Imminent call for the destruction
Nile is a Technical Death Metal band from the USA. They combine extreme speed and brutality of modern death metal with the ancient styling of Middle Eastern music. ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ is their eighth studio album. The album was released on August 28th, 2015 through Nuclear Blast. Recorded at Serpent Headed Studios with the artwork done by Michał “Xaay” Loranc. The album debuted at #2 on US Top Heatseekers Albums. The title track “Call to Destruction” depicts a world seen by religious extremist and cleverly adapted to Nile music and personality. As Karl clearly states “This is a fucking Metal song” and we indeed agree to the feel and not so much to the message. I was happy to meet Karl and enjoyed talked about these issues.
HMA: About the new record. Again, Egyptian theme all around, artwork, lyrics. What makes this record different from the other ones?
Karl Sanders – Nile: Well, this is the new one.
HMA: Of course.
Nile: Yes. That itself is quite a bit of difference. This is the new one, there’s a different approach, there’s a different attitude, there’s a different spirit about it. We made this record for our fans.
HMA: George Kollias, lives and works in Greece, right? How do you work out the song arrangements, the creative process?
Nile: It’s a challenge, of course, but with the gift of the modern internet you can exchange ideas actually quite easily. We go back and forth for a while, and then when we feel the songs are ready we fly him over, and we actually rehearse together in a room and throw things at each other, break things, have temper tantrums and arguments like any band.
HMA: How was the recording process? Any different from the other ones, or pretty much you followed the same approach?
Nile: It followed basically the same framework.
HMA: And the album artwork?
Nile: This time by Michał “Xaay” Loranc. He also did ‘Those Whom The Gods Detest’. We really like his work, it’s good stuff.
HMA: Did you give him any ideas on what you wanted?
Karl: No, we just gave him the lyrics to the title track and I wrote a few paragraphs about the meaning of it, and just let him do whatever he wanted.
HMA: The track titled “Call To Destruction”, it’s a bit different from the others I’ve noticed.
HMA: Can you tell us a bit about that?
Karl: The genesis of the song was a bunch of articles from 2012 from radical clerics calling for the destruction of the pyramids. They made these incredible radical speeches and demands why the pyramids should be torn down and why they’re a blasphemy, and I saw all this and I was like “This is a fucking Metal song. This is a Metal song”. Every word out of this guy’s mouth would be an incredible lyric for a metal song. So, OK, here we go.
HMA: If the song was about against what was said in the news it would have been weirder, but your approach was taking the content from the news and…
Karl: I took the direct quotes, that way there’s no misinterpretation. This is what he said, here it is plain as day. These are their intentions, this is what they want to do, this is why they want to do it, and there you go. It’s truth. No one can actually say I did anything wrong.
HMA: Have you had any controversy about that particular song? Or anything along those lines?
Karl: Of course my inbox has been exploding since the lyric video for “Call To Destruction” came out. We put a disclaimer in the beginning of that video explaining our position. We don’t endorse any political or religious ideologies. We’re just calling attention to what these people are doing and saying. But still, my inbox exploded with people from all points of view, from left wing Muslim sympathizers going, “I can’t believe you’re saying these bad things about Islam.” Which I’m not. I didn’t say anything. It’s what they said, OK? I’m not saying anything bad about Islam. We’re not anti-Islam.
Then I had right-wing fucking nationalist people going, “Yes, let’s destroy the entire region. Let’s nuke the entire place. Fuck all those people.” Which of course is another ridiculous viewpoint. I’m not calling for anything. I’m just saying this is what these fuckers said. This is what they want to do, make of it what you will. I think it makes a great Metal song.
HMA: Are these people who are contacting you, are they your fans?
Karl: I would suppose not. Usually, when fans have a question they come across completely different than people who are just trying to beat you up into publicly taking their viewpoint. I can tell the difference.
HMA: Have you guys played in the Middle East?
Karl: We went to Dubai. We actually had plans to go to Cairo and play with a band there called Scarab. Didn’t work out, and lately, it seems like the political situation there is even iffier. So who knows when that will happen.
HMA: I’m sure they would be happy to see you guys.
Karl: I’m sure it would be great.
HMA: I was going to ask. When you write songs, is that all coming out of your research, of your favourite kind of pastimes?
Karl: Well, doing the research for Nile is kind of a pastime, and learning, that certainly builds my library up, researching for Nile songs. That’s where a lot of it comes from. I write the lyrics first, so that kind of guides the rest of the music, kind of like having a path, a map.
HMA: Do you have a clear political aim? When you write something does your politics come, can people understand it in songs?
Karl: I think if you actually read the lyrics and understand what I’m saying, you can probably glean from it my own political stance. Although, I don’t necessarily think that’s what’s important. My viewpoint is irrelevant because it’s history.
HMA: Anything you wanted to tell us in general, or about what we just talked about?
Karl: We’re really happy on tour with Suffocation and bringing our new record to our fans. To me, the fans are all important. They are who actually matters, they’re the people that support the scene, who makes everything possible.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2015 © Heavy Music Artwork. All Rights Reserved.