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Posted November 7, 2016 by George Archibald in Interviews
Aether Realm Interview Empire Extreme


By: George Archibald and JJ Ulizio

North Carolina’s own Aether Realm have been playing their own brand of metal since 2010. Now out on tour with Necrogoblikon, and Alestorm on the Super Smashed Turbo Tour, the band is looking to ramp up audiences in anticipation of their newest album to be released soon. These marauders have been playing the same songs for the last 4 to 5 years and are looking to put out new music to the masses with the release of Tarot. I got to catch up with the band when they stopped in Pittsburgh, to hear more about their writing processes and what has influenced them throughout the years.


Vincent “Jake” Jones – ÆTHER REALM

EMPIRE – George: Hi guys do you want to introduce yourselves?
Hi, I am Tyler, the drummer.
Donnie: I am Donny the guitar player.
Heinrich: I’m Heinrich the other guitar player.

EMPIRE – George: How about we start off with you guys telling us a little about the band, and how you started Aether Realm?
Heinrich: Jake and I, used to be in a band back in high school. We were just figuring out what we liked about metal, and trying to replicate the sounds we were hearing from our favorite artists. We did that for a while, and then realized… We were into bands like Wintersun, and Ensiferum, and that whole realm of music that was out there. We wanted to try and capture that sort of vibe. Then, we played our first big show in Raleigh, NC. We opened up for Ensiferum, Rotten Sound, and Finntroll. That was a really good show, and over the past 6 years we’ve tried to hone in on that.



EMPIRE – JJ: Who are some of those bands that influenced your sound, and want to play music prior to Aether Realm?
Heinrich: For me, the first band I actually cared for was Linkin Park. My tastes have obviously branched out since then. I still love their first three albums; but for myself I’d say Yngwie Malmsteen, and John Petrucci, were my influences starting out. I was also inspired from soundtracks of video games I was playing when growing up.

Donny: I was pretty much into Mo-Town music, and George Banks. I liked that a lot, but then I got really into Iron Maiden as a kid because my mom was cool. Then, she threw a couple Anthrax albums my way. So I ended up being into the punk, hardcore vibe. I also remember grabbing The Colony album by In Flames, and The Haunted were some of the earlier bands I got into … even At The Gates.

EMPIRE – George: So you got into the Gothenburg style of metal?
Donny: Yea I was really big into it back in 1998, 2000. I stayed with it for a while.

EMPIRE – George: I have seen Aether Realm has released some new music, and write new material for an album. Do you want to tell me a little about that?
Tyler: We released two singles about 2 or 3 years ago, and those singles will be on our new album. We have been writing for the new album for the past few years. We sort of finished up doing that earlier this year. Then we went into the studio last month, and recorded around 80 minutes of music. So we got the whole album recorded. Right now we are waiting on the mixing and mastering, and all that stuff to be done. Then we will get a rough mix, and pass it back and forth a bit to see if we need to do any other tweaks to it. Then afterward, we hope to release it, we were hoping to have it before this tour, but now it looks like it will be after this tour.

a0184037707_16EMPIRE – George: What got you inspired and into your instruments , what got you to start playing?
Tyle: For me, my older brother, he started playing music when I was in middle school. He started playing drums, and was in a band doing that. Then he switched off to doing vocals in another band. I started learning them [drums], and kept going when he kind of dropped off from the instrument. My first few years of learning to be a musician were due to him being in his band, watching him do his thing. Then from that I grew from there I guess.

Donny: For me, I remember playing video games when I was 12, and I heard my mom downstairs playing Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast album. The riff from Hallowed Be My Name caught my attention, and I thought it was super cool sounding. I wanted to learn how to do that, and I just kind of went from there.

Heinrich: I actually started off by playing drums when I was 9. My parents wanted me to pursue an instrument to give me something else to do then just watch TV. I picked drums originally because it was the one thing I could be the most obnoxious on. I took lessons and enjoyed it. Then when I was in high school, I picked up the guitar because I wanted to explore that.

I know Jake got into metal from his sister, who is older than him. He was really big into Metallica, and in several bands before we started this project. I guess he really enjoyed the energy of the performances we would go to see.



EMPIRE – JJ: You have mentioned video games, and being the nerd that I am. I have to ask what are some of the games you are influenced by, or are playing at the moment?
Heinrich: It’s pretty wide for me, but for me there is no greater nostalgia than hearing the sounds from Final Fantasy VII. That is probably my favorite.

Donny: That is my favorite as well.

EMPIRE – George: One of my favorite songs on the album is, “One Chosen by The Gods”. The themes and vocal style are very death and marauder-esque. Where does the band come up with the themes for the music, lyrically, and even the playing styles?
Heinrich: Jake writes all the lyrics. I can’t really speak entirely for him on this, but I know some of the songs are loosely related to events that happened in his life.

Tyler: I would say thematically; we dive into the fantasy realm. Like Tolkien, or George R.R. Martin; we draw from having that Nordic fantasy vibe I guess.

Donny: We are given an idea or a structure, Jake would say I want this lyric to sound like this or that, and Heinrich will come up with a creative way to make it happen. Then, I will fill in as best I can with other parts.

EMPIRE – George: I also saw that you worked with producer Jamie King (Between The Buried and Me, The Contortionist, Wretched), did you work with him again for this new album?

Donny: Not on this new one. We worked with Kyle Odell, He is out of Greensboro, NC. He also plays for a band called Failure Anthem. I wasn’t in the band when the band recorded with Jamie, but I had experience working with Jamie from other bands I was in.

Tyler: Jamie is a really well known producer. The first album we did with him, we were really happy with it. Then, when we were recording our next song, I think he was booked up or something. So we got in contact with Kyle. We really liked what Kyle did, and wanted to continue working with him to do the whole album.

EMPIRE – George: Do you have a name for the new album yet?

Heinrich: Yes, it is called Tarot. Tying back into lyrically themes; I don’t know much about tarot myself, but I do know that each card is supposed to represent certain characters and personality traits. We have a track list floating around on our Facebook, but the lyrics are loosely based around these themes.

EMPIRE – George: What’s next for Aether Realm after this tour?

Tyler: Releasing the album, which will probably happen once we get back from tour. Then, maybe take a break for a month. Then, early next year set off on a tour to support the album.

Donny: We actually have some newer material for an EP, that we are thinking about releasing as well.

Heinrich: Before this tour, we have been playing the same songs off of our first EP, and first full length for the past four to five years now. So we have some new stuff for this tour.

EMPIRE – George: Anything else you want to add?

Tyler: Jake has been ending interviews lately with, look for the next thing from Aether Realm to be Redneck Vikings from Hell. That’s the EP working title, it’s going to be more on the lighter side. A fun stripped down version with catchy songs as opposed to our more serious full length. It’s more of a break from the crazy song structures and a chance for us to have fun with writing songs. So look for that, and Keep Your Horns Tiny!!!

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George Archibald
George Archibald


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