“Friendship over all. Draw inspiration from any source. Have a good time. Benefit from every moment spent together.” Viktor Tauszik.
SICK AND SOUND has the pleasure to introduce to its readers an exclusive interview our editor-in-chief Alessandra had with Viktor Tauszik from NADIR doomcore and death metal outfit hailing from Budapest, Hungary.
NADIR is a very solid outfit who would love to spread some meaningful messages with their music but overall being a bunch of very good friends, setting achievable goals and intentions and mainly have fun together on a stage and in the recording studio. A chat with Viktor revealed the greatest and most stable foundation for an outfit: the human aspect and the friendship among its members. Nothing can replace the chemistry of the friendship going on with NADIR. This is a main message that Viktor is conveying to his public.
With their frontman Alessandra explored their outfit, sound and getting in depth of their new concept album which is deserving attention as per its richness and intricacy. Their sixth record THE SIXTH EXTINCTION was out last December 4th, 2017 via Satanath Records and co-released by Grimm Distribution and NGC Prod. For our track by track review please check out : www.sickandsound.it/nadir-the-sixth-extintion-la-corruzione-terreste-e-lestinzione-delle-specie-viventi-nel-nuovo-album-dei-nadir
- Hi Viktor, it’s a true pleasure to meet you. So we will go through the questions by discussing about your band. Nadir is an outfit with a solid live experience. Let’s talk about the most memorable moments and most significant experiences gained being the opening band of such iconic bands such as Crowbar and Napalm Death.
Obviously it’s quite a honor for us to share a stage with bands like that and to open for bands we’ve been admiring for such a long time. Especially Crowbar is a really important band in our life when it comes to musical inspiration, they have been such a huge influence on our music and the very first occasion we opened for Crowbar was quite a memorable one. All of those shows we had with those guys especially Kirk in Budapest or anywhere else were fantastic but the first time was quite an adventure with the show itself. It had originally booked for a venue in Budapest and then cancelled for some reason so the show was moved to the countryside 250 km away in the south. We’ve been really insisting to be their own opening band, got a deal and went to the countryside. Our guitarist Norbert was the driver for Crowbar and the guys jumped into his car including their ex bassist and Kirk who at that time was much bigger, heavier back then; in such a small car barely enough for 5 people, just imagine this. We opened for them in another couple of occasions and I also had the occasion to interview them for local webzines and local radio station. Any opportunity to meet them in person on the professional aspect is unique. Napalm Death was about 12 years ago and was in Budapest was such just a perfect day, no worries no rush about anything, we just went up there. A perfectly organized gig with a great stage. It’s been a great experience.
- Nadir has found a truly unique sound outside of the typical metal frame combining doom metal with –core, and death metal. Let’s dig the scenario you’ve created for your own music and how this combination came to life.
Mainly the British and Scandinavian doom metal of the mid 90s if you think about band like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost or Tiamat I think you can imagine what it originally sounded like. The original name of the band was Dark Clouds being influenced by Tiamat and their 1992 album Clouds. That’s how it all started and then gradually we integrated some other influences. Death metal gradually took over with band like Bolt Thrower, Obituary and also core influences, thrash, hardcore like Overkill. So it gradually evolved to an extent where the name Dark Clouds was no longer a perfect fit, so late in 2004 we decided to change it to Nadir which was the name for our first self titled album as Dark Clouds in 2000 and we loved the sound and meaning of the word. It was a split for the band, rather a continuation including the same lineup of Dark Clouds, so it seemed absolutely logical to us.
- The Sixth Extinction is your sixth album in studio, out last December 4th, 2017 via Satanath Records and co-released by Grimm Distribution. What kind of progression in the sound has been taking place since your very first albums? What main differences and new features have been introduced along time?
All together it would be like our seventh full length but we kind of consider this one of our top adventures because we decided to cover some of our not-so-obvious influences as Will Haven, Transport League, Skinlab, Morgoth. When people thing about Nadir, names like Bolt Thrower and Crowbar come sort of automatically but when it comes to such bands they are not so obvious but been important influences for us. It was full of surprises and was a great fun for us to do, so we consider The Sixth Extinction our sixth full-length. The most important thing considering our sound is dealing with our drummer who has been owing his own studio for the last couple of years and producing bands, so this broadened his view on music, especially on the underground sub-genres and extreme metal. So that’s a progress in that. Also, we now have a much more mature and conscious approach to songwriting, a combination of heaviness and catchiness. There’s also a structure in the albums, I mean you have to have a very straightforward opening song which grabs immediately the attention of the listener and build it from there. It may have a couple of doomy slower songs but then you have to add some variety to that, faster songs in terms of hardcore and death metal influenced song. That’s how we built our album.
