About Me

Interview with Nachtblut

German Dark Metal pioneers Nachtblut have released their sixth studio album “Vanitas” on October 2nd 2020 via Napalm Records. Three years after the previous album “Apostasie”, Nachtblutreturns with even more vigor and might. With “Vanitas”, these Dark Metal giants create a symbolic work of art somewhere between transience and infinity. Skol had an interesting conversation with Metal Imperium. Read it all here…

M.I. - First off, many thanks for answering my questions! Congratulations on the fabulous new album!

Thank you!

M.I. - The name Nachtblut is not exactly an unusual name and it was actually chosen by more bands… were you aware of the existence of other bands with the same name? Why have you opted for this name?

We didn't know there were other bands. I'm also not sure they really existed before.
Even if you can't know all the still “unpopular” bands that just formed somewhere around the globe. There are several rumors about our name and why we chose it, I will keep like that. If I reveal the story behind the name, the meaning, it would take all the fun from those rumors. Some things don't need to be explained. (laughts)

M.I. - The title of the new album “Vanitas” is Latin for “Vanity”. Do you think vanity is a good or bad characteristic of one’s personality? Are you vain?

No, we're not vain and I think in the way today people associate “vanity” it's a bad thing. But I think that for example “egoism” isn't that bad, who wouldn't agree on taking care of your interests? Isn't it that benevolence can only exist beside selfcare? So, egoism and altruism need each other.

M.I. - Apart from your debut in 2007 “Das erste Abendmahl”, all your other releases only have one word as title… why? For being easier to remember?

No, I think people could easily remember more than one word as well. The album titles all have in common to be or to be related to Latin or ancient Greek words.

M.I. - Most of your titles are quite “biblical”, so to speak… what’s the reason behind them?

Never thought about this “biblical” aspect. I guess it's because Latin is often associated with religion, the bible. But it's not the purpose to make any reference to the bible.

M.I. - Why is “Vanitas” the best title for this album?

Because it sums up the many aspects you will find in our lyrics. Also, from the beginning of Nachtblut, we wanted the listener to think and reflect about his surrounding and life. This is one of the main aspects of the whole Vanitas art. Often people just see death and mortality, but it's just a tool/vehicle for the way to insight and perception.

M.I. - What’s the main difference between “Vanitas” and your other releases?

I think with Vanitas we made a step forward if it comes to variety and facets on one record. Of course, “Apostasie” also has shown a certain diversity, but with Vanitas we managed even more to have many facets but still a homogenous sound on the album.

M.I. - The album has been released on the 2nd October… the reviews have been beyond awesome, but how have the fans reacted to it so far?

The reaction of fans has been great. Overall, the album got really awesome reviews, also by fans. We are more than happy with the result and feedback so far.

M.I. - According to the press release, Nachtblut have returned with more vigor and might… do you agree? Why?

Yes I agree, these are two positive attributes. Like I said, we love our new album, so we do like our previous records, but you always try to develop, making things better. Often after a release you acknowledge things you could have done another way. But this takes some time and distance between the actual work on the record and the reflection on it. It would be strange if we would say that on our new record the songs are less of any positive attribute. We wouldn't release it, if we wouldn't believe it's the best we could accomplish at that moment.

M.I. - Being the tracks all in German, can you tell us which topics you like to address in your lyrics? What inspires you to write?

Everything – we never just wanted to write about one issue. On Vanitas you will find lyrics about “moral supremacy”, who's defining your perspective on happiness, dictatorship, death, transience, just to name a few. Not just musically, but also lyrically Vanitas offers a lot of facets.

M.I. - The songs are in German and that’s not an easy language to understand, so what is Nachtblut’s secret ingredient to attract listeners from all around the globe?

That's a question that should be asked the people around the world, who are listening to Nachtblut. I guess it's the music, melody and feel. You don't need to understand all the lyrics to know which feeling/mood a song has. A good song will cause something in you, even without understanding the lyrics.

M.I. - There are already official videos for “Das Puppenhaus” and “Leierkinder”. Why have you selected these tracks to showcase the album?

One review stated, that there are “11 singles on the album”. We could have chosen any song for a video, so we chose the ones we liked the idea for a video the most.

M.I. - In the video for “Leierkinder”, in some moments, the band members all have rope “controlling” their arms. Is it a metaphor for the puppets we all are?

Yes, that's the metaphor. The lyre player is in control of what the people know and how they see things, even how they define happiness.

M.I. - The track “Schmerz & Leid” features Chris Harms, from the band Lord of the Lost. Why was he a good choice for this song in particular?

There is a certain connection, further than just the musical interest and, of course, we knew each other for a long time already and we spent a lot of time together in the studio, as Chris is the producer of our previous record Apostasie and Vanitas now. 

M.I. - “Das Puppenhaus” reminds me of Rammstein. Are you fans of their music? How’s the current German metal scene?

Yes, we are. Rammstein influenced us all. Germany has a big metal scene. Beside the year 2020 I think we have the most metal festivals in Germany, also some of the biggest, e.g. Wacken, Summer Breeze. Also, if it comes to touring, a lot of shows are played in Germany as well. So nothing to complain about.

M.I. - The cover features 4 skulls around a table… are those the skulls of the members of Nachtblut? Why are the skulls covered in cobwebs? What have they been waiting for?

