At Revolver Club in San Donà di Piave I’ve met Karl Sanders, leader of Nile, who turned out to be pretty friendly and helpful in answering my questions.
Hi Karl, nice to meet you! How are you? How’s the tour going?
Hello, nice to meet you too! The tour is going very well, even if it’s cold today. Our dressing room is so cold, we have to wear two coats, feel how cold my hands are [he lays his hand of my are, they are truly gelid]. We are kinda mad, but we are gonna burn this place down, tonight.
“What Should Not Be Unearthed” has been published in 2015, can we expect a new album by the end of the tour?
Well, yes, at the end of the tour we’re going home and we have some shows with Soulfly, then during the summer we’ll try to finish the record. So far we’ve got six song, I’m very happy with that, I can’t wait to finish.
Wow, I can’t wait too! Speaking again about “What Should Not Be Unearthed”, the lyrics of “Call To Destruction” struck me because of those references to the destruction of the egyptian idols, which reminded me of the actions of Isis in the Middle East. Can you tell us more?
Well, that’s what the song is about, it’s pretty obvious. I think it’s a fucking crime against humanity, what Isis did against religious artifacts, not only the Egyptian ones, but also the Sumerian ones… They even destroyed Hindu manufacts. It’s totally wrong, they have no rights to do that. Those are pieces of human history, they belong to all of us. Fuck Isis.
I am fascinated by how Nile kept consistent their sound through the years, while many bands try to experiment at some point. What do you think about this?
Well, the thing with Nile is that we have a good idea of what we want to do, and we try new methods to do that, rather than trying something entirely new. We have our sound, it’s a mix of death metal, egyptology, exotic influences… I mean, it’s not a bad idea!
Can you tell us how do you write a Nile song or album? The references to the ancient Egypt are your trademark, where do you find the inspiration?
A lot of it comes from books, libraries, History Channel, Discovery Channel… Nowadays Internet makes things easier. When I started with Nile, there wasn’t so much Internet, so a lot of the researches I did were in the college library. Also, back in January I went to Egypt for two weeks, and that was very inspirational, I got a lot of new ideas.
Do you have a history degree?
No, when I was in college, I didn’t study egyptology, but english!
Which Nile record are you attached to the most?
I think… the new one that’s coming up, because it’s the last one we did! We got some really, really strong songs, I can’t wait to make people listen to it.
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would you choose?
I don’t know, probably Henry Wallace, he’s an incredible poet. I’d let him write the words and I’d play the guitar.
Who inspired you to play guitar?
When I was first starting out, it was people like Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore… Then a little later Robin Trower. When I was in high school, I was playing for quite a while when I heard the first Van Halen record that came out in 1978 (that’s how old I am): that was revolutionary. I also liked Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, all the things from when I was young. When I started playing guitar, there was no such thing as heavy metal. It was when bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest became popular, that was the late ’70s. I was in school, that’s what we had, it was as heavy as it got, when I was a kid. Nowadays you got everything, that’s insane!
You’re right, we are so lucky! Can you give an advice to the guys who are starting out a metal band?
You cannot give up, you have to keep fighting. It’s not easy, there will be a lot of thing in life to discourage you, but you cannot quit, you cannot surrender.
I think we’re done, thank you for your time! Feel free to say something to Metalpit readers.
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