Interviews with George, Dallas & Karl from Nile
In-person Interview by Nick Lombard
Following a powerful performance (Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane; 3rd December) from the heavyweights Nile , I had the opportunity to claw my way through an assembled crowd of devoted fans and have a bit of a chat to the members. Things didn`t start off too well, and asking them if "they had few minutes for a bit of a yarn" met with blank faces and a request to repeat myself. Guess I should remember that Yanks don`t speak Aussie.
Leaving Karl to his fans, I managed to get the attention of George Kollias, their highly praised drummer. Wearing a soccer jersey with the Australian flag on it, I had some idea what the response was going to be like when I asked the question "How have you enjoyed your time in Australia?". Friendly as anything George confirmed my assumptions -"We fucking love this country, the crowds have been fantastic. Each show has been just amazing, and the fans have been amazing. Particularly in Sydney, Perth and here in Brisbane, the response has been incredible". But George is still quite new to Nile, only popping up on their latest record, Annihilation of the Wicked. Asked about his time in the band, he said "It`s been fantastic, I`ve been having the time of my life. Things get a bit hectic with rehearsing since I still live in Greece, but on tour we keep busy anyway". I was amazed that he still lived in Greece, but played with a US death metal act. "Yeah, I fly from Greece to rehearse with them, my home is still over there". But who pays for his travel? "Yeah, the band pays. They pay for my flights and accommodation while I`m over there". Well, the band must be enjoying quite a good deal of success if they can afford to fly in a Greek drummer. Though I thought I had some idea of just how well Nile were doing on the current scene, I hadn`t expected that.
But Nile are most definitely at the forefront of modern death metal in terms of commercial success. I do remember asking him what his thoughts on this were, but a drunken memory only has so much retention. But on the question of what they had planned for the future, he cited the next countries they`ll be touring. "Then I guess we`ll take a break and write some new material."
At that moment we were interrupted by a fan who asked George to retrieve Dallas from backstage and get him to sign some stuff. He said he`d return shortly, though he never did, but at least I was able to chat with Dallas for a while. He, like George, seemed to very much enjoy his time in Australia and the responses they`ve received from the local audiences, though appeared still a little bitter of being hit in the face with a can of VB during their set that night. Perhaps he didn`t understand that being hit in the face by VB was a true right of passage for Australians. Or maybe that`s just me.
Questioned about the band featured on his t-shirt, being Sweden`s The Crown, and whether he saw the Swedish death metal scene as much of an influence on Nile`s music, he said "Well, I guess so, but we take influence from all over the place. Really just about anything we enjoy we`ll try to integrate into our music in some way. That way we can keep our influences diverse. But the Swedish scene was obviously really important for the development of death metal", though it appears he wasn`t aware of The Crown`s eventual demise.
As for the future, Dallas cited the same tour plans as George. Asked whether anything was happening in terms of new material, he said "We`ve got some ideas… and we`ve been working a little bit, but we`ve been mainly busy with the tour. But the ideas we`ve had so far… we`re definitely evolving our sound, taking in more influences and changing things around a bit. We don`t want to release another album that sounds like one we`ve already done before, you know? But we`re also making sure that we don`t stray too far, and that we`re still definitely doing what we do as Nile, and that people will know us for it. But we don`t like standing still. With George in the band now we`re definitely writing things with a new dynamic and he`s really full of ideas and energy, so it`s going to be a lot of fun to work with him on a new record".
About that time, Dallas headed backstage again and I was being heckled by the bouncers. I wasn`t content to leave just yet though, and convinced them that I was doing an important interview, as opposed to a drunken yarn. But before it became too obvious that I was full of shit, Karl made an appearance and I managed to catch him briefly. The same questions were again asked, and nothing really new came to light. He, like the others, thoroughly enjoyed his time in Australia and had a good mind to come back again. But when I put to him how I`ve seen Nile stand in today`s metal scene and as the forerunners of death metal right now, his modesty shone through. "Uh, we don`t really think about that. You know – you think about that, you`re a journalist, that`s your job. You guys can try to put things into perspective for us, but for us, we`re just going to worry about writing music and putting on shows that the fans enjoy. It`s just not something I need to worry about, because it shouldn`t effect what we do as a band." For that, I shook his hand and thanked him for his time, before stumbling out of the venue.
The responses featured in this article have been drunkenly paraphrased at times and should not be considered too accurate.
By Nick Lombard. www.NorthernShadows.Hailmetal.com Photos by Adam Lloyd-Taylor.