Interview: German nu metalcore act NIOR on sophomore record MISFIT and social outsiders, nu metal nostalgia, current scene and more.
Today we are catching up with nu metalcore four-piece NIOR. Hailing from Germany, the band of Arnold Karapiperidis, Marius Zschiesche, Kai Junker and Benidikt Jansen have been making waves since their critically-acclaimed debut record NIGHTWALKER released back in January 2017 and hit the road with several festival appearances and international tours. Drawing on different inspirations and genres with a classic nu metal nostalgia influenced by the likes of KoRn, Linkin Park and P.O.D., the band created a unique heavy-yet-hooky formula of their own, with plenty of energy, catchiness and groove. Armed to the teeth, NIOR are back on track and announced the release of their sophomore record MISFIT, a 12-track powerful chapter dropping on March 27h, 2020. The record was produced by former vocalist of VITJA band, David Beule, as well as mixed and mastered by Alyosha Sieg (Eskimo Callboy, Nasty, Any Given Day).
The record touches on misfits and living life as social outsiders, discussing themes of social frustration, crime, inner struggles, disappointment and people wearing fake smiles. NIOR wear their hearts on their sleeves, alongside their tagline #spreadthesmile.
With plenty of things to talk about, we teamed up with ARNOLD KARAPIPERIDIS who took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down and meet our editor-in-chief Alessandra to discuss the process behind new record MISFIT. In this interview we explored the band’s journey and influences, the challenges, as well as the view on the national and international metalcore scene. Arnold also opened up about the lyrical inspiration and the vision that NIOR would love to get across with their music, discussed a few songs off the record, collaboration with David Beule at production and some more stuff.
Our track by track review (Italian) for MISFIT is available at: www.sickandsound.it/nior-al-secondo-album-misfit-social-outsiders-e-nu-metalcore-in-formula-atmosferica.
- Hello guys and welcome. Let’s warm up by introducing your lineup and the band’s journey since you got into music in the first place until today.
Hey Alessandra! At first, thank you for the questions. NIOR is a four-piece Nu-Metalcore band from North Rhine Westphalia, Germany consisting of frontman Arnold, guitarist Marius, bass player Kai and Ben on the drums. So we’ve been very good friends for a long time now and we’ve been going through many ups and downs together since we are partially childhood-friends. Almost ten years ago, Marius and I met at our local skatepark, became friends and started to create the first riffs. Since then, we’ve had a vision of being in a band and doing all the stuff we are doing now. We had many struggles finding band members who had the same drive and vision we have. An old friend of Marius, and also one of my old classmates, came across and wanted to be part of our project. It was Kai, our bass player. After a few months of struggling to find a drummer, Kai found out about Ben and the last piece of the puzzle was set. Since then, we wrote 2 albums, decided to work with Pitchback Studios and found a way to get on stages all over Germany and some parts of Europe with our first record „Nightwalker“. Now we released our new record „Misfit“ and are stoked to see what will happen in the future.
- NIOR are a self-proclaimed nu metalcore band, with a modern approach and a heavy-yet-hooky formula drawing on nu metal nostalgia. You listed influences by the likes of KoRn, Linkin Park and P.O.D., amongst others. I would love to discuss this any further, by talking about the bands, genres or albums that influenced your musicianship.
Yes, we listed bands like KoRn, Linkin Park and P.O.D amongst others because it’s where we all come from, you know? I remember the days when I was a kid, standing in front of the TV, watching all these Bands on MTV and getting absolutely crazy about them. Those bands have accompanied me along my whole life and they did so for all of us in NIOR. But there are more influences like several Hip-Hop artists, Jazz, Techno or even classical music.
- When your sophomore record hit my inbox I have found a top notch nu metalcore, that makes us proud of the current underground metalcore scene in Europe, outside of the overcrowded AUS and USA soundscapes. How do you see the metalcore scene in Germany and overseas?
Thank you! „Top-notch Nu-Metalcore“ sounds great to us! I don’t think that the Australian or the American soundscapes are overcrowded. I think we are living in an age where everything is possible for everyone. So why shouldn’t everyone be able to shoot his shot? I love it when I scroll through YouTube, Spotify or whatever and listen to a new artist or band which gives me a feeling of „Wow, what the hell is this?“. And that’s what I want to say: It’s great to see that the whole Rock and Metal culture all over the world is remaining and growing.
- Is there any other genre or experimental direction you might want to undertake at some point in the future?
At this time we don’t really know how the next record will sound. But it’s a fact that we will be experimenting with a lot of different genres and influences.
- You debuted on the scene with critically-acclaimed record NIGHTWALKER released back in January 2017. You’re now are back on track with your sophomore record MISFIT, dropping on March 27h, 2020. So let’s talk about your songwriting. What’s been the creative and writing process when you guys sat down and wrote this record and how has the songwriting changed or progressed for this album as opposed to your previous material?
A significant difference between the writing process of „Nightwalker“ and „Misfit“ lies in the fact that we’ve build a small yet cushy studio next to our rehearsal-room by ourselves before we started to write „Misfit“. It allowed us to record our ideas instantly and most importantly, all together. This made the whole process more enjoyable, funnier and intensive. I think that we grew up and our songwriting and music did as well.
- How long have you worked on the record and what main challenges have you come across?
Three years have passed since we released „Nightwalker“ and I think we began to work on „Misfit“ a few months after the release. One of our main challenges on this record was to re-write a lot of choruses. That required a lot of time.
- The record touches on misfits and living life as social outsiders, discussing themes of social frustration, crime, inner struggles, disappointment and people wearing fake smiles. This seems to be the main concept. I would love you to discuss the lyrical themes and inspiration behind the record and some of the songs.
All the lyrical themes on the record are honest and describe different situations in our own lives. Actually we are making music to digest what we experience or see in this world. Our title track „Misfit“ for example is about not getting taken seriously by someone only because you, your thoughts or what you do are not right for the other person.
- Let’s pick four songs. What song do you consider to be the heaviest, the most melodic, the most experimental and the one best representing your signature sound on this record?
The heaviest song on the record is „Doomsayer“. My pick for the most melodic one is „Run With Me“. The most experimental is definitely „Wither Away“. Every track is unique and our signature sound on this record results from the interplay between all the songs on „Misfit“.
- I would love to know more about the experience you had by working with former vocalist of VITJA band, David Beule at production and how this collaboration was set up in the first place.
We’ve been working with Dave since we started to record our first release „Nightwalker“ back in the days. He became a good friend over time and an inherent part of our team as well. The idea of a featuring by Dave came up spontaneously while we were recording vocals for the record.
- You’ve been hitting the road for several festival appearances and international tours. What is the most memorable and coolest moment you have experienced on-stage?
The most memorable and coolest moment was the last show of the „Hope-Reborn Tour“ in 2017. It was a show during the week and there were more band members than audience. We made a freakin’ hardcore show and everybody lost their mind. Some people were grinding with their skateboards on the stage, armchairs were thrown and all that stuff.
- What’s in store for NIOR for the rest of 2020? Let’s discuss your future plans, upcoming shows to support the release of the record or any other sneak peek.
In case of the current situation we are not able to plan any shows for the next future. We hope to get on stage in Fall. But we have a lot of stuff and content to keep you guys entertained.
Thank you for your time guys and all the best for the promotion of MISFIT. We fully support NIOR into Europe and US!
NIOR – MISFIT tracklisting:
2. 7teen // 11en
3. Witness (feat. David Beule)
4. Tear It All To Pieces
5. Wither Away (feat. Sven Int-Veen)
7. Run With Me
8. I Fall Asleep I Cry
9. Doomsayer (feat. Kadeem France)
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