Interview: Andy Ferguson of Necrocracy

After witnessing the sheer brutality of the band Necrocracy for the first time at the recent Gatecreeper gig, I had to introduce myself to the guys and compliment them on their performance. Although this Glaswegian four piece have been around since 2012, it is only in the last two years that they have had a steady line up and spent some time at the studio. This has led to Necrocracy being able to record two demos that mix black and death metal with their own sound ending up with songs that would please both sets of fans.

Guitarist Andy was kind enough to answer my questions, informing us about what they have in store for the near future, their influences and the recordings of their two demos. Necrocracy are another fine example of a band that compliment the Glasgow scene that is totally bursting at the seams at the moment.  Expect to hear more from Necrocracy and in the meantime, head over to their bandcamp page and listen to their two demos and see for yourself.

Simple things first – how did you meet?

Aaron and I have played in bands together for years. John and Duncan we met through adverts.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Pretty much five years exactly as I type this. We’ve gone through a lot of lineup changes over that time, though, and have only recently had a lineup that’s been able to play live.

What are your influences?

Heavy metal, horror, paintings/photos… We are most influenced by metal bands from the genre’s birth up until the dying days of the underground around the turn of the millennium, although there are always new bands we enjoy. There are too many specific bands to list but think of Celtic Frost, Mayhem, Morbid Angel, Sarcofago, Emperor, Sadistik Exekution, Maniac Butcher rather than more modern, clinical, airbrushed bands. However, I think the musical influences aren’t necessarily an inspiration – speaking for myself I’m almost exclusively inspired by non-musical things.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

It’s not for me to say whether or not we are unique but I would say that although we quite easily fit into the ‘death/black metal’ category we aren’t trying to sound like any other band. We just consider ourselves a heavy metal band and that seems to be pretty rare in these days of sub-sub genres and bands directly ripping each other off. We also are neither modern nor retro – it seems that most metal bands are one extreme or the other nowadays.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

The lyrics have changed as we have changed vocalists and we probably are only now arriving at a style that suits us. Death, horror and religious persecution are common themes.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We’ve only been playing live for about a year and have already played (off the top of my head) about twelve shows including supports with some touring bands (Mithras, Ghoul etc) and we brought Uburen over from Norway for a couple of shows. Our live show is very stripped back and simple. We tend to string songs together and think about our set as a singular thing rather than us playing a series of songs. The goal with the band is generally to strip complex ideas back to the simplest form they can take whilst still conveying what we want them to.

You have been together since 2012 and have released two demos in the last couple of years. Are you ready to record new material?

We’ve actually just left the studio after recording our half of an upcoming split with Impenitent, which we are hoping will be released before the end of the year. There are plans to go back into the studio again late summer next year as well.

Is there anything that you would change now that you have had the chance to reflect on the recordings?

We’ve always been keen to point out that our demos are actually demos, not EPs or mini-albums or anything. We have been cutting our teeth and trying different studios/recording methods to see what works for us. I don’t think any of us were entirely happy with the production or the recording process itself for our second demo Birth and Slaughter, but you live and learn. The experience has helped us develop our working method and sound – without those experiences you can’t move forward.

Each recording should capture a moment in time and it makes sense that as you grow you will see that moment through different eyes, but that doesn’t mean that its value diminishes as everything new is build on what went before. So although if we turned the clock back we would probably approach things differently given the knowledge we have now I can’t see us ever re-recording something from the past.

Was it difficult to find the sound that you wanted and how did you find the place to record your album?

Yes and no. We never set out and said “let’s sound like this”, we just played and developed/are developing our style. The difficulty has been capturing that sound on record. The studio we have just left is definitely the place we’ve been most satisfied with. The producer (Sam) doesn’t listen to metal which is what we were looking for as we’ve found too many people into metal follow production rulebooks, which we have no interest in doing. We’ve worked previously with engineers who’ve tried to insist that we use certain amps, click tracks, and have talked about things being “industry standard”. Unfortunately metal these days seems to be overrun with people who follow these rules, but that’s not the way we operate and we don’t want to work with people who have those attitudes. Sam is into Throbbing Gristle and stuff like that and doesn’t have any strong opinions on what heavy metal should be like, meaning he was much more open minded and allowed us to be creative and capture the sound that we liked rather than a sound predetermined by the heavy metal police.

On the subject of touring, is it difficult for everyone to get away from their day job and maybe do a week long tour?

We all work full time as well as having other commitments so it’s not easy, but it is of course possible. Moving forward we are looking at touring more instead of doing lots of one-off shows. In fact we are currently working on booking a short tour for next year.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

I’ll plug first – Uburen (who we’ve toured with) as they are really good guys and presented no drama at the shows we played with them, and Impenitent, who we’re doing the upcoming split with.  If you haven’t already, check them out. If we were talking “ideal world” then there are so many. I’ll say Celtic Frost and Master’s Hammer but there are loads I’d love to play with.

How often is the band able to get together and rehearse?

Hardly at all, which is why progress has been slow. However, Duncan’s (our vocalist) shift patterns have recently changed at work, meaning we have many more windows of opportunity to rehearse and that will definitely help us moving forward.

Are there any bands in your local scene that you would recommend?

Honestly I don’t feel we are connected to a local scene. In fact I personally find the majority of the modern metal scene is quite alien to me. However if we are casting the net wider and including Scottish metal bands of years gone by then I have to mention Korpse and Ordog.

A fun question to end this interview.  If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?

Depends on the party!  I might take a C.C.C.C. record, clear the place out and have a beer and a chat with anyone who stays.

Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?

If you want to check us out then do. Keep an eye out for the split, and in the meantime grab one of the last few copies of our demos – all on our bandcamp. Come see us next year when we start our next run of shows. And to you Ricky – thanks for the interview and the support!

Necocracy: facebook | bandcamp

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