Nile interview (04/2012)
|Conducted by:||D.T. Metal (in person)|
Nile, as direct support for The Black Dahlia Murder, made their way into Denver, CO just the other day to play a sold out show at the Marquis Theater.
Earlier that afternoon I had a chance to talk to Karl Sanders about touring, the new album and being in a band in general. The venue was beyond sold out, so by the time I ventured inside, the possibility to get any pictures was impossible to achieve.
BIRGIT: Nice seeing you again, man; so the tour just started, how has it been going so far?
KARL: Hell yes, always a pleasure. The tour is been doing really good, we are eight shows in and have done 3 head lining shows to fill in the off dates and even out the cost vs. expense ratio. Of course The Black Dahlia Murder shows are bigger ones and that's why we are quite happy to be a support band. They are a great band with a great bunch of guys and we are happy to be here.
BIRGIT: Since your set list is limited as a supporting band, are you playing any new songs on this tour?
KARL: Well we had to trim our set down to 40 minutes, so it was a major head scratcher. We were playing one new song at the beginning of the tour and about 3 nights in we realized that during the new song the people were just standing there completely dumb founded; not knowing what the hell we were doing.
BIRGIT: Because they didn't like it or didn't know it?
KARL: Because they didn't know it! So we decided to play the new song just on our head lining shows.
BIRGIT: Nile pretty much toured all over the world; and now you have an Asia tour coming up…
KARL: Well maybe, the Indian embassy is fucking up our visas; we got our fingers crossed! He (pointing to Nile's tour manager Punchy) is redoing them for like the tenth time. (laughs)
BIRGIT: Is it the promoter or just issues with the artist visa?
Punchy: There are a lot of issues because India has very strict and also very confusing visa application procedures, it's easier getting into Dubai. Let's put it that way; I could do a trip with a whole bunch of gear to Iraq and it would be easier then getting into India. (Laughs)
BIRGIT: What a mess! But on that note, since Punchy just mentioned Dubai; you did a project with a band and also flew into Dubai, tell us more.
KARL: The band's name is Nervecell and I went to Dubai to be in their video. The entire trip was a lot of fun and I certainly couldn't have afforded a vacation like that on my own. (Laughs)
We were there for about 5 days, and WOW, Atlantis in Dubai, holy smoly, it was amazing. Mere words wouldn't even do it justice, it was that magnificent.
BIRGIT: Since you were so close to Egypt on that trip and I know you have never been, did you have a chance to go there?
KARL: There were talks of it, but due to the political conflict it wasn't a good idea. I was really bummed since I wanted to go there for a really long time.
BIRGIT: Coming back to playing all over the world; where was your personal best place to play?
Nile in Seattle; Nov. 2010
KARL: That's just so hard to say. Several countries spring to mind; the South American ones for sure, Japan, all the eastern block countries, Australia and New Zealand. But then again, the fans in places like France and Germany they have a different sort of appreciation. I would say that there isn't necessarily such thing as best or worst but rather different cultures and different levels of saturation.
For instance Berlin, Paris or London have great shows almost every day, so fans are used to seeing great bands, but if you go to say Yugoslavia (we both laughed since I still call it Yugoslavia also, old habit don't die I guess) fans are much more appreciative of the bands that come to their country.
BIRGIT: I did an interview with Roope from Children Of Bodom the other day and he said basically the same thing. And on that note, Gus Rios (Malevolent Creation) stated in an interview the other day that they are officially done with touring the United States just because of the way the fans and also the promoters treat a band. What is your take on his statement?
KARL: Well you know… he is probably right. (laughs)
The situation right now in America, it's a loosing money proposition to tour here and the fans, well… there is still a few good markets here and the die hard fans that care come out to support the band. So I don't want to throw ice water on them, but the overall big picture is very disappointing.
You go overseas and everybody is treating you very well and then you tour in your own country and some treat you like shit. A promoter I used to know who also played in a punk band had a sticker on his bass guitar "Talent is worthless". And while that is kind of a punk like attitude, it's more of a truthful social commentary that talent has been devalued.
