We here at MetalTitans got a special privilege to do a written interview with Nader Sadek, who has recently released an album called "In the Flesh" (we shall soon be posting a CD review for this record). Nader Sadek has worked with great minds of Metal History, such as Rune Erikson, Steve Tucker, and has collaborated with bands like Zyklon and Cattle Decapitated. Enjoy this exclusive interview and learn more about this incredible metal project...
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1. What made you decide to put this band together ? You have Steve Tucker (Morbid Angel), Rune Eriksen (Mayhem) and Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), were you all friends or how did this come about
Well first to clarify, I never intended to make a band per se, there are alot of people involved in this project, so in my mind it was a huge production and behind the production a great team which I assembled. There are many reasons why I chose this team. I've worked with Steve prior to " in the Flesh" on several project starting 2006, then Flo, came in as well. In that time the project " faceless" which was about how different cultures perceive each other. It was an experiment where the locals perception of the image of a metal fan (ie long hair , black clothing ) in Egypt was that of intimidation. Similarily, I dressed up as a niqab clad woman, in NYC and the reaction was pretty similar. This confirmed the potential of this project. And I thought it would be a great idea if Steve could help me with this project, and compose a song, which I would arrange later on. I chose Steve because I thought of him as having a similar situation as the concept itself, being "socially marginalized" within the metal scene. Even more so, Rune was also put in this same situation, replacing someone, who in my opinion, was not as great as they but not being accepted fully. Flo’s situation is a bit different, he was also in a position where the audience of the metal scene also categorized him and mad him sort of an outcast so to speak.
The next reason was that, after completing the main concept and theme of the record, I had to find the correct musicians who would create the sound I’m going for, which was creating the sound of harnessed machine, through death metal. DM already has that machine rhythm going on, but I wanted it to compliment my recent sculptures, my sculptures were basically mechanical tools or machine parts which are rendered as flesh. and I needed a sound that would reflect that. It became very clear that Runes harmonies would be a perfect match and would have an effect on top of Steve’s songs.
I think the combination Runes harmonies on top of Steve’s songs, and the chemistry between Rune and Flo, really created that sound, with those two reasons things really fell into place, although I had no way of actually knowing if their would be that chemistry, and thankfully I feel that I was right, and that sound and chemistry are there.
2. Do you think that because you have such different backgrounds that you each bring something different to the table when creating a cd ?
I was going to say that in the last answer. Absolutely, and yet another reason. Steve style is pure Cincinatti death metal, one of the most underrated scenes but where great stuff like Internecine (check out Sicarii with some of the same members) and Steve’s earlier band Ceremony ( with Pat Obrian from Cannibal Corpse ) came from.
Rune has more of a European almost gothic vibe to him, with Ava Inferi and Aura Noir and the other black metal bands has been in, although I never felt that he was a purely "black metal guitarist", I’ve always felt he had a wider range than just that, but his stuff is more dark than it is angry. It has alot of emotion, which again kind of compliments the idea of a machine having flesh and blood for my concepts, it gives this metallic creature a human skin ,if you will. Additionally, Flo comes from the highly technical cryptospy, so there’s so much that he puts in , he is the final touch to create the monstrous engine, with all the details and accents he places are just not something you hear in death metal, you might hear it in other types of music, but Flo does it with such intelligence and speed that ,it ends complimenting the guitars greatly, while bombarding the sound with heavy hard hitting blasts. Another thing which I also had in mind, is the sheer variety in the cultures of each one of us, we are from completely different backgrounds, French Canadian, American, Norwegian, Egyptian, than the guests also range from all over the world as well. I think this was instrumental in the sound and the integrity of this project because of this global issue, I think it affects everyone as well as the output to some level.
3. I see in the video "Nigredo in Necromance" that you wrote/directed and you are the one in the video, how did you come up with this video ?
