EPISODE 54 NOW AVAILABLE
Episode 54 is here after a couple of quiet weeks without an episode and I have a wonderful conversation with MARK MINER, guitarist for Sacramento based Power Metal band, NIVIANE. Niviane will be heading out on the road in a few weeks with SOULFLY (see episode 53 for information on GO AHEAD AND DIE/SOULFLY. I first saw Niviane a few years back and I enjoyed seeing them at Ace Of Spades and have seen them a few times now. Killer metal band and we talk about living in NorCal, Mark's guitar heroes, being on tour, friendships, the business, and all things Niviane.
All of this and more on Episode 54 of the HardRockCore Podcast.
If you want to jump straight to the interview, skip to 3 minutes 11 seconds
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Niviane is an American power metal band formed in 2014 hailing from Sacramento California. Co-founders, guitarists Mark Miner & Claudeous Creamer along with bassist Rick Stallkamp and drummer Mark Sprague created the band’s sound by melding together their collective influences of classic heavy metal fused with modern European metal stylings.
In the following months the band would write many of the songs that would later appear on their debut album. The fledgling act still needed a moniker and the name "Niviane" was suggested by guitarist Claudeous Creamer and adopted by the band. With name and music in place the final piece of the puzzle had yet to be found, but as fate would have it in the spring of 2015 vocalist Norman Skinner was available to take on another project and was contacted by an associate of the band. Within a week the two camps had demoed 3 songs and the original full Niviane line-up was born.
On May 15th, 2015 the band debuted their music live for the first time at The Knitting Factory in Reno, Nevada. Delivering a high-energy performance complete with duel lead guitar attacks and high-soaring vocals, the band began a run of successful show dates and continued to perform live throughout the end of 2015 while writing new material.
The group in its infancy was gaining much deserved attention but within the Niviane camp changes would need to be made if the band was to progress. 2016 would begin with Claudeous Creamer & Mark Sprague parting ways with the band and being replaced by guitarist Gary Tarplee & drummer Noe Luna. Without missing a step the band continued forward, performing live while completing the writing process and pre-production for their first album “The Druid King”.
In May 2016 the band entered Alien Productions Studios in Carmichael, CA with JK Northrup (XYZ, King Kobra) at the helm to begin recording their debut album “The Druid King”. Upon completing a majority of the tracking the decision was made to recruit the talents of Aaron Robitsch (Graveshadow) to compose and record keyboards adding the final element to round out the songs.
After a long meticulous process, recording for the “The Druid King ” completed in March 2017. Freelance Illustrator Dusan Markovic was contacted to design the cover artwork for the album while the band went to work searching for management & a record label to release the album through. In the meantime to appease their growing fanbase a single track “The Berserker” was released independently on May 5th, 2017 through the bands YouTube account. The track was received extremely well amassing over 9, 000 views without any additional promotion.
With rave reviews of their live shows combined with the overwhelming response to the single release, Niviane was quickly picked up by Distilled Entertainment Artist Management and were able to entertain multiple offers from various record companies. Niviane eventually signed with Pitch Black Records in September 2017 and released their second single “Watch The Banners Fall”. The following month a lyric video for the title track “The Druid King” was release and finally on November 3rd, 2017 Niviane’s debut album “The Druid King” was officially released worldwide.
Niviane spent most of 2018 on tour in support of their debut release. Due to the success of the album the band was able to secure supporting slots on both the Sirenia\Threat Signal & Vicious Rumors North American Tours as well as sharing the stage with such bands as Testament, Warrant, Primal Fear, Angra & Rhapsody while continuing to write for their second album.
Due to a busy touring, writing schedule Niviane had not yet recorded an official music video for any songs off their album “The Druid King”. Realizing this, the band immediately launched a fan casting call for their song “The Berserker” and the response was tremendous. Director Ryan Adams was brought in to head up the epic shoot consisting of full battle scenes in high winds, rain & hail. The band expects to release the video June 2019. two more music videos for select tracks from the upcoming album “The Ruthless Divine” are in the planning stages now.
After a full year of touring and writing for their next album it was time for Niviane to head back into the studio to begin recording their Sophomore effort “The Ruthless Divine”. Seeking a more modern and heavier sound than that of “The Druid King” the band made the decision to enter Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA and work alongside Producer\Engineer Zack Ohren (Machine Head, All Shall Perish). As they had done with their previous album, the group tracked a majority of the recordings in their home studios and then brought in Aaron Robitsch to do keyboards. Once the album was completed the band made the decision to offer Aaron Robitsch a permanent place with the band which he accepted making Niviane a 6 piece. Following the recording of "The Ruthless Divine" long-time drummer Noe Luna parted ways with Niviane due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Drummer Isaiah AR was welcomed into the band's ranks.