Ne Obliviscaris: The Days of Daydreaming Are Over

That's all any band really wants..... To be heard.

NeObliviscaris are gearing up for their most explosive year to date. The ambitious Melbourne outfit currently hold the Australian record for highest crowd funding campaign, have a recent signing to one of the industries most prestigious labels under their belt, have an ambitious world tour in the works and to top it all off, the release of their sophomore album; Citadel (which sat proudly at #41 on the Australian album chart as we went to press! -Chart-obsessed Ed). For Ne Obliviscaris the world is now at their feet. Metal As Fuck caught up with Tim Charles prior to the release of Citadel to talk shop, tours and Tel Aviv...

"Everthing is going really well, we're really excited the have the album so close to being released - we're starting to get some great feedback from folks from the industry too so right now we're looking forward to getting out on the road and doing some live shows very soon" Tim explains. 

So what does Citadel reveal about Ne Obliviscaris? "It's showing a band who continue doing our own thing. We don't plan too much in terms of writing, no meetings, no discussions about what we wanted to do with Citadel, we just started throwing ideas around, when we found material we really loved, that's what we used. We try to explore a lot of different sounds; you'll never hear us making the same album twice, no Portal of I 2" [laughs]

Writing for the album was fairly relaxed as you explain however did you have a lot of expectations personally? "We did for sure! Portal of I was created during a rapid increase of fans, who were also waiting for its release, but a great deal of people still hadn't heard of us. Where as with Citadel, we felt some pressure because the band was doing really well, we had been signed with a big label (Season of Mist) so there were a lot of expectations all round so it had to be a really good record. Once we started writing, all those considerations went away because we loved the stuff we were churning out and just got lost in our own world. I think that was the really pleasing aspect of of writing for Citadel; prior to its finalisation we thought to ourselves 'how are we going to top Portal of I?' At the same time everything just fell into place and its come out exactly how we wanted it to and we're very proud of it."

How does a band come from spending several years to complete their debut album to basically 24 months to complete the writing a recording of their second? "The songs from Portal of I were written between 2005 and 2009, we had other delays like Benji (Baret, guitarist) having visa issues and being stuck in France for a year and a half which caused Portal of I to come out a lot later than expected. Because of  that the album was released in 2012 but the final songs had been earmarked 3 years earlier. So in that time there was a huge creative build up where a lot of ideas were waiting in the wings, so when we started writing for Citadel we already had this melting pot of ideas. It was a great problem to have [laughs]. Being that we had been held back with our writing for so many years it was a really good feeling to let it all out. It was also a great achievement for us, to compllete Citadel in that 24 month period considering our track record" [laughs]

Had those delays not occurred it would have been a completely different experience for the band, so in saying that do you feel you accomplished everything you set out to achieve with Citadel? "I think so absolutely, Citadel for us is just the next chapter and I think one of the greatest things about where we are right now is that after the completion of Citadel, we looked at each other and realised that we can keep doing this. We see Citadel as the door that will offer so much more. We learnt so much during the making of the album and we can see a bright future for the band. With all the support the band has received over the years it's attainable."

Its very well known that Ne Obliviscaris like to experiment with new sounds, so what new elements have found their way onto Citadel? "For a band like us, we absolutely like to experiment quite a lot. We get fairly bored doing the same thing. I remember a few years ago we wrote 3 or so songs with long build ups and I think after that we didn't write a song with a long build up for many years after that [laughs] It's often the way we write, we learn how to do something then we'll move on and look for something fresh. Citadel Definitely has some new sounds. Some songs feature the piano, strings and choir. So I was quite keen to get in there and compose. We were really happy that it all worked out. It's a lot different to anything that we've done before. We love to experiment and will continue to do so in the future." 

Experimentation is closely associated with challenge; some things work, some don't, so are you one to embrace these sorts of challenges when writing? "It's exciting, sometimes you'll go home in the middle of writing a song, feeling a little depressed that you can't find a solution. At times you have something that's almost a song but if you can't find what's missing the whole song might not work. When and if you can manage to find something that works, it's the best ever feeling! That sort of excitement is something I really enjoy about the writing process and the ability the challenge ourselves is also a fun element about being in the band."

The band have also recently been signed to Season of Mist, so what sort of opportunities has this given the band? "The biggest opportunity is having the album heard by much greater numbers. The majority of bands out there simply just want people to give them a chance and with Citadel, the amazing thing for us is that a lot more people will have that chance to hear it. Just being able to have those big magazines review the album; increasing our reach even further. It's difficult to get these doors open without the help from these awesome groups of people and that's all any band really want - is to have their album heard." 

Making our way to the bands crowd funding efforts, which exceeded all expectations, does this mean the band are able to think bigger in terms of touring? "Well I guess for us, looking at the world tour we wanted to do; it was after our 3 week headlining tour through Asia in 2013 and the fact that it went so well that we wanted go back. We had so much fun and the turnouts at the show were so great and we gained so many more fans. We had our record label saying 'You've got to get to Europe and the US' which are really big markets for us and if you want to make it big you have to hit these markets and for a band like us, when you attempt these markets for the first time you're spending your own money getting to these places. For the six of us and a sound engineer to get to Europe; flights alone are in the vicinity of $15,000. With America and Asia included the bill increases to $50,000, that's excluding accommodation, van hire, fuel. We wanted to guarantee our fans that we could pull this off. The campaign exploded, so with the extra money that we now have, it has given us the opportunity to add as many shows as we can on the world tour, this is working as we've just announced a headline show in Tel Aviv next July, so the extra money has allowed us to say 'yes' to these offers."

So the plans for the world tour are underway; what else can you divulge thus far? "There is a lot work stuff in the works. We've also announced that we're playing Metal Days festival in Slovenia next year. There is currently a lot of stuff across Europe that's in the works which we can't announce as yet but it's all on the way. So in the meantime we're in discussions with promoters in the states and Asia, so hopefully more and more announces will come." So it's fair to say that 2015 will be the busiest year for Ne Obliviscaris and you're kicking it all off with Soundwave! "Yeah I don't think there is a better way to start the year then playing the Soundwave festival! We're definitely excited. It's a bit mind blowing for us actually and just how great things are going for the band right now. I was so excited when I heard we were playing Soundwave I mean I'm such a huge fan of music, I love music, I love bands. its been my favourite thing to do since I was fifteen years old; go to shows and I've been to almost every Soundwave as a fan. This year I realised that AJ (Maddah) was a fan of ours. It's funny though; I spent most of my time at this years festival daydreaming what it would be like to be on that stage [laughs] For a festival that you've spent so many years attending, it's certainly amazing to have the opportunity to be on the other side and getting amongst the crazy circus that is Soundwave."

Will this upcoming national tour be the last time we're able to see Ne Obliviscaris for quite some time? "I think so yes. We are really excited for the Australian tour and to play the new songs. We're really proud of them. We're really stoked to have Beyond Creation all the way from Canada to join us on this tour and it definitely looks to be the biggest headline tour we've ever done." 

Soundwave 2015 dates

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 February - Adelaide

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 February - Melbourne

Saturday 28 February & Sunday 1 March - Sydney


Saturday 28 February & Sunday 1 March - Brisbane