By Brandon Strader
Aeon Spoke is the brainchild of Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert of a previous Cynic fame. The music is much softer and more melancholy with astounding songwriting and atmospheric arrangements which, when paired with the vocals and lyrical concepts, are really able to touch the listener on an emotional level. They've been working on the followup to 2004's Above The Buried Cry, and Paul Masvidal fills us in on some of the more juicy details of the band's current doings and such in this second part of a two-part interview for Cynic and Aeon Spoke.
I think Aeon Spoke was formed in 2004 featuring former members of Cynic and Death. Why did you choose to start up this new band?
Aeon Spoke was formed quite a bit earlier than 2004. We started writing and recording demos as early as 1999-2000. We officially appeared in 2003-2004 to the rest of the world. I knew my path was going deeper into songwriting and eventually when Sean and I began recording demos, we knew the work had a strong identity and we just went with the flow.
Aeon Spoke's Above The Buried Cry is unique and inspiring... The songs seem to work perfectly together! What was the inspiration for the music and lyrics, and how did you approach the songwriting for this style that is so different from what you did before with Cynic / Death?
Aeon Spoke was the result of years of internal transformation and development. You can hear the evolution if you listen closely from Cynic to Portal then Aeon Spoke. Much of the lyrical inspiration has come from my work with the dying. Also internal investigations that revealed much unresolved suffering. We had gone to the furthest reaches of technicality with Cynic and wanted to deconstruct and find strength and power with less force and more grace. I found beauty in the simplest passages. The sound of Aeon Spoke has become a surrender and response to life.
The song "Emmanuel" appeared in the feature film, "What The Bleep Do We Know". What do you think of that documentary and the ideas it presents?
I enjoyed the film. Considering how difficult and complex quantum physics can be, they did a good job capturing the essence of the idea without boring the viewer. It was definitely packed with information.
The basic interconnectedness that quantum physics teaches has always made sense to me. Co-creating reality with our thoughts and the impact/repercussions of every little thing we do seems obvious to me. I totally support the message and teaching of that film.
How long is your hair now? I remember it being very, very long!
After Cynic/ Portal I shaved my head for a while and adopted the monk look. Now, it’s just short and messy.
Can you explain some of the lyrical concepts from the debut record?
Aeon Spoke has a new record coming out in early 2007. The lyrical concept deals with evolution and transformation of being human, from the external experience to the internal (which is inevitable for all of us). The album begins with a war march and ends with complete surrender. Almost like a mini-lifetime of human emotions and experiences. You’ll have to hear for yourself!
When exactly did Aeon Spoke enter the studio to record the new album that was said to be released through SPV in October? Does this album have a name yet? Any songs named yet?
The album is self-titled and plans for the release are either late January or March of 2007. I should know more this week! The album contains some new recordings and mixes of the Above The Buried Cry
material, along with new songs.
How did the studio sessions go, and what was it like recording this second album?
Beautifully and painstakingly. Making a record is usually hard work in my experience. Many decisions must be made and let go of. I can feel encouraged and enthralled about the process and then self-doubting and critical after. This is the dichotomy of being an artist and just part of the process. I’m getting better at letting the work ‘find itself’.
What will the fans be exposed to with this second release and is there a story concept?
Listeners will be exposed to a personal journey of transformation. Much of the music is a form of therapy for the spirit. The songs have been impregnated with healing vibrations and energetic principles that will work directly on our wounds. Lying down with headphones and observing the breath is recommended for listening.
I remember in your newsletters you would speak of seraphims and such! Is there a religious background to Aeon Spoke?
Aeon Spoke is more about a way of life, a philosophy, a psychology, a way of thinking, rather than a religion.
Thanks a ton for your time! A couple last questions: Have you received a lot of good feedback from fans of Death and Cynic, despite Aeon Spoke being much softer? And have you received any more requests to feature one of your songs in a feature film? This last paragraph belongs to you for anything you'd like to say in conclusion!
We’ve received great support from older fans from the get go. You’ll always get the occasional metal head that doesn’t understand anything but metal. But we had those same reactions in Cynic. Every metal head (us included) have urges to mellow out and just let go of all the tension and anger. Aeon Spoke is the antidote for the pain of living. Imagine a nice deep sleep with fantastic dreams. Doesn’t everyone need a dose of that once in a while? To just simply let go? I sure do.
We do get occasional requests for other films, and you will hear us here and there if you listen closely.
Thank you Brandon for the interview. Also thanks to those who’ve taken the time to read this and support the work. Keep an eye out for Aeon Spoke in 2007 and check out Aeonspoke.com. Join our mailing list for updates.
Official Aeon Spoke Website
Official SPV Records Website