A talk with Nekonomicon

After our interview in April last year, a lot has happened at Nekonomicon! New music, the formation of a real band and big plans for the future. Reason enough to invite them for an interview once again!

Welcome back! There’s a lot going on at Nekonomicon right now, how are you doing with it?

Andri (Guitarist of Nekonomicon):
Greetings, it’s great to be back! Long story short, Nekonomicon is now a band! That’s the biggest thing that has happened so far. The first self-titled album Nekonomicon was completed and I started working on the EP, because the single Heart of Steel didn’t really fit the rest of the album. As the EP songs were being written, the project slowly grew into a band thanks to close friends and all the hype of fans asking to see us live. So that’s where we are right now.

Congratulations on reaching the 1 million mark on Spotify for “Those Creatures from Ganon are Pretty bad”. Did you ever imagine becoming so famous with Nekonomicon?

Thanks! Yeah, it’s insane! When I started making music, I said to myself that I’d be happy if my songs got 10,000, or even just 100 plays. But wow, 1 million! I’m still in shock after that. When you start making music, you always have that dream of wanting to become famous, but then you get a big bucket of reality splashed in your face when you realize how much work it is to even be heard. But thanks to Spotify’s algorithm playlists and word of mouth, everything just slowly rose to a boil. The internet has made it much easier to discover amazing music, and also being discovered. So now we have a growing base of worldwide listeners discovering us every week. That’s so surreal, yet amazing.

As the EP songs were being written, the project slowly grew into a band thanks to close friends and all the hype of fans asking to see us live. So that’s where we are right now.

Andri, Guitarist of Nekonomicon

With the formation of a “real” band that also rehearses and plans gigs together, something has naturally happened in the line-up of Nekonomicon. Who are the new faces?

How about they introduce themselves?

Anne-line, vocalist of Nekonomicon:
Hi, I’m Anne-Line, (A-L for short) and I’ll be singing most of the main vocals on upcoming Nekonomicon-songs. Previously, I’ve done backing-vocals on Midnight Danger and Brand New Journey, and a few of the earlier songs as well. When Andri asked me to be the main vocalist I was quick to say yes because I love what he has created with the first album. I have been singing for most of my life and have a background in amateur musical theatre and choirs. I’ve been through a lot of different styles and genres, and began moving towards rock and metal in my late teens. I started to learn growling about a year ago and it’s fun being able to dual-wield clean and growl-vocals. Nekonomicon is my first proper band-experience, both as front figure and song-writer, and I’m excited to show what I’m capable of and take to the stage with some of my best friends. Nothing could be better than that!

Martin, Guitarist of Nekonomicon:
Hey, Martin here! Well, Andri basically sums up how the two of us met and became a dreamteam in music production. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 12 years old and have been doing growl-vocals for roughly 7-8 years, after a really good friend of mine taught me the basic fundamentals on how to do it. I’ve been in and out of different music projects throughout my teens and 20’s, and I’m also currently in a couple of other bands besides Nekonomicon, like Elvarhøi which is a folkrock/metal band, and Sarpedon which is a progressive metal band. So yeah, I really don’t know what more I can chip in here, other than that I aim to make sure that I’ve earned my place as a guitar player, as well as a team player in this band.

Alexander, bassist of Nekonomicon:
Hello. I’m Alexander! I have been playing bass guitar since I was about 14. Spent 19 out of 30 years on Svalbard where I played in different kinds of bands with friends. Mostly cover songs. I also had a very short career as a session bassist for different musical projects in town. I moved to Oslo in 2019 where I was lucky enough to meet these guys through a mutual friend who also lived on Svalbard for a time. Was asked to join Nekonomicon around summer last year, and I’m really glad I accepted the invitation.

Tobias, Drummer of Nekonomicon:
Whaddup, I’m Tobias! I’ve whacked on the drums since I was about 11 and have been playing in bands pretty much ever since then. I work as an audio engineer and drum teacher so I bring both drum skills and audio knowledge to the band. I’ve also been writing songs for a long time so you’ll probably hear some stuff I’ve written over the next couple years. I have a slightly different musical background to the rest of the band as I’ve played in everything from artsy prog-rock bands, to barebones punk bands and don’t really like power metal hahaha. Joined Nekonomicon when Andri sent me a message this summer and asked me if I wanted to join, and how could I say no to joining a band with such nice people and fun music?

To summarise; Martin and I are really close friends. We met at Noroff, a private institute with education about different types of technology. We were both in the music production-class and found that we both just naturally clicked with our music tastes. We would work as a group, then some small song projects on and off. He was the first one I asked to join the band because we’re a good team and work really well together, and it’s nice to have someone I know well. He can do some real magic with his guitar, and he can also growl like a beast. Anne-Line is his girlfriend, that’s how I met her. She has an amazing voice and is able to match Kylee almost note for note. She’s also proven to be a capable song writer and editor, and naturally became the band’s designated proof-reader. We’re working together on the songs from the first album to make them more live-friendly. Since I never expected these songs to be performed live when Nekonomicon was a solo-project, I didn’t have that focus in
mind when making songs. So because of this, the live version of the album will sound a little bit different.

from left to right: Andri – Anne-Line – Tobias – Martin – Alexander

What are the next steps? Is a record deal in sight, will we finally be able to see Nekonomicon on tour? When will you release your next record?

