Pete & Chief of NILE

August 23rd, 2005
by EvilG

Pete & Chief of NILE
Interviewed Jan. 24, 1999 by EvilG

If you are into the heavier side of metal and death metal, you?ve probably already heard of NILE. If not, then it?s high time you checked them out. Nile are not just your typical death metal band like so many of the other second generation wannabes. It?s great to hear a US band belch out something so brutal, yet at the same time original, and worthy of high praise!


Nile - the bandMetal Rules!!
Where do you see yourself fitting into today?s current metal scene?

Pete:
The thing is we’re not trying to fit in. We just do what comes naturally to us and it just comes out that way. We have a lot of the major influences that many other bands have but people will write to us and tell us that they never heard anything like this before, that we are totally original. You can’t be totally original. You had to come from somewhere. I guess it’s all the things we listen to and have learned over the years just rolled into one and it comes out that way. I definitely think we have something but I just can’t put my finger on it.

 

Metal Rules!!
Some bands don?t like labeling their music?would you say that Nile are just a death metal band?

Pete:
We are a death metal band, but not “just a death metal band”. I think we’re a little more than that. We come from many diverse backgrounds. But the label death metal is strong. People can identify with it. A label on a band is basically a necessary evil. A lot of musicians don’t like to be labeled but it makes it easy for people to find your direction this way. You kind of have a starting reference point as to what to expect when you put on a CD. I mean if you tell someone you’re a jazz band then they know when they put the CD on it’s going to be jazz. They expect it.

 

Metal Rules!!
What sets Nile apart from the rest of the death metal bands?

Pete:
Egyptian imagery, the lyrical content, the tuning and the way the guitar parts work together with the drums and vocals.

 

Metal Rules!! 
If you took away the Egyptian imagery, lyrics and all the harmonic minor scales from Nile what would you have left?

Chief:
you would have a very brutal straight up death metal band.

 

Metal Rules!!
Some people have said to me that this is the only thing that to them makes you different?.What do you think of that?

Pete:
I can’t say it any better than that.

 

Metal Rules!!
Who in the band is responsible for the fascination of all that is ancient Egypt and mid-eastern?

Pete:
We all have something to do with it, but Karl (guitar) does most of the research and writes the lyrics. I am Middle Eastern and have always listened to Middle Eastern music when I was growing up. Karl has always been fascinated with mid-eastern sound. It just all came together rather mysteriously. We take all the influences we have and put them together with our love for the brutal ways of old.

 

Metal Rules!!
On a related note, what do you think of the movie “Stargate” or of the offspring series “Stargate SG-1″? (I think they are both quite good).

Chief:
I really liked the movie, it had some fuckin cool scenes and also gave you something to think about.

 

Metal Rules!!
In 1998 the North American metal community has really taken notice of Nile (hell, I even got “Amongst” under my tree the Xmas haha). Can this be attributed to your signing to Relapse?

Pete:
Relapse has done a tremendous job of promoting the band. They have kept the name Nile in the eye of the metal community. If a band is good but not seen then they will not be heard.

 

Metal Rules!!
When you toured did Relapse set up all the shows and pay your way, or was it all done and setup by the band?

Pete:
Relapse helps out with tour support but they did not set up any tours. We were just in the right place at the right time and certain people were kind enough to help us out.

Chief:
Yes, Incantation gave us our first chance at a decent tour, so we owe a lot to those guys. They are also partly responsible for us getting on the morbid angel tour when Vader dropped off. Since then the guys in morbid have really helped us out. We have just finished the winter tour with those guys and will be going back out with them for the spring 1999 tour which begins in march.

 

Metal Rules!!
If you have the figures from the label, and you don?t mind me asking, how many units have “Amongst?” sold worldwide?

Pete:
In the ballpark of 11,000

 

Metal Rules!!
Releapse has unfortunately consistently dropped several of their death metal bands, any worries that they might cut you?

