EMQ’s With Nachtmuse
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Symphonic Metal Project, Nachtmuse. Huge thanks to main main, Geoff Hodsman, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hi, I’m Geoff Hodsman. I play guitar, bass and drums as well as performing harsh vocals. Nachtmuse is my project, which I started as an outlet for my more melodic musical ideas that weren’t possible to pursue with my Death Metal bands. I started with a demo in 2017, which was very rewarding so from there Nachtmuse has been my main interest. With help from some talented vocalists (Maude Theberge and Jeff Mott) there’s since been a full-length album (‘Solemn Songs of Nightsky & Sea’) along with a music video (‘Under the Yoke’). Currently we are on the cusp of releasing the follow up EP, ‘Darker Skies’.
How did you come up with your band name?
Well, let’s divide it into two parts:
Nacht, as in the night, and darkness. I tend to identify with both, a quirk of my personality I suppose, and if left to my own devices (a thing that doesn’t happen anymore) I’d probably spend most of my waking hours after sundown. My songs are usually sorrowful or look at concepts that are not bright and cheerful, so it is a suitable side of our day-to-day to identify with. Why did I go with the Germanic ‘nacht’? Well, there is ‘nachtmusik’ (as in the great composer Mozart), which I suppose my music is, and that also brings in a classical aspect that makes a lot of sense when you hear the symphonic elements we’re bringing. But also because German things sound brutal.
Muse, as in creativity. Nachtmuse is my main creative outlet.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from Toronto, Canada. Toronto is the largest city in Canada, but interestingly that doesn’t make for the best rock / music scene. I’d say Montreal (where our vocalists Jeff and Maude hail from) does a lot better in this regard, that city has always flourished with creativity as far as I can witness. In Toronto people seem to have everything they could ever need and can’t really be bothered to leave their homes unless it’s for a big artist. Our smaller venues can barely stay open.
What is your latest release?
That would be the single ‘The Sunken’. Kindly have a listen to it!
Who have been your greatest influences?
In terms of direct influences for Nachtmuse, the biggest one is Therion. There is a sweet spot of albums in their long career that is by far my favourite music ever, and that’s why I’m writing Symphonic Metal of my own. Then we have some other bands like Lacrimosa, The Gathering, Dreams of Sanity and All About Eve. I also just really like riffs… chuggy ones, snarly ones, etc..
What first got you into music?
Probably my dad and big sister. My music exposure in my childhood was mainly what my dad was listening to in the car. Then as I got a little older my sister got me to attend my first concert and I picked up on a lot of her Rock music tastes. In terms of playing it, well, in my pre-teens I was attending a school downtown for two years (before they recommended that I don’t come back) and they had this sweet vintage P-Bass. I think playing around on it and toying with the idea of being like the rockstars I was listening to got me started with playing.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Christofer Johnsson (Therion). It would be very cool to get to work alongside such a huge influence.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
70,000 Tons of Metal! It’s like a metal festival except instead of being in the mud, rain and burning sun, you are on a cruise ship! It probably can’t get any better than that!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
It feels weird to me still when people actually exchange their money for my work. We do after all live in this paradigm where music is for all intents and purposes free to consume. Call it imposter syndrome but I do regard it as a gift every time. So, thanks to all who have supported me!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Nachtmuse is not just some cute metal-rock thing with violins. It’s serious music that actually speaks to what’s in my heart and mind. I hope and am grateful for anyone that listens to my work. Oh, and please do so in their entirety (an entire album or EP) in the intended track order. 😉
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
I think Chris Cornell. I don’t really feel much when a celebrity passes but that one I did. I’ve always respected his singing and song writing a lot.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy the satisfaction of creating something of my own. It’s kind of what I live for. There are aspects though that I wouldn’t say I ‘hate’, but I do find them annoying, such as maintaining a social media presence and sourcing visual material to go with the music.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I could think for a while and come up with some really granular things that are particular to the specific type of music I work with, but right off the bat I’ll just say that musicians are getting fleeced for their work. I mean we all know Spotify alone is not going to pay our bills. Music has become extremely undervalued, so I think it’d be great if we all embraced a way for us to be better compensated.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Therion – “Lemuria”.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I don’t care for vinyl at all. I mean it’s nice that the cover art is so big but otherwise, you have this very limited audio quality, and the discs wear out. I’m sure I’d feel different if I were raised on it though, after all, I like cassettes purely because I’m nostalgic for how they sound. I like CD’s the best, those have always been a part of my world and I will stubbornly cling to them as we delve deeper into our digital future.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
That would bring us into the realm of my Death Metal bands. Envenomation was a short-lived Slam band from maybe twelve years ago, we only played two gigs and it was weird but those two gigs were unexpectedly packed and wild. I think if we’d kept it together that band could have done great things. I’ve also had some very nice experiences with a current band, Human Compost, such as the success of our album release party (for ‘From the Grave They Crawl’) and more recently the incredible death metal fans of the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
It would have to be some sort of other artistic creation then. That’s always been my nature – as a kid I was into visual art. So, it could have remained that, or perhaps I’d be an author of low-quality fiction.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I’d have Graham Hancock, Randall Carlson, Jimmy Corsetti, Ben van Kerkwyk and Joe Rogan over. I wouldn’t have to say a thing, and the conversation would be incredible.
What’s next for the band?
I’m currently intending to do another full length. I have themes I’ve been toying with, not going to disclose what they are yet but it would involve an epic prog-metal four-parter making up 50% of the release. In the meantime, we’re going to see what can be done to keep the train for this new EP rolling with potential music videos and other visual stimulation.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
You can find Nachtmuse on Instagram, Facebook, Bandcamp and all popular music streaming services!
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
What’s a Jaffa Cake? I don’t think we have those here. Going on the name I’d say it’s a cake, but as far as I’m concerned Jaffa are the slave race of the Goa’uld.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Nachtmuse is Symphonic Metal with an extra dose of heaviness and creativity. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.