That would be the dream, right? haha.
No record deal or tours (yet!) Currently, the band is still in the “figuring out how to play these songs live”-stage. Meaning we have a long way to go before we play anything live. But what I can say is that besides playing live, we have some big plans:

  1. We’re currently working on another EP which is gonna be more similar to the first album, except everyone in the band contributes to the writing, melodies, and production. It’s a “testing the waters” kind of EP where we will find each other’s strengths and weaknesses with this music.’ After that’s out we will release music casually, and this EP might eventually become an album.
  2. We’re gonna do a soft “reboot” of the first album. The first album had some songs that were a bit too high for A-L’s register, and they also weren’t very live performance-friendly, so we’re gonna rework a few of the songs as a band, with A-L on vocals and with a bit of an overall heavier sound.
  3. A little teaser for you: we’re also working on a concept album. Working title: “Album 2” which is obviously not the official name, but we’ll keep that a secret until we start production. We’re still in the early phase of writing the songs, but I can reveal that it’s themed around horror and nightmares. That’s all I’ll say for now. In short: 2 more EP’s and a concept album are in the works. All of them are still in the early stages, so get excited!

All of your new singles feature Craig Carns (“Brand New Journey,” “Midnight Danger,” “SCP-173”), is Craig Carns becoming a permanent part of Nekonomicon?

No, haha. He’s a hired session vocalist just like Kylee for the first album. The reason I wanted him on main vocals for the EP is because it was made as an addition to the first album. A sort of “alternative universe” where Nekonomicon could’ve headed into a different direction, music-wise. As much as I like the more power metal/Synthwave sound, it’s not really where we want to take the band in the future. So the EP will just be a fun little thing that only Craig can turn into magic with his amazing vocals. Besides, he lives in England and also has his hands full with his two bands Tailgunner and Induction, both of whom are freaking awesome. A few of the songs he’s on might make a live appearance, but I’ll leave it there for now.

Speaking of guest musicians, what about the voice of the first Nekonomicon album Kylee Brielle? Will there be any further collaborations with her?

As of right now, not at the moment. But her contribution won’t go unnoticed. Kylee has had interests in moving to Norway. Not because of the band, but for other reasons that I can’t answer. But if she ever comes, then we will gladly let her join us on stage for some growling and group vocals. I was thinking that it would be nice to have her on album 2, maybe doing some background vocals and growling. But we’re currently focusing on the current constellation of the band, and see where we end up.

I was a bit nervous about taking over after Kylee. She’s a multi-talented vocalist and our fans really love her. However, I’ve talked with her a lot and she has actually been one of my biggest cheerleaders, so that’s a huge relief. I am also a “baby-growler”, so I hope to be able to utilize my newly harnessed growl vocals as well as she did. I have told her that if she ever comes to Norway, I’d love for us to sing together, and she’s been very enthusiastic about that idea. So that’s definitely something we hope to make happen in the future. Same with Craig, I would love to share the stage with him on “his” Nekonomicon-songs, he’s a powerhouse and a great stage-presence. But as for now, it’s the five of us here in Oslo making as much magic as we can with what we currently have.

You have only been rehearsing together for a short time. How is it to finally perform the songs with a full band? How is it going with your songwriting?

Practice is going surprisingly smooth! We’re slowly figuring out everyone’s strengths and weaknesses for the music, so that we can adjust what needs to be adjusted, so that we can give everyone the best live-experience. Funnily enough, the first few practice-sessions it was everyone minus A-L, and we didn’t know how to connect the backing tracks to the mixer at the rehearsal place, haha. So we were just doing instrumentals for the first few practices. As for songwriting, we’re currently trying to tune in on what worked and what didn’t work on the first album and the upcoming EP. So I’m gonna invest in a 7 string guitar so that we can play a little lower. We’re aiming for a bit heavier sound, a bit more in the Melodic Death Metal direction, and eventually start working on even more Nekonomicon projects!

We have become a very tightly knit band in the few months we’ve rehearsed together. We are a bunch of passionate nerds and we all bring different elements and perspectives to the new material. Especially the upcoming second album that Andri mentioned. I’ve assisted him in writing a few of the songs and have also begun writing some from scratch as well, which is a fun challenge. We all contribute in different ways for the new material and I think the audience are in for several treats!

I’m really looking forward to playing these songs live, both the ones we have already and the ones we’re currently making. And as mentioned before, me and Andri have been making music together for a while now so we are used to working together. With that said, I may be a little out of practice, but I really like challenges, so bring it on!

I was a bit nervous about taking over after Kylee. She’s a multi-talented vocalist and our fans really love her. However, I’ve talked with her a lot and she has actually been one of my biggest cheerleaders, so that’s a huge relief.

Anne-Line about Kylee Brielle

Here you can say a few words to your fans and those who want to become fans.

Stay strong, stay beautiful, stay motivated. Music is all about passion. As long as it burns hot, it will find an audience, like how you found us. So keep on being awesome!

It’s never too late to try something new and exciting! Do what makes you happy, join your first band at 30, go nuts! We look so much forward to playing for you all and show you
what we’re working on!

If something feels right, always follow your gut feeling. Never be afraid of making mistakes, that’s when you’re learning.

Remember: You are loveable. Even if you’re a bassist. Oh, and eat your vegetables.

Rock on!

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