Saturday, May 2, 2015

Band Interview: ABERRATION NEXUS

Interview with Chris Meyer of Aberration Nexus
This interview was conducted live on Facebook by Lady Kat Chaos (Obscure Chaos zine) and guest interviewers February 4-5, 2015. Posted with permission. 

Lady Kat Chaos: Hails Chris! Thanks for taking your time out for this live Facebook interview. Currently, you're in the process of releasing a new single but ran into some delays, what is the hold up?
Chris Meyer: Hails! And thanks for having me. There's always a delay with Aberration Nexus stuff! I'm held up on vocal recording for the time being. It's not easy juggling schedules! I would like to be more prolific and spend more time on my music, but family and work commitments are the priority.

Lady Kat Chaos: No matter if you’re a band or a zine at times we all have some setbacks. It’s not simple to create a one man project. It’s a ton of hard-work with writing, arranging, performing, recording, producing, engineering, promoting, and distributing. Are you in the process of writing another EP or a full-length this year?
Chris: The song is complete and everything else is ready to go. Yeah, it's really tough sometimes, but it's something that I want to do and I work very hard at it! I have most of the songs written and ready for the impending full length. Mostly. But there's a lot more work to be done as you mentioned above! There are plans for a split album soonish, but I can't elaborate on that right now!

Lady Kat Chaos: Indeed, doing it all yourself takes longer but in the end worth it. Your latest EP, “Libro Lacet" which translates to book of lies, at first your original idea for this EP was going to be in chapters, a prologue and epilogue written in Latin, have you ever restricted to your concepts for any of your tracks?
Chris: I am completely restricted to concepts and at times I hate it. But this is what I've chosen to do. Aberration is an apocalypse themed project - so being bound by that has certain pitfalls. The reception of the EP has been incredible. Very humbling. I have had a lot of very positive feedback on it! Makes all the hard work a pleasure! Further, everything is kind of fluid. The creative process taking so long gives me plenty of time for editing and reviewing the material.

Lady Kat Chaos: I found it brilliant having an intro in the beginning, one of my favorite tracks are. "Burn The Book Of Lies" and "Rite Of Eternal Dominion". What inspired you to create and write these two songs?
Chris: Rite was just a little something I wanted to open the EP with, nodding my head to the symphonic elements I was leaving behind on it. Burn the Book of Lies was more of a controlled burn so to speak. A lot of hatred and anger went into that track. Well, into all of them! Having Haniel blister his fingers and everyone's ears with his guitar solo was just perfect!

Brad Kierce: How did the guest spots for the EP come about?
Chris: The guest spots came about as long held conversations and ideas with both Matthew and Haniel. It had the greatest outcome, far greater than I envisioned or expected! I am deeply grateful to them both

Brad Kierce: After such a long time as a musician with inverted prophet and now aberration nexus the ep being the first time something released on cd, how proud are you of achieving the goal?
Chris: Extremely proud! It's something that I can check off my list of things to do before I die!

Lady Kat Chaos: The other day a horde and I was discussing your track, "Hawking" in which is another brutal song. As we were speaking he mentioned that your keyboards will take you on a psychedelic ride. Do you feel that many bands today are losing the atmosphere?
Chris: I'm glad to hear that someone understands what I set out to achieve with the keys! There are many. But I think music (not limited to metal) is kind of lost. Lacking direction and focus. It's one thing to make "brutal" music. But it's another thing entirely to create atmosphere. I hopefully keep both elements infused.

Lady Kat Chaos: The full release was creative and a master piece. How long did it take you to write this EP?
Chris: I think all up it was about three months work on the actual writing, with the drum programming taking up a large chunk of that. One song got scrapped entirely and became iconoclast soliloquy. The recording and production side of it took a lot longer.

Lady Kat Chaos: Where are you getting your CDs pressed?
Chris: Getting the CDs pressed was a Greek odyssey!

Lady Kat Chaos: Interesting that you mentioned "Iconoclast Soliloquy" because I was just in a chat talking with my friend and told them they would enjoy this song especially with the spoken words and how it has both fast and slower elements and heavy riffs. More his range of a song. Some bands get trigger happy from time to time where as some just know when it’s enough. What drum programs have you used?

Chris Meyer I use EZ drummer - the drum kit from hell. But I spend a hell of a lot of time on the writing and production of them. I hate drum machines that sound like, well, um. Drum machines! I want my programming to sound like a real drummer and I write it as a drummer. I also hope to hear somebody actually playing the drums someday, so I keep that in mind too. Would be an exceptional drummer however!

