I find the whole Greek metal scene fascinating, How there can be so many cool bands that so very few have heard of. So I want to do my bit to spread the name of AENAON. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
-Every song we start working on is a new journey for us. Musically, emotionally and lyrically speaking. There are no rules of how we have to sound anymore. We like to cover the whole emotional spectrum, not just one perspective.This artistic freedom and diversity is our driving force to create unique music and follow our own path.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-Once again we experimented with alternative instruments and orchestrations, made saxophone a standard element of our music and we also paid much more attention on bass guitar. Astrous’ approach was also much more theatrical than in the previous record.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
-Usually, there is no clear message in Astrous’ lyrics. The listener is free to interpret them his own way. Astrous is creating a mosaic of images and meanings and not a straight forward story. Of course in case of “Hypnosophy” there is a theme which is surrealism and dreams. For example “Oneirodynia” means pain caused through dreams or if you spell it “Oneirodinia” means a vortex of dreams. “Thus Ocean Swells” is about drowning into an ocean which is the subconscious, or “Void” for example is about the feeling of nothingness, falling into the void – classic existential nightmare. “Phronesis-Psychomagic” is an epic story of shamanic wisdom combining the essence of logic, spirituality and magic. That’s more or less what this album is about.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you identify with?
-It’s not easy to think of specific artists since we grew up listening to so many. With BM and extreme metal in general being the basis of our music we also tend to combine all of our influences from different music styles. Mostly prog rock, ethnic, blues, jazz and a little bit of electronica from time to time.
How did you go about choosing art work for this new album? What was important to have in it?
-The most important is to have visual art that identifies the band as our music does. Visual expression and symbolisms must be one with the music and that’s why we once again collaborated with our Polish friend Lukasz Wodynskι who has been working with us since our first album “Cendres et Sang”. After all these years he has been like a true member of the band and he has been listening the new album since the very first preproduction versions in order to start creating all of the 5 paintings which are on the booklet. Soon, there’s also going to be released a short documentary video that Lukasz is presenting his vision, influences and the way he worked on “Hypnosophy”.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have art work that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
-I couldn’t agree more with you. Artwork represents and visualises the music. Right now I am thinking countless examples of albums that wouldn’t be the same without it. I also believe that rebirth of vinyl and analog in the music industry is not just a trend but also a sign that people need to have their favourite music as a visual art object. We enjoy feeling the material that contains our favourite music. We love the ritual of putting on the vinyl or even CD or cassette and helps on giving the music the respect it deserves since digital world has crushed those values. To be able to read the lyrics, to admire the colours, to decode the symbols and stare at the artwork while listening to the music.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
-Astrous comes up with the titles while listening to the first demos of the songs and also builds the stories or sequences of images and words while listening to the songs and their structure. In the meanwhile music and orchestrations are later also influenced by Astrous’ lyrics and concept. Same happened with artwork as we were all working at the same time based on a common vision and observing each other’s work.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-I can’t really say we are worrying about it. Almost all of us in the band are collectors of physical formats and also we are lucky enough to be able to release our own music in amazingly beautiful vinyl formats, boxsets, CDs and tapes. Of course as you said downloading or streaming is an excellent way to check out what is interesting out there before we spend money on it. I am really curious though to see how piracy on the internet is going to be evolved.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
-Well, performing shows is a great feeling and makes you feel alive. Also is the best way of promotion but unfortunately we have decided to stop being a live band. We are financially crushed and living in Greece right now is not the best place for an artist to be. We live in different cities and we don’t even have enough budget for gasoline and do a fucking rehearsal. We hope that at some point when the conditions are better we can be back on playing live shows but now is not the time.
What lies in the future?
-Next step concerning “Hypnosophy” is the release of an official music video which will be like a short film directed by Lukasz Wodisnky. Thanks a lot for your sincere interest and support!