Tuesday 28 May 2013

Interview with Sludge Overlords - Nibiru

Today on Sludgelord I am re-interviewing the brilliant Italian Psychedelic Sludge Metal Noise makers – NIBIRU whose debut album – CAOSGON – I recently reviewed and described it as:

I recently described this album as - “This album is an experience like no other. It destroys everything in it’s path. This is a work of genius on every level. I will say this now but this is my fave record of 2013 so far. I have heard some truly wonderful records such as Kongh, Ancient Vvisdom and A Void Of Sleep amongst others. But this album is on a different level altogether.

It’s beautifully produced from start to finish. It give me a sense of awe and wonder every time I listened to it. I never wanted it to end. Caosgon is simply astonishing and showcases that Nibiru are a band to be reckoned with.”

I originally interviewed them back in Nov 2012 before they even released their debut album. I thought it was time to catch back up with them to see how things are going. 

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today.

Ardath: Hi, it’s a pleasure to meet you again. We are particularly happy because, as we said in the previous interview, "Caosgon" has come out in time. 

Q2 – So CAOSGON has finally been released upon to the world. Have you been happy with the responses you have been getting so far.

I think it's not a good idea being too excited, as this could cause a loss of energies in the creation of new pieces. But we cannot be indifferent to all success generated by "Caosgon" in many parts of the world. We feel honored and we know for sure that we have created a very good product. 

Q3 – How would you describe your sound. As it's very hard to describe.

People defined us "Ritual Psichedelic Sludge", "Ritualistic Occult Doom", "Psichedelic Drone". It's clear that, listening "Caosgon", reactions are the same.

The sense of the tribal ritual reminds ancient ancestral scenarios, surrounded by mysterious temples, immense rainforests, suffocating deserts. Noises, dissonant sounds, insistent rythm, psychedelic opening and timeless mantras. 

Q4 –Now what is the album about. As I still can't figure out even though I am well into double figures listening to it.

We don't think it is necessary give at any rate a concrete sense to something that is already full of attentions. That particular feeling given by "Caosgon" is the only explanation. Feeling inside a kind of break with certain schemes, not feeling part of a foolish theater but feeling energy in constant motion. This is "Caosgon". 

Q5 – Was it a hard album to write and record for. Especially with the amount of genres and noises you have included in the album.

As specified in the CD booklet, "Caosgon" was recorded with a direct drive. No changes in the mixing stage, except for the adjustment of certain sounds. We wanted an authentic, aggressive, instinctive and powerfull product.

Siatris: I put few overdubs, we recorded the instruments together and then we added voice, organ and Virus. I had no great difficulty in pre-mix, I tried to keep the sound more "pure" as possible, that is what came out from the speakers, without altering anything. 

Q6 – Where does the name CAOSGON come from and what does it mean.

SiatriS: "Caosgon" comes from the Enochian language, which is also used for all other tracks. It means "tied to the ground" or “ earth-bound”. 

Caosgon cover art

Q7 – Who came up with the cool and creepy album cover. Gives you a sense what to expect on the album.

SiatriS : I chose the illustration of Aghoris because for me represents the pinnacle of tantrika culture, is a figure with many facets, for some they are the enlightened, holy men who can live beyond good and evil, for others are murderers and vulgar thieves .. I can not know what the truth is, that most likely is in the middle, but I'm still fascinated by this ancient culture of which very little is known.

It is said that Aghoris drink liqueurs, smoke ganja, eat meat (in some rites also human meat); they use a human skull as a bowl, they wander among the funeral pyres, meditate at night and don't have any sex inhibition. This path seems to be detached completely from hinduist philosophies and it deceives the true nature of this little known reality in the indian sadhus (ascetics) panorama. The ritual practices of the Aghori are symbols of their non-dualistic beliefs. The corpse upon which they meditate is a symbol of their own body and transcendence of the lower self and realization of the Supreme Self. The other members of the group were enthusiastic about this choice, perhaps because basically we are also a little bit outcasts ..

To this end, look at at the "Smashanam" video and you will not need other words. 

