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Interview: Aeon Sable / Deied / Melanculia
The free music business model is being increasingly adopted by the underground scene, often with varying results in quality. However, the duo of N1n0 and Din-Tah Aeon of the tricephalous projects Deied, Aeon Sable, and Melanculia have continually released original and high quality music for free.
In only a few short years since coming together in Essen, Germany their partnership has yielded three distinct projects and nearly a dozen albums that encompass industrial, gothic rock, and indie styles. And with two new albums scheduled for release in 2011 there looks to be no stopping them.
Dominion: What are your backgrounds and how did you two come together and begin your music making partnership?
N1n0: Well – we had a common friend. At that time I was looking for someone to work with because I was tired of hanging around with other people, forming bands and so on. I just wanted to get my own stuff done. In Din I found the second half of my musical evolution. He’s got the skills, I’ve got the inspiration.
Dominion: Who are your personal musical influences and how are they incorporated into your work?
N1n0: We are a very open minded duo in relation to music. I’ve been addicted to music since I was fourteen years old. I started with some thrash metal in the nineties and since then, I always wanted to be as cool as Phil Anselmo or Max Cavalera. But nowadays I listen to every kind of sound. Din likes the 80′s and 90′s and has a great passion for ambient music.
Dominion: Aeon Sable, Deied, and Melanculia are three very different sounding projects – Is there any thematic crossover between them or do you treat each as a separate entity?
N1n0: Each of them is a separate entity.
Melanculia is raw musical freedom. Melanculia was the first musical project I started, I think it may be considered the mother of all the sound we produce. Even if Melanculia is not everybody’s cup of tea, if you listen closely you will quickly find out that here lies the root of our sound.
After Melanculia there was Deied. The themes here are quite similar, but in a more extreme way, there is more “Black and White”. While the vibe is the same in both projects, the process of creating is very different. Melanculia often gets recorded while I’m playing guitar, the lyrics mostly just come to my head while I’m playing. Deied is much more elaborate.
Our youngest project, Aeon Sable, is the first project which involves Din-Tah Aeon as musician. Before Aeon Sable he only handled the sound of Deied. While all three projects started as separate projects, there is a continuity and converging. On the newer albums some will recognize similarities in the drum sound or the guitar work. I think the process of converging the projects is obligatory. Maybe all three will melt together in one big one in the future. Who knows.
Dominion: What is the attraction to having the three projects running parallel to each other rather than attempting to combine them?
N1n0: I’m one of those guys who likes to listen to whole albums instead of single tracks or compilations – that’s it – I like to have the things organized. Deied produces dark sci-fi feelings, while Melanculia dances with “the dazed prophet” and “at the edge of the world” there is “Aeon Sable”, an elegant dark musical figure. I don’t know if we can one day combine all that into one single project without sounding ridiculous.
Dominion: Deied has an almost schizophrenic sound where the ambient and harsh often clash. How did you arrive at this dichotomic style of industrial?
N1n0: Deied has developed itself to what it is now. As our latest Deied album ‘Formation Of Chaos’ indicates – we love to combine extremes. Our sound is hard and soft at the same time and that’s what our life is too. It was not planed to make this kind of sound.
Dominion: Melanculia’s mixture of dark and psychedelic indie is perhaps the most accessible and intimate sounding of your three projects. How has this evolved since it’s beginning as a solo project up to the latest album ['The Dazed Prophet']?
N1n0: While Melanculia started as a vintage “one man, one guitar and a 4-track-recorder” project, the newest album includes drums, bass etc. I think that this is part of the converging of the three projects. While the minimalism of the first albums has it’s own charm, there is a point where you reach your possible limit of artistic expression with this concept. Since I wanted to avoid repeating myself, I started adding more ingredients to the recipe, without loosing the original feeling.
Dominion: Aeon Sable is the newest of your projects and adds a modern progressive dynamic to the classic Goth sound. How did this project come about and how has the debut album ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’ been received by the Goth scene?
N1n0: Both of us are fans of the classic ’80s and ’90s gothic rock, since this is the music of our youth and we are influenced by those since the beginning. So it was kind of obvious to start a project, which concentrates on this Goth rock sound, by adding our own fingerprints and without simply repeating it. Aeon Sable is, by the way, the first project where Din-Tah Aeon and me work equally together from the beginning of the writing process until the designing of the album. The album was well received from the critics and we appreciate this. Currently we are working on new material, but since we are very slow-going with Aeon Sable, it will take some time until we have new output out there.
Dominion: Each of your projects has a distinct visual identity, is this important to the individuality of each band?
N1n0: Due to the fact that I work as multimedia designer, artwork is as important as the music itself. It is hard to enjoy a band, which has a terrible artwork. The progress of the artwork is similar as the music itself. Since every project has it’s own vibe, but the same root, the artwork does too.
Dominion: You worked with industrial artist Ghostfog on the artwork for Aeon Sable, how did this come about?
N1n0: We live in the same town and we both started working on music a many years ago. One day I found out that he has some real skills in drawing and so I asked him if he would like to deliver us some of his artwork to fulfil our latest album – I gave him the unreleased tracks and he started drawing. We are very impressed by his talent and we hope to have more Ghostfog drawings on our upcoming releases.
Dominion: You’ve embraced the Free Music model, making all your albums available for download. What is the rationale behind this and do you feel that the music business is generally heading this direction now?
N1n0: We make free music because we want everyone to have the chance to listen to our sound – freely.
Unfortunately the music business was always more business than music. But in general we don’t care, we make music because we need to express ourselves and not because we need something out of your purse.
Dominion: How did the association with Germany’s Afmusic come about and has this improved the exposure of your projects?
N1n0: We are very satisfied with Falk and his work with Afmusic. We are glad he takes care of the unattractive business duties, so we can concentrate on the music itself. Afmusic understands what we are doing and what we expect from a label, so everything is fine.
Dominion: Are you currently involved in any other bands or projects?
N1n0: Not recently.
Dominion: What does the future hold for you both in terms of shows and releases?
N1n0: As we are “studio-people”, there are no shows coming up. But like it has already been said, we are working on new material for Aeon Sable and Deied right now. The new Deied album will be kind of a concept album, but there are no final release dates yet.
We’ve got the advantage to take the time we need, to release everything as we want to.
Dominion: Is there anything more you’d like to add?
N1n0: We would like to thank you for the interview, we would like to thank every reader that arrived to this point, and at the end we would like you to download our albums, to burn them on CD and give them to all the people you think that they could like our sound. (As we don’t want to exclude anyone from listening to our music, we need the help of some people carrying our sound to all those who were not connected to the internet.)
Deied’s current album ‘Formation of Chaos’, Aeon Sable’s ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’ and Melanculia’s ‘The Dazed Prophet’ are all available to download for free from their respective websites as well as from Afmusic.