Guitarist Spotlight: Niloc and Xepher (Draconis Infernum)

This issue of the guitarist spotlight we feature the two axe wielders from Draconis Infernum, Niloc and Xepher.

Check back in the following 2 Fridays to catch the final 2 guitarists to be featured on our column!

Greetings Niloc and Xepher! Before we start the interview, would it be possible to tell us a bit about your personal musical journey? How did the venture into black metal begin?

Xepher: Greetings. I’m Xepher, founder and guitarist of Draconis Infernum.

Niloc: Hello, I’m Niloc, co founder and lead guitarist of Draconis Infernum. My musical roots are from The Blues.

I started listing to bands like Black Sabbath and Slayer when I was about 12 or 13 and then I felt the need something different and that’s where I discovered bands like Mayhem and Marduk etc and that’s how it all started.

What was it that inspired you to pick up the guitar instead of other instruments?

Xepher: My dad being a guitarist had a couple of guitars around, so I guess it was only natural for me to pick the guitar up rather than the bass or drums.

Niloc: My dad’s a guitar player himself and naturally guitarists have guitars lying around most of the time, and it was the only thing that would keep me busy.

Have you had prior formal training on guitar and music theory?

Xepher: I had a couple of lessons when I first started playing, after which I progressed by myself.

Niloc: I’m pretty much self-taught. I picked up the guitar and well, got to know some chords and it never stopped there.

Xepher (Photo credits: Ovezt)

Who are some of your personal influences when playing the guitar and writing the guitar riffs for Draconis Infernum songs?

Xepher: There are many things that inspire and is of an influence to me, some of it comes from my personal thoughts and some are just a reflection of the bands that I admire.

Niloc: I’ve got quite a few on my list.

What is your favourite setup both when performing live and recording in studio?

Xepher: It’s always plugged straight from the amp.

Niloc: My setup’s pretty simple. I believe that simplicity is the key to nothing screwing up.

My setup is as follows:
In the studio, I use a Flying V, plugged straight from the amp.
My setup live is either a Strat or a Flying V plugged straight from the amp.

Do you have any dream setup or guitar?

Xepher: No.

Niloc: My dream guitars are actually what I’m using now, couldn’t have gotten anything better.

Niloc, The solos that you play in Draconis Infernum songs, such as on Cursed are the Vanquished and the new song, Proclamation of Encroachment, reek of blues influence – something that is pretty uncommon in extreme metal. What made you decide to include these influences into the music?

Niloc: Well, like I’ve mentioned earlier, my musical roots are from The Blues and naturally it would show in my playing.

How do you go about writing the solos for the songs?

Niloc: I It’s pretty experimental. I don’t have it fixed till we enter the studio

What about the riffs? How are they come up with?

Xepher: My writing process has always been pretty experimental, I don’t really have a fixed way, but usually if I come up with a riff I like, I would remember it and then join it together with a couple of other riffs that I have came up with previously in the best arrangement or one that I like or think it suits best.

How important is guitar tone in the music of Draconis Infernum? Do you have a particular guitar tone that you favour when recording?

Xepher: It’s essential when I write songs and I like my tone as it is.

What are some of the worst experiences that you have encountered when performing live?

Xepher: Shitty sound. Not being able to hear my own guitar sound or the overall sound of everything, I get by and I’m pretty used to it. That’s all by far, yet.

Niloc: Nothing uncommon, the usual shitty sound which results in not being able to hear myself and the band. Besides that, bad planning, and have I mentioned shitty sound already? But other than all that, that’s pretty much all from me, for now.

Niloc (Photo credits: Ovezt)

Playing in a black metal band, what are some of the common misconceptions that people have? Many people have said that being in a black metal band is easy since there is nothing technically complex about the riffs and such.

Xepher: Fuck other people, I don’t care, I like what I like and nothings going to change. I’m not here to educate people.

Niloc: That’s pretty common, and I’m sure it’s not just about Black Metal, if you ask me, that’s how people would usually stereotype metal in general.

First hand, I’ve met people who have told me that Black Metal’s boring, monotonous, simple, don’t know what the fuck the guy’s singing about, and it goes on and on. Well, people have their takes everything, I’m not really too bothered.

Finally, what are some of the advices that you can give to aspiring guitarists and musicians out there?

Niloc: Keep practicing.

Xepher: Stare at the Sun

Photo credits: LingNemesis

Related articles:
Album Review: Draconis Infernum – Proclamation of Encroachment
Guttered Down the Gutters: Draconis Infernum

Draconis Infernum on the internet:
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©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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