Band of the Week: Aeonic Impulse

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Although they do not have any studio releases yet, the LA area based progressive metallers Aeonic Impulse are traversing the path paced by the genre leaders. The band is patiently building their own soundscape and with 2014 on a threshold, the quintet is all set for the new challenges.

How did the story of forming Aeonic Impulse go? Would you mind introducing the band?

Let’s see, I had met our lead guitarist Jordan about three years ago at El Camino College, he had walked out of a class I was going into and noticed my guitar that I had on me. We chatted for a bit about music then went our separate ways. After hanging out a bit more we decided to start jamming and soon met up every now and again to just play. He had played guitar about twice as long as I had so naturally I was really impressed by his guitar work, still am today as a matter of fact. He also showed me a ton of bands which really have made an impact on my own musical style. We had met our first bassist Brian through his brother Fernando whom Jordan was friends with and we had met our first drummer Paul when Jordan saw him with a Mastodon shirt in Piano class. We all would hang out and once the 4th of July came around we played a cover show on my roof of the apartment I live in purely because we could. It sounded horrific haha. Soon after we decided to keep jamming together and came up with the name Aeonic Impulse. We played about three more cover shows including two where we covered Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirety in Jordan’s backyard and another more organized 4th of July show on the roof where we played songs by Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Blue Oyster Cult, and a bunch more. Soon after Brian and Paul left because of creative differences and scheduling conflicts. I still talk to them every now and again so no bad blood if that’s what anyone is thinking! Within the week we ended that incarnation of the band our current bass player Pete jumped right in after weeks of wanting to play with us. Pete loves having multiple musical projects and is currently splitting time between us, his black metal band Casket, and his Grindcore band Rottgut. It’s crazy to think that we would have someone from such a heavy background. We had already known Pete for awhile so it was really neat to have a familiar face come in. Right before the first split we also talked with our current drummer Gabe at a local show not knowing that he was to come in only a couple of weeks later! Jordan and I had seen him with his band Ulterius and were really impressed with his drumming skills so having him come in was a blessing, especially since drummers are so hard to come by. Jordan had also known Gabe from high school so it was another familiar face in the band. Finally after a couple of jam sessions we decided that this was a great new lineup but we wanted to add a lead vocalist. Originally it had been Jordan who had been doing the singing but with a lead singer his job could be easier so he doesn’t have to play any complicated parts while trying to sing at the same time. Pete had suggested his friend Gasper whom he had known since his days in the boy scouts. Gasper had his own acoustic singer/songwriter project going on called Howl the Archer. To be honest at first Jordan and myself didn’t know what to make of him but when he came in for an audition we knew he was the perfect choice. He played one of his songs and then I gave him a set of lyrics from our song Hidden Truths, which was to become our first song written, and he started coming up with vocal lines that we hadn’t even thought of. What’s really cool about us is that we sort of came in open minded to many styles but also almost representing our own sort of musical groups. You have Jordan who has a bit of everything musically but really gets a lot of influence from guitarists like Eric Johnson and David Gilmour, Pete who loves his Black Metal and Grunge, Gabe who really enjoys bands like Opeth where the growls sound evil, the singing sounds soulful, and the drums are really brought out, Gasper who is really into Coheed and Cambria and the whole story telling aspect, and myself who learned pretty much everything I knew from listening to Chris Cheney of The Living End and Brian Setzer.

I’m really happy to have each and every one of these guys in the band. Individually they bring something all their own and it’s just so easy to work with them as a whole.

AE

In the band’s biography you say that in AE you base the music around conceptual writing and influences from cinema and literature. Can you describe how does a creating process of a song in Aeonic Impulse look like?

The way we have been going about it so far is that I’ll write up the lyrics on whatever happens to be on my mind at the time and we’ll pick whichever ones we want to work with and add music to it. With the four part Sleep Saga that we have I had originally written part I and IV separately without thinking too much on the matter but Jordan came to me with the idea of adding another part in there which is now part II. Eventually we just decided to add III and make it a four part. Who knows we might even add a couple more. Lyrically I like to write about human emotion and our thought process in a way where if you were to listen or read them, you could relate to them. I don’t like telling people exactly what drove me to write whatever I wrote because then to me it would feel like people couldn’t get into it as much because then it’s about what’s going on in my life as opposed to a basic feeling that we all go through and experience. Take the Sleep Saga for instance. Part I Regretful Insomnia is just that, thoughts and regrets that keep us from sleeping, Part II Staring At Static is about what we choose to do to fill in that time spent awake and how it just sort of goes on, Part III Existing Within the REM is about when we are finally able to sleep and dream, and Part IV Awaken Away is how we reflect on whatever dreams or nightmares we have been having. From listening to the songs you pretty much get the main idea but no exact details as to why. Musically sometimes Jordan, Pete, or I will come up with some guitar and bass riffs then just build off of them and when we are done we’ll show it to Gabe and Gasper and let them go loose. It’s awesome to be able to stand there after playing some new idea and watch those two come up with a whole bunch of things. Each song is an entirely collaborative effort and couldn’t have been made without the input of each member. As a result we are able to create something that we are all completely satisfied with. It’s great! As far as cinema and literature go, we like to add sound clips from different movies in our live shows. So far we have done Fight Club, No Country for Old Men, Jacob’s Ladder, and The Shining. I have a few ideas lyrically for some songs based off of certain movies and books and have even started writing something huge that I hope to finish one day, but that definitely won’t be for quite some time!

