Hi Arda, thanks for taking the time to talk to themetalreview.com today. Can you tell me a little about how you first had the idea for Nightborn?
I’ve been in and out of bands since 13 but the idea for Nightborn came when I decided to have something that would only be mine, where I could work on it without any interference from anyone. This way I could be free to do everything as I wish. I think that’s why the songs turned out to be quite lengthy because I wanted that freedom. You know, it could be hard to work with band members sometimes – everyone having different ideas. I had many riffs lying around on my computer and I was somehow bringing them together to make arrangements which would turn into songs but it was a very slow process. Two things really gave me the boost and the inspiration to go ahead and complete the album. First was when I met Gary Holt of Exodus/Slayer. After spending some time with him I was really inspired and I couldn’t stop playing guitar for weeks. The second was when I bought a new amp – the sound was just so good, that I became an addict to its sound. So I kept playing and playing. That way the album and Nightborn was materialised.
Sounds like a dream became reality. Gary is an excellent guitarist and also a very nice guy. I can hear some of his guitar techniques have rubbed off on you. Who else influenced you?
Most classical thrash bands had a great impact on me from an early age. The first thrash album I bought was And Justice for All on the year it was released and I was blown away. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I loved the rhythm and lead guitar work. The second was South of Heaven. So I can easily say early Metallica and Slayer paved the way for me. Later I discovered Sepultura, Exodus, Testament, Sodom etc. So inspirational. On the harmony and melodic side of things, I was listening to bands such as Sentenced, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, early Amorphis, King Diamond, Edge of Sanity which you can hear their effects on my album I think. Apart from that I love lead works of Buch Dharma (Blue Oyster), Marty Friedman, Michael Denner (Mercyful Fate), Muhammed Suiçmez (Necrophagist), Jon Nödveidt (Dissection) and there are so much more. All amazing guitarists and composers.
Yes, they are all excellent guitarists, and bands of course. I thought the album would have had more of a Swedish sound to it, but it didn’t. Did you deliberately choose to steer clear of the typical Swedish sound?
I wasn’t deliberately thinking about that during the recording process, but I think I am quite into the Bay Area sound so it comes out subconsciously somehow.
Is it easier to write music on your own or in a band?
Because I had gigabytes of riffs on my computer I didn’t have any difficulties. I think both have its advantages and disadvantages. With a band unique compositions can come out through the clash of different minds and ideas, or through random jam sessions. Plus you can focus on your instrument and don’t have to think of others or do their jobs. But when you are alone you have a kind of freedom where nobody will tell you what to do and you can do everything on your own pace, so that’s nice. You convey your message and thoughts exactly the way you want to. But playing these songs live is so exciting and fun, so I will need band members eventually.
I was going to ask about live shows, you just touched on this subject. I know a few bands that struggle to get the right musicians together to create the same atmosphere on stage. How do you see Nightborn’s live show?
I am an addict when it comes to playing live. It’s the best feeling out there. So Nightborn will definitely play live in the future. The only thing is, I value the mindset much more than talent. So I am picky when it comes to forming a band. It has to be people that can click and not just a random disconnected bunch because the latter will not have any stability. I think a not-so-great guitarist can come up with unbelievably emotional music compared to, say, an amazing technician without a soul. So the talent for writing good music should always be more important than the level of technicality in my opinion.
That makes perfect sense to me. What is the Swedish metal scene like these days? Is it still as strong as the 90’s?
I think Sweden has traditionally never been too strong in the thrash movement but plenty of thrash fans for sure.
Germany is the reverse of that, lots of thrash bands and fans, few death bands but lots of fans. Who would be your ideal band to support on tour?
Yeah exactly. Germany has a crazy and a very vibrant scene. It’s amazing. Any band from the big four of German thrash would be a dream come true to tour with, especially Sodom. But there are so many great bands out there and it would be a different experience with each. I think what is missing in the overall metal scene today is that it is much harder for smaller bands to get their music out there, so I think it is very important for people to keep an open mind and give a chance to the newcomers.
That is true, the scene is now over fed with bands of all genres. The Teutonic 4 of German thrash are all nice guys. I’m sure one day you’ll be opening for one of them.
I hope so too, that would be truly amazing.
So what’s next in the agenda for Nightborn?
Well, the first step is to get some physical CD’s done to open up some extra marketting opportunities, because the album is only available on digital platforms at the moment and there is interest for physical copies. The step after that will be finding band members to start playing live. Also, recently I find myself in the mood for working on new songs, so who knows, maybe a second album is closer than I thought.
A second album sounds interesting. Along the same style of writing, old school thrash influenced?
Yeah, definitely similar to this one. I already have a whole bunch of material lying and waiting.
Sounds great. I hope your future plans succeed and Nightborn find the right musicians to play live and achieve a good standing in the thrash scene world wide. You have the perfect combination of the various blends of thrash to make it. Thanks for your time. Cheers.
Thanks a lot. It was great talking to you.