1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Before I even start talking about NERATERRÆ, I gotta say that I’ve always been a huge music fan, especially if it’s rock and metal music, I’ve been following several bands since their very beginning, and one of those bands was (and actually still is) Ulver, from Norway. I’m saying so ‘cause their never-ending musical and conceptual evolution has always been inspiring to me. It was 17-18 years ago when Perdition City was released, and to me It was life-changer. After all these years I still do believe that no one has ever topped such a monster of crossover-Electronic album. I can say that that record really moved something inside of me, unconsciously It was the start of something that today I call NERATERRÆ.
As the years passed I explored the classic Electronic scene and the mainstream Electronic scene, but I quickly found myself digging deeper and deeper into the Ambient and Downtempo fields, It was at that very moment that I fell in love with the darker sides of such genres and styles. Since so, Dark Ambient, Drone, Industrial Ambient (and -related) have always been catching my attention. And that is what I’ve been doing as NERATERRÆ since 2009/2010: Drone/Industrial Ambient, and such, I suppose.
2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
I’d definitely say that the sound is industrialized, alienated, dynamic and multi-layered; I do that by interlacing and intertwining layers of sounds and atmospheres.
Each track has a its own ‘personality’, or a different ‘color’ if you wish, but there’s one thing that all of my tracks have in common: dynamics.
Due to the ‘digital era’ the industry has been compressing music for almost twenty years, and that has brought to a lack of dynamic music; It does not sound good and It’s not how It should sound at all.
At least, that is not how I want my music to sound like.
Music should be about nuances, colors, dynamics, and I do my best to keep that in mind.
3. Most of the musical released so far, has been instrumental, are you open to using vocals?
I recorded some vocal patterns for a couple of tracks so far, they were recorded and manipulated in order to get some kind of unusual effect and make them sound disturbing, you can hear something here and there…
Even though I’m not going to tell much about what the next record is gonna sound like, I can say that there will be some vocals on the next album too, but, not ‘vocals’ as the common sense may suggest.
4. Originally the solo project was known as 'NHART', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Neratarrae'?
Even before ‘NHART’ was born, the project was running under another name: ‘NAART’. I started to look for another name when I realized that the material recorded as NAART/NHART would have been a stand-alone project, I already knew that I would have changed direction, musically. Just a matter of time.
I switched the name to NERATERRÆ when I cleared things up in my mind and decided which path I’d have followed next.
“Why did you release “The NHART Demo[n]s” under the NERATERRÆ name, then?” You might ask. Well, I did not want to release just one record under the ‘NHART’ name, and then abandon the project in order to start over again with NERATERRÆ. It looked disorganized to me.
Plus, I feel somehow affictionated to that music, I spent a lot of time on it and I wanted to do justice to those tracks, so I re-stored, edited, re-mixed them and gave them a new voice, in order to claim them under the NERATERRÆ name. That is the concealed meaning of the title “The NHART Demo[n]s”, those tracks are my demons that I’ve been struggling against for long time.
The battle might be over now.
About the meaning of NERATERRÆ: it is a word-play between “NERA” (black, in Italian) and “TERRÆ” (land/ground/earth, in Latin); I think it sounds pretty interesting and catchy, yet obscure, doomed and somehow lofty.
5. With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I also play the drums, so as a drummer I’ve always been playing music with people, as a whole band or as a trio, etc, but NERATERRÆ is way different, NERATERRÆ has been and will always be just one person, I’m open to collaborations, remixes, etc, but I need a lot of time and space in order to achieve what I have in mind.
Plus, I’d like NERATERRÆ to be stylistically ever-changing, It’s challenging, and this would make It kinda hard for someone else to stay on board.
6. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yes, I have, but right now I can’t say much about what’s going on label-wise; I was asked not to talk about it yet, but I can tell you that something’s moving, and I can’t wait.
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death industrial or dark ambient?
It has been pretty good I gotta say, I wasn’t expecting such positive feedback so far! Magazines, websites, zines and blogs have been giving good ratings to my release and I got some really amazing reviews.
8. Are you also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
I play drums and percussion (and I handle mixing and mastering duties too) in Alma Flua, my touring acoustic trio.
9. Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
Man, I really do not know, I’m not going to preclude anything, but the future is always uncertain…I have some ideas about the future as NERATERRÆ, but we will see.
10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Hard question. I’ve always been a big fan of music. I own a huge collection of albums and I have a “small” bunch of favourite ones: about 250 records, so that may give you an idea of how many albums I actually own.
Long story short, the bands that have had an influence on my music (and they still do have) are (alphabetical order): ASC, Atrium Carceri, Bass Communion, Biosphere, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Cities Last Broadcast, H.U.V.A. Network, Jon Hopkins, Kammarheit, Keosz, Lustmord, New Risen Throne, Northaunt, Phelios, Richard Barbieri, Solar Fields, Steven Wilson, Svartsinn, Ulver, and maybe a few more.
11. What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m a graduated fitness instructor, so: fitness/nutrition/wellness in general. Then: photography; I love travelling; I like reading thriller/noir books. That’s pretty much it. Oh, I’m cymbals-addicted, such beautiful instruments, ha!
12. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I do: I’d like to thank you for supporting the underground scene, your efforts are admirable and I appreciate that.
Then, please keep an eye on www.facebook.com/neraterrae for info and updates! Thank you.
-Alessio Antoni | NERATERRÆ