Negator was formed in 2003, yet in a short 8 years, all 3 of the band’s releases have been met with critical acclaim, with the latest release being the opus Panzer Metal. We talk to Nachtgarm, vocalist and drummer to learn more…
Nachtgarm: Hi! Negator was formed in 2003 by Trolfbert, Berthelm, Tramheim and me. Since then we released 3 Albums: “Old Black” in 2004, “Die Eisernen Verse” in 2005 and Panzer Metal in 2010. Through the years we had some major line-up changes. At the moment the constant line-up insists of Finnskald and me. My story is a little bit longer and not really relevant for the history of Negator.
Recently, it was announced that Negator will be part of this year’s Wacken Open Air festival and With Full Force festival. How does it feel, being part of two of Europe’s biggest metal festivals?
Nachtgarm: It feels good and is a great opportunity for us to present our Music to a bigger international crowd. And of course it was way over time that the German Panzer rolls in Wacken and at the WFF.
The band’s latest album, Panzer Metal was released last year to critical acclaim. Was such reaction by fans expected by the band?
Nachtgarm: We expected every kind of reaction due to so many facts like the major line-up changes, the time that has gone by since the “Die eisernen Verse”, etc. “Panzer Metal” was and still is an important thing for Finnskald and me personally, so the critics weren’t that important this time as they may have should been.
The album’s title, Panzer Metal refers to the German tank. Is there any particular concept or running theme behind the lyrics of the album? Perhaps you could elaborate more about the lyrical themes?
Nachtgarm: The lyrics on “Panzer Metal” are more an instrument. They do not, however, serve the purpose for vocals in a conventional way. We tried to make this Album as uncompromising as possible and, thus, we nailed everything down in that way. In order to answer your question: There is a loose lyrical theme on “Panzer Metal” but it is not that important to point it out. The whole CD stands as one piece and should not be divided into its several components.
In terms of the production quality, while the band’s debut album, Old Black featured a raw and old school production quality, Panzer Metal had a more polished production quality, yet retaining a black metal feel. As a musician, what kind of production quality do you prefer, and why?
Nachtgarm: You’re the first one to say that “Old Black” has a raw and old school sound. We always wanted to present our music in the best possible way regarding the production. And we still do that because we all prefer a sound which is top notch. And I personally think that Black Metal should always be presented in the best possible way and not in the worst. The music makes the magic, not the crappy sound so many bands have.
While most black metal bands focus on Satanism and the occult, Negator focuses more on chaos, war and death instead. What is it that made the band decide to focus on these lyrical themes?
Nachtgarm: I never really decided to write lyrics the way I do. I just did. And it’s still this way these days. The next record could have more occult lyrics then the last, or maybe not. It always depends on the feeling our music shall create. And if an occult lyrical theme fits better than a chaos related or death related text, then it will be that way. And if not, well… there are so many dark themes I can write about…. We’ll see what will be next.
The band’s current lineup is listed as only yourself and Finnskald, with the other musicians involved listed as session musicians. Any plans to get a full permanent lineup soon? Why, or why not?
Nachtgarm: Of course I’m very interested in getting a stable and continuous line-up again, but there is often more to adhere then just putting some names in a booklet or on a website. Therefore I can say nothing more at this point, but we’ll see what the future has for Negator.
Does the band indulge in any pre-performance rituals before your sets?
Nachtgarm: No. We just get our gear ready and set-up and then we go on stage and unleash hell.
After the touring cycle for this year, what can fans of Negator expect of the band?
Nachtgarm: I became careful in making promises for the future, but let me say it that way: The Panzer will keep on rolling!
Off to other topics, how is the German metal scene like in recent years? Besides the 80s thrash metal bands such as Sodom and Destruction, Germany has also spawned black metal bands such as Endstille and Infaust. Are there any notable black metal bands that we should take note of?
Nachtgarm: I’m not very into “scenes” anymore, no matter where they have their origins, but to point some very talented German Bands out, I should mention Pantheion (Black Metal) and Devastator (Death Metal). Both come from Hamburg as well.
Any last words for the maniacs out there?
Nachtgarm: Soldiers! Join us on our campaign for total domination and spread the word: PANZER FOREVER PANZER
Thank you once again for taking the time off to answer our questions!
Nachtgarm: Thanks for the interview and keep on marching.