MOROS NYX: From side project to full band

Moros Nyx Promo PicIt’s been a few quiet months here over at Metal Squadron, but let’s get to work again, and why not start with an American newcomer who released their first full length through the excellent German label Underground Power back in April. “Revolution Street” is the title, and it’s well worth spending three quarters of an hour with. I got in touch with founder and bass player Pat Gloeckle to get the full story on the band that debuted with the demo “Rite Of Rebellion” back in 2014.

–  The project really started late 2013 when I wrote and recorded early versions of the songs found on the “Rite of Rebellion” demo.  At the time, I was playing drums in Ancient Dreams and was craving to do something closer to power/speed metal.  On my own, I wrote and recorded rough versions of the songs on the demo and sent them to MP (Papai, guitars and vocals) and he liked the tunes so we decided to self-record a demo.  I asked Lee (Smith) to help with guitars and bass.  But to answer your question, the initial intent was to be more of a side project.  When the demo received positive feedback and we realized we may have found something more special, I asked Lee to join as a full member, and asked MP to start writing songs.  We tried a couple drummers, but finally in Winter 2014 the mighty Pit Viper himself, Ian Sugierski, joined the ranks.  We played our debut gig at Ragnarokkr 2015.

 Is Moros Nyx a result of you and Lee’s previous band Ancient Dreams splitting up, or did these two acts also exist alongside each other for a while?

– Moros Nyx and Ancient Dreams existed alongside each other.  Ancient Dreams disbanded spring of 2015.

At what point in time did you start talking about the name for the band? What does Moros Nyx mean, and what is the idea behind it?

–  We discussed the band name heavily early on in 2014 and finally settled on Moros Nyx.  In Greek mythology, Moros is the personification of doom or fate.  Nyx is the personification of night.  The idea is that it means “night of fate.”  It seemed to fit with our lyrical content and was unique and catchy so we decided to use it.

Why do you feel it fits your lyrical content?

– Well, most of our songs deal with rising above the corrupt and evil world.  To meet your fate could be glorious or it could be boring and not special.  To me, the band name evokes the sense that this could be the night of your fate, the night you decide to live a better life, fight against corruption, give a voice to the voiceless, right the wrongs and so on.  Start tonight!

While the rest of you already are or have been involved in quite a few other bands, your singer MP Papai, is pretty unknown in metal circles. What is his background and how did you hook up with him?

– I’ve known MP since high school days but in college our bands started to play shows together in Ohio and we became better friends.  I was always in punk bands while he was in heavy metal.  His most recent band was Totem.  We played several shows together and I liked them so much that I offered to record their demo (which was never released) so that I could listen to their songs whenever I wanted.  They did eventually release a five song EP that is available on bandcamp.  He is one of my favorite singers and I’ve always wanted to be in a band with him.  He also is a serious shredder on guitar.  So Moros Nyx was the perfect chance for me to make music with MP.

What is it about him as a singer you like so much?

– I love singers that have voices that I can hear strong emotion.  I have always thought that MP has a very emotive voice.  He is able to sing in a variety of styles, clean, rough, growl, high shrieks, low, etcetera, and has an incredible range.  Also, for those who have heard the album, he does a great villain voice which, to me, sounds like Cobra Commander from the GI Joe cartoons of the eighties.

For how long were you together before you recorded the “Rite Of Rebellion”-demo?  A lot of new bands seem to record with the purpose of making the recordings available digitally. Was this your intention as well, and did the interest from Swords & Chains and Underground Power come as some sort of bonus?

– The demo was recorded between February and April of 2014.  The goal was to have a demo CD to hand out at the Ragnarokkr festival in May 2014.  Swords and Chains liked the demo and asked us if they could release it on tape.  Thanks to the tape release, Underground Power became interested and agreed to put it out on 7” and expressed interest in putting out a full length.

How do you feel the tape and 7” inch versions respectively, turned out?

– While I wish the recording quality was better, I feel that the 7” and tape both turned out great.  For being recorded in my basement and without pro equipment, I think the recordings still captured the songs well.  It was a good first step for the band and pushed us to work harder on the full-length.

