Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: January 21st, 2006
When did you first start playing guitar? Did you take lessons?
I started when I was about 11, in the beginning, my mother helped me but I never took lessons until I was 17, then later I studied at the music school for 2 years.
What brand of guitar did you learn to play on?
Hmm, my first guitar was an acoustic guitar and the first electric was an old Charvel, I think with a very ugly green color (Ha-ha).
Do you remember the first album you bought?
I think it was Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast,” goooood album still!
What was the first concert you attended?
I think it was with some local bands, maybe Meshuggah played I’m not sure.
How often did you practice?
For some years I practiced about 10 hours a day, It became too much for me as I started losing my social life. It’s good to practice but never forget the people around you.
What kind of kid were you in high school?
Ha-ha... I was a longhaired dude that just floated around having fun. I didn’t like school that much. I can’t sit still for one minute... ha-ha.
In what band did you first play?
I don’t think we had a name but we played some kind of Trash/Death metal. We sounded... hmm... -strange ha-ha. But we had a lot of fun!
What was the first band you were in that record material?
The first band I was in recording a record was Nocturnal Rites but ever since I started playing I recorded my self on tape recorders, it’s very good to listen to oneself. You hear stuff different after a while.
How was your family support?
I have 2 brothers that play guitar so we kind of pushed each other and our parents always gave us time to play and never complained if we cranked the amps at home.
You first became a member of Nocturnal Rites with the release of their second CD “Tales of Mystery and Imagination.” What were you doing before that?
I played with some demo bands. Playing local shows and just trying my best to become a good player.
Is there any new guitarist you would recommend people to hear?
There’s so many good players out there man! But I like when people don’t over play just to show their new cool licks. I like Gus G’s playing… very tasty.
What is the most technical song to play live?
I don’t know really but the solo on the new song “Something Undefined” is very hard...
Do you feel that “Grand Illusion” will be the breakout CD for Nocturnal Rites in The US?
I really hope so. There are some plans for some shows in the US this spring so hope there will be a lot of fans coming. It will be so cool going there.
What is the advantage playing a seven-string guitar compared to six strings?
You get more possibilities with another string, if you feel that you never use that 7th string don’t buy one, but for me, that need to play those low notes and still have to do those high leads its a must.
Would Nocturnal Rites ever consider doing an acoustic set?
Yeah why not but it depends on the situation... unless you’re a really crappy finger player to be honest ha-ha.
What is the last guitar you received?
I got some different guitars but I’m waiting on a new one that we discussed when I was in Japan in November. I’m sure it will be a killer axe!
Did you enjoy playing with a symphony orchestra?
It was so cool, a total different bag, you know. But I was kind of shocked by the force in volume the Orchestra had with no amps. God damn!
But it was very nice to have done it.
Would you consider doing a solo CD?
I have thought about it but have never given myself time to do it. I’m always occupied with touring and other stuff and I’m not sure what style it would be either. I’m really into jazz but I think I have to improve before doing something in that style. If I do a solo record, I wanna do some thing I will be happy with.
Do you use a personal signature guitar pick/plectrum? If so what gauge do you use?
Yes, we get custom picks from Caparison, I think its 1.5mm but it’s not that important. I used to use 2.0 mm. I don’t care that much, it’s got our logo on them that’s more important ha-ha.
How long did it take to record “Grand Illusion” and what song was the most technical to record?
I think we were in the studio for 6 weeks or so. I don’t think any song was harder than the rest but the longer you work in the studio the harder things get, its really tiring working so hard for so long… but it pays off in the end when you are finished!
If you had a chance to play side by side with another guitarist for a solo who would that be?
Maybe Allan Holdsworth but I would roll off my volume without anyone noticing...
Who came up with the cover for “Grand Illusion?”
It was brainstorming between the record label and us.
Will you play in the United States in 2006?
I can say that its 90% sure we will make it there. See ya there!
What was the last CD you listened to beside Nocturnal Rites?
I almost never listen to our records more than a few times after we are finished in the studio. I think it was a Björk album. She is amazing!
How is the new CD being received by the fans?
It’s been really good for us, there are more and more peoples coming to our shows and you can hear us more on radio, so it’s looking really good!
Nils I would like to thank you for the opportunity to talk with you. It has be an honor to interview one of the greatest guitarists of the new era in music. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Thanx man and I just wanna say that we live to play live and hope to see you at a show some where!!!