NEGURA BUNGET are busy bees but as you quest for their releases they’re not easy to encounter at all. These problems will be gone with their new alliance with the Italian label CODE666. In their latest work ‘N CRUGU BRADULUI they combine raw black metal with a mystic and nature bounded atmosphere. It looks like a life work when you see and hear the result, so I did a little interview to clear some things up.
NEGURA BUNGET, a rather unknown but busy act from THE land of Vampires Romania. Over the years you have been a very busy band but despite of all the efforts I only had a chance to get my hands on the Zirnindu-sa CD. What’s the reason of the bad distro of your earlier works and do you hope that all this will change with your new work?
We worked from the very beginning with Bestial Records, which was actually founded initially just in order to release our first album. We worked really fine with them, being quite good friends, and they did their best to promote us, but in the end that was not enough. They were just a small Romanian label, with limited capabilities. They did though quite a lot for us. I’m confident the things will change quite a lot now that we’re on code666 Records. Actually they change a lot already…
What caught my attention almost immediately is the strong union with nature and mysticism in your artwork and lyrics, what are you trying to bring the listeners?
On the last album we tried to present the fundamental characteristics of the Romanian traditional spirituality. For that we based on a conceptual 4 tracks structure, with each track symbolically representing a season in their 1 year frame evolution. “’N crugu bradului” as a title creates a connection with an actual natural place, as we found the best place where some of these spiritual essences are kept even today alive to be the heights where the fir trees grow (that’s what the title refers to). In the end the album is one about places, peoples, tradition… about the whole of which this spirituality emerges from.
In witch extend is your Transilvanian ascendance an influence on your music and views, is their a lot of spiritualism left in your region rather extinct beliefs who are still practiced?
The local influence was always something fundamental in our work. We see a clear and natural process the one through which we as individuals got involved intro what’s Negura Bunget. It was something we think was meant to happen. We were just at the right time and place. So we see not as us talking about some local matters, but more like these local matters taking us up and guide us on their own paths. I’d say there are still some amazing spiritual practices perpetuated in our days, but they’re quite hard to discover and even harder to understand. There’s also quite a lot of content which is already lost by now. For us it is a fascinating endeavor to discover and revitalize such amazing elements. It’s a hard job, but we enjoy very much doing it and take it very seriously!
Musically I must say you walk a different path then most of the “black metal” bands, in how far do you see yourselves as black metal perse or do you rather use another term for it?
We consider Negura Bunget to be a Black Metal band. At the same time we have quite a personal concept about what Black Metal really represents, so that’s why I think our music may be a bit different. We’re aware of this, but we always tried to keep all our influences, especially the musical ones inside Black Metal, sometimes practicing a severe censure.
Also the duration of the songs is long but do not tend to get boring, how do you start writing a song with that longitude and isn’t it hard to keep it al interesting?
In deed some of our songs tent to take a while, especially on this last album. Making them like that was in the end a natural process. We didn’t start with the fix idea of creating 15 minutes long tracks, they just evolved into that. As we always really tried to find ways rather to limit the duration, not to extend it, we’re quite confident we didn’t make them like that just to take some more time.
I must say that ‘n Crugu Bradului looks and sounds very professional, even the clip is from good quality I can imagine all this work wasn’t done overnight. Tell us something about the process of all the work you had to do to accomplish the result.
We really worked a lot on this album. It was something we had in mind almost from the beginning of the band, and we decided the time came for it with about 1 year before recording it. That year following was totally dedicated to creating it. Apart of doing 5-6 rehearsal ever week we also studied lot of legends, history, folklore, mythology in order to create the lyrical part of the album. We also did 2 extensive filming expeditions around the country in order to acquire all the images we needed for the artwork (cd cover, multimedia, website, posters, promos…). We had some really cool experiences creating everything for this album. Sometimes there were consuming experiences, other times just enjoyable ones (for example we had to carry up home a 5 meters long dried fir tree with some nice patterns on it from the middle of the mountains, in order to use it on the album inlay, the same time we also had to carry from hundreds km away 3 whole fir trees to use small pieces of them as a special thing inside the CD box).
How is the metal scene like in your country? To me it looks rather quiet and calm, or am I wrong?
The Romanian scene is quite a surprising one. Though there are not many concerts, clubs, festivals, magazines and other elements to help promoting the bands, there are quite a few good quality dedicated bands, surviving under really harsh conditions.
And last but not least, what are the future plans? Touring? New CD?
For the moment we’re quite into promoting this new album. We’ll play some gigs, festivals… stuff like that, and of course there are many interviews to be answered. There’s no tour planned yet (though code666 tries arrange us one), but we’re always ready for one! We also already started working on a new album, but it will take us some time to finish it.
If you whish you may put here some final words for our readers.
Thanks very much for the support! Stay Black! And may the ZSALAMOLKXISA lead your path!