Danish symphonic progressive metal act Mythery is “not a typical metal band,” they say. With the members lying their interests in different music genres ranging from jazz to classical and metal, it is obviously that their sound is quite varied. They released the debut album The Awakening of the Beast in 2013, an album that received great reception from fans and media. The band is looking forward to the new musical adventures.
As a part of our Band of the Week interview feature, we spoke with Mythery‘s drummer Nikolaj Holger.
What is your mission with Mythery?
The mission of the band is to contribute a new musical perspective on metal and push the boundaries of the genre. The music should broaden the listener’s musical horizon – whether the music is good or bad is up to the individual listener, but our goal is to give them something ”new”.
Where is the connection between the band’s name and music?
I came up with the band name, and thought it suited the music very well. It is open to interpretation, as it is not an actual word, but to me it means ”myths in the making”, which is pretty much the approach I have when I compose.
Your debut album “The Awakening of the Beast” was released in 2013. Tell me about the creative process and approach that brought the record forward.
The record is a result of three years of hard work. I write all of the music and lyrics and the guys in the band have had to put up with my constant urge to rearrange and rewrite, getting everything exactly how I wanted it for when we would enter the studio in the summer of 2012. I am very grateful that my bandmates would put so much effort and time into this project and I think the energy that we felt together was what kept us going. We had to see it through, and hopefully that energy will continue to drive us forward in the future.
How does the album title effect the material presented on the record? Give me a snapshot of the topics you explore.
The people who, based on the album title, will expect heavy growling and high-speed double-bass work throughout the record will be disappointed. The title track is the centerpiece of the album. Lyrically, we find ourselves taking part of a classic story of the fight between good and evil, including holy scriptures set on fire, deceiving voices from the underworld and a priest who turns his back on his religion to achieve a higher, godlike status. It’s all fiction, but to me it is great fun to explore these sides of my imagination. The remaining four songs on the album have their respective themes, but they are all related to and inspired by the fantasy genre.
It’s said in your biography that Mythery can hardly be labeled as a typical metal band. What does it mean?
Our music is basically sheet music, played by musicians who have very different musical background. We are not the type of band who have been brought together because of our mutual love of metal. We were rather brought together, because I had a distinctive idea of how I would like music to sound – that sound turned out to have a metal edge.
What is your way of documenting the music while it’s being formulated?
On my computer I have a program called ”Midisoft Recording Session”. It was published in 1994 and I never met anyone who have heard about it or used it. Basically you have a sheet in front of you, and you just type in notes for the different instruments. I started using this program for composing in 2003 and I still do today, eleven years later, although an upgrade would definitely be worth considering someday… Sometimes I browse the MIDI catalogue from several years ago and find cool ideas that I turn into new songs. Some of the old stuff would be cool to release as bootlegs in the future.
Are you satisfied with the feedback you received on “The Awakening of the Beast” from both the media and fans?
Overall we are very satisfied. Generally, it seems that most of the reviewers have understood what we aimed to accomplish with the record. Our fanbase is growing at a slow, but steady pace and we look forward to presenting everyone with some new music as soon as possible.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when making “The Awakening of the Beast”? Tell me about the technical side of the album. Where was it recorded? Who produced it?
There are many aspects that have to be considered before you enter the studio. Arrangements, orchestrations and the practical stuff like who to hire, where to record and so on. When the recording is done, the whole process of mixing, mastering and pitching the music to record labels also took a great deal of time. So the biggest challenge was to remain focused throughout the process and to take one step at a time. We recorded the album at CSI Music, a studio just outside of Copenhagen owned by Christoffer Stjerne and Soren Itenov. And we cannot thank our producer Kristian Martinsen enough for putting as much time and energy into making this record as he did. His musicality and technical skills as a producer really exceeded our expectations.
At the moment I am very much into the progressive rock/metal scene. Particularly HAKEN has really blown me away, and their three albums have been spinning a lot at my apartment for the last couple of months. Besides that, when writing, I am very aware of which ideas I think are good and which ones are bad. But sometimes good ideas come from the bad ones, so the key for me is to remain open-minded and positive even though my ideas are shit.
What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?
Of course there is a lot of inspiration to be found in paintings, sculptures, dancing and so on. But the only thing it takes for me is, if something changes the way I interpret and understand the world I live in or the people around me or myself – then it inspires me.
Are you working on any new Mythery material at the moment?
We have started working on our second album, which will be a bit proggier than the first one. Long, epic songs, suited for any prog lover. Hopefully we will be able to release it within a year or so.
How would you describe what you do with Mythery to someone who didn’t listen to you before?
We try to capture the spirits of symphonic and progressive metal and unite the two in a way never heard before.
What lies in the future for Mythery? What do you hope to accomplish at the end of the day?
At the moment I plan a tour of Germany in the fall of 2014, where we will play some new stuff for the first time. Until then, it is all about getting to know the new material, having a good time in the rehearsal studio. Hopefully we will, sometime in the future, have claimed a position among the top prog metal bands out there. We believe that we have the skill and drive necessary to make it happen.
Mythery on the web:
Bands interested in Prog Sphere’s “Band of the Week” feature can contact us at info (at) prog-sphere (dot) com