jueves, 4 de mayo de 2023


 Good evening, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going in Kristiansand?

Kristiansand is getting warmer now the sun has returned after the colder winter, but its still colder and more grim than anywhere south of Norway..

1. You have been active since 2022, what led you to create this new project? Why did you choose the name Nattehimmel and what does it refer to?

When James decided to leave In The Woods, he got back in touch with Christian Botteri, and they talked about the possibility of doing something new, that was also something old ; this is how Nattehimmel was born.  Nattehimmel is Norwegian for 'Night Sky', and is the main theme of our songs so far...

2. The band brings together renowned musicians with a long career in other bands, not all of them related to the black metal scene and with a long tradition of styles and careers that were founded in the 1990s, especially interesting for me. It seems like your participation in bands like Strange New Dawn, Green Carnation, In the Woods... or Ewigkeit, almost nothing. I suppose it would be difficult to find a common point from which to start building Nattehimmel. How important has the figure of the Botteri twins been in starting this new journey? And how did J. Fogarty, involved in countless projects, space for a new journey far from your comfort zone?

When we worked on the In The Woods album 'Pure', we enjoyed it and were happy with working together.  Unfortunately, this working relationship was destroyed when Anders kicked the twins out of their own band.  Now, there is no reason we cannot resume working, and create something special.  Nattehimmel is a collaboration of all members ; Christian, Sven, Christopher and James.

3. With a demo released as soon as the formation of the band was established, I suppose that in some way you had already been working on it for a while, how did the edition of this first demo come about? Were you surprised by the repercussion achieved by it?

The twins and Sven had some rough demo recordings made in 2018 or so - and when we decided to start Nattehimmel, they sent the to James to arrange and add to.  The three songs that came from these demos are 'Mountain of the Northern Kings', 'The Nightsky Beckons' and 'Slay the Shepherd'.  This gave us a good starting point and we quickly started on more material.

4. The release of your first album, 'Mourningstar', arrives with little time. Can we talk about a continuity in terms of the sound of the demo or have you faced new challenges for this new release? How has the composition and recording process been? of this first album? What brands of instruments have you used for the composition and recording process?

The album was written without stopping from the demo - it was all recorded and arranged in... about 3 months.  By the time we finished the 8 songs, we had found a label.  It has all happened quickly, as we work well together.  For Nattehimmel, the twins use Gibson Firebird and Thunderbird, Sven uses Tama and James mostly uses low budget guitars and cracked software, because he is poor.. 

5. I previously commented that the members of Nattehimmel have a past that is not entirely clearly related to the black metal scene, an aspect that from my point of view can be glimpsed in the sound of this new album, where sounds are more akin to Metal in general, progressive or melodic death have much more weight and importance. Is Nattehimmel a way to express yourself more freely as musicians, far from any type of label and style? How would you define the sound of this new album for whom? Haven't heard it yet? What weight do your old bands have in influencing the sound of your new album? Will fans of, for example, Green Carnation, In the Woods..., find elements that may be common to the band? Time to get into the sound of 'Mourningstar'?

Well, many consider the twin's debut album 'Heart of the Ages' released by In The Woods as one of the 'top 10' early / mid 90s Black Metal albums from Norway (it was classed as 'Pagan Metal', but is was basically Black Metal, without Corpse Paint).  James has been active with Old Forest and also Ewigkeit (which started out as Black Metal) since the mid / late 90s .  Sven has known the twins for 30 years, and been playing with them since the 90s - so we all know the Black Metal scene very well, and it is where we come from.  However, it may be a bit limiting to call Nattehimmel simply 'Black Metal', as many people think that is only face paint, spikes logo, blast beats, grim screamed vocals etc... (which is wrong), but this is the cliché of what Black Metal has now become.  We incorporate elements of Epic Doom and Traditional Metal also, so perhaps you could call us 'Blackened Metal' - but it doesn't really matter too much.

