Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life recently conducted an interview with guitarist Karl Sanders of South Carolina death metal veterans NILE. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he still has a sense of excitement prior to the release of a new NILE studio album:
Karl: "Yes, absolutely. The whole entire gamut of emotions comes into play, from anticipation, dread, excitement, wondering if fans are going to like the record, will journalists make it easier for us or harder for us? I'm not trying to make a point. I swear to god. [Laughs] But right now in the band, we're fucking happy. It's the happiest we've been in years. The teamwork, the brotherhood going on with us is so refreshing. We feel like we've been given a second chance, maybe even reborn."
On why he feels NILE has been "reborn":
Karl: "I think it is self-evident in the tracks themselves. Put on this record, [and] you can feel the fire, you can feel the sheer metal joy of violence in this. That's real. It's a tangible thing. It's in those tracks. You can hear it because it's real. You can't fool metal audiences anyway. Metal audiences know the difference; they know what they're fucking hearing. And when you go to a show, a death metal audience is standing two feet in front of you. They know. They know what they're fucking listening to. You can't lie to them, you can't fool them, you can't try to make them believe it's something other than what it actually is. Audiences can hear it. And you can hear in these tracks, yes, this is a band rejuvenated, reinvigorated, revitalized."
On the songwriting process for NILE's latest album, "Vile Nilotic Rites":
Karl: "The level of collaboration, cooperation, trust, brotherhood, it was really a great benefit to get everybody on the same page again. We haven't had that for so long that it was like exciting and fresh to us, like, back in the '[Amongst The Catacombs Of] Nephren-Ka' days when we just had that youthful fire, that hunger, that, 'Yeah, we're going to play our music and we're going to fucking bring it to people. Fuck yes!'"
On why he's determined to keep pushing NILE forward:
Karl: "I look around at my colleagues and peers, and many of them are… already concerned with nostalgia, living in the past. Like, wishing for the glory days and trying to keep reliving them. And while I agree that we should remain faithful to the original ideals and philosophies of death metal, that doesn't mean we have to live in the past. I'm interested in what we can do now. What we can do today, with this new lineup. I already know what the old NILE lineup can do. Those were great lineups, all of them, each in their own way, except for one. But what's important is what you can do with right now. I want to make metal today. I want to bang my head today. I already did that yesterday. What's the fucking point in doing what we already did? We already did that. There's fucking new, fresh territory to conquer."
On the musical direction of "Vile Nilotic Rites":
Karl: "I'd say this new record, it really tries to encompass all this band today is capable of, which is quite a broad spectrum. There's a lot of variety of various shades of death metal stylings on this record. There's complex stuff, there's heavy stuff, there's fast stuff, there's slow stuff. There's a lot of influences from a wide-ranging, diverse selection of music, evident in these tracks. So, I wouldn't necessarily call this a 'fun record,' although we are having fun. It's not a fun record like 'What Should Not Be Unearthed'. This is like, 'We want to see what this lineup, what this group of people can do.'"
On whether NILE is ever tempted to use current events for their lyrical themes:
Karl: "This band isn't really a current event, political band. I think NILE is fun escapism lyrically, with sometimes some object moral and ethical questions on the nature of humanity. But I definitely want to stay away from current events and political things, because really, we get enough of that fucking shit all the fucking time anyway. What the fuck do I think I would [write about]? Am I going to change the world? The world certainly needs help, but am I going to change the world? There was an Ozzy [Osbourne] song called ['I Don't Want To Change The World']; it was a really fucking cool song. I don't know if you'd heard it or not. The center of it is I'd like to change the world, but how likely is that?"
"Vile Nilotic Rites" was released on November 1 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was recorded and produced by Sanders at Serpent Headed Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, with the exception of the drums which were recorded at Esoteron Music Studios in Athens, Greece with engineering handled by Jim Touras and George Dovolos. The album was mixed and mastered by Mark Lewis at MRL Studios. For the album artwork, the band returned to artist Michal "Xaay" Loranc who has worked with the band for over 10 years.