Interview with Yishai of NAIL WITHIN

Interview with Yishai of NAIL WITHIN

- in Written interviews

Hi! First of all, how are you? Are you and your families safe? Are any of you currently serving in the army?
We are safe but the situation in Israel is horrible, we been brutally attacked by terrorists, no, we are not serving at the army, in Israel the army is between the ages of 18-21 and we are way older, but the situation is as painful as you can think…

How does it feel to be back after the hiatus and present new music to your fans after 20 years?
Honestly? Mixed feelings, on one hand its super exciting to return after so many years and bring something new and fresh to the table, 11 new songs, and I really think we made a good solid record with an interesting lyrical point of view as well but on the other hand the last 20 years were very bad for bands and musicians, nobody cares anymore about lyrics or agenda or anything deep, people want the 3 min of fun in Spotify and listen to music in the background while doing multi tasking of 8 other things at the same time, its sad and I feel like the effect today is so small compare to 2003 and I don’t even talk about the 90’s or the 80’s, it give you as a musician a very frustrating feeling, like no one really listen.

What inspired the decision to reunite and create a new album after all these years?
In 2022 we (me and Alex) met again in local club, started to talk about “hey this year it’s 20 years to the debut…” kind of talk, a week after – we had 3 new songs and called other band members hope they will be into the idea of getting back together “happily they were all in”.

The main inspiration was 20 years to the debut album, we wanted to celebrate it somehow.

Can you tell us about the creative process behind ‘Sound of Demise’? How did you approach songwriting and recording for this album, especially after such a long break?
I think it’s always interesting when a band comes back together after such a long break, what they will “say” to the world now? The world changed so fast, when the debut came out we were 19-25 years old, now my daughter is 16 and I’m closer to 50 than to 40, the things I want to talk about, the way I see things, it’s different yet the same, I look at bands like Sacred Reich or Xentrix who got back together after a break more or less like ours and I’m super interested to see the results and the things they write about now, 20 years later, so we tried to “answer” that question in our way, to make an interesting solid album that will continue the vibe of the debut we did in 2003 but bring something fresh to the table as well, we wrote the whole album in a year, Alex wrote all the music and I wrote the lyrics.

Considering the evolution in your individual musical journeys during the hiatus, how did those experiences influence the sound and themes of ‘Sound of Demise’?
We are more experienced, less naïve I would say, also we play better…😊 and I think that the target was to combine the passion and heat we had in the debut with the experience we have now, when the debut was released I was 24 years old and I was the older member, now I am 47, other band members did albums with the bands they had after we split up that were released by majors as Roadrunner and SPV (Betzefer), I became a well-known promoter and worked with hundreds of the most known metal bands etc etc, we all did things and we understand how the industry is working, much more than in 2003.

Can you elaborate on the musical elements and themes you explored in this new record?
I think generally it’s more “in your face” in a way, a song like “King Obscenity” (from the 2003 debut) could not be in “Sound Of Demise, is an angry record, we were of course influenced by more or less the same things musically but this album is more thrash metal I think, it was always a kind of blend of things we like as Entombed, old At The Gates, Slayer, Kreator, Testament, old Sepultura and some classic Hardcore of course.

You mentioned that the album picks up from where the band left off but introduces new dimensions. Could you share some specific influences or experiences that contributed to these new dimensions in your music?
As described in the previous answer, but I think we have much more solos here in this one and the guitar work is more polished compared to the debut, if you hear the debut and then this album it will sound like a natural step of the same band, a bit different but 100% with the same vibe.

Having formed in 2001, Nail Within has witnessed significant changes in the music industry. How do you think these changes have affected your approach to creating and promoting music, especially with this new album?
We wrote a song about it…, “Duplicate Our Lives”, about the disrespect and the low value of the artists and musicians in today’s world, its about the kind of people having 687885447889 bands on the Spotify account but never ordered even 1 original LP or cd or shirt and yet they say they “love” the band, the kind of people going to shows just to have a selfie, the kind of people expect the bands to entertain them, the kind of people that always say “I have no money” to buy a cd but dressed in 1500$ worthy clothes and fly to 5 festivals per year, the kind of people who knows nothing about what the bands they “love” so much stands for.

