Noctum Guitarist/Vocalist David Indelof: “We wanted to take a step away from the 70’s niche and take things in a darker, heavier direction”
Noctum is a Swedish-based hard rock/metal band ( formed in 2009 and originally known as Seance) that released their second album “Final Sacrifice” recently on Metal Blade Records. The band plays a style of metal which straddles the line between modern heaviness and a classic Sabbath/Trouble doom type rock although “Final Sacrifice” is considerably heavier and more evolved than their debut LP “The Seance” which was released in 2010 on High Roller. I recently had the chance to talk to the band’s guitarist and vocalist Dave Indelof about the sound of the new record and more; read on….
Legendary Rock Interviews: Thanks for talking with us Dave, I am diggin “Final Sacrifice” it sounds like a big step forward for you guys. You formed the band and were originally called Seance and that was when you guys were really young right? Were you in High School?
David Indelof: Yeah, we were pretty young. I was 17 and we were all like 17 or 18 so yeah, definitely young.
LRI: Things moved pretty quickly for you though. Not every young band gets gigs as quickly or has the opportunity to get a record released a year after forming as Noctum did with your debut. Were you at all surprised at how quickly things fell into place?
David: I don’t know if we thought about it. We just played and I can say it wasn’t really planned to release an album, certainly not that quickly. We just played and things seemed to be running along smoothly, we really didn’t think about or plan any of it.
LRI: A lot of people are aware of the Swedish sleaze scene and hair/lipstick metal and the black metal scene but you guys are definitely more of a throwback to the doom type, classic metal stuff. Did you find the scene was pretty supportive of you guys when you started playing out live?
David: Yeah we had a lot of support from the scene and other bands in Sweden that played kind of similar music. Graveyard and Witchcraft are I guess pretty similar to what we do and that scene is pretty big, obviously there’s also a lot of extreme metal and other kinds of rock music in the country as well and I guess a lot of people maybe expect that kind of music when they hear a band is from Sweden but I think there are a lot of more classic influenced bands that have emerged here in the rock and metal scene.
LRI: Was it on your mind that you definitely wanted “Final Sacrifice” to be a substantially different album than your debut?
David: Yeah we definitely invested a lot more time and effort this time around for this album. We recorded the first album after only being a band for nine months, we wrote some songs, we threw a couple of them away but kept mostly all of the songs we wrote during that time. We went into a very, very simple studio and recorded the songs quickly; everything was done in basically a couple of days. We definitely wanted to put a little more effort into “Final Sacrifice” and it was a very long process from releasing the first album to finally recording the second album. We really kind of got to know the sound of Noctum and got to know what we could do and what we are capable of. I think we found a lot more interesting elements in our music and took things a lot further during the writing process and I think it was really important for us to take that time both before entering the studio and especially in the studio, trying to find not just the right sound but also our own sound. There are a lot of subtle things, little guitar licks and melodies on “Final Sacrifice” that we didn’t really do on the first album. On the first album we just played our songs, did a simple mix and it was done but this time we took a lot more time and effort with it which I think was definitely necessary for us to do.
LRI: The debut and the “Fiddler” EP that followed were well-received by the metal community, was there a concern that you might be evolve too far away from that concept or style?
David: Well, they were well-received but at the same time I think we wanted to take a step away from the 70’s niche and take things in a darker, heavier direction. I think that was a pretty natural step for us. While you grow and develop your influence range gets much wider; Black Sabbath will always be an influence for us, that heaviness that they have but we were aiming for more of the heavier stuff this time around and trying to experiment a little more with chord structures and riffs and stuff. I listen to a lot of death metal too and was maybe trying to maybe involve those types of elements in our songs and not just the bluesier riffs that we had on our earlier stuff. A lot of the heavier New Wave British Heavy Metal stuff influenced us this time around, bands like Angelwitch. Also, our bassist Tobias Rosen had the story in mind and we also wanted the lyrics and story to really fit the music which I think it really does on “Final Sacrifice”.
LRI: Thanks again for talking with me, I like your music because it has that ability to take me on a little trip and escape in your riffs and storylines. I think a lot of bands are missing that nowadays, the ability to transcend and take people to different places in their mind. They are so concerned with being heavy or fitting into a radio format that they forget to be creative and forget what excited them about music to begin with.
David: It’s really important to find that space where you can do that and I think it’s really hard to get that feeling today because everything is so genre-based. Lots of bands, from the very beginning kind of limit themselves and say “Yeah we’re going to be death metal or thrash metal or doom metal” or “if we play this kind of music we have to look like this or say this” and if you do that you lose the essence of rock music, like you said, the very thing that made you want to play to begin with. There is a freedom that is supposed to be associated with rock music and we definitely don’t want to limit ourselves by only listening to or playing one particular style of metal, as long as it’s rock and it’s heavy we are not too concerned with what people expect.