Despotz Records

Sweden Greek melodic death metal band Nightrage just released their seventh album The Venomous, which explores the consequences of the world’s aggression and brutality. It’s a tale of self-destruction, but with a sense of hope that not all is lost yet.

The album features the title track and current single "Affliction" and the band is getting ready to hit the road in support of the release.

Earlier this week, AXS spoke to band founder and lead guitarist Marios Iliopoulous, who shared his thoughts on the album, the band’s beginnings and various lineup changes and where they are headed.

AXS: You just had the new album come out. What do you want to tell people about it?

Marios Iliopoulos: Well we are very happy with the feedback that we’ve gotten so far. We worked really hard to compose all of the songs on this Venomous album and it was really a team effort. We are planning to do some shows now as we speak in the Netherlands and in Europe and in North America. We are going to try to go to other territories like Japan too. We’ve gotten such a really nice response from the press and the fans so far so that makes us happy and excited to carry that onto the stage and moving forward with the band.

AXS: And what do you feel makes this one stand out in your catalog?

MI: The fact that after 17 years and seven albums, we are still here. We never laid down the dream that I had from the beginning for the band to create music and be there for our fans. So I’m very proud of that fact alone. I’m proud that we are still here as a band and playing the music that we love to play. That is a great statement for the album and for the band, I think.

AXS: The album has a great message, which I think is perfect for the state of the world right now. Did you go into working on the album with that idea in place?

MI: Yeah, I mean I don’t want to say inspired, but we got affected by stuff that is happening in the world and we wanted to write something about it. We wanted to show our thoughts and our emotions about it. The Venomous kind of has a misanthropic theme that we always talk about. We always wonder why humans behave like that towards each other. Instead of loving each other, we want to hate each other and kill each other. We also tried to portray some positive things where we are looking for hope and talking about changing and being better for each other. The main theme and concept of the album is all of the stuff that is happening in the world right now and all of this angriness.

AXS: You’ve also released a couple of videos from the album. Have you seen the same positive feedback towards those?

MI: Yeah, we’ve got two official music videos for "Affliction" and for "The Venomous". We’ve gotten a really good response on Youtube thanks to our label. They are doing a really great job of promoting them. We are trying to promote this album the best way we know how. I think for bands now the best way to get a chance out there is to make sure that your stuff is everywhere out there.

AXS: It can be hard to get people to sit down and listen to a full album these days, but I think a album like this,, that is tied together by a larger concept, has a better chance at capturing that audience and this one certainly seems to be doing that.

MI: Yeah, for a band like us with the music we play, having those stories to tell really does make it more special. We play death metal and that is not something that you see a lot of in the genre. People expect the ideas and concepts to be different, but we want to be real and honest and we want to talk about stuff that strikes us as human beings and helps bring us together in our similarities. We want to write about people and the things happening around us in the world.

AXS: Have you had a chance to play any of the new tracks live?

MI: Yeah, we actually got a chance last year, last December actually, to play the title track. We can’t wait to get a chance to play more of them. We really feel like these songs deserve a greater attention from us and as I said, we are planning more shows now.

AXS: Do you find it very different playing for the fans in North America compared to your fans back home?

MI: North America, for us, is a amazing territory and we have a very cool fan base so it’s always exciting to go there. Whenever we play there, it never seems to be enough because it is such a huge territory. There are so many passionate people throughout North America. We always end up having the best memories from those shows.

AXS: You’ve been the one constant in the band from the beginning. What do you feel has kept you and the band going for so long, in spite of things like lineup changes?

MI: It’s my passion and my tenacity to achieve the goals that I’ve made for myself. I don’t want to give up what makes me feel happy. I feel I still have a lot to offer and this band has a lot of music to still offer. Really it’s all about the love of the music; that is the main factor and that will never change.

AXS: And what is it about this particular lineup right now that is working so well?

MI: I really feel we are more of a solid unit. Actually, I wrote the new songs with Magnus, our new guitar player. He is such a great guy and a amazing guitar player. I kind of feel now that all of these guys really put their own sound into the album and it really makes it a complete unit. I hope this is the way that it will continue to be and that there will be more albums to come.

AXS: Looking back, what has been your favorite thing about doing this for as long as you have?

MI: Just being able to be yourself and find a greater connection with the world. That’s really always what I’ve looked to do: to connect with our fans in the best possible way.

AXS: Anything else you want to say to the fans?

MI: I want to first say thanks to you for giving me a chance to talk about the album and I want to thank the fans for their support and for giving the album a chance. And for those who haven’t heard it yet, go get it. Buy it or stream it or steal it, but just give it a chance! We love you all and we will see all of you at our upcoming shows.