“Child Of The Dream” is the only song from the demo you have rerecorded for the album.  For me personally, it was the standout track on the demo, and it’s probably my favorite off the album as well.  How did this song come to life, and why did you choose to rerecord this one, and only this one from the demo?  Are the two other tracks from the demo, “With Doom We Come” and “Defenders” likely to show up at a later point, or don’t you feel they are good enough?

– Thanks for the nice comments about the song.  To me, it is the best song that I’ve written so far and it means a lot that it makes people feel.  As far as I can recall, I had been playing around with the lead guitar melody that happens after the choruses for a few months.  One day, in a matter of an hour or so, everything clicked in my head and I had nearly the whole arrangement and lyrics done and recorded a demo.  I asked Lee to help write the bridge/guitar solo section.  Then MP fine-tuned the vocal melodies and added in the choirs.  The lyrics are a direct response or ode to “Rebellion in Dreamland” by Gamma Ray.  If you read the lyrics to each song, you will see.  We rerecorded this song because it is important to the storyline of the album and we also felt it is a strong track.  We also liked the idea of rerecording the song with our current lineup and showing the growth from the demo to the album.  We still play “With Doom” in our live set as people also enjoy that tune.  I’d like to experiment with rerecording that song and “Defenders” also, but we will to wait and see.

So did you want to do some kind of tribute to Gamma Ray, or did the lyrics to “Rebellion In Dreamland” work as some kind of inspiration?

– It was not really meant to be a tribute, but it was definitely inspired by that song.  You could maybe say that it is a response.  That Gamma Ray album “Land of the Free” is all about breaking down the invisible walls in your mind.  “Child of the Dream” is about hearing the call and deciding that now is the time to do what is needed.  In this case, it is about breaking free from what is keeping you down in life.

For the song “Child Of The Dream”, yourself and Lee are credited for the songwriting, while most of the other songs on the album are by MP Papai.  Was your singer also heavily involved in the songwriting of the other tracks on the demo, or did he just take over responsibilities at a later point in time? Do you feel his input has changed the material of Moros Nyx?  I am asking because I feel the demo indicated a direction a bit different to what we can hear on “Revolution Street”…

– The bulk of the initial demo tracks (demos before Rite of Rebellion) were written and demoed solely by me.  MP did help greatly to bring the tunes to life by adding choirs, guitar harmonies, and of course his pipes.  So while he did not write the songs, he did play a key role in how they turned out on “Rite of Rebellion.”  After the tape was released and we decided we should turn this into a full band, MP started writing songs.  This change is definitely noticeable in the sound as you hear longer songs and more technical parts.  I’m not sure that it was on purpose, but I really liked the songs MP wrote so we started working on them.  There were several demos that did not make it to the recording session and a couple songs that we recorded, but did not include on the album.  We don’t really focus on having songwriting split evenly between members.  As a band, we pick the songs that we like the best and focus on those.

Even though you are not the main songwriter anymore, do you still think the band is developing along the lines you want and wanted when you started Moros Nyx?

– At the start I really did not have any grand scheme for the band’s style, other than I wanted to do power/speed metal and that I wanted the songs to have a message about society.  With that said, I like where we are heading.  I am hoping to contribute more to the next album, but it all depends on inspiration.  I have to say, after seeing a positive response to the album, I am very energized.

MorosNyx_Revolution Street_Cover_72dpiWas it an easy decision to work with Underground Power for the release of the album? After all, Swords & Chains, who released the tape, has also started putting out some CD-releases…

– It was a very easy decision.  Both Swords and Chains and Underground Power have been great to work with and they really have treated Moros Nyx well and helped grow the band.  Their releases look great – I still have not held the “Revolution Street” vinyl in my hands but I’ve seen pictures and they look beautiful!  Swords and Chains talked to us about putting out the CD, but we were already in putting the deal together with Underground Power.  It’s nice to see both of these young labels growing larger and putting out more releases and we are proud to be part of it.

I mentioned in my review of the album, that I struggle a bit with the ballad “We Are The Damned”.  It’s on the album, so I am confident you like it. What are your reasons for putting it on there?

