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Axamenta - Chaotic Architechture

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by BrandonS, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    [IMGLEFT]http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i137/oinkness/axa_imgleft.jpg[/IMGLEFT]By Brandon Strader

    Axamenta are currently the big name in black metal. Their songwriting skills and musical prowess surpass that of Cradle of Filth, and Dimmu Borgir, thus labelling them as kings of their trade. Their new album, Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture, features a deep story, stunning artwork, and an incredible knack for detail. The album itself is a massive multi-genre journey through the heights and crevasses of the band's musical mind. Axamenta recently made several things clear for us; the transcripts follow.





    Hello! You guys sound like you are from Norway, but where the heck are you actually from and who is currently situated in the Axamenta camp?

    We are all Belgians, from Antwerp and surroundings to be precise. At the moment the band consists of:

    Peter Meynckens: Vocals
    Ian van Gemeren: Lead and rhythm guitar, orchestration and clean vocals
    Sven Deckers: Rhythm guitar
    Jeroen Vingerhoed: Bass
    Tom Van Oosterwijck: Drums

    How have people reacted to Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture, and what is the band doing now?

    The reactions have been very good up till now. We even made it to “CD of the month” in Aardschok (very big metal magazine in the Netherlands) and “Underground topper” in Oor (one of the biggest music magazines in the Netherlands). Reactions keep coming in from around the world, that is of course a nice payment for the work we did. Currently we are playing shows to promote the album and are writing down some guidelines already for the next album.

    For a black metal album, it's as long as heck and extremely epic. What are the conceptual topics and theme(s) of the new album?

    The story is about a man, called William Alexander Blake (no reference to the real one though), who is found one night screaming and running mad in the streets of London. He says he discovered the true architecture behind the universe, and is proclaiming doom-theories, which no one believes. He is then arrested and brought to a mental institution, where his sister Audrey visits him. He tells her his story, and after months of doubt, she starts her search for the truth. The things she collects and keeps in her room, made the artwork for the booklet.
    The story has lots of stuff going on. Ian juggled with philosophical theories, an adventure story throughout time, an epic battle between good and evil, psychology, technology, mysteries and plot twists. But most importantly the story is interwoven with the duality between reality and fiction: everything is based on real facts, so just as Audrey the reader/listener can ask himself what he’ll consider possible, plausible or even real.

    We wanted to have an authentic atmosphere in the story. Just to make it more convincing. We went very far into that, making sure everything we said was true, or at least COULD have been true. We didn’t want the story to contain impossible things, like, when William was taken in by the police, I wanted to write that he heard the sirens. But were there already sirens in 1879? I tried to look it up, but didn’t find it, so I left it out to play safe. We looked up a lot of different things, like when Polaroid was invented, which fire brigades were closest to Westminster bridge where during the story an incident is reported.

    On a secret part of our website, which was to be found through the puzzle, you can find a lot of extra’s about the album, including the ‘real locations’. There was a contest related to this puzzle, but now that it is over, I may as well give you the URL: www.axamenta.com/12gildredgeroad.

    What's the deal with the name, Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture, and the dashes between each syllable?

    It links to the architecture behind “The All” in the first place. The “ever” part implies that a certain chain of incarnations (the base of the architecture William Blake discovered), is everlasting, repeating perpetually. And the “I” is also taken out separately, so it would be the central character in the title and also in the tracklist, since Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture is also the central song of the album. Plus, in the course of the story, it is revealed that everything actually evolves around one and the same person. So you see, if we had written “everarchitechture” in 1 word, it would lose a lot of meaning.

    What has influenced each member for their respective position?

    Our influences are so diverse you can’t pinpoint to one particular influence. We all like different genres of music ranging from metal to Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Elvis Presley, Queen, Anouk, Jeff Buckley, and many other non metal music. In the metalgenre, I think Nevermore, Evergrey, Pain of Salvation, Opeth, Soilwork and the likes are still spinning in our cd players often.

    Can you tell us when the world will end?

    Haven’t you read the lyrics?!
    On April 11th, 2159 AD we’ll be breathing our lasts breaths!
    HAHA, we’re dead already! What’s the use?!!
    (*ehem*)

    [​IMG]

    I was amazed that you got the one and only Daniel Gildenlöw to do vocals for "Threnody For An Endling"... how did you pull that off, and what are your thoughts on his performance? ...What is an Endling?

    We know Daniel from his work with PoS of course; 3/5 of the band is a big fan.
    Ian was writing a ballad-ish song for the cd, and while he was writing it, he got more and more convinced that only Daniel’s voice would réally fit the song. We tried to reach top-stuff in every aspect of the album. We made a little pre-production of the song, and mailed it to Daniel with some extra info about the band, the album etc. After some time, he finally found a way to fit this into his busy tour schedule. He wrote all the vocal patterns and melodies, and even adapted our lyric a bit to fit the song better. He recorded it all by himself at his home studio, so unfortunately we didn’t see him at work. The result really surpassed everything we expected. He put loads and loads of work into it, no doubt about that.

