1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording and release of the new album?
Although the album has only been released recently, Blood Moon Omen has been getting very positive reviews so far. As for NAR, I am hoping that in the not so distant future, I find the right mood and inspiration to start working on some new material.
2.Recently you have released a new album, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
It does and it doesn’t, in the sense that it is still on the same musical genre as the first two albums. Blood Moon Omen, however, has a much more distinctive and powerful sound in my opinion, as well as a darker atmosphere. Additionally, with this album, I decided to create more contrasts musically, with some aggressive tracks containing mellower and atmospheric sections in line with the lyrical state of the song.
3.The solo project has been around since 2013 but so far there has only been 3 albums, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap in between releases?
The way I write my music is through inspiration. As a solo artist, I am free to write whenever I feel that the moment is right. There are bands out there that release album after album in insane timeframes, but that is not something I see myself doing, especially not at the detriment of my music.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the new music and also how would you describe your progress as a songwriter over the years?
Again, my songwriting is an inspired process. So topics will pretty much vary according to what I feel I should write about at that moment in my life. However, the main lyrical themes I deal with are the human condition, be it emotional, spiritual or existential.
5.Some of your lyrics cover mythology themes, what are some of the mythologies you explore with your music?
Although most of the songs mention legendary symbols and creatures, there is one song in particular in this album, ‘Il-Ħakem ta’ Bufies’, which speaks about an old Maltese legend of a terrible place called ‘Bufies’. Not a lot is known about this legendary place, except that only a few have ever returned to tell the tale. For this album, I based my lyrics on this legend of Bufies and created a new character, the ruler (il-Ħakem) of the place in a way that merged my heritage and my music.
6.You also have mentioned an interest in poetry Tolkien, Poe and Lovecraft, can you tell us a little bit more about your interested in these writings and also are there any other authors that you have an interest in?
Writing lyrics to me is as important as writing music. I take my lyrics very seriously and make sure that they tell a story every time. Great authors like Tolkien, Poe and Lovecraft seem to merge legends, mythology and fantasy seamlessly in a new medium altogether, and for this, they are my greatest literary inspiration.
7.I know that the bands name means 'fire' in Maltese, how does this name fit in with the musical styles that you play?
Yes, NAR means fire in Maltese. I have always been enthralled by fire—the elegance of a flame in contrast with the ferociousness of a wildfire. So in a sense, fire is somewhat representative of my music, from fast and aggressive songs to mellow and melodic sounds that create a unique atmosphere.
8.You also have written lyrics in Maltese and English, which language do you prefer?
Most of my songs are in English, being an international language and all that, but I make it a point to always include at least a few tracks in Maltese because at the end of the day that is part of who I am. If I had to choose, however, I would choose Maltese because it is after all my mother tongue.
9.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you interested in working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
I think at this point in my life I prefer working by myself. The simple fact that I can work with my own pace, is something that I am not willing to trade away.
10.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
When I first released my music, I have to say that the reception was very positive. NAR is a small project from a very small country, so being acknowledged by the black metal community is great in its own respect.
11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
Honestly, I don’t plan ahead. Music is my art and I let it take me wherever it goes.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I became a metalhead listening to black metal, and as a genre, it has always been my go-to place in the darkest days of my life. Some of the bands which I keep going back to are Watain, Immortal and Inferi (Fin). I am also appreciating a lot of other bands with a slightly more atmospheric sound like Winterfylleth and Wolves in the Throne Room.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First of all, let me thank you for allowing me to share my work with your readers. It’s been a blast! I would also like to extend my gratitude to all those who have supported my music from its inception. A big hail to all the brothers and sisters in metal worldwide! Keep those horns up!