Could you briefly present Nebelung to our readers?

Nebelung is a band from Bonn, Stefan Otto, basically playing guitar and doing the singing and Thomas List, playing guitar. It was "founded" in autumn last year to record some ideas, which appear on our debut release 'mistelstein', published by the Eislicht-Verlag in Dresden. But its musical background is much older.

What is the meaning of Nebelung, and why did you choose this name?

Nebelung is the ancient German name for November, the month of melancholy and the herald of forthcoming winter. We choose that name because of its various connections to our music and emotions towards it. First of all it perfectly mirrors the dominating mood in our melodies and lyrics, basically dealing with melancholy and sorrow as the equivalence of night and autumn. Another theme of our songs is nature's omnipotence and man's weakness towards it. For us November is the month, which presents most clearly the power of nature.

For a debut release 'mistelstein' displays a good level of musicianship. Could you say a few words on your musical background?

When we got to know each other about eight years ago we began very soon to meet regularly making music together. At this time we started early jamming along in the most different types of music, doing regular metal riffing, playing more bluesy tones - our first project was actually a blues band - until we more and more found our musical visions, mainly being represented by our two actual projects, of which the first is doing instrumental noise-rock influenced a lot by Godspeed you black Emperor! and Mogwai, called Axiom:Tram and the second one the acoustic Nebelung. So, all together, we spent really a long time making music together, which allows us in some way to communicate by notes and melodies without talking and finally united our musical visions.

Why did you choose to form a purely acoustic folk project?

Regarding our musical intentions it would be false using electric or electronic instruments. As we are trying to produce music inspired by natural phenomenon or related emotions, the use of electric or electronic goods would retard our musical expressions.

What inspires you to create this kind of music?

As just mentioned above, natural phenomenon and our respect towards it should be mentioned as an inspiration for our music. Wandering in the forests beyond any urban noise sometimes gives rise to a certain feeling, which could be described as spiritual awareness. It is this certain - and unfortunately rather rare - emotion which we try to recall in melody, lyric and structure of our songs.

Most of the texts on your debut-release 'mistelstein' are taken from Charles Baudelaire, Hugo von Hofmannstahl and Friedrich Nietzsche. Is there a particular reason for this choice of authors?

All these authors were writing around the turn of the century in a time, which meant a lot of changes in literature and art. The end of the nineteenth century represents a historical mark, which split the world of literature into pieces. The historical background led to a struggle within the self-image of writers and artists, which finally gave birth to a redefinition of their aesthetic demands. The consequence was a more introvert style of lyrical expression and a reborn dependence on the literary past in the light of a wider understanding, which caused the unsuitable term of neo-romanticism.
These authors have made a great impression on us and were an inspiration both for our musical and lyrical work, due to their expressiveness in word and image.

Are there other authors and/or artists that you consider important and which, in a certain way, can have influenced your musical vision?

There are quite a few other authors that have constantly influenced our musical and lyrical visions and still do. Due to interest in the Wiener Moderne and German expressionism it is especially authors from this time, that help us defining our sense for aesthetics, for in their lyrical work we find an adequate expression to the same feelings that we try to recall in our music.
The source of our musical inspiration concerning Nebelung can clearly be traced back to our first contact with the early acoustic work of Ulver, which caused an immense impression on us, which can still be felt in our musical work. Certainly there were other bands that played their part in forming our style, but none of them were as important for us than Ulver.

On your website, there are lyrics for songs that do not feature on 'mistelstein'. Are there plans for another record in the near future?

We actually spent the last weekend in the studio recording the fundament for seven new songs. Two of these songs feature lyrics from our website, others by Stefan George, Hermann Hesse and Georg Trakl. In the near future there will be a new compilation by the label NolteX, which will be dedicated to Hermann Hesse and his lyrical work. We will contribute a song there. Even though we have quite a lot of new material, we will probably not release a new record till next spring, due to lack of time. If our first record was a bit short in running time, the next release will hopefully be a long-play album. So for the next months our new songs will unfortunately only be heard during our concerts.

I enjoyed the concert you recently played in Leipzig. Do you like playing live and are there any other concerts planned in the next few months?

Actually we will be playing on the second Herbstreigen on the fifteenth of October, which will take place in a small village called Hirsau in the northern part of the black forest. For details please check our homepage.

What records are you listening to at the moment and what are you reading?

Please ask that question again next year, for at the moment there is unfortunately not much time left for the two of us to read books out of personal interest or to concentrate on the musical scene. Sorry.

The last words are for you...

Thanks a lot for this interview. It was a great pleasure for us to answer your questions, which pointed so amazingly to what we associate with Nebelung as well. We are really happy that people devote a certain amount of time to our music and hope they find a recall to their emotions as well as we do for ours.

Ian C.
Summer 2005

Nebelung :
Eis & Licht :