Pete:
I don’t see that happening, at least not yet. But who knows what will happen tomorrow. It happens all the time in this business.

 

Metal Rules!!
How would you rate your success elsewhere in the world?

Pete:
Well we get tons of mail from around the world so I think that if we tour Europe like we plan to do we will have a great response.

Chief:
Yes I think we’ve actually sold more units in Europe than in the us.

 

Metal Rules!!
Did you do a full tour for the latest CD “Amongst?”? What continents did you cover and what bands took you out (I know that both Incantation and Morbid Angel played with you guys in the US)?

Pete:
We have only played in the US so far. We owe many thanks to John from Incantation. He was the first one to call us and ask if we wanted to go on tour with them. This started the ball rolling. After that people saw us and the name got out. Knowing Incantation led to the first Morbid Angel tour when Vader left the tour. Now Morbid Angel likes what we do and likes us as people so they asked us to tour this past December and now we go on tour again with them in march. We also had a great tour with Cryptopsy, Oppressor and Gorguts back in September/October. It was called “Death Across America Tour.”

 

Metal Rules!!
According to your webpage, a new CD can be expected in mid 1999?what?s it been sounding like?

Pete:
It’s going to be more of the same but faster and there will be a few surprises.

 

Metal Rules!!
Do you feel a lot of pressure to come up with something that can top “Amongst?”?

Pete:
There is always pressure to top your last effort. But with all the touring and rehearsing a band does on their first album, their playing should have improved for the next album. We’ll see.

 

Metal Rules!!
Will there be any godly sounds like the introduction to “Ramses Bringer of War”? Who the fuck plays or writes all the orchestration? What inspires this?

Chief:
A lot of that comes from our interest in ancient cultures. Karl plays the horn sounds with his guitar synth. It’s all played live. I’m sure there will be more of that type of stuff on the next recording. We already have a few pieces written.

 

Metal Rules!! 
What musical training does Karl have?and the rest of the band?

Pete:
I come from a jazz background and have studied with a few drum teachers. Karl has studied also but mainly we take it from experience to lead us to the next road.

Chief:
I am pretty much self-taught, and Dallas is also.

 

Metal Rules!!
What do you think about bands such as Krisuin (Brazil) and Anglecorpse (US) that have a big Morbid Angel influence?

Pete:
I think those bands are fucking awesome. I can’t wait to see them again. They are coming to play around here with Incantation. There are a lot of bands that have a strong influence that you can hear right away but when they play, they sound like a cheap imitation. Well, Angelcorpse and Krisiun do not sound like an imitation. They’ve taken their influences and have gone beyond that to do their own thing. They play with such gusto. And let’s face it, who hasn’t been influenced by Morbid Angel?

Chief:
I have to agree with Pete. Krisiun is a band who has fuckin surprised the fuck out of me. I had never heard of these guys until Eric Rutan and Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel turned me on to them on the winter tour. No shit, everyone better look out for this raging machine called Krisiun!

 

Metal Rules!!
What previous bands have you played in?

Pete:
I’ve played in different jazz situations but nothing to speak of.

Chief:
Up until I met Karl and Pete it was just your standard local bands that I’m sure you never heard of.

 

Metal Rules!!
I?ve read that your new guitarist comes from a thrash metal background. What does he bring to your style and how does he fit into the band?

Pete:
Dallas fits right in with what we are doing. He feels the same about music as we do.

Chief:
Yes Dallas is one of the best things that has happened to this band. He can play the fuck out of his guitar and he doesn’t miss a note. He also can growl with the best. He will be contributing vocals on the next album, so Chris Barnes “watch out”.

 

Metal Rules!!
Why did you bother to add Dallas as the fourth member of Nile?

Pete:
Playing as a three piece was fine but there was something missing. It just sounds so much thicker with two guitarists.

Chief:
We had been a four piece before, but that guy was more into Korn and shit like that. He quit when we signed our first deal with Visceral because we told him he had to start coming to rehearsals.

