30 questions on how Metal really is with
Nemtheanga by the infamous Isten magazine....
1. First off, would you please introduce
A. A Nemtheanga…singer for about half of my life with Irish band
2. What makes heavy metal good?
- What a question…I've had people not into metal ask me this and I've
thought long and hard and the easiest way I can explain it is…the
transferral of energy. You know when Metal is good when it give you
that high, that adrenalin rush or peaks your emotions.
3. Can you talk metal with strangers?
- Sure…I'm a good arguer and quite the persuader. Disarmingly honest
and a great liar. Its funny in Ireland people though friendly are
quite cliquey and something like being into Metal is really not
accepted as something you should be doing past 18, but I guess we
wouldn’t have it any other way…
4. Is there a particular twist that characterizes your metal mania?
What’s your obsession within an obsession?
- I guess like many people I seem to be obsessed with dates and time
and how long ago this was and that was, I can remember almost where I
got every single thing in my collection and from who and nearly when.
You know…bought In the Sign of Evil for one pound from Ken in first
year late September 1988 etc…..
5. How does your metal mania differ from your other addictions,
hobbies and other assorted habits? Do you consume it in the same way?
- Well I play sort and paint and write and am obsessed with history
and travelling but my metal obsession is honed to the point of parody
sometimes, knowing times of songs from demos from 1987 you haven’t
heard in 17 years. I think being male you do as much as possible to
avoid the real world or what's perceived as growing up and we have
this habit of being obsessed with
trivia, collecting useless information and simply collecting things.
Metal is an ideal playground in this respect. It keeps us young…
6. Confession time! What’s the worst gap in your metal education or in
- you know I am pretty well rounded. I can go from Rush to Blasphemy
to Holy Terror to Misfits to La Guns to Varathron in one afternoon. I
suppose there's some holes in my 70s rock collection…I'm missing some
good stuff by deep purple, whitesnake, uriah heep, mountain, zeppelin
and things like that. Although I have some not all…but I pretty much
like what I consider to be
the cream of all the crops from nwobhm to funeral doom and all things
7. Are there other activities you particularly like doing while
indulging your metal mania? Does metal make them better, or
vice-versa? If so, how?
- you mean do I like playing dungeons and dragons or something ?...I
don't know man really, I find life gets more and more complicated as
time goes by and finding time to fit the metal in harder and harder.
when you were a kid you could stare at the back of the ride the
lightning sleeve and james hetfields dirty sock or at that weird black
guy somewhere in the crowd on the last in line or something for fuckin
hours but finding the time to be such a metal nerd is hard these days
but I persevere. I am kind of seasonal...summer is lots of rocking and
winter lots of dooming.
8. What has heavy metal taught you?
- hmmm interesting, i think even though it sounds like a cliche it
taught me to go against the grain and not be afraid of what others
think in my more formative years, yeah i know it sounds like a bad
manowar lyric but its kind of true. that feeling of being on the
outside of society is something i think most metal fans who grew up in
the 80s or early 90s feel. i think things are different now as kids
grow up a lot faster and a lot of the charm and mystery is gone from
everything but back in the day it did feel genuinely rebellious and i
think it set me on a different path to most people who were never part
of anything that could be seen to represent a counter culture
movement. It got me interested in the occult and arcane side of life
and from that eventually sprung my interest in my own culture and
heritage and history so you could say it was one of the most important
things in moulding me during my early years. I think above all it
taught me to be myself...and to spend all my money on re-issues and
9. Who’s your metal mentor?
- i guess i could say my uncle was to blame, when i was about 9 he
gave me some tapes and 7"s of ac/dc, deep purple, sabbath, dio,
maiden, wishbone ash, argent, van halen, ufo and that kind of
thing...my earliest love and still my favourite band is ac/dc so i
guess i wanted to be bon scott when i was a kid. then came the likes
of quorthon and the like...
10. When have you felt betrayed by a favourite band?
- sure, i think we all do. when you are a kid you think u own bands. i
think thats part of being a fanatical metal fan and something that
seperates us from casual music fans. however over the years and from
being a musician for a long time you can understand where bands were
coming from. i remember thinking south of heaven was too slow, and
coma of souls too polished (still think that !), or that kind of
thing. ive been very conscious of not falling into the trap of not
caring about anything new or never seeking any new bands. i know too
many people whose record collection finished at abotu 1994...ive kept
a lot of my enthusiasm im glad to say over the years.
