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Progressive Rock Interviews

Nightsatan

Interviewed by Mike Korn
Interview with Nightsatan from 2014
MSJ:

Greetings, warriors of Nightsatan! First, tell us how you met in the Wasteland and why you made the decision to play the music you do?

Wolf-Rami: When I worked in a record store maybe seven or eight years ago, I saw the Finnish doom metal trio Reverend Bizarre play live in our shop. That blew my mind and I immediately wanted to start my own doom metal band. The only problem I had was that I didn't know how to play guitar and I only had a lot of synths and drum machines. I asked an old friend Inhalator II to join me and the rest is history.

Inhalator II: When Wolf-Rami and I rehearsed a couple of times, we noticed that we needed one guy to take us where we wanna go. Me and Mazathoth used to be roommates, and had played in couple of bands together, so it was easy to ask him to join us.

Mazathoth: When I was asked to join an all-electronic band playing Doom Metal-ish music, I immediately said “Yes.”

MSJ: You are now movie stars! What was the experience of making Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom like?
Mazathoth: In short, it was crazy. At first, we were only supposed to do a shoestring-budget music video for one of the tracks off our debut Midnight Laser Warrior. But Chrzu, the man behind Midnight Laser Warrior CD and LP cover art, had bigger plans and started writing a script for a short movie. Then he sourced some more funding, hitched up with Twisted Films and then, things really started snowballing. In the end, we had a whole team of professionals doing props, wardrobe, lighting, etc. We had almost no part in the actual production, besides our bad acting and providing the music, so we were basically just taking a crazy ride through the whole thing. And man, it was crazy.

Inhalator II: The making of the movie was crazy because we're new to that kind of thing, and when we came to the filming location the first time and saw quite a big crew of professional movie-people doing their thing, we were flabbergasted. It turned out to be lots of fun though.

Wolf-Rami: Yep. It was our first time filming a movie and all of the stuff happening on the set was very exciting to us. There were tens of professionals doing their own thing and we just stood and watched in awe.
MSJ: Did the concept for the movie come about before the music was written. . . or did the music come first?
Mazathoth: Some of the music on Loops of Doom existed already in the form of rough demos, even before the whole movie thing happened; but many songs were written with the movie in mind, but before any shooting took place.

Wolf-Rami: They were pretty much intertwined. We gave Chrzu some demos from which he handpicked the ones that would suit the movie. Then we made “proper” versions of those songs and then some more.

MSJ: Did the film come about the way you envisioned it? Is there maybe an “uncut” version of Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom that will be seen later?
Mazathoth: Well, as we basically had no part in the actual production, we didn't really know what to expect. But whatever I expected, the film is way beyond that.

Inhalator II: I could have never ever, even in my wildest dreams, envision the movie being this great. I'm still amazed.

Wolf-Rami: There's no extra material left on the cutting room floor, but there are a lot of ideas in the air for a sequel maybe. We'll have to wait and see. . .

MSJ: Any interest in a sequel?
Mazathoth: Interest? Yes.

Inhalator II: Absolutely.

MSJ: Tell us about the 80s post-apocalyptic films that influenced you. Of course, the big ones like Road Warrior and Escape from New York come to mind but there were many lesser known films, especially from Italy. Which ones have special meaning to you?
Mazathoth: Enzo G. Castellari's The New Barbarians is a long-time band favourite. And basically any post-apocalyptic flick with Fred Williamson.

Inhalator II: There's so many of them, but movies like David Worth's Warrior of the Lost World or 2019 – After the fall of New York by Sergio Martino are among the greats.

Wolf-Rami: I love them all, but I'm very much in love with Escape from New York and John Carpenter movies/soundtracks in general, even though they're not exactly post-apocalyptic. I have seven different copies of the Escape soundtrack – vinyl for example. I'm still missing the German and Spanish pressings that have different covers. In all I have maybe something like 25-30 albums from John Carpenter. Every time I see something that I don't already have, I have to get it.

MSJ: Does Nightsatan play live a lot? And what would a live show be like? I’d imagine a lot of lasers and backing images!
Mazathoth: We do play live, yes. Our live gigs are more about the music and performance, to me, but we do put some effort to the visual side as well. But it's all rather DIY and low budget. One of my favourite visual things was handing out two wireless, low-light security cameras to the audience, and then projecting those on a screen behind us. It worked really well.

Inhalator II: Yeah, lots of rivets, leather, weird lights, lasers, and a smoke machine.

Wolf-Rami: I always try to find new and interesting things to liven up our live performances. I'm building a couple of different helmets at the moment and I have a vision of these huge magnifying glasses combined with cool lighting...surreal stuff.
MSJ: Your music is obviously influenced by the likes of John Carpenter, Goblin and Zombi but are there any other electronic composers that have had a big effect on your sound?
Mazathoth: Definitely those three. Tangerine Dream, Schultze and some other choice “Kosmische” artists definitely have influenced me. Vangelis and Jarre, too.

Inhalator II: I like a lot of stuff like Umberto, Kraftwerk, and early 80s minimal synth stuff.

Wolf-Rami: I like all kinds of synth stuff from Italo disco to obscure soundtracks and library music. One of my all time favourites has to be Slava Tsukerman's soundtrack to his Liquid Sky movie. That is completely bonkers and out of this planet.

