Parody Metal is a genre that stands on it's own two and away from the other metal genres, why you ask, well simply put it's a genre that pokes fun at metal music and is not to be taken seriously (yes you elitists, it's designed to miff you off). Italian bards Nanowar Of Steel have been in jest for the past 2 decades and show no signs of slowing down with the camaraderie; not even their attempt at representing San Marino at the Eurovision put them off letting off a few wisecrack comments in the interview (at least that's what it seemed, it had to be translated from the 'Nanowarian' dialect as this is what vocalist Potowotominimak spoke and Gatto Panceri 666 duly translated)... let the chaos commence.
"I think the main challenge is the challenge itself, you have to be challenging to challenge yourself, to be challenging and then challenge everyone else, before you can complete the challenge."
For those who have not heard of Nanowar Of Steel, please provide a short history of the band.
“We play music and write lyrics on top of the music that we play, we go on stage and people come to see our shows, !&!*”!(!&!)”~!*!&(), I'm sorry I need to translate, so we started back in 2003 which is almost 20 years ago.”
What does the band name Nanowar Of Steel mean?
“It's an ancient name of an Egyptian deity and it stands for the god that brings you water when it is dry.”
What do you bring to your stage performances and what will you bring to Bloodstock?
"“£”(“”)”&!)”&)!!!(... so he just said that we get on stage that we will perform some live farming, so we drop the seeds on the floor and ground, then we expect them to grow, we make seeds grow at record speed and that's what our shows are about, about farming. (That's what I said!); I was just translating and explaining it.”
So sometime next year you'll be over in the UK to see how the seeds are doing?
“Oh no no it's a magical seed that grows instantly”.
Italy has a rich heritage in metal music, so is the scene still as strong or even stronger? Is the industry still strong?
“@”&!)”&)~)(*!””)!”!)!!)!”&”)!%$!&!%.... he said the scene sucks because we don't have bands like Iron Maiden... (editor: he's cracked).
I think the main challenge is the challenge itself, you have to be challenging to challenge yourself, to be challenging and then challenge everyone else, before you can complete the challenge.
&!!”)!&!)!&!)!)... I totally agree. I could not explain it better... I was saying there are not enough beauties (editor: now he's broken character).... wha? %!!(!”)!^!*!^!"
After Bloodstock what are your plans for the rest of the year?
“After Bloodstock which is the 11th August, the plans will be the 12th August, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th.... (you can tell where this stopped... 31st August), so these are the plans for the future, we already know the calendar days so this is until end of August, regarding September we think it starts with the 1st and then there's the 2nd, we spoke with the Government and they agree that will be in the pipeline.”
When it comes to the creative process, who usually takes the lead or do you all have an input?
“We us artificial intelligence called GPD3, it was developed a couple of years ago and we use it to generate music and lyrics, when it doesn't work it makes songs for metal.”
How did you get into metal music and become musicians?
“We started out as non-musicians, when I was in the womb of my mother that's when I started and then it was very hard to get an instrument, I remember the struggle to get an instrument and my mother was opposing that for obvious reasons, it wouldn't fit. Eventually I got out and 15 years later... (that's not so true that musical instruments do not fit into your mother lol 😂😂), not a full drum set!”
You all have fun personalities, so who gets up to the most mischief?
“Why? Why are you talking about fun? I mean, I don't understand the question, it's a job, it's a serious thing, there's nothing fun about being Nanowar Of Steel.”
Who did you aspire to and look up to when growing up?
“I looked down to, I only looked at dead musicians, Freddie Mercury I would say is one. We only get inspiration from dead people because they're easy, they cannot do better than us, they cannot apprehend us if we steal their music, they cannot shoot us, it's very legally safe.”
People call you parody metal, but you don't see yourselves as parody metal?
“We are an office hour metal band, we are doing this because it's a serious job for us so please stop laughing, we want to be taken seriously. We are only looking for beauty in a world of ugliness with our songs. Our band rehearsals are like business meetings.”
Remember the name, Bloodywood. The Indian quintet have stormed out of their home nation and are rocketing towards international stardom, here is a band who have somehow managed to harness the Bhangra sound with a fruity blend of Nu and Folk Metal. Led by dual vocalists Jayant Bhadula and master of ceremonies Raoul Kerr, the New Delhi boys are joined by guitarist Karan Katiyar and touring musicians Vishesh Singh (drums), Roshan Roy (bassist) and Sarthak Pahwa (dhol player). We spoke to Karan at Bloodstock about their humble beginnings, acceleration to international acclaim and what the future plans are.
"The only reason we're political right now is because there is a huge disbalance all over the world when it comes to politics"
Your career started off from recording covers of well known Indian songs and uploading them to YouTube, from there it rocketed upwards, was it something you expected or wanted to happen?
“We always wanted it to happen but we never foresaw it, we never foresaw the intensity of it but we always wanted it to happen (being honest about it haha).”
For those who know the Indian metal scene, they would know Demonic Resurrection and Kryptos as the defining pioneers of the scene, are Bloodywood considered the 'new wave of Indian metal'?
“I wouldn't say that because those bands have been at it for a really long time, sometimes people say that the torch has been passed onto us, but I don't believe that because they're still doing their thing, we're doing our thing and I have a feeling that you're going to see a lot more from the Indian metal scene, there are some very promising metal bands coming up.”
Of course competitions like the Wacken Metal Battle have helped support the metal scenes across the sub-Indian continent, do you feel with this exposure that more metalheads in Europe will pay more attention to bands in that part of the world and wider Asia?
