NE OBLIVISCARIS

Breaking Ground

The time for Ne Oblivis­caris is now. They’ve been active for a decade, with an ever-growing legion of fans, but the buzz around their new album Citadel (and the suc­cess of a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to sup­port a world tour) indi­cates that the band is about to break through to a new level. Their music is a pro­gres­sive mix of metal and melody, death growls and vio­lin, and Citadel cap­tures it all in full-blown tech­ni­color. We caught up with drum­mer Dan Pres­land a cou­ple of weeks out from the album’s release (and an Aus­tralian tour with Beyond Cre­ation) to talk about what it’s like to be on the verge of a new level.

The response to the advance stream of Citadel has been huge. It feels to me like the band is on the brink of ‘lev­el­ling up,’ if you know what I mean.

That’s a funny way to put it! It feels great. I’ve been inun­dated with pos­i­tive feed­back and pos­i­tive responses. I’ve even had a cou­ple of bud­dies say ‘Tem­pest’ is the best song they’ve ever heard, and I’m like “What­ever” and they say “No, really.” It’s kind of over­whelm­ing in a sense. I didn’t expect there to be the hugely pos­i­tive response that it has been, and hope­fully that continues.

Is there any­thing you can do to pre­pare your­self men­tally for ‘We could be tour­ing this for quite a while…’?

I guess that for all of us this is what we’ve wanted to do for a long time, hope­fully the oppor­tu­nity is pre­sent­ing itself and we’ll con­tinue to ride that oppor­tu­nity until it reaches its des­ti­na­tion. I guess we’ve been ready for this for a long time.

What kind of prepa­ra­tion goes into mak­ing an album as well-formed and diverse as Citadel?

I guess you could call the prepa­ra­tion our ten years expe­ri­ence together, or eight years as this col­lec­tive. It’s just get­ting into the jam room. Some­one will bring an idea for­ward and if we like it we’ll con­tinue with it or maybe try and change its direc­tion at some point, or if we don’t like it we’ll just scrap it. It’s a pretty demo­c­ra­tic process. We just get into a room and nut things out and take it from there.

Music this com­plex isn’t the kind of stuff you can bash out in an after­noon, right?

Sur­pris­ingly, there were some pretty long ses­sions where we pretty much did, like the sec­ond half of ‘Pyrrhic’, which is kind of that post-rock part. That was done in an after­noon at my house in a jam room, so some­times you can!

In terms of the record­ing process, is there any cool musi­cianly, geeky stuff you can share with us?

A drum-nerdy thing I was really happy with, was that we actu­ally put micro­phones on the top and bot­tom of the floor toms and it gave us a bit more head­room. There are a cou­ple of moments where it’s just the floor toms flow­ing and we boosted the low end a lit­tle bit. If you’ve got speak­ers that can go quite low it really rum­bles, and that came out really, really well. We’re very happy with that. So that was a par­tic­u­lar moment for me in the record­ing process.

Where did you record?

It was at Pony Music stu­dios in Hal­lam, which is where we did Por­tal of I. Geoff [Mison, Pony Music owner] is awe­some. He’s a really big sup­porter of Ne O and he’s got quite a good selec­tion of drum mics there.

You’re about to head out on tour of Aus­tralia with Beyond Cre­ation, What are your tour­ing plans?

Well at the moment we’re basi­cally prepar­ing. Their new album is killer, and I’m a real fan of their music so I can’t wait — hope­fully it should be a really great show. After that we’ve got about six weeks off and then we head out to Sound­wave. We’re focus­ing on book­ing our Euro­pean tour at the moment. We’re just lin­ing up the Euro­pean fes­ti­val sea­son and see­ing how we go there. It might be a bit of an exten­sive stay in Europe. We’re not sure yet, but it could be up to two or three months. We’ve only got a few things con­firmed at the moment, but there are a cou­ple more we’ll be announc­ing that I’m really excited about. And then maybe after that, start of 2016 we’ll be head­ing out to North Amer­ica which will hope­fully include Canada and South Amer­ica, and some­where in there we have to fit in Asia as well.

Citadel is released on Novem­ber 7 via Sea­son of Mist.

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