Interview with Aeon Sable (Wave Gotik Treffen 2017)
On June 1 we interviewed three members of Aeon Sable (Nino – Singer, Din-Tah – Guitarist, Quoth – Bass), taking advantage of the break after the intense concert they gave during the 26th Wave Gotik Treffen.
Hypaerion is a very good album as a whole, and you may find proof in the reached top position at several websites (#1 at Dark Side of Electricity, #2 at Terra Relicta). What response are you willing to receive when launching a new album? How do you measure success, in your own definition?
Nino: Well… success is if you get one person to love your music, that’s success. So it doesn’t matter if we make the music for 5000 people or only one person, as long as one person is happy with it, it makes… well, happy, if it touchs the heart of someone, this is success.
So, concerning Hypaerion I guess this is a very good evolution, because we never tried to make an album that everybody loves but an album that we love. So we always expect to make a record that we love to listen to, that’s why we make music. Forget something?
Din-Tah: No, its cool. We just wanna do… we just wanna improve ourselves with every album, you know? We wanna do a better production, and we wanna improve music but without changing the root of the music, the root stays the same but we just wanna do something new. We don’t want to repeat ourselves. That’s just what I want to add.
Quoth: Yeah, success is seeing the happy faces when you play live. That’s success.
Your albums seem to be an hybrid of Gothic Rock and New Wave, with touchs of Metal. They have an overall calmed ambient, with dark psychedilia and melancholy, altough they retain the Rock energy. My experiences with rockers and metalheads point to a common trend towards harder sounds and less downtempo. Do you believe that such audience can appreciate your melancholy, or are they living in a incompatible world?
Nino: I don’t know why. I guess that we have something like a path to the dark side of the heart of everyone. We don’t make hard music or soft music… We don’t start a song with the ambition to make a song that sound like this. The songs develope themselves. He starts the stuff in his studio, he starts playing some guitar, I start singing over it, he plays some bass over it and this is the way it developes.
Well, in terms of… I don’t know how to classify the staff we do. Some maybe associate it to Tiamat or Moonspell but I don’t know… We just do what we can. We don’t try to be like but we do what we can and if this sounds like that it’s luck and bad luck at the same time.
Quoth: I don’t think that melancholy is only in slow songs, you can find a lot of melancholy in hard songs, for example Secret Flower that we played tonight, the end is quite hard, but full of melancholy. So I wouldn’t distinguish between melancholy or hard but you can combine it.
I personally think that you are progressing in a very positive way, and each album is more interesting than the former. How do you deal with the creation of a new album? Do you let some idea or feeling guide you, or is it a more technical approach?
Nino: Both. It’s heart and soul. We are inspired by the ambients. We live in North Rhine-Westphalia, it’s a very industrial area, there is lot of coal mines and lot of old buildings and it’s a kind of strange area indeed, so this is what influences us and. We just do it, it comes from the heart, we receive all inspiration from our surroundings and we start creating. It’s like writing a poem.
Din-Tah: Nobody knows where the ideas come from. We just have like a feeling in a period of time, or something happens, and your brain just works out that.
Nino: We transform exotic matter into something like art.
By the way, what is your next step? Are you starting to create a new album? Any clue about its direction?
Nino: Yes, we are working on an album, we are always working on music because if we stop working music we can’t stop being musicians. So we are always working, even if we just finished to produce one album, on our minds, we are already working on the next album. We get all this inspiration and we have to express it, always.
So yes, we are working on a new album, I can’t say anything about it right now. I can’t say when is ready, I can’t say anything about the process right now… I am very sorry [Nino laughs].. because the thing is (that) I can’t classify it. It’s like the last album, if you would have asked me “What is Hypaerion? Is it hard? Or is it softer? Is it more melancholic, is it more Metal?” I can’t say it because it is a new Aeon Sable album. It is what it is, so there is no plan, there is just chaos and chaos comes into form like art, into our hands and souls and hearts.
Daniel: I think that is pretty difficult to see yourselves from a distance…
Nino: Yeah, yeah… that’s true, and I don’t have the objective to analyse what we do. I just have the objective to create.
The orientation of some of your songs, along with the fact that some are sung in Portuguese, make me reminding Moonspell, The Gothic Metal band. Do you feel this connection? What bands make you feel a sense of sonic brotherhood?
Nino: Yeah, indeed I grow up in Portugal and that’s why I also know the guys from Moonspell but they don’t know me anymore [laughs]. Nevermind, we will meet one day and I will tell them that we already met in the past. Indeed, Moonspell was one of my first Metal concerts and… I think that using an exotic language and even Portuguese is a very beautiful language for singing, and even Spanish. I like it that much so… and I think that it’s something that makes us different from all the other stuff. We could sing in German, but it’s not that beautiful, for me it’s not that beautiful. So that’s why I use to write some stuff in Portuguese. We use to write some stuff in English and then we translate it into Portuguese. It is beautiful, that’s most important thing, if we have a beautiful piece of art.
