I’m pretty sure the guys in Black Shape of Nexus are fucking with me. I mean, I’ve heard heavy music borne out of positive catharsis and even righteous abandon (Devin Townsend, Cynic, et al come to mind immediately), but B.SON sound like they’re coming from a totally different place – specifically boiling out of a bog that smells awful and tastes worse, mostly due to the rancid industrial waste pouring from a nearby factory, but enhanced by the truly evil spiritual ground that factory was built upon. When keyboardist Jan Wolf suggests that anger provides minimal inspiration for sweltering doombags like “14d” and “400H”, my face scrunches up in multiple disturbing ways. Of course, maybe I’m swayed by Malte Seidel’s vocal homicides, which threaten insanity at several junctures and actually achieve it on the simmering title track, “Negative Black”.
I got in touch with a couple band members to hear about the band and their recent work on Negative Black, which was released by Exile on Mainstream Records back in April. Read up, rock on, and nod out.
How long did the band work on Negative Black? JAN: It’s not that easy to name a certain period of work, as the songs constantly evolved over quite a long time. Some ideas are rather old, some quite new, some parts got changed several times and other stuff like "RMS", was the idea of Geb [Barome, guitar] one time and it never changed from then on.
Did you go into the studio with songs planned and rehearsed, or did some of the music grow in the studio? JAN: Most of the stuff we recorded was planned before it was recorded. Luckily we don’t have to rely on entering a studio, as Ralf is able to record our stuff on his own. Therefore we just entered our rehearsal space and took a long weekend to record all the songs on the album. Later on Ralf also mixed the songs. This feels quite comfortable, as we always have full control of the outcome when it comes to sound, mix and atmosphere of the recording session.
STEF: We did two demo recording sessions earlier last year, which were intended just for us to hear how the songs would sound and on which aspects we should work on. When Ralf mixed the songs, we finally figured out we should just do it like this with some more improvements to be done, which were mainly to the circumstances we did the demos just for us. And so we cancelled the studio date. And recorded a third time.
In your opinion, how does Negative Black fit with other B.SON recordings? JAN: Personally, I think the new songs are a logical progression of all parts that were part of B.SON before. Maybe the songs evolved to be a little more focused, but they incorporate all previous elements that always were there.
What really gets you angry enough to tear up a B.SON track on the stage or in the studio? JAN: To be honest, anger isn’t one of the key emotions for myself in B.SON. Surely there are tons of things to get angry about, but playing live is much more about catharsis and letting myself go.
Each member is credited with his own instrument, but then all of you are credited with “noise.” When listening to Negative Black, how can I tell your noises apart?
JAN: My noise is Illinoise. STEF: Hey, it’s an old punk thing, like DISCHARGE already said in the early 80s: “Noise not music.”
Do you have a favorite story from a festival you’ve played? JAN: Still one of my faves is from our first tour ever. We happened to play in a small Eastern German town named Nünchritz and the crowd mainly consisted of young punks. Most of them seemed to be quite impressed by our noise, so that one of them came up to us after the show, telling us how much he liked it and that we reminded him of something between “Biohazard and Misfits.” Bands we have never been compared to again...haha. Other punks in my hometown didn’t like us that much and described us as soundings like the fart of a rat. Maybe we should advertise Negative Black as “The trve wind of change. FFO: Scorpions, Biohazard and Misfits”...haha.
Given your choice, what bands would make up your dream bill? JAN: Any band, that I like and it’s members aren’t total assholes.
What are a few of your current favorite heavy, dark albums to listen to? JAN: Alaric LP, new Napalm Death LP, Criminal Code "Cold Thought" LP and Nukkehammer "End it all now demos" LP
What are a few favorite quieter, lighter albums to listen to? JAN: Mirel Wagner LP, first Tu Fawning LP, first True Widow LP and everything by Jason Molina.
MARCO: Venom - Black Metal :-)