Prophecy Productions Nucleus Torn Interview is up..
1. I know the project has been around for a while now but this is really the 1st time I've had a full chance to listen. Tell us a bit about the project and what you want people to take from it.
FS: I hope that NT performs open music for open souls and minds. It's quite obvious that we use elements from a wide range of musical stiles and also many instruments, some think that this makes our music a little challenging. I guess it really takes some time for our music to sink in; listeners also need to invest some energy trying to appreciate our music just as we do writing and performing it.
2. There is a strong mix of Prog, Doom metal, Post Rock and Neofolk . I hear a lot of bands like The Gathering, 3rd and the mortal, In the Woods and Anathema going on. Was this sound grown over time or have all releases been this diverse?
FS: In the past ten years, all our releases have been quite diverse. After an all acoustic phase in the beginning (Kraehenkoenigin (1998, re-released on Travellers), we moved on to more progressive sounds (Silver (2000), Submission (2002) (both on Travellers) to something I tend to describe as unique (the trilogy Nihil, Knell, Andromeda Awaiting). Golden Age sums it all up in a way. If I wanted to show someone almost all places we've visited as artists, I'd introduce them to our most recent album.
By the way, I know all these bands, but only The Gathering and Anathema have been influences, amongst a zillion others and more important ones.
3. There is a very Heathen/ Nature based element to all that Nucleus Torn Does. Do the old world elements values mean a lot to the band?
FS: NT has no affiliation to Paganism. Quite a few in the group are Christians, some are agnostics, some couldn't care less. With some members I've never talked about religion at all. As a collective, NT is secular.
Old world values? That could mean a lot of things, some I could identify with, others probably not. Wolves evolve, you know.
4. Do you find the band between two worlds? The Prog and Metal world? As some of the songs so like it could be two different bands?
FS: Prog and metal are almost one in a way. After all, it was thanks to metal groups that prog had its Renaissance sometimes in the 90es, and without Opeth and Tool, Porcupine Tree would never sound the way they do now and certainly not enjoy the same success.
Back to NT: I honestly don't think that we have “metal songs” and “prog songs” – we have NT-songs. Some feature brutal elements, some not, just as some feature folk, classical, prog, whatever elements and some do not. Golden Age has a dramaturgy, it follows a process of disintegration and decline, of a steady downward spiral into madness and despair, hence, the brutal elements come to the foreground in the second half of the record.
5. Does Nucleus Torn perform live? If so what is or would a live event be like??
FS: No, we don't, unfortunately. We're working on it. If we manage to perform live, it will be in a small, most probably all acoustic line-up, focussing on the very essence of selected songs. Time will tell.
6. What are your thoughts on the current digital age with ( Social media, webzines and digital audio) do you miss the days of old when bands sold albums got college or indie radio play? got to tape trade and and print zine? or is the new wave the new underground ?
FS: To be honest, I don't quite care. I'm a musician and don't think primarily about promoting our music. I made music before I released it and I will still make music long after I've stopped having it released.
I should also note that NT grew directly into the whole internet promotion thing, because our first real album appeared in 2006 (Nihil), and neither college nor indie radio play ever was important over here in Europe. Thanks to Prophecy Productions, we've also always had a lot of support from print zines.
I hardly ever traded tapes, but quite a few mp3-files, so I'm not angry about having hard drives with many GB either. This way, I've discovered many gems that have since been been added to my record collection.
7. What are the artists or bands that influenced you into the sound that Nucleus Torn creates?
FS: There are too many to name them all, I'm also not too fond of name dropping. To cut a long story really short: The greatest in classical music (medieval age to present), some in jazz, some in pop, many in rock, the most innovative in prog and metal – of course all very subjective, no one else would or could completely agree with me. It's a matter of taste.
8. Have you heard of Kayo Dot? as you remind me very much of what that to Avant Progressive music with a Metal edge though you are more Folk based. How do you create songs for Nucleus Torn.. Are they layers in studio is most done live?
FS: Kayo Dot are fantastic. I especially love their first album. I really must go and see them live when they come to Europe the next time.
Back to NT: We do layers in the studio, we hardly ever record more than one instrument at a time. We hope to be able to change that in the future, we'd love to have more real time interaction on our records.
9. You've worked with Prophecy Productions for while now. Do you feel this is home or do you want to try to grow to a larger label or more massive promotion outside of Europe?
FS: No, we either stay with Prophecy Productions or move to a smaller label or stop to release our music. I think NT is too small, nasty and unpredictable for bigger markets, and I am not ambitious enough.
10. If Nucleus Torn could collaborate with any artist or band just once who would it be and why?
FS: I do quite a lot of guest appearances, e.g. with Eluveitie, Triptykon, Island, Klabautamann and many more, including dozens of ad hoc ensembles (mainly classical). Anna performs with Eluveitie, Blutmond, Fraekmuendt and several others. Our drummer Christoph performs with about ten groups. You see, we are quite busy in several respects.
You probably expected a different kind of answer: To be honest, I simply don't know. Just because I like somebody else's music doesn't mean that we could also collaborate successfully. I'm not the easiest guy to work with either.
11. I know I say this again but I hear such a kinship to Anathema/ Antimatter/ Porcupine Tree. Did these bands inspire you very much ?
FS: Anathema quite a bit, Antimatter not really (though I like some of their stuff), Porcupine Tree a little bit. PT/Steven Wilson are/is quite good at taking other peoples ideas and improving them. But they/he are not very original in my opinion.
12. Would you call your music 21st century classical music? I would say your material is more composed then written or am I way off base?
FS: Yes, why not, that would certainly be fitting for Knell and Andromeda Awaiting. Then again, Golden Age is primarily a rock record. Whereas the former where “composed”, the latter was “written”. I wrote most of it in the few days during which I retreated to a small house in the mountains with my 12string guitar.
13. Will we see videos or a DVD from Nucleus Torn as your are made for the visual format.
FS: I don't think so, unless a visual artist becomes interested in working with us and spending his/her time on a project based on what we do. I'd certainly love to see that, but there's neither money nor prestige to be gained with that. Personally, I have decided to stick to music and do the best I can in this area. I perform so many instruments and styles of music, I need to try and focus a bit or will eventually end up doing too many things badly.
14. Your website is very minimalist is done on purpose or just think Social media is best outlet for Artist today?
FS: The website has more or less remained the same since 2004. There's no need to change it. It remains beautiful and is frequently updated. Social media... yes, we do have a myspace site (vintage) and facebook (for your everyday needs). I prefer instruments made of wood and metal, great microphones and decent sounding rooms. I'm a musician.
15. Thank you for the time any closing thoughts here?
FS: Enjoy Golden Age and don't forget to listen to Nihil, Knell and Andromeda Awaiting. They are all worth the effort.