True warriors of the wastelands Nightsatan are a band forged on the futuristic sounds of the past. If that sounds paradoxical well it is, as the trio are a real enigma whose ‘laser metal’ is synonymous with soundtracks from (mainly Italian) post-apocalyptic movies from the early 80’s. I should also mention that they are from Finland too and do what they do in complete character, as though they are survivors from an irradiated future nuclear holocaust. I am not at all sure if the answers I am going to get here are going to be answered by the human players or their alter-egos either; hopefully it will all make some kind of sense though so here goes!
AN: Greetings and congratulations on the new album, first can I establish who is answering the questions or are you doing so as a collective group perhaps?
Hello Ave Noctum readers, We are answering to your questions as Nightsatan.
AN: In my review I described the three of you as “Inhalator II (the clean cut human pretty boy), Wolf-Rami (warrior, skull faced mutation) and Mazathoth (the cybernetic sonic wizard)” Is that a fair portrayal? I was intrigued particularly on how you became the way you are and also how Inhalator II escaped any particular modification from his natural human looks?
Inhalator II: That is fair, and I guess I have to tell you the secret of my boyish good looks: as you might know, I was badly wounded during the nuclear holocaust, so almost all of my skull was re-made out of steel diamond. So my face is just a sort of synthetic skin-like material.
Mazathoth: Your assessment is fair and true. I am a devotee of the magic that is Music. Like any other magic, it transcends the mundane, leads to new perspectives and helps create new ideas. It is my connection to the Cosmos, my tool for greater awareness, my path through oblivion.
Wolf-Rami: I am big. I have muscles. I get angry. I hurt people. I eat their flesh.
AN: What particular attributes and powers do each of you have, personally I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of any of you but frankly Wolf-Rami is the stuff of nightmares!
Inhalator II: I’m quite skilled with the crossbow, and I can drum the shit out of difficult and deadly synth sequences.
Mazathoth: I’ve been granted the gift of channeling the Cosmos. You see, I don’t really compose music. It is given to me. It is a bit like automatic writing. And while channeling, I can also see through the cloudy vision, of what many people consider to be “reality”.
Wolf-Rami: I am strong. I have muscles. Big muscles. I play simple bass lines. I play hard. I break synths!
AN: You released ‘Midnight Laser Warrior’ as your first album back in 2010 and have been around since 2008. I was wondering how come us mere mortals are only really hearing about you now, was this not publicised that well outside your immediate safety zone?
Inhalator II: The world just wasn’t ready for us then. The time is now!
Mazathoth: And before Midnight Laser Warrior, we weren’t ready for the world. We were learning, finding our path, forging our vision. MLW was that important first step. It wasn’t perfect, but we cherish it and so do many of the people that bought it. Now, we are at the second step. We are wiser, we have proficiency and we’ve lost fear.
AN: Can you tell those of us not lucky enough to have heard your earlier album what sort of progression you would say you have made between it and new album Nightsatan And The Loops Of Doom?’
Inhalator II: The music has become a lot more “cinematic”, there’s more complex stuff and more layers to it.
Mazathoth: Midnight Laser Warrior is more of a statement. It relies more on brute force. Loops of Doom, the movie and the music, comes from the dream world. It is more nuanced, more emotive, more mysterious.
Wolf-Rami: New album is a lot harder to play live. I have to use both hands at the same time.
AN: As I am sure we agree post-apocalyptic movies are excellent and in the wake of Mad Max and Escape From New York the Italians fired out the classics of the genre. What are your favourite examples of these?
Inhalator II: Anything by Enzo G. Castellari (1990: The Bronx Warriors, The New Barbarians – Warriors Of The Wasteland…). Anything that has Fred Williamson in it (he’s in every great post apocalyptic movie ever made).
Mazathoth: Inhalator II has spoken well. Enzo G. Castellari was a man with a vision and nothing stopped him from making it into reality, Not even the budget.
Wolf-Rami: I have to agree with the two gentlemen above. My greatest love is the work of John Carpenter, but if it has to be from Italy then Castellari and maybe Lucio Fulci are my heroes.
AN: The music and soundtracks were particularly important and have obviously influenced your style of ‘laser metal.’ Are there any particular ones that you would suggest that readers interested in hearing more should try and seek out?
Inhalator II: You should check out the soundtracks to John Carpenter movies (The Fog, Escape From New York, Assault On Precinct 13 etc.), and classic bands like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Goblin, Zombi…
Mazathoth: Oh yes. John Carpenter. Claudio Simonetti and Goblin. Tangerine Dream until the late 1970’s. Zombi and their solo efforts. This is all essential stuff. Even the more traditional score composers like Jerry Goldsmith and Ennio Morricone have left their imprint on us.
Wolf-Rami: I have a particular liking to Slava Tsukerman’s Liquid Sky -soundtrack. It sounds very alien. It’s like a child who has no knowledge of musical theory has been given a very expensive studio to play around with. Weirdest stuff imaginable.
AN: I love the way you have gone the whole hog and made your 22 minute film to go with the album. At least I take it this was a film rather than a documentary on your lives! Tell us a bit about how this came together, where was it filmed and how long did it all take. Despite only being short it doesn’t look cheap (like many of the Italian movies) at all!
