(Our Russian contributor Comrade Aleks brings us this interview with Zdenek Nevělík, vocalist of Et Moriemur, whose second album Ex Nihilo In Nihilum was released last month by Solitude Productions.)
As Solitude Productions released the second full-length of Czech death doom band Et Moriemur, I remembered my old promise to get in get in contact with Zdenek Nevělík, the band’s voiceman. Ex Nihilo In Nihilum sounds stronger and more mature, considering the band’s debut record Cupio Dissolvi, so why wouldn’t we take a glance into the Czech underground?
Hail Zdenek! How are you man? Et Moriemur has a fresh record Ex Nihilo In Nihilum, are you happy with that fact?
You can bet on it Aleks! Some songs on Ex Nihilo were written already before the completion of our first full-length album Cupio Dissolvi so it’s a circle that comes to a close. The new CD is similar in some ways to its predecessors but in others inevitably different. We tried to write a compact album with a definite sound and theme. Of course there are many variations but I think as a whole Ex Nihilo is more cohesive than Cupio. In any case we are very very proud of it and hope that doom fans will like it as well.
By the way, Et Moriemur is with Solitude Productions now. Does that change anything? Is it important to be with a label?
We are very happy to have signed with Solitude, which was recommended to us by virtually everyone we know on the doom scene. And as far as our cooperation goes, at present we are very satisfied with their work, communication, everything. Good for you that you have such a great doom metal label in your country! Being with a solid label is very important in my opinion: The music doesn’t change of course, but if the label invests in promotion of the band, it makes a world of difference.
What is the Et Moriemur line-up now? Did anything change since you recorded Cupio Dissolvi?
Yes, it changed substantially. It’s still me doing the vocals and Michal on the drums, but we have new guitarists, Aleš and Honza, and a new bass guitarist, Kabrio. So 3/5 of the band is different.
I know that you were going to promote the album with brief tour, how did it go?
Yeah, we played three gigs in Germany and in the Czech Republic with our friends from OPHIS and MARCHE FUNÉBRE and it was wonderful! The guys from both bands were marvellous and the people at the gigs as well, so we really can’t complain about anything. We had three days full of fun and doom which — contrary to the popular belief — go hand in hand magnificently 🙂
What kind of problems did you face organizing Et Moriemur’s gigs and tours? What are your highlights as a live band?
The problems we have are common for every other band I think. Not enough money in the first place 🙂 which means we can´t play whenever and wherever we like, can’t invite many foreign bands and can’t play much abroad, can’t promote the gigs adequately and so on. Then there’s the problem with venues, there are too few places with good sound off and on stage, organization, etc. But hey, we play doom/funeral, a metal sub-sub-genre, that’s part of the game, and it would be strange if our music made us rich and allowed us to play in expensive clubs! 🙂
As for our highlights, we enjoy playing everywhere people like to see us. We loved playing at Brutal Assault festival two years ago and we love playing in clubs in front of 50 people in the same way.
The band shot their first video clip for the song “Liebeslied”; why did you choose this song for the video? How did you shoot it?
We wanted a visual presentation of our music and a different means to promote our new album from the past — that’s why we shot the video in the first place. We chose “Liebeslied” because…
it’s catchy 🙂 and more straightforward than the other songs, which is good when you have to approach people who never heard about you before. We had very limited finances so we chose to shoot the video simply in our rehearsal room, but I think that given the conditions Pája Junek, the director, made a beautiful work!
Et Moriemur “Liebeslied“
Does this song give an idea about how the whole album sounds?
Yes…and no 🙂 Yes in the sense that it gives an idea about the mood of the album, very sad and often excruciating. And no because as I said before the single songs, even if they share the same mood, naturally differ in tempo, structure, internal variety, length, themes, etc. But I think the mood is the most important indicator of an album and so in this sense “Liebeslied” is a good song to present the whole CD.
How do you think death doom metal still remains attractive for listeners? Besides the smell of “good old” 90’s.
As long as there will be people who like to find their sadness, frustration, anger and melancholy reflected in music, there will be doom and doom fans I think. Surely it’s not a genre for the masses, but it will always have its niche of supporters. There were good bands in the 90’s and there are good bands now, and as in those times there are more traditional-oriented bands and bands trying to do music in a slightly different way. That’s good because people can choose what they like best every time.
What make you proud of this album? How did you get that your work was finally done and the songs were worth being published?