MSJ: Why was the name “Nightsatan” chosen? Surely many would confuse it with black metal or death metal, which you have no real relation to?
Wolf-Rami: I'm a graphic designer and illustrator at daytime. Every one of us has a history in listening to thrash/speed/death-metal and that's why I knew of an old Argentinian speed metal band called Retrosatan and liked the idea of their name very much. I also wanted to design a logo with lightning bolts in both ends, so I needed a word with the letter N in both ends. That's the whole story basically.
MSJ: I’m interested in the different personalities of the band members. Mazathoth seems to be the mysterious shaman or wizard, Inhalator is the heroic type and Wolf-Rami is feral and beast-like. How can these personalities co-exist?
Mazathoth: I am the brain.

Inhalator II: And I'm the heart. We have to co-exist because in these post-apocalyptic days there's so little to choose from, and being alone will probably get you killed.

Wolf-Rami: That leaves me to be the muscles, which is a role I accept happily.
MSJ: How are the Nightsatan songs written? Do you collaborate or does each member write his own song?
Mazathoth: We write demos and craft riffs on our own and then present those to each other in the studio and then start playing. Sometimes we just jam.

Wolf-Rami: We all have some instruments and stuff at home and we write these little snippets which we present to each other at our rehearsal space. Then we form fully grown songs out of those. Sometimes we have written a couple of lines or riffs that are already in the same key and fit together perfectly - happy accidents.

MSJ: How do you see yourselves evolving? Could other members join the band some day?
Mazathoth: I see us evolving by making more music. Other band members? Maybe one day, but honestly I don't see that happening. We did like collaborating with some of our friends on Loops of Doom and maybe we'll expand on that later.

Inhalator II: It's hard for me to even think about there being a fourth member, and I also think that if one of us leaves then that could be the end of this band. It's fun to collaborate, but I think that we're always gonna be a trio.

Wolf-Rami: I have to agree with Inhalator II here. Nightsatan is a trio first and foremost. That doesn't mean we couldn't collaborate with some other people at times. I have a dream that our next album would be a project like Dave Grohl's Probot with a different vocalist on every track. We have some good people handpicked for that project already.

MSJ: What is some of the gear you use in your performances?
Mazathoth: In the studio, I use a couple of old analogue synths: Roland Jupiter-4, Roland SH-101 and Sequential Circuits Prophet-600. Live, I use gear that is more convenient, though I have lugged the 101 and Prophet out on occasion.

Inhalator II: I use old Roland SPD-11, and SPD-6 (in the studio I use some Roland HD drums). I also use some old drum machines (TR-606, TR-707, DR-55), and some synths (Yamaha CS-15, Roland Juno-106).

Wolf-Rami: I used to play my Korg Polysix / Mono/Poly combo at gigs, but then I started getting worried about them being damaged from the travelling. Nowadays I've built myself a small case with four modern analog synths, one drum machine and a mixer inside. You just pop the cover open, plug it in, and start playing. And they're all stuff you can pick up at the music store so my valuable old analogs can have their well-earned rest at our studio.

MSJ: Any plans to visit America? You would certainly enjoy Detroit or maybe the barren deserts of the Southwest?
Mazathoth: No plans at the moment, but we'd love to!

Inhalator II: We'd really love to come!

Wolf-Rami: We've been asked to visit USA many times before and there's nothing we'd like more, but the task of setting a tour up from here is so baffling, that we can't quite grab it. We all have our daytime jobs and stuff to take care of. I've always wanted to tour the USA. We could combine a holiday and a tour.

MSJ: If you could have dinner with any three people from history, who would they be?
Mazathoth: Thor Heyerdahl, Carl Sagan and Cleopatra.

Inhalator II: Bruce Haack, Arthur Russell, and Bill Hicks.

Wolf-Rami: Philip K. Dick, Charles Burns and Robert Moog.

MSJ: What was the last CD/release you heard just because you wanted to listen to it?
Mazathoth: Steve Moore's Pangaea Ultima.

Inhalator II: Wild Beasts – Present Tense.

Wolf-Rami: I DJ almost every weekend at local clubs so I listen to a lot of dance-oriented stuff and the last album that really blew me away was Jesse Boykins III – Love Apparatus. Can't get enough of his stuff. It's somehow similar to Thundercat's latest album Apocalypse, which I think was the best album of 2013.
MSJ: Any “Spinal Tap” moments in the history of Nightsatan where things went wrong that you could share with us?
Wolf-Rami: Once we had a special summer solstice pagan synth-gig at our local club with a lot of amazing local musicians. The idea was to improvise this long shamanistic ambient/kraut piece with only synths and electronic instruments. Everybody got to bring one synth and then we settled the key and started playing. Just when I had all my own stuff packed in the car and was about to leave, already a little late, I got a phone call from Inhalator II's girlfriend. She told me that he wouldn't be able to play tonight because he had broken his knee playing soccer and was being taken to the hospital. So we had no drummer for the night. I was panicking on the phone and at the same time a neighbour showed up and started complaining to me about the way I had parked my Volvo. I showed him that I was on the phone with an important call, but he didn't get it. The last thing I had on my mind at that moment was parking laws, but to him it was the most important thing in the world. We never spoke after that night and even now that we moved to a different house in a different part of town, every time I see our old neighbour he still gives me that murdering stare. I never got to explain myself and the situation to him.

Inhalator II: There's so many of them, and usually it's us having everything going wrong in one night (instruments breaking right before getting onstage, getting tickets for speeding etc. . .)

MSJ: Any last “words from the wasteland”?
Mazathoth: If you're planning on opening the Yog-Sothoth gate, don't.

Inhalator II: Thanks for having us, and people, go check out our new album!

Wolf-Rami: Man, you'll be a woman soon!

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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