AETERNITAS was a nice new introduction to me. As I found them highly entertaining I wanted to learn more about the band. Interview partner Alexander Hunzinger (Songwriter, Guitarist) Anders Ekdahl ©2017
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-Of course it is important. In our case the Latin word AETERNITAS means “eternity”, so what could be a better vibe than creating music for eternity? But to be honest I have to say that our band name came second, after we finished some songs from our first album “requiem” using the original Medieval Latin death mess lyrics. Herein the word “aeternitas” plays an important role, which was the reason we chose it as band name. At that time the name was meant to link the band’s name to our first album and we weren’t thinking too much about the vibe.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t fin d the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-When my wife and I started the band in 1999 it was planned as a studio project. We played together in another band and wanted to realize some kind of songs and music we couldn’t do in the other band. So we recorded our first album “requiem” with the support of some friendly studio musicians. With the success of the album after the release in 2000 our former label came up with the idea of performing the songs live on stage. So we started to create a real band to be able to play the songs live.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-We wish to keep things simple, so we just call our style “symphonic metal” and we leave it up to the listeners to evaluate if they like it or not. For this is better than to create a weird sub-genre definition like female-and-male-fronted-gothic-touched-modern-symphonic-rock-metal or such a mess.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-That depends on the concept of an album. As our albums always had a concept, e.g. the Dance of Death in our second album “La Dance Macabre”, the arrangement usually follows the given concept. The same with our current album “House of Usher” based on the short story by E.A. Poe. The order of the songs followed the story with the exception that we had three bonus tracks at the end, which had a lesser basis in the story and thus came last.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-It is hard to say where inspiration comes from – somewhere out of the mind. Sounds not very fancy, but I couldn’t find better explanations for the process of developing ideas. But also I wouldn’t say that I am writing chord structures that no one has ever done before. This is almost impossible, because with the European-based scales and chord structures, every combination has been used before. Of course I am not really copying musical lines from other bands. With the combination of rhythm, melodies, harmonies as well as sound and production we can hopefully create something new.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-The graphic side is important for us, because all our albums were some kind of concept album. So the graphical artwork should reflect the content of the album. But for the last three albums we totally trusted in our long-time graphic artworker Kurt Wörsdörfer aka headrime-artwork. He spends a lot of time to find the right visual implementation of our musical ideas.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-For all that Pop stuff I would agree with your statement. But I think within the rock and metal genres we have still enough fans who are interested in the complete work of an artist and a band and not just looking for single titles. And also from a producer’s point of view it is the most proper way of writing and producing 10 or 12 songs instead of producing single songs. It is easier to focus on a combination of songs and spend a period of time on writing tracks for an album than just work on single tracks.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-I would say as long as there is music and people who love hearing music there will be fans and also as mentioned above fans who like the complete work of their band. The relationship between fans and artists might change. But it also has some positive aspects as well. E.g. with all the social networks it is much easier for the fans to get in touch with their idols and they are closer to them than just seeing them on stage once in a year. So I don’t see this in a negative way and, hopefully, I am right with my thoughts.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-I don’t know if it is a concrete scene, but I know that there are lots of people who like hearing music in our style. This might not be the hardcore metal fans but e.g. people who listen to different metal- or rock-based music genres. People who like to listen to strong melodies in combination with some nice orchestra sounds and also metal based rhythms.
What does the future hold?
-After the departure of our female singer Alma beginning this year, we are focusing on the work with our new female front singer Julia Marou to go live on stage with her from April on. Afterwards we will start writing new songs…