Ethereal – Interview with Naut
The Underworld, London
26th February 2015
Interview by Jarod Lawley
On the back of their newly released Opus Aethereum, Ethereal get ready backstage to bombast the London crowd with their new tunes. Just before the corpse paint is applied, we manage to have a chat with singer Naut about playing Bloodstock, orchestras and the debut record.
Firstly congratulations on playing Bloodstock, it just got announced, how does it feel?
Excellent! It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time and with the new record coming out this year, we felt the time was right. So we’re very pleased to be a part of it and we’re looking forward to it.
This is the final day of the tour with Marduk and Belphegor for you, Ethereal, how has it been?
It’s been excellent actually. For a long time we’ve all been big fans of both Marduk and Belphegor and we think it’s a great line up and we’re really happy to be a part of it; so far the response has been fantastic.
You seem to have a bit of a knack for getting good support slots, why is this?
We can’t share these secrets (laughs)- we’re just good at it.
You’re back at The Underworld, is it one of your favourite venues?
Yeah we like it here definitely. Since I’ve been in the band we’ve done The Black Heart, Underworld, The Unicorn and The Garage, and I think there’s something special about The Underworld, it’s a big element to the scene of extreme metal in London, it’s got that sort of vibe and community feel; I like it here.
Opus Aethereum has been out for about a month now and it’s been amazingly received, how has this felt?
It’s a great feeling that the reception from the fans has been so good. We all believe very strongly in the album and it’s been no surprise that fans of the band would enjoy the album and we’ve worked hard to make sure there’s an accurate depiction of what we do on stage- we didn’t want there to be much difference between the sound of the band live and the band on the album.
Well obviously we haven’t been recording it for a decade- it’s been due to the line-up. When the band first started out in the early 2000s in Liverpool, at the time the black metal community in the UK was a lot smaller, so members with the ability and dedication necessary to achieve what we wanted to achieve were hard to come by. So I think that for a long time Ethereal kind of existed on the back of good shows but I think Iyaan wanted to wait till the time was right and when myself, Mordrath and Volf joined the band and that line-up just felt right.
To us there’s no point doing anything unless you are going to do it to the best of your capabilities and there were just things that were taking time, we wanted the right line-up, the right sound and the right record label of course. This record was actually written and recorded over a year ago now but we’ve had to work to work work with the right people’ we’ve gone out and played and got in contact with Candlelight and made sure everything was in its right place- we just don’t want to do anything in half measures.
It’s not just about your ability to play the music it’s about getting the right personalities aswell together, and the big thing for us is just absoloute commitment and deidication that everyone has to want the same thing, have the same vision in mind and be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary and endure the difficulties that are necessary to really do this, and we’re all unified in that ambition and that’s quite rare I think, having played in a lot of other bands myself- to be In a collective which is very much going in one direction as opposed to pulling apart.
On the record there’s a lot of symphonic and orchestral stuff going on, who’s responsible for this in the band?
Primarily that’s lead guitar playing M-Inanz who composes most of our stuff, however in the future I think Iyaan and I are going to collaborate a little more on those elements. We’re getting on well doing the compositions for the second album together, it was just the case that when Opus Aethereum was coming together it was actually written between the two of them and completed when I came in with vocal arrangements.
Everyone in the band actually is a song writer and a few of us play a couple of instruments, our drummer for example plays guitar and writes some of the songs and we’re all quite involved in that. So I think for the next album there’s probably going to be a little more diversity now that we’ve gotten to know eachother on a musical level, so we’re all going to pull it together and see what comes out of that.
It’s simply a backing track, so the drummer uses a metronome which is obviously silent and we just play to him and that just keeps us in time. We like it that way because it keeps us tight and keeps the pace of the album.
What do you think of bands who play with full on orchestras on stage?
I think it’s cool! I don’t think you should have any limitations if that’s what you want to do. When I was younger and just getting into rock and metal I really enjoyed it when Metallica did the S&M album and when other bands did the orchestral stuff. I think it’s cool, if that’s part of your sound then why not?
Would you do it if it was available?
Yeah sure, why not? Don’t like to feel any limitations. I’m not sure if we would but it would be certainly cool to try it, particularly in the recording environment at first as opposed to a live show, using real sounds instead of synthetic would excellent. So, we’ll see.
Would you consider using a keyboard player live?
We actually have done in the past, but to be honest the guy have had some interesting experiences with keyboard players, and to be honest I think it’s preferable to keep it between the five of us. We’re all quite happy with our relationship with each other and the way its working so, why change?
Have you got any last words for the fans?
Thank you for the continued support throughout the years, since I joined there’s been great support for Ethereal and it only seems to have grown so to the fans I’d just like to thank you, and keep listening to the music, keep coming to the shows, and watch this space, there’s hopefully more to come.
Thanks very much.
Support Ethereal here-www.facebook.com/EtherealDarknessUK
Listen to Ethereal here-www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYSP2NlSSRs
Buy the latest album, Opus Aethereum here-candlelightrecordsuk.bandcamp.com/album/opus-aethereum