Introducing Necrocracy, featured on issue 100’s covermount CD
Scotland’s Necrocracy are no newcomers to the world of heavy music, having formed way back in 2012 – but we’re pleased to say that they are newcomers to the ZT covermount CD, as issue 100 saw them join us with a track from their new EP, Burning Trails.What better time to get to know them a bit better…
ZT: Where do you hail from and who are your band members? N: The band was started in Dunoon, a small town in Scotland, but quickly relocated to Glasgow. Our bassist (John) is from Glasgow, vocalist (Jeremi) is from Paisley and guitarist (Andy) and drummer (Aaron) are from Dunoon.
Where are you going musically? Is there a concept to your music lyrically or aesthetically? We play heavy metal. Obviously it’s stylistically leaning towards black metal (and death metal to an extent), but it’s always heavy metal. Lyrical themes concern the inevitability of physical, moral and mental decay. This can be interpreted personally or within the context of a culture or civilisation, as one will inevitably catalyse the other. The world is becoming an increasingly feral environment with a lack of ideals or ones that lead to it breaking down even further. The lyrics are observations of that process.
How do you think you differ from your contemporaries – who / what influences your music? It seems to us that a lot of bands nowadays are either very modern and airbrushed/processed or ‘old-school’ to the point where they sound like tribute bands. We don’t aim to be retro or modern, we just want to play and develop a distinctive style and sound within the framework of heavy metal. We take influence from heavy metal bands all the way from the genre’s birth with Black Sabbath, through classic heavy metal, NWOBHM, thrash, black and death metal. We are also old enough to remember the underground scene and have been massively influenced by a lot of those bands. Our inspiration however pretty much exclusively comes from non-musical things.
Why did you select the track included on the ZT covermount to represent you? Tell us a little bit about it: what’s it about, how does it fit in with the rest of your material? We chose ‘Nothing / Never’ from our new EP Burning Trails as it represents the band’s style quite well at this point; if you like it then you will probably like our other material. With that being said we always try to move forward and not repeat ourselves, so there is variety across not only the EP but our back catalogue as a whole. I think you can hear a progression over the years and I think we are working towards refining complex ideas into the simplest form they can take whilst still conveying what we want them to.
‘Nothing / Never’ is about apathy and one easing themselves into defeat in a situation where none of their actions can change anything – picture any trivial human conflict versus the scale of the damage already done to the world – in the long term, we all lose.
Tell us a bit about how you go about writing and recording. Andy and John write the music, with each independently writing songs and presenting them to the rest of the band before they are worked on in the rehearsal room and developed with everyone’s input. Sometimes we will even just start with a couple of riffs and jam them out, finishing songs as a band. The lyrics are then written by John or Jeremi, with Jeremi writing all the lyrics to the new EP.
We recorded Burning Trails ourselves due to the pandemic closing down (so far as we could tell) all recording studios near us. However in the past we have always used commercial studios, this is the first time we have done a DIY recording.
We’ve tried lots of different studios and recording methods over the years, both analogue and digital and are still trying to develop our sound. However, we think we are getting closer to fully finding our sound in the studio. We definitely know what does/doesn’t work for us. For example we don’t use modern techniques like reamping/drum triggering, but also try to get as high quality a recording as we can while keeping things very raw in terms of editing/processing. We try to capture good performances but aren’t trying to get things ‘perfect’ as in practice, ‘perfect’ usually equates to ‘bland’. We’ve encountered producers in the past who have talked about things being ‘industry standard’ and had very clearly defined processes for recording metal. It’s important for us to avoid working with these kinds of people and ignore these kind of rules as (in our opinion) a majority of modern metal bands sound indistinguishable from each other. For better or worse we want to develop a distinctive sound. One thing that is a thread throughout our history is working on and off with Bert MacLeod, a great producer who we hope to work with again in the future.
How has the recent pandemic affected the band – has it prevented you from live performance – focused you on writing more… Do you see if ever ending, and what do you really miss from before it took hold on life in general? It’s had its good and bad points. The bad is obvious; we’ve had extremely limited opportunities to rehearse and haven’t been able to play live since 2019. However we parted ways with our old vocalist at the start of last year and the lockdown has given us the time to find the best vocalist for the band moving forward. Perhaps if not for the pandemic we would have been under more pressure to find someone quickly and wouldn’t have taken the time to apply more scrutiny to potential vocalists. We’ve also written and recorded our new EP with our new vocalist Jeremi. As for when/if the pandemic comes to an end, who knows? All we can do is take things as they come and keep moving forward.
Talking of which, what are your plans going forward for the band? Our plan is to keep writing and recording material until we can play live again. Already we are working on material for the follow up to Burning Trails. This will likely be another EP, or possibly another split, but when commercial studios reopen we will be looking at beginning work on our sophomore album. In terms of live performances, we are looking forward to getting back into playing live as soon as possible and are already working on skeleton plans for a short UK tour, visiting new places as well as returning to cities we’ve not played in a while.
How can ZT readers hear more? You can hear us across all major streaming platforms, buy our stuff at necrocracymetal.bandcamp.com and stay up-to-date by following us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/necrocracymetal