EDITOR’S NOTE: Sweden’s Aeon are set to detonate their latest album Aeons Black via Metal Blade Records on November 20, 2012. The 15-track opus was recorded at Empire Studio in Östersund, Sweden and was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Ronnie Björnström (Garageland Studios). It features cover art by the legendary Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin. And it’s available for pre-order here. To say it’s highly anticipated around this place would be an understatement.
Today, we’re fortunate that our guest contributor KevinP has brought us an interview with the band’s founding guitarist Sebastian “Zeb” Nillson. And at the end of the interview, catch the new lyric video for the title track to Aeons Black.
KP: So what’s behind the title to your new album, Aeons Black? Is this your ode to Metallica? (smiles)
ZN: (Laughs) At first you could believe it would be. But the title track´s lyrics are all about the end of the world. When the sun has been burnt out and nothing can save you. So for me it would make more sense to have the title Black Aeons since that is what you can expect after the sun has burned out. But I guess Tommy [Dahlström] just wanted to give it a little twist.
The title track (released for the world to hear), is one of the consistently slower songs you have ever recorded. How did that come about ?
Hmmm…I´m not really sure. Our last album did lack heavy songs IMO, so I tried to actually make songs that were HEAVIER and did not have blastbeats in them this time. And I feel much more happy with it now. It´s much more varied. But we still have fast songs as well.
Some people have asked us “is that cause Arttu [Malkki] can’t play fast like Nils [Fjellström]“? But if he couldn´t play fast, that would mean that he couldn´t play our old songs live and he would never been given the job as drummer of Aeon. We always play “Forever Nailed”, “Kill Them All”, and “Forgiveness Denied” live, and unless you can perform them as a drummer, you simply won’t fit the bill. So to get to the point somehow….we just wanted to have more heavy shit this time!
Yeah, it felt really good. He is a really hard hitter, which you can hear on the album, and you will also see it in a couple of weeks when Metal Blade puts out a documentary (3 episodes from our recording). Arttu is also a long time friend with us all. I´ve known him for about 20 years (it´s insane). He’s also grown A LOT as a drummer since Dark Order.
Not to go into a long-winded history lesson (but I will slightly anyways), what was the initial reason he left years ago? And were you in contact with him throughout the years, leading up to him rejoining the band in 2010 ?
He just wanted to be able to be more spontaneous in life. You know, just join some friends for a couple of beers or whatnot. But at that time we were rehearsing 5 days a week so there was little time for that. He also felt like Nils could get us to new levels back then (since Arttu wasn´t the same drummer back then as he is today). So he told us all this, and then he said….”let´s go upstairs and ask Nils right now!” (Laughs). That´s what I love about Arttu…very spontaneous, like I said.
Well…up there the five of us entered Nils’ rehearsal space (where he spent all his spare time) and Arttu just pulled the same story to Nils, and he just asked him if he wanted to take over his spot. Nils was like “hell yeah”. So that´s basically the story. And Arttu always had a small part of Aeon back then. He would always join us as a driver to gigs and stuff. So it was really a natural thing to bring back Arttu to the band after him proving his improved skills.
If you had to give a % breakdown in the mix of tradtionally fast Aeon style and the new heavier/doomier appraoch, what would that be?
70% fast and 30% heavy. But there’s a lot of greys in between those two. That´s just a black/white comparisaion
Does Tommy explore anything new lyrically this time around? Or is he still bitching and moaning about Jesus? (laughs)
(Laughs) I´d say that 70% bitching about how much he hates Jesus and his lambs, and 30% new ideas (like Possesion,etc.). I also did lyrics for 2 songs, “Sacrificed” and “Maze of the Damned”.
Not at all. It was actually him that wrote the title track, which is the heaviest. It just came naturally for both of us. We shared the same opinion on Path of Fire. You know…. how it lacked heavy parts. It´s always cool with heavy shit live. I really love how the title track reminds me of old Morbid Angel, especially from the Blessed Are the Sick era.
The cover art by Necrolord is also a depature for you. How did hook up with him?
We really wanted a painted cover this time, cause so far it’s been only photoshop covers (which is also cool, but we wanted to do this now). We just contacted him and he checked us out, and he liked our music. Then we just told Metal Blade to pay him. (Laughs)
Do you have any videos or other ideas planned for this album?
Yeah we are planning to shoot a video. But that´s pretty much all I can say for now (smiles).
You have any tours planned , either headlining or as support coming up ?
We have an officially confirmed UK tour in Jan 2013. And there are still other tours and gigs being planned, but I´m sorry, there´s nothing I can say about that either.
What’s with all this secretive mumbo jumbo?
(Laughs) Sorry…I´ll try to be more open next time.
You were planning to play here in the USA in 2007 but Nils had to back out due to his commitments with Dark Funeral at the time. And you still haven’t played in the USA yet. Did cancelling that tour burn any bridges with US promoters? Or have you simply not had the offers to come back ?
We have had several offers for tours in America, but so far none have been giving us a deal that we have been able to afford. Going on a tour in North America for us would mean paying for Working Visas (which is very expensive, and American bands don’t have to pay for this to tour in Europe), paying for flights, paying for van rental plus gas, paying for hotels/motels, paying for backline rental and paying for a driver. So we would lose thousands of dollars, ’cause literally we don’t get offered shit from promoters to play there. We expect to lose some money but not go bankrupt.
Sounds like the typical things that prevent alot of great European bands from coming over here. Maryland Deathest seems like the perfect fit for you guys. And I’m biased, but I wanna see you on Barge to Hell this December.
No festival in America has showed interest in Aeon ever.
Maybe now that you’ve “sold out” and play “slow” you’ll get tons of offers finally. (smiles)
I bet we will (laughs).