Kingdoms to Hovel with Rozel Nikolaj Leaño, Jayson Gonzales, Andrei Alemania, Jonathan Miranda
Art: Ov Exvn Infërnvz
Nullification is a death metal quartet formed in the fall of 2021. We hail from the province of Laguna, Philippines.
HMA: How would you describe your music?
Jayson: Our music is the willingness to push intensity beyond, and it means a lot to me, especially when I meet those who appreciate how we express it.
Andrei: Just a straightforward death metal. We aren’t thinking of reinventing the genre. We do what we like to do, which means a lot if someone appreciates it.
Rozel: We play death metal plain and simple. Pure, unbridled, knuckle-dragging death metal. It’s just something that we’ve always wanted to do aside from the current bands we all play in. It means a lot to me since it’s been a lifelong passion.
Jonathan: Our music is what describes us as a person. We write music with pure heart and dedication.
HMA: Tell us about your new record?
Andrei: ‘Kingdoms to Hovel’ is a fun album. Writing the drum track for the album didn’t make any sweat for me, to be honest, because Jayson wrote everything on that album. I followed the patterns he did and added my style to some parts. Jayson did a great job on how he made the album sounds dynamic, combined with Rozel’s catchy vocal phrasing that adds intensity to the album. Jonathan’s solos are fantastic as well.
Jayson: ‘Kingdoms to Hovel’ is a great album; collaboration among us stood up during the step-by-step process.
Jonathan: The new material was great. We were also surprised by how it turned out. We just did what we could during the days of recording.
Rozel: It was a load of fun. Jayson is such a well-articulated songwriter. This album highlighted how our ideas could interlock and combine into one miscible solution.
HMA: How would you describe the lyrics?
Rozel: I wanted to craft a story or a “lore”, if you will, that’s sci-fi themed. It’s the kind of subject that you don’t see a lot these days. Of course, nothing about it is unique or “genre-defining”, as one might say. It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to write about. And will continue to write within the bounds of this band.
HMA: What inspires you to make music?
Rozel: Lots and lots of fantasy and sci-fi works. Be it in literature or movies, it’s just something that I’m passionate about. As for creating music, it’s a hobby. You won’t hear any pretentious “music is my escape” or “music saved me” bullshit from me or any of us. We do this because we want to, and we can. Got nothing better to do anyway!
HMA: How were you initiated in the dark arts of heavy metal?
Jonathan: No particular experience comes to mind, but this kind of music brings calm to me whenever I listen to it.
Jayson: It all started decades ago when I first heard Fuck… I’m Dead and Carcass’ ‘Wake Up and Smell the Carcass’. I was curious, and it caught my attention to this kind of music. Since then, I started listening to different types of metal bands, e.g. Venom, Slayer, Kreator, Deicide etc.
Andrei: I was fortunate to grow up when dial-up Internet was a thing. I had the chance to surf the web, where I found Venom’s ‘Black Metal’, ‘Show No Mercy’ by Slayer and ‘Covenant’ by Morbid Angel.
Rozel: I grew up with parents who are huge hard rock and heavy metal nuts. And we lived close-by to a much older cousin of mine who lived through the hay-day of the late 80s and early 90s when all of this about NWOBHM, thrash metal, and death metal piqued in our country. So, as expected, I was exposed quite early to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Death, Pestilence, Cannibal Corpse, Zeppelin, you name it! I’m glad it stuck to me. But, for the record, metal isn’t the only music I’m passionate about.
HMA: Why is music important to you and the world?
Jayson: Music for me is like a puzzle, considering every piece is important.
Andrei: Music is a personal thing for me cause I can express my artistic side of me.
Jonathan: Music is our passion. We create this kind of music for the world, for the people to be globally aware of what’s happening; it’s not just entertainment for me.
Rozel: Music represents harmony, and it’s something that all living things strive for inherently. It means a lot to everyone, and I believe no two persons have the same reason why music is so important to them. All that we know is that it is a necessity.