You could say we write for the dead!
On 19 December, Aphonic Threnody will release their first full length, When Death Comes. MR’s Jason Guest caught up with founder members Riccardo and Rob to discuss the album, the band’s formation, the band name, the logistics of having a band with members spread far and wide over four countries and two continents, and the act of making music…
Thank you both for taking time out for this interview and congratulations on When Death Comes. To get us up to speed, can you tell us about how Aphonic Threnody formed and what it was that drew you together to make music?
Riccardo: Hi Jason, thanks for this interview. Aphonic Threnody came about in late 2012. Me and Rob had just finished another project that we were working on and I said to him about starting a new project. At first he thought I was joking but by that evening we had come up with the concept for the band and over the next few weeks I came up with songs for the EP.
Can you tell us about the band name, where it came from, and what it means to the band and its music?
Riccardo: The term Aphonic means to be “Without Audible sound” and Threnody is from the Greek meaning “Threnoidia” which means “an ode, song, or speech of lamentation, especially for the dead”. I guess in my eyes it was quite ironic that Rob can scream that loud. He can practically raise the dead with his growls. The songs are all filled with death, misery so you could say we write for the dead!
How did you approach composition for When Death Comes? Did you have an idea of how you wanted the album to sound or did each of the tracks and the whole thing take shape as it was being developed?
Riccardo: In some respects we found our way but from an early stage it was a concept of death and misery that I had in mind. When Rob started writing the lyrics I changed a few concepts of my guitar melodies to really develop to what he had produced. The sound I think is more melodic and huge on this album and that was what I wanted, also for each song to really tell its own story and not sound like the previous track.
Is there a theme, a concept, or a philosophy that underpins When Death Comes?
Rob: Yes and no. As with all of my lyrics with Aphonic, I talk about personal life experiences and my way of facing life. The only link between the tracks is that death is certain and life is not.
Can you tell us about the album artwork design and what it represents?
Rob: The album has been prepared in collaboration with my photographer friend Valeria Spiga. She’s an indie photographer who has got a real talent for capturing certain morbid and dark subjects with her photography. We were looking for something unique to give the “death” vibe to our artwork and I found one of her photos really interesting and that has been used for the cover art. After that we tried to find something which could represent the lyrics’ topics we selected the other images. We also worked with The 13th Sign which made a great job preparing the illustrations for ‘When Death Comes’ and ‘Just Dust Remains’. That’s more or less the whole idea behind the artwork!
What does the act of creating music mean to the band?
Riccardo: Its means a lot to me personally. To get that message across to people so they can understand what is around us every day. Life experiences and hardships happen every day so to try conveying that through music is great.
All of you are in other bands. Does Aphonic Threnody offer you all something that the others perhaps don’t?
Riccardo: For me more freedom to express how I write and develop my melodies. The slower pace suits me and I feel we have a great bunch of people within the band and we feed of each other.
With the band members being spread far and wide over four countries and two continents, how do you work together – writing, rehearsing, recording, playing live, etc.?
Riccardo: It has been really hard to get a live band together but we are almost there again. The writing process is quite easy and with the internet it’s no problem to swap ideas, etc. As most of our band members are all over the world we have to have a few different people for live stuff.
Any plans for gigs, tours, or festivals in support of the album? And will we be seeing you in the UK?
Riccardo: Yes we are currently promoting the album like mad and hopefully we will be hitting the rehearsal rooms hard in January. We are hoping to really start gigging around the summer time. But yes, the UK will be our home base for gigging.
What would be your ideal venue or setting for a show?
Riccardo: We got offered to do the Malta Doom Festival but our lineup was not ready. That would have been amazing but for me I don’t care if it’s in front of 5 people; as long as they like our music I’m happy to respect them and try my best for them.
What does the future hold for Aphonic Threnody? Is there more music in the pipeline?
Riccardo: Yes indeed. I pretty much have written the music for the third album already and have tracks in the works for the forth. We have another two splits coming out next year as well and we will be doing a video for one of the songs as well.
Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Riccardo: Yeah a big thanks to everyone who has supported our music since we started. It’s really amazing that we can showcase our music and you the fans enjoy it as much as we do. We will keep giving you what you expect from Aphonic Threnody. Total suffering and misery!