The philosophy behind Nyx Aether
Nyx Aether is a Symphonic Dark Metal group that will appeal to those who like thoughtful, classically influenced Metal with touches of a spiritual essence. Like a phoenix they are rising with their debut ‘Entering Into Rebirth’ which is an album full of heavy, Doom influenced songs with tons of soft, backing instruments the cushion the brutality. I got a chance to discuss the band and their philosophy with Mylene, the brainchild behind the lyrics and concept!
So I guess an important start off question would be… what got you into music in the first place and how did we wind up walking the path of some sort of genre of ‘Metal?’
I’ve always had a great connection with music, so looking back I’m not really surprised that I am where I am right now. As far as my memory stretches, I’ve been singing and been interested in playing an instrument (which I do) for as long as I can remember. I started taking vocal lessons at age 14. I stopped at a certain point but picked it up again at age 18. And recently I have been taking singing workshops once again, because I feel that there is still some work on my vocal approach and delivery.
What got me into metal was Within Temptation. I was 17 and working in a record store called Van Leest. We used to play the latest releases all day long and Hitzone 18 was just released. (This was a pop-music compilation record of sorts.) So that disc was blasting out of the speakers the entire day. WT was on that album with their hit single Ice Queen. When I heard that I fell in love with it. I had never heard anything like it. It simply was ‘the point of no return’.
Nyx Aether seems to have always been a very deep subject about paganism and one’s own journey for meaning right from the start- it is more of a spiritual journey than a typical Metal album. What did you have specifically in mind when you sat down and said ‘I want to do this concept?’
It is a concept taken from real life. There have been events in my life regarding ‘Paganism’ and it has completely changed me. These events corrected my flaws, issues and point of view on many things. Since it made a huge impression on me, I decided to write about it. My goal was to define paganism in my own way, and give it a more obvious meaning. This thought resulted in: ‘Entering into Rebirth’
What made you want to make it a ‘musical journey’ as opposed to a ‘written journey’ when it easily could have just been a massive, inspiring poem? (not that I’m complaining you decided to collaborate with others and make it an massive, inspiring musical)
Music is a good instrument because it can do all the talking for me. Plus, I wanted the meaning of the lyrics to reflect in the music. Combining these two elements made everything much more intense. And I also really wanted to create something of my own musically.
I have been involved with a few bands before this project, but nothing really took off for various reasons. Combine that with the fact that I was just aching to get started and you can imagine that I didn’t want to wait until the right band came along. I just figured I should take the reins and start my own to make it work.
Did you know Tom De Wit and Martijn Luppens ahead of time before contacting him to create this musical project or how did you come to the decision to include them in Nyx Aether?
I met Tom on FB by accident really. I can’t remember who invited who, but at one point we got in a conversation and one thing led to another. I was having loads of ideas and no one to work with. He heard me out and thought my ideas sounded pretty good, so that’s the reason why we joined forces.
When the project was underway and the writing had started we realized that we needed a bass player. That bass player was Martijn Luppens. We knew each other for some time (we have spent quite a lot of time hanging out together as friends.) and we had a lot of mutual friends. In my opinion, he had and still has it all. So I asked him and he didn’t decline.
What influences did you have in mind- musically- when you wanted to translate everything to an audio experience instead of just a written one?
It had to be dark. But there are so many ways of creating darkness in music. The way I listen to music is really odd, because when I listen to music, I want to define every note that’s being played by every instrument. It’s kind of like performing an autopsy on a musical piece. I want to know how everything collides and works together. In the end, we’ve put every dissected piece of music that I had in my mind, together. And you all know what the outcome has become. ;)
The idea of ‘paganism’ in Metal is usually oriented around symphonic and folk elements- something Nyx Aether seems to be great at introducing. But there are also a lot of Doom elements in the mix which makes the music heavier as opposed to just feeling like pure classical. Why incorporate Doom as opposed to something like Black Metal?
First of all, I really appreciate Doom Metal. Second, why not use the best of Doom to create more structure in the songs? This way, it becomes an album for ‘everybody’ and more easily accessible so to speak. Besides, I think the intense tremendous atmosphere of Doom is just fantastic, so why not use that?
Do you think the Doom elements at times take away from the focus of the ‘spiritual journey’- possibly due to growling over singing being difficult to understand- or is it an important as the ‘ying to yang’ of music in the overall message of balance?
I never thought of it like that, the ying-yang that is, but I guess you’re right. The Doom influence brings balance to the final record. But I don’t think it takes the focus away from the concept. Instead, it gave the darkness in the concept more space and energy so that it could be heard. The growls and heavy sidesteps put more accents on the darker side of things that this concept deals with creating a more complete experience.
Discribe to our readers the main idea behind the album concept and the journey one takes through the music… or is it one of those ‘the journey is what you make of it, no one can walk it for you’ kind of listens?
It is about taking the initiative to change your flaws and with that change your life. However this album talks about a different way of achieving that as opposed to what most people are accustomed to. The concept challenges the listener to look beyond everything you see, feel and know. There is so much more out there that can help you to become strong, and be open-minded about new things that could change your life forever. The most important thing in that process is to think for yourself!
For those who want the ‘fast version of the album,’ which track do you think would most benefit a listener as far getting the overall concept?
Consequence of Purity and Redemption
Since Nyx Aether seems like such a big sound projected by such a small group (only three people), do you think it will stay as a studio band or will you get out on the road and do live shows?
It has to become bigger than this. There is just no way that it was meant to be ‘just a one-time studio project’. It deserves to be played live. This album is just the beginning, we had a hard time finding musicians, so I hope for the next album it’s going to be a little easier.
Tom and I already have some great ideas for the next album, we are going to leave ‘Entering into Rebirth’ behind us and move on to something new, more heavy, more intense and confrontational.
If you could have a support tour with two other bands still active today- who would they be and why?
Well, we want the Nyx music to be performed in the right way and we have a pretty good idea of how we want to do things. So if we were to do a support slot we would at least want to put on a show that really impresses from the beginning. We don’t rule out bands touring wise, but we don’t want to be “that little band that also came along to warm up empty venues”
However, even if I had to choose, it would be really hard to make a definite choice. I’m not really into the female fronted Metal scene anymore. Same goes for the doom-scene for that matter. So I’m afraid I can’t give you a direct answer to that right now. We’ll just see what comes our way in the future and then we’ll decide what to do.
Looking at how Metal has developed in the last three years and the popular versus more obscure, underground genres being introduced upon today’s youth, do you think that future generations of music listeners will appreciate heavy concept albums like ‘Entering Into Rebirth’ as opposed to being drowned in more superficial themes?
The people who will appreciate the concept of ‘Entering into Rebirth’ are ahead of the rest in my opinion. And superficial themes don’t bring you anything besides nice music I think. I have the tendency to think that if you have nothing to say or contribute, say nothing at all. As for the new generation of Metalheads: I hope they are the generation that uses their minds properly. Concerning everything that is, I also hope that the future generations will not deny heavy subjects in music. I hope that they are the ones who see what matters most in life.
Thank you again for all your time and wisdom. If you have any last bits of advice or comments for our readers, feel free to speak now:
Be a consumer … or become a creator!
Nov 20, 2012