.”
Lots of black metal bands wear corpse paint to stimulate the performance. What is your opinion?
“(Laughter) Well it sure is not our thing. If we would like to wear make-up we would have become mime-players. The music has to bring forth the great atmosphere, not the panda outfits.
On your website you use your own names, no artistical names like Abbath, Hellhammer, Atilla or Nattefrost. Not done?
“Well it’s just funny. We don’t want to name us like some ancient warlord or so. It is not our thing.”
Any plans for recording a demo or a record?
“If we had the money and the time. We have material for about 40 minutes. But like we said, at the moment we don’t have the money or the time.”
If you were able to record an album, how should it sound?
“Well, it should not sound as thin as most of the black metal albums. We all like the more warmer sound with more body.”
What is your favourite Nevelheim song and why?
“That would be ‘Storm Of Hallucination’. It has many different passages, like slower doomy parts, and some psycho and dreamlike passages.
Is it also the song that represents your music the best? Because it has so much variety.
“I guess you can say that, yes.”
That would be all, thank you for your time!