Black Shape Of Nexus Interview

With only one demo,and one CD (comprised of two vinyl rleases),Germany's sludge-drone destroyers Black Shape of Nexus have already set themselves apart from the pack.With massive time-stretching riffs,and mind scraping vocals,B.Son (as the band abbreviates it) creates a barren landscape of post-doom destruction.

Band members Jan,Malte,and Michael were kind enough to chat with us about their upcoming CD,the German doom scene,and Credence Clearwater Revival.Read on.

1. I love the name Black Shape of Nexus. But could you explain the significance of the abbreviation B.Son? Just looks cool?

Jan: The name Black Shape Of Nexus is taken from a songtitle of UK band Canvas. The abbreviation happened more or less by chance. As Black Shape Of Nexus is pretty long to spell, someday it reduced to BSON. We added a dot following the capital B, to get it closer to sound like bison. Following the bison artwork of our demo and "s/t" Lp turned out quite naturally.

2. The new CD is a pure ambient/drone release. What was the impetus behind doing this?

Jan: We originally started out way more ambient/drone influenced than we sound today. That was part of the fact that we couldn’t find a drummer first, but also for the love of dark, drone music. With our upcoming released "Microbarome Meetings", we get back to where we started from. The album (2LP/CD) will contain four improvised one take tracks, showing another side of Black Shape Of Nexus. Be prepared for some vocoder madness, spoken words, loads of electronics and songs that evoled in the minute, that they were recorded.

3. The parts of Microbarome Meetings I heard on your Myspace are great. Will you be further exploring such territories in the future?

Jan: As written above, drone/ambient is one side of our sound. We started like that and will come back to this sound every now and then. On the other side, you’ll always find drone-like elements in the more riff-based B.SON songs - just have a listen to song number "V".

4. You guys played the Roadburn Festival. How did that go? Any other bands performances blow you away?

Jan: We were asked, if we want to play, as mighty Grails had to cancel their appearance. As much as we love Grails, we were lucky as hell to be a part of this great festival. Even though Roadburn is quite a big festival, the atmosphere was very familiar and Walter and Jurgen of Roadburn treat all bands very respectfully. It was a real pleasure to play there and see great bands like Groundhogs, Witchcraft, Church Of Misery (though their show was way too crowded...), Dixie Witch or Wolves In The Throne Room.

5. You’ve got some live dates coming up in a few months. Got any interesting road stories from past touring?

Jan: Touring is always fun, as it’s the situation of six totally different guys being packed in one van. So funny stuff happens daily. Our short tour with the Beehoover guys (check them out - great band!) also was very fun. My ears almost bled from their ability to talk crap all night and day...haha.

6. It seems that slow music has experienced a real renaissance in the U.S. Is it the same in Europe, and more specifically Germany?

Jan: Surely bands like Neurosis (who we love!) and even more all their copycats (who we hate...haha!), attract some people around here, too. But as for more extreme or traditional doom bands, Germany is rather bad place. Other "hard" music like Hardcore, Punk or other sub genres of Metal like Deathmetal or Thrashmetal are more popular around here. It’s a really sad situation, as there’s a bunch of really good bands around in Germany, including The Walruz, Ahab, Kodiak, Slo(b), Mills Of God, Tephra, Versus The Stillborn-Minded, Golden Gorilla, Mirror Of Deception, Crowskin and many more. Each of these bands has a different approach to being slow and are at least as good as more popular bands in that genre.

7. So far, each release has had a great, full sound. What kind of setup/equipment do you use?

Malte: I’m blessed with vocal-chords made of leather. That’s the main part. Beside that i’m using a delay and sometimes a laryngophone instead of a regular microphone.

Michael: Fender Jazz Bass, Big Muff, Ibanez Digital Delay, Ampeg SVT-CL, Ampeg 4x 10", SunnO))) 2x 15", Throat w/ cigarettes and a mic.

Jan: I´m using a Microkorg, Korg Kaospad, a mixer and a laptop as sampler. The guitar players, as far as i know, use Sovtek amps and a little assortment of effects. Our drummer plays an old and crusty drum set, that once was Turbonegro´s touring drum set...haha.

8. As with a lot of slow spacious music, your sound has a very cinematic/literary feel to it. What books or movies may have seeped into the B.Son sound?

Malte: For me some of the most important movies are surely "Stalker" by Andrei Tarkovsky, "Children of Men" by Alfonso Cuarón, "The Fountain" by Darren Aronofsky or the documentary "Das geliebte Leben" by Claudia und Günter Berghaus. The emotions watching these movies are very similar to the feelings I’m experiencing on stage.

Michael: I can’t really agree that movies or books have influenced me in writing riffs for B.SON. How could I really separate influences? Still it’s life, a big sour soup I have to swallow with some really tasty pieces in it.

9. Favorite Black Sabbath song?

Michael: "Warpigs"
Malte: My favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival Song is "Ramble Tamble". End of transmission.

10. I’m thinking of bringing my sorry ass to Germany (actually much of Europe) soon. What are some non-tourist "can’t miss" places? Best time of year to visit?

Jan: Just drop us an e-mail when you’re around and we’ll give you some advice. Depends on what you’d like to see when visiting-cities, more rural areas with interesting historical relicts, the countryside, the sea or whatever. If you like the weather warm it’s best to visit in the summertime, but autumn and winter can be very beautiful in rural areas!

11. What does the future hold for the band? Any last words?

Jan: We’re currently preparing for a little tour in September, that will also bring us back to Holland again. In addition we’re writing new songs to appear on the follow-up album to our "s/t" album. If things work out, Utarid Tapes from Malaysia will unleash a live tape of one of our shows. We’re releasing this, to get people from abroad at least a little chance to catch us "live", as some might probably never have the chance to see us live and experiencing us live is the only real deal to get into our sound. So watch out for the tape, as live we sound more harsh, destructive and emotional than on all records released so far... As for last words... THANK YOU, for doing this interview. Hope you continue doing this great blog!

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