ZERO TOLERANCE MAGAZINE is sponsoring the upcoming NIGHTLORD-headlining gig at the Underworld on the 19th of November. Supported by Hysterica, Stuka Squadron and Designs Of Chaos it’s gearing up to be a night to remember.
To make it all extra special, Nightlord will perform brand new anthems (the first new material in 18 years); songs that they plan to feature on the upcoming REBORN IN DARKNESS album! ZT had a bit of a word with the on-fire veterans:
I’m here with Jamie Thorne, Bassist/Vocalist for London Metal Titans Nightlord to chew over what’s been going on in their world of Darkness. Jamie, your band bio starts and ends with a Lovecraft quote – who’s responsible for that?
Er, me, guilty as charged. I’ve always been a big fan of his stuff. I got into it in the early 80’s at about the age of 11 through an old role-playing game we were into at school, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’… yes, I am at heart, a geek – but remember as someone famous once said, ‘The geek shall inherit the earth’. Anyway, the game was OK but it really turned me onto his books, most of them are short stories or novellas, not many have a happy ending and all of them deal with insanity and the sort of nameless, unspeakable horrors which destroy humanity, if they even cared they were doing it! And of course perfect for the discerning metal lyricist – its one of the songs where the lyrics and music came together at the same time and with a doomy start and manic thrash finish it fits perfectly. Oh, ‘Twisted out of Mind’ is the name of our Lovecraft tune if you didn’t know. I remember when Metallica had songs like, ‘Call of Ktulu’ and ‘The Thing That Should Not Be’, I was amazingly smug back then as my 14-year old mulletted self that I knew exactly what they were on about. Although, I don’t think I nicked as much text as they did, but I did slide the odd line or two in.
You also talk about the change in the music scene over the past 17 years, what have been the big changes?
A lot of changes, some for the better others not… back in the late 80s, early 90s there was a real brotherhood about metal, you could strike up a conversation with anyone on the tube with long hair and a Ron Maiden t-shirt because you knew you’d have a shared interest and were universally hated by the casuals – a forerunner of the chav, notorious Pringle jumper wearing buffoons. Iron Maiden Jamie? No Ron Maiden, it all stems back to one of those days hanging out round your mates house, in the front room because there was only one TV and video in the place when my mate Eugene’s Dad comes in to check we weren’t mucking about, takes one look at Eugene, who’s wearing an Iron Maiden shirt. You all know the logo but when you’re squashed in the sofa with your arms by your side the I and R merge into one… His Dad bellows, ‘Who the hell is Ron Maiden?’ We piss ourselves laughing, get thrown out and the rest is history as I’m stuck with it. Sorry changes, well at the time we were playing there was a shift happening, grunge was coming in, so was extreme death metal and we sort of go stuck with the death crowd and were often on the bill with those sort of bands. Whilst I was and still am a fan of the odd Honey-Monster tune (death metal grunting) the crowds were under such peer pressure not to enjoy themselves it made for some dire gigs. What was worse is you could see the audience tapping their toes but they were just too cool to be involved or show they liked it. We’re a band with a lot of flavours, mainly thrash but with doom, groove, prog, speed, even the odd jazz bit – so we were always up against it. We always stuck to our guns though, I remember one show at the Marquee in London when someone asked if we were going to play only our fast tunes to please the audience and I remember bellowing, ‘fuck off, we’re going to play what we like and if they don’t like it that’s their fucking problem’. Ended up a good gig though. Nowadays the metal crowd is much more embracing off all types of sub-genres. Which is part of the reason we’re back, people are keen to take band on their own merits and sit them side-by-side all their tastes. I think the digital world has helped as people have a wider access to allsorts. Europe especially, I’ve been out to Graspop a couple of times and its great to see all the bands I like in one place, old and new – Arch Enemy, Anvil, Nile, Mucky Pup, UDO etc all on the same bill and the whole crowd lapping it up.
Finally, why are Nightlord still relevant?
Well I’d have to say we’ve always been relevant, good music doesn’t go out of fashion… in fact I’d say in many ways we were ahead of our time. We had multi time changes and 6-7 minute epics before many other modern bands. The fact that as older chaps we have more drive and commitment than our lazy and sluggish younger selves would have believed. Songs we wrote back then are as current as ever – we have one called ‘Power of Hate’ which was born out of frustration at all the nobs and plain fuckwits we had to deal with in the early days and how easy it is to see through them, put them down and in their place. I’m a big fan of a spiteful put-downs so hecklers beware! It was also named as it was written in the same year that there were three ‘Power of Love’ songs in the charts and I wanted to be different! Besides, we’ve only been back about 10 months and already we’ve sadly bumped into those same chumps, liggers and rock star wannabes that want all the success and glory without any of the hard graft that goes with it… That song is as always dedicated to them, past, present and future. The only thing we haven’t got up to date with is tattoos – they were only something scary Hell Angels had and now even my sister’s got one on her arse. We’ve only got one between us, so in that, we’ll have to do better.