The song itself is about a character who loses his loved one, decides that the only way to cope with his loss is to reunite with her in death. He digs up her graves and sleeps beside her. The bacteria that creates the decay of flesh, starts to spread on his living tissue and they both rot together to eventually become petroleum. But I never want to be redundant or didactic in my artwork, so the video had to be another interpretation of that idea. In the video, the character performs a ritual which conjures the decay, at first the character plays the melody, and its an incantation which transforms the guitar into flesh, playing the flesh guitar sexually, brings the head into ripe entropy which he then kisses, reconnecting himself and with her, only to finally reunite as rotten matter: petroleum.
Technically, it was a very difficult shoot, as everything is under my own budget, and I do not have that much money. We went into the woods near where I live and shot the entire thing in only 2 hours. It was middle of the summer in NY, with only 2 people helping, and very intense heat and humidity, so it was quite a struggle but I’m happy with the results.
4. Tell us about the artwork for "In the Flesh".
I wanted the process to always have everything feed off each other, the Concept-Theme ,the music ( in demo form) >sketches> lyrics>recorded music>finished drawings>mixing record> concepting videos> mixed/mastered> music videos> sculptures.
When it came to making the artwork, I had to come up with 9 pieces each complimenting each song. I drew sketches, which were skeletons of the song from the demos, this was a good way to put the songs down on "paper" so to speak, for the drawings.
I tried to visualize and let the beat of the songs influence the drawings atmosphere and vibe, although think the drawings are a bit simplistic, they are still quite intricate, which again I think is an appropriate interpretation of the songs.. My interpretation of the music is that its not highly technical its just very sophisticated, with much layering, I believe I was able to translate that visually. When it came down to recording, Rune was putting those layers, and this is where I did the detail work, each line of the finished was inspired by riff or an entire melody, so the mark making was influenced by the guitars...
5. What was your inspiration for the album concept ?
All my work is more or less on his Petroleum obsession and addiction.
Basically I don’t look at it form a political perspective, as many might assume. For me I’m just , impressed, that someone found a way to convert something which is essentially death and convert that into energy. Since the usage of petroleum the word has changed drastically, technology advanced 100 fold but so did the increase of pollution, and more damage was inflicted due to wars. Each song has its own identity, but its also a narrative.
6. You call your style a death metal project, do you think because of what you sing about you could say its a bit environmental death metal ?
I guess the bands with that kind of message like Gojira, ecological message but my ideas, are not well, I’m not necessarily saying I don’t want it to happen, I just think its the darkest thing modern society was able to conceive, it has its place in the world, I’m not against it per se.. I believe in evil and its right to exist.
7. Release is May 16 (Europe) and May 17 (North America) how do you think your first CD will be received ?
Well, I’m not a band, I’m just an individual, whose recruited the help of some of the most well known musicians in the world, my favourites, and for appropriate reasons. since I don’t play on the album, I can stand back as a fan and listen to it, and I can say "Wow, this is an AMAZING , record" I honestly don’t think I’m being pretentious, because as far the recording, my involvement is somewhat remote, I did write some of the music-but the majority was written by Tucker, I never did intend to actually write, it just sort of happened...I’ve put the best in one team so, all I can say is that I love it and I hope others will too. Everyone s reaction as been fantastic to it so far!
8. Is there anything you would like people to know about you or the cd ?
One of the interesting things that happened while recording the album, was that the oil spill in Mexico occurred, it was a really strange feeling for me and Steve as well, it actually gave him a sense of an inspiration somehow, and he wrote the lyrics for the song" Mechanic Idolatry". This was definitely very intense moment, because we had been talking about the theme, and one day we woke up and it was all over the news.
Lastly, there’s a new video for the song "sulffer " out now and also the limited edition version of the album which is a hand mad sculpture, I’m making each one individually, I hope that people get to see all aspects of this project, so keep your eyes peeled for more videos , sculptures, and imagery!
Thanks Nader for answering the questions for Metaltitans.