Nattsjal – Interview

Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD:  How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

N: I have played metal since i got my first accoustic guitar at 6 years of age. Inspired by my fathers vinyls like motörhead and iron maiden. In my youth i played in some bands for a while but nothing really got anywhere. Then i had a revelation sitting in my sofa one day not sure what to do with my life and just came up with the first ideas till what would become the quite well known metal act MÅNEGARM. I contacted an old friend Pierre Wilhelmsson and the rest is history. Fast forward to some years ago and i got stabed in the back from the other members in månegarm and not allowed to re-entry my old band (wich i started) after a time of sickness. So i stopped playing music for a while and was quite down and angry. Then my son talked me over to start making music again and the idea to form Nattsjäl was born. It started as a fun little project just involving my son and me. But it has now swollen to include many old Månegarm members like Pierre Vilhelmson and Janne Liljekvist and also thomas Vikström from therion to name a few. We see ourselfs more like a family or music collective than a band.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

N: I was born 1975 in Norrtälje a town in sweden close to the capital Stockholm. As i talked about earlier I was raised on rock music from my father who always listened to bands like deep purple zz top and so on. But it was when i first found his motörhead and iron maiden and black sabbath vinyls i knew what i was gonna do the rest of my life. When i grew up bands like wasp and venom and bathory had a huge inpact on my inspiration. And when the wave of death and black metal started for real i was swept away with it.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

N: Music has always been a way to get out agressions and funktion as therapy in a way. But i have like an urge or itch that just want to create. When i write lyrics it can be sometrhing i notice in whatever form around me. But usually it is dealing with different demons from within i guess. When i write music it is like its just something that wants to come out. I sit down with the guitar and the song almost writes itself. But it is important you have the “flow” open. If youre forced to write something or stay in the same genre for too long the creativity dries out and you can get a writing block just sitting on youre arse and nothing comes out at all. I also have a big faschination of the unknown and the big scary world within. The dark side that we usually dont wanna talk about so much. But it can also be about forces and beeings of nature and our old customs in the north the vikings and asatru. Me and Pierre has a deep admiration for the works of H.P Lovecraft and that will probably be more known in the future of our music.


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

N: Well for the last almost 30 years my main goal was to make MÅNEGARM a big well known band. That i succeded with. Since i cant do that anymore for the reasons i talked about earlier with my former mates hijacking my band. I have turned the page and started a new chapter in my musical life. Things happen for a reason i guess and with Nattsjäl the idea is to make music just for the fun of it and explore new ideas. For the moment anyway we dont want a record label and seek to do all the recordings mixing and mastering ourselves. This way we can do what we want and dont have to worry about anyone screwing us over or telling us what to do musically.  Hopefully people will like the idea to have a band that gives you different kind of musical inputs and journeys along the way. It can of course be totally fine if a band sounds the same all the time and the songs sounds the same. But we want to explore different feelings and genres along the way at the same time keeping it in the darker realms.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

N: Im one of the absolut pioneers bringing viking/folk metal to life. and one of the absolute first to start incorparating the native language in the music and also using violin and other native instruments. also the whole thing with nordic mythology and so forth. Just think of every german band for example who started using violin on stage after we did with MÅNEGARM haha.


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

N: Yeah i have noticed that. As i started doing music back i  the days we only had casset tapes that we had to post with letters to homemade zines made on copied papers. So i have seen the development until now when everythings digital. This is for good and bad i feel. Back then there were quite few bands who had record contracts. And that was the only way to get youre music out on records and so forth. Not like today when anybody can upload their music on spotify. Back then i always had signed deals with different record labels. We never had to think about promotion they always took care of that for us. As promotion is the only thing we cant do ourselves. We are currently using metaldevestation promotion for that and so far it seems to work out great!


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

N: This project is strictly studiorelated as for now. Much since we live in different cities and even countries. But you never know in the future. Hopefully someday we will start do shows also. I relly miss festivals and touring since the good old MÅNEGARM days.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

N: For us its great that you can make youre music by yourselves and have it published in an instance around the world. But so can anyone else and as spoken about before. There are millions of bands and very hard to get through theese days.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

N: Ah good question! And a totally impossible one to answer. To name just one i had to sit on a mountain for 100 years and meditate. So i just gonna blurt out a few that comes to mind. Mother north and king by satyricon, circle of the tyrants and into the cryps of rays with celtic frost, light my fire with the doors, fade to black, master of puppets, with metallica black metal with venom. paint it black with stones  I guess i stop there you get the point haha


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

N: I have both good and bad experiances with the industry. If im gonna try to give an honest tip. read all the paragrafs before signing a contract. Maybe even consider paying for legal advice.


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

N: We have a little breather right now after the latest release. But we have much more material on the way. So in a few weeks i guess we will start working on the next album with a release hopefully around autumn this year.


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

N: Since we just started our journey we dont have any merch yet but that is something that will be coming up in the future.

Nattsjäl links:
Band/Artist location – Norrtälje, Sweden
Facebook – You Tube – Instagram –
Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – TikTok
Check our page for Nattsjal

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