 

Metal Rules!!
Before you put out your first CD, what compilations were you on? Were they instrumental in getting you noticed and onto Visceral Productions?

Pete:
We were on few compilations that I can’t recall. We got noticed by Visceral because I sent Craig at Visceral the “Ramses Bringer of War” tape and he liked it.

 

Metal Rules!!
What is the scene like in South Carolina? What bands play in your area these days? Are “Faith Collapsing”, “Infernal Hierarchy” still on the go?

Pete:
The scene here, as far as clubs to play in, is pretty much non-existent. Infernal hierarchy is still playing. We did a show with them not too long ago. Dark Moon out of North Carolina. Look out for them!

 

Metal Rules!!
So tell me about your musical past?what bands did you love while growing up?

Pete:
Actually I started with Black Sabbath then I got into jazz. Then it was onto progressive stuff like Yes, King Crimson, U.K. Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, E.L.P.

Chief:
I have always been into metal and played in metal bands. I can remember lip-sync contests in the fourth grade doing kiss songs. For me it was always Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and of course all those Ozzy albums.

 

Metal Rules!!
Do you still listen to these bands today?

Pete:
Whenever I have the time, yes.

Chief:
Of course!!

 

Metal Rules!!
Who in the metal scene today do you consider to be “fucking incredible”?

Pete:
Morbid Angel, Angelcorpse, Krisiun, and Immolation.

Chief:
All of those plus Gorgasm and Cryptopsy.

 

Metal Rules!!
So you recently got off a tour with “Oppressor” and now they have broken up?what do think of that?

Pete:
I didn’t know they broke up. I don’t think I’ll lose any sleep over it though. I mean what you are going to do? Bands come and go like water.

Chief:
I think they should’ve stayed together, but that’s just my opinion.

 

 

Metal Rules!!
Members of “Oppressor” and “Broken Hope” have gotten together and formed their own band (Soil).  Have you heard there new “hard rock” stuff ? Soil (on MIA records)?

Pete:
Actually I haven’t heard their music to form an impression.

Chief:
I heard some of the Soil thing at Tom’s (drummer) house in Chicago and to be quite honest I was very surprised. It kinda sounds like Rob Zombie. I don’t know man they’re all great guys, I guess they just want to make some money or something. They’re still my buds so all I can say is good luck bro’s!

 

Metal Rules!!
About your first CD “Festivals of Atonement” ? are you more pleased with that then “Amongst?”? What CD would you pick for a new fan to pick up if they were considering getting into Nile?

Pete:
Oh I would definitely say pick up “Amongst the Catacombs…” It?s just way more advanced than festivals. I like what we did on festivals but that was then and this is now. We have improved.

Chief:
I would say man they both rule, so help us out and buy both of them (hehehehe).

 

Metal Rules!!
I saw a bootleg video of you guys live?and there was a computer onstage with you. How is that setup and how does it work? Do many other bands use that in a live setting?

Pete:
I don’t if there are any other bands doing it but Karl stores sounds in his computer to be used live by foot pedals and sequencers.

 

Metal Rules!!
(for the guitarists)
What kind of setup do you use in terms of amps and pedals? What about your guitar tuning, do you tune down or is the tuning a result of an effects rack? (Either way it’s a fucking brutal sound!)

Chief:
Karl and Dallas use Marshall heads. Karl also uses a Roland guitar synth. I use Trace Elliot bass head with hartke cabs. Now I can’t give away all the secrets so you guys will have to guess on the tuning part. I will say that it is not done with effects.

 

Metal Rules!!
Thanks guys for your time, any other comments you would like to pass along to readers of “Metal Rules!!”???

Pete:
Please check out our web site at http://members.aol.com/nileband for up to date news and tour dates and the soon to come http://www.nile-catacoms.com.

We will be doing a lot of shows this year. Thanks for all the support everyone has shown us!

Chief:
Thanks for the interview and until the Nile bleeds again stay fuckin metal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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