Nevermore - Interview
I don’t think Nevermore needs an introduction here. Their last album "Dead Heart In A Dead World" was such a huge success that the only way to get in touch with them is between their tours. I had this exclusive chance to do so after their tour with Annihilator and just right before they hit the road with Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, Susperia and Lacuna Coil. And since this was a tour report press day I mostly concentrated on their life on the road. Here’s what Jeff Loomis (guitar) had to say...
Are you surprised with such a huge success of your last album?
Yeah, pretty much. I’m very surprised as far as it’s a lot of number ones in Europe over here in many magazines, so it does surprise us. I mean, we don’t like sit at home and write music and just think it’s going to be this way, it’s kind of just happened for this album, so we feel very fortunate. I think it’s definitively our best work to date and I’m very happy with it.
It has to feel good to travel all over the world and headline or co-headline most of the tours.
Oh yeah [laughs] It’s awesome. This has been the most traveling that we’ve ever done. As far as just the last tour we did, we went to 11 new places that we’ve never been before. We went to Romania and that was insane. There were about 3000 people there and I just couldn’t believe the turnout. I think they actually had a big concert there about 3 years ago when the Iron Maiden played so you have to know that they were probably very hungry for metal and that’s why so many of them showed up. There was a lot of police there too, it was all over the news, so that was really exciting. It was really cool.
So, how good were the record sales of "Dead Heart In A Dead World"?
I’m not sure exactly how many but I think a lot. In Germany alone it’s about 50 thousand. In the future we probably sell quite a bit more with all the touring we are doing right now.
Ok, since this is an exclusive Tour Report Press Day we are not going to talk about your last album but we rather concentrate on your touring. What’s the Nevermore live line up right now? Any additional musicians?
Yeah, actually Nevermore is enough to hang as a four piece band which is me, Warrel Dane the singer, Jim Sheppard the bass player and Van Williams the drummer but we have hired a guitar player. He’s name is Curran Murphy and he is living in Seattle with us and he comes out on the road with us just to fill in as a additional guitar player. We had some problems in the past holding on to other guitar players so now we just decided to hire them on for the tour.
You just finished one tour with Annihilator, now you start another one with Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, Susperia and Lacuna Coil to come back to States and have another one with Opeth. This is like dreams come true...
I know. It’s really amazing to me. You go pick up a metal magazine and you can like point a picture and say "Hey, I’ve done something with those guys". It’s really, really cool. We’ve definitely made a lot of good friends on this adventure. It’s a pleasure to work with a lot of these people and I really enjoy meeting these people too. We just met some really great guys from a band called Soilwork, which was also on the tour with us and Annihilator. We became a very close friends with those guys and all huge fans of them too; we really like that band. It’s really cool to be on the road and be able to hang out with these guys.
That’s great. I’ve noticed during my interviews that not only fans are saying good words about your last album but also a lot of musicians dream about going with you guys on the tour...
Yeah? [laughs] Oh that’s a killer! It’s news to me. It’s really great to hear that. It’s a complement.
What do you do before you go on stage? How do you prepare, if at all?
Yeah, I’m not as young as I use to be [laughs] I usually have to warm up for about 15-20 minutes before I go hit the stage. It’s a lot different now. We used to play for only about 40 minutes, now when we are co-headlining the tours and you have to play for an hour and 15 minutes every night you have to prepare yourself a little bit, make sure you are warmed up
Which tour was your best ever and why?
I have to say that one of the cooler tours we ever did was one of the very first US tours back in 1995 with Death cause we really felt like Chuck Schuldiner really gave us our beginning for asking us to go on the tour with him. He’s such a great guy and fan of the band as well. We had some really great times on that tour so that probably had to be my favorite one. Plus, Gene Hoglan is a great guy too [laughs], he was on that tour as well. It was just phenomenal to hang out with such killer musicians.
In your opinion, which country has the craziest metal fans?
Greece, man!!! [laughs] There are so many crazy people in Greece, the kids are so hungry for metal there. It’s just crazy how they react when you come up on the stage. They just freak out over metal, they love it.
Is there still a place in the world would you like to play?
I’d like to go to play in Mexico City. I’ve heard that it’s really great there. I’ve heard the metal scene is really fantastic. That, and I think we would also like to go to South America and play there too and I think that’s actually going to happen sometime in the near future. Also another place I would like to play would probable be Japan. We are planning on going there sometime this year. I’m not sure when it’s going to be but probably sometime in the next 5 or 6 months.