Lady Kat Chaos: The music you cast out into the world is raw and aggressive, powerful and enormously diverse. I found myself repeating tracks the content was so utterly absorbent. There are many layers to discover each time you listen to it. What is your song writing process, and how do you know when a song is done?

Chris: Thanks! You just "know" when a song is done! I write initially on an unplugged electric guitar. If it has the stamp of evil then I proceed with it. Usually it's a process of riff collection and editing/arranging. Other times there is a linear flow. The songs tend to write themselves and I never force them. Once the guitars are written, I move on to the other elements and drums. Vocals always come last.

Lady Kat Chaos: You were asked earlier about having guest on your EP, with today's technology such as Soundcloud it makes it easier to share files to create songs together. What made you decide to have guest instead of doing it all on your own?
Chris: The guitar solo came about because, like the drums. I couldn't do it to save myself! Haniel and I had discussed it for a while and "Burn" had the perfect place for it. The vocals on "Iconoclast" were a similar context but different situation. Matthew and I had discussed the possibility a long time ago. And the opportunity presented itself by way of me having writer's block!

Lady Kat Chaos: We all tend to have writers block every now and again and it can become very frustrating. What do you do to overcome it?
Chris: My usual process with writer's block is to down tools. Take a break and wait for inspiration to strike. Which isn't always far away!

Lady Kat Chaos: How has Robert Frost's poem "Fire and Ice" inspired you?

Chris: Well spotted! That was my wife's doing! The poem is awesome. Either way is fine. So nihilistic and it fits perfectly with the idealization of the music. But, to perish twice! Divine!

Lady Kat Chaos: Your wife has good taste. It’s great to see she helps out and I know she is your manager as well. Does she help with promotions and setting up your band interviews? I also know you have to head out for about 30 minutes and will return.
Chris: She is my rock! I handle everything but I couldn't do any of it without her support!

Lady Kat Chaos: When it comes to creating with different instruments, which one do you like playing most and which one did you find was most difficult to learn? Hence, we do learn something new every day.
Chris: I love music. That is first and foremost. I really enjoy playing the bass, but guitar is my passion. I suppose most of my learning in this context is composition and creating something "other". My intention is to be true to the genre/style but also to remain different somewhat, somewhere, somehow. Learning how to construct (or deconstruct) within a certain composition is the hardest part.

Lady Kat Chaos: How long have you been playing each instrument and who would you like to be endorsed by down the road?
Chris: I've been playing guitar for about 24 years, bass for about 18. Still suck at both! As for endorsement, I've always been partial to Jackson guitars and Yamaha basses. So either of those would be neat! I wouldn't expect to be endorsed by anyone for anything so I'd be pretty happy with anything I got! I use very low tech lo fi gear. I'd love to upgrade some of that stuff for sure!

Lady Kat Chaos: If you were to create your own signature Jackson guitar what would be the most important key element?
Chris: It'd have to be black.

Lady Kat Chaos: What about pickups?
Chris: Very black. Minimalist design and hardware. One pickup and no control knobs.

Lady Kat Chaos: It's interesting that you mention control knobs. A few guitarist have mentioned that before. I'm not a guitarist can you explain the issue about control knobs?
Chris: The setup I have now is really basic. Anything would be a step up! With the control knobs, I think they are unnecessary. I want a guitar to just be on. Like an acoustic. Simple and no fucking around!

Lady Kat Chaos: When someone wants to learn to play the guitar do you think they should learn on acoustic first before and electric one?
Chris: It depends on what you want to learn. And why. My suggestion would be to study classical guitar first. Master playing clean and fluently. Then move on. At least, that's what I wish I'd done! I did it the other way around.

Lady Kat Chaos: What type of strings and gauges do you use?
Chris: I use Dean Markley strings on my guitar with a wound g. Slinky's on the bass.

Bob Williams: who is some of the biggest influences on your music? And what do you plan on incorporating with new material?
Chris: I hate that question about influences! Hahaha! But definitely old school black metal, Florida and European death metal feature heavily in my life. Bands like Obscura, Opeth, Death and Cynic are influences that aren't necessarily reflected in my music. New material is more expansive and more "mature" as a songwriter

Lady Kat Chaos:  I get into a lot of disagreements because I'm an old schooler. Back in the days the underground stood underground and within that circle. Now with the internet many underground bands are coming out. What is your thoughts on this issue?

Chris: I'm kind of the same mind. I think the Internet is great, but it's also responsible for Unleashing a tsunami of shit! Every man and his dog with a computer can produce something and put it out. I am very much underground. Proud to be. And will always remain. No one would've heard my music if it wasn't for the Internet. I am part of the tsunami!

