Aenaon Interview

One of the best parts about working on this site is the ability to find and speak to new musicians every day. The embarrassing fan-boy moments that involve blushing, stuttering, excessive worship, and the musical boner that no nip and tuck can conceal are avoided through email and I can present myself as not a loser with some shred of dignity. Email communication was especially effective for my interview with Aenaon, a band I recently reviewed and displayed fervent praise for their 2nd album, Extance, a progressive black metal release with greater depth and skill that many bands cannot come near. I had the pleasure to speak to Achilleas C., one of the guitarists, about their origins, influences of Extance, their latest music video, the problems in Greece, and future plans for Aenaon.

Deaf Sparrow - First off, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. To get things going, tell us a bit of history about Aenaon. Your Facebook profile says you guys are from Greece and formed around 2005. How did you guys meet and form?

Achilleas - Hello Cole! Well, we all knew each other from our previous bands (Varathron, Obsecration, Black Winter, Dunkel etc). Thyragon had this idea of making Aenaon in 2005 to perform a kind of "intelligent" black metal so it wasn't too long before the band was complete. At that time we were all for one reason or another in Thessaly, Greece. We were all part of that specific metal "society" so soon enough we met each other and created Aenaon.

DS - From what I've been able to find on Youtube, it sounds like you guys took on a more progressive approach with your first full length, Cendres Et Sang such as female singers and the use of jazz instruments such as the saxophone. Was this your intention from the beginning of Aenaon or was it developed over time? Any influences that contributed to this development of sound?

A - After the recordings and a mini tour for our first EP "Phenomenon" our band was almost split up. I actually left the band for a whole year. I didn't feel satisfied with the music that Aenaon were creating back then. In 2010 we started talking again with Astrous after our other guitarist left the band too and we had this idea of reuniting Aenaon in a different style trying to focus in more progressive elements and artistic aesthetics. "Cendres et Sang" carried these elements and also a jazzy twist here and there. In "Extance" our vision was much more "clear" to us and we were able to construct it the exact way we wanted.

DS - Extance is a very large album both in length and depth. With 12 tracks mostly over 5 minutes and “Palindrome” topping at over 12 minutes, there is a lot to digest. What was the writing process for Extance? Is there a central theme or idea to Extance?

A - Yep, we tried to create the best album possible. We didn't want to compromise our need for art just to release an easy listening album. There was a need, a lust for creation and ideas. The writing process was from times to times very exhausting and confusing but the result was always rewarding us with the will to continue. Concerning the second part of your question. There is no lyrical concept on "Extamce" but there is always an anthropocentric theme or a poetic approach to a philosophical subject. For example Jaun-Paul Sartre's Existentialism is a central idea that we used on "Extance" to create a link between the tracks.

DS - Could you expand on the influence of Jaun-Paul Sartre's Existentialism on Extance? Are there any other prominent philosophical influences to the album?
 
A - Well, I turned to Astrous (the vocalist) for a more proper response. This is what he said:
"Jaun-Paul Sartre was a brilliant mind of our last century who determined the philosophical position in the centre of the artistic being. Through his view, the man is condemned to freedom, a freedom from all authority, which he may seek to evade, distort, and deny. The meaning of man's life is not established before his existence. Once the freedom is acknowledged, man has to make this meaning himself, has to commit himself to a role in this world, has to commit his freedom. This was almost the basic guide for the lyrics of "Extance", however I should mention 2 more philosophers that left their mark in my mind, these are Nikos Kazantzakis and Friedrich Nietzsche. The whole album is a mixture of thoughts some times embroidered through small and imaginary scenarios or even through some films, as for example the film of "Der Müde Tod" by Fritz Lang".

DS - Greek metal is one of the smaller scenes within the metal community with acts such as Rotting Christ, Septicflesh, Astarte, and Necromantia being some of the more well known bands. What are your thoughts on the Greek metal scene?

A - Well, Greece is a very small country that lacks of education and art culture. The huge financial problems are also crushing any really good attempts. On the other hand there are a lot of talented bands and artists that are doing amazing work but you just need a little more effort to dig them up. I guess Aenaon are not so easy to discover either. If you're interested I would suggest the latest albums of Hail Spirit Noir, Acrimonious, Burial Hordes, Enshadowed, Universe 217 and Agnes Vein.

DS - For those who are unaware, how is the financial problem progressing in Greece? Have the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria affected Greek citizens?

A - Well it doesn't get any better, that's for sure. This winter was very depressive and miserable. It's very difficult to see any hope on any angle. It's not only the financial crisis. It's the unstoppable corruption from the politicians and the constant stupidity of a huge percentage of the citizens that still votes for the same criminals or see hope through the propaganda of the extreme leaders. Clever and talented people give up Greece to find jobs abroad. Of course we are still considered lazy parasites in most of the European countries (even while working like 3rd world slaves). The Ukraine and Syrian problems are very different types of issues. Of course they affect the whole Europe but not in a visible by the public way. The whole world is in a state of brutal change. It's very difficult to see what's coming next.

DS - You guys recently released a music video for "Der Müde Tod" and is one of the coolest music videos I have seen in quite awhile. Could you guys tell us about the song and the artistic direction of the video? How was it filming the video?
 
 

A - It was an amazing experience for us. We wouldn't even try to make a music video if it wasn't something special. There was a man behind this idea that had a vision and the will to create it. Sotiris Benekos was the mind and master behind all these but of course when you don't have a big budget you must work really hard to do everything you can on your own. Filming and building the story structure were very similar to the band's music writing process. A constant need for perfection with a great passion to overcome difficulties with work and creative ideas leaded to the goal.

DS - Do any of the members of Aenaon have any side projects they would like to make a shout out to?

A - Sure. I play the guitar and compose since 2004 for the occult legends Varathron. Our newest members Anax and Nyrcriz our now recording their first full length album for Absinthiana. A very interesting modern progressive band. That's all at the moment.

DS - Any plans in the near future such as festivals or tours?

A - Nothing special at the moment. Our financial status does not allow us any big plans and risks. The best thing we can do is just doing some really good gigs and playing in festivals in Greece.  In April we're opening for Watain in Athens.

DS - Is there any news for Varathron?

 

A - Sure. We have almost recorded the whole new album. I believe it will be released around September. We are also releasing in May a split with Den Saakaldte. Best news, we have announced our participation in NWN festival in Berlin after many years of no live action.

 

Written by Cole Olson

 Aenaon Official Facebook