Q8 – With the album finally out would you change anything about it or are you happy with the final version.

Ardath: "Caosgon" is perfect, not for the lack of snags, but because it holds all our feelings, which in the past didn't come out with this intensity. If you listen to it, you perceive this vortex that breaks the mould and turns your point of view in a strong way. 

Q9 – So what else has changed or happened to you guys since I interviewed you about 7 months ago.

Nothing is changed in the way we compose, in the way we give life to NIBIRU's allucinations. We are conscious to have easily broken certain patterns and we want follow this direction. "Caosgon" is a rabid CD and this feeling of rage will never miss again in our future works. We'll change themes, we'll change technical settings, we'll test new ideas, but we'll always be coherent and preserve the element that made "Caosgon" something particular: the total lack of schemes. 

Q10 – Do you now have plans to tour more regularly. Perhaps even an Euro Tour to get your blend of Psychedelic Ritual Sludge across the masses.

NIBIRU have to play live. It's their essence. We are absolutely ready for moving masses. The CD has already demonstrated how NIBIRU are violent. Imagine all this in a live performance. We imagine it every day and we are preparing for this. 

Q11 – Italian Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal is currently on the rise with great bands such as Void Of Sleep, Ufomammut, Zippo, Lento, Three Eyes Left and Morkobot to name but a few. Italian Music really does have it's own take on all things Metal. Are you proud to be part of that scene.

You have mentioned bands that we follow with much interest too. Together with the NIBIRU, they concretely show how Italy is not limited by those schemes which bring people to listen especially mass music without energy, hypnotized by Sanremo's celebs: it's really sad. In Italy it burns a metal fire. We are very proud to be part of this scene, even if, sometimes, it would be great joining it with credit but with also more flexibility by everyone. In this way you can strenghten a reality with a great potential. A close circle doesn't grow up and in the course of time the artistic possibilities are much less. For example brainstorming, which improves the situation. 

Q12 – Has the gig scene in Italy changed within the last 6 months or so. Or is still the same scene. 

I don't see important changes in the Italian scenario, as there are still huge limits in this country about this kind of music. The bands you mentioned before have more success abroad, and so the NIBIRU, except for the great reviews about "Caosgon" in the Italian webzine. 

Q13 – I feel International Audiences are starting to take notice of your country's musical output. Do you sense that yourselves when you look around the internet. Or do you focus only on your own music for the time being.

As I said, the main success is abroad. It's absurd that in Italy the Sludge Doom scenario is so neglected, leaving place at pathetic music. But it's not our problem. Bands with a real importance don't have difficulty drawing the attention in all Europe and other parts. It's good that Italy continues to promote mass music; it's a pity that mass music is mostly crap. 

Q14 – You have your album available for Purchase on BandCamp. Via CD and Digitial means. Why is their two different versions of the album with different tracklistings and shorter songs. Is the CD the definitive version of your album.

Siatris:Yes, the cd is the original version, the only one that has been reduced on Bandcamp is "Invokation I: The Acid Skull", because it was too long to upload and it was not possible. Anyway, people can download a shorter version for free. 

Q15 – How big a help has BandCamp been in promoting your music.

Ardath: Bandcamp has been a very useful tool to promote our music and the tracks in there have had many followers, a big help, if you consider that music labels want to promote bands less and less, preferring the safe and predictable. 

Q16 – What are your views of blogs such as Sludgelord featuring and reviewing your records as opposed to mainstream magazines.

Blogs like "Sludgelord" are managed with so much passion, essential to give to bands an important point of reference. On the contrary, magazines seem to be more likely to accommodate reviews and interviews that are often bought, a very bleak situation.

Siatris: through blogs like Sludgelord I came into contact with great people, which is not possible in the mainstream magazines, they are too busy to fit most advertising possible on a single page. 

Q17 – What are your views record companies shutting down blogs and websites due to illegal downloading. Some people are for it and some people are against it.

