Interview with Rob "The Witch" (Guitar & Lead vocals)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: February 24, 2003
Coming from different bands, what made you form NecronimicoN? How did you guys meet?
First of all, NecronomicoN is the one and only band I have ever been in. It has now been 14 years this summer since I have started the band because I had to. Dominik and Rick were already in the same band - Water Depth, for a few years. I met Dominik first. He was a close friend of my ex-bassist, Kate, who recorded the last two albums. After a while, I started working for them as their manager and also produced their first album, so eventually I became close to them and they learned how to work with me, not only in a studio but also in the music business. After a short period of time following their recording, they began having problems in the core of the band itself and they broke up. Dominik was the first to join me a few months later, working with another band that was going nowhere. It was only a year later that Rick joined us, knowing that we were the only people with whom he had good chemistry.
I noticed that there are other bands with the same name, just spelled differently. Who came first and why the capital N at the end?
I think that the first band is the German one, by just a few years. They started I think in 84 and I started in 88. The reason why there is the capital N at the end is that the first time I drew a logo for the band, I found the name weird to the eyes. It was as if the name began big and went small when it was read. So I asked my young brother to make a better logo and asked him to put a capital N at the end to balance and create closure in the name, like two pillars that make the word stronger. Since that time, we have written it that way.
Why NecronomicoN? Who came up with the name?
I am the one who chose the name. All my life, I have been in touch with the occult and spirituality and one day I did a deep research on the real meaning of the word, which means "things that relate to death's customs, practices and laws," roughly translated to "book of the dead". I found it convenient for the concept of the band. At that time I did not know that there was another band that chose the same name.
How would you describe NecronomicoN to someone who's never heard your music before?
That is not an easy question... I do not know. Some people think that we are playing brutal death metal; others think that it is old school death metal; some even say that it is black metal... and I can go on. We have been classified in every imaginable category of metal with the exception of power metal, for obvious reasons. There is one thing that is different: everyone who has at least 15 years experience in the scene and knows everything about metal music came to the same conclusion... We are unique. My personal point of view on this subject is not very important. The only thing that I can say for sure is that I am playing metal music; the rest is futile.
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
There are no guidelines nor categories or limits; everything comes to me in one block. What I mean by that is when a song vibrates in me, there is not just one part that comes to me but the entire song with the drums, guitar and bass all together. When I speak of limits, it is that the people who compose close themselves off to certain categories like power metal, death metal, etc. I am just doing the music that I have to make. If one day it becomes jazz or blues, so be it.
How do you get the inspiration for your writing?
Life itself is my one and only inspiration, but it is not really an inspiration in the way that you think. Life speaks through me and tells me what I have to do and say. I am just the instrument of the Great Spirit.
Did the change of members in such a short period of time affect the "evilution" of the way you put the songs together?
It did not change anything because of the way that I compose. The musicians just have to learn their parts and sometimes put their own personal touches and there we go.
How would you describe (or categorize) your style of vocals? Who have been your role models?
I do not have any role models and I will explain. At the end of the 80s, my voice was totally different; it was more like what I call a speed metal vocal, like old Kreator, or like In Flames or Carcass today. During my first tour in the beginning of the 90s, I got very sick and weak and instead of canceling, I started the show uncertain of being able to do my vocal lines correctly. Suddenly that powerful deep growling voice came out of me and I was not even conscious of it at that moment. It was only after the show that my manager at that time and the whole crew was freaking out about my vocals, and I therefore decided to keep that voice considering that I was more comfortable with it. Throughout the years, I worked to be more in control of that voice.
What other bands would you liken yourselves to? With whom have you played?
We have played with so many different bands like Morbid Angel, Krisiun, Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Napalm Death, Obituary, Samael and Mercyful Fate that I cannot remember all of them. I am not the type of guy who compares my work to another band. I know that there are people who compare us to other bands, but this is how people are; they are always comparing.
Besides Metal, what other types of music do you listen to?
We are not really into metal with the exception of Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest and one or two other non-brutal bands. I am myself more into soundtracks from movies, Japanese animation, some old rock n' roll like Van Halen and AC/DC, traditional world music - this includes traditional music from Japan, Tibet, China... and of course jazz and blues, but I must stop here because the list will be very long. For the other band members--they are in there somewhere as well.
Do you guys have other "regular" jobs? How do you divide your time? What's your typical day like?
This is a very personal question... but for my part, 80% of my time is dedicated to my band. I do not know about the others, but we are rehearsing together at least 20 hours a week and we are also all working for the band on our own time. I will not go further because it is very personal.
You have a couple of songs on Mp3. Will you be offering any more to attract new fans?
For the latest album, the answer is no, but for the next one--for sure there will be one or two songs on Mp3. Personally, I do not like this way of working because some people download entire albums and the artists receive nothing for their work.
Are you pleased with the current record sales or will there be more promoting?
I do not know if our label is going to do more promotion, but for right now, considering the problems we have been through with out ex-label, I am satisfied enough with the sales.
Any video releases in the planning?
Maybe one day, I cannot say precisely when because it is very expensive, but if we make enough money, and if it is worth the effort, for sure we will do it--and it is not the ideas that are missing!
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|Review: The Return of the Witch|
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