Din-Tah: It’s just Portuguese that blendes perfectly in for example as a A Serpente E O Andarilho. It wouldn’t feel the same in English. Every language has its own flow and its own…
Nino: its own tone.
Daniel: Ok, what about the sonic brotherhood with other bands? Do you feel connected with other bands, maybe not by the kind of songs or music that you do but maybe in a spiritual way or…?
Nino: Yes, there is a connection. There is the band from Artaud Seth, the guy from…
Daniel: Yes, Garden Of Delight, Merciful Nuns…
Nino: Yes. I didn’t know the music before we started and before we got labelled by him, but I started reading his lyrics and there is indeed a kind of spiritual area in which both of us get some ideas from… but… I’m not sure. Maybe! I feel kind of connected to what they do. Do you think it is right to say that? that we are in the same kind of spectre as Merciful Nuns or Garden of Delight?
Din-Tah: Yes, I think we have the same idea, what feeling you wanna create with your music, so.. Yes, the same vision of what you wanna create with your art [laughs]. Vision, right. And yeah, the area we live in the North Rhine-Westphalia is like great, vast amount of great bands, very much music styles where we live.
Nino: Sweet Ermengarde, very very good… Mr. Kappeler is here, I saw him, he’s a good friend of us. We’re often on parties together with them. There is also La Scaltra…
Din-Tah: Even Kreator came from Essen, right? The Metal band Kreator came from Essen.
Nino: The one and only!
Din-Tah: The one and only Kreator, yeah!
According to your artwork and elaborate setlists, you take an approach on Occultism. What does it mean for you as a band? Do you think it has a real impact on daily lives?
Nino: If you believe in it, yes. I think that’s the clue in Mystics, and we put a lot of Esoterism into it, and I personally hope that it works, I believe in it.
There is a lot of work, all the design, all the symbols and the structure of the albums. If you look at the albums you will see that most of the albums have seven tracks and one hidden track. There is also a mystic around the seven. We played tonight seven tracks plus one, the last one. This is always happening, so… yes, and no if you’re not a believer. And if you just wanna enjoy our music you’re invited to do it without believing in the Devil or in God [laughs] So, it’s OK.
Din-Tah: We are making music to get away from daily lives, to get away from reality. It’s like a drug. There are some bands who like to sing about political stuff but we just wanna get away from reality with music, spiritualism and esot… esoterism… I can’t say it [laughs].
Nino: [laughs] If you can’t say, you can’t feel it!
Din-Tah: Yeah. That’s like the thing to go for us.
Nino: And I think that is also… Well, our music is unique and we put some symbols in it to keep it unique. Because to cover Aeon Sable is not a problem for any professional musician, but to create it the way we do it, to believe in these symbols. This geometry we use in the design is also the same we use in the recordings. When we put some effects on it, it’s kind of a language, kind of an architecture.
Daniel: I understand that you fully undestood the symbols that you’re using…
Nino: We created them. We are using some symbols that already exist but also created ones. And if you see the Hypaerion on the back of the CD, there’s a big heptagram, a big symbol, and this symbol represents exactly the whole album. There are our symbols from the artists in it, there are symbols we are going trhough, there are things we are leaving and occasions and everything is in this one big magical circle.
What’s the relationship in Germany between Gothic Rock bands and clubbing or radio DJs? Is there a practice of sending them your songs to receive some promotion?
Din-Tah: In our area, the clubs are more like this Industrial, EBM and Dance music, and less and less Gothic Rock. There are some small clubs that just play Gothic Rock and Deathrock but it’s mainly like this Industrial Dance music… so there’s not that big connection with them.
Nino: But there is some kind of support. If you see what “Jörg Bieg” does, at Bahnhof Langendreer…
Din-Tah: Yeah, there’re few selected locations where they play…
Nino: …that supports the original stuff, the local stuff.
Daniel: Do you usually attend these parties?
Nino: Yeah, sometimes. Once a month we dress a black coat so no one recognizes us and we go on party…
Din-Tah: Yeah, in Bochum there was a famous gothic club called Zwischenfall, I don’t know if you heard of that one… and it burned down. And there are this people who followed the path of Zwischenfall and have like a similar party in a different location, it’s called Bahnhof Langendreer and it’s awesome.
Daniel: It reminds me something similar like Pagan Love Songs. Maybe is it related with Zwischenfall?
Nino: No no, it’s not related, it’s Jorge Macottela, isn’t it? Mexican guy?
Daniel: No, I think they’re a couple of brothers… both DJs.
Nino: Oh yes, you are right – it is associated!
Daniel: So i think that’s all. The only thing to say is that I thank you all your attitude and the good ambient.
Nino: You’re welcome. Did you like the show?
Daniel: Yes. Very much, indeed.
Nino: That’s most important thing.
Daniel: The introduction was perfect and the… [laughs] I don’t know how to say it!
Nino: I’ll tell you one thing: we never plan this. This really happens. Every concert is completely different, and we never know what’s gonna happen. This is the magic I was talking about. Things they happen, how they should happen.
Daniel: So, thank you all!
Nino: Have a nice Wave Gotik Treffen! See you around maybe, in the next years!