Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2008 06:00
<b>Hey everyone, Zeph here. On behalf of Redrum Entertainment, and myself, it is my pleasure to bring you an interview I recently did with William Icari of the metal band Nexus. Be sure to check Nexus out at www.myspace.com/nexusg5
<u>Zeph: </u> How did you come up with the name of your current band, Nexus? Who are the current members of the band?
<u>William:</u> Well, upon its initial creation, my brother and I wanted to come up with a name that fit the original "space metal" moniker it was originally set to be as, and the first name that popped in my head was "NEXUS"...the style presented nowadays is a mixture of different metal off-shoots, so you could possibly consider the project the central core of different styles or, basically, the "nexus" of the sound.
Right now I am the only current member, as the main creative force and doing all instrumentation. I've had a few guitarists come and go over the years, but I've slowly learned that when it comes to recording the albums it's quicker and more efficient to do everything myself, a trick many other solo artists learn.
<u>Zeph: </u> When was Nexus formed and what inspired you to create the band? Why instrumental?
<u>William:</u> The original basis for NEXUS was formed in early 2001, one of many projects formed by my brother and I to play a different style than our main band at the time. It was originally a simple "space metal" style, wherein the bass and guitar had a few effects thrown in to make it sound "celestial". We recorded a small demo to basically hear the ideas we had, but he lost interest a few months later, so I took over and turned it into a solo project.
I chose to make the songs instrumental to make it different from other metal acts out there; I also wanted to try and make the listener create a mental picture than tell a story with vocals and lyrics. That's why the later songs are very much layered with as many instruments as I can physically piece together.
<u>Zeph: </u> Tell us about your unique style of music and who are your major influences?
<u>William:</u> After the "space metal" demo I started writing new songs, along the same instrumental vein, but this time it started to gear towards a more classic thrash metal sound, with only a few melodic harmonies and synth work. That would become the first full-length album, "Polaris". But a year or so later I started to think about the original spacey sound and wanted to try something much different, so I started to add a plethora of keyboards and lush guitar harmonies to give the style a more dramatic and epic feel. Since then, I'd been continuing in that vein, only adding more musical layers for a more otherworldly feel.
Musically, I don't have a lot of direct influences, but if I could drop a few names that have helped change the style, it would be the likes of SOILWORK, IN FLAMES, VINTERSORG, and and other melodic Swedish metal act that can create a good atmosphere. But back in 2005, I discovered a project called AYREON that completely changed my life musically, and as a result, future material has been greatly influenced by its epic space rock.
<u>Zeph: </u> What sort of equipment do you use in the making of your music?
<u>William:</u> It really depends on the album...I have a studio near my hometown I went to to master the original "Polaris" and "Demo 2005" recordings called Fireside A/V, and am working with a friend's home studio in the re-recording of the Demo songs as well as the in-the-works second full-length. As for instruments, I chiefly use Yamaha basses and keyboards, BC Rich and ESP guitars, and nowadays a drum machine, as it's quite hard to find a good, reliable drummer to work with.
<u>Zeph: </u> Does Nexus play live? If so what are your favorite venues? If not then do you plan to do so in the future?
<u>William:</u> NEXUS has not played live, mainly due to the fact that most of the time I'm the only member, and it could be quite hard to play five instruments at a time onstage =). I haven't really thought about playing live with it lately, I did in the past when I had the proper connections, but at the moment it's not possible to do so. But never say never.
<u>Zeph: </u> What has been your biggest challenge with Nexus thus far?
<u>William:</u> Getting the name out there. And perfecting the recordings without losing my mind. For the former, as the industry goes it's quite a bit of trial and error, but I'm working on promotion and hopefully label interest. For the latter its sometimes my own frustration and a little impatience, but I know once it's all said and done the music speaks for itself.
<u>Zeph: </u> What are some of the highlights of Nexus and what are your goals for the future... such as where do you hope to be with Nexus 5 years from now?
<u>William:</u> The biggest highlight is always when I get good feedback on the recordings I have so far. Despite its shoddy, demoish sound, "Demo 2005" actually got a positive reception with about anyone who's heard it, which has warrented my wanting to re-do it, to give the songs a fair production and a chance to shine and branch out. As for the future, NEXUS is my baby and I'll continue to work with it for as long as I'm inspired. I don't really plan on releasing an album every three months, but as long as I have a guitar in my hand NEXUS will always have a future.
<u>Zeph: </u> Are you currently working on or planning any new releases?