    An “Endling” is a word which we made up ourselves; it’s kind of an Axamenta hobby. :)
    It applies to someone who is at one end of the chainreaction.

    What approach do you take to songwriting and who gets involved? You guys seem to incorporate a plethora of genres and influences into each song!

    Mostly it’s Ian that does the writing part music wise. First there is the mindset of the atmosphere we want the album to have. After that it’s to the design desks. At rehearsal we try the songs out for a while just to make sure everything in the song works out very well for everybody in the band. Later on, orchestration and lyrics are added. And mostly we keep on tuning the song until the bitter, bitter end...

    What do you think of the black metal scene right now, and what is your stance on corpse paint / costumes?

    Well, define black metal. I don’t know, the bands today that play a genre that is somewhat linked to black metal does it’s thing and does what it’s good at. I like that. We are certainly not grim, evil and frostbitten so we have no policy on corpse paint and costumes. Hell, as long as the bands that perform with corpse paint and costumes enjoy that than that’s ok with us. It certainly has something to do with the element of show. It all comes down to how a band likes to be profiled.

    How does Peter Meynckens (vocalist) squeeze out those brutal screams, did he take lessons or something? And what are his methods to keep his voice strong and able, especially during tours?

    Peter doesn’t take singing lessons. He stopped smoking to not ruin his voice on gigs and drinks herbal liquids to take care of his vocal chords. And enough rest will do the trick too. And if you don’t believe that we can say that he gave birth to his sound due to smoking and drinking beer and thought at one point in his life: OK this is the sound I’d like for now.

    [​IMG]

    How long did it take to record Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture in the studio?

    We released our EP Incognation around May/June 2004 and that EP was already a part of the whole concept of Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture. We drove to Denmark to Hanssen Studio’s in May 2005 to record the album and we finished recording it in 3 weeks. After that the CD went to Sweden to Fredman Studio’s to mix and mastering was done at the Mastering Room. In September 2005 everything was done. Due to problems with the current label at that time (Karmageddon Media) our album got released only around May 2006 through Shiver records.

    This is going to sound crazy, but the artwork looks like a stylish cold-blue if you invert the colors digitally... did this cross your minds or do I just have too much time on my hands?

    We took quite some time ourselves in thinking everything through and Sven gave himself the utmost in designing this thing. There are loads of easter eggs in the artwork, but this never crossed our minds. So we can safely say you have too much time on your hands. ;)

    [​IMG]

    What equipment are you guys using? And Sven, can you list some specific details about what you use? String sizes, pick size, pickups, etc...

    Tom uses: Sonor Force 3000, Paiste cymbals, Pearl hardware
    Ian uses: Schecter 007 Elite, ENGL Powerball, Rath Amp Cabinet, Rocktron Repliflex.
    Sven uses: ESP Horizon, Ibanez JEM90HAM, Ibanez RG7620, VHT Pitbull Ultra Lead, ENGL Vintage30 Cabinet / custom picks 88m, ernie ball strings 011 en dimarzio 7 string set. EMG 81, Dimarzio Evolution en Dimarzio Blaze pickups.
    Peter uses: Shure Microphone
    Jeroen uses: Washburn T-25, 5 string, Behringer BX4500H, Behringer BA 410 cabinet

    Do you guys have any plans for your next album, and how will you musically evolve?

    We already have some nifty ideas about the next album and it will definitely be something different than we ever tried before but musically you can say we have found the sound everyone in the band is willing to bring forth. So you can expect more like some of the songs on the last album but we will make sure it doesn’t turn out as EAIT part 2.

    Thanks a ton, guys! Last question, and this one is a doozy. What are your views on stem cell research, human cloning, and the "organic computers" that are sure to result from combining "flesh" with "technology"? Flying cars are quickly becoming a reality as well, what do you think of them?

    If it weren’t for wild theories about combining organics and technics, we would not have bands like Meshuggah amongst us. ;)

    No really, let’s wait and see about all this. Combining flesh with technology can certainly be used in the medical world: biomechanical arms and legs if for victims of landmines that have lost their arm or leg. A joint venture of technology/science and morality will bring us to a better future. If we ignore the revolution in technology we can easily go back to hugging trees or driving to a gig with horse and carriage wearing giant beards and silly hats. ;)


    UM's Review of Ever-Arch-I-Tech-Ture
    UM's Review Of Codex Barathri
    Official Axamenta Website
    Official Shiver Records Website
     
  2. Saartje

    Saartje Supernatural

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    One of the best belgian metalbands!!! Great interview too!!!
     
  3. sknight

    sknight Are You Morbid?

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    One of my albums of the year.
     
  4. AsModEe

    AsModEe also known as ass-mode

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    black metal? Sounds more like a pissed off version of CoB.
     
  5. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    I have no idea how you could come to that conclusion, perhaps the MP3s you downloaded were labeled wrong and actually are a pissed off CoB. :lol:
     
  6. AsModEe

    AsModEe also known as ass-mode

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    maybe :lol: I'll have to further investigate this
     

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