We are four members and there are four skulls, could be a link … they are in cobwebs cause obviously they died a long time ago. Skulls are a big part of the Vanitas still life art, as we chose the artwork to adopt the style, it was an obvious conclusion to put four skulls on the cover.

M.I. - “Vanitas” is number 19 of the official German charts. How does this make you feel? Playing such a dark style, did you ever imagine you’d see one of your albums in those charts?

Still feels a bit unreal to me. I mean, come on – top 20 album! That's something awesome and it makes me happy. Maybe because of the situation, COVID-19, no shows, that it doesn't change too much. Maybe that will be different, once we can play shows again. Of course as a musician you're imaging how it would be, but we never set it as a goal. Now it happened, it feels awesome.

M.I. - In one of your Facebook posts, you asked the fans to mention their favorite tracks and I read through the comments and it wasn’t an easy task for the listeners to decide because all tracks are good. The ones most pointed out were: Vanitas, Das Puppenhaus, Leierkinder, Nur in Der Nacht. Now it’s your turn: what’s your favorite track and why?

I think “Gegen Die Götter” cause of the riff and as we didn't make a video for this song, it's like a little gem on the record, everyone can discover.

M.I. - On “Apostasie” you were joined by Amelie on keyboards, but she’s not on “Vanitas”… why? Didn’t she recover from her injury yet?

To keep it short – she is not part of the band anymore.

M.I. - The band has 3 longtime members… how’s your relationship? Has it grown stronger as the years pass by? Do you understand each other better?

The relationship is good. I would agree on all the point, it grew stronger and I think we understand each other better every year that goes by. I guess it's a natural process, that if you spend so much time together, rather it escalates or becomes a stronger unit.

M.I. - In one Facebook post you asked your fans if they were fit enough to face “Vanitas” and told them to go to the gym to get fit. You even have the “Gain like Satan” t-shirt. Do you wear one as well when you hit the gym? Is fitness a hobby of yours? What exercises do you train? I practice CrossFit 5 times a week, so I guess I’ll order my “Gain like Satan” t-shirt as well.

Yes, we all work out, some more, some less. Pretty classic, lifting heavy metal (laughts).
Not all the time, but quite often we are also wearing the “Gain Like Satan” shirt.

M.I. - A few years ago, rock n’ roll bands “had” to use drugs and alcohol in order to be cool. Now times are different. In your opinion, what does a band need in order to be considered cool?

I really don't know. I never cared about that. I guess being authentic is one step to be cool.

M.I. - Now that the band has been around for 15 years, what are the biggest differences between Nachtblut now and in 2005?

Experience – sounds boring, but I guess that's the main difference. Of course, we are more settled in what we do. But for me it's hard to name differences. Things got obviously more professional, but beside… we naturally developed.

M.I. - Think about the metal bands these days… with whom do Nachtblut identify with? Which bands do you think play a similar style and philosophy?

We have a unique sound, so it’s hard to compare. From an artist point of view, it doesn't matter which other band plays a similar style or has a similar philosophy, it wouldn’t change a thing for us. Of course, if it comes to touring, you think about what could fit. We identify with ourselves (laughts). 

M.I. - Has coronavirus and this whole pandemic situation inspired you to write any lyrics?

Not yet, the lyrics and songs for Vanitas have been written before the whole pandemic started. Let's see, maybe in the future there will be a song about it.

M.I. - What are your plans for the album? Do you want to tour and promote it? Have you got any plans already or have you considered any alternatives?

There are many plans, but due to the situation it will take some time till we can tour. But we are working on it and hoping everything can take place as planned.

M.I. - If you could pick a few bands to go on a “dream tour” with Nachtblut, which bands would you invite and why?

Of course, Rammstein or Cradle Of Filth would be great. I personally really like Ghost, maybe not the perfect fit, but a great experience for me. Otherwise, I prefer tours with cool people and friends than with people I don't know or don't like.

M.I. - How much has Nachtblut “suffered” with all the coronavirus? How has the music industry changed with it?

We were lucky regarding the album release, but if it comes to festivals or shows COVID-19 had a big impact on us as well. We had to postpone our tour and several festivals didn't take place. Like I said, let's hope for the best and hoping 2021 will be better.

M.I. - Nachtblut is signed to Napalm Records… is the band exactly where you imagined it would be by now?

Yes, because it is what it is. Of course, there were dreams or achievements you like to have, but we never had this big plan. You know saying like “in 2020 we need to have a top 20 album” or “in 2017 we need to play the first headlining tour in China.” There more things we would appreciate, but you can't force things. So, if they happen, it's cool, and we appreciate them, if not, I wouldn't see it as a failure.

M.I. - How much help and support has Napalm Records given you? Do you always see eye-to-eye or do you disagree?

It's a great with, never an against. All the years have been cool and Napalm Records is a good support to let our visions become real. So, it's an eye-to-eye bond.

M.I. - Many thanks for your time! Hope you come and play in Portugal soon! Please share a final message with Metal Imperium’s readers.

I stay with last famous word in every interview – listen to our new album Vanitas and stay safe, stay healthy and hopefully seeing you in 2021!

For Portuguese version, click here
Questions by Sónia Fonseca