11. Are there any albums that you keep around just for the sleeve,
acknowledging that the music is crap?
- haha, yeah i have a few sabbat albums from japan that i really
actually think are crap but the lyrics and covers are so fuckin
hilarious, baby disco is fuck is simply genius. trying to think, i
have a Y N T album called out for the count or something which has an
andriod about to be bitten by vampire which is funny as fuck. a friend
of mine comes over on a saturday and we drink and we have a catalogue
of stupid songs we always play...tuatha de danann and mago de oz and
other horrible stuff which drives everyone else mad, dont know what
thats got to dow ith the question mind you
12. What, to you, is the difference between discovering a great old
that you haven’t previously, and a great new album made this year?
- to be honest not much other then realising with the older album the
time it came out in and being able to place it in the timeline as
opposed to other things that happened that year and the trends of that
year. for example i was never into WASP until about 10 years ago a
good friend taped me the first two albums and i wondered where the
band had been all my life and now they are one of my fave bands...but
i could place it back in 85 with other things that came out. with a
new album you are starting with a clean slate.
13. “The magic disappears when the masses get hold of it” – true or
- i suppose we all like that elitist..."im the only one into this"
kind of vibe, especially when you are a kid. i remember tape trading
for mayhem, samael and rotting christ, masters hammer and all that
early black metal and i had this kind of if you cant find your own way
there you dont deserve it attitude and then the local shop started
getting in beherit, blasphemy and then of course after kerrang mayhem
and burzum and i remember thinking people didnt deserve to get it so
easily, so i guess its a mixture of being young and impressionable and
also that great feeling of knowing something no one else knows...so
half true i guess.
14. What’s your favourite logo?
- oufff so many cool ones, celtic frost stands out, venom, possessed,
all the old bands had a much simpler and easier aesthetic that really
stuck in your head. look at morbid tales its simple but stays with you
forever. too many bands and labels go photoshop mad these days. more
modern logos i think unleasheds logo is killer off the top of my head.
15. Do you think Tom G. Warrior-Fischer should shut up?
- totally...that guy man, he made all his music worth listening to
between 1983 and 1987 thats 4 fuckin years...so for 18 years he's done
pretty much fuck all. ?...i hope the new album is good but i really
doubt it can be. i mean peter tatgren production ?....cmon. i trust
martin ain more then him so we'll see. i think live it'll be a fuckin
car crash though....
16. Do you think heavy metal still has some place to go in the 2000s?
new music only remind us of past glories – at best?
- yeah i think it does and whether we like it or not the new metal is
neurosis, cult of luna, converge, isis, today is the day, that kind of
thing, which doesnt bother me i love isis for example but theres
always bands who can bring something new to the fold...look at a band
like axis of advance, on paper nothing new but they have this almost
militant feel which id never quite heard before. hell look at
primordial, dont want to be arrogant or whiny but we dont sound like
anyone...it is possible to twist and turn you know into something new.
17. Is heavy metal sexy?
- hmmm, well its definitely sexier then it was in the 80's...once men
started growing out their fringes and stop wearing spandex. fuck man i
dont know i guess im the wrong sex to ask but i could as a 21st
century man see how dimmu borgir might be more attractive to a woman
then say saxon or sacred reich (ugly dudes !...)...
18. What’s your favourite metal year, and why?
- i think 1988 actually, it was the year i started slipping really
below the surface and you had 2 of my absolute fave albums that
year...holy terror mind wars and bathory blood fire...and of course
south of heaven, pestilence malleus under rated, kings of
metal...important for a 13 year old although even then i thought the
warriors prayer was naff !!!, so far so good, punishment for
decadence, leprosy, and also i think i was in my first band, kranium
slaughter or something like that...fast times !.
19. Do you listen to genre metal?
- i dont really know what that means but if you mean do i listen to
one particular thing then no i listen to everything...
20. What is the best act of all time with only one album to its name?
- ouffff.....the unreleased trespass album is pretty damn good, I can
think of tons of bands with two...and tons of bands with only one good
album but...evil "evil" is pretty damn good although only an ep, I'm
trying to think of some early death metal classic like funebre, god
macabre or demilich or something but I don't know if id call them the
best of all time...something new like funeral mist only have one album
and i view that as pretty damn good so perhaps that ?...
