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Nuclear Winter: Melodic Death Metal Manifesto from Zimbabwe

Nuclear Winter: Melodic Death Metal Manifesto from Zimbabwe

Nuclear Winter: Melodic Death Metal Manifesto from Zimbabwe

Nuclear Winter unleash their own diabolic brand of melodic death metal, and their brand new album Night Shift is jammed packed with intriguing compostions that set the imagination in flight.  Fronted by mastermind Gary Stautmeister, Nuclear Winter call the mysterious confines of Zimbabwe their home base.  While the metal scene in Zimbabwe is limited at best, Nuclear Winter is sure to impress genre fans all over the world with their explosive Night Shift manifesto.  Highwire Daze recently interviewed Gary Stautmeister to find out more about the sonic entreaties of Nuclear Winter and what it’s like being one of the very few melodic death metal bands from Zimbabwe.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Nuclear Winter, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Gary Stautmeister and I do virtually everything in Nuclear Winter (including the album cover designs). I do also have guest vocalists that come and do some singing as well. I started it in 2013 when I finally decided I needed to start recording my own stuff.

What is the metal scene like in Zimbabwe and are there very many places for metal bands to play?
In Zimbabwe the metal scene is tiny – really just a handful of us metalheads. There are some venues to play at but nothing too massive.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Night Shift title?
I called the album Night Shift because the songs generally deal with the darker side of things as well as using night as a setting in a lot of the songs. I was originally going to call it Mind Shift – for seeing an alternate view on things but it didn’t seem as relevant as Night Shift in the end.

Select two songs from Night Shift and what inspired the lyrics.
Blueshift and The God Without Shadows are ones I think are more interesting than the rest.

Blueshift is about death – but death being the beginning to a whole new reality where you gain a much higher understanding of everything and are no longer limited by the physical body.

The God Without Shadows is about how religions work out their own ideal version of God and sell that as ‘the truth’ Or use it for their own agenda. So The God Without Shadows is the ultimate, complete and unknowable version of God that simply cannot be fully known or described by anyone.

If Night Shift could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Wintersun. – amazing band. I get a lot of my inspiration from them.

Has Night Shift had a chance to tour or play outside of Zimbabwe? If so, what was the experience like?
No, I haven’t even performed one Nuclear Winter song live. I really hope I will at some point.

Tell me about the other band Dividing the Element from Zimbabwe whose members participated on this album and have you ever played shows together with them?
No, we’ve never performed anything together – not that we don’t want to. In fact, I’d love to get a chance to perform with them sometime. Chris Van (lead vocals/guitar in DTE) and Matt Sanderson (bass/vocals) came and did some guest vocals on Night Shift. Chris can do a nice clean but slightly gritty voice that worked well and Matt can achieve this interesting type of black metal scream that I still can’t quite do lol, So I thought it sounded nice having those extra variations in the vocals.

How readily available is metal music overall in Zimbabwe or do you mostly rely on the Internet to discover new bands.
Here we can only rely on the internet. No radio stations here play metal so the internet is the only option really.

What was the easiest and the most difficult part about recording Night Shift pretty much on your own and with such limited resources?
Yes, trying to get things done in ZImbabwe is a mission. The main problem being extended periods without power. And then when it does come on (and after dealing with all the other frustrations of Zimbabwe) you simply don’t feel up to trying to be creative or in the mood to record. Or when the power comes on you have a bunch of other things you need to sort out. But the easiest part was actually the vocals – maybe also because it was fun doing them. They seemed to come together a lot easier than expected.

Night Shift sounds amazing! Has Nuclear Winter received any interest from some of the bigger metal labels from around the world?
Thanks!! but no there hasn’t been any interest, but I hope there might be in the future.

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Nuclear Winter?
Well the only other stuff I do is the mixing/mastering for Dividing the Element. They send me their raw tracks once they are done and I work on the mix for them. But generally, any free time I have now I try to put it to doing Nuclear Winter stuff.

What’s up next for you and Nuclear Winter?
I’ve just about finished a 4 track EP which is a fully solo album. Musically its more straight forward than Night Shift and also has a slightly more black metal feel to it. After that I’ll start working on a new full album. It’s looks like it’s going to be a busy year on the graphics side too but any spare time I have, I’ll put towards working on music.

Any final words of wisdom?
If I had to choose anything I would probably say – Question everything. And on the music side – when you are inspired or on a roll – get it recorded. You may lose the idea if you wait (As I have done many times lol)…

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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