Interview with guitarist / vocalist Karl Sanders
If there’s one thing that’s a constant in this crazy world, it’s the fact that Nile are going to write and perform brutal songs about the ancient world. It isn’t a schtick, and it hasn’t gotten old. It’s what the band does, and they do it well. On their latest record, Vile Nilotic Rites, out now via Nuclear Blast, that sound is pushed to even heavier extremes and executed perfectly.
“The level of cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork that went into making this record is unparalleled,” vocalist and guitarist Karl Sanders says. “I think that shows on the tracks. There’s a lot of collaborative cooperation that went into building these songs.”
In addition to recent lineup changes, as famed guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade left the band in 2017, Sanders attributes some of this success to their method on this record.
“This one was a little different,” he says. “George [Kollias, drums] and I sent demos back and forth to hash out the songs, and we decided we weren’t going to record this time until we were ready, like really, really ready, and completely satisfied. We waited until we had the songs honed and trimmed down. We weren’t rushing this time.”
Along with this new approach musically, there are some new lyrical themes on this record as well.
“All of our lyrics on previous records have been based on concepts from history and mythology, and so forth,” Sanders says. “On this record, these are new songs with different ideas. And I think one of the big, major themes on this one is the theme of a dying civilization.”
With this concept, Sanders isn’t just looking inward to America, but also outward to the rest of the world.
“I think in general, we collectively know that mankind is probably going to wipe itself out one way or the other in the near future,” he says. “And there’s so many ways it could happen. I mean, we could just start counting. It could be nuclear war, something biological, or climate change. Maybe a comet’s going to come and knock us out. I mean, how many ways could human beings fuck up?”
In addition to producing one of the bleakest, heaviest death metal records of the last days of the twenty-teens, Nile are supporting the album with some serious touring time. They’re headed to Japan, Australia, Europe, and plan to tour the U.S. as well.
All lineup changes and apocalyptic daydreaming aside, Nile seem to be in a really good place as a band with this new record.
“This is a really vital, strong album, and right now, the band is interested in pushing forward and evolving,” Sanders says. “This is a great record we’ve got right now. And that’s what we’re interested in moving forward with this lineup.”