Your music; people feel like they shouldn't pay for it anymore and it should be available to be downloaded for free. And whatever money is being made on live shows, like merchandise, the promoter and the venues have their fingers in that as well. So it's very hard when you talk about the financial proposition of the business of being a band. It's a very tough prospect.
BIRGIT: But you can live of it? And do you also give guitar lessons on this tour?
KARL: Well, I don't know if you can call it living. (laughs) The bills still have to be paid when you are out on tour. And no, I do not give lessons this time around.
BIRGIT: Those Whom the Gods Detest was received very well by fans and critics alike; was the pressure on to come up with an even better album in At the Gates of Sethu?
KARL: This time I don't think we felt any external pressure and if it was there we ignored it. The biggest pressure was the one that we put on ourselves; to push harder, to thrive forward, and to do the best that WE could possibly do; to give everything.
BIRGIT: You guys have a new bass player (Todd Ellis); did he contribute the bass lines to the new album?
KARL: Not even one; it was Dallas and I who did all of the bass work. And as a matter of fact, Chris (ed. Lollis, prior bass player) didn't write his bass parts either. We wanted him too on this album but then things got…well, he is no longer in the band and we have Todd now.
Nile in Seattle; Nov. 2010
BIRGIT: Do you have a release date set yet for the new album?
KARL: It just got uploaded and it's finished up in mastering as far as I can tell from the e-mail chain. But an actual release date, no we don't have one. And I am starting to wonder if maybe the reason that Nuclear Blast hasn't set one yet is to try and throw the people who would leek the album off their game.
Somehow the last couple of Nile albums were leaked which seriously hurt the performance in the market place. So I think this is what they are doing; they just don't tell anybody a fricking release date, not even us. (Laughs)
BIRGIT: Just the other day your label mates Kreator as well as Sabaton had pre-listening parties for their upcoming albums at the Nuclear Blast HQ in Donzdorf, Germany. Has Nuclear Blast approached you on something like that already?
KARL: I haven't heard anything about it yet but we would happily participate.
BIRGIT: The last time Metalstorm caught up with you (Interview Febr. 2011) we asked about a live DVD, any more info about this?
KARL: Well, the interesting thing is that when we signed our contract with Nuclear Blast they had made provisions and outlined the specific financial budget for exactly that, but it has never materialized. So, we will see, the best answer would be… to be continued. (Laughs)
BIRGIT: Late last year Goomba Music released Worship the Animal (demos of old Nile recordings). Were you guys involved at all in this?
KARL: Fuck no. The story is actually another social commentary on the sad state of trying to make it in music in the year 2012.
Our former drummer and a good friend of ours, Pete Hammoura a founding member of Nile, called me and said: "Dude, times are tough and with college tuition for my kids and all, would it be ok with you if we release that old demo? I know you don't like the demo and don't want it to ever see the light of day but dude, could you help me out, I really could use the money."
So I said to myself, you know what, if there is ever a worthwhile cause then this would be it; to support our friend and metal brother Pete. If he is in need then I say OK.
But in hindsight, I don't think that album is very representative of Nile. It was the first demo we did and we had really yet to find a direction and figure out what the hell we are doing as a band. I can say I really don't think of this release as a Nile thing, more of a previous band we were in trying to find our niche.
BIRGIT: So, do you get royalties on this release then at all?
KARL: I think we are supposed too, but I doubt we will ever see them.
BIRGIT: So, what's next after hopefully Asia?
KARL: We will get a little bit time off, like a month or so, which is actually not necessarily time off since we will have to do promotion on the new album. And then we will do festivals in August in Europe.
BIRGIT: You will be playing at Party.San this year, right?
KARL: Yes, we will, our first time at Party.San, so we are really looking forward to that one. And we are talking about a tour in Russia as well. Other then that, there is a whole list of festivals, I just get on the bus and they tell me to play. (laughs)
BIRGIT: Well man, thanks for your time and have a great rest of the tour.
KARL: Thank you and thanks to all of our fans who supported us over the years. See you next time when we tour for our new album here in North America.
Posted on 12.04.2012 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!
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