AURA NOIR – Out to Die
To celebrate the upcoming release of the fifth full-length Aura Noir album Eternal Terror’s Peter Loftus caught up with Apollyon to get the latest.
What can you tell us about the new album?
We’re basically just finished as we speak. It was unusually stressful, probably due to the extremely silly deadline! We started out in the Nekromantheon/Obliteration guys’ studio recording the drums. Then as Aggressor was laying his guitars, their recorder started fucking with us so we had to continue the recording in my studio. I have just moved so all my studio shit was in cardboard boxes and some of it 5 hours away in my old house. By the time it was up and running it was like 1 week until we had to deliver the finished product…including mastering and the cover artwork. Not the coolest way to end 2011 I can tell you.
Indie will release this one and the title is "Out to Die", which is the title of one of the lyrics granted to us by Dirge Rep from Gehenna/Orcustus etc etc..He wrote the lyrics for two of the songs and Fenriz wrote for a third. The usual suspects…
I think the release date was set to March 23rd (that has been confirmed).
What can we expect musically?
It’s a bit more intense than "Hades Rise". More fast stuff .But most importantly it sounds like us. It’sactually the first album you can call a joint effort by the three of us as we composed and arranged the majority of it together. Typically Blasphemer would spew out riffs at the rehearsals and me and Aggressor would stop him when we thought he was onto something, then maybe make some alterations until everyone was satisfied. That was quite new to us as it’s mostly been kind of a Darkthrone-ish two way dictatorship before.
I know that when recording ‘Hades Rise’ you shouldered much of the burden, even working on your drumming skills so the songs would bear minimal impact from the absence of Aggressor behind the kit (good job by the way).What personnel are involved on this record?
Still the three amigos mas feo del mundo, the difference is that for the first time ever I didn’t play any guitar and Aggressor didn’t touch the bass. So the line up is: Blaphemer – rhythm/lead guitar, Aggressor – rhythm guitar/vocals, Apollyon – drums/bass/vocals.
On our next release we will probably have our excellent live drummer "Tank" play the drums even if I secretly want to play them myself .It’s the only instrument I enjoy playing maybe because I’ve never owned a drum kit myself.
You seem to prefer the control of just working with one or two people over the creative possibilities of working with a larger group…
It depends on the personnel involved but yeah,I feel confident enough with my own skills when it comes to this kind of music and don’t really need much more than two other qualified opinions.
How does the writing and recording process work? Since you and Aggressor play so many instruments and sing, how do you decide who will do what on each song?
We always create the riffs first… on guitar. Riffs are the most important. Up until this release me and Aggressor have composed everything and the rule has been that you play all string instruments and sing on your own songs. Obviously Aggressor can’t play drums any longer so I did all of that on "Hades Rise" and the new one. This time we didn’t really decide who would sing on which song until all the music was recorded.
You’ve played with and been part of lots of other bands – Immortal most recently. Is there anything that you’ve learned and taken back to Aura Noir?
Practical stuff yes… we even stole Immortal’s manager!
What has been the highpoint of your career in music to date?
Can’t really say that anything comes to mind. To me playing in front of 60,000 people at Wacken with Immortal doesn’t beat supporting Voivod with Aura Noir in Oslo in front of 200 people. I guess I’m just content with being able to do this thing. Actually I’m quite happy with having played on Exodus’ equipment on a festival where our gear didn’t show up. Also that Nina Persson from the Cardigans traded guest-list spots with us when we played next to them in Manchester some 12 years ago… or that Cronos was in my hotel room signing me and Aggressor’s Venom vinyls… or watching Motorhead from the side of the stage and discovering that during Mickey Dee’s drum solo, the first thing Lemmy did behind his amplifier wasn’t reaching for his drink and cigarette. Actually he was brushing his hair like a madman for a minute or two…THEN he got his smoke/drink.
What are your top three gigs of all time?
Darkthrone – Kolbotn cinema 1988 – or was it 89… Vazelina Bilopphøggers in Rena city w Fenriz in the last half of the 90’s. Autopsy and Pentagram at Hole in the sky.
Your influences are pretty well known, but are there any new releases or bands you think our readers should check out/you are enjoying at the moment?
Nekromantheon – "Rise Vulcan Spectre".
What are Aura Noir’s plans for the future? (You know you’ll be very welcome if you ever make it to my hometown Dublin!)
Play live and make more music. Concerning Dublin it’s funny you are asking. Just received an e-mail with an offer to play there around May and we’ve all answered "yes please".
I’ve never been to Ireland even if half my family lives in Dublin. I think they’re more into playing tennis than coming to our show though!