– I suspected some may not enjoy the song because it is a ballad.  Though, it does have some fast and heavy parts towards the end.  I think it is a great song and one of my favorites on the album.  It also an important song to the storyline.  Over the years, there have been many songs or albums that I’ve heard and did not enjoy.  As time goes by, though, there have been some I revisited and that have really grown on me.  Some of my favorite music today I did not like the first time I heard it.  So I would say, maybe the song will find a place in your heart someday.

You have mentioned this storyline twice now. We’re not talking about a concept album, are we? 

– There is definitely a loose concept going on the album about a character Moros Nyx.  There are some songs that move the story along very literally and others that are more general and talk about things going on in the world, be it our reality or the reality in the story.  These are songs that represent events that happen in the story, but events that are not specifically explained.  In the future we may look for other ways to elaborate on the story of “Revolution Street” but for now we will leave open to the listeners’ interpretations.   The plan is continue the same concept/story on the next releases.

Mandy Martillo sings on the ballad, and she does a fine job. Was she just the easiest one to ask, as you already work with her in Satan’s Hallow, or did you feel her voice was especially suited for the track?

– Mandy is a tremendous singer and was the first person I thought of when MP and I discussed this being a duet.  We demoed the song in March 2015 with Mandy singing and we both instantly felt that her voice fit perfectly.

“Captured” is a short one between “Fear Monger” and “Deformed In The Mind”.  I like the idea of having some vocals in the start of the song only, while the rest is instrumental. Is the idea simply to break up the album and perhaps add some diversity, or is there another thought behind this tune?

– I asked Lee to write a song that was under two minutes and he sent me “Captured.”  I like how the short song works in between longer songs.  I also think the vocals and lead guitars are really killer on this tune.

Even though they are totally different in style, I always thought there were similarities between the motive for the demo and album cover. Also the intro is called “Rite Of Rebellion” which was also the title of the demo.  Did you want to establish some kind of connection between the two releases?

– Exactly!  In the demo cover you see a warrior, Moros Nyx, on a cliff, looking down at a city.  On the album cover, he has reached the gates of the city.  Now the question is, where will he be or will he be on the next artwork?!

Moros Nyx Live at Ragnarokkr 2015 1You recently opened for Metal Church. The band seems to be on fine form with the return of Mike Howe, so how were they and how was the reception for Moros Nyx? I guess the gig was pretty special for you, as you had to step in behind the drums and Tyler Antram was a stand in bass player.  Did you consider calling it off?

–  It was an honor to share the stage with such an influential band as Metal Church.  The house was packed and they put on a great show.  We played first, but still had a great, energetic crowd.  The response was positive and we enjoyed hanging out with all the rockers at the show!  Yes, it was special!  Ian found out he could not do the show last minute.  Initially, I was thinking to cancel but really did not want to let the promoter down.  The band was all behind me handling the drums and we asked Tyler, who I also play with in Tiger Fight, to handle the bass duties.  We had about two weeks to prepare the set, but it came together and playing the show was an absolute blast! We even jammed a special Rainbow cover!

You will also be performing at Metal Threat in Chicago in July, with a lineup mainly made up of more extreme metal.  Back in the old days, a band like Moros Nyx would have a tough task at a festival like this, but it might be easier nowadays, and especially when it’s in your home town…

– At festivals, I believe having a different sound can be helpful to stand out.  We are playing on what seems to be the “speed metal night” with Razor and Exciter so I think we certainly fit in more with those bands than the black and death metal bands on the other two nights.  That said, we are going to pull out some special tunes that we’ve never played live and give the meanest Moros Nyx show yet!    We can’t wait for the show!

You and Lee are also in Satan’s Hallow together. Please give us a short update! Any plans for following up the demo from a while back?

– Satan’s Hallow are in the middle of recording our debut full-length album right now!  It should be done in July and then sent off to the label for pressing.  We are finalizing the details on the release and there should be an announcement soon.

There is also this band called Tiger Fight, with the two of you in the lineup.  Tell us a little about this band as well, as far as I know, you plan to record something quite soon?

–  Tiger Fight is a new traditional metal band that formed in the ashes of Ancient Dreams.  We are going into the studio later this month to record a few songs for our debut release that should be out this Summer.

Is this gonna be a demo or a professional sounding EP?

It will be a professional sounding release that should be completed this August.


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