Recently, you announced your upcoming new album, most likely the last one. My first thought it gave rise to was that despite of your great many top notch records, you never got the well-deserved recognition and success. What are your thoughts on these 27 years? How happy are you with the people’s response?
We think we achieved the status of a valued underground band, which is where we are supposed to be. Most of us have been playing in this band since a young age and, just like the scene around us, we constantly changed and progressed. We gradually shook off the early immature features of our music and grew up… What we are really proud of is what we achieved music-wise and message-wise. Success and recognition are, in fact, particularly important for a musician at the age of 20 but it’s no longer our motivation now that we are well over 40. The moments we experience in person, playing together, are what matters the most. The things we can possibly accomplish with that are not our concern. We could brood on stuff we could have done differently in the past but it’s not that important anymore. All of our last few releases represent such a high level of achievement that we could have disbanded after any of these with heads held up but ideas kept coming and we thought they were well worth working out. In the meantime, however, our lives took a new turn: Szabolcs (drummer Szabolcs Fekete) has been living abroad for nine years, Vitya (vocalist Viktor Tauszik) spent nearly six months away from home and Hugó (guitarist Hugó Köves) travels a lot, too. Besides focusing on the musical challenges, we really should have increased the relevance our live shows but our way of living no longer makes it possible. The atmosphere of some of the gigs we played with replacement drummers was pretty unpleasant and we didn’t just want to take anybody in but the people we wish we could worked with in the long run are popular and busy musicians. In an ideal situation, Szabolcs would have stayed, especially since he has been playing a huge part in songwriting and in the making of our records to this very day so there is no Nadir without him. This, however, was not viable and the new album is another important chapter in our lives so being unable to promote the record with live shows, we decided to finish it at this point. Especially since we were never inclined to make any compromise in order to move forward, which is a matter of principle for us, and being only seemingly active as a band is not our thing either.
You started the band under the name Dark Clouds and your first official release was the “Requiem for a Helpless World” demo. What were your ambitions and goals in the early years? What were your plans in the long run?
The formation of Dark Clouds was an ordinary story. The band was emerged from a group of friends from school and the members were rather selected on the basis of being good buddies than skillful musicians but we really did our homework. We have always been dedicated to British and Swedish doom / death metal so we sounded quite heavy but not forgetting about the importance of melodies and we always strived hard for quality. Those were exciting times, there was no internet and the first demo only came out on cassette but a lot of people were surprised by the fact that such a band even existed in Hungary… The “Requiem…” demo did really well. It’s fair to say that it laid the foundation of out 27 year long run and it definitely boosted our ambitions. So then came our next official release, an EP called “The Horror of it All”. We overreached ourselves with it, there’s no doubt about that, but in spite of all its evident mistakes, there’s still an atmosphere to it, you can hear the strife for sounding unique and many people liked it back then.
Nadir has been around since 2004. Tell us about the time period from the end of Dark Clouds to the formation of Nadir.
The first time we publicly announced the name change was at a New Year’s Eve show in 2004. Obviously, the decision was already maturing in our minds for some time because we felt it was absolutely necessary. We thought the old name became kind of corny. At the same time, we wanted people to know that the band was still happening with the same line-up and pretty much with the same music, only under a different name. That’s why we chose the title of our very first full length album “Nadir” as the new band name.
What are your most outstanding memories related to playing music?
The above mentioned first full length album “Nadir” is one of those outstanding memories for sure. It came out on a real label, not only on cassette but on CD as well. As for live shows, it was always memorable to play with some of our musical idols. We opened for bands like Crowbar, Prong, Entombed, Merauder or Napalm Death. We also found it important to be a part of specific events in order to support a cause we are concerned about, like a charity show for the local Animal Rescue League and the Animals over People compilation of the same purpose in 2014. Our activities at initiatives like these support Nadir’s message and demonstrate that it means a lot more for us than just a band.
Which album do you consider the most successful one from your discography?
It would be pretty hard to pick one album only because the question is rather subjective and you would have to define success from different points of view in each case. From the Dark Clouds era, like we already mentioned, both our debut demo and our first full length album were particularly important phases of our career. With Nadir, we topped up our long-established “do it yourself” working method in 2010 with the “Eco-ethic” album and even our lyrical themes matured by then. We are talking about humanity’s relation to nature, starting from the times of ancient harmony through the accelerating extinction of species of plants and animals to the critical final stage of the immediate future. Both from this aspect and concerning the songwriting approach focusing on well-rounded songs and memorable hooks, “Eco-ethic” was the starting point and even the album cover emphasized the radical message so well. It’s not by chance we always played so many songs from that record live to this very day. Then, since 2015, we made two concept albums and not only we took Nadir to a new level musically and lyrically but also got a record label behind both “Ventum Iam ad Finem Est” and “The Sixth Extinction”. That gave a huge push to the international promotion of the albums as well. And we would rank the new album among our best releases, too.