Inhalator II: We wanted to make a music video with our good friend Chrzu, who had previously done our album covers and gave him 300€ to make one. Chrzu, who is a gifted artist and visionaire had other thoughts on his mind, and started to write a longer script… and after a while we had a production company, the Finnish film foundation and YLE (Finnish broadcasting company) behind us and the budget was about 466x from what we started from. Crazy.
Maxathoth: We would have never imagined that a short film like this would get funding like this. Chrzu showed us a lesson and made it happen. We are forever indebted to him and will continue to work with him as long as he so wishes.
AN: I was particularly impressed with the way you all speak Italian in it too, in fact having watched and listened to the album before doing any research I thought you were from Italy at first! How did you manage this, did you learn lines in Italian, are you fluent or was it just very damn good dubbing?
Inhalator II: In the movie we actually spoke Finnish, and the idea of dubbing it to Italian was a homage to the masters of the genre.
Mazathoth: The Italian classics were originally dubbed in Italian for the domestic market and then in English for the foreign markets. We kinda did the opposite to honour the originals.
Wolf-Rami: We all had our own voice actors. Mine was a football coach from Helsinki and I think the desert cross dresser Mandy was done by a pizza cook from Porvoo. All authentic Italian people with different dialects.
AN: But and let’s come clean you are from Finland and have played shows there extensively. What has the reaction been to your sounds and shows at home and I take it you are hoping to spread things further afield?
Inhalator II: The reception has been really good because the music we play doesn’t fit to any popular music genre (except our own genre, Laser Metal), so we got metalheads, potheads, elektroheads, and all the rejects and outcast all diggin’ our music. That’s great.
We’ve done couple of shows outside of Finland, and there’s always talks of doing tour in Europe , Japan and in the States, but we’ll have to see how it goes..
AN: What can one expect from a Nightsatan show, do you actually play in character, are there raiding parties of mutants and evil sorceresses to fend off?
Inhalator II: Nightsatan shows are always intense. Lots of smoke, loud music, mutants, neon lights as a substitute for the sun, circular saw blades…
Mazathoth: Truth be told, we don’t actually perform as our movie characters. It would be impractical and not benefit the music. But we are Nightsatan. We are Mazathoth, Inhalator II and Wolf-Rami. That is real and true, not pretense. I see playing live as a ritual we perform and the audience takes part in.
Wolf-Rami: We’ve perfected the art of doing an exciting live show with as little money as possible. So I’m always looking out for second hand disco lights, masks and weird stuff to use. We have a bag full of leather and studs-stuff which we split three ways before every gig.
AN: Are any of you involved in any other musical acts outside of Nightsatan or is that maybe a closely guarded secret
Inhalator II: In these tough times, there are only few bands left, and they’re our mortal enemies.
Mazathoth: Mazathoh, Inhalator II and Wolf-Rami do not play with any other bands. We are open to collaboration with like-minded and worthy individuals, but that is all I can say about it.
Wolf-Rami: There used to be other bands but we killed them and ate their flesh.
AN: There are all sorts of great analogue retro sounds on the album, I am sure people are interested on what synthesizers and sequencers you use to get them?
Inhalator II: This is some of the gear i use: Roland SPD-11, Roland Juno-106, Yamaha CS-15, Yamaha DX-7 II, Roland TR-606, Roland TR-707, Boss DR-55, Elsita (80’s soviet) electronic drums…
Mazathoth: My main instrument is Roland Jupiter-4. It is the only inanimate object I have an emotional connection with. My other favourites are Sequential Circuits Prophet-600 and Roland SH-101.
Wolf-Rami: I have my trusty Korg Polysix which I found for 30 euros in a second hand shop and lately I’ve fallen in love with some Ensoniq synths and samplers. I’ve bought a VFX, an ASR-10 this far and I’m getting an EPS later. Just today I counted that I have 3 samplers, 2 drum machines and 10 synths. On top of that some effects boxes and other miscellaneous gear.
AN: What have the reactions been to the band and the new album in general? Has humanity and those damn critics seen the light or have you had any completely bemused reviewers who simply cannot grasp what you are doing?
Inhalator II: the reviews have been really great, and there’s only been few that the critics have not got a clue of what we’re trying to do, like how can we call this Laser METAL when there’s no guitars (there actually is, if you listen carefully), but that’s cool too.
Mazathoth: I’d say, that so far, the reception has been surprisingly good. And I’ve been delighted that so many people actually get what we are doing and what purpose the music on Loops of Doom serves.
AN: Where do you go from here? How about following it up with a full length film and getting George Eastman and Laura Gemser on board (one could wish)? I am sure there are still some authentic directors around in Italy who could be interested although alas most of the greats are no longer with us.
Inhalator II: There has been some talk…
Mazathoth: …But we can’t really say more at this time.
Wolf-Rami: Yup. Our lips are sealed.
AN: Thanks for your time and your music, it has provided a much needed trip back to the future. Any final words you would like to make before you go back to fight the good fight?
Inhalator II: If you see us coming near your town, come and check us out! No false Laser Metal!
Mazathoth: If you are a fan of the post-apocalyptic movies, you owe it to yourself to check out Nightsatan and The Loops of Doom.
Wolf-Rami: Man, you’ll be a woman soon!
Interview Pete Woods