Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
N: I’m a multi instrumentalist in that I play the guitar, bass and drums. I’m also a recorder and producer, I handle that area of music making as well. But most germane to the topic of NACHTMUSE, I’m a songwriter.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
N: I started playing music in my early teens, on bass. I quickly picked up the guitar as well, and eventually drums. Not long after I finished high school I joined my first death metal band, and from there it’s been many years of multitasking bands from various subgenres of death and grind with bands in the Toronto area. I do have an appetite for more melodic types of music though and eventually I ‘allowed’ myself to launch NACHTMUSE, an outlet for all my non-death metal musical ideas. That has been extremely rewarding to me and now NACHTMUSE is front and center as my main project.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
N: In terms of direct influences for NACHTMUSE, the biggest one is Therion. There is a sweet spot of albums in their long career that is by far my favourite music ever, and that’s why I’m writing symphonic metal of my own. Then we have some other bands like Lacrimosa, The Gathering, Dreams of Sanity and All About Eve. I also just really like riffs… chuggy ones, snarly ones, etc.
For a non-musical influence, it’s life. The emotion of each song is the one I’m living at the time it’s written, and all the riffs and melodies that are used are sort of the symphonic metal palette of colours I can use to try and depict that.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
N: My goal for NACHTMUSE is to write songs of a certain depth and quality, so people will be able to listen to an entire album and feel something significant. My dream is that enough people will make a habit of doing so, so I’m not just tossing riffs into the internet abyss when I release music.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
N: I write the songs. They are really just about what’s heavy on my mind at the moment that I’m writing. So a lot of them are about some of the challenges or realizations I encounter at my current age (mid thirties). Others are my observations and opinions on the world we’re living in. It is after all shaping up to be a pretty interesting decade and there’s been a lot to talk about. All of this I try to do in a manner that is more timeless, like my lyrics won’t mention something technological or specific to modern life. I think that opens up the potential for a song to feel ‘elevated’ above the trivial.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
N: You know, promotion is not my strong suit at all! I’m always open for advice on how to go about that. As for shows, NACHTMUSE has so far been a studio project. But if there comes a demand, I will surely try to get a band together to play live.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
N: I think it’s unavoidable with the progress of technology. I don’t have any hard opinions on it because it’s a nuanced topic and frankly I’ve been a part of it since the Napster days. So I’d be a hypocrite if I complained that it’s affecting my bottom line.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
N: I can’t think of anything particular but I often hear something written by someone superior, a chord progression or melody or modulation that is ingenious and to me quite mysterious, and that makes me jealous. I suffer from all the pitfalls of being a guitarist and have a hard time seeing music with the ‘bird’s eye view’ some others such as piano players have. So I guess I wish I’d written songs that I would have written if I had better knowledge.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
N: Man I have a million! I’ll just be very general. I think people as a whole tend to think and do as they’re told to without much critical thinking of their own. It’s something that could be improved upon.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
N: Definitely releasing NACHTMUSE’s previous full length album, ‘Solemn Songs of Nightsky & Sea’. The songwriting period for that was long, basically the entire first half of my thirties, and all that is encapsulated in those songs, they are very close to my heart as it was at that time. It also was my apex point for musical production (though I think I’m surpassing that now with productions I’ve worked on in the year since). All that is capped off by the music video we filmed for the single ‘Under the Yoke’, which was so fun to make and I just love the result so much.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
N: I literally just finished the NACHTMUSE EP, ‘darker skies’. So I’m just considering ideas at the moment for the next one, which should be a full length album. I’m considering themes I can use to set the tone for the songwriting. It will be similar to what’s been done so far but also an evolution upon that.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
N: You can stream my full length as well as the upcoming EP on all major services! Those are respectively Solemn Songs of Nightsky & Sea and the darker skies EP.
They are available for purchase at bandcamp: https://nachtmuse.bandcamp.com/
Band/Artist location – Toronto, Ontario
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