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Neaera's Tobias Buck: "We did 6 records and we were burnt out and we thought this a good time we put the band to rest, while we still can control it."

Interview with Tobias Buck from Neaera
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 February 2020, 9:09 PM

It is only a guess, but to make a comeback after deciding to put something to rest, isn't an easy to decision to make. Whether it is a lucrative offer, or simply because the soul needs it, it can be an ordeal. Gladly, the folks from Germany, Neaera, made their choice to return to the scene, for now for yet another record. However, the future is uncertain, and hard to be trusted. Therefore, with the new self-titled, via Metal Blade Records, it is to have a good time, play good music and leave tomorrow for the thinkers. Steinmetal had a talk with guitarist, Tobias Buck, about the comeback, new album, musical works and more…

Hello Tobias, it is a pleasure to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing mate?

The pleasure is mine. I'm doing great. It's pretty exciting. Yesterday was the release of the new record. It's finally out after all this work.

Before we head to your comeback, let’s go down through memory lane and understand why Neaera just stopped, leaving the sense that it was done, sayonara. What happened back then in 2015? Since you guys were on a roll, what made you just let it all go?

There are many reasons. One reason was, that our priorities were shifting. New jobs, starting families and so on. We did 6 records and we were burnt out and we thought this a good time we put the band to rest, while we still can control it. We did the farewell tour and that was a great closing point for us.

And with a swift onwards to the closer to the present. Did those two special shows that you did earlier in 2018 were the jumpstart that the band needed in order to get blood pumping back into the wagon? Were there other reasons?

Yeah, absolutely! We got the offer and thought, ok let's try. This could be fun. There's nothing to lose. But the reaction was overwhelming and that brought the fire back I think. Two months after these shows I started demo recordings the first ideas.

With your comeback, do you find it as a sort of a onetime deal, meaning recording and releasing a final album and afterwards call it quits again or is Neaera here to stay?

We will see. We don't know what the future holds for us. For now, we are really excited and we're looking forward to the next shows and play some new shit. That is always exciting.

I guess that you remained part of Metal Blade Records, they didn’t really want to let you go right? How was your decision to return to recording got to them?

Well, we still have a contract with Metal Blade Records. But they liked the idea of a new NEAERA record. And so we started working. Metal Blade Records did a great job so far.

Let’s go brainstorming a little bit. What are the philosophies that stand behind the new “Neaera” album?

For me musically, I wanted to go back to the roots. To that feeling when and why we started this band in the first place. So there's a lot of end 90's early 2000's Metalcore riffing. I got a lot of inspiration from that time. Bands like All-Out War, Earth Crisis, Day Of Suffering, Heaven Shall Burn. But I wanted also integrate my other love for heavy music like Death and Black Metal. I wanted to go back to the essence what NEAERA is to me and why we started making music together.

With past experience that I had with your releases, “Neaera” more or less continues your small leeway of Melodic Death Metal, with a strong modern scene, coming and going from Core at will. Nonetheless, there is no band out there that doesn’t provide a sort of a punch in their musical development. What is Neaera’s punch on this record? What have you learned since your previous album?

I think it's more clear to us what the band is about. We wanted to keep it simple and create songs that go “straight to your face”, you know.

I wander, with a lot of bands nowadays, somewhat straying from the Swedish driven Melodic Death Metal, of what I relate to as a second wave as we aren’t in the early 90s anymore, diving more into Hardcore rather than the Metal element, what still drives you to continue with it? Do you think that it is more than merely in your blood?

It's the style of Metalcore or Metal, or whatever you want to call it, that we are good at. For me, it's the music I like and the music I grew up with. If it's Metal or Hardcore.

Did you have any thoughts of perhaps going beyond by inserting elements into your music that have yet to be used or taking a different route Death Metal in order to create something new?

We are always writing the music that we like. I think there is sometimes some experiment in our songs but it's not that obvious. It's something that happens quit natural. It's not planned.

While writing the riffs to these babies, what influenced you? How long have you had some those in your head, waiting to burst out in the studio as part of tunes?

Everything started at my home. Just playing guitar and jamming. When I thought I had something good, I went to our producer Tristan Hachmeister and we worked on the demo. And after a while we had finished demo songs.

What is your position about soloing? I noticed that only a single or perhaps two have solos, I guess that you aren’t the fan?

I'm a fan of guitar solos but I'm not that good on my instrument. ( hahaha )

How would you describe the songwriting process for “Neaera”? Did anything chance in particular in comparison to your previous album for that matter?

In the past we wrote all songs in our rehearsal space. This time, because we all are not living in the same city anymore, I worked with our producer Tristan Hachmeister and a drum computer to write the record. That was a new way of working for me and very productive.

 “Resurrection of Wrath” unmeasurable toughness really got me going, yet also its atmospheric and melodic chorus. Without a doubt this could become a hitter. What is your input on this track? How do you find the drama created in this song?

Glad you mentioned that, that was something we did in the end of the writing session. The song was done but we thought there is something missing, and Stefan came up with this killer lead guitar / melody for the chorus. That was the missing piece. "Resurrection of Wrath" was the first song written for the record.

 “Torchbearer” was also another distinguished moment, as it sent me back to the mid-90s, where Sweden’s Death Metal was still considered melodic, most of it anyway. The song really takes off into a glorious end. On what this song is all about? Do you consider you guys as sort of Torchbearers for the genre in a way? 

On the musical side I would say, we try to keep the flame alive. With the music we play. But there are other bands out there who do the same. The lyrics are about your ability to be the flame in a world of darkness.

Working once again with Jacob Hansen, surely gave in a great result. I can understand why you guys continue to work with him. How do you appreciate the sound of “Neaera” and of course Hansen’s work this time around?

We're really happy with the sound. It's the sound we wanted for this record. That's why we wanted to work with Jacob again. Since I had this “back to the roots” feeling for this record, it felt quite natural that Jacob had to do the mixing and mastering. I'm glad that he took the job.

What are the next challenges that you think Neaera is facing? And I mean other than calling it quits too soon. Where are you guys headed in the coming years?

We will see, I can't tell. But we are really happy how things came out and we can't wait to get on stage and play the new material.

I saw that you are already scheduled for a few festivals, will there be also touring for Neaera to promote the new album?

It's too early to say. I hope we'll play some more shows.

Tobias, I wish to thank you for your time for this interview. It is great to see that the band is back and I really hope it will be for a long time. Thank you and cheers.

Thank you!



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