Siatris: This is always a topic much discussed, I put two tracks on bandcamp for free, but I've already found some sites where you can download caosgon entirely ... but I would not tell them! Find them! If a person download my cd but then is excited about what he feels is maybe also interested in buying it, it is not through music that I become rich, this is not our purpose, we do what we like, if the download takes us higher audience that is fine . 

Q18 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band. Obviously the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect.

Ardath: Everyone has a way to exorcise stress, heaviness, monotony and the constraints of modern life. Then there is who cannot find solutions and ends in analysis stuffed with medicines! For us, NIBIRU and music are a surge, a release that gives us new energy to endure this very sick society where democracy is now a distant utopia.

This is a band. In addition to join people to finally achieve a single purpose, you can feel vibrations and emotions that you are sharing with others until you become one entity. A true enlightenment without false gurus or ridiculous entertainers. The sacrifice of having a room in which to try with the greatest freedom, the necessary equipment, etc…are demanding elements, but require with no doubt the right attention. 

Q19 – What pisses you off most in music today. And if you could what would you change. 

As in other areas of life, even in music it’s difficult that the most deserving person could go ahead.

Now, music is almost on the background. In a sadly material world you can be a mediocre, but with knowledges and money you can get anywhere. Then, among many others, the good artist can come out, but a lot of people of absolute talent are excluded or in a niche. to listen to a piece to find a particular band, you just want to make a profit. From a business point of view no objections, but artistically speaking it’s a real crap. In the past, you found the right compromises, but today the world is owned by brown-tongues with prepackaged smiles. With NIBIRU we would like to go back to forty years ago, but in any case not here in Italy…hahahahaha!! 

Q20 – What words of wisdom would you give to a band starting out or some friends wanting to start a band of their own.

Words of wisdom? Oh, come on, I seem a guru and it’s not what I desire. Surely in a band there must be harmony, so much harmony, unity of purpose, the maximum mutual respect of roles and sincerity. Too many times there are bands where everything is on the hands of a single person who considers the others modest session-men only, intending to dictate rules, opinions and trends with no hesitations.

This attitude can lead to an implosion of the other members of the group, a gradual rift, throwing away years of work, without concrete results. I think it's important to find an equilibrium where everyone can freely express, in a mature way, his particularity. 

Q21 – Have you had any more videos banned from YouTube. And if not, are you working on the next video to piss them off. HA HA.

On the web there are two other videos, "CELESTE, SAMSARA IS BROKEN" where you can see Tibetan funeral rites, and "SMASHANAM”, which strangely haven’t been banned yet; in accordance with the pathetic bigotry of a few idiots, we’ll do everything possible to create hormonal turmoils. 

Q22 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

RI: In this full scenario of almost total indifference to alternative proposals which go beyond commercial clichés, defined in details, it’s essential that the "true" listener, which wants to abandon the flock, has still the chance to enjoy music he understands, he lives, he feels to explode inside. In this situation there are serious and conceptually involved webzines, as “Sludgelord” and many others. You can try, with all your might, to maintain high and strong attention to what is really possible to convey. We always must thank and vigorously support the existence of these virtual, but probably concrete, realities. More than you think. Never give up and always believe in that and live accordingly to that. We are ideally going back to the punk scene of the end of Seventies. There is a desire of breaking out.

Ardath: blood and sweat, when you enter in that room everything else is out. For a few hours even the biggest problems haven’t to exist. Indeed, this is the only "work" in my life that makes me feel truly realized. Each member of the band has a business activity in which he doesn’t save himself, because everyone has daily obligations, but it’s still a heavy constraint. You have to accept it, but, boy, when you close the Aadya temple’s door, nothing exists anymore if not NIBIRU. So it must be. Otherwise, forget about that because it would be humiliating for your person and for the music.

SiastriS: I want to thank the people who have supported us, Steve of Sludgelord, Lucas of the paranoid music blog, Stephane of Temple of Perdition, the Aquarius Records in San Francisco and all the others that I am not to list but which were equally important. Kaly is on your side! 

Well guys thanks for talking to me. Been great in talking to you guys. Good luck with your excellent album. All the best from Sludgelord.

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