Hot on the heels of their latest album release 'A new disease is born' Room Thirteen spoke to founder Marios Iliopoulos (MI) about the new lineup and living so far from home.

R13:How has the new album 'A new disease is born' been received? Obvious first question I know.
MIThe album has gotten so far really good reviews and there is a positive reaction from both fans and press. Of course there are some people that have a different opinion but well you can't please everybody; there must be a balance there anyway. But we are very satisfied with how the new album turned out and the whole thing is a plus for Nightrage.

R13:It's only just been released in the US, have you had much pre release response?
MIThe new album has been released in Europe, Japan and USA and we have gained so many new fans so far. We are going to play in festivals and tour heavily so we will support the new music out there. From the reactions that I saw before the release of the album the fans seemed to like the track 'Scathing' a lot, also we're promoting this song as a video as well.

R13:The new album can't help but be admired for the sheer musicianship of the band, do you feel you have stepped up a gear?
MII think that this time we try to introduce some more cool ideas in our music especially with the clean vocals and the new arrangements.
I still think that this is a NR album and you get that picture from the
first time you listen to the album, I think that we kept the brutality and
the melody that characterize our sound and also we introduced some new ideas that the other guys brought in. I don't want us to follow trendy music styles only for the purpose to sell more albums, I want us to be ourselves and do what we have to do. Probably the change of studio makes our sound different and clearer and thanks for that to Jacob Hansen for his incredible work and time that he put into the album.

R13:Jimmie Strimell has quite a voice, coping easily with the screams and clean vocals equally. Where did you find him?
MIYes that's our new singer after Tomas left we found him here in Gothenburg and he was playing with this project band death destruction. He came into the studio and he showed us that he had the skills to take the job. We did a couple of tours with him and we tried him on the stage and everything worked fine.

R13:In fact the whole line up sounds like they gel very well, do you all bring different things to the music?
MII'm really pleased with the new album, I really like the new songs and also the overall sound of the album. I compromised and let some of the other guys put their own ideas into the music and lyrics and that's
because I wanted us to be a real band that everybody contributed to the
song-writing. That made some of the songs sound a bit modern but always in
the format of the NR sound. I really like Death like Silence, Encircle,
Surge of Pity, and Scathing, also the Instrumental track "A new disease is
born" is a really cool song that I played with my 12 string acoustic guitar.
I wanted to have a really clear and heavy sound that you could listen to all the instruments with clarity, and also I wanted to have really melodic hooks combined with aggressive riffing. I think that we achieved that on the album and we gave all our energy to have the best possible performances.

R13:Do you think that with the success of bands like 'In Flames' the time is ripe for Screamcore/Death metal?
MII don't like In flames or metalcore, what we do with Nightrage is pure 80īs metal with more modern sound, I like to get inspired from older bands and I think that they had the best music back in those days. I think that newer bands have lost the feeling that older metal used to have and we are trying to keep that balance in our music with Nightrage.

R13:I feel that newer releases are taking Death metal in new directions, are you striving for that?
MII think that metal used to be so great over 15 years ago but the new bands they don't have the talent or the pure charisma that older bands had, I think NR as a band we have our own sound, this so melodic approach on the guitars with the super heavy rhythms is a trademark for NR. I know that there are tons of bands out there but most of them they are so young and they lack the experience that we have in the music business. We are not
imitators and I played that kind of music from 1993 when I started releasing music with my old band Exhumation. There's always going to be bands that are trying to sound like already successful bands just in order to get some fame and money, but that's not what we are doing with Nightrage.

R13:A Greek/Swedish combination is an original coupling, how did that come about?
MIItīs just happens I had to move from Greece to make my dream come true and now Iīm living 6 years in Sweden. That was the biggest and most difficult challenge in my life, I moved here to Sweden to make NR happen. It wasn't easy I can tell you that and I faced many difficulties to survive and find all the angles that I was searching for, to continue with my dream in music.
After 6 years I have the balance that I was looking for but still it's hard
as hell to be a stranger in a strange land. I mean I was living all my life in Greece and all of a sudden I have to deal with a different culture and
different people, sometimes I don't feel comfortable at all here because I
have to deal every day with weird people, people that you can't get along
with and its still a struggle, maybe because I'm Greek and I refuse to
change, I don't want to change myself for anyone. But I have to fight and
continue this dream no matter what, I miss so much my country and all my
friends there, you never know one day I will go back and find all those nice things that I have lost all those years.

R13:Sweden is now well known for having a wealth of talent, does Greece have a metal underground ready to burst out? Firewind have done already of course.
MIYes that is true there is a scene here in Sweden, lots of bands and lots of live gigs. In Greece there is not still a real metal scene, I mean we have some cool metal bands like Rotting Christ and Firewind but many bands there they are not so serious about their own music. Of course the Greek culture and system there can't help a band grow as well.
There are some bands like Mystic prophecy and Biomechanical outside Greece
lead by Greeks that are having success, but in Greece itīs so hard
for bands to make a career because there is not a music business there and
also the musicians that play in the bands are lazy and they are waiting for the miracle to happen. I think that you have to work really hard to make it and you need patience and perseverance.

R13:Who do you listen to when you are not creating?
MIEverything that sounds good to my ears. I believe that there is good and bad music out there and you have to have your ears open and get inspired from everything that you find interesting.

R13:Do other albums have a conscious influence?
MIYes, sometimes you can listen to an album that can really kick your ass even if that is something that you never expected, that is the magic of music it can lead you to really unexpected and cool territories. Recently I liked the slowmotion apocalypse album and also deadlocks new shit, they sound awesome.

R13:I happened to review the new album for RoomThirteen and I thought it was great, I wish you well for the release and that you break into some new territories with it. Come and play in the UK.
MIThanx a lot for the chance at having an interview with your site, I hope that our fans will like the new album and we are looking forward to seeing them live very soon.

Metal on.