In fact, Nedland has been very busy over the last two years with the release of White Void’s critically acclaimed debut, ‘Anti‘ last year and the sudden announcement of his contrasting project, ‘Black Void‘ whose debut, ‘Antithesis‘ is due for worldwide release tomorrow [Friday, May 27th] via Nuclear Blast.
The vocalist, sat down with Overdrive to explain how this all came about as well as his plans for future ‘Black/White Void‘ LP’s and much more…
OD – The last time we spoke was just prior to the release of ‘White Void’ debut album ‘Anti’, talk me through the decision to turn it on its head with ‘Black Void’?
LARS – Well, I actually signed both bands to Nuclear Blast at the same time! The last time we spoke, at the time, things were being cancelled with the Borknagar US tour, so I already had five songs for White Void ready to go, and I started to also write, in contrast to those songs, something much darker. This essentially turned out to be, ‘Black Void‘.
The idea of the contrast between both entities really intrigued me. All the while, I’m writing this soft, melodic album, I needed a contrast and it started with these crude, Punk riffs. I wanted something unsophisticated and just aggressive. When I was finishing the production on White Void and was preparing to approach the different record labels to show the album, I had this concept, one about nihilism, and one about absurdity.
White Void came first, but Black Void grew out of it. I had a selection of demos, and when I was talking with Jens Prueter [Nuclear Blast] we were discussing the contact, and I was negotiation with a few different labels at the time, so when Jens sent me the Nuclear Blast contact, there was a clause in that contact that stated that I could not have another band/project connected to the band signing to Nuclear… signed to another label.
But since I already had Black Void and the overall concept in place, I pointed out that there may be an issue with that clause in the contact. I didn’t really think they [Nuclear Blast] would be interested in this, blackened Punk stuff, but Jens, seemed interested and asked me to send over some of the Black Void demo stuff, and so, I sent him four tracks. The result is that he offered us a deal on Black Void also.
Two different projects, two different styles, but from the same bunch of guys, offering a mirror contrast of each album. We really thought that was a cool concept, and that’s how it all came to be.
OD – I recall you telling me that you had two albums worth of material in place prior to ‘Anti’s’ release, so would it be right to assume ‘Antithesis’ is one of them?
LARS – No! I’ve actually got another two White Void albums written [laughing]. The first of these two albums is actually in production now, as we are currently recording. Of course, we are concentrating on Black Void LP right now, but I might as well tell you, I’ve got the second Black Void album written also.
OD – Wow! You certainly don’t waste any time…
LARS – Well…I’ve not been touring, so I had to keep myself busy somehow. [Laughing] If you have inspiration to write, my advice is to just write. I have a period that is best described as a frenzy of creativity, and that will see me writing/creating for about six months, but then, the rest of the time, I’m just living my life and not feeling that same level of inspiration. So, when I get that feeling, I just go with it and keep going until there’s nothing left. Until the next cycle happens again.
If I make sure that I have the songs in the bank, I don’t have to stress about writing. I didn’t have to worry about touring so, my life was with my family, kids, my day job and then the other side of me, which is the creative side. I just try to harvest as much positive and productive work from when I’m in that mindset, and it’s working well for me. There’s a good balance there that just works.
OD – Having not really had the opportunity to tour White Void post release, are there plans for a White/Black Void show that may tour the UK/EU later this year?
LARS – Yes, for sure. We are doing some festivals with White Void and at the moment not really have any plans for live shows with Black Void. I’d love to mix the two projects in a live setting. Who knows, it may happen at some point in the future.
OD – Besides your involvement with Borknagar and Solefald, do you find that the creative outlets you’ve now created for White Void and Black Void has put you in a wonderful position of being able to creatively flow in many directions?
LARS – Yes, I’m very fortunate to be able to express myself in multiple ways. As people we all have a lot of different sides. I don’t agree with the idea of staying in one lane. We should always strive to push boundaries and try new things. My background is with Solefald which is batshit crazy. It was avant garde, before avant garde was considered cool [laughing], so really, it was inevitable that I would be seeking many creative avenues to express myself.
OD – Now that you’ve solidified that both White Void and Black Void are two separate entities, do you envision multiple albums over the years for each project?
LARS – These paths are not really that clear to be honest. I never sit down and plan what I’m going to write for. I just sit down with my guitar and as soon as things start to crystallise, then I get the sense of what the essence of the music is. I’m writing lots of different kinds of music, so who knows what will come done the line. I’m open to everything.
OD – It’s clear that you’ve been very busy over the last few years, would you say that both projects is a direct result of the lockdown situation, and being off the road?
LARS – I think the pandemic lockdown was definitely a catalyst in making this all happen. When the Borknagar US tour was first cancelled back in 2020, that’s really when it all just began. I think it would have existed at some point, but the pandemic set the trajectory for the way things happen.
OD – Your record collection is a thing of beauty, but can you give me your most prized possession from your collection?
LARS – Hmm, I’d have to say, Swedish Prog/Rock band Änglagård. They released an album called, ‘Hybris‘ in late, ’92 on Mellotron label and that’s really hard to come by. I also have the original debut Emperor EP, and also a very rare A-HA version of ‘Take on Me‘. It has a cartoon cover from the video and I have that signed by all the band members. I met them all when I was nine-years old. My Father gave it to me, so it’s a very prized possession.
OD – Can you tell me one album that is your holy grail but have yet to own?
LARS – Yeah. ‘Shadows Collide with People‘, the solo album from John Frusciante [Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist]. I really want to get my hands on a vinyl copy of that album. I know you can really get anything you want on Discogs, but there really is nothing like finding a record you’ve been searching for in the wild.
Black Void ‘Antithesis‘ will be released via Nuclear Blast from tomorrow [May 27th]. Order a copy from your local record store or purchase online via this link.