German black/death duo, NYX, – not NYX Cosmetics in case you were wondering – is releasing their debut full-length this Friday (30th October) via the renowned Agonia Records. Aptly titled, Home, the German ladies create a special atmosphere on this record. It has its extreme-as-f**k parts, which are a standard on extreme metal releases, but it also has its atmospheric and doom-y parts comprised of beautiful melodies and clean vocals. Home is without a doubt one of the better albums of this month and it comes out just in time to provide a great soundtrack to Winter.
Dom: Your music is quite spectacular and very atmospheric. Is there a certain atmosphere you wanted to achieve when starting out?
Blitz: First Thanks! That’s good to hear! No, we didn’t want to achieve a certain atmosphere for the whole album. We were trying to express ourselves and the idea we had and just let it happen. What we maybe did was create small atmospheres in particular parts of the songs. We did that by creating images of how this and that should sound.
Dom: You have both growling and clean vocals. Why did you decide to do that? What is their significance?
Vinterbarn: First when we decided to go on without session-vocalists, we checked what we can do. I had already experience in singing clean with other bands and Blitz found out she can growl and scream well. And we liked this combination, because it created a special atmosphere from aggressive and powerful to fragile and thoughtful. Then we experimented a lot at the rehearsal room and found out that Blitz is also able to sing clean and I can scream a bit. Though still in clean, I have usually the first voice and she is the main screamer, while the other does backings then.
Dom: Some elements of your music (like the closing track) are not really “extreme metal” and yet they fit with the rest of the music really well. How did you achieve that?
Vinterbarn: Thank you. I’m glad when I hear that people experience it like that. We did not think within straight genre borders. We focused on the atmosphere. Maybe that helped. Actually we started the post-demo episode of NYX with playing the acoustic track, because we first had no rehearsal room and couldn’t play that loud [laughs]. But soon we had our own ether-room.
Dom: Do you like revealing your influences and what the album is about or do you prefer the listeners to decide that for themselves?
Blitz: Well, about our influences there is not so much to reveal I’m afraid. It’s a bit of everything that’s around us. I think as a human being there is always something that influences you in some way – consciously or subconsciously. But for the album we are not aware of a specific influence – besides the ether [laughs] but we can’t reveal that [laughs]. And about the album, we always describe it as a departure towards the inner “Home”.
Dom: What is the lyrical concept of the album?
Blitz: The searching and the longing for this so called inner home. When we started to write the lyrics, “home” became a new term, for what we wanted to express; and the hunt for it. It’s not the nice, cosy place that you would probably connect with that term at first view.
Dom: What is “Home” then?
Blitz: Tcha, if we would know that (laughs). I guess it’s just a very private and individual feeling.
Vinterbarn: I’d say, that “home” is kind of an ideal place. But not a visible place on the outside. It’s something deep inside of everyone, that is quite hard to reach. As Blitz already said, it’s quite individual. And everyone who’s interested, feel invited to read our lyrics.
Dom: What was Phorgath‘s input? How important was he for the album?
Vinterbarn: I’d say, he was the perfect producer. He understood our vision and our lyrics and together we worked a lot on small details to realize it. Phorgath had the right questions, which leaded us to the best ideas instead of pushing us somewhere. We wanted to create a real dense album, but also keeping it real, so that people won’t miss something live. Since that collaboration, Phorgath is also our manager.
Dom: Being an all-female band I have to ask this (and I apologise if you get this asked a million times). Do you ever feel that you’re treated differently in music (and outside) just because of your gender?
Vinterbarn: Hey, good manners! Thanks for apologizing. We can’t see that we are treated differently and I guess that’s because we don’t behave “special”. We’ve never seen NYX as a “female” band. That happened incidentally. I mean, other bands are all-male and no one wonders about [that]. We always had to prove that we can play and have a vision like every other band and that’s getting harder and harder. The reason is that home-recording and internet-promo constantly throws more on an already nearly oversaturated market. But that’s what every newcomer band has to face nowadays, no?
Dom: What do you think of the term “female-fronted”?
Vinterbarn: It’s a composed adjective, constructed of a pronoun and an adjective, combined with a dash. Sorry, I have to apologize. Back to being serious: What I wanted to say is, that we don’t care much for gender-questions and also we don’t care a lot for those terms or how people call us. You may call us “female-fronted”, band <1,75m or unbearded band. But that’s not where we put our focus.
Dom: Are there too little women in metal or they are there and we (the fans, journalists, industry people) just need to recognise their talent?
Vinterbarn: We are maybe the wrong persons to answer that. Cause we are there. I don’t see any problems or stones thrown in our way. So I could be wrong, but actually I think, everyone in our culture who wants to play a part, can do. But everyone has to decide on her or his own how to live their lives and where to put a focus.
Dom: What is next for Nyx after the release of the album? Will you perform live?
Blitz: Yes, of course. For us it’s an important goal to play our music live on stage. At the moment we are arranging that. Unfortunately, there are no fixed concerts yet, but I hope soon we can say more.