Discography of Njiqaddha year by year
Nji Demo, 2005
Aartuu Mortaa Demo, 2006
Njivisual Arts DVD, 2006
Njimajikal Arts Full-length, 2007
Fortu Manske Orta Full-length, 2007
Almare Dosegaas Fyaltu Full-length, 2007
Nortii Maatu Single, 2007
Sylivesk EP, 2008
Ints | Nji | Verfatu Full-length, 2008
Mal Esk Varii Aan Full-length, 2008
Ancestral / Merankorii / Njiqahdda Split, 2008
Tys Lysaj Ani Loparuu Full-length, 2008
Nji. Njiijn. Njiiijn. Full-length, 2008
Nil Vaaartului Nji EP, 2008
Taegnuub – Ishnji Angma Full-length, 2009
Urmae Copistrum Xaaqa Qahdda Boxed set, 2009
Alkas Nortii Maane Solbaartu – Aski Full-length, 2009
Senvaalasm Full-length, 2009
Snaepuuriin EP, 2009
Njiijn Vortii – Codex I EP, 2009
Asqvaalru EP, 2009
Graisentraa EP, 2009
Sombre Fortu EP, 2009
Aartu Negrii EP, 2009
Isi EP, 2009
Yrg Alms Full-length, 2009
Identity of – and / (if you want to- of course, Dash and Backslash have a nice ring to them) and also what others bands you are involved in.
We choose to keep our identities under-wraps, for the same reason we do not openly show pictures of our faces and all that typical promo/band stuff. At the start of this band, one of the main ideals was to be as discreet as possible regarding our personal identities. Who we are and what we do in our daily lives has no impact on the art we create. The goal for Njiqahdda has always been to be as detached from the public aspect of it as possible. The undertaking of this project was never to be famous or pat ourselves on the back. We create simply out of the desire to do so, Njiqahdda is art that is primarily selfish in some respects, mostly because we make music that we want to hear. What other people think of us is of no importance. If people like our music that is great, if people hate it, that is great as well. As long as we are happy doing what we do, that is the only concern and motivation to us.
Other projects we are involved in; Njiijn, Oaks Of Bethel and Funeral Eclipse.
Njiqaddha is an American band, so what is the origin of your band name and the Njiijn language found in some of your works?
We are an American band, more specifically from the Midwestern region, living right outside the outskirts of Chicago, IL. The origin of our band name is from the same place as our language. The language(s) we use are an amalgamation of multiple languages and textual source. The main points are derived from Nordic/Scandinavian/Germanic, Greek, Arabic and English languages and texts. There are many rules in this language, much like most typical languages and while we do typically adhere to them, there are certain instances in which we ‘break our own rules,’ so to speak. We mostly write lyrics in this language, although we do have a few instances in which we use standard US English. Those songs are the ones with English titles as well. We try to make the distinction as plain to recognize as possible. We are planning to give a list and explanation of each album title in our next book; Njiijn Vortii – Codex 2. Which we are compiling as I write this.
Given the sheer volume of music you are putting out, I’m assuming N. is primarily a studio band and that you must have access to a studio. How are you releasing so much music per year?
You are correct in your assumption. Njiqahdda is a studio project above all. We have received a large number of requests to do live presentations, a few of which we are considering, but ultimately we would never be a regularly touring/live performance act. I personally have performed in touring acts earlier in my youth and discovered that it is really not for me. The performance aspect is gratifying, but everything else regarding it is not something I enjoy being a part of.
We do have regular access to a studio. Its quite a blessing for us to be able to record when we want, without being under pressure from record labels to work around a budget or time frame. Something like that would be a contributer to the demise of Njiqahdda. Time in the studio has proven to be essential to our band, simply because we have no desire to be pressured into delivering something in a specific timeframe. We create art as it comes to us without restraint or pressure from any source.