Lady Kat Chaos: We would all have discussions about different bands, still trade demo's which then started to be CDs to spread it between us. Indeed, I've met many great underground bands through the internet. I think it has open the gates, it has its ups and downs. Do you feel it’s helping the underground or destroying it?
Chris: I think there's a homogenization of sorts. I have met some great people/friends and heard many bands through the internet. Wouldn't have been that case (and wasn't) twenty or more years ago. There are a great many amazing bands out there but also a shit ton of dross...

Lady Kat Chaos: What are your thoughts about people putting your music on free downloading sites? I was also talking to another horde about you tube and was told you can even take songs off you tube and convert it into an mp3. I'm lucky I can get onto Facebook.
Chris: At first I was furious. Having put all the time, work and effort into the EP only to find it on a Russian torrent site within eight hours of its release. Then I sort of thought well, people are hearing it, although you can stream it for free on my Bandcamp page. Everything is everyone else's property on the Internet. It's such a big issue and one I'm not going to fight. Video killed the radio. The Internet killed everything! Only diehard fans would buy CDs and merch. Even digital copies. I don't like to think about it too much.

Lady Kat Chaos: Indeed, and if one of the sites gets closed down another 10 just open. I refuse to go onto any of those sites. Never have and never would. Where can one obtain your release?
Chris: The EP is available at http://aberrationnexus.bandcamp.com as is the God And Ashes single. Physical copies of the EP are available at aberrationnexus.bigcartel.com and aberrationnexus.bandcamp.com.

Lady Kat Chaos: In 2011 you released "The Apocalypse Code". Is this still available? Or is still an unmastered Instrumental demo still in the works?
Chris: I pulled most of the demo tracks from YouTube as a preparation for the album. Things have changed somewhat as far as the music goes. If you go to the Reverbnation page, I think you can still find the links to the vids on Youtube. I've listed them as private, so unless you've got the link you can't find them!

Lady Kat Chaos: What about your demo, "God & Ashes (Dead in any Fucking Language)" which will also be a part of your full length from what I've read or has that changed as well?
Chris: That stays pretty much as is, just re-recorded. It will be on the album for sure!

Lady Kat Chaos:  What is Aberration Nexus’ actual full discography?
Chris: The Libro Lacet EP, The God and Ashes single and the upcoming single. That's it for now!

Lady Kat Chaos: I'm not always a fan of bands covering other bands material some just really suck balls doing, others nail it and others make changes to their sound, I found it interesting that you've covered Death's song, "Leprosy", in which turned out kick ass. If you were to ask to do a comp for one of the underground band who would it be?
Chris: I toyed with the idea of doing a couple of cover songs for the upcoming single. That's as far as it got. When it came down to doing it. I decided against it. I'm just too focused on doing my own thing. Having said that, there are a number of songs I'd like to cover.

Lady Kat Chaos: I've heard you were planning on making a video for one of your songs, will it be a lyrical video?
Chris: The video will be a kind of play through sort of deal.

Lady Kat Chaos: I keep getting a lot of chats to ask about Aberration Nexus in a live setting...but if they read that it's fully a one man project they would figure out that would be impossible at the moment. Have ever thought of hiring session players or having other hordes perform in the future for a Black Metal fest down the road? And do you miss playing live?
Chris: Yeah I miss playing live but it's just not on my radar at the moment. It would be fucking awesome to take this music on the road! Maybe one day?

Lady Kat Chaos: Having a family it does make it harder to play out. One of the concepts your name, Aberration Nexus came about was the Apocalypse and the end of our human life. What are your thoughts on nuclear bombs?
Chris: I love them. Something that I've always been fascinated with. Having a family has changed my desire to see it happen. But the utter destruction of everything is still as appealing as ever.

Daniel Maldonado: What do you do outside of music for fun?
Chris: Fun Daniel? What the fuck is that!!!!

Daniel Maldonado: I think it's this one indie hipster band...
Chris: I have my family and my work. I like to brew beer when I can afford it. But, I don't have many interests and am not very interesting!

Lady Kat Chaos: And what are your thoughts on Haarp, do you think it actually causes these natural disasters happening around the world?
Chris: Haarp and conspiracy theories. Most of them are good for a chuckle, but there are many things under the sun. Who knows what the powers that be are up to? The song "the apocalypse code" is about all of that. Except that in the end we did it to ourselves. By ourselves. By ignorance. Not by treachery or design. Also not with a bang but with a whimper.

Lady Kat Chaos: Besides being our worst critic we can also be our worst destruction. Was there ever a moment in your life that you just wanted to give up creating music and what has drawn you back to creating?
Chris: There have been a few times where I've thought to chuck it in. But I can't. Making music is almost as important to me as breathing. I can't stay away from it for long as something new always tends to pop up. Aberration Nexus doesn't leave me alone. Even when I want it to. Maybe I shouldn't have sold my soul!

