In our latest interview, we asked Nefalem about their new song, their favourite artists, the challenges of the music world, their future plans and some of life’s great things. They answered all of them with great enthusiasm!
Tamás Garai – guitar
Balázs Csendőr – guitar
Gergely Baricsa “Swéd” – bass guitar
Bence Horváth – drums
Ádám Forczek – vocals
Where does the name Nefalem come from? Who came up with it? (T.)
Balázs: Well, I committed that. I like things to have an underlying meaning, so I merged the beliefs/mythology of my favourite alternate universe with our roots and culture. Nefalem is nothing more than the joint child of an angel and a demon. In this duality is found the eternal, never-ending struggle of “good” and “evil” embodied in one being as flesh and blood. This being could symbolically be a human itself…
How did you meet and polish yourselves into a band?
Garai: We have a long love story with Swéd and Balázs. I don’t want to lie, we met Swéd in the summer of 2013 (2014? who’s counting), we were supposed to have a joint music project, which unfortunately ended up being a flop, but our personal relationship deepened. Later we put together a doom/sludge heat (RageQuit), but that also fell through (Nefalem, start to be afraid!), during this period he jumped on board of the then called Eye for I (later Against the Fall) on a side track (this is 2016) and we “kissed” at the Motorcycle Festival of Alsóörs with Balázs. The chemistry was clear from the first cursing session. After that, a lot of things happened that led to the break-up of RageQuit and Against the Fall and what the heck, in the middle of a drinking session, we agreed with Balázs that well, our time has come (February 2018?). Since we both love Trivium (ha ha, no one would have guessed), we threw together all the ideas we had and after about 3 sessions we had 5 songs 85% done. Then the two of us brainstormed some more, and during another drinking session (how interesting) we approached Swéd and persuaded him that you, my little friend, would come along.The singer’s question was decided almost at the first three-way meeting that we needed Adam! To our great surprise and delight, he accepted and we have been loving every bite ever since. It took us a long time to get our Bence, but after a few blind tries, we luckily got him too and we won’t let him go for any money (that’s love C-rose for you!). The chemistry was very important from the beginnings. You can’t play music without being in touch with your friends. It’s not enough to be a band member, we are friends, brothers, no matter how cheesy it sounds.
What bands have inspired the sound of the band?
Mainly these were on everyone’s list – Trivium, Feared, As I Lay Dying, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, obviously Metallica slips in, so it’s pretty common for all bands we think. The main thing is to have balls.
What bands inspire you individually?
Garai: Well, I’m a die hard Trivium fan. Apart from that I also go to old Ola Englund for “some advice”.
Balázs: It’s not easy to put together such a list. When I was a kid, I used to snatch some of my dad’s CDs and then I came across Metallica – Kill’em All, but I also discovered bunch of great albums, starting with records by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden or even Led Zeppelin, and when I started to learn classical guitar, Hammerfall – Legacy of Kings was a huge novelty. A few years later, through an old friend, I was introduced to As I Lay Dying and Trivium. Of course, during this time there were many pleasant encounters with bands like Children of Bodom, Kalmah, Slipknot – and I could go on and on, but probably Trivium’s Shogun was one of the most influential and still inspires me to this day. Obviously, you keep coming across more and more great bands, recently especially Be’lakor, Uada and Unto Others are spinning in the background.
Swéd: It’s a long story. Since I started playing music I’ve been exposed to more and more bands and musicians. The first album that immediately hooked me was Iron Maiden – Fear Of The Dark. But I also went through the more classic nu metal (Korn, Coal Chamber, Deftones) and metalcore (Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Unearth, etc.) lines. But I was also very influenced by Tool, Meshuggah, or later Karnivool, and on the home front by Subscribe and Watch My Dying… It’s a never-ending journey…
Bence: Earlier: Slipknot, Trivium; later on: Wintersun, Kataklysm, mainly northern melodic death
Forczi: There are plenty of bands within and beyond the scene of metal. Maybe the top 3 to date: Iron Maiden, Mastodon, Tom Waits.
Other than metal, what genres of music do you like?
Garai: I also listen to some metal sometimes. Jokes aside, my big favourites are epic film scores and the more classical pieces. At home, I occasionally listen to some ghetto rap or a good Gütyül Gang.