Part of the ability to release as much music as we do, comes from the privilege of running our own record label (EEE Recordings). Aside from 4 releases (Nji. Njiijn. Njiiijn. & Yrg Alms were released on Pagan Flames and Njimajikal Arts was re-released on Dungeons Deep Records and Eternal Warfare), we have self-financed and released all of our material. This provides us the opportunity to do what we want, exactly how we want to do it. We refuse to be dictated by other people regarding our worth as artists or performers. What we do is important to us, so the opinions of others are less than convincing. Its always a gratifying feeling to know others enjoy and want to contribute to what we do, but ultimately, our opinions are the only ones that matter to us.
N. certainly pushes the envelope of hard music of several genres. Do you perceive yourselves as being a part of the metal world, or an evolution beyond it? How would you classify your sound?
I would think we are a little bit of both. Our music is definitely firmly rooted in the metal subculture, but we also incorporate a lot of elements not typically found in the metal spectrum. We consider ourselves a progressive/experimental black metal band. Black metal is the foundation of our music, but we consciously incorporate outside elements within that framework to expand our sound. To limit what we do to one genre or artistic medium would be artistic suicide, so to speak. We always try to add new elements and expand our horizons as a band for multiple reasons. Genre cross-pollination is amazing when done well, we have never understood why artists put themselves in a creative box, limited to only certain criteria. We work diligently to not be a part of that mindset and I think our music is a testament to that idea. I am still convinced that there is no one band/project in the planet that sounds like Njiqahdda. There are some artists we share similarities with, but ultimately the music we create is very specific and unique to ourselves.
What are your goals with N. and do you have different goals for some of the different projects you are involved with?
Since the inception of Njiqahdda (and our other projects), there has been no specific goal other than to create art in multiple mediums that are pleasing to us. Our goals were never to become popular, get famous, etc. We are actually very much against that, so many artists create out of the (un)pure desire to be known and liked by people, which in my mind is kind of sad. If that is what someone wants from their creations, then good for them. This was and is never going to be important to us. All we want from our work is to be able to express our artistic opinions amongst each other. What happens from there is not up to us and also is not important. If we never sold another record for the rest of our lives, we would still create music on the same level we do now. As long as we please ourselves, there will always be creative energy flowing in one form or another, that begs for us to capture its essence.
Are you the future of black metal, or just an alternate path?
I think that is more of a question for one of our listeners. We do not consider ourselves to be the future of anything, more so, since the future is so unpredictable, to pin point something like that is virtually impossible. To us, we are definitely an alternate path to something, but what that is, we certainly have no idea. One thing I can definitely say is that for black metal (or any other genre that adheres to strict criteria/ideals/whatever) if other, more foreign and atypical concepts are not integrated into the basic platform, it will eventually die off. Maybe less of dying off and more of burning out. How long can one strain of anything continue to perpetuate with adapting and evolving? It cannot. All its original ideas will burn out and there will be nothing left but a pile of ashes. I think that is something the newer era of musicians (and even some of the originators of the idea) are finally beginning to see, which is definitely a good thing. There has to be a continual forward movement in order to strive and last through the ages. One can only move in a circular motion so long before becoming tired, weary and eventually giving up.
I see your music as a metaphor for nature- vocals sound like the wind speaking, ambient sounds soft and loud, etc. Is that an accurate assessment of your direction, or is the idea more like the original industrial noise bands- all chaos or white noise? (I guess, boiled down to it, my question is chaos vs. order in terms of art.)
I think this metaphor is actually quite strong for what we do. The natural world has always been a huge part of the art we create (which may be stereotypical for black metal bands these days, but it is something we deeply connect with on many levels). We have definitely been negatively affected by the continuing loss of our environment and the perpetual movement toward a commercial/industrial society. The connections with earth and more simple ways of living are being buried more and more everyday. Which is tragic on many levels; the path to this all-knowing, big brother, instant gratification society is depressing. Nothing worth having or doing happens over night and anyone who believes this is only fooling themselves. Same with those who believe that everyone should know every aspect of your life. I certainly have a problem with watching our initial rights as Americans being dissolved and stripped away more and more each day. Whatever the future is holding for humanity and western culture has me moderately frightened. None of it looks very promising from here.
