Comin' Straight Outta Maldives! Some Words with Nothnegal

It's not every day that you get the chance to sit down and candidly talk about music, movies and culture with a man literally halfway around the world. Fresh off the release of "Decadence," vocalist/guitarist Fufu of Nothnegal took some time out to talk with me about all of those things.
M DREW: How high are your expectations for “Decadence?” What do you hope or expect this does for your career?
FUFU: Since it's our first full length album ever, we don't expect all that much. What we're looking for is a good criticism to base the foundation for our new material for the future. We hope that people listen to the album and recognize our music.
MD: For those who don’t know, what’s it feel like to release a debut full-length record? What are emotions are you feeling? Are you hopeful or nervous or relieved or all of them?
F: Being a band from the Maldives, which is basically a small place and one which isn't really all that big on music, we are really proud to have been able to have our album heard and available to the world market. It feels like you've broken out after years of anticipation. We're rather happy that it's finally out. It’s always been a dream. We're really anxious about how people would respond to our music and kinda relieved at the same time because the waiting is over.
MD: What are these songs about? Where does this album come from a songwriting standpoint, and what does it mean?
F: These songs are about a post apocalyptic future where mankind is on the verge of extinction and slave to the machines they built to stop the destruction of the world which man caused through generations of pollution. We tried to implement all the emotion of the lyrics into the music. The album a mixture of industrial, thrash and death with lots of atmosphere. It's a start to what we hope will be good music. A stepping stone into the future.
MD: There are a number of different elements embedded in “Decadence.” How do you balance the metal and the industrial and all the other ingredients during writing?
F: We tried to balance out all of it as much as possible. We believe too much of something is adding a definition to it. As of yet, we're only just beginning to create our style of music. We do not want us to be defined by a definite genre yet.
MD: As you look at “Decadence,” what do you feel its strongest and weakest points are?
F: I believe that the harsh vocals are not as good as it can be as I'm just a beginner really. So, I think that is the weakest point in the album. The clean vocals on the other hand are actually going somewhere. I think the drumming, keyboard parts and the clean vocal songs are the best features of the album.
MD: Kevin Talley absolutely tears it up on this record. How did he come to be in the band, and what was your reaction when you heard his tracks?
F: We were on the look for a drummer at the time. This was right after the Antidote of Realism EP was out. We met Kevin online and sent our songs to him and asked if he'd be interested to join the band. We were really surprised when he agreed. The drum tracks he sent, simply put, blew us away. We're really happy with what he did with the songs.
MD: I know there have been some lineup changes in the band since it was formed…how did these pieces come together, and how comfortable is this lineup?
F: In the past, we were not all that serious about writing material and recording songs or anything. As we went along, it started to seem like it was a good idea to write and record songs. We wanted to release songs world wide. Since we were young, most of us weren't done with our studies. So, some left to do just that. And others just had lives and couldn't really commit because they had families to uphold. We're all still on good terms with all of them. This line up is more stable. Everyone very professional and we have lots of fun when we do meet up. I'd say it's all good.

MD: How much, if at all, does the music of your homeland influence your songwriting?
F: I don't think there's any element of our homeland in our music. Maybe in the future you might even hear a couple of songs in our native tongue. Who knows?
MD: There are probably a lot people reading this that are not terribly familiar with the Maldives – tell us a little about your home country, what it’s like, and what the people there are all about?
F: Well, Maldives is an exotic and beautiful chain of islands situated in the Indian Ocean. We’re known for being a tourist's paradise. It's all white sandy beaches, palm trees and sunny weather all the time. The people are friendly and fun. They're a smiley bunch. The people are all about fun.
MD: How did you come to be exposed to heavy metal? Who were some of your earliest influences? What made you want to write metal songs?
F: Me and Hilaal were exposed to heavy metal by our mutual cousin, Abu. He would make us listen to a lot of different kinds of music when he gets CD's or videos. Our earliest influences were Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer and Black Sabbath. We absolutely loved metal. At some point that was all we listened to. And when I started playing, all I wanted to play was Metal. So it makes sense when the first song we write is a metal song.
MD: Is there a metal scene in the Maldives? If so, what’s it like? Who are some of the other artists people should be on the look out for?
F: Oh there's a metal scene in Maldives. You might be surprised but almost all of the young generation is into Metal. All kinds. Even girls. Whenever there's a show, everybody just shows up and just goes insane. There are other Maldivian metal artists around like Serenity Dies, Tormenta and a lot of other bands. All kinds of genres.
MD: I have to ask, are you and the band horror fans? What movies have you enjoyed, and what themes do you find you like the most?
F: Definitely into horror. “The Exorcist,” “Evil Dead,” “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” and there are so many that I can't list them all. I can say for Hilaal and me, anything that involves zombies, monsters, aliens, ghosts or something mystic is the kind theme that intrigues us. I can't speak for the rest of the guys.
MD: How did you come to be a fan of the horror genre? Do you have any memories of how you came to be a horror fan?
F: I started getting into horror real early in my life. My mother was the one who introduced me to horror. She made me watch an Indian horror movie late one night because I just wouldn't let her put me to bed. I just had to watch it. I was so very curious. I've been a horror fan since. That was probably during the late '80s or early '90s.
MD: Have you ever or would you ever be inspired to write songs based on a something you saw in cinema?
F: Yeah. In fact some of the ideas of our songs are based on ideas from movies we watched when we were kids.

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