SOURCE – Can you go over the band for those unfamiliar with you?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – Aoria, with the current line-up, has been around since the beginning of last year. Coming from a line of many bands and constellations, the band was reformed after a longer break. That’s when we started working on our debut album. All of us share a great passion for music, so during the quiet years we’ve all kept busy with other bands.
Outside of Aoria, I’m a member of A Swarm of the Sun and Kausal, and I also run the independent record label Version Studio Records. Niklas Sandin is a member of Katatonia and Robin Bergh will soon release his second full-length album as a member of October Tide.
SOURCE – Now that your new record, “The Constant”, is complete, how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – I’m very satisfied with the outcome. We began recording the album with the ambition to continue from where we had left off before the breakup, and pretty much just see where it would go from there. I always felt that we abandoned something of great potential when we parted, so I was glad just being able to complete the album once and for all. Now, seeing the end result and all the positive feedback from fans and media, is simply overwhelming.
SOURCE – I am interested to know how much this album was group effort, how did the writing for it go?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – I had composed a couple of the songs on the album earlier, for two of the demos we released, and I composed the remaining songs from ideas and fragments we had been experimenting with during our last months with the former line-up. Ideas appear at any moment, so for me it’s a matter of quickly memorizing them. Sometimes I use the piano and sometimes guitar, and many times I just end up humming something onto the phone. I prefer to complete all writing in pre-production where I can work with all instruments together as early as possible. Arranging the album was more of a collaborative process, where Robin got the chance to work on the drum arrangements as well as the bass arrangements together with Niklas.
This gave us some room to experiment with additional instruments and work out many details before entering the studio for the final recording.
SOURCE – Who produced the album “The Constant” ? How involved are you in the mixing process?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – The album was produced and engineered by myself at Garaget Studio, which is a recording studio I share with friend and producer Michael Nordström. I had already decided from the start that I’d like Magnus Lindberg of Cult of Luna to mix and master the album, since his sound would add just the right roughness and edge to our songs. Magnus mixed the album for six days at Studio Riddarborgen in Stockholm, using a SSL 4000 console and loads of analogue goodies. Robin and I participated in the mixing sessions early mornings and afternoons, conveying our visions and views, while Magnus mixed the album during the days.
SOURCE – This album contains some hard/rock influences. What’s your connection with this style of music?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – To me, it’s more a matter of what’s being expressed than the actual form it’s expressed through. Whether it’s very calm or very aggressive music, I mostly tend to fall for anything melancholic and often very cinematic. While our music certainly have some heavier and darker elements, I believe it’s the strong contrasts between just that, and the emotional, often epic melodies, that defines our sound.
SOURCE – Apparently this project has evolved after its recording and turned into an ambitioned band ?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – Yeah, it’s been happening a lot since we started this, and it has certainly given us taste for much more.
SOURCE – Who will tour to support the album. What triggered the evolution of the projects status?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – It’s difficult to say what triggered this. When working on an album, I focus entirely on the songs and the recording, and when an album is complete I change role to label manager, with all focus set on promotion and everything that comes with it. Robin has been a driving force when it comes to putting pieces together for live shows, finding us the additional support of Fredrik Norman and Emil Alstermark on guitars, as well as arranging our deal with Dreamtide Music Management & Agency, who now handle our bookings.
SOURCE – Now that everybody has a Facebook page and a MySpace site, have you been taking the opportunity to communicate with the band’s growing fan base?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – We abandoned MySpace many years ago. I think that over the years it turned into nothing more than a public feed for banners and spam, but it was more or less a standard within the music scene, so that’s probably why people stuck around. Whether you like Facebook or not, it’s become a great way to communicate with fans. There have been a few changes over time that I don’t approve of, but if they don’t screw it up too much or until something better comes along, that’s where we’ll be.
SOURCE – What’s the pros and cons with the internet music wise do you think?
Erik Nilsson (Vocals/Guitars) – As an artist, the past years evolution regarding streaming and downloading has made it much easier to reach out to a wider audience, without the need for a major label. As a record label, it’s nowadays possible for a single enthusiast to release albums causing a big impact. I mean, from a cost perspective there’s a huge difference from manufacturing CDs and vinyls, as well as with the simplifications of digital distribution versus physical distribution. And truth be told, the larger audience will definitely be streaming or downloading your music.
As a consumer, it’s amazing how much good music there’s out there, and how easy it is to find something new every day, but it’s all fighting for everyone’s attention. I believe many releases easily becomes overlooked or overshadowed by something more familiar. Before the download-era, when music wasn’t as easy to get ahold of and also had a higher price tag, the average listener probably invested more time into each album than they do today.
I guess physical media might not have the brightest future ahead of it, compared to all the advantages of digital distribution. But with evolution there’s sometimes a countermovement, and right now I think vinyl records are becoming more popular again. I guess more people recognize the charm of the physical product and listening to an album intensively. I know I still do.
SOURCE – Have you experienced any differences in how the foreign press treats you and the band compared to how native press and media treats and writes about you?
So far the response for the album has been fantastic. I can’t say Swedish press has treated us any different than foreign media, but if you ask me from a label perspective, I do find it much easier to get the attention of press outside of Sweden. Sweden probably isn’t a great market for this kind of music. It might be a bit ironic, since we do have many great artists from Sweden referred to as more or less “underground”, that are much more well-known outside the border.
SOURCE – Any famous last words?
Thanks for all the support. Keep your ears open for more releases from Version Studio Records.