‘Lots and Lots of Hell’: A Q & A with Deathnir
By Ian Duggan
Deathnir are set to release their second album, Second Sin, on 25 May. We caught up with Andrew Carter (lead guitar, vocal) and Adam Johnson (bass) to talk about the upcoming release and video.
Andrew: We have been working hard on writing songs for the last couple of years with the intent of making an album that was pure metal. No ballads. More speed. More attitude. The songs on ‘Die By The Axe’ are good in their own right, but we wanted to pursue more of a thrash sound for ‘Second Sin’. Our style has also changed a bit since Brad Ion (lead guitar) and Luke Elliot (drums) joined Deathnir. Brad’s playing style is quite different from my own and he has a very distinctive guitar tone. Luke’s drumming is also a bit different from our previous drummers’ styles and so he brings that extra diversity into the backbone of our songs.
HUP: Since we last talked to you your friends in Alien Weaponry – who would commonly be seen wearing Deathnir t-shirts – have gone on to have some pretty big successes. Has their success altered your view of what you might achieve with Deathnir?
Andrew: Alien Weaponry are good friends of ours and it’s good to see them doing well taking NZ metal to the next level. I don’t think it has altered our view of what we will achieve “with Deathnir”. I have always believed that to succeed you need to work harder than everyone else around you and I think Alien Weaponry have achieved that. Right now Deathnir is working pretty damn hard too and we have big plans for the (not too distant) future.
Adam: It’s very encouraging and exciting to see what kind of progress can be made in a fairly short time when all the stars align. So while I wouldn’t say it “alters my view”, it is encouraging.
HUP: What are your plans for promoting this album? Have your ideas regarding how to promote an album changed since the last one?
Andrew: We want to get ‘Second Sin’ publicised really well. Right now our plans are still developing, but we have been doing pre-order sales which give fans the chance to get a $10 discount from the full price when the album is officially released on May 25th. After that the album will be released on iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, Pandora and all the other good digital stores. We are going to do promotion campaigns on social media websites and our own website (www.deathnir.org). We also intend to print loads of posters advertising the album and sticking them up wherever we can. On top of that we have several more music videos in the works, so fans can get a bit more engaged with the album, and finally we will do a tour which we are aiming for later in the year.
HUP: You are playing on the 25th at Nivara Lounge, the day the album is being released. Is this a release gig for the album?
Andrew: Not officially. The 25th is a continuation of the Garden Place show we performed at in March, for the bands that didn’t get to perform because of the thunderstorm that hit that day. However it is the first show we are playing that the album will be available at, and the last show where it will only be $10 to celebrate its release; so if anyone wants a copy for cheap then May the 25th is your chance to get it and also see it performed live. The album will be available on all good digital stores from that day and we will be planning a tour in support of it later this year. [continued below]
Andrew: Our video for Bringer of Evil was produced by Saroj (Sarj) Gundiga and myself. It is the first video to be featured off this upcoming album and was a lot of fun to make. We wanted to do a video which had more cinematic stuff going on rather than a band playing and we went with the idea of an occult blood offering. Basically in the video there is a pentagram made out of candles with five cloaked men on each point of the pentagram. They pass around a sword and slice their palms, pouring their blood into a chalice, and when they have all done it ‘the appointed one’ drinks the blood and is possessed by a demon. Obviously this is a very dark theme, and we wanted that to be replicated in the shots, so we filmed it in a black room with only the candles lighting the room. I think maybe a couple of the shots were a little too dark, but all in all it came out pretty much how I envisioned it.
HUP: What are the lyrical themes of the new album?
Andrew: Hell. Lots and lots of Hell. One way or another, haha. We have a couple songs about war, a couple songs about the devil, we have a song about a crazy doctor abducting people and cutting them open while they watch. It’s a very dark album.
Adam: War, Death, Pain, Chinese food….. all the fun essentials.