If you haven’t checked out RISE OF AVERNUS just yet here is your chance to get better acquainted with them. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Rise of Avernus refers to the rising of the underworld. On a personal level, I like to think of it as a metaphor for darkness within individuals…the chaotic/dark self growing and developing. The name carries a sense of magnitude, which is reflective of the way we sound.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-It all comes from Ben’s twisted mind, haha. He’s the type of guy who will lock himself in his studio and barely sleep or eat for weeks while he purges his psyche and creates new material. I think insomnia, grandiosity, self-awareness and isolation are his muses.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Art always ends up reflecting the mind of the artist. There tends to be a journey within most tracks whether it’s calm, chaotic or somewhere in between… The short answer would be yes. Various trains of thought will present themselves while composing a song, and the way the artist interprets them will dictate the speed or intensity of the arrangements.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-Our live performance is a completely different experience when compared to listening to one of our records… We’ve undergone some changes to the writing process over the last few releases, angling for something that’s bigger and more encompassing when you witness it. We want people to engage with us and view our performances as an experience, rather than just watching a band play their own material at 110dB. Eigengrau is our first release which has been written with a strong focus on live performance.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-Labels are important to help back you up as an artist or a collective. They help with distribution, accessibility, product reach and advertising, as well as exposing you to potentially new fan bases. While it’s easy to release your own music online, there’s only so far you can go with self-promotion. I personally don’t see any negative connotations to having your music easily accessible. If anything, we want it to be more as accessible as possible so we can reach the people we would not typically encounter.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-With the easy accessibility of music these days, it’s much faster paced… People don’t need to wait until an album is released to hear where it’s headed. Most bands release teaser tracks before their albums are released in the entirety, and with the ability to preview/stream things online, fans have been given the ability to decide whether they wish to purchase an album based on whether or not they like where it’s headed. When music was less accessible, people did commit to bands as lifelong fans… they would have to buy the albums and just hope that they were going to like it. This new ‘preview’ approach has its positives and negatives… fans, as consumers, have a lot more purchasing power in their hands. They decide whether each release is worthy of support. This can be seen as a positive because it ensures a higher standard of quality from bands who are trying to retain their fans. The negative side is that bands may end up stagnating… They stop taking risks or evolving their sound for fear of losing fans.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A great cover is… multidimensional. It should be tasteful, distinct and reflective of the sound. Imagery is another facet of artistic expression, just like music is. The level of skill, finesse and creativity should be equal between the artwork and the music.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-Australia is a funny one, considering the huge distances between the major cities. On average, the east coast alone has a distance of 800-900km between capitals. Each region has its own scene which naturally waxes and wanes over time, but in general the national scene here is thriving. The main issue bands run into is an inability to break out of Australia. I put that down to isolation, prohibitive touring costs and a lack of consistent international interest in our ‘national’ scene.
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 don’t think we have anything to be particularly concerned about, considering there will always be people who prefer a tangible, physical product. Take a look at vinyl; it’s had a huge resurgence in the last few years due to reasonable printing costs and a high demand. Even cassette tapes are still in production! Physical albums with booklets, artwork and CDs will more than likely be around for a very long time.
What lies in the future?
-We are just going to keep doing what we do… We’ve finished our new album, ‘Eigengrau’ and are preparing to release it. We’re also hoping to have the opportunity to tour our new material overseas…