The mighty breed of dark metal bands has conquered Europe and is getting ready to take the world by storm. Their music is based on black and gothic metal but comprises a variety of other stylistic elements taking the songs to a higher level of intensity and making them richer in emotions. Germany’s Nebular Moon are recognized by many as a rising dark metal star, and their latest album “Metamorphosis” has got excellent reviews, including on our own website, and we have done our best to get somebody from the band interviewed for Even though the Nebular Moon people turned out to be extremely busy, bassist Ingo Haltermann kindly provided us with comprehensive answers to our questions by e-mail. So here we go! Let’s start with a bit of history. Did you play in any other bands before joining Nebular Moon?

Ingo: Well… hm… no! (Just some non-metal school-bands, but nothing of any interest.) What is the meaning of the name Nebular Moon?

Ingo: The name itself means nothing special. It’s more a feeling of strangeness and mist that shall be transported. A strange thing about that is, that nobody really knows how the name arose! We started to torture our brains to find a name, but there was nothing special, nothing to say “Yes, that’s it!” So…
…we started to drink some beer. And then some more and more, and the next thing we know is the paper at the table with the golden letters: NEBULAR MOON, a sunbeam came down and we all danced around the table and sang “Hallelujah!”
… or something like that. Okay, maybe that the letters were not golden and how I remember was is a rainy day, but so we found our name, on a scrap on the table!. Did you have any releases (demos or EPs) before the first album “Mourning”?

Ingo: No, “Mourning” was our first output. We did not make any demos before “Mourning”. Today I think that the release was our demo, in a way. “All Is Lost” was our first song ever. Until now we just wrote one song that was never banished on CD. Do you remember the first live show of Nebular Moon? Was it a success or a disappointment for you?

Ingo: It was quite fun! It was a party of a friend of ours and we played on a five-square-meter stage, but we and the audience had our fun. Not so much later our first album came out already, and suddenly there were lots of offers to play some gigs! But I don’t even remember our first “real” concert. Did you wear corpse paint in the early days? What do you think of corpse paint in general?

Ingo: Well, we tried once, but it wasn’t really serious. In general I think the corpse paint should just be used by real black metal bands, witch really want to express the spirit of black metal and not just want to look more bad or something like that. What are your former bandmembers Tom and Markus now doing? Are you still in contact with them?

Ingo: Markus is still screaming for Abaddon. It’s a really good melodic (black) metal band, a little bit like Therion, but more aggressive. They will make their way! With Tom we have no contact anymore (except of meeting him in a bus, all six months). He’s now some kind of “straight edge”, and makes some sounds like emo-jazz and hardcore stuff. Is your second full-length CD “…Of Dreams And Magic” a concept album?

Ingo: No, not really. Sure, the lyrics are focused on the title words “dreams and magic”, but I won’t say that this is already enough to title this a concept album. You only had lyrics in German on the latest album “Metamorphosis”. Why did you abandon the English lyrics?

Ingo: I think it’s much easier to make the lyrics in your own language. The lyrics come out of my head and my heart, and they “speak” German. I think, I could just not express myself in any other language. I first had to transmit the feelings in something strange, and after that I recognized that it still wasn’t what I wanted to express. And it’s also a matter of how a language sounds. The sound of the German language is quite hard. Not the nicest anyway, but very expressive. Although there are many languages I like better. All the Nordic languages, for example. Can you describe the songwriting process in the band? What comes first, music or lyrics?

Ingo: In most of the cases the music comes first. Hm… No! In all cases. Normally we try some new stuff, play it sometimes if we like it, and so we collect riffs or keyboard parts, until we think that two or three parts could go together and build the basic structure of a new song. Why is the main character of the Metamorphosis-story called SETH? Does his name have any special meaning?

Ingo: Yes, SETH is the old Egyptian god of the strange, the alien. The fascinating thing about him is the lack of being good or bad. In the end he is the one to kill the godfather OSIRIS. I like this character because of his difference. He is his own master, and so he acts, with all his faults. For me one of the most important things to know is that everything is both good and bad. There is no pure good or pure evil. Who knows, perhaps Glen Benton loves children and the Pope used to fuck them?! Okay, let’s stay serious. Look at the Afghanistan conflict: What would you say, who is good and who bad? Are the Americans the “good guys”? From the Taliban’s point of view, they must try to destroy the Islam. They help to oppress the Muslims in Palestine, invade Afghanistan, kill innocent brothers-in-religion, torture Muslims in Guantanamo Bay… Good and bad always result from the point of view, so that there can’t be an objective good or evil. What is the meaning of the instrumental track “Winter des Vergessens”?

