[schema type=”person” name=”Alexander Paul Blake ” jobtitle=”vocalist, bassist” worksfor=”Aethernaeum” country=”DE” ]
German ‘mystic’ folk/black metal band Aethernaeum have released the full-length album “Naturmystik” on October 2015 and it has been one of my favorite albums of 2015! The record has been definitely the highlight and I had a lot of questions in my mind. Luckily, Mr. Alexander Paul Blake was kind enough to answer my questions on Christmas holidays and gave insight about the album, the band and the future tour with Dornenreich!
Hello guys! Firstly, congratulations on your latest album which has been released on October. How has the reaction been so far?
Thanks a lot. Well, like always, most of the reviews were very good, but there are always people among the media, who don’t like the music they get for reviews. But I guess that’s pretty normal. So, I’d say, we were satisfied. And the most important thing is that we and our fans like the album.
Personally, I got to admire Aethernaeum with this record. I really love the overall atmosphere of “Naturmystik”. Can you tell me a bit more about how the ideas for this record arose? How did the songwriting/recording process evolve?
Not much different than on the previous records. I recorded demos of the songs in my studio, presented them to the other guys and from that point on the songs started to grow and evolve. Afterwards we recorded all the instruments in a quite long period of time. There have been more than half a year between the songwriting and the recordings, since we had to rebuild our studio. And in the end all the single tracks gathered at my studio Mac, where I did the mixing and mastering.
When you compare your previous record “Wanderungen durch den Daemmerwald“ and this record, what are the main differences?
Hard to say. I think we progressed and matured in a natural way, without having to force anything. There were no concious changes in the band sound; we just wanted to write good songs with great atmospheres and melodies and also wanted to go the next step in terms of sound. But songs like ‘Der Baumpercht’, which is a pure acoustic song with a tribal feel, or ‘Jenseits der Mauer des Schweigens’, an instrumental Post-Rock influenced track, haven’t been on the previous album. Anyway, I think that people, who love the ‘Daemmerwald’ album will also like the new one.”
The listeners will notice that nature (for example) is one of the main themes of this record. What can you say about the other inspirations? What inspired you?
Yes, not only on this album, it’s a general theme in Aethernaeum. But I’d say, that worshipping mother nature, the greatest artist of all times, is just one facette of the lyrics, since behind the metaphors there are many private and spiritual issues hidden. I try to keep the lyrics as open as possible, so that the readers can come to their own conclusions. Nature is more like a frame setting.”
Personally, I also loved the fact that the songs are in German, which adds quite a romantic/natural approach to the record. Have you ever considered singing in English though?
This question seems to be asked by every magazine that is not located in the German speaking territories, haha. For us it feels quite normal to sing in our mother tongue. We have started this in Aethernaeum’s ‘twin band’ Eden Weint Im Grab more than ten years ago and since Aethernaeum was started as a solo/side project of mine it also felt right to sing in German … also because I never thought about the fact that the music could reach people in other countries. Anyway, in German many people listen to Scandinavian bands for example, that sing in their mother tongue, so I hope it’s also not a problem if we do the same. If we will write songs in English one day? I don’t know. Never say never. It doesn’t seem like a strange thought to me, since the vocals are more like an instrument in Aethernaeum other than in Eden Weint Im Grab, but we have no plans yet.
Do you have any favorite song/highlight from the record?
No, not really. I think they’re all my babies and I invested into every of them a lot of time and effort. During the production process that often changes, which song I like most, and to be honest after a production I don’t listen to an album anymore, since I heard it too often. Only when I have to learn the song for the live shows, but then I have no favourites anymore ;-)”
I know that you guys are known in the German pagan metal scene. How do you see yourself in the worldwide metal scene? Are there certain regions/countries (except Germany) in which you have a great fanbase?
To be honest I don’t even think that we are quite known in the German scene. We didn’t even play a tour so far. So there’s still a lot to do. And our worldwide status might be even smaller. I have no illusions about that … there are so many bands out there. But status is a thing I don’t think much about, since that become quite frustrating, haha. So I’d say Aethernaeum is an underground band in all aspects, but at least we try to sound as professional as possible ;-)”
Also what do you think about the pagan metal scene nowadays?
I don’t listen to Pagan Metal that much, so I can’t say much about it. Most of the band simply to fit my personal taste and I don’t like the raw image that many of these bands have. I see Aethernaeum more in a romantic tradition, which is very rare nowadays. Therefore I would call us a Pagan Metal band – for me it’s Romantic or Folk Black Metal.”
You are going to embark on a tour with Dornenreich on March. What can the fans expect from the gigs?
I hope some great shows. At the moment we all learn the new songs, which is not easy, since they have lots of different parts and that’s not always easy to remember. We will meet for the first rehearsal next week and are going to prepare lots of the new songs for the shows. I hope people will like it and more gigs are going to come.”
Do you have any ‘dream’ countries that you wanna play at?
Hm, not really. Maybe a tour through the US would be great. But till now we have only played shows inside Germany, so any show abroad would be a next step for us ;-)”
2015 is coming to an end and “Naturmystik” has definitely been one of my favorites of this year. Do you have any favorite albums?
To be honest there were not so many new albums, that I listened so much this year. I liked the latest records from Riverside, Arcturus or Dead Soul, but most of the music, I listened to a lot, is not from this year and also no Metal … artists like The National, Arcade Fire, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin etc.”
What do you want to achieve in 2016?
Right now we’re recording a new album with our other band Eden Weint Im Grab and are preparing a special surprise for the Aethernaeum tour. Apart from that I’m going to publish a book with poems in February and I’m working on two other new projects, which will be something new for me in a musical sense – but I’ll reveal the details when the time is right, which is not now 😉
Any last words to your fans?
Thanks to everybody for reading this interview and to you, Basak, for the questions. Check out our latest video clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkOXVVBIlNk) and of course the new album ‘Naturmystik’. Thanks for support!
Special thanks to Einheit Produktionen and Alexander Paul Blake