Interview : Fredy Schnyder – Nucleus Torn




Interview by Roberta Ilaria Rossi

With a new member inside the project, Nucleus Torn comes back with a new album, called “Golden Age”. We’ve met Fredy Schnyder, the main composer, which told us something about this latest album and some revelations about Anna Murphy!

Hi Fredy, welcome to Femme After 15 years of the creation of your own band, what’s new for Nucleus Torn?

On “Golden Age”, we’ve significantly expanded our line-up. Whereas we had seven musicians on the first three “real” albums, we now have thirteen. Some instruments have been forced a little bit into the background, others come to the fore more often than before. Most importantly, the album focuses on the vocals, we’ve worked a lot on that part of our sound. In the past, we treated vocals as another instrument, on “Golden Age”, they clearly lead the songs.

What are the main influences of the band? Did you take inspiration from any band in particular?

Nucleus Torn has many influences; so many, that it is impossible to single out any of these. We are fascinated by all kinds of music, and you can obviously find traces of all of them on our records. Progressive rock, jazz, metal, folk, pop, classical music (from the Medieval ages to the present) – you name it. On “Golden Age”, the focus is primarily on progressive rock, I decided to explore this area of interest to a further degree.

Between the creation of the band and the release of the very first album, “Nihil”, released in 2006, many years have gone. What was the reason of this long wait?

We (I) did a couple of EPs, I also worked with other groups at that time. When I’d finally figured out that I couldn’t work with other bands, I decided to focus on Nucleus Torn for good and accepted that I needed (and wanted) to do the majority of the work myself – songwriting, performance, recording/engineering, layout, packaging, releasing, advertising. That’s when things started to work out and NT could attract other talented musicians willing to share in my adventure.

You’re the main person who most works on this project. How do you manage the entire work you have to do in the studio?

I like to work.

Before the release of “Golden Age”, Nucleus Torn released the last chapter of the trilogy who ends up in “Andromeda Awaiting”. Why have you choosen to complete with this album?

Interestingly enough, “Golden Age” is part of that collection of albums, too. “Golden Age” is a prequel to the other three albums, that makes it a tetralogy. I needed to find the roots to the story we told on “Nihil”, “Knell” and “Andromeda Awaiting” in the present, in our own society and culture, and deal with them on an artistic level.

Recently, you’ve taken part as guest musician in the forthcoming Eluveitie album: how was working with those guys? If I’m not mistaken, you had already worked for some instrumental track in “Evocation – part I”

Yes, you’re right. It’s always a pleasure working with them. First, Chrigel engineered my sessions for “Evocation I”, then I engineered Meri‘s violin recordings for “Everything Remains”, now Anna engineered my session for “Helvetios”, which was pure joy. Ivo was kind enough to give me a lot of advice on how to record metal guitars… Last but not least, I joined the band to perform “Meet the Enemy” live in Zurich a few weeks ago. So I got to know the band pretty well, we get along on a personal and professional level. As I said, it’s always a pleasure.

How many musicians/artists/bands you’ve worked with so far? Which is the artist/which is the band that gave you the most at a personal and artistic level?

Oh God, so many I’ve lost count (but certainly not track). It’s not possible for me to decide on one particular person/performance. It’s a big puzzle and everyone I’ve worked with has contributed a share to it.

What have you learned from them?

New sounds, new ways to work, new ways to arrange, new ways to record/mix/master, sometimes new ways to look at music/art and its place in life.

Recently, Anna Murphy joined the band. What could you tell us about it? What were the reasons about this choice?

I like her voice, her songwriting skills, her wonderful vocal lines, she plays several instruments, she’s going to be an amazing engineer one day… Well, she’s got an exceptional talent. Plus: we seem to understand one another pretty well. She’s one of the very few people that I will be able to write with.

What are the goals that you’re going to ask yourself a few years from now? What, however, will be the future projects?

We’ll find out. “Golden Age” was the end of the first professional phase of Nucleus Torn. I spent more or less every single musical idea I’d had and absolutely had to take a break from writing, which lasted for almost two years, in which I completed “Andromeda Awaiting”, the compilation “Travellers” and “Golden Age”. I needed to shut down and restart. As for the present, all I can say is that we are working. As usual.

Are you going to tour Europe very soon?

We’ll see. Having a new singer and multi-instrumentalist on board, there are new options. Time will tell.

Is there any artist or band you would like to cooperate with in a nearest future?

I’m quite sure that there will be fascinating things in store for me, there always have been. I don’t think that this will necessarily mean that I’m going to work with/for some of my “idols”, after all, there’s no guarantee that we would actually enjoy this and create something of exceptional value.

Thanks so much for the time you’ve given us. Is there something you would like to tell to Nucleus fans?

Thank you for your continuing support, enjoy our music.



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