There is a sentence there saying “we are not here to entertain you, we came here to survive, for you its just a silly game – for us: a way of life”.

I was inspired lyrically by “Paint a Vulgar Picture” of “The Smiths” but they “attacked” the record companies who don’t give a f…. about the artists and we “attacked” a certain kind of people calling themselves music fans.

Tell us about your collaboration with Massacre Records for the release of ‘Sound of Demise’. How did this partnership come about, and how has it influenced the album’s production and promotion?
Having a strong label as Massacre Records behind you is of course a great help and it makes things easier, we got full support from them, we sent them the album, they liked it and signed us, so we joined the team, its great as the label released many fantastic albums over the years, its also nice because back in 1993 when I had my first metal band BETRAYER I sent a demo tape to labels in Europe and Massacre was the first one who sent me a letter back, so to sign there after 30 years in a great respect, we are satisfied.

The band members have been involved in various musical projects and endeavors during the hiatus. How did these diverse experiences contribute to the overall chemistry and creativity when you came back together to work on this album?
We play better I think, we know a lot about the music industry and how it works, we are less naïve so I would say its easier to work now and bring this experience to the working process although there was something magical and “virgin” in the nativity of the early days of course, a kind of early magic.

Lyrically, what themes and topics can listeners expect to find in ‘Sound of Demise’? Are there any specific messages or stories you wanted to convey through the lyrics of this album?
The meaning of the name is simple: the world is going back to primitive way of thinking, more violent, more ignorant, more “our way or the highway”, look at what happened in the states with the abortions, look at russia Vs Ukraine, look at ISIS, and all the fake news controlling the media, the world in 2023 is much more dangerous than in let’s say 1993, many songs are dealing with these subjects, almost all of them: Bleeding Society, Manipulated And Doomed, Everything We Know, Regression… and The Price We Pay, about 50% of the album is about it, the other songs as “Duplicate Our Lives” is about the bad situation of musicians nowadays, “Years Of Madness” is a tribute song to LG from Entombed and the early death metal scene, Eyes Of Evil is about an abusive relationship… etc

With the music industry being so digitally oriented now, do you think the digital landscape has influenced the way you approached the production and arrangement of the tracks on ‘Sound of Demise’?
No, an album needs to sound good on every stereo, if it sounds good in your iPhone, your car, an expensive stereo or a shitty used cd played: it means u did the right thing, you gotta make an album that will sound good on every stereo system.

How do you navigate the balance between meeting fan expectations and exploring your creative boundaries as artists?
For us its very simple: we don’t entertain people, we write songs because it helps us to survive in this world, if we like it we record it, I never thought “oh, our fans will like/not like it”, it never crossed my mind.

Are there any specific tracks on ‘Sound of Demise’ that hold a special place in your hearts? Could you share the story behind one of the songs that had a particularly meaningful or challenging creative process?
Many of them, most of them, but I will talk about YEARS OF MADNESS, we wrote this song as a tribute to my friend LG from ENTOMBED and the whole 89-93 old death metal scene, the years of tape trading, zines, stamps back, flyers etc etc, the years when we discovered the death metal underground in real time, everything was so magical and cult and a great escapism from the painful reality we lived in, I write there about ourselves as metal teenagers: “scared of the future, we embraced the dead, scared of ourselves the most”, this song is very important to me and I think everyone who lived in the scene back then will love it.

Looking back at your journey as a band, what do you consider the most significant lessons you’ve learned, and how have they shaped your approach to music-making, especially with this new album?
The most important lesson is how to leave the ego outside the door and work as a team, if we were smart in 2003 Nail Within would continue and by now we had like 10 albums already, tours and career, we were in the right place and the right time but we were full of energy and everyone was sure he knows everything, leave your ego outside the door and work nicely with each other that would be the most important tip I think.

After the release of ‘Sound of Demise’, what’s next for Nail Within? Thank you for your time! I sincerely wish you victory in the war!
Thank you so much, we will do our best to promote this album together with Massacre Records and then start to write the 3rd one.

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