An Interview with APRILMIST

Aprilmist

Back in November, a post-black metal act Aprilmist released their second EP ‘Remembrance.’ Originally conceived as an one-man band and project by Jon Houst, it transformed to duo and then to a quartet, with a goal to perform live. 

Houst spoke for Prog Sphere about the new release, recording process, technology, etc.

Define the mission of Aprilmist.

Aprilmist is a reflective and cathartic outlet. I want the listener to feel the experiences and emotions we built our music on.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recently released EP Remembrance and the themes it captures.

As far as composition goes we’ll spend a lot of time stockpiling riffs and ideas by ourselves until we have the skeleton of a song, then we’ll get together and demo things out in my DAW (digital audio workstation). We bounce back and forth between guitars and programming drums which generally sparks the ideas that end up filling out and tying a song together. Remembrance continues a lot of the themes from our first EP, but it’s inspired by more recent events that have transpired since writing “Bleak.” It revolves around ideas of romance, abuse, abandonment, loss, tragedy, nostalgia, grief, depression, suicide, growth, and recovery.

The title of our new EP refers to multiple experiences and ideas, like a lot of the lyrical content in our music. “Remembrance” felt most fitting to describe those ideas and to pay homage to our old guitarist Jacob, who passed during the recording process of the songs on this EP.

What is the message you are trying to give with Remembrance?

Remembrance expresses both sorrow and bitter-sweet joy in reflecting on the past, and tells a story of personal strife in handling traumatic experiences and mental illness, all the while having a deep yearning to grow and recover.

Aprilmist - Remembrance

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Since piecing everything together in a DAW plays such a heavy roll in our writing process, we pretty much have full demos of every new song we write as soon as we feel comfortable saying a song is done. We’ve started tabbing out everything in guitar pro recently as well.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I think we use the crescendo/decrescendo format found in a lot of post rock and post metal, to some extent. But my ADHD can make it hard to fully take a step back and look at the bigger picture so I can organize the structure of a song, so a lot of the time I try to just let things come together naturally and let the music write itself.

Describe the approach to recording the EP.

We really wanted the production for these songs to sound huge, so we started looking at some producers around the Kansas City area and ended up deciding to work with Bret Liber at Red Roof Productions in Lenexa, KS. The entire tracking process was a breeze for the most part, and Bret put a lot of work into mixing and getting the EP sounding the way we wanted it. I’m really pleased with the end product.

How long Remembrance was in the making?

I wrote most of “One Last Time” in the fall of 2016, and Shmoo (Anthony) brought in the skeleton for what would be “Swirling Gaze” shortly after that, and we finished up writing for that one around January or February 2017.

Aprilmist logo

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I think we siphon ideas from every artist who’s ever had any significant impact on us in one way or another. But I’d say my biggest musical influences on Rememberance were Wolves in the Throne Room, Alcest, Opeth, Agalloch, Abigail Williams, Panopticon, and Austere.

What is your view on technology in music?

For Aprilmist I prefer to use actual amps and pedals and playing organically without using click tracks, although I could see us using them in the future. I’ve used amp modeling, tube amps with great high gain channels, and solid state amps with distortion/overdrive pedals in this band. In my experience, our sound just translates better with the latter two. But I still use amp modeling in studio settings, and there’s a million bands that make it sound great with the right gear in live settings. Use whatever sounds good and works best for you.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Possibly, but it’s not something I could put into words right now. It’s definitely not some “bigger than ourselves” type purpose, if there is one.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re kicking off 2018 by introducing our new drummer and guitarist, and we hope to get a van and hit the road a few times, as well as finish recording, if not release our debut full length by the end of the year.

Remembrance is available from Bandcamp. Follow Aprilmist on Facebook.

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