Willy Kizl (Kerangkenk): Chris, I also created ten songs for my band too, I created lyrics, played Bass, guitar, lead guitar, backing vocal and lead vocal on all songs, and for drum track I used BFD drum kit, I arranged all drum in each song. I make editing, mixing and mastering by myself and two friends, And all songs is on Wave Master finished in 2008, I found drummer and bass player in 2012 (need 4years to find player). I taught all the songs to them directly. In 2013 we have passes for live performances. My question is, if that drummer can give more technique and more brutal skills to the songs, do you will accept his idea to change what you have created on your song and record them in live track recording?
Chris Meyer: Willy, the short answer to your question is that I'd love to have a real, live drummer playing. If that were an option to me, I would do it in a heartbeat! Good on you for your achievements and best of luck for the future!

Lady Kat Chaos: You weave intelligent themes in with your EP, such as: Apocalypse, Blasphemy, Psychology, although some are more concerned about the atmosphere and not lyrics. How important are they both to you?
Chris: Intelligent themes eh?! Well, I just have to say that I try to keep things interesting. Atmosphere always takes precedence to the lyrics. If they enhance said atmosphere then so much the better! If my music doesn't have a certain darkness or edge of sanity quality then it just doesn't make the grade. I don't see the point in writing any old bullshit and I endeavor to make each track as unique and as malicious as possible!

Lady Kat Chaos: Black Metal is a lifestyle that seeks beyond the limited mind and has the goal to break out to express inner self. What limits have you pushed? Have you ever felt lost in a strange world, not fitting in in society, and have you found enlightenment through darkness?
Chris: Black Metal to me, is a state of mind. A place where one can lose oneself in the darkness of the music. It's about the negation of self. The annihilation of all. The repulsion of society and its ills. It's a private practice and meditation. I have never quite felt at home on this planet. I push my limits on everything I put my hand to in my music.

Lady Kat Chaos: Do you want to give some information about your recording sessions in the studio, and preparation for release? What are your thoughts on pro-tools and polished releases?
Chris: My studio setup is very basic. All done on my laptop. I record mostly in the dark with a single candle for focus. Even though I use digital recording equipment, I try to keep everything as simple and organic as possible. Pro tools and other recording cheats are just that...I like to keep my production clean. This is probably due to the amount of time spent listening to technical death metal! I don't feel that my music would be as aggressive with lower quality sound engineering. I like to be able to hear everything and keep everything clearly defined. The guitars, bass and vocals are recorded in a live kind of way. I use a click track but I like to leave some fuck ups and other artifacts in the recording. Very minimal editing happens in the recording/mixing sessions.

Lady Kat Chaos: When recording at your home studio you can work at your own pace compared to when you rent out a studio. Do you think some recording studios won't exist in the future?
Chris: No, there will always be studios. It's a skill and not everyone can be an engineer... as much as they might like to! I keep my sessions tight although they are sporadically timed.

Lady Kat Chaos: Did you go to school for recordings or did you pick it up over the years?
Chris: I did a sound engineering course in 1996. Done a few recordings over the years and some live sound work. That's where I learned most. Nothing like the pressure of a show to make you work! It's like anything, practice. And time. My ears are my tools. I rely on them more than anything I may have learned through study. Sure, you use certain skills but without the experience and a clear idea of what the end result will be like...well...

Lady Kat Chaos: Have you lost any of your hearing over the years or do you wear earplugs?
Chris: I think my hearing has definitely been damaged over the years. Not being in a band at the moment, I don't need to wear earplugs. I don't like wearing them as they take away too much of the experience. Beethoven!

Lady Kat Chaos: When recording do you spend a lot of time and energy in testing different microphones for the guitars?
Chris: None at all! As I said earlier, my setup is very simple. I don't use amps or mics. I use a vox amplug that goes directly into the computer. A little eq and reverb is all it gets. Some other tricks that I employ are my own secrets!

Lady Kat Chaos: The visual conception of the EP layout, who is the artist?

Chris: All the artwork was created by myself. Except the logo by Riaj Gragoth.

Haniel (Markradonn):  Hey Chris Meyer, nice job bro. I was off Facebook for a few days, to take a break...just saw this now. Chris, I remember you once saying you loved technical death metal and technical guitar playing. Has that style had any influence on Aberration Nexus at all, and if so, how?
Chris: Maybe the tech death influences are in some of the riffing and drum patterns? But I think it's mostly subconscious.

Lady Kat Chaos: I know that you have to get going...Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your support.


Aberration Nexus