Joshua Bottomley of Hails & Horns recently conducted an interview with Karl Sanders of South Carolina-based extreme technical death metallers NILE. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hails & Horns: Karl, how long did it take to write the new NILE album [“At The Gate Of Sethu”]?
Sanders: I started in May . We finished our two-year touring cycle for “For Those Whom The Gods Detest” in April of last year. I took the rest of April and got over a case of severe bronchitis that I caught on tour in Europe that winter, then got to work in May and wrote all the way to November. Just an insane amount of hours put in. I really wanted to up the bar this time. In six months I wrote nine songs, seven of which we used on the record. Three more I co-wrote with Dallas [Toler-Wade, guitars, vocals].
Hails & Horns: NILE is a very technical, guitar-oriented band. Is recording the guitar parts the most frustrating aspect of the recording process?
Sanders: Absolutely. You said it. This album we quadruple-tracked the guitars and we took like a month to friggin’ do it. We were insane. We wanted to have the sharpest and cleanest and tightest guitar stacks that could be possibly imaginable. Because you know what? Goshdarnit, we want the fans to hear the fuckin’ riff. As long as it took to get those fuckin’ things razor sharp, that’s what the fuck we did. Because, man, it really makes a difference, when you take the time and the headache and go through the agony to get that shit clean and tight, it just makes the riff that much meaner and focused.
Hails & Horns: Have you ever thought of slowing it down? Making a “Black Album?”
Sanders: Oh, fuck no. But it’s an interesting tale along those lines. During the early part of envisioning this record, and wondering what sort of songs I was gonna write, we had some encouragement from folks within the label and management to experiment a little bit and bring in other elements and whatnot. I was in an experimental mood, so I had all these ideas about acoustic guitars and OPETH-like sections. But then as I started writing, and actually doing it, I didn’t write anything like that. It was all fuckin’ twice as heavy. I was scratching my head, wondering, “How am I supposed to explain this to the label and management?” They wanted us to experiment and hear I am doubling it up twice as brutal. Then the funniest thing happened. There was a video on YouTube that went around called, “Adolf Hitler Reacts to the New Morbid Angel Album.” It clicked in my head. I don’t have to explain myself to anybody. I’m not gonna fuckin’ experiment and fuck around and change our sound, except to go more extreme, more shredding, and more brutal. We’re into doing new things, but they’re in our own fuckin’ vein. We’re not jumping ship. Fuck no.
Read the entire interview from Hails & Horns.