Interview with Nonsun

Please introduce your band. How did you decide to form Nonsun?

Hello, we’re Nonsun, a two-piece band. I’m Goatooth, I play guitars. Alpha plays drums. Playing in doom metal bands, I’ve always wanted to do something based on this kind of music, but more expanded and unique. When I got some more free time, I decided to take the opportunity and record several tracks for a demo. For this I invited my mate Alpha, who is a great drummer and loves experimenting as well. From the beginning we let the process just flow and we weren’t actually aware what would come out as a result, and that was really exciting. That’s how our debut demo ‘Good Old Evil’ appeared.

This may be a bit of a cliche question, but can you tell us about your influences?

From one side it’s rock and metal, from the other side it’s experimental and avant-garde music. I grew up on hard rock, bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath and so on. Then I got a bit more into metal, and especially doom metal. Later I discovered avant-garde minimalist music, composers like La Monte Young, Terry Riley, John Cale, Tony Conrad and so on. Talking about the latest release ‘Black Snow Desert’, I would name Earth, Paradise Lost, Boris, and La Monte Young as its main (but not only) influences.

How would you define your sound?

It’s heavy, hypnotic, dim, huge, distant, spacious, and lo-fi. It creates images in a listener’s mind and takes him somewhere else, or at least it’s supposed to.

This year you released your new album ‘’Black Snow Desert’’. How did the recording session go?

Making this album really took a long time, because at every stage we did everything ourselves and with a limited budget. We started rehearsing this material in 2013. For about a year we played and ‘crystallized’ the stuff. Then we recorded it in a spacious basement hall, to have this natural and raw ambience. We recorded even more music than there is now on the release, because there was a lot of experimentation and versions of the same parts etc. The longest and hardest part was a mixing and editing process. I did it all by myself, and I don’t like doing this. So it really lasted longer than it should, for about a year. Fuck that period.

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Any particular concept behind ‘’Black Snow Desert’’ you would like to discuss ?

The concept deals mostly with the sound on the album. I would describe it as the sound from behind the wall of sleep. It’s vague, mesmerizing, and dim. It’s like you aren’t sure if you’re asleep or awake, and where the music come from. It’s like the door of your reality is not completely closed and those sounds slip through from some other dimension. I’m not sure if we’ve fully achieved that effect, but that was the goal.

Besides, the album has that ‘album flow’. It should be considered as a journey. In fact, there are actually only two ‘songs’, or, I’d say, pieces of music on the release. The first one is a disc one, and the second one is a disc two. That’s how we were playing them on rehearsals and gigs. They were divided into seven tracks only during the mixing/editing process, because we thought that hardly anyone would even start to listen when he’d see that a song would last about 49 or 34 minutes. So these seven tracks are not ‘songs’ in a traditional sense. They won’t perfectly suit things like a radio rotation or compilation, because they aren’t supposed to be separately listened to. They belong to the album and they are perceived best as parts of the album. Even the disc one and the disc two, though being created as separate pieces of music, wouldn’t come out so fulfilled and self-sufficient without each other.

I would say the album is one whole, divided in two parts. In this form it comes as a journey, completed, accomplished one, from which a patient one gets his own rewards and treasures.

What inspires you the most?

Without any doubts, it’s music.

Any bands from Ukraine you would like to recommend?

I would recommend Soom with their latest full-length album “Night On Meadow” (2014). I think, with that sound and approach, they’ve managed to create something unique and push boundaries of doom metal genre a little bit further.

What are you listening to these days?

Well, according to my listening history for three months on last.fm, here’s the list:

Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Dead Can Dance, UFO, Depeche Mode, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, La Monte Young, Lubomyr Melnyk, Tiamat, Choir Of Young Believers, Leonard Cohen, New Order, Bosnian Rainbows, Barn Owl, Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Uriah Heep, Bob Marley, The Sisters Of Mercy, Lake Of Tears, Myrkur, Orthodox, We Lost The Sea, Eagle Twin, Witchcraft, Comets On Fire, Thou, Boris, Mogwai, Undersmile, Kammerflimmer Kollectief, Paradise Lost, The Black Angels, Bronski Beat, Rotting Christ, James Blackshaw, Gong, The Handsome Family, Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Opeth, The Body, Lera Lynn, Otesanek, Deafheaven, Earth, Elder, Samothrace, Eibon, Lysergene, Menace Ruine, Wolvserpent, Townes Van Zandt, Sun Kil Moon, The Velvet Underground, Sigur Ros, Celtic Frost, Altar Of Plagues, Anjani, Crippled Black Phoenix, Stefano Scodanibbio…

Any live shows planned for this year?

None planned so far.

What does the future hold for Nonsun?

Uncertainty. Wouldn’t be honest to say I look to the future with optimism. We’ve hardly afforded to make this album all-diy, and I have no idea how we will do the next one, considering the current economical crash in the country which has a very direct impact on independent non-commercial musicians like us. It’s now really uncertain perspective for us as a band, and it’s lately been really dark times in my own life. So I have no damn clue what the future holds. But, of course, I hope so much I’ll still be able to keep doing this, because it’s very important for me.

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