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Article Tools Display Modes Interview: Nils Norberg of Nocturnal Rites's Mike Blevins interviews Nils Norberg of the band Nocturnal Rites.
Published by eaeolian
Arrow Interview: Nils Norberg of Nocturnal Rites

<div align="right"><img src="" alt="Nils Norberg">
<b>Interview: Nils Norberg of Nocturnal Rites</b>
<font size="1"><i>By: Mike Blevins</i></font>
<img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Nils Norberg" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Eaeolian:</span> I know you just did the Chicago Powerfest in May. Any chance of Nocturnal Rites coming over to the U.S. for a tour?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">Nils Norberg:</span> Nothing is impossible, and we have contacts with a lot of people over there that want to have us over so it looks promising.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> Is there a new CD in the works?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Yes, we are working with new stuff all the time and we already have a couple of songs, but I don't know when a new CD will be out. I think the new ides really kick ass - I think it's kind of in the same direction as Grand Illusion but still fresh and special.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> Your style is a nice combination of "shredding" and smooth melodicism, and your left hand technique (from watching you in Chicago) is kind of interesting, in the way you switch from three-finger to four-finger playing. Are you self taught?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> I'm basically self taught. I started playing at the age of 10, and back then I had no help other than from my mother who helped me figure out old Metallica songs. So I struggled on my own for many years then when I was about 18 I went to music school for a couple of years. I mostly studied arranging of classical music and Jazz. I did have guitar too with a teacher at that time but we played very different stuff - Pat Metheny, Bebop and so on.

<img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="Nils Norberg" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> Was there an especially influential teacher or band mate that helped you get where you are as a player?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> I get influenced by almost every musician I meet, I suck up the stuff that I like in every player that I see. And I'm open to every kind of music style and instrument.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> Do you have a particular practice routine that you use?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> No not so much any more. I practice a few hours a day, but now I focus more on getting the right "mood" on the guitar playing and contributing to the music more than just technique. Having good technique is just a tool (for me anyway) to make good musi - some people forget that.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> You list some pretty interesting influences on your website (Olec Balta, Allan Holdsworth, Laleh, Chick Corea, Michael Lee Firkins, Björk, Pantera, Rob Zombie, Coltrane, Miles) - is there anyone you'd say is a major influence? Someone that definitely changed your approach to playing after hearing them?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Hmm. I say Allan really blew me away the first time I tried to play his stuff, I stopped playing for 6 months [laughs]. Also Chick Corea is like a hero for me. But I'm an all-eater when it comes to music, I listen to every genre there is.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> How did you get into playing 7 strings?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Fredrik (the other guitarist) has played sevenstrings for 12 years and I got into them when I saw that I was limited compared to him when it came to making riffs. When I switched to sevenstrings, we kind of automatically shifted into a bit heavier sound. It was after that we made the album "Afterlife", which had a more darker sound than the previous records.

<img style="padding:20px;" align="left" src="" alt="Nils Norberg" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> It looks to me like you had an Ibanez (7620?) before you got the Caparison 7 string - is that right? (We tend to be gear heads around
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Haha, yes I had a 7620. It's an ok guitar! I did a few tours with that and it worked fine and stood the beatings - and getting drowned in beer now and then.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> How did you get hooked up with the Caparison deal? Is that the first 7 string they built?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> I tested Mattias "IA" Eklunds guitar one night when I met him once way back, and he gave me an email address to Caparison. They've been really nice to me all along. They made their first sevenstring especially for me after I gave them my specs. I'm really happy with them so far. We tried a few different pickups and some stuff on the neck but now its great!

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> I also noticed you make - and use - a lot of your own gear. How did you get into that?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> I've always been that way, I didn't get money from my parents to buy gear so I made my own stuff. I studied electronics in school so I know a little bit about what I'm doing. It's also fun to make gear that no one else has.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> Was your home made amp modeled on any particular kind of amp (Marshall, Mesa, etc.)?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> It has four channels so the 2 lead channels are kind of a mix between an Engl Savage and a Mesa Mark4, but with a lot of mid shine. The two clean channels were from a fender Twin Deluxe I think, with a Marshall 800 2203 power amp with 6L6GC tubes.

<img style="padding:20px;" align="right" src="" alt="Nils Norberg" /><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> You use an Engl SE, as well. Do you use both amps together, or for specific things? (One for solos, something like that.)
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Live I use the Engl for everything, leads, rhythm and clean. Sometimes I only use a V-amp into a power amp if the venue can't get an Engl SE or if I don't want to take the amp on a flight. My home built amp I only use for studio.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> What are the extra controls on the Caparison and your other 7 string for?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Its a "whammy button". I made it myself and its like a Digitech whammy pedal but on the guitar.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> You joined Nocturnal Rites for the "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" album. The band's undergone some pretty major changes since then. How did the fans of the earlier stuff react to the change in style and sound on the "Afterlife" album?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Some liked it, some didn't, but I think it was a good direction for us. I'm not sure that we'd still be playing if we hadn't changed in the way we did.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> You have a some what unusual situation in being in a band with Fredrik, who doesn't play 7 string live, correct?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> He plays a 6 string, but he doesn't play that much lead so he does not need the highest notes.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> Does he tune BEADGB?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> Yeah that's correct.

<span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">E:</span> What's the future hold for you? Just Nocturnal Rites, or do you have any desire to do anything on your own?
<span style="color:orange;font-weight:bold;">NN:</span> I'm not sure, but for now I only have time for the band. Perhaps in the future I will try something of my own, but I'm not sure what I'd want to do I've written a few songs in very different styles so you never know what it will be.
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<a style="text-decoration:none" href="" target="_TOP"><span style="color:red;font-weight:bold;">Nocturnal Rites - Official Website</span></a>
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By eaeolian on 05-24-2006, 07:57 AM
Thanks for getting this up so quick, Chris. Nils, if you've dropped by to see it, thanks for the interview, and come back to the U.S.!
By Chris on 03-08-2007, 04:32 PM
[action=Chris]administers some NR right now. [/action]
By D-EJ915 on 03-08-2007, 04:39 PM
I've been loving Shadowland these last few days, that song is so rocking.
By eaeolian on 03-08-2007, 04:42 PM
Hmm. "Grand Illusion", here I come!
By ARTofSHREDDIN on 03-19-2007, 02:29 PM
Ooooo I have to get Grand Illusion still. I can't get enough of Afterlife still to this day
By Chris on 01-08-2008, 06:07 PM
By jsl2h90 on 09-01-2011, 12:37 AM
I own his old ENGL SE. Hell of a nice guy. The manual even included some of his personal presets penciled in. Too bad I'm nowhere near on the level of its previous owner yet.
By Force on 10-26-2011, 04:52 AM
Great band, great musicians. Sacred Talisman is still my fave.
By Cannibalbritney on 11-06-2011, 06:19 PM
I respect Nils significantly more now after reading this... I had no idea he has a degree in electronics... I always thought of him as an excellent guitarist, but to build his own setup, that's the type of .... that legends are made of...


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