Interview with Hunting Out Of Eden
A couple of months ago we showed you on our social networks a Valencian band recently presented to the public: Hunting Out of Eden, a duo that with their debut Cometh The Night Of Ages get into neo-classical music and dark ambient.
It is curious to see how such a minority style adds one more representative among Valencian bands. After the extinct Opus Nigrum, nobody would have bet on another similar group in these lands. We contact ZVDW to reveal the beauty of this fragile and wild flower at the same time.
Hunting Out of Eden is a new musical project for the public, although its beginning seems to date back to 2015. The questions about the authorship are almost hidden behind a veil of anonymity, and there’s only one clue to it: HSW and ZVDW. Can you clarify something else? Who are the two members of the band, and how are the tasks of the composition and recording processes divided up? What is your previous musical background?
We both come from the same musical project, Whoredom. We had the habit of sharing among ourselves any kind of composition, putting everything in the same bag, and when it came to creating new songs, choosing what worked and what didn’t work. Both HSW and I ended up with a lot of material that was not appropriate for the style and that we decided not to discard, but to rework and give it a totally different approach to what we did in our main band. I don’t think there was a specific moment when we would sit down and decide “let’s do a project of such style and such aesthetics”. We simply worked the fragments for pure pleasure and in the end we realized that we could go beyond the mere fact of doing it for our own satisfaction.
As for “anonymity”, it cannot be said that it is a secret who we are, we have simply kept the same aliases we used in Whoredom. Since we consider art and creativity as an escape route for routine, work, or the pressures of modern life, it makes little sense to present ourselves as we are, surname ourselves, or get on in “real” life.
As far as composition and recording are concerned, I am very lucky to have been able to build a modest home studio over the last decade. The process usually starts with the melodies or fragments that HSW composes, often with a base of arrangements, to which I give structure and additional layers. Finally, when we consider that a track is based on the appropriate duration, elements and main instruments, we get together to mix it, finish polishing it and sometimes change it completely. HSW is responsible for most compositions, while I do a more production-focused job.
In your Bandcamp you define your music as “the sound of dreams and nightmares crashing into the night”. What kind of daydreams go through your mind when it comes to composing?
It’s a very spontaneous and intrinsically personal process: I wouldn’t know what goes through HSW’s head when he composes, just as he couldn’t tell you what goes through mine when it comes to arranging or sizing. We simply have a great affinity of tastes in both the musical and personal spheres, and it’s normal for that to be translated into a joint musical vision. We believe in music as a catalyst for emotions of all kinds, from the happiest to the most apocalyptic. What is captured in the compositions is not necessarily a dream or a concrete vision, it can be a state of mind, a memory, even a reflection.
Going a little further, each one has a different perception of a work. What may be melancholy for me, may be romantic for another, what seems full of life for you may be morbid for another person. We like the concept of open composition, in which an intentionality is perceived but that the listener can internalize and interpret according to his own desires, aspirations or emotions, and we have tried (perhaps unconsciously) that Cometh The Night Of Ages is precisely a backdrop on which to dream… or suffer.
There is no doubt that synthesizers and other digital tools have helped a lot of neo-classical bands and related genres flourish with much less difficulty. Are there any instruments in Cometh The Night Of Ages that are not synthesized or virtual?
None! It’s synthesized from beginning to end. For us the end justifies the means, and it was actually a huge escape route to be creating music without having to go through the sweat and physical exhaustion of rehearsing every week, leaving your fingers on an instrument, arguing with other musicians, and so on. It’s our “hedonistic project”. We can do it quietly from our home office, with a fresh beer and pyjamas. It’s true that there’s nothing virtual about the base of the compositions: both HSW and I compose the primary melodies with the guitar or bass.
The work of transcribing Midi, arranging and mixing is arduous, especially for self-taught without music theory notions like us, but at least we can do it at our own pace and to our own taste, without any pressure. There will be purists for whom this will subtract value from the final product, but for us it has no importance: what counts is personal satisfaction and the meaning we can give to our songs, beyond that, everything is already a gift.
