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Interviews

THE NIETZSCHE on translating poetry to mathcore

Comprised of members from various Ukrainian bands and named after philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, mathcore quartet THE NIETZSCHE sat down with IDIOTEQ to discuss their debut EP, Intro to Advanced Poetry. The record serves an interesting take on erratic mathcore / hardcore stylings, focusing on classic poets and featuring lyrics derived from their works. “Intro to Advanced Poetry” focuses on poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, Edgar Alan Poe, Walt Whitman and more, and is a must-listen for fans of BOTCH and THE CHARIOT. Launch the player below, bring some quality poetry to your life and see what they have to say about this exciting experiment.

Photo by Slippy INC.

Hey Nietzsche! I thought I would never get the chance to meet you, but it’s very kind of you agreed to stop by for an interview for IDIOTEQ. What’s up? How are you?

Hello! Doing fine. Rehearsing a lot before some scheduled gigs in November. You see, we’ve started as a studio project, so we need to practice a lot to get this on the road. Also, we’re working on a follow-up to our debut EP. It’s shaping up to be even weirder.

Ok guys, seriously, how did you become interested in the topic of the work and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde and other artists you cover in your recording? Do you think this album can inspire your listeners and trigger off a return to reading poems and literature? What was the core concept and idea for this experiment?

I would not over-intellectualise this, ha-ha! It all started as a side-project as my main focus has always been Septa. So I guess I was just too lazy to come up with lyrics for the jams we were having. For the first song we had I found a poem by Mayakovsky that is called “Because of Fatigue” and I thought all the other songs would have Mayakovsky’s poems as lyrics, but this concept quickly became tiresome to me, so I’ve started to look up some other poets. Byron and Wilde were easy, because I knew these poems, for Poe it took awhile to find this exact poem. Coincidently, it is called “Song”. And Whitman came on board, when I remembered Gale Boetticher reciting “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” on Breaking Bad. So I guess, it’s not that deep as someone hope it to be.

What was the process of these translations? Apart from the instrumentation and the music itself, tell us more about the writing procedure of “Intro to Advanced Poetry”.

Most of the time music is ready long before lyrics, or in our case before I make poems into lyrics. We have a synchronised vision of what our songs should sound like, so we never have a problem with composing music itself. With lyrics it’s a bit harder, because you need to attach it to music, I mean rhythmically and it has to make sense. It’s more like a puzzle. It helps that we don’t really have a choruses, ha-ha!

What role did these artists play in your views on life?

Huh, I never thought about this. I mean, Wilde and Poe are my favourite authors, but I never cared for their poetry. Mayakovsky is a different story, his whole life is one big rebellion, it’s gotta inspire somehow, right? I think I’m still a little bit infantile to comprehend the impact these authors did on my life. I mean, I see the beauty, I see the appeal, but I don’t think it somehow affected my views in a wide way. Maybe, it’s because I’m more of a prose guy.

What do you want your listeners to take away from the experience of hearing?

I don’t know, we’re mostly about music and energy, because the lyrical content of our songs is not something we personally want to deliver. Because we didn’t write it, you know. But if someone find it clever, I will be more than happy. So I want our listeners to enjoy it in more emotional way, like an expressionism, it’s about the way you transfer it through yourself than the content itself. Just bang your head!

THE NIETZSCHE live

Ok guys. So why did you skip Friedrich Nietzsche on the “Intro to Advanced Poetry”? Does it mean we should expect a full length sometime soon? Do you already have more lessons planned for the next couple of months?

Mainly, because Nietzsche is not very known for being a poet and I can see ourselves doing a spoken word album based on his philosophy works. Not yet, ha-ha! As for now, we’re working on a follow-up. We’ve added Kerouac, Bukowski and Ukrainian poet Ivan Franko to the roster. It’s shaping up real great.

Concert-wise, what are you working on at the moment?

We just had our debut show, as you can see we totally went glam. Couple of shows are on their way, we want to try different outfits before settling with one. This way we want to distance ourselves from the hardcore aesthetic as far as possible. This project was always about fun and I want to keep it that way.

Thanks so much for your time! Feel free to share your final thoughts and take care!

Thank you for such an insightful questions. It was a pleasure. To those who read it this far: read books, listen to music, live a life!

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