Balázs: There are so many different styles of metal that it’s sweaty to list them all, but apart from metal, my other favourites include folk/pop (e.g. Wardruna), synthwave, hard rock, blues and classical music.
Swéd: Funky, blues, but I’ve also been stuck on rare gems of pop music in many cases.
Bence: Ambient, folk, synthwave.
Forczi: I listen to a lot of early prog rock, prog electronica. Along with that, there’s a lot of stuff from synthwave to ambient to classic jazz. Right now I can only listen to Fearofdark, for example, cruising in chiptune for days.
If you had to choose one, which is your favourite song ever?
Garai: It’s not an easy question… I’d rather pass on the answer.
Balázs: I don’t usually know the answer to that, there are so many brilliantly good songs on the planet. Let’s go with Deep Purple – Sail Away.
Swéd: Dream Theater – The Dance Of Eternity
Bence: Wintersun – Beyond the dark sun (perfect as it is)
Forczi: I cheat a bit 🙂 Edge of Sanity – Crimson
When and how did the moment come in your life when you decided to pick up an instrument/microphone?
Garai: I remember exactly, in the summer of 2006 I saw/heard an old friend of mine playing guitar and I said, if this monkey can do it, so can I. I have been an “instrument owner” since December 2006.
Balázs: It must have happened when I was 8-10 years old, when I was already listening to my dad’s CDs and playing air guitar on my tennis racket. They must have gotten wind of it, because soon after that my parents took me to study classical guitar at the music school where my mother was teaching solfege and piano. I got bored after about 3 years, and then at the very beginning of high school I got an urge and went to study electric guitar…
Swéd: I’ve always loved listening to music, I wanted to play music, but I started quite late. After high school… A group of friends started a band. They didn’t have a bass player, just an old, dusty Galaxy bass guitar in our drummer’s closet… The rest is history…
Bence: At the beginning of primary school ( at the age of 9-10), partly at the urging of a friend and partly because of an old favourite childhood tale that I thought was pretty damn cool. 😀
Forczi: I was 16 years old when my father bought me a noname Jazz Bass, after much persuasion. After seeing Steve Harris, I was convinced that I wanted to play bass like him. Then over the years I had to sing and then growl and scream, so I slowly abandoned the bass and stayed with the vocals.
What is your song Invictus about?
Forczi: It is based on William Ernest Henley’s poem ‘Invictus’, a song about all those who have been able to remain brave and worthy in the darkest hours of life, even in the shadow of death: the heroes. It is to them that we have dedicated this song.
What direction do you plan to follow in songwriting for the future?
Forczi: You can expect a similar lyrical world as with Invictus in the future. I never have a concrete one. Personal experiences or feelings rarely influence me when writing lyrics. So don’t expect a love song.:) But system-critical telling has never been my thing either. Usually I put down on paper thoughts that have had a formative effect on me and try to look at things from a wider perspective. I put them into a frame and write them out because I feel it’s important to share them. I get inspiration mainly from books, I love good stories. Other times I write down simple visions as lyrics to a theme or mood, it varies a lot.
What is the biggest challenge for you as a band and as a person when it comes to making music?
Garai: Individually, starting a new song… since there is no theoretical background specifically, it’s hard to start anything, but once I get the rhythm, I can put together 2-3 basic frameworks. As a group, rehearsal times are the hardest to arrange, everyone has enough to do in their personal lives.
Balázs: Today’s information overload is kind of suffocating people, so to stand out from this noise and get our music to the potential audience is damn hard. It’s a nice, tough challenge, but nothing is impossible. We’ve all been in quite a few bands, we’ve overcome the little teenage stupidities, like wanting everything at once. We’ve gone through the death of previous formations and figured out how to keep a band together. Luckily we’re all connected by friendships and the band functions as a second family. That is the basis of it all, if it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t be able to make honest music. Of course, everyone has aspirations to play in an internationally established, respected band etc. However, you have to stay down to earth and give what you are and who you are.
