Anaal Nathrakh: ”You go where the shows are”

anaal-nath-band-2008Inför spelningen på House of Metal intervjuade jag mitt favoritband Anaal Nathrakh för Folkbladet. Här kan ni läsa recensionen av spelningen – låter som något man för alltid kommer att gräma sig för att man missade.

För en sån intervju ställer man mängder av frågor, här är några av dem som inte fick plats i artikeln. Sångaren Dave Hunt står för svaren:

One show in ten years – why don’t you play more often in Sweden?

– It’s just one of those things, rather than a matter of choice. You go where the shows are – that’s not to say there are no shows in Sweden; of course there are – but our agents have never come to us with a show in Sweden before.

– And otherwise it’s not as if bands can simply decide to turn up somewhere. I can see why fans might get the impression it’s a conscious decision for bands to either play or not to play in a given country or area, but it really doesn’t work like that. Hopefully there’ll be more after this, or at least I’ll have a more concrete answer to that question, haha!

 To your recent live shows, I think you added three songs from Vanitas to all the incredliby great songs you usually play live. I mean, you have a lot of fantastic tracks to choose between. So, how do you decide upon which songs you should play when the alternatives are so many.

– With great difficulty. You have to factor in what works well live, what you enjoy playing yourself, what people want to hear, trying to include a decent mix from different albums and so on.  When we record albums, we’re quite firm about the fact that we will make the album we want to make. And we’re pretty intolerant of people trying to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do.

– But live, we appreciate that people have paid money, and often waited some time for the show.  So we try to take account of that along with all the other considerations, rather than play whatever we feel like, as some bands I’ve seen have done.  So you won’t get just the new album from start to finish, though obviously there’ll be songs from it, but neither will you get exclusively old stuff, or only the slow songs or whatever. Bottom line is we try to make the set a satisfying experience once all the rage and screaming have stopped.

The Blood Dimmed Tide from the new album Vanitas – is that taken from Yeats? What is that song about?

– Yes, the title’s from the poem. It stuck in my head ever since I heard the line ‘And what rough beast, its our come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’. So I found the whole text and thought it was fascinating.

– If you read Wikipedia it’ll tell you that it’s to do with a sense of fearful confusion about what would happen in Europe after the war, and that may well be right. But to me, a lot of it seems less time-related – I can see it as an allusion to almost any time. An ominous feeling, and a sense that there are symbols and visions just outside of our comprehension is part of the human condition.

– Whether anything bad will actually happen or whether there are such things as portents and visions is irrelevant. The empirical can influence but never replace the experiential – for example despite being an atheist, I find religion fascinating, and we use images and so on from it in our songs. The atmosphere captured in that poem is part of our experience of the world, and for me it’s a big part.

Bonus question – that song was named Pulvis et Umbra Sumus on the promo. Did you change the title?

– That was the ‘work in progress’ name we gave the song before we finalised the titles – Candlelight just took the promo song names from the mp3 versions we sent them before we’d finished everything off.

– But it still relates – part of the reason I think might be behind why the Yeats poem’s resonance is that we are all going to die one day. Ultimately, all we are is dust and shadows.

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