21. What’s the most different formats or pressings you own of one
- if i knew why then ?....i guess blood fire death on lp, pic disc,
tape and 2 cds..the old one and the new one. then again actually sign
of the hammer on tape, cd, european press, korean, czech and chilean
or something pressing...oh and a signed one as well for good measure.
i have passage to arcturo about 3 times, although i am really getting
sick of having to buy the new remastered cds after buying the original
cd after the vinyl...kreator being a good example. refer to q 8
22. Do you ever get the feeling that metal is about one-upmanship?
- sometimes i guess it can be especially in the underground and
especially since ebay rules the roost. i have the moonblood blah de
blah press of 113 copies blah blah whatever. sometimes i do feel like
that when i pull on a really old shirt and you know people are
going...fuck a fuckin at war shirt where the fuck...and i cant help
but have a chuckle. i think because it is so male in many ways it
couldnt not have an element of that within it
23. What’s the ideal form for a HM band? Trio/quartet/quintet? Why?
well hey...iron maiden quintet...black sabbath quartet....venom
trio...i dont know...you choose
24. Has there ever been a particular moment when you’ve felt like
justice to metal?
- justice ?...i guess after playing a really killer show and you come
off bounding with energy and adrenalin and you know deep down that
THAT fix only comes from Metal....or going to a killer show and having
your faith renewed !...happened to me at a great Skyforger show here
in dublin, here was a band not doing it for money or nuclear blast or
conforming to the whatever trends of bullshit is going on at the
moment, singing about something that means something to them...not
fuckin zombies or beer and the crowd went off...the atmosphere was
electric...it can still be like that.
25. Did you ever have to suffer because of your allegiance to metal?
- i guess the same old story, sounds like a manowar lyric but most
recently with a woman who couldnt get to grips with any of it...the
tattoos, the gigs, the noise, the behaviour, the band, touring,
travelling...because sometimes you forget because you are used to
people being the way they are in the metal scene or being relatively
"extreme" or out there compared to your average group of people and
well it didnt work out at all. id thought that perhaps naively our
differences would be something positive but in the end not...but hey
its not fuckin oprah here. but thats an example...or the usual when
you are somewhere with a bunch of people who start slagging the music
off but arent passionate about anything and dont know anything about
it...or worse when you find out...i used to be into that when i was
13...well hey so was i !!!...and the wow...such and such a band are
still going...no man they quit when you stopped liking them...etc.
26. Do you wear the heavy metal uniform?
- guess i do although the days of trenchcoats, leather trousers and
armbands are kind numbered i still pull on the black and strut my
27. What type of humour do you accept in relation to your metal?
- when i was younger very little...depends i dont mind black humour in
metal but i always hated joke bands or thrash bands with joke
songs...lawnmower deth or acid reign or that kind of crap. but i must
admit i like my metal kinda serious...
28. Is there a particular track that, to you, is like a declaration of
- highway to hell would be pretty damn good i reckon. however if
someone where to ask me what is metal i reckon id play them painkiller
by priest...it ahs everything in its 6 and a half minutes that is
quintessentially Metal !!!.
29. What’s your wild card that you put on when, for some reason or the
other, you can’t find anything suitable to listen to?
- ac/dc always....at the moment its the woven hand but thats a story
for another day.
30. Personally, are you album-oriented or song-oriented?
- album really...of course i have fave songs and this and that but
when im on my own i play full albums, sure if its party time or people
are around you end up playing this and that. but i never understood
people who just listen to the one track off an album all the time...
31. Best gig you've ever been to? Is metal best experienced live?
- metal live is where its in its element, thats the real power of
metal so to speak...fuck i sound like joey demaio !...best
gig...wow...ok metallica 88, slayer 88..also cos i was 13 so...,
sabbat in 89, deicide 90 when they more or less meant it and didnt
hate each other completely yet, morbid angel 91, neurosis 99...so
extreme...incredible, venom wacken 2001, however overall ac/dc on the
razors edge tour....
32. What would you steal from Lemmy if you could?
- fuck...either his memories or a damn good pair of cowboy boots...
33. What would you rank amongst heavy metal’s seven wonders alongside
the bass solo in Sodom’s “Equinox”?
- haha...fuck that is some solo alright...theres so many ways i could
how about off the top of my head
steve dawson of saxons moustache circa 1979
mantas' motorbike on the back of black metal...how fuckin big is that
eric adams furry boots on the back of into glory ride...which are
coming into fashion right now here !!!
dave murrays grin
dave chandlers st vitus hair...especially in the background on the
live album...holy fuck
rob halford circa 1978 stepping straight out of the gay s and m scene
and giving metal its image right there and then !!!
and lastly simply....dio !!!