Saturday, May 11, 2013

Somnus Aeturnus Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We are currently settling things down after the arrival of our new drummer. I think delivering convincing and confident live performance is something that every band should strive for and fluctuations on the drummer seat are probably the most demanding in this respect. So we are making sure we can deliver that. New things are being written as well and we are kind of reinventing ourselves to align us with our visions of what the band should sound and look like in the future.

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
So far, we have released just a 3-song demo and our debut album, so there is not much to compare with. We have been describing ourselves as doom/death-metal band (the debut reviews compared us to Swallow the Sun, Saturnus, My Dying Bride, but also Opeth, Arcturus and others), but I really feel that we are sowly drifting away from the genre (or stretching its boundaries, depending on the way you look at it).

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Speaking of boundaries, I think it is, in a way, a strong lyrical topic as well (even a leitmotif, I’d say), although it surfaces in various ways. Majority of the album’s lyrics deal with the similarity of death and dreaming, unconsciousness and other liminal states of mind. However, being on the verge (or even beyond the point of no return) can be viewed from different perspectives – see the lyrics of Decrepitus for a fine example.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?
We invented the name a long time ago. We thought it was an appropriate name for a doom metal band (you would not believe how difficult it is to come up with an interesting name that is not already taken). If I was inventing a band name nowadays, I would probably pick a different one, but we did not really feel it was necessary to change it. We like it and it matches the lyrical topics that our singer Insomnic, who joined the band later, comes up with.
Oh and by the way – our name is not a reference to Solitude Aeternus or Sopor Aeternus. I think we were aware of neither of them at the time.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
I think the best show we played was our debut album release show with our friends from Llyr and Morgue Son (check them out!) here in our hometown, Brno. We also played with Antagonist Zero and Fortid, who were really cool both as musicians and people to hang out with, but the crowd was rather smallish. Being a doom metal musician is not the best choice if you want to play for a packed club J
Our stage performance is nothing really experimental, as I am not very fond of setting up a great stage performance and making a grand visual show. Music should always be about music in the first place. It definitely works for some other artists and I can appreciate that, but it is simply not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, we do care about the stage appearance and we are planning to make some interesting additions to our live shows in the future. Everything you do on stage influences the way people perceive the music, so we definitely do think about that.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
Not really, we had some shows in the Czech Republic following the album release and we will play in Vienna in autumn, but there are no set tour plans as of now. However, we would love to play more, especially abroad, so feel free to invite us!

7. Currently you are signed to Solitude Productions, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support they have given you so far?
We sent e-mails to a couple of labels a few weeks before the actual release, which is pretty late and we did not want to postpone the album anymore. Solitude was among those who were interested in releasing our album, so we went for it. We are happy with the choice because their support and promotion really helped to spread the word about us, with reviews of our debut being published all over the world.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom metal?
Pretty good! Actually, it seems to me that the reviews from abroad are much more positive in most cases than those written for the Czech magazines. Anyway, we are really stoked that so many people from various countries like our music. It makes the whole endeavor truly rewarding and it fills us with the energy to go on.

9. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
At the moment, I do not have any projects or bands beside Somnus Aeternus, but our keyboardist Janča plays in a band called Arch of Hell, the drummer Indián has a heavy-metal band Remains of Force and our bassist Murk has just started his hard-rock/metal band Painting Memories.

10. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
That is one of the things we have been discussing a lot lately. All we can say at the moment is that there will be a shift towards more unpredictable and slightly more experimental song-writing, with longer songs and some post-metal influences. But it does not mean we are abandoning doom metal altogether; on the contrary, we still want to play a kind of doom metal, but we are aiming for a slightly different musical repertoire for expressing our ideas.
Moreover, we have some neat plans for the concept of the upcoming album, which will not be limited to the lyrics or the artwork. But since we are still brainstorming and considering what is possible for an underground band like us with basically no budget, we won’t make any bold announcements yet J

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Unfortunately, I do not have as much time to discover new bands or releases as I used to (and as I would like to), but I am still in love with Ahab’s last years The Giant and the new My Dying Bride was a pleasant surprise as well (Barghest O’Whitby set my expectations pretty high and in spite of that I was not disappointed). Aside from doom metal, I was really taken aback by Shining’s One One One, Steven Wilson’s Raven, Hexvessel’s Dawnbearer (which I discovered only recently) and Hidden Orchestra’s Archipelago. I listen to a great variety of stuff, so this is just a more-or-less random list from the top of my head… As for the influences – I do not have any idols that I would try to emulate, so consciously there are no really influential bands, but subconsciously there are loads of them – too many to list them here.

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Reading, running, hanging out with friends and relaxing (which is a necessary survival strategy in our time).

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thank you for the opportunity to make an interview. Fans, feel free to approach us with anything – criticism, praise, questions, gig offers… We are open to anything.
Last but not least (and this is to all fans and music-listeners in general): support the bands you like. The metal scene is mostly underground and an underground environment is literally made of and by supporters. It is one of the areas where even small actions can have great consequences, so take advantage of it!

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