Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Asphodelos Interview

Stephan: Vocals Adrian: Guitars

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Stephan: No rest for the wicked. We’re continuing to write new stuff and have already started playing new songs on our shows.
Adrian: I want to add, that in „Black Sunset – a Division of MDD Records“ we found a reliable partner and label. Cooperation has been a real joy so far.

2. Recently you have released your first full length, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the ep's you have released in the past?
Stephan: I think as a band we all have grown over the past few years in what we do, and this is reflected in “The Five Rivers of Erebos”. One of our focuses is to make longer songs more diverse. Harmonious variety is in our eyes especially important when writing them. Looking back at the EP “To the Grounds of Everwhite” there’s more black metal influence in most of our songs now, making the themes of our songs more distinctive and deeper. Also the vocals have evolved over the past years.
Adrian: All in all the music became more dark and melancholic. For me as songwriter it reflects also my personal taste of music and its genesis. But besides all new influences Death Metal is still the essence of what we do.

3.This is your first release in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Stephan: Well, we had a little break right in the middle being caused by work and studies in different cities. As to the rest, we wrote a few more songs but we couldn’t really get to like them as much as we’ve hoped. So we rewrote some of them or dropped them entirely – maybe not forever but for now at least. Our main focus was to find out what we want to do as a band and to play a few shows.
Adrian: One problem was that I studied in Leipzig and the band is situated in Jena. It's not a big deal to get there but social environment changes when you live in different cities. And there were also times when we had to ask each other if it's still a good idea to keep the band alive. But after I moved back we lit the spark again and now here we are.

4.Some of your lyrics cover Greek Mythology, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
Stephan: Polytheistic religions are overall interesting because believers have a wider range of entities they can cast blame on haha. The stories around the Greek mythology however often reflect issues or topics that can easily be transferred onto our everyday life and they are intrinsically exciting story-wise. The struggle and the tales we found ourselves confronted with are more often than not also described in the tales of gods and monsters. It makes a great and interesting canvas to write songs on.
Adrian: I think Greek mythology and philosophy and many aspects of antique, Hellenic culture build a basis in many ways for Europe and the world. And so it's really exciting to engage with their mythology, because that reflects how people though, felt and struggled. And it's even more exciting to see analogies in today’s life. But as you mentioned in the question, the mythological topic is just one of many topics we deal with in our songs.

5.Originally the band was known as 'Hatred Within', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Asphodelos'?
Stephan: Before we re-named the band to Asphodelos back in 2010, we realized a change in songwriting and lyrics. They’ve become deeper and darker. There was a change from almostmetalcore-ish influences to death metal and black metal. Hence, we couldn’t identify us with the name “Hatred Within” anymore.
The name Asphodelos describes a part of the Greek underworld – the Asphodel Meadows. Its grounds are covered with Asphodels – a flower as pale as death – which was often used in Wreaths covering graves. It's where ordinary souls are sent after their death to relive their daily grind for all eternity. We found this to be a monument to make something out of your life and to try as hard as you can to surpass yourself. Otherwise you’re just caught in between all your possibilities.
Adrian: I found the word in an historic novella in 2010. When I read about its meaning and different facets, I recognized that it's a perfect description for something existing between life and death. It's kind of a medium that connects the dead and the living, as in mythology so in real life.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
 Stephan: I think there’s something about all of them we could mention. But for me there are two I like to remember: The first one was Metal March in 2012. It was a free entry metal concert and we played as the headliner. The crowd was amazing and the sound was great. With roundabout 500 metalheads in front of us it was our first gig that big.
The second one was the recent Zwiebel Assault in Weimar this year where we played with Master. We had a blast with the people in front of us, the resonance from them was really great and the sound was good too.
Performance-wise I think the main theme is just to let loose from everything else and just go with the music.
Adrian: Every gig had its own story. Some more suitable to be remembered, some less. But Zwiebel Assault was really a nice experience to play in front of more than 1000 people, what we usually not do every weekend. I was told for years to be stiff like a tree on stage. But rumors said it changed a little. Of course performance is an aspect that can create a special atmosphere between band and audience but for me it's also very important to play the music on a good level – even drunk and shitfaced, haha.

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Adrian: We have some shows for 2018 and some more are in the making. We will see what the release of our debut will bring.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic death and thrash metal?
Stephan: Well “worldwide” would be great wouldn’t it hehe? Let’s just say after every gig we usually stay to drink something and to watch the other bands. And while doing so we come to talk to a few of the guests. And so far the feedback was cool.
Adrian: I have friends all around the globe that like our music but I wouldn't call that „worldwide level“, haha. But as Stephan mentioned the feedback after shows is usually positive. Nevertheless, we appreciate all kinds of feedback.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Stephan: We continue to watch for diversity in our songs – for us and for the listeners. If something you hear keeps on exciting you, it can go on forever.
Adrian: I wrote most of the riffs except the guitar solos. And our music is always a reflection of what I'm listening to. I don't have concrete plans to develop our music in a special direction. The most important thing is that music is authentic and helps us to express ourselves where words fail.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Stephan: Regarding the vocals I have no idea. Writing Lyrics is something that is mostly influenced by books I read. In my youth I read many Books by Scott McGough and something about how he wrote I might have adapted in how I write the songs. The content of the lyrics is produced by current events, everyday life, something that moves you, you know?

Nowadays, as of right now, I mostly listen to Corroded, Diablo, Dissection, Disbelief and from time to time some Frank Sinatra.
Adrian: For me it's not only Metal that influenced or still influences me. Inspiration can be found in so many other kinds of music. It's not about a specific style it's about sharing something, an idea, a feeling, a dream, a fear. But for my personal genesis bands like Dismember, Immortal, Dissection, Grave, Dark Funeral but also Iron Maiden and Metallica inspired me to make music.

11. What are some of your non-musical interests?
Stephan: I like to socialize, more often than not that involves a certain amount of booze haha. I like to hang out with friends and be with my family. But I also cherish solitude. Reading books, writing lyrics, playing some computer games ... I used to do sports but can’t remember when I stopped. Soo…..Pizza?
Adrian: Talking crap, getting wasted sometimes, playing playstation and yeah... just common things, you know?

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Stephan: Hey Mom! I’m in an interview!
Adrian: Support the Underground! Go to local concerts and support the scene! And Hails to all our friends in Rogash and Infest (Serbia)!

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