6. As for the lyrics, you cover topics related to philosophy or astronomy, the latter aspect also has something to do with the name of the group if I'm not mistaken, we are going a bit far from the standards of the genre, why do you decide Face these themes in your lyrics and why are they important to you? Have you adapted the music to the lyrics or vice versa?

Previous to Nattehimmel, here have been a few bands that have played with this imagery (Emperor, Arcturus, Limbonic Art, Ewigkeit ! etc...) ; Space is the ancient dark, the unknown, the mystical, realm of the ancient gods and the myths and legends of old - we find it an inexhaustible topic.  What WOULD be strange is 4 guys in their mid / late 40s singing songs about vampires, satan and raping angels...  that is a bit cringe.

7. For the recording and mixing of the album you have had the German studios Nightside Audio. Why did you decide to carry out this process with them? What do you think the work in this studio has contributed to defining the sound of the album?

Florian contacted us as he heard the 'Nightsky Beckons' demo and understood where we were coming from musically with Nattehimmel (early to mid 90s ambient, mid paced, melodic..) and asked if he could work on the album with us as he had just started a new studio.  We didnt have much budget, as we are a very new and unknown band, but he was very eager and so we agreed.  The mix of the debut album 'Mourningstar' us perfect for the songs and the artwork !

8. You come from Norway and you have been part of the scene in some way since the nineties, how do you think the extreme metal scene has evolved in your country in all these years? What do you miss the most in Missing from those early years?

What is now truly dead is innovation without pretension.  Black Metal has unfortunately become a parody of itself.  It's now all about bands being 'Evil rock stars', playing big festivals, selling tens of thousands of records... all of that is the antithesis of what it was about early on ; anonymity, obscure music, no egos, no money, passion, sincerity, being musical adventurous...  this is what Nattehimmel strives for !

9. As for the concerts, with the release of the album imminent, have you thought about presenting it live or is it something that doesn't cross your mind? Who would you like to share the bill with in a supposed mini-tour?

It'd be interesting to play Nattehimmel live - we'll see what happens.  But, primarily, this is a creative adventure and outlet for us to continue to be creative with music, art, video... we're not doing this for egotistical reasons of posing onstage ; we are driven to create.  HOWEVER !  the perfect tour would be with Gehenna, as they keep alive the old school spirit !  Let's see what happens after the release of 'Mourningstar'..

10. The Dutch record label Hammerheart Records has taken care of the album once again, this time also including a vinyl edition, how do you get in touch with them to be able to release the album through this record label? Are you satisfied with the editing and promotion work done on your part?

Hammerheart had worked with In The Woods in 2000, and so the Botteri brothers were happy to work with them again.  The label have been around for 30 years, and so they are aware of the other bands we gave done over the years.  For the older bands, it's a small scene.  Hammerheart are doing a great job promoting 'Mourningstar' and are willing to spend effort on smaller bands and help to build them up ; there are not many labels working as hard as this these days.  There are a good label releasing great music !

11. Of course, a lot of time has passed, but how were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What event in your lives pushed you to want to be musicians?

We are all fans of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Iron Maiden, Candlemass, Bathory as well as 90s Black Metal.  This is what gives Nattehimmel our inspiration.  The twins have been writing music for many projects since they were early teens - much of it with Sven.  James has been active with music since the same age.  Our passion is even stronger now - after 30 years !  Recording is now so much cheaper than it used to be, as we can do much of the work at home.  It's used to be a struggle to find the money - now you just need to find the time.  And there is ALWAYS time for creating night hymns to the Mourningstar...

12. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What last albums have you bought?

None of us listen to new bands.  It is not that we think the newer bands aren't good, but just that there is nothing particularly original.l for people who have been listening for 30 years. Black Metal has largely been the same since '95/'96 and the stuff we personally like is the original stuff.  We are not influenced by anything after the late 90s - ironically, the musicof Nattehimmel sounds pretty original compared to many bands.  Maybe because we are less concerned about commercial success, and more about music.

13. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Nattehimmel fans this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Nattehimmel ; for fans of early Emperor, Gehenna, Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone...  Join the cult of the Night Sky !


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