“Um, no I don't think that's going to happen. I think there's going to be an equal amount of attention throughout the world because that's just how metal is. I don't think you can really pinpoint a particular place to say that metal belongs 'here or there', it belongs everywhere. It just takes a few good bands for people to start listening to bands from that area, I feel it's still yet to happen for India but things are looking up.”
What are the modern challenges that bands in the Indian metal scene face nowadays?
“Id say there are just two challenges that we in particular face – One we don't get any gear in India, everything has to be imported which means we pay about 300% of the price, and two there are a lack of venues, because it's a very different way of how people work over there – venues decide if they want to let the bands in or not and no ones heard of metal, so they're very sceptical. Lack of venues and gear, that's the only thing that makes India different.”
Your music video 'Machi Bhasad', was that filmed with audio overlaying the video or with live music?
“No, none of the music videos have live audio, it's impossible to do that because you're going to catch so much of the ambience – if we actually sung into the mics we and record that, you're going to hear people all over the place, cars and horns, it's India man it's never going to be quiet, so that's impossible to do.”
So when you had the locals in the video, what did they make of the music?
“They don't understand any of it, but they really want to enjoy it, because it's a spectacle for them, you don't find metal bands rolling up to your village an start playing in the road everyday you know? They're just very supportive though, they'll never get in your way, if you want something you can always ask them, they'll just stand by and watch, that's all they ask for in return.”
Your debut album 'Rakshak' was released this year and was well-received worldwide, please tell us what the album is about.
“I can't put one particular topic to the album because there are so many things we talk about, but I'd say all the songs are in favour of a better world. I'd say the songs are political in nature, but we also want not to be extreme about it, we want a very balanced approach, the only reason we're political right now is because there is a huge disbalance all over the world when it comes to politics, literally all over the place and that's when we have to speak up, if things were in balance then we would not be a political band.”
What are your tour plans for the rest of the year and into 2023?
“We have a month-long USA tour in September / October, and then in 2023 we're coming back for a headline tour across the EU and UK... and there's talks about Japan too so we're all very excited.”
Do you have any greetings and thanks you that you wish to send out to friends, family, fans etc?
“I'd like to say hello to everyone who is reading this interview and everyone can check out the band across YouTube, Facebook, etc., if you catch us on tour you can buy a very limited edition of our vinyl, its called the 'naan vinyl' – it looks exactly like a naan, because the tour is called the 'Nine Inch Naan Tour', spoiler alert... it's not edible but is selling like hot naans.”
"Unfortunately, metal is no longer a very listened and appreciated genre in Brazil. Today we face a more restricted scenario for our style."
Christian rock / metal is often overlooked as a legitimate music genre, despite the fact that music has no lyrical boundaries. Either way there is a thriving scene for religious heavy music and perhaps, arguably there is a sense that religion can be conveyed through music without the feeling of indoctrination or being coerced into following a specific religion or set of beliefs.
Therefore it's not surprise to see Brazil having a strong rock and metal scene across the decades, with the belief that the music genres can convey messages of hope and awakening, something that quartet Athos 2 are striving for, they spoke to Global Metal Apocalypse about the power of religion through music, the reasons for choosing a sensitive topic for their lyrics and their recent single 'Refúgio'.
For those who have not heard of Athos 2, please explain how the band was formed and its history.
"Athos 2 is a Christian alternative rock / metal band formed in January 2018. The band is from Belo Horizonte - MG, Brazil. It was formed by guitarist Raffael Tavares and has released 4 EP's (our fifth EP "About Me" is due out later this year):-
How did you decide to play Christian alternative metal; evidently Brazil is a heavily Catholic country, so was it natural to include religion in your music?
"All band members are Christians, and that's our greatest asset. We have Christ as our lord and saviour. With that in mind we decided to follow a line of compositions in the lyrics that talk about what we love most, Jesus Christ.
The band was created to talk about God and take his word to everyone in the way we love to do it the most, rock / metal."
Do you feel all religions are better expressed through music? How did you get into playing music?
"We believe that music has the power to express our deepest feelings. Some of our members have had music experience for a long time, and others have always wanted to but not always been able to.
Despite many ups and downs in the life of a musician, we started with the intention of making a living from music, and we continue that way until today."
You recently released the single 'Refúgio', what is the meaning behind the song and will it be included on a future release?
"The song "Refuge" talks about a person who feels weak and alone inside. She seeks 'Refuge' in God, who is the one who can embrace her and bring her out of this terrible darkness. Soon we will have more news about this song!"
Gabi, have you received sexist remarks for being a metal musician? What is the general attitude towards females in the Brazilian metal scene?
"No, whenever anyone knows about my work in the band, I hear a lot of praise for the fact that I'm a woman and I'm representing on the front line of Christian rock / metal".
What challenges do metal bands face in Brazil these days, is metal music still as popular as back in the 1980's?
"Unfortunately, metal is no longer a very listened and appreciated genre in Brazil. Today we face a more restricted scenario for our style, some bands give up continuing due to this. We know we have barriers to break but we won't give up because we know our purpose is bigger than just making music."
You recently played with Apogeu, Liquens and Antidemon, what was that like - was it a sell-out crowd?
"This event was just amazing. We have a very special affection for each of these bands that played with us. The structure of the venue and the whole organization of the show was impeccable, the people who were there really supported the bands and really enjoyed the sound. It's always an honour to be with such dear people."
Have you played outside of Brazil before now? Do you have any planned shows for overseas?
"Yes, we did a tour of Argentina and already performed several shows in Brazil, soon we will be in Mexico for the Exodo Fest event."
What plans do you have for the rest of 2022? Do you have any greetings / thanks that you wish to send out?
"For 2022 we have more songs to release and clips too. There's still a lot of news coming!
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this amazing interview! May God bless each of you mightily!"