Hi! Congratulations on the upcoming release of your sophomore album, “Tongue Of Thorns.” How do you feel about the album and what was your main inspiration behind it?
Thanks! We are very satisfied with how the album turned out. It is a bit more blackened and rawer than Death Unchained, and I think the songs sound more unique. It takes time crafting your own sound, but we’re getting there!
I can’t say there was one specific inspiration behind it. It’s kind of hard to explain, but some days the inspiration just flows. It might be that I listened to a good song or album that day that ignited the inspiration, or it could be something completely different. I guess the inspiration varies from song to song. It can be nothing and it can be everything.
The new single, “Cult of the Monolith,” explores the themes of ancient, esoteric knowledge and the power it holds. What drew you to these themes and how do they influence your music?
With us it’s the other way around. We make the music first and then write lyrics to fit the music. Terje is always exploring different themes that might fit our music, so when he starts working on lyrics for a song he goes into a state where he listens to the song over and over again until he gets an epiphany about what theme will fit the song. Then he starts working on tailoring everything to fit the song perfectly. It’s not just about telling a story; it’s about telling a story that is one with the music.
Your music is the blackened death metal. How do you see your music fitting into this genre and what sets you apart from other bands in this category?
Our main focus is to make music we want to hear and play, but we of course don’t want to copy anyone else. It’s not like we’re bringing something completely new to the table, but we don’t sound exactly like anyone else either. Our music has high quality and I think it’s worth checking out by anyone who likes black metal, death metal and a mixture of those. If you only like super modern stuff or really old school stuff, then this album is probably not for you. I guess we’re somewhere in between.
How do you balance death metal brutality and black metal atmospheric elements in your music, and what makes this combination unique?
Most of the time the balance is given. At some point in the song, I stop and think “what kind of part does this song need now?” Sometimes it feels like it needs more atmosphere, and sometimes it feels like it needs more brutality. Sometimes it depends on how the other songs are. We don’t want to rewrite the same song over and over again, so if all the other songs made so far have a lot of atmosphere, maybe it’s time to focus on getting some more brutality in there.
How do you achieve this balance in your recordings and live performances?
We always do demos of the songs while we’re making them. So it’s a lot of back and forth with trying stuff and getting/giving feedback. When we start the main recording everything is more or less figured out, so it’s just about getting good quality playing and audio.
For live performance we try to pick a set that feels good to play. We try different songs on rehearsals and get a feel for how we think they’ll work out live. We also have the live performance in the back of our heads when we make the music. Not everyone makes music that’s “meant to be played live”, but that is definitely something that is important to us. Not ONLY live, of course. It’s equally important that it works when you’re listening to it in other scenarios.
NEXORUM music often incorporates dark and foreboding themes. What draws you to these themes and how do they impact your songwriting process?
We live in Norway, where it’s cold and dark most of the year. That does something to your mind. I guess it has some familiarity. It’s hard to say exactly why someone is drawn to something, but I imagine that the natural surroundings have a big impact on it.
The events of the past few years have led NEXORUM down a much darker path, emphasizing the elements of black metal in the band’s music. Can you elaborate on how these events have influenced your music?
When you’re stuck at home with your own thoughts and the light at the end of the tunnel never seems to get any closer, you tend to be on the darker side of things. The state of mind called for some more atmospheric and gloomy stuff.
“Tongue Of Thorns” has a strong apocalyptic theme. Can you tell us more about this theme and how it is represented in the album?
As far as the lyrics go, there’s only one song with an apocalyptic theme. And every good metal album should have at least one song with an apocalyptic theme, right? If the music sounds apocalyptic, it’s nothing we planned, but I guess it felt a bit apocalyptic during the pandemic, so it might be a result of that.
“Tongue Of Thorns” has a total of nine tracks. Can you walk us through the process of creating the album, from songwriting to recording and production?
I start with making a demo of the songs at home and then I send it to the others for review. If we agree that the song fits, then Terje writes lyrics, and we play around with vocals on the demo. After that, everyone puts in their own distinctiveness on their instruments when we rehearse and eventually record it for the final result. There may of course also be multiple revisions of the song during all this. During the mixing stage, it’s mostly the same. A lot of back and forth, trying different things and seeing what sticks.
Your music is intense and aggressive. How do you maintain this level of energy throughout the songwriting and recording process?
During the songwriting process it’s crucial that the mood is just right. Luckily we don’t have a specific window where we can make songs. Sometimes it can go months between new songs. In those cases it’s usually because the mood, or inspiration, just isn’t right.
The recording process is luckily easier in those regards. The songs gets us in the right mood. There’s a huge difference between creating and performing.
What is the meaning behind the album’s title, “Tongue Of Thorns,” and how does it relate to the album’s overall themes and concepts?
Words spoken by a Tongue of Thorns are not pleasant ones. Who speaks with it? I think we’ll leave it to the listener to relate it to whatever situation is most fitting. I’m sure most people have been weighed down by it at some point, and there are tons of ways to fight it. We have ours!
“Cult of the Monolith” has already received positive feedback from fans and critics. How do you feel about the response to the single so far, and what do you hope fans take away from it?
It’s always nice to get positive feedback when you have put a lot of work and effort into something, and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback for the singles so far. For me, one of the best feelings in the world is when I hear a new song or album that is just right for me. If our fans get that feeling from our music, then we have made a difference, and that adds to the motivation for us to keep doing this. But to be clear, it stands in the shadow of the feelings it is to create a new song that we feel passionate for, and that will always be our main priority; to make music we feel great playing and listening to.
How do you see the future of blackened death metal and extreme metal in general, and how do you see Nexorum fitting into that future?
It doesn’t seem like Extreme Metal is going away at this point. There are a lot of very dedicated fans that are very passionate about supporting the bands, and that is what keeps everything going. Nexorum isn’t going anywhere either. We work together very well and enjoy what we are doing, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon!
Finally, what can fans expect from Nexorum in the future, and what are your plans for the rest of 2023 and beyond? Thank you!
We will keep on making music and doing live shows! We are here to stay and we will put in the hard work it is to stay at the level we feel like we should be on!
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