Do you feel influenced by any particular kind of mythology or narrative? The theme Vestal Whore, e.g., refers to Roman mythology, while High King Of The Void seems to have a more fantastic component. And what about the name of the band?
Not especially, at least consciously. The names of the tracks are mostly spontaneous, based simply on what the primary composition evokes at the time of beginning to deal with it. Vestal Whore was so named after the oriental brushstrokes of the beginning, when I let my imagination fly I was referring to temples and cities of antiquity, for example… High King Of The Void may have a parabolic component with respect to the futility of the “power process” defined by Ted Kaczinski, although there are no letters to say it. Onwards To The Nest Of Time, on the other hand, has its origin in the initial piece of HSW, simply called Nest. We are both close to the cosmic horror of Lovecraft and the classic fantasy of Howard and others, I am studying Anthropology and HSW is as fond of mythology and history as I am. Some of that is conveyed in the titles, probably.
As for the name of the group, it has its origin in an enigma of anthropology related to “earthly paradises”: it is not yet known why certain societies that inhabited places with good climate and abundant and sustainable resources were driven to travel and settle in more inhospitable areas, thus coming to colonize almost the entire globe. The simplest hypothesis (and at the same time the most sane one) proposes the curiosity and dissatisfaction inherent in human beings as an explanation for this phenomenon. In addition, discord and man’s natural propensity to hate his fellow man may have helped. In any case, it seemed to us to be a sufficiently powerful and metaphorical name, as well as open to a multitude of interpretations: very much in our wavelength.
Is Hunting Out of Eden a one-off project of a single album, or do you know for sure that it has a journey ahead?
We are clear that we want to continue making music together. What we still don’t know is the format and style of the music. We decided at the time not to put labels or limitations when composing or choosing the instruments and sonorities, so we can not be sure at all that we will stay in the line of Cometh The Night Of Ages. We’re working (at our own pace, without hurry…) on an EP and an upcoming album, there are already a few half-formed compositions, but we haven’t decided yet on the approach we’ll give it. Of course, with no aspiration or ambition other than to create and enjoy creating.
Have you thought about incorporating a voice with its corresponding lyrics? If so, what type would be more in tune with your project, a female voice or a male voice?
For this album, we hadn’t thought about it. For future works, who knows… On the one hand, voices add an additional dimension to any musical work, on the other, the presence of lyrics already implies a more concise message, something we preferred to avoid in this work. It is not a music that lends itself to being politicised, channelled or grilled after a piece of writing. Yes, there was a fleeting approach of using certain registers or certain voices as another instrument, but it did not become necessary.
As for masculine or feminine, if it were the case we would see. Neither of us knows how to sing professionally (nor how to tune, so to speak!), and the idea of including external agents in the project already implies a certain number of responsibilities that we may not be willing to assume.
With the existence of record labels oriented to your style, both national and international, do you consider the possibility of publishing the album in physical format?
Frankly, we haven’t had time yet to search, send emails, promote ourselves, etc. Of course, we would like to publish the record physically, be it cassette, vinyl or CD, but we don’t know if we will do it through a label or self-edited. I know that many labels are reluctant to publish bands that are not consolidated, unstable or that don’t do live concerts (something we’re not considering for the moment), so it will be a question of seeing if someone assumes the risk of releasing an album that may have nothing to do with future works, or that may not have continuity. Additionally, we don’t exactly move in a specialized circle, so we don’t have too many contacts or enough knowledge of the details of “the scene” to pull strings or establish relationships with labels or producers dedicated to genres related to our project.
Finally, a little controversy. Do you prefer Dead Can Dance or Arcana?
They’re two distinct bands that each have their own atmosphere and their own moment. I may have heard more Dead Can Dance than Arcana, as I discovered them at an early age, but I enjoy them equally with both bands.
Thank you very much for answering our questions, we hope that the quality of Cometh The Night Of Ages will extend to everyone. Is there something you want to say and it has stayed in the inkwell?
We are very grateful for this opportunity to chat and show a little about our inner world! We hope that our album will be useful for anyone who wants to escape from reality for a while. For those who liked it, for a next job, don’t expect anything, expect everything, or just wait, Time Shall Tell. Greetings and a hug to all Dark Valencia staff.