Congratulations with your excellent debut album ‘The Untamed Wilderness’! The release date draws near, so I guess a lot of excitement these days in the band... How are you doing?
Hey there, thanks a lot for having us. We are doing pretty well, we were working on this album for a while now, so yes we are very excited. It’s coming out just in time for the winter.
We see (and hear) that melodic death metal not only comes from Scandinavia in this case. So what can you tell about your first fascination for metal there in Greece during your youth? How did you get into metal?
The reason why someone enjoys this genre in the first place is different for every person, because the atmosphere that it creates, the feelings it generate and the bonds it forges are so unique. There were always big gigs with famous bands playing but there was also a huge underground metal scene here in Greece. Seeing that as a kid you just wanted to make your own band and start playing the music your favorite bands play. I remember so many people with the same passion giving it all out, under very difficult circumstances. Just meeting people like Sakis Tolis from Rotting Christ as a teenager gives you the will to start following your dreams. And skip school more.
The band was founded in autumn 2013. How did you meet each other and can you tell how you ended up being in a band together?
I met with Angelos (guitarist) though a group on Facebook while I was looking for members for a melodeath band that I was trying to form. We did some rehearsals to try and play some covers, but they didn’t turn out too well. A typical metal band in a studio with bad sound where all you can hear is loud crashing, screeching noises, and a dying bear. At that point I joined another band where I was doing vocals, and Angelos didn’t want to be in a band, but he had some songs ready, so we decided to start a project under the name Aetherian. We released two singles and shortly after that we recorded ‘Tales Of Our Times’. It was fun working as a project. We were just hanging out and creating music, but we wanted to play that stuff live as well. So during the ‘Tales Of Our Times’ period, around 2015, we decided to find the rest of the band. That’s were Nikos came into play, thus we started rehearsing. We had some friends helping us with the second guitar, so we were able to schedule some live shows. At that point we had another song ready but the album was still ahead of us, so we shot a video clip, and on April 2016 ‘The Rain’ was released. Some months later George picked up the guitar and the lineup was complete. We decided not to play any live shows and we focused on creating the album. Now the release date of ‘The Untamed Wilderness’ is closing by and we are pretty excited to share it with the world.
First sign of life happened to be the EP ‘Tales Of Our Times’. How do you look back at this release?
We still enjoy it to the day. It will always be Aetherian’s first child.
You created an amazing video for ‘The Rain’ in April 2016 and it became a huge success. Can you tell more about the making of this visual presentation and the buzz it caused?
‘The Rain’ was a song that demanded its video clip to be shot outdoors. So together with Jim Evgenidis we rode the car towards Mt. Parnitha and we arrived there early in the morning. We didn’t expect what was coming next. The whole mountain was covered with an eerie mist that was creating the most perfect atmosphere. Far over the misty mountains it was the most ideal scenery for a melodeath or a folk metal clip. Or black metal. Sadly it started to disperse after a while. We immediately started shooting and we had the terrific idea to play with short sleeve shirts in January. Damn it was very cold. We even saw a deer herd a little further away and in the end our power generator failed us. But I think the outcome says it all. We had a great time. Regarding the feedback, it went far beyond our expectations. It was really nice to see that people liked what we were trying to do and it gave us the momentum to continue the album heads up.
In the meantime you worked on ‘The Untamed Wilderness’. Who are the main writers in the band and what about the writing process for this album?
Angelos is the main songwriter. He makes some raw demos after improvising with the guitar and then everyone listens to them and gives his feedback. After that, we start jamming all the songs on rehearsals and add details on every instrument until we are happy with the result. Panos then writes the lyrics and that’s the process basically.
Why the title ‘The Untamed Wilderness’ and can you go deeper into the lyrical contents of the album? What are the main topics in this case?
Humans always had a deep connection with the earth. Even if we are moving away from it and try to forget, we cannot cut ties with the world that we are living on. We affect it and it affects us, and by observing nature we observe ourselves. We have always been building cities and walls to protect us from the dangers that lie out there, but at the same time we imprisoned in those walls our own untamed side and constantly trying to bury it underneath. The lyrics of the album are drawing inspiration from nature, to explore and express the more primal aspects of what makes us human. As if you were facing alone the untamed wilderness. Allegories and metaphors are used as a means to create images to the reader (I would say listener but the style of the vocals sometimes makes it difficult), as in the song ‘The Rain’ in which the natural phenomena are equivalent to emotions. There is also some criticism towards society and thing humans do and the “being on a journey” vibe is almost constantly present.
What struck me was that there are many contrasts in the music and there is a semblance of melancholy, but overall it remains very energetic… what are your thoughts about that?
It came out naturally. We added some extra elements, since our previous release that contributed to this result. It’s faster and more expressive with a variety of different feelings. As in life, it’s not all about joy and it’s not all about sadness. Balance in the key. The album has from folk melodies that grab you by the hand to take you on a journey, to dark black metal outbursts to scream your lungs out. Overall we do what every musician does. When you are happy you write a happy song, when you are feeling nostalgia you write a nostalgic song and when you are feeling the emptiness of nihilistic vanity... Well, you know what to do!
I could not find much information about the recording process, so please tell a bit more about it? And it was mixed in Sweden, wasn’t it?
Guitars, bass and vocals were recorded by Vaggelis Theodorakis and drums were recorded by Fotis Benardo (ex-Septic Flesh) at Devasound Studios, double bass recorded at Grindhouse studio by George Bokos (ex-Rotting Christ). You are right it was mixed and masterd by Jari Lindholm at ESTA Studio in Stockholm who is also a great musician with deep knowledge in the subgenre we play (Enshine, Slumber). He is very cooperative, helpful and an awesome guy!
Are there guests on the album you like to mention? (cello?)
Yes, there was of course Charis Pazaroulias who played the cello and the double bass that you can hear on the album.
What were the highlights in your career until now?
We don’t have any of those yet, but we have a couple of cool videos and a record company (Lifeforce Records) to help us through.
What are the plans for the near future and what about playing live?
Right now we want to play in as many places in Greece as we can and when the time is right and we are ready for it, we hit the road to visit our brothers and sisters around the world.
If you like to add something, please feel free to do so…
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