Interview with Nihilist Death Cult
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I just remember music always being around, my mom used to play the Greek radio station when we were younger, I remember the radio always being on, even as we were going to sleep… and I remember AM radio on in the car, listening to disco or whatever else AM radio is… around that time, like 8 or 9 years old my mom bought me an am/FM cassette player so I started recording songs off the radio… I guess that would be my earliest infatuation… there was Kiss and AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Rush… not long after discovering Iron Maiden I started playing bass, around 13 years old, 1983… from there it just got heavier… I watched heavy metal turn into thrash then into death metal…
How long has your band been around?
The first rehearsals were in the summer of 2018 while I was getting ready to go to Montreal to record the first Tribe of Pazuzu EP
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
We are based in Toronto and it influenced us in the way of what not to be and what not to do… lots of great fans for this style of music… I’ll just say the Toronto “metal” scene is very anemic, and I mean that in the way of weak style and pandering to a music scene that hates metal… so they soften it up in hopes the corporates with the money will play ball and pick them for the team but they just string you along… they love trends… watch them… the way they gush over certain bands and ignore others… makes no matter to us, we were never part of that scene
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
I wanted something heavy and direct, and I do mean heavy a couple ways, but also as in the weight of the subject, I wanted it to be something that reflects my beliefs as well, something that was extreme… the cult part of it was to infer some sense of belonging like a community, a gathering of like-minded people
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I’ve definitely had some cool experiences over the years… Soulstorm playing Milwaukee Metalfest in 1993, when I played bass in Monster Voodoo Machine we toured on Ozzfest 98, as well as dates with Motorhead, one of the Ozzfests crossed paths with the Warped Tour, they put both tours in one huge open field with this huge stage and we ended up playing to like 60 000 people, that was insane… and quite honestly thee past NDC shows we’ve played have been so much fun, bringing that level of energy live has been so great and cathartic, the crowds have been killer!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Lots of cool venues I would love to play, and I’ve also been fortunate enough to play at a lot of cool ones too… I like the Opera House here in Toronto, I was fortunate enough to play at the Concert Hall but would have loved to play there again…
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Would love to play with Nails, Voidhanger, Infernal War, Azarath, Bad Brains, Poison Idea, DRI, All Pigs Must Die, Terrorizer, Morbid Angel, Kingdom, Wargrinder, Hate Manifesto… Nocturnal Graves, Dead Congregation… and honestly I think we can fit on those bills cuz at the heart of it all we are a metal band, that’s undeniable.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Practice, practice, practice… learn about the business side as early and as much as you can… and if you’re gonna do it, then do it with all your heart, give it everything, don’t half-ass anything ever…
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
The exact same advice up above, especially on the business side of things
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I honestly don’t have a favorite… but out of the 9 songs on Death To All Tyrants maybe I could say Obey & Consume cuz the music is varied and has that fun double kick fun and the solos, but then I can say something like You Get What You Deserve cuz it’s so savage and direct and is over before you know it or Follow The Money cuz of the cool blast part in it…
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Like I said I love them all, they are all fun to play cuz I wrote them to be very instant and direct and they all have that feel and groove that was intentional, I didn’t want to be hopping all around and adding so many different parts at various tempos, I didn’t want to bog the songs down with any type of overthinking… they are purposely written and arranged to be one huge blunt force trauma… very unapologetic, very focused… like a laser
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Lots of things inspire us lyrically… the world around us, there are the corporate-sponsored news media pushing agendas, then there’s reality… the creative process has been writing songs in the home studio and then I send them out to the others, which, now that we’re all writing, seems to be the norm, everyone can write and arrange, so full songs are passed around by all of us… so there are no shortage of songs for the next album
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Most of the message on Death To All Tyrants is about not believing everything you hear or read… not trusting the corporate-sponsored mainstream news media… not trusting the government… these are universal struggles, universal truths… the original punk ideas of being against the elites and not trusting them
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Sure, there have been some I guess, not many really, and I guess it’s usually a majority thing, if I suggested a song or something and the other guys didn’t like it I would be outvoted… now we have 4 guys in the band and we’ve just started writing new songs, everything I’ve heard I like so I don’t really foresee many disagreements, we seem to be on the same page and want the same goal for the band plus we’re all older now and maybe slightly wiser haha
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Plans for the future are to just play a bunch of shows for the next year and really get the name out there… we’ve been pretty low-key up until the actual album release, we didn’t have anything to show anyone before that… but like I said, we’ve all been contributing to writing now and the feel of the band from the last couple of shows, and adding Rick on guitar to the line up has been very positive and added lots of energy, we're excited about the future of Nihilist Death Cult