<u>William:</u> Oh yes. As stated before, I'm redoing the songs off "Demo 2005", the original three songs, plus a brand new composition, to be released as a stop-gap EP between "Polaris" and my next full-length album, "G5", a sort of transitional EP to ease the listener into the new, progressive style I write today. Actually, I have the next 2-3 albums already written and arranged, so at this point it's just a matter of getting the suckers recording and out there. So for the next few years I'll have plenty to work with for NEXUS.
<u>Zeph: </u> What are your views on the current Rock/Metal scene?
<u>William:</u> Hmmm...let's see...when it comes to music I can be very open-minded; any band I truly dislike I have my own reasons and have heard enough material to warrent my opinion on the matter. I don't hate bands just to hate them. Right now, unfortunately, the current scene isn't as great as it could be. True, good metal has gone back to the underground, and most mainstream "metal" acts just don't have what it takes to be something memorable (like TRIVIUM), though some bands who have clawed their way to acceptance truly deserve it (like OPETH). I never bought into the nu metal or metalcore scenes of recent years, and chances are I still won't buy into anything "trendy" for as long as I'll be a music lover. But these things tend to happen in time frames, so you never know, one day good metal may be the norm. Either way you put it, true metal refuses to die.
<u>Zeph: </u> What are your views on collaborations and do you have any collaborations coming up?
<u>William:</u> I have nothing at all against collaborations, sometimes they can be a lot of fun. When its a democracy it's cakewalk, just as long as one person doesn't try and weasel a personal dictatorship in. Outside of a group collaboration like my main band, WITHERING SOUL, I'm currently working on a collaboration with a couple people, a project called "PROJECT Z". Musically this'll end up being something I'm not too familier with, a new foray into uncharted territory, and I'm actually quite excited about it. Hopefully it'll be something that has a good future ahead of it for further collaboration.
Zeph: How long have you been in the music industry and how has it changed over time?
<u>William:</u> I've been part of the real industry since I first joined WITHERING SOUL back in 2003, and cut my teeth in the underground Chicago bar scene. Since then, the SOUL's popularity has grown exponentially enough to the point where we had shows with much bigger acts, like DARK FUNERAL, FINNTROLL, JOEY BELLADONNA of ANTHRAX, so at this point we can only go up from here. On a personal level I haven't seen too much about the major changes that have occured in recent years, what with the downloading and whatnot, though a band of our underground caliber can only benefit from the occasional download. Obviously a band who sells millions of albums would feel the sting of the illegal downloading business, so I can see how they'd be irritated with the situation, but sites like that and myspace have been a god-send for underground music acts.
<u>Zeph: </u> Where do you typically get your inspiration for songs?
<u>William:</u> The biggest inspirations come from space, astronomy, scientific theories, and some bits of mythology. Basically, The Unknown. Sometimes, however, I don't have a definate thought in my head when writing a new song; I just pick up the guitar or keyboard and let the music flow. But, generally, space has been and will be the biggest inspiration source for NEXUS.
<u>Zeph: </u> If there were one thing you could change about the music industry today what would it be?
<u>William:</u> I'd want agents, major label folk, and promoters to have a much more open-minded approach to dealing with underground and unsolicited bands/projects, as opposed to tripping over themselves to sign who they think is the Next Big Thing. You'd be surprised as to how talented some unseen acts can be, and in essence, they'd more than deserve that kind of mainstream treatment instead of a lot of the big bands today.
<u>Zeph: </u> How do you feel about the issue of people downloading music and sharing music on the internet?
<u>William:</u> Musical downloading is unfortunately a double-edged sword; on the one hand, bands who make a living off gold and platinum album sales could suffer at the hands of downloading, but on the other hand, it gives less known bands/projects a real shot in the arm in terms of DIY promotion. But there should always a limit to these things, and when you get down to it, downloadable mp3s and wav. files actually don't sound that good, not as good as on CD.
<u>Zeph: </u> How is Nexus being received by the public? Has the response been good?
<u>William:</u> So far, what little exposure I've gotten has been pretty positive; I get the occasional bit of constructive criticism but I haven't gotten any overwhelming negativity. And hopefully it can only improve from there.
<u>Zeph: </u> Is there anyone special you would like to acknowledge, and anything you'd like to add?
<u>William:</u> Obviously I'd like to acknowledge all the fans, bands, and anyone else who makes NEXUS what it is, those who accept the project for what it is rather than what it should be, all prog rock/metal fans, bands and labels, and anyone who's willing to give NEXUS a shot in terms of promotion and distro.
Always watch the skies in wonder, things you can't explain are usually the most fascinating...
<u>Zeph: </u> Thanks, Will. It's been a pleasrure.
Now it's my hope we'll take this one step further and get an audio interview in the works as well. Remember folks check out Nexus at www.myspace.com/nexusg5