One of our main driving forces for this band is the chaos versus order debate. The ability to control chaos and manipulate it for a better outcome is paramount for art we create. The nature metaphor is very accurate as well. More in the respect that we try to make our artistic endeavors seem as organic and natural as possible. Nothing in our band is forced or pre-determined. Therefore it all comes from a very open and unhindered place. With that being said there has always been an onus to be complex in some fashion, either regarding dynamics, song structures, song lengths, etc. We do manage to inject a fair amount of white noise and pure chaos into what we do, but even that is creatively molded to some extent. We try to refine all the elements and concepts of our art to be as pure as possible, without losing the initial force it was born with.
How much do your faith or beliefs factor into your artistic pursuits?
Our ideas are incredibly relevant to our artistic output. I try to not label them as faith or beliefs since that can come with pre-conceived notions, they are simply ideas. We live our lives based upon what we think and have been taught as being ‘right’. All of this somehow ends up leaking into our art. Black metal is typically known for satanism, atheism, hatred, anger, misanthropy, etc…This is something that we have no part of in any form, outside of being influenced by the musical end of the genre. Our music is not hateful or misanthropic. While I do have certain ideas regarding humanity and its perpetuation of destroying itself, that is not something that comes across in our music. Aside from discussing meditation, nature, emotions and transcendence in our lyrics, we generally try to have some kind of positive outlook on the world and how to conduct ourselves as people. At the end of the day, all we can do is try to be the best people that we can, not only to those who we know and love, but also to those we have never met. We firmly believe in being good to all people, regardless of anything. We also have a great understanding that we must always push ourselves to be better people, to re-evalute our personalities on a daily basis and try to fix our pitfalls to the best of our own ability. There are not enough people like that in the world and I, for one, deeply believe we need more of those.
If N. (or any of your other bands) became successful, what would that look like? (Or more simply, how do you define success?)
Success is determined in the eye of the beholder. The fact that we can openly create art that is important and relevant to us as people, is a success on every level as far as we are concerned. From a more typical definition of success, we have already achieved more than we had ever imagined. The fact there is a modest amount of people who enjoy and appreciate what we do, is a feat in itself. Since that was never our intention, the amount we have achieved at this point is flattering. Like I had stated earlier, if we became more largely popular that would be great, if the entire planet stopped indulging in what we do, that is great as well. At the end of the day, we look at our achievements as a success regardless of popularity, press, etc. We are content with where we are in our own little piece of the world. To ask for more than that is self defeating.
Our magazine is called Heaven’s Metal and for 25 years we’ve been writing about Christian metal and metal that is of interest to Christians. I don’t know if that is familiar territory for you, but for this question it really doesn’t matter. Do you have any final thoughts or plugs for our audience?
This is moderately familiar territory for us. In part of running the record label, we have released a fair amount of christian centered music over the years. I for one do not consider myself a follower of any specific faith, but I have nothing but respect for those who do. It is not an easy path to follow or a code to live your life by. I was raised christian and was very much in tune with that life style for a very long time. The older I became and the more things I had witnessed in my own life (along with those around me) that caused me to question my faith to the point of not being able to identify with it anymore were aplenty. I still very much think that there is a profound ability for god to exist, but the dogmatics and injustice in a lot of religious institutions/concepts are incredibly frustrating. I am very much grateful for the lessons I had learned from being a part of that lifestyle and still hold a good deal of them in my life now. I will never be one to rule out anything of possible relevance, I just find at this point in my life, I need more time to assess life itself and come to some kind of logical conclusion regarding spirituality. With that also being said, I have witnessed and been a part of a great deal of things that can only be defined as spiritual, so that path is always open and relevant to me. Anyone that can stay true to what they think and believe, I have nothing but respect for. I can definitely see how we have become of interest to many christian music fans, mainly because our attitude and lyrical approach is very atypical to the music we perform. This is fine with us, anyone who is open enough to listen to Njiqahdda with an open mind has our gratitude and appreciation.
Final thoughts; First of all, thank you for this interview and thank you to anyone who reads it. We appreciate your time, interest and support. We have a lot of material planned to be released in 2010, including a few re-issues of older releases. For anyone who is interested in any of that, you can either get the latest information from www.e3recordings.com or www.myspace.com/njiqahdda.
© Copyright 2010 Heaven’s Metal Fanzine. All rights reserved.