Ingo: In English it means “winter of oblivion”. The instrumental on “…Of Dreams…” was called “Herbst der Philantrophie”(autumn of philanthropy), and this tendency will be continued on our next outputs. You had as many as three guest vocalists on “Metamorphosis”. Who are they and why did you decide to invite them?

Ingo: There were only two guest vocalists. The third (Arkadius from Suidakra) was too busy, so that we had to do without him. The other two are Markus from Abaddon (our former vocalist) and Björn Goosens from Night In Gales, both good friends of ours. Of course one reason to invite them is that they are vocalists with extra-ordinary styles. You can identify them from ten thousand other vocalists. We tried to give “Metamorphosis” more diversity and I think that this succeeded. Another reason (especially depending on Markus) is that we wanted to show respect to what he had done for us in the past few years. And some tracks were already recorded in July 2000 when Markus still was our man. A review of “Metamorphosis” that I have read in a Russian magazine describes the album as “a cross of dark, gothic and black metal sometimes reminding me of Ancient Ceremony and Thirdmoon.” What do you think of those bands? Are such comparisons justified?

Ingo: Well, I have never spent much time on these bands. Perhaps I should do… With the “cross of dark, gothic and black” I’m not so happy. Dark is okay, but gothic? Okay, maybe if you take “…Of Dreams…” , but just the use of keyboards doesn’t mean that something is gothic! But wait for the next output…!
With black metal I don’t agree either. Although we use some kind of black metal leads, I won’t say that we are black metal. Black metal is not only the music. Black metal is Satanism, a way to live and to think.
It’s always the same, everybody tries to find categories. But what for? For all who need some, I would say (at the moment) that our music is (extreme) dark metal. Are you satisfied with the work of CCP Records? Are you going to stay with them for more albums?

Ingo: Yes, until now CCP have done a great work! Okay, it is a small label with not so much possibilities like Last Episode for example, but they do their best for the bands (in contrast to Last Episode). I think it is a chance for both sides, CCP and us. We will stay with CCP for at least one more album, and then we will see! Tell me a little bit about your new bandmember Nils. Where does he come from and why did you choose him?

Ingo: We got to know Nils on many underground events. He is a total underground freak who always knows where and when the next event starts. First of all we thought about a project and I visited him at a rehearsal with his band Via Obscura (fucking great real black metal!). He is a really great and very expressive guitar player with a very hard way to torture his guitar! So we decided to ask him to join us and he integrated very fast and is a real enrichment for us. Another point is that we are…let me say… some kind of extremely and totally mad! It’s not so easy to get along with us if you are somebody who can’t give contra. We tried some guitareroes who ran out of the room screaming after a session! But with Nils it’s pure harmony (…and now bend down!!!). Does anybody in the band have side projects?

Ingo: No. Nils, as already told, is the guitarman from Via Obscura, but this is more than a side project. For the rest Nebular Moon is more or less a full time job. Can you describe the upcoming album? Will it have any concept? Will there be any changes in the musical direction?

Ingo: I don’t want to tell to much, but what I can say is that it will continue the concept of “Metamorphosis” and that it will be our hardest and fastest album ever (and the best of course)!!! Is there any possibility of seeing you play live in Moscow one day?

Ingo: I hope so! Anyway, it is our biggest aim to make an Eastern European tour, because most of our fans are from there. And as I far as I understand, the fans in eastern Europe are totally mad for metal! In Germany a lot of fans are not hungry any more. Nearly every tour starts in Germany and you could see nearly every band here. I think this is different the more towards the east you are. Please say a few words to your fans in Russia.

Ingo: First of all thanks to everyone who supported us! Chill the Vodka bottles! We are coming as fast as possible to kick some Russian ass!!!
Watch out for our new album, coming up in November and also check
Stay dark and hungry (and thirsty of course).

-- Roman The Maniac

(June, 2002)

Mourning (selfprod, 1997)
Nightfall (mini) (selfprod, 1998)
…Of Dreams & Magic (Last Episode, 1999)
Metamorphosis (CCP Records, 2001)

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