The list of artists that influence your work is quite long, so here is a tricky one. How would you describe the music you make to someone who has no idea about Aeonic Impulse?

Oh man that’s a hard one haha. We have a long list of influences because we all love so many different styles of music! It really depends who we are describing it to. We sometimes went about it by saying we are a mix of Band X with Band Y to try and catch someone’s attention if we know that they like those bands. Of course we would have to be influenced by those bands as well otherwise we would be lying but it has made things a bit easier earlier on. Sometimes we would say “oh we’re going for a heavier Pink Floyd” or “We have some sections that sound like Porcupine Tree and Tool.” It also really depends on if we are talking about a particular song as well. For example Staring at Static was really influenced by bands like Nine Inch Nails and The Dillinger Escape Plan while Awaken Away was like a cross between Redemption, Scale the Summit, and Pink Floyd. We also hear a bunch of different things from people who have listened to us so that has made it even harder to really come up with a set idea. I guess I would say to someone who is new to us that we are trying to go for a sound that crosses back and forth from rock to metal with a bit of everything else thrown in.

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Though there is no any official studio release by Aeonic Impulse, you have your own songs and there is a live recording on your Bandcamp comprised of six tunes. How come that you didn’t put out these songs in a proper release yet? Are you working on it?

We’re still a new band; this current lineup has only been around for about a year now so we’re still gathering up a fan base through live shows. People have asked us why we haven’t come out with an EP or something yet and our answer is that the songs just aren’t completely ready to be released in a studio setting. There’s so much more we want to add to each song that it wouldn’t do them justice to release them as is right now. That and we still want to write a couple more before making an official release. We want everything to be released in the form of whole albums instead of having many EPs because it just makes things easier for people to get to. Sometimes it can be a pain to go through a band’s discography after getting all the studio albums to have to go back and get all of the EPs as well. Don’t get me wrong, for many bands EPs are great but they’re just not for us. As to when we will start recording, I’m hoping for sometime in 2014 when we are done with two or three more songs and have everything tightened up to the point where we know exactly what we want out of each song, including possible added vocal lines, sound clips, and whatever else we feel will be needed. Why rush something when you can take a little more time and really bring out its full potential.

You will be opening for Fates Warning in Whiskey A Go Go, West Hollywood on December 10th. Are you excited? Are you preparing something special for this occasion?

Very excited! To be able to open up for such pioneers in the Progressive Metal world is a very huge honor for all of us. Usually for each live show we will have some fog machines and lasers to add a visual experience to the music. It’s always great to be playing in front of a new crowd and seeing how they react to the sudden burst of fog and lasers flying around. We will definitely be bringing those out and maybe one or two other little surprises if we have time to set it up. As far as our set goes, we’re toying with a few things. We had opened up for Last Chance To Reason (really awesome group of guys) earlier this year at the Whiskey and we had played the first two parts of the Sleep Saga and Hidden Truths to finish it off since we only had 30 min to play. We’re thinking about doing the entire 4 part saga or maybe a mix of one part of the saga, Hidden Truths, and our new song Walls though it depends on how ready it is.

FWT

Besides, you submitted an application to play Progressive Nation at Sea. What are you expectations on that?

I have absolutely no idea what to expect. We have no clue who else applied to go or what they sound like so for all we know there could be only ten bands or there could be a thousand fighting for a spot. I remember the day Jordan and I had seen the announcement for the cruise and the lineup and we felt completely helpless haha. It’s across the country and tickets are like $900 so for a couple of college students it’s just impossible to do. Then the announcement for 3 lucky bands to perform on it came around and we had already decided that we are signing up. It doesn’t matter how much it would cost to get to the port, we would find a way to manage! Every band on this is incredible and to be able to perform with them, on a cruise to the Bahamas just seems like a dream come true and then some!

How do you see progressive rock/metal in