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Morg (Nebelkrahe)

Interview with Morg from Nebelkrahe
by Dorothy Cheng at 28 May 2013, 9:37 PM

German Black Metal from the blackest pits, yet with an aura of progression, contradiction has its advantages. NEBELKRAHE from Berlin just released their second album, “Lebensweisen”, via Mighty Music. Dorothy had the opportunity to chat with Morg, the band’s guitarist, about the newfound album, the band’s work ethics and more. 

Greetings, Morg! First of all, I have to say that I had a ball of a time reviewing “Lebensweisen”. It was really a great album! Speaking of that, it seems that the band has been getting a lot of rave reviews for this effort. How does that make you feel?

Well, thank you for your kind words. But to answer your question: yeah, that's right – Mighty Music / Target Distr. did a great job concerning the promotion work, so we really got a lot of reviews from all over Europe. In the end that was the reason for us to sign for an label / promo deal – and it totally worked out. Besides the general attention it makes me really happy that the reactions are that positive. We got only a few negative reviews, mostly we got eight points or more… that’s really amazing if you keep in mind that our music is far away from being “mainstream” or “easy listening”.

Listening to the album, I detected many influences from various genres. What prompts Nebelkrahe to take solid black metal music and infuse influences from all these other genres?

Well, that’s always kind of a difficult question, I can’t really answer it. Some details like the waltz in “Lebenswaisen” are influenced by the lyrics (there is a ball mentioned so was the logical conswequence to include some kind of dance music), some parts just evolved. I can’t really explain every influence we have on “Lebensweisen” – I think, the answer is, that we don’t see it as two parts, “influences” and “black metal”, but as just one concept: open minded music without any restrictions. If one of us comes along with a freaky idea, we don’t ask “why”, but “why not”.

Does Nebelkrahe have a philosophy on musical experimentation?

Well, I think, the philosophy is described very well in the last sentence. Just do it, if it fits. Don’t think about if it’s ok to use a funk-guitar in a black-metal-song… if it feels right, it’s fine!

Would it be accurate to refer to Nebelkrahe as avant-garde black metal, or is sub-genres not something the band holds much importance to?

Well, personally i don’t like the term “progressive”, because it reminds me of bands like Dream Theater – technically really experienced bands, but i never understood, what is supposed to be “progressive” in that style of music they play for so many years. The opposite to that is “Avantgarde” – it’s really always something REALLY crazy for me – so there are really few real “Avantgarde”-bands. Pensées Nocturnes from France are one of these bands, or Atrorum, the project of our singer umbrA. I would not say, that the music NEBELKRÄHE stands for is really that freaky and elaborated, that it’s Avantgarde – so we prefer using the term “innovative black metal” – it’s still black metal, with some heavy, even true riffing, but nut just black metal as you know it but with some new influences and ideas added.

What is the main thing that Nebelkrahe wants to impart with their listeners through their music?

I don’t really want to impart anything. I think, there are some songs that are very aggressive, some are just “beautiful”, some are melancholic or even sad… it’s a mixture, as you have to have it on a album with a playing time of more than one hour. So I think, there is no special mood you have to be in to like “Lebensweisen”. For sure, for all listeners who understand the German lyrics, it may be easier to grasp the message of the songs, but in the end it is just music: you’ve got to like what you hear, or it’s just the wrong CD for you.

Personally, one of the bolder tracks in the album that really helped cement my liking for the band’s style was “Mit Glut auf den Lippen”, with its melodic intro. Who is the songstress who performs in the beginning and what motivates the band to include melodic singing in its music (something that most Black Metal bands do not typically do)?

The female vocals are done by the sister of our singer umbra. Concerning the style of singing: well, I think, it’s stupid to say “we will never do this or that”. If the song needs melodic singing, or if it fits better to the lyrics or whatever – why should we say: “maybe it would sound better, but we’ve sworn never to use melodic singing?”

Is there a particular effect that the band wishes to convey through the many facets and different musical influences there are in each song?

Well, in my opinion it just makes an album more diverse and interesting, if not every song sounds the same – as long as there is a common theme and the album does not sound like a best of or a compilation in the end. So we try to incorporate as many different aspects into an album as possible – from doom-riffing to blast beats – filled up with a lot of other stuff like clean guitar parts or whatever suits the song. Some of the differences may be explained with the fact that we are three songwriters and everybody writes his material nearly completely on his own – the fact that the result works as an album is the result of knowing each other for years and having a similar opinion on what the final result, what NEBELKRÄHE should sound like.

Lebensweisen is truly a masterpiece. That being said, how hard was the writing process for the album?

Well, thanks again for your kind words. You never really can judge your own music, I think… we did not think about whether it will be a great album or not – we wrote the songs that came to our minds, we arranged them as it felt right and produced an album that sounds as we wanted the songs to sound like. That was not an easy process, but the songwriting was the easiest part of that process, I would say. Mixing and mastering were way more stress.

What were the band’s main inspirations before and during the writing and recording of the album?

Some of my songs were written on a journey through Norway, perhaps the nature and atmosphere offered a certain influence… but perhaps that’s just a cheesy story and the songs would not sound different if I had written them at home… haha.
Perhaps every single song you’ve listened to in your life is an “inspiration” – so it may be, that there are thousands of bands, that have influenced me or the other musicians in NEBELKRÄHE. But at least I think authentic music comes from your heart – it comes as an idea to your mind, evolves, and is finalized by using the experiences you’ve made writing other songs. So I can’t tell you real musical inspirations that made “Lebensweisen” sounding the way it sounds.

Finally, and I’m really curious about this: what are some of Nebelkrahe’s main musical influences?

As written before, I try to write my own music, without looking too much on what others do – but as a music journalist I listen to a lot of music all the time, so I can’t exclude that there were some influences.

In our early days as a band, we listened to Dissection and Naglfar a lot, and what impresses me up to this day about them is the perfectionism they show in assembling the music and the words to one entity. Perhaps that’s still kind of a paragon, but not as a direct musical inspiration or influence.

Thank you so much for your time! I would like to congratulate the band on your phenomenal effort and I really hope for more great music to come. Have a great year ahead!

Thank you for your interest. Have fun with “Lebensweisen”, and perhaps give our debut “entfremdet” a chance. The sound is crap, but there are some really interesting songs on that album as well! Kind Regards, Morg 


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