Nachtgeschrei's 3rd full-length album Ardeo was released late November 2010, now a few shows are lining up, so it's time to learn a bit more about Ardeo and Nachtgeschrei's future plans. Thanks to Nik for answering my questions within no time!
Ardeo is out for awhile now, are you satisfied with the feedback you've got?
Oh yes. The overall feedback is very good, very benevolent. Way better than with the previous albums although in my opinion they're both good releases. The most important change is that people now see us as a genuine and unique band with a definite style and songwriting of it's own. Even those who don't like Ardeo state it clearly is a Nachtgeschrei-release. Our first two albums were always compared to other big names of the genre that significantly changed with Ardeo and I'm quite happy about it.
Why the title Ardeo?
'Ardeo' is Latin for 'I burn'. That was the title of the first song we wrote for this album and in many ways seemed to sum up so much things. It's sometimes a bit difficult, having a band and still a day job, keeping the spirits up and the band together. Other people have other troubles, other battles in their life. Everyone has his or her burden so it's good to remind yourself that you're still there and keep the flame blazing. 'I burn' is therefore a statement and a promise for me. All the songs relate to that in one way or another.
The artwork was done by Travis Smith. Did you have an idea for the cover? Or was it something Travis suggested?
The artwork is Travis interpretation of the Icarus legend. Since we already had the title Ardeo in mind we wanted to feature the topic in the artwork. So we got in touch with Travis and told him about our ideas and what color we wanted the whole thing to be. His first drafts completely blew us away and we are very happy with how good everything worked out.
Let's talk about the songs! How difficult is it to create songs everybody can live with? I guess, the more people involved, the more difficult it is... Or did you learn to manage through the years?
The problem for us is actually not agreeing on songs, although we had one song were some of us did not see what monster this one would grow into. Our problem is more about the hows, whys and whens. We make decisions democratically, by consensus if possible, which can be quite difficult from time to time. We had a bit of rough time last January when we felt we were getting some problems keeping up with the schedule, but eventually got everything together. I think we now know better to take care of ourselves and our band members, so perhaps that made us even stronger.
What inspires you musically? What are you listening to nowadays?
That differs from whom you ask. Some like metal, some indie-rock, some folky stuff. We're not limited to one thing and generally appreciate genuine handmade music.
How long did it take to write / record the songs?
We started writing on new songs in summer 2009, after we had our second album Am Rande der Welt out. We did not really work continuously until early in 2010. In the end, we got everything finished just in time, but it got really tight towards the end so I'm especially happy how pleased we're with the results.
It's your 3rd album, in the past the 3rd one was the make-it-or-break-it album. Did you feel under pressure?
Hm. The biggest pressure for us certainly was to get everything done according to schedule without fighting to much over details. Of course you are always excited about what people will think about your album and how it will perform, but that did not bother us to much at that time. We wanted to make it as good as possible and sharpen the edges we already explored on the previous two records.
Lyrics... The title track is inspired by Icarus, but what about the other songs?
Although they have nothing to do with the Icarus theme, we have these fire analogies all over the album. We have some personal and thoughtful songs, some positive and lively, some melancholic and grim. Herzschlag is a song about celebrating the moment while Herbst is possible the most nihilistic Nachtgeschrei song so far. It is a wide span, but that's what life is.
Would you like to do a video clip? Which song(s) would you like to visualize?
Of course we would we were actually discussing this for Ardeo, but couldn't fit it into the schedule. After all a video clip would consume both time and money, so we'd only settle for something we'd feel good with. But postponed is not abandoned, right? I hope we can get a nice clip together in the future, but there are no actual plans at the moment.
Do you plan to record - no pro shots - some live shows? Something just for YouTube, for the fans like the impressions from the studio...
Perhaps, but that is also a bit tricky. You still need several cameras, operators, editing and have to deal with all the concerned rights, which is especially funny with YouTube, but yes, it would be nice to have something like that. Perhaps we'll do it someday but not tomorrow.
You'll do a few shows this spring, a handful of festivals and a tour in October, but beside a festival in Luxembourg it's only shows in Germany. What about shows abroad?
We'd love to, but at the moment the main focus of our live activities is Germany. We've been to Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands in the past and would (and will) certainly love to go back there and play some shows. Apart from that I think that it is kind of tricky for us, since not that much people outside the German-speaking part of Europe really know us. But if there comes a chance to change that we'd surely hop right in.
Anything I should have asked? A question you miss?
Ok, you got me, please don't expect me to come up with something super-witty here. Thanks for the interview, Claudia, I had a fun time doing it and a nice opportunity to practice my English. Thanks for reading to everybody, hope to see you on the road.
Well, it don't have to be a witty comment to end an interview, but sometimes there is something new to tell... But if it's just helped practicing Nik's English and give Nachtgeschrei fans an idea about the current release and upcoming activities, then it's just fine. ;)
And perhaps later this year there is more to talk about...