- The Sixth Extinction represents a continuum for previous Ventum iam ad finem est. The present record has been titled following the name of its predecessor’s closing track. In what measure does it pick up from where its predecessor has left?
Both records are concept albums and it’s something we have never done before but loved the idea of making a concept record some day so the time was right. Ventum iam ad finem est is a story of mankind and his relation to nature starting from the ancient harmony where things were in perfect balance and the whole thing gradually deteriorated. By the end of the album we reached the phase of the sixth great wave of extinction of species on Earth which compared to the previous five extinction waves is caused by mankind. So on one hand The Sixth Extinction is our full-length but it also a real phenomenon, in fact it is called The Great Sixth Extinction Of Species On Earth. So kind of continued from there analyzing in a way this event approaching it from different aspects, features and causes like overfishing, overhunting, destruction of the environment, pollution. So as compared as the previous record is not really a historical overview, but a summary of a relatively short period of time but in a more detailed way. It’s much deeper as for the lyrical content if you like. The relation of mankind to nature, the destruction for the environment by human being is one of those recurrent topics on our album. When we started to emphasize these issues in the lyrics compared to the previous albums, we had a panoramic view from the top and then we gradually descended and depicted events, phenomena from much a closer view. So that’s how the thing evolved from one album to another.
- What were the most challenging aspects working on the record?
When we first made a concept album the most challenging thing to do was putting the songs in the right order on one hand and on the other hand the lyrical content has to be current as well. You start from the ancient times, then obviously the middle age should follow without jumping immediately to the 21st century. Putting the things in order first of all. An then I guess this album it required even more homework from our side, as an extended research of the topics, to find the most suitable subject matter for each song to bring forward a good example, being meaningful and thought-provoking and describing the given phenomenon appropriately. That’s how we came across for instance this huge garbage island in the Pacific Ocean which is described in our song as The Debris Archipelago.
- In The Sixth Extinction there is a flawless balance between heaviness and catchiness. Some very catchy choruses are combined with melodic hooks which are cushioning the most brutal aspects of the songs. What’s been the process and choice of finding such a perfectly balanced formula in a soundscape such as death metal mainly favoring heaviness?
We’re striving to write heavy and riff-orientated songs which are at the same time quite accessible and catchy. Its’ not just about being super heavy and aggressive as brutal as we can possibly be, but also as catchy as we can be.
- Being said that The Sixth Extinction is a concept album, while reviewing your record I have discovered mature and clever lyrical themes dealing with the extinction of the human race, the environmental destruction, illness and survival in a corrupted, polluted world. I would love to go in depth into the topics chosen.
What makes is most exciting on the record is the variety of the source of inspiration as regards the lyrical ideas which is not very different from what we focus on in our everyday life because we read a lot about those issues but it’s also literature. Some of our lyrics even from the previous records but more in the case of The Sixth Extinction are inspired by literature such as Les Ruines by Volney who was a French author, politician and philosopher of the second half of the 18th century and also Madách who was a Hungarian writer of the 19th century. It’s very exciting to combine all of these different sources of inspiration into one. A good idea can come basically from everywhere and everyone and makes you want to know even more about that and to return to some of your all time favorite lectures from literature you’ve been admiring for many years. Since the Dark Clouds times I already had the idea to cover these issues we cover on the trilogy belonging to The Tragedy Of Many by Madách in the album and happy I had a better occasion to do so right now.
We have talked about The Debris Archipelago, The Human Predator deals with the extinction massively caused by human beings, Fragmented is about the destruction of the environment in terms of making more profit whatever it costs, Along Came Disruption and s Mourn are about the species who have been brought to new living spaces in captivity and studying their behavior in the new area. We will talk about the trilogy of the Ice Age In The Immediate Future in the next question together with Les Ruines.
- Are there any significant messages that Nadir wants to spread with this record?
If there is a specific message we would like to spread with our lyrics and record, it would be more promoting a more conscious way of living paying more attention to our immediate environment and surroundings. We should appreciate it more and take more care of it. And we’re also great animal lovers and we have pets at home and most of they are rescued from the local shelters. So another aspect would be to treat animals in a more careful way, show more humanity to animals.
- The Sixth Extinction includes a trilogy: Ice Age in the Immediate Future: I. Arctic, II. To Leave It All Behind, III. A Matter Of Survival, inspired by author Imre Madách and belonging to the original book The Tragedy Of Man. What was the inspiration for this trilogy and what meanings are behind its presence in the record?
