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Interview with Aura Noir

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Last Updated on 10:59 AM by Lilliana Tseka

I could write a whole bunch of beautiful words but in the end only this thing is quite enough to expess of what is yeat to come, ‘Aura Noir return to Greece for a blackthrashattack!”. Temple in Athens and Eightball in Thessaloniki are waiting for you all fans to show you what dirty satanic thrash is all about!

Hello, I’m Lilliana and i welcome you to Metal Invader! Hope everything is great in Aura Noir’s camp?

Hi there, Lilliana! Yes, all is good thanks. Album is just released today.

Now, after nearly 25 years upholding and reinvigorating thrash metal’s grimmest traditions, how difficult is to coexist with someone for so many years? What is the formula?

Hmmm. Firstly we get along well. Secondly we look up to each other musically. Also we always split everything 3 ways. Many bands break up for money reasons but we consider our members equally important so we share everything regardless of who made the most music on that album or whatever.

You used to live far from each other, how did that work for you when composing and recording?

We still live far from each other. That’s why it took some years between our last albums. We don’t have time or money to visit each other much but we try to meet for a week a couple of times a year and be only us together and work on music.

From TV Series to fashion and band reunions all are centered around 80’s and 90’s in a very nostalgic way. Why is that happening? What draws people into the past? Are you also nostalgic about the past? What do you miss from the early days?

I think it’s a common thing to think that everything was better before. And then everyhing goes in circles too. So trends and things come back every 20 years it seem. Personally I don’t think everything was better before but some things were. I think we try with Aura Noir to take the best elements from old metal, rock, punk and incorporate it into our universe.

I miss a lot of things from the early days. Maybe firstly that everything was much less stressful and that one had more time to enjoy stuff.

 

All of you have been involved in multiple projects over the years.  Have these projects affected Aura Noir as a band musically speaking?

Perhaps. To some extent it has resulted in us producing less music in the past while we all had 5+ bands each. Musically it might have helped us become better musicians .In general we are interested in all kinds of music as long as it is good.

Many artists when asked of their favorite album or song they say that is impossible to distinguish something from the others and that this would be unfair. Do you have a favorite song or album?

No, I have many favourite songs and albums.

You’ve been working on the new album for more than three years. How do feel about this album?

I feel very good about it. For the first time we are happy with how it sounds too. Maybe because I mixed it myself(!)

Aura Noir churns through refreshing, yet old-school sound of thrash metal. This must be quite difficult to achieve. Talk to us about the difficulties when composing, how does that work?

It’s kind of natural for us. The thing is that we are 3 different guys who make slightly different kinds of riffs. Then all we have to do is fit it together. We are very obsessed with cool riffs and details around them so it takes some time before we finish our songs. We don’t want anything to become boring. But the cool riffs come kind of naturally.

You toured in North and South America last year. Talk to us about this experience.

Both great experiences. Crowds are good throughout the Αmerican continent. Less spoiled than many of the central European countries who have shows 7 times a week.

What are in general the pros and cons of tour life?

I like : playing shows, checking out local food and drinks and hanging out. I like seeing cool sights and stuff too.

I dislike: airports, long drives in uncomfy cars, backstages, waiting, soundchecks and general uncertainty/lack of information, hotels in the middle of nowhere…

Basically more cons than pros.

Your European Tour starts from Greece. Your previous visit was cancelled unexpectedly so the Greek fans are eager to see you on stage. Talk to us about the unfortunate events and of course what should we expect from your performance?

I think we were just dealing with a promotEr that was not too serious.

We had some of our best experiences playing in Hellas so we are always eager to play there. We were kind of nervous that everything would be cancelled early in the process because we heard rumors about this dude. So when he told us that we had to cancel Athens because apparently the venue had received death threats we said «No thanks». Then he wrote us that actually it was him and not the venue that had received threats. Whatever he just proved to be someone who could not be trusted, which sadly is the case for many people in this business. Believe me we were just as pissed off/sad as anyone in your country.

Your upcoming new album is entitled ‘Aura Noire’ and I was wondering how often do you get to asked about the ‘grammatical’ error that Aura Noir is written? And of course why did you decide to call it ‘Aura Noire’?

We heard it sometimes in the beginning at least. But for us our band name is not necessarily French so we never cared that much. We thought about «Aura» and «Noir» as two international words. At least we use both in Norway. Anyway as a homage to the French or whatever we named the album «aura noire» in grammatically correct French. Also it is more us than ever because the only thing we didn’t do ourselves this time was the mastering. We even had our old drummer make the cover and layout.

What are your music preferences? Do you like current metal or are you as we said before drawn to the past? Do you buy records and if you do so, what are the most recent ones?

I also like current music even though the albums I grew up listening to will probably always have the biggest place in my heart. Partly because of nostalgia but even the quality. There’s always something special about music genres in the very first years when the bands are still hungry.

I do buy records, vinyls only. I stopped buying CD’s. They’re ugly and always break. I’d rather just listen to it digitally then.

Well, Aura Noir have been through some hell and back along the way. What do you think has been the biggest challenge in your career so far?

Firstly we had much problems with record labels. We were basically ripped off in a horrid way until we signed with peaceville/tyrant syndicate. Then Aggressor had his accident of course immediately after we released «the merciless»… when we were kind of on a productive high and had great rehearsal conditions. So we had to wait for his return to start working on Hades Rise… which was also a big challenge for me as I had to do all the drumming and I felt that I needed some extra skills. Fortunately I was able to borrow a drum kit in the house I had moved to 60´s Ludwig with only 1 rack tom but good enough for me and I was able to play drums on a regular basis for a while and recorded the album in a confident way (you see I never had a drum kit, only pedals and sticks).

But of course Aggressor had the biggest challenge in returning to playing and recording music. Also later when he started playing live.

But in general I would say record labels has really demotivated us. So that may have been a good part of the reason why things have gone slow and we might have focused more on other projects at times.

 

How do you feel about the Social Media and YouTube as promotional tools?

Obviously it works but I don’t know, I hardly ever promote myself. Most of the time advertisements/commercials annoy me. I cannot watch TV or listen to radio that has commercials. I feel that it’s sucking the intelligence out of me. The same thing goes for scrolling down the Facebook newsfeed. There’s just so much sadness and repetition going on. Really depressing. Or aggressive promotion of whatever you’re up to »please like my band », etc. I fucking hate that! 399 of 400 times it is stuff I have no interest in.

But I am not against the internet, having a band profile wherever. Having songs on YouTube. It’s practical.

When you have a 25 year old career, what are the challenges of coming up with a great setlist and satisfy the fans and of course the band?

We always played stuff from all our albums. For us it’s important to change the setlist rather frequently and juggle around with the songs so we don’t get bored of playing them. I think that’s the challenge. If our setlist would consist of the 14 most played songs on Spotify it would be very boring for us after a short while and ultimately boring for whoever watched us as well. It’s important that we are excited to play. If not our shows will lose their nerve and energy.

Thank you very much for this interview and I’ll see you in Athens! Let’s close this interview with a message to your fans!

Efharisto and see you in Hellas, finally!

Lilliana Tseka
Lilliana Tseka
Surrealism : Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.

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