Interviews: Nergard

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Symphonic Metal band, Nergard from Norway. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

AK: *gestures vaguely at Andreas Nergård*

AN: Tony Mils (TNT, SHY) suggested that name after I’ve presented a handful of shitty names to him. He thought it sounded very metal, like a guard or something, Ner-guard. The direct translation of my surname is basically “Downfarm”. We both concluded that it wasn't very metal. Nevertheless, I decided to stick with Nergard. It is short and to the point. It also reflected what the band was all about in the first ten years - a solo project with guests.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

AK: This was the sort of genre that all of us in the band grew up listening to - and there were and still are a lot of Nordic names in this genre. More inspiration and a lower threshold mean metal remain pretty strong up here!

AN: I’ve been into this genre since I was a youngster. Always been into this dramatic, epic, over-the-top sound. I like to tell stories and what better way to tell a story than through Symphonic Metal

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

AK: Andreas did a review of an album I did with another band back in 2008, and we got in touch after that. In one way or another, I've been around ever since! AN: The band consists of people that have crossed my path one way or another throughout the years. The majority of the band is Norwegian and from the city of Trondheim. These are guys that I’ve known for almost twenty years now. The entire band met for the first time the day before we filmed an outdoor show last summer. And everyone got along immediately. It was such a nice experience.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

AK: At this point probably Survivor, I've been majorly getting into '80s AOR lately. 

AN: This changes a lot. Obviously U2 and Nightwish have been bands that have been with me for ages but right now I’d put my money on Insomnium that just released one of the best albums I’ve heard in years.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

AK: For the newer stuff a lot of inspiration came from historical research, looking up old war letters home, biographies of people and events. But always from the little perspective, from the individual, sitting there in the middle of all this.

AN: Springtime in Norway is the best inspiration I can get when the world comes back to life after a long dark winter. I’m always incredibly productive in April-May. So for the next month, I’ll probably spew out another album haha.

6. Where was your last gig?

AK: At an awesome open-air theater in Norway. Full Pyro and everything!

7. Where would you like to act?

AK: I think every metal band wants to play Wacken, but also Sweden Rock Festival!

AN: Finland and Germany. Sweden would be nice too. I’d love to see the audience in other countries than my own for a change and the following of this genre is a lot bigger outside of Norway.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

AK: Nergard started as a rock opera with featured musicians and it's honestly been really cool to just be 'us' for a while and come together as a band. But I'd love to hear a keyboard solo by Jens Johansson.

AN: Agree on Jens. I’ve always adored his playing. I’d also love to work with Elize Ryd ones more. She is such a nice person.

9. Whom not?

AK: Honestly whoever doesn't serve the needs of the song. I'd love to play with and learn from anyone and everyone, but I'd always want to start with what the song needs.

AN: No idea actually. They say “never meet your heroes' ', but I’ve been fortunate enough to do that several times with Nergard in the past and it has been an absolute pleasure every time. Obviously, I would not like to work with anyone that did not respect me, the music, or the band but you don’t know that sort of thing before you start working with them.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

AK: I suffer from crippling, terrible stage fright, and have for about ten years now. Honestly, the only way to beat it is to learn to live with it. To learn that it's survivable, that you do come out the other side. Oh, and never pee before you go on stage. It'll keep you moving and occupy your brain!

AN: I always feel tension before hitting the stage but that usually disappears after a song or two. The only time I’ve encountered crippling stage fright was before our show last summer. It was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. The higher the stakes the worse it gets. To get rid of the tension I usually focus on the audience, try to make contact, and engage them. Once you send energy to the front row you get twice as much back. An amazing feeling.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

AK: I'm a child of my time, so it's going to be the same answer you get from a lot of Swedes who grew up when I did - Yngwie Malmsteen, Europe, Helloween, but then also bands like Stratovarius, Edguy, and Sonata Arctica.

AN: I had pretty much the same taste in music as Andi even though I grew up in the 90s. Norwegian bands like TNT and Stage Dolls were of vital importance in my early teenage years. Then I started discovering bands like Yngwie, Europe, Stratovarius, Edguy, and Nightwish.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

AK: Once a guy said he'd buy all the albums on the merch stand if I held his genitals with my hand. Well, we sold the albums, so.

AN: Hats off to Andi. I can’t top that haha.

13. What do you think of your fans? 

AK: You get 29000 days in your life if you're lucky. So every second you spend doing anything is a second you never get back. People who give of their time and their attention, to the music that I and we make, are incredible. They're giving you something literally irreplaceable. I unconditionally love every single one of you. 

AN: There is no bigger compliment than someone that likes the art you’ve poured your heart and soul into. I’m forever grateful to everyone that has followed this band throughout the years, new and old fans.

14. What do you think of our site?

AK: I like the fact that you have country filters, so I can discover bands from countries I'd never heard music from before. I mean, Azerbaidjan, Honduras, Sri Lanka? Bring it on!

AN: Agree. I have some checking out to do!

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