The trilogy of the Ice Age In The Immediate Future is the one inspired by Madách and the original book The Tragedy Of Man. It’s opened by instrumental track Arctic which is influenced by Tiamat and a knock back to the influences of Dark Clouds where they were a more dominant influence. To Leave It All Behind is my favorite; it’s quite a depressive, doom, death kind of song and lyrically is a dramatic track dealing with our interpretation of one of those crucial scenes of The Tragedy Of Man where the main characters are in this ice age and the Earth is frozen with practically no life and a bunch of human being killing each other over a few seals that have left as a result of overhunting. And that’s what we deal in the last part of The Trilogy called The Matter Of Survival. As regards the inspiration, we just thought that the second and third part would fit perfectly together as far as the lyrics go logically, and then once we choose to include Arctic as the sixth track of the record I had this sudden idea to make it a trilogy. So we agreed on making a trilogy.
- Let’s talk about Fragmented being my top favorite song and finding it to be a very strong asset for the album. What do you think about that and what do you expect from the song on a live session?
The trick is to find the right place to the given track in the setlist amongst up tempo songs. It works quite well, we have played that song live on a few occasions and it seems to work really well. The interesting fact about it is the music was put together already together with the rest of the album but for some reason this was the very last song I wrote the lyrics for and recorded in studio. Sometimes it just so happens you just save your best ideas for the last song although it was not a premeditated thing, it just so happened. I’m quite happy about how it came out.
- About closing track Les Ruines. This is a dramatic slow tempo song making use of a haunting pipe organ and diluting gothic enchantment. What’s the mindset behind choosing the French language for a speech included in the track? What’s the songwriting process leading to such a closing emotional song?
Again track or ideas like this were used in our early Dark Clouds period more than once as a typical thing for us, but not in the way we recorded this time. It’s basically a spoken track from a really haunting musical theme which required very profound and thought-provoking lyrical content. Me and our bass player discussed this and he was the one who came up with this idea to draw inspiration from Les Ruines by this French Author called Valney so I read it all over in French and made perfect sense to me to quote him in the original language. All it took was to find the right quote. It’s about a young person disappointed and frustrated by the things are going in the world and mankind and this specter comes and the two of them are basically discussing over how did it all happened and who is responsible for this. So the way this ghost presents the issue is makes you really wonder whether God let the crime of mankind happen.
- What anticipations are you willing to share with our readers touching on your upcoming shows and projects at the horizon?
What I really like the most of being in a band especially being surrounded by great guys such I am in Nadir, we’re never out of inspiration. After the recording of the album, some health issues arouse and we decided not to push it so hard, but instead considering that friendship has been going on for so many years and that’s much more precious for us to preserve than push it all costs and do as many shows as we can. Many of us work abroad so it’s not always easy to organize as many shows you want to. We chose to take a break and we’re now in the middle of booking gigs for the next couple of months and also some summer festivals, but the main focus are the autumn and winter festivals. In the meantime this gives us the opportunity to focus a little bit on our projects as well. Our bass player is in a hardcore punk band called Step On It, that’s how we met him in person back then actually, and there is this side project with our former bass player who is in a local band named Nova Prospekt working on a new album and I’m doing vocals in a doom -core sludge band called Enter The Void on the local underground we might get out with a new EP this year as well.
- A further question free for you to mention anything we have not covered with the interview.
I would like to mention the tremendous job our record label has been doing for us collaborating with local NGC Productions and Grimm Distribution from Belarus. They really did an amazing job with the release itself starting from the cover concept and the production. They are very active when it come to distribution itself especially online. We’re having more review and better reviews than ever, it’s really great. We’re really thankful to those guys who are in those labels, it makes us particularly very proud. It’s on an international scale, the guys know what they are doing and doing it right.
I would love sharing something amazing concerning this album. It was kind of unexpected and a fantastic surprise for us. There’s this Hungarian edition for MetalHammer actually called Metalworld, where in February there were some Top Listings of Best Albums in 2017 by the editors, and we found our The Sixth Extinction to be in two of those lists which was really great. More important, I just found out we have been nominated for three categories for the Hungarian underground metal awards called HangSúly. We’re having such great reactions from the press, underground press, media and people.
Thank you for your time Viktor, it’s been just an amazing chat with you. All the best of luck for the promotion of this fabulous record. We are looking forward for more music to be dropped by Nadir and support you into Europe and US!
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