AEMPYREAN is yet another new cool discovery I have made. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Every band has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
BR: Greetings! Firstly, when we wrote and recorded this music, we did it for ourselves, and whatever we demanded of ourselves was what we would expect as listeners of this form of music. That being said, for those who really do “get” what extreme metal is about, we hope listeners can get both the aesthetics and the musicianship that went into this record.
This music was fueled by our own innate need to play harsh, uncompromising, blasphemous metal; a general disdain for extreme acts that write shitty/no riffs and hide behind poor production just for the sake of being “extreme”, and a genuine hatred for a lot of contemporary acts that pass for death/thrash/black metal where we come from. There is a fair degree of musicianship that was required to translate our thoughts into music, particularly in the controlled environs of a studio while tracking, and we believe we managed to capture this while not compromising even a little on the aggression. Again, for those that aren’t weak of heart and really do follow this form of music, we hope you get all this and more.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
BR: “Aempyrean” is just an alternative spelling for the word “empyrean” which is thought to be the highest level of a celestial body – a realm of fire. It wasn’t particularly hard to pick a name once we started thinking along the concept of it all – keeping the eternal black flame burning inside us and enabling us to push ourselves beyond mediocrity through sheer will.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?*
BR: Some of our main influences are Morbid Angel (early), Sarcofago, Possessed, Necrovore, Angelcorpse, Morbid Scream, Absu, Destroyer 666, etc., however, they’re not limited to these acts alone.
I wouldn’t exactly say we’re inspired musically by some of the newer bands today, but acts like Beyond, Possession, Hexenslaught, Heresiarch, Venefixion, Infernal Execrator, Weregoat, Genocide Shrines, Tetragrammacide, Antiversum, Spectral Voice, Demonomancy, Krypts, etc. (way too many to name) have put out great releases in the recent past.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
BR: Actually, when Ajay N (bass) and I formed the band in early 2015, our concept of it and the musical direction were very clear. When we assembled the lineup, we drilled these ideas into the others and repeatedly discussed it among ourselves till we had a starting point and the way forward before we’d even played a single note.
The name only came a few months later when I was reading some occult literature and was searching for the meaning of a word. I came across “empyrean” as a related word, and thought it was perfect for what we were doing.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
BR: I’m not very fond of digital either because it doesn’t offer me anything aside portability, and the music doesn’t really sound the way it was intended to. And unless artists release isolated tracks that can stand on their own two legs without context, I believe releasing single tracks don’t really have any merits.
As far as people’s changing habits of how they listen to music go, we don’t concern ourselves with it. Besides, there still exists a sizable audience beyond the fast-food crowd who appreciate listening to albums from start to finish.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
BR: Artwork, layout and the general imagery play a significant part in how we present the art we create. To put it simply, it should do justice to our music and serve as its visual supplement. From our perspective, this is not meant to catch people’s attention at all, although I concede that a well executed work of art on the cover can sometimes generate interest before a listener has even heard the music. In fact, that’s pretty much how I got put on to many of the classic albums from Killers (Iron Maiden), Sad Wings of Destiny (Judas Priest) and Bomber (Motörhead), to Hell Awaits (Slayer), Pleasure to Kill (Kreator) and To Mega Therion (Celtic Frost), etc. when I was in my early/mid teens.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
BR: Actually, we don’t really give a crap about social media. Sure, we do put the word out when we have a gig or release coming up, but otherwise, we really don’t care. We only use it if/when we have something relevant to say, or to sometimes communicate with our supporters who write to us.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-BR: Again, we have never cared about being part of any scene. There’s some music and bands we like, and there’s many we simply ignore, reject or hate. I believe playing in a band is just what it is. We only do it because we want to and we go to great lengths to make it happen. No, I don’t feel we’re part of anything bigger or grander. Maybe bands who contributed to and were part of all the great movements within metal (from NWOBHM in the ’70s to the NoEvDia bands in the early 2000s) feel differently.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
BR: We’ve just played a handful of gigs in our hometown (Bangalore, India) and have not toured so far. However, we’re open to touring in future when the right opportunities are presented.
I believe playing live is one of the three necessary rituals for any band (after writing and recording). It demands a certain degree of skill, focus and control, and lets an audience experience the music with added energy and chaos. Yes, surely a great way to spread the word. However, I also believe in playing the right gigs, alongside the right set of bands, and for the right audience.
What will the future bring?
BR: Our debut EP, “Fireborn” is out on 1st December via our label Cyclopean Eye Productions. We’re also starting to write new material shortly and hope to be in the studio mid next year to record a full-length. We have a couple of announcements coming up sometime soon regarding lineup changes and other plans.
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