We are proud of the songs in the first place. There are melodies and riffs we personally like very much, plus we tried to take care of every detail. And as I said, we tried to record a cohesive album with all the songs that fit in the musical concept of grief and hopelessness — to create a sense of smooth passage between the tracks, every one different without being eccentric.
We went to Hellsound Studio with a clear idea of the songs, but nevertheless they got their final shape only during the recording — thanks as well to our sound engineer Honza Kapák who contributed to the result with his ideas and long-time experience.
Do you remember the brightest emotions you have had being in Et Moriemur?
When someone appreciates our work it’s always a great pleasure for me. It’s a sort of miracle if you think about it: We compose and play music we like in our small city and our small country and it somehow happens that other people around the world like it too! When the audience at the gigs is willing to take part emotionally in our performance in the same way as we do, or someone writes us that he loves the CD and encourages us to go ahead, that´s a great reward.
Can you say what influences the city of Prague has upon you? Is the spirit of the city reflected in your songs?
In my opinion everything you experience has an influence upon you — the place where you live included. I think Prague can be very inspiring — you just have to avoid the crowds of tourists and listen and look carefully around you 🙂 It’s a city with many colours, shapes, and moods, there are centuries of different architectural styles living side by side. But at the same time it has a complex character, rather enigmatic, nostalgic, and slightly absurd — it’s certainly more than a coincidence that Franz Kafka lived and wrote his works here 🙂
It has its own atmosphere but you have to be watchful, it doesn’t communicate straightforwardly and openly, it’s delicate and shy in a sense. Maybe that’s how you could describe our music as well 🙂 Anyway three-fifths of the band come from Pilsen, another Czech city worth visiting.
What has changed in Et Moriemur’s sound and conception since your first album? What did you study about the composing and recording of songs since the Cupio Dissolvi album?
I think the sound on Ex Nihilo is much much better than on Cupio. It’s mostly because of the guitars: While on Cupio we used guitar tracks recorded at home, on Ex Nihilo everything was recorded in studio — piano and viola included — and you can hear the difference. The guitar sound kills! Plus we finally had more time to take care of details so I think the new CD overall sounds really good.
As for the lyrical themes present on Ex Nihilo there is still this instinctive attraction for the non-existence, for the end of all the suffering of every being, but I want to point out that it’s not a glorification of nihilism. On the contrary, life is certainly suffering in many ways we cannot change but there are things we can change in our everyday lives. There is no use saying “life sucks and everything is doomed, I can’t do anything about it”: You can always do something to reduce the suffering — yours, and most importantly, that of other beings like animals, plants, etc. Just stop being so egoistic and the “oh how miserable I am” attitude and do something for yourself and the others!
Can you name the people who were your teachers in doom? Do you have any authorities in the doom scene?
My “proto doom period” started with Black Sabbath’s LP The Collection, which I was used to listen to when I was a kid at my best friend´s home. The first truly doom or death-doom metal record I bought, though, was Paradise Lost’s LP Gothic — and it changed my life. That truly gothic feeling (completely different from nowadays’ “Twilight” emo-gothic…), Nick Holmes’ cemeterial growls and Greg Mackintosh’s riffing and soloing… simply one of a kind. I must have been like 14 years old and I started wearing all black and I even wore a big cross on my neck. The people at school were quite baffled I can tell you! So if I had to pick up a doom metal album it would be Gothic, it influenced me deeply.
As far as “doom metal authorities” are concerned one of the people I respected most was Rene Fusaty Krystyn from the Czech legendary doom band Dissolving Of Prodigy — for the deep, genuine passion he always put in his music. And that’s the most precious thing of all – and quite rare. Unfortunately he passed away last year. We dedicated Ex Nihilo to his memory.
Dissolving of Prodigy had Czech lyrics; do you plan to record a song for your Czech fans in your native language?
We already have a song in Czech on Cupio Dissolvi, it’s the last one called “Žal”, a sort of folk ballad 🙂 and we have some sentences here and there sung in Czech in our other songs. But who knows what the future will bring, another song entirely in Czech is certainly a possibility.
Okay, Zdenek, that’s all for today. Let me sum up it with one last question: What are Et Moriemur’s plans for 2015?
We will be promoting Ex Nihilo with gigs in the Czech republic and abroad. Let’s see if we’ll manage to play some festivals as well. And we will start to work on songs for the next album. Maybe it’s a little early you might think, but we are doomsters and things we do take a lot of time, so hopefully we will have our next album ready in 2017 🙂
Thank you Aleks for your questions. I enjoyed very much talking to you once again, and greetings to all those who took time to read my “pearls of wisdom” until the end. See you around!