Interview with guitarist Aethon
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: November 11, 2020
Smelling of leather, booze and iron, Germany's old-school black/thrash metal horde Eurynomos formed in some dark cellar under a blazing crimson moon in 2014. They have been growing their reputation with a series of EPs that were finally released on one CD titled The Trilogy. That's what nearly every band did back in the good old days, released a bunch of 7-inch singles before heading to a studio to record a debut album. This 4-piece band features members from Desaster, Megathérion and Stigmatized, so these four riders of doom have a lot of experience.
This infamous mob released their debut album, From the Valleys of Hades, on Iron Pegasus Records in August 2020 and it caught some ears at the headquarters of The Metal Crypt. We were curious and there's no better way to know more about a band than to contact them and ask a few questions about how things got started, how they have been doing coping with the coronavirus and such. The band's guitarist Aethon kindly stepped up and filled us in on all the necessary information what you need to know about the band... read on!
First off, how's life in Germany? Is it as strange and ugly as everywhere else in this world?
Aethon: Hi Luxi. So far, in the province where we live, things were "OK". No gigs and stuff but at least you could move, and you were not locked up like animals in a cage. For my personal situation, I live in a mini-mini village, so life is more or less always the same. I think I could hold a mega-orgy over here and nobody would give a damn, hehe. Hope things are ok up in Finland.
IN THE NAME OF RAW, MARSHALL-DRIVEN ENERGY
Eurynomos, a raw and ferocious 4-piece black/thrash unit, was formed in 2014 and during the past six or so years, you guys have released three EPs and one full-length. What were some of the goals you wanted to achieve when you originally put the band together, besides this unholy trinity "fame-fortune-girls" combo, of course? ;o)
Aethon: Well, I am happy that we managed to turn the concept of doing The Trilogy EP series into reality. It wasn't easy to do. After quite some time, we finally released our debut album, that was another goal we reached. For me personally it is great to see that quite a few songs from a time before the band came together in 2014 have finally seen the light of day. That work wasn't all for nothing during the years when Eurynomos was only fiction. It never was about fame, fortune and girls, although it is a nice extra, no doubt, hehe. I just wanted to play the music that I would buy myself as a metal maniac and hear Okkulto's voice again after he left his old band. And it is nice to see that the true legions of headbangers seem to understand what the music is all about. Six years is a long time and I wish that the album had been made a bit faster, but we live and learn and hope that things will speed up in future.
Eurynomos' music is a raw, unfiltered, and energetic mix of old-school thrash and black metal, kind of like an unholy marriage between the early sounds of Bathory and Venom mixed with the first wave of Teutonic thrash metal. Was your intention to bring more filth, primitiveness, and brutality back to metal again as many of today's so-called "metal bands" seem a bit too polished, clean and are missing a heap of these essential elements that have always been important to making REAL music sound metal as fuck?
Aethon: Yes, I agree, but this is just the way we sound. There is no main intention behind it, it comes naturally. It all is true Marshall-driven energy with a raw edge, straight to the point. Who needs polished stuff if you play black/death/thrash or whatever style of dark metal?! I mean, we praise the pioneers of the extreme metal scene and none of them sounded polished in their early days, so we follow their tradition, that's all. If I want polished music, I listen to pop music.
How did you find four like-minded fellows to form this band in the first place? Were you already friends with each other before forming Eurynomos?
Aethon: Okkulto and I have been buddies since the early '90s. We had an idea to form a band and we had the same vision. We share the same influences and the musical chemistry and understanding between us is very good, which is important. Our first drummer, Nimetön, was also a guy who came from the '80s and he understood what the music needed. He had a nice style of drumming and added good and effective elements to the songs. This was the first lineup. Some months later Magma joined on bass and after the second EP, Vesuv replaced Nimetön on drums. Both Magma and Vesuv had a technical death metal background. Not the exact same background as Okkulto and myself, but it works anyway, and they add their experiences. We come from more or less the same area and we knew what everybody was all about. The local metal scene is a small world.
IN SEVEN INCHES WE TRUST
The band released three EPs between 2015 and 2016. Was the purpose to build up the band's profile a little bit first by releasing EPs only before you wanted to take the bigger step and get your debut full-length recorded?
Aethon: Yes and no. The Trilogy EP series was a unique concept and it really was a challenge to do. We wanted to introduce the band step by step with small pieces of music instead of attacking with a full-length as a first release. You know, just like in the days of the NWoBHM when bands introduced themselves on 7" EPs before they attacked with a full-length. Like Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Satan, etc., etc. That's the tradition we wanted to follow, but in a more unique way with that The Trilogy concept. But of course, doing a full-length to start with would definitely have been a bigger step, no doubt about it.
What was it like recording your debut album, From the Valleys of Hadesy? Was it pretty relaxed because you all knew by then what this band should sound like?
