The name of the band Eryn Non Dae. (End.), is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Mickael André (bass): The true story is that the band was called END. Before we had to change name due to problems to come with keeping such a common band name in music! We were really attached to this name and that’s why we tried to keep the letters END, while searching for a new name we were looking for something pleasant to hear, write and say instead of finding existing words with deep meaning but after choosing these three words only by the way they sounds we finally learned that they possibly could have a meaning in an old elfic language…and this meaning is exactly what Eryn Non Dae is about, that’s the weird story ! As if these words were wandering around waiting for us to catch them…
Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the writing of Hydra Lernaia?
The concept thing wasn’t something Mathieu (the singer) did on purpose but more something which apeared to him during the writing process. The Hydra is the symbol he choose to put an image to the nine human feelings he describes in his lyrics, and sometimes these feelings seems to grow back stronger despite our will to destroy them, so in that way we can say that Hydra Lernaïa has a kind of concept, the number nine is very present in many ways in this record, but you have to figure out where and why…
About the way Mathieu writes, that’s how he’s ! I mean I know him as a very very emotive sensitive complicated being and his way to write always reminds me how he thinks, as you say infused with details and emotion!
You just released Hydra Lernaia, how has the reactions been thus far? What can fans expect when they pick up a copy?
It’s the very begining concerning reactions and reviews but from the few we saw it’s really good I think, people seems to understand where we wanted to lead them, I mean reviews and opinions are about emotions and moods and not about sounds, influences or technicality or anything else because when someone get Hydra Lernaïa we want them to experience something, It’s about giving yourself an hour to live a whole thing i guess, we’re aware that it could be seen as kind of requiring thing but that’s the way we made it…For me an album must sometimes be more than just a bunch of songs…
When it came to releasing Hydra Lernaia how did that whole package come together? What was the recording process like, how long did you have, was their any pressure on you?
After the release of the self produced EP « The Never Ending Whirl Of Confusion » the composition process was still marching on. So a big half of Hydra Lernaïa has been written slowly between two gigs whereas the other half was progressively giving shape to a general mood to the album. Songs weren’t finished in a hurry so we had time to make some kind of demos for each of these nine songs making us pretty confident before going to the studio, the only pressure we felt was something like Hope it’s gonna sounds like we hear in our heads… but as a pressure something very healthy and quiet.We had a month for recording and since the sound engineer was a friend we took the time to try several mixes and masters before choosing the final one.
Who did the artwork and title for the album, when you look on the final project, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
Romain Barbot (iamsailor.com) did the whole artwork including pictures, he’s a very talented guy in my opinion, we were looking for something more natural with artwork and design and that’s why everything in the package starts from a picture he shot himself and he came pretty close to what we have in mind…taking a look at the final project is always a hard time for me because there’s always something we could have improved but that’s also what’s keeping us mooving I guess…I really wish to go further with both artwork and sounds with the next one to free ourselves from a few codes we’re still observing I think…
Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Oh it’s a huge thing when you first play a song on stage and there’s always songs that goes their best on stage whereas others simply doesn’t work…But playing this kind of music is always on purpose to experience it stronger and stronger on stage, I think we all in the band are living something very strong on stage, as you say it’s about intensity, we played half of these songs live before recording it and to be honest we were really really impatient to make them available through a record because it’s always easier to step into our music when you know the songs and that’s what was missing with playing live until now and luckily these songs are now ready coming to life on stage!
Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
With the EP it was more yann or Franck (guitar players) coming with some riffs and ideas with a drum machine before trying it on rehearsal but it’s really evolving since Hydra Lernaïa composition process, we’re still bringing riffs and drumploops but we’re now writing a lot together during rehearsal, some people needs to be alone to write and some of us needs the whole band playing so we try to mix these things together and I think it helps to keep some spontaneous things and some more reflected aspects in our music. Even Mathieu writes some lyrics during rehearsal now which is pretty unusual from what i know concerning metal bands.
What are the upcoming plans for Eryn Non Dae.
We’re looking for a booking agency to help us touring since it’s our main goal actually ! Still writing songs and a few ones are ready for the next record, we also have a video coming for the song The Decline And The Fall and we’re very exited about it, the guy working on it just made our nightmares come true making this video, it’s just amazing!
How has MYSPACE and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?
Of course Franck works a lot with MYSPACE to spread the name and we have to say that we very often wondering how did they do before the Internet thing? so we just can say that Internet makes everything happens faster now and that’s how someone from Metalblade finaly heard about us!
Downloading is a huge chat we could have I think, hard to sum up in a few lines…For me dowloading is a part of a whole way to consider music now, without talking about loosing money or not I feel sadder about people listening 1025 bands at the same time without reading a single word from the lyrics or without even knowing how the cover looks like ! I feel more concerned with that pathetic way to hear but not to listen to music anymore, I feel naïve hoping that there will always be some people to buy CD’s or LP instead of dowloading it but who knows…from my poor condition and according to the fact that I’m 27 I just can imagine that label were more able to financialy help their artists when they were selling more records but now it seems like it’s harder to put the money they don’t have to help a band to play or geting them working with a great producer..
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
We learn things from each gigs and each record with END. And other bands we play in but I’ll never forget that basic shit in shit out concerning recording and even more now that everything can be fixed in studio but it’s just an illusion that lasts until you hit the stage, how many bands that plays crazy on the album sounds like shit on stage?..So my greatest lessons is for both studio and stage, there’s no need to hide nor to cheat with music, just be in peace with what you do, correct or not.
What bands would you like to tour with and who has been your favorite to tour with this far? Any particular reason?
Very hard question…I guess for some of us it could be Metallica! But bands we would like to tour with could also don’t fit our style as a coherent touring line up but I’m thinking about a french band called Hacride or a tour with Sunn o))) could be really a weird experience!! or Neurosis?! I don’t know there’s too many to mention…
Sad to say but we didn’t had a real tour yet to talk about it but sharing the stage with bands like Cult Of Luna or Gojira were great experiences because of the quiet and wise feelings these bands release outside the stage which is always very pleasant in the middle of the usual metal folklore.
Describe Eryn Non Dae. in three words.
Intense, Hypnotic, invading.
How do you think the recession is affecting musicians like yourself? Is it at all?
Here in Europe we actually don’t talk about recession yet but more about crisis but there’s no need to watch TV to see prices increasing and stagnating wages, the dificulty for musicians like us is about having a job to survive while finding time to work with the band. People working normaly suffers from this actual crisis but having a half time job to be able to pay rent and bills next to playing in a band is just something we have to do without thinking about it, as far as i’m concerned i never wanted to do that to live easily or i would have done something else. It’s a hard time yes but one amongst others.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
To make it short we have to mention Neurosis, Metallica or Machine Head when it comes to songwriting, Meshuggah of course and a few more bands at various period of our musical life like Breach, Emperor or Tom Waits.
All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Talking about gigs, Julien (our drummer) needs to warm himself up of course some of us needs to break with the crowd and get prepared in a quiet room while others needs to impregnate themselves with the gig atmosphere but after the show I very often feels that there’s nothing left inside of me excepted something like peace and an intense feeling of achievement, something very strong and alleviating maybe it’s common but for me It’s very intense.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for these interesting questions and i wish we could already be touring here but everything comes soon or later!