Could you tell us about the songwriting and recording process of those albums. How were they created?
We prepared for “Eco-ethic” the then usual way – by rehearsing intensely, that is. The recording has been done in the Denevér Studios in the town of Szolnok. Shortly after that, however, Szabolcs moved abroad with his family and although he kept writing the music together with Norbi (guitarist Norbert Czetvitz) – playing drums and keyboards – we switched over to sending files to each other and recording our parts at home from then on, except for the vocals which are recorded in a professional studio named Trashhill.
Did many negative things happen to you during those 27 years?
Not that much and most of those things was rather painful at that particular moment (not to mention that we ourselves were the ones to blame for part of that stuff) and just roll off our backs now.
What happened to you since the “The Sixth Extinction” album (2017)? When did you activate yourselves for the making of the new record?
In 2018, we celebrated 25 years of the band by putting a four track EP (“Honour the Cavalry”) out. Obviously, it meant a lot to us but unfortunately it didn’t get that much attention. What really works well for us the full length album format but not the EP. We began to work on this new record last summer and that’s when we decided that it was going to be our last release. So it took about one year to get the whole thing done.
The new release, your seventh album called “The Final Requiem for a Helpless World” is really something to look forward to judging by the first video. How difficult was it to make the album due to the great distance? How did you write the songs?
We managed to overcome the difficulties caused by the distance with the working methods we have been applying since Szabolcs moved abroad. So we got used to this situation. Szabolcs and Norbi put the music together, then the other instruments and the vocals were recorded. The mixing was done by Szabolcs in his home studio. The material reflects our experiences of many years but we also tried out a couple of new things this time.
How many songs does the album consist of and what could you tell us about this last record of yours?
There will be 10 songs on the record. It’s going to be a diverse, comprehensive kind of material. While the central themes of the lyrics once again are today’s environmental destruction and its foreseeable fatal consequences (“The Ultimate Desertion”, “Loss Breeds Loss”), there are also songs about the underground attitude that we represent (“Witch Hunts and Show Trials”) and modern man’s gullibility (“The Fire Raisers”). And there are some lyrics dealing with the band’s breaking up (“Hindsight is… 2020”, “Carry the Banner”). Essentially, that’s the reason why the album title is “The Final Requiem for a Helpless World”. The band’s career that started 27 years ago will now come full circle.
The record will be out in the course of autumn 2020. What can we expect afterwards? How long will the band remain active?
The album itself meant to be our closing act. Once it’s out, the story of the band is practically over. We had nothing else in mind than presenting Nadir in the best possible form, in the shape of the best possible release. No live performance can be expected, though, not just because of the pandemic. So we let the band go slowly, gradually. Instead of hanging on to it, we handled the issue reasonably.
As for the future, does anyone of you already have plans for a new band or will all of you quit making music and focus on other things in life?
Most of the members already have specific plans for making music. Enter The Void will soon bring out a new EP with their farthest-reaching songs ever. The first full length album of Ghostchant is in the making as well and it’s going to be an exciting record, too. Step On It will keep going also. Szabolcs started an instrumental prog / avant-garde project called Empirical Chemical Music in 2020 and Our Existence Is Punishment – with Norbi, Szabolcs, Vitya and former Nadir bassist Dániel Kósa (Nova Prospect, Ghostchant) playing together – will release another album next year. This record could have been finished much earlier but the project has been kept on the backburner most of the time because of Nadir’s activities. The important thing about all these projects is that none of them has anything to do with Nadir breaking up. They always were and still are functioning parallel with Nadir. Norbi is also working on a solo record and Hugó is occasionally making music at home which makes him happy. So we will keep on doing this without any pressure, even though not on the level of Nadir and mostly on separate ways.
I will miss you so much from the scene and I think a lot of other people will, too. Thank you for everything you did up till now and I wish you success for the future.
Thank you for the interview. We wish you all the best and much success for the future. We thank everyone who ever supported us in any way.