interview with Nox Aeterna

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes, I have played in another band between 2009-2012. But Nox Aeterna has always been my main band.

How is it that you started playing music? Hearing Metallica’s ‘Motorbreath’ made me decide to play guitar.

What are your names? / Who plays what?

Arnold Boukes | Guitar & lead vocals

Debbie Maasdam | Guitar & backing vocals

Erik de Beijer | Bass guitar & backing vocals

James Koppelaar | Drums

Gerard Baai | Keys

Have you had other previous members? Yes, we have had several other bassplayers, drummers and keyboardplayers. The current line-up has been together since 2014.

Where are you from? We are from the Rotterdam area in The Netherlands.

What year did the band form? Nox Aeterna was formed back in 2002. First as a symphonic metalband, later our sound developed to melodic death metal.

What inspires you?

For me, personally, it were upcoming Finnish bands such as Children Of Bodom, Finntroll and Norther that worked as inspirations when Nox Aeterna was formed.

However, I have been a fan of the Bay Area thrashmetal scene from the early-mid '90's. So that kind of music has been incorperated in my own guitar playing style.

Today I'm more inspired by bands such as Amon Amarth and especially Kataklysm. I also like some fast blackmetal stuff from time to time, depends on my mood haha!

How often and where do you rehearse? We rehearse 2-4 times a month, depending on upcoming shows or writing songs for a new album.

How have you developed since you started with the music? Yes, our early sound has become more heavy since we started out. This has a lot to do with the bandmembers in the line-up.

Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? We have an open mind towards booking agencies. However, we haven’t found the right agency for us yet.

Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We also have an open mind towards labels. We have had a couple of offers, but that dind’t fit our own thoughts. If the right offer comes along we will give it a serious thought. For now we do everything ourselves. This is a lot of work, but gives us full control.

What are your songs about? Our last two albums, ‘Aurora Borealis’ (2018) and ‘The Desperation Deal’ (2015), are concept albums. This means we wrote a full story for them, which we used for lyrics. If you want to check them out go to:www.noxaeterna.nl/Releases.html

Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? I write most of the music. The lyrics are being written by myself, Debbie and Erik. Depends on the song and who has the most time.

Do you start with the music or the lyrics? We usually start with the overal storyline, so we know the flow of the album. This storyline can be a group effort or an individual effort. When we have set a flow, I start putting songs in the right order. Sometimes I allready have a song that fits, sometimes I need to write a new song fort hat specific chapter in the storyline. When that is set we start writing the actual lyrics for the songs.

Do you compose in a certain inviroment? Most songwriting is done in my homestudio.

What language do you sing in? All lyrics are in English. We have been thinking of adding some Dutch lyrics, but the right situation has not occured yet. I don’t know if we will ever do, haha!

What ages are most of your concert attendants? Most attendants are between 25-35. But we have had many people who are older and younger than that.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? No, we tend to mix things up a bit. I also depends on how much time a venue gives us to play. If we have a short set, we tend to play the more aggresive, uptempo, songs. With a longer set we can vary a bit more with the dynamics that each songs brings.

When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? 

We started back in 2004. This was our first demo, but this one is not available anymore. Currently we have CD's, t-shirts and patches. We sell them at shows, but also at our webshop: www.noxaeterna.nl/Shop.html

All orders are handled personally by one of us.

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days?

I think a physical copy will allways make you more attached to the album. The experience of have a physical product in your hands, exploring the booklet and artwork, really taking the time to listen to the music.

Compared to physical promotion, digital promotion is so much easier and cheaper. All it takes is a cloud based platform where a band can upload their music, a mailinglist, and they're good to go.

I think they both have (dis)advantages and are a good way to promote yourself. For bands it's all about finding a balance for yourself.

How do you think the music industry have changed because of this? Personally, I think the whole music industy has been digging it's own grave since Napster. It used to be about full albums, nowadays this leans more to singles. Everything is just one big shufflemode. Music is getting degraded to background noise more and more. With metal maybe not so fast as more commercial popmusic, but it is a trend.

What do you think of my work? I think it’s very cool, so keep up the good work!

Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Uhm, I would say ‘older bands’. However the bands I get inspiration from are still very active today, but have been around for many years. I think the bands you grew up with will always have a deeper impact on your own playing. I also don’t really follow much new bands anymore. Lack of time I guess…

What have been your biggest obstacles?

In general I'm pretty content with everything we have done so far. Like I said before, we are a do-it-yourself band and we try to hold quality as high as possible.
Some things I think we could have done differently back in the day, but that is water under the bridge.
The thing I most regret are the various line-up changes. The past sixteen years we had various line-up changes, even to a point when it was just Debbie (guitarplayer) and myself.
Rebuilding a full band takes time. You have to find musicians who are technically able to play the songs, and with whom you have a connection on a personal level.
We have lost a lot of time with all of the past changes, very unfortunate.
I really like our current line-up. We have had this line-up for about four years now, and I think it's the strongest we had so far. Hopefully we can continue with this line-up for many years to come.
One thing I have learned is to cherrish it while it lasts, you never know what will happen, haha!

What advice would you give other bands or artists? Keep doing what you like and enjoy what you do!

What are your web sites?

Website: www.noxaeterna.nl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialnoxaeterna

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/noxaeternaband/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5rP1Vbli4ypI3Txp0f00DB

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/officialnoxaeterna

How can people reach? People can reach us at all of our channels, emails or PM's. We try to get back to you guys as soon as possible!

What are your plans for the future? Releasing new music and playing more live shows.

Do you have something to add?

Thank you for the opportunity! Be sure to check out our latest album Aurora Borealis.

Stream it on Spotify, watch it on YouTube, order it at www.noxaeterna.nl and let us know what you think!

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