What is your favorite song to play live?
I would have to say "Narcosynthesis" it’s the first song of the album and it just comes up very powerful and it’s one of my favorite songs on the album right now. It’s really cool cause when you play a song and you have a crowd that seems to know all the lyrics and they are singing along to it that makes it that much more powerful, so I have to say "Narcosynthesis" is my favorite one to play live.
Is there still a band would you like to play with?
I would like to meet Frederik Thordendal from Meshuggah. They are one of my favorite bands and I’d like to do some guitar work with him [laughs]. I think this guy is phenomenal; he’s a killer. He’s an awesome guitar player. Actually I had a chance to meet him once on a festival, I believe it was the Dynamo, like two years ago, but I didn’t get a very long chance to chat with him.
What’s your most embarrassing moment on the stage?
Oh man, there are plenty of them [laughs]. I got those big-ass boots and I always find myself tripping over my guitar cables, so I’ve got to get used to walking in them. It’s kind of like Ace Frehley from Kiss, but not as extreme [laughs]. We all have a lot embarrassing moments on the stage but that’s life.
You have to have tons of special moments from the road. Can you share some of the most bizarre ones?
There is that mad-cow disease going on now here, so there are a lot of weird things that are happening with people that are rioting on the streets during our travels. A lot of those farmers are really angry that they are killing off so many animals and a lot of times we have to stop in the middle of the highway and try to get those people out of the way so we can move on to another place. We’ve run to a lot of wired stuff like that. That’s been kind of strange.
Which one of you parties, drinks the most on the tour?
Oh God, I don’t know. We all try to take care of ourselves but we all enjoy drinking beer sometimes. We’re all about the same.
Looking at your busy schedule do you have time to write any songs for your new album?
Actually what we are going to do is buy those little portable studios, they are called PSOT Studios. They are like little handheld studios, it’s like the smallest little thing they make in the world, so we’ll be able to do some writing on the road with those. We are going to get 3 of those things; one for the singer, one for me and one for another guitar player. It’s really cool because it’s so small you are able to write inside of the bus if you want to. I think that once you start getting bigger as a band you get less and less downtime to really write, so you have to make the most out of the time as possible when you are on the road. It’s difficult but you have to get it done somehow. Normally, I actually prefer writing at home but I’m not going to be home very much this year.
Don’t you feel any pressure to top "Dead Heart In A Dead World"?
Yeah, I think about it sometimes. I think that really the trick is, is not to think about it and whenever you come up with the part or an idea always make sure you get it down on tape somehow and hopefully by the end of the whole process you'll end up with another good song and eventually with another good album. But I always get that weird feeling in my stomach that I’m not going to be able to do anything better but I just try not to think about it and do the best I can. That’s all you can really do and hopefully the fans will enjoy it as much as you do.
Any info on how it’s going to sound, maybe some titles?
We are thinking of calling the album "Psychotic Intellectual Narcotic" [laughs] I don’t know how we came up with that... I don’t even know our plans really. I don’t even know if we are going to work with our producer Andy Sneap, he’s a very busy guy right now, he’s very popular, everybody wants him in the metal world for a producer because he’s very good in what he does. I mean, it’s all a timing thing if he has the time off and we have the time off maybe we will work with him again. If not, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. I think that we will probably end up recording in this same place thou where we always record in Texas. It’s a really nice studio down there, it’s called Village Recorders. Hopefully we will be down there recording the album.
How about the music direction? Same style as on "Dead Heart..."?
Probably it will be the heaviest thing we’ve ever done. Speed metal! [laughs] It’s always going to get heavier for me, it always does. I always try to top what I’ve done in the past. I don’t know if it’s going to be like Cannibal Corpse or anything like that but it’s going to be heavy. That’s all I can say.
I don’t see you guys playing like Cannibal Corpse after "Dead Heart...", maybe for now let’s try something in between...
[we laugh] There you go, that’s what I was thinking too.
OK Jeff, you answered all my touring questions and our time is up, anything to add...
Yeah, I would like to thank the fans for buying "Dead Heart In A Dead World" and just want to say that the fans are the most important thing to us and we always try to write true music for them and not change our ways. I hope that everyone is happy with the new album and hope to see everybody on tour in USA with Opeth.
The Obsidian Conspiracy
Manifesto Of Nevermore
The Year Of The Voyager
This Godless Endeavor
Enemies Of Reality
Dead Heart In A Dead World
Believe In Nothing
Dreaming Neon Black
The Politics Of Ecstasy
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