Aethon: The recording was done at the Crypts of Züchner. It is self-recorded and produced, and it was not a compact process. There are weeks between every instrument's recordings, sometimes even months. On one hand, it is great to do it yourself, no pressure, but on the other hand, it can be too loose, and you tend to take it too easy and time flies. But at least we had lots of time to test things, like trying different microphones, drum sounds, adding small details, etc. Magma, who was responsible for the recordings, really did his best to make it sound killer.
Did you improvise with the songs in the studio or did you nail them right off the bat?
Aethon: The recording process took a lot of time. As for the improvisation of songs, it was both. Some songs were clear from the start, while others still needed some final additions and changes as we recorded them. For me personally it is always interesting to hear what the final ideas of the other guys sound like in detail, and sometimes during the recording session, I hear the final versions for the very first time. So that's a situation when things still can be adjusted. Usually, the entire band or at least one additional member joins a recording, with the exception of the bass guitar, because Magma always recorded on his own for whatever reasons. It may happen that there are still comments while we are recording like "better try this" or "please change that".
Did the album turn out the way you originally hoped?
Aethon: Going by reactions, it seems that lots of headbangers like the final result. We said that the album should be cleaner, less underground sounding than the EPs, so you can hear every instrument. It was a wish that was expressed by some members of the band. I think we achieved this goal. Magma managed to do a production that created space for every instrument. He did his very best and the reactions are very good. I can only speak for myself, but I think the album is well done. I personally don't mind more rough sounding releases and a bit more dirt and rock 'n' roll thunder, so let's see what the future will bring.
It seems like the feedback has been very positive. Did you know you made a good record and expected to see rave reviews?
Aethon: It is great to hear that some maniacs really seem to like the album. It is all personal, though, of course. Production-wise it was a step forward. I expected that the album wouldn't be a total flop since musically not much changed, the whole thing just got a new disguise and presentation. But it is, of course, superb when people are really digging it and even freaking out.
Do you have any intention of shooting a promotional video to get this album better promoted all around the world? The power of music videos cannot be underestimated during these digital times...
Aethon: We had two teasers for the album and a lyric video for a song was just posted a few days ago. Maybe with the next release we will come up with a real video and see how things work out.
FORGING WEAPONS FOR THE NEXT ATTACK
It's tough for bands to gather around the metal round table and plan schedules for gigging due to the tough times that all of us have gone through since this spring. Are you still positive and hopeful that you'll get to play some shows and festivals in 2021?
Aethon: The good always comes with the bad. No gigs, but this gives us the time to reorganize things inside the band and work on new songs for a future release, so we want to use the "concert time-out" to be creative again. I don't want to wait another four years until a new release gets out. And when time has come for gigs again, the horde will be gathered for the attack.
Is playing gigs one of the most pleasant and enjoyable parts of being part of this band or would you rather be a studio musician?
Aethon: The best part for me is creating a song from scratch. Not the recording but the creation. And when people later appreciate it and if the music is having a great effect on them and adds something to their lives, that's great. As a metal fan, music can be really magical, and I am always thankful when a band drives me crazy! That's the fuel for life. For me personally, gigs are nice and a "bonus" for your works, you can celebrate the songs in public. An album you can play at a low volume, but at a concert it is no mercy when it comes to volume. Playing live is not a necessary evil, that wouldn't be fair to the maniacs who come to see the show. I would rather say it is "part of the game" if you play in a band.
MARSHALL AMPS, FOG, LEATHER, CHAINS, etc.
What about a dress code? Is it important to you how the band looks on stage? Is the only rule for you "all black in a live situation" or do you have some restrictions inside the band regarding the dress code?
Aethon: Hehe, well, yeah, there is a little dress code in the band. We are not the Village People where everybody shows up like at a carnival. Aesthetics are important to me. I like bands who take care of it one way or another and present themselves as a team. Of course, every member can have his own kind of things but at the end, it should still kind of match together. Remember when King Diamond was pissed off with Hank when he showed up at a gig in a Hawaiian shirt, haha. I guess you get my point.
What are some of your other plans for the band's stage props, besides using perhaps a backdrop with the band's logo on it? Castles? Dragons? Rainbows?
Aethon: Only Marshall Amps, fog, leather, chains - and tinnitus.
Can you see the band being around at least the next 5-10 years or even longer [*hands over the old hat of one wise man known as Nostradamus*]?
Aethon: If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. Not sure what the next five years will bring, life is full of surprises, like you see with that virus crap. I prefer to go step by step and hope to release more good music, play cool gigs, meet interesting people and celebrate the thing that unites us all; loud and intense heavy metal mayhem!
I think that's all I had in my mind for this relaxing "chat session" with you, Aethon. Thanks for your precious time and in the same breath I want to wish you all the best with your forthcoming endeavors with the band. Take care and keep it metal! \m/ Anything else you would like to add to this conversation to conclude it properly?
Aethon: Mega-thanks for your support and big respect to you for your years of great work and contribution for the metal scene!!! Guys like you are the fuel for the true underground. To all real headbangers worldwide, check out Eurynomos if you like it the traditional and dark and heavy way!
|Other information about Eurynomos on this site|
|Review: Unchained from the Crypt|
|Review: From the Valleys of Hades|
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