AURA NOIR (Eng.)

– Hi Apollyon, thanks for dedicating us part of your time and congrats on your new piece. What’s currently keeping you busy? How are you guys feeling on your new album?

The album is just coming out these days so much interview activity and such. Apart from that not much. Going to see Autopsy on Friday at the inferno festival here. Will be great.

– You have never rushed releasing any of your albums, you have always taken your time and this new “Out to Die” makes no exception but, why do you take the years between each release to create the new stuff? Is important and better for a band to don’t hurry releasing an album?

I guess there are many ways to a satisfactory result, but the past years we’ve been living far away from each other. So it’s been more of a question of having the time and money to meet. We find weeks here and there where we can be together and rehearse and record at my place. But it can be months in between. We use those months to listen to whatever we’ve recorded up till then. When we come back we change whatever we’ve found out doesn’t work from the previous session, and make new material. The listening part is important though. I have a CD from 1,5 years ago with all the out to die songs on it,but quite different versions. I’m glad we had another 3-4sessions before we decided to record it properly.

 

– The title of your new album is quite straight-forward, in fact it seems like a statement, isn’t it?

Yeah, it was the only title we had that fit and there’s something primitive to it that we “fell for”.

 

– The cover artwork I think also impacts on any viewer, I think is one of your most attractive ones and even one of the best ones. Could you please shed some light on it (the artist, what does it represent, etc.)?

It’s a Romanian guy called Costin, with whom Blasphemer has worked with before.I think he also won the contest to make one of the covers for the darkthrone re-releases. He made us a t-shirt design a couple of years ago that we liked so we asked him to do the cover for out to die as well. We had some skull stuff going on for black thrash attack, but the idiot just made t-shirts of it and never even sent us a copy. Still prints them and sells it on e-bay as official shirts…mysteriously unused. Anyway you have to ask him what everything represents. We gave him our instructions but they were not many.

 

– This has been your first album with Indie Recordings after releasing two albums with Tyrant Syndicate after your time with Hammerheart. First off, how is everything going with Indie? I guess you may have got some other offers.

It’s going fine this far. We’ll see. It’s only just been released.

 

– And why did you move from Tyrant Syndicate? It seemed like everything was going great with them, even “The Merciless” was their first release (if I’m not mistaken) or maybe your deal just expired?

They don’t exist any longer, so we were without a deal after Hades Rise

 

– Some time ago Blasphemer left MAYHEM but he’s still working with his band AVA INFERI. Does he now have more time for AURA NOIR?

Yes he does. Mayhem is a fairly busy band. We haven’t seen much to Blasphemer the past 10 years prior to this album. But it hasn’t really been a problem as me and Aggressor have always made all the music.

 

– Getting a bit into the new album’s sound, if production for “Hades Rise” was just fantastic, this is even better; is raw, with a certain live feeling but clear. How was the recording/production process? Are you satisfied with the final output?

It was quite hectic actually. We were supposed to record everything in the nekromantheon guy’s studio. We spent a week rehearsing in their studio before we started recording the drums. When Aggressor was about to start recording his guitar, the recorder started fucking with us so I had to set up my gear(i have just moved so all my studio shit was just in boxes all around my new house).Then me and Aggressor recorded our vocals and bass/guitar at my place.. and Blasphemer recorded his guitars in a studio in Portugal, and we went to a 4th studio to mix it.

Anyway the equipment I’m in possession of is the same we’ve used since “the merciless” so all of the three last albums could have sounded the same I guess. On the last two albums we went to “Amper tone” to mix the final result. It came out very different than we had expected this time. We actually had to send it back a couple of times because it sounded too nice to our ears.

It’s a bit of a bingo project everytime, especially when you don’t have the biggest budget. We still wish we could have had another week or so before we had to deliver the final product, but the deadline was strict.. so I’ve kind of been reluctant to listen to it at all since early January.

As I mentioned before the listening part is extremely important to us. Because of this mongo deadline and the unfortunate events in studio, we didn’t have any time at all to go back and listen to the album. We had to make hasty decisions which is annoying when you’ve worked calmly for 3 years to secure a good product. So honestly ..I’ve been frightened of listening to the album. However I tried it in the car for some days now.. and it’s growing on me. What always saves the day is hearing Aggressor sing. And I mean, much of the material is maybe the most exciting stuff we’ve ever made. Then I should shut my mouth about too much delay here and there and lack of toms and such.

 

– I noticed behind the straight-forward and simple music you are playing, always with a lot of riffing, the riffs have certain complexity. Was this something you aimed for?

Yeah we have always been defenders of the riff. We only want killer riffs in our songs.It should sound good with just guitars and drums. Kind of like cooking. The better the ingredients, the less seasoning and sauces and silliness you need. Much of today’s metal is based upon making layers of music that, when taken apart, sound just lame. Our music has to kill from the first note. There are tons of ways to create a cheap fake powerful metal album but we don’t use any of them. That’s the whole point. It must be honest

 

– Vocal-wise is really diverse, I could say on “Out to Die” we can find your most dynamic vocal performance ever. Did you approach differently your vocal lines?

I’m not even sure if I agree. I just think the last three albums have had the best vocals by far. Never really thought of the new one being more dynamic. But I’ll think about it next time. It can even be the mix you know, if you turn up certain frequenzies, you get more of the “tone” from the vocals.

 

– The whole album is traditional, 100% AURA NOIR, but is simple overwhelming the way each song is different without being complex. Each tune has its own elements that make them stand by their own and, surprisingly enough, everything sounds honest and straight-forward. Is your songwriting as honest as the sound?

Definitely. But we work a lot to make it sound honest, so I don’t know. .haha.It’s actually not so un complex either, I mean hardly anyone else could have played it, even if they tried.It’s all about feeling and understanding

 

– With your debut album, “Black Thrash Attack” you created a new style. Did you ever think back then you would leave such a mark into the extreme Metal world?

Not really but of course one is looking for recognition, and we know we were first to play unholy thrash metal and most of the time I’ve even felt we were the only ones.

We were either 15 years too early or 10 years too late but what the hell.

Still not so convinced we left much of a mark but it’s a nice thought.

 

– Anyway nowadays it seems to be a huge interest for Thrash Metal and for traditional Metal in general; have AURA NOIR noticed this in any way?

Yeah I guess. At least we get more media attention. Don’t know whether it’s because of the imes or our new label. We still feel like underdogs though

But yeah, there’s definitely been an uprising of cool new bands the last couple of years, in all metal genres really. For me it doesn’t matter what style they play as long as it’s done in an honest way and not 90’s sounding with triggers and all that shit.

 

– And finally, what are your plans to support this new “Out to Die”? Last year you even toured the North America for first time; how is the band’s music doing there?

We’re doing some shows and festivals here in Europe now, then there are plans to come over to the states again after summer and also a full European tour. USA is new turf for us. We enjoyed it a lot last year. It’s the country where a major part of our style of music originates from, so in a way it feels like coming home. We just want to play more shows there basically. Would be sweet to play with bigger thrash metal acts there as well cause I think this far we’ve mostly played for people who already knew about us.

 

– That has been everything from my side, thank you once more for taking your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you, and see you on the road right?

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

 

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