Swéd: In the early days, as a beginner musician, one of the biggest challenges is probably not wanting to ride 20 horses with one ass. When you start, you want to be Metallica and you immediately dream about sold-out Wembley Stadium shows. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s what keeps it moving forward! It’s the dreams. But it’s important to take it one step at a time, not base jumping! Later on, when you’re part of a band with an “adult” head, it’s often difficult to find enough time to practice, rehearse, write songs, while working, or even having a family… But after many years in this band, the coordination of things works surprisingly well… Probably because everyone used to move in steps.
Bence: I never really saw making music as a challenge, I enjoy it. I want to play the hardest songs of my favourite bands all the time, that’s what keeps me going. I would say I’m a team player, so far I’ve got along well with my band mates in every formation. As a drummer, having a strong and unshakeable foundation for the songs is the most important thing in my opinion.
Forczi: Nowadays, unfortunately or not, it’s not like 30-40 years ago when the manager went down to the local club with a cigar in his mouth and picked up a band because he liked them, and from then on the musician had nothing else to do but play. Today I think the biggest challenge in this whole underground musician life is that it’s not enough to play good music anymore. You have to be a musician, a marketing manager, a videographer, you have to understand social media, you have to know how to record quality songs, how to make good videos, how to organise good gigs, how to produce your monster etc. It’s all money, time and energy. Not to mention the fact that we do it while working. It’s a big and often exhausting challenge, and there’s no other way to do it unless you’re in love with it.
Which band would you most like to play with and where?
Garai: I’d rather not write this down…
Balázs: For me, a US tour is on my bucket list and I would be the happiest man on earth if we could do it with Trivium. At the same time, the most important thing at any party is the atmosphere between the bands, the immediacy, the absence of any attitude, the fact that everyone understands that we are in the same boat, no matter how “successful” anyone is. Besides being musicians, we are all music fans… So whether there are 5 people or 5,000, you can do the concerts with the same fun if you are in good company. If you have that, the parties will be good and the audience will feel that energy.
Swéd: It’s a difficult question. Mostly with bands who are direct, who have the same idea of a well done party as we do. Joy, contact with the audience, freedom, laughter and of course some colourful drinks. If that’s a given, then the location is not so important…
Bence: If I could do a gig with Ensiferum I would give half an arm. Anyway, since I’ve been playing metal drums, the main motivation for me is the pursuit of technique and speed. So for me the faster the better 😀
Forczi: I don’t have a particular idea in this area. I would definitely like to try myself out on a major tour or a big concert, that’s a bucket list for me.
How would you describe yourselves in a few words?
Garai: Fat and lazy.
Balázs: The magpie wants a lot, but he just can’t stand the… szeksz? Anyway, the main thing is that I have a high workload, I’m full of ambitions, goals and ideas. However, sometimes the tension and desire to act overflows and I realise how lucky I am to be surrounded by family and friends who can deal with this whole, sometimes ugly, process and understand the reasons for it, especially as they can pull me back from this state into the present…
Swéd: I never really liked self-description. I think the guys will throw a few beer cans at me after these lines… But I’m one of the eternal pessimistic/realistic faces of the band, who often doesn’t get in touch for days and then blows everything on the others…
Bence: Peace-loving, sociable being.:D Basically, I can’t get upset about much, I get along with everyone and find common interests easily. I like to talk a lot, I don’t like to hold anything in. Oh and “Blastbeat is love, blastbeat is life.”
Forczi: I have two hands and two feet and my two feet are longer than my two hands. And I like pilóta keksz (hungarian biscuit)
What are your plans for the future?
There are plenty of plans, as mentioned above, we are recording, we are trying to release our first LP in the first half of the year, but until then there is a lot of water under the bridge… We have several concerts scheduled, let’s just say that we will not only be found within the borders of the country.
What would you say to yourselves from ten years ago?
Garai: It would be nice to practice more, little brother!
Balázs: You should practice more, stupid kid.
Swéd: Quit your catering job and get a steady paying job! Oh, and three finger picking and no pick!
Bence: You need to put more effort into the technical exercises. Practice less, but with more precision.
Forczi: Drink more liquids before practices and concerts, and preferably not alcohol. 😀
Love and keep on spinning Invictus, and stay up to date with all the latest news first hand at the links below!
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nefalem.hungary
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nefalem_metal/
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4nNoJxqVa5pBa2WxHLmoh8
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUBWhVWsOgoEZI8HAsGEPOQ
by: Traidusk & Wolfy