INTERVIEW: Karl Sanders – Nile

Interview by Adrian 'Dren' Barham


Nile are back doing what they do best and their latest album “What Should Not Be Unearthed” certainly does that. We talk to Karl Sanders about the latest release.


Metal-Roos: I would like to thank you for producing what arguably will be the most brutal release of 2015. Can you tell me how it came about?

Well, it was a good process. This time we did it in my home studio and it was a chilled vibe. We were relaxed and having fun. I would say it was a fun record to make because previous albums haven’t been so fun to make. When I listen to it I can hear some guys having fun playing metal.

Metal-Roos: Nile is rooted in the Egyptian ideology – what drew you to create a band with this in mind?

It was just a kind of interest/hobby but when I found myself in a band called Nile I thought it was time to start researching deeper to write the songs. Then I discovered how much I enjoyed doing this research and it kind of grew from there.

Metal-Roos: Has the band played in Egypt before?

We had plans two years ago with an Egyptian band called Scarab. We tried to set up a show but that fell through because of financial backers were getting a bit scarce. Politically things in Egypt were a bit unstable, so we didn’t want to risk all the money.

Metal-Roos: I have seen the lyric video to “Call of Destruction” – what do you hope people get out of this video/song? It has a pretty strong content.

In the past few hours I have seen a lot of people getting bent out of shape and posting all this stuff, but really it’s a friggen metal song. Death metal, extreme metal inherently needs strong subject matter. The calling of the destruction of the pyramids is an extreme topic. I’m not looking for anybody to necessarily get anything out of it except that the destruction of historical artefacts in the Middle East is a tragic thing. It is a thing that I think needs some attention. Ultimately though it is a friggen metal song.

Metal-Roos: Does having two vocalists in the band give the songs extra depth and freedom when writing?

I like having different vocal textures. I don’t like it to be the same voice all the f***in time. That was one of the things we really focused on when we wrote “At the gate of Sethu”, our previous record. We wanted lots of different vocal sounds going on, not just not the same one all of the time. We kind of reached a middle ground with this new record. There are a few different voices you’ll hear but not all kinds of different crazy voices. It is basically Dallas and I with a few guests.

Metal-Roos: How do you come up with ideas for the songs you write?

I love to start with the lyrics first. One of my favourite methods is to go into my library where all my Egyptology books are. I’ll randomly pick a book off the shelf, open it up and whatever I open up is the song I’ll write about.

Metal-Roos: Who is your idol, be it musically or otherwise?

One of my favourite guitar players is Uli John Roth, the way he plays, the feel and touch. The compositions that he writes… yeah, what a player….holy shit.

Metal-Roos: When the band hits the Aussie shores what can fans expect from a Nile show?

My friend, you can expect an evening of metal. We’ll play some new songs from the record. We will play some old songs and generally we will make metal happen.

Metal-Roos: What is a typical day like for Nile when on tour?

When we’re on tour, we’ll go back to the tour bus and start driving to the next f***ing show. If we’re lucky we get to stop at a truck stop some time in the middle of the night and if we’re really lucky we might get to take a shower. If we’re playing a show like in Australia (really soon, I might add) it’s a little bit trickier. After the show, we’ll go back to the hotel room for a couple of hours and then get up at the f***ing crack of dawn, drive to the airport and catch the flight to the next show and hopefully be there in time to sound check, string up the guitars and whatever else you have to do that day.

Metal-Roos: Is there a big metal band to take over the likes of Iron Maiden or Metallica when they finally pack in?

I don’t think we’re going to see those big bands anymore. Those golden days are over. Today things are much too fragmented, also there is no incentive for bands to try and get huge. You’re not going to sell any records. I think what you’re going to see are medium sized bands and YouTube bands. Kids who love what they are doing, have a passion for it and are basically doing it for free and YouTube notoriety. So I don’t think we’ll ever see another Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or Metallica to rise up and become huge.


Interview Date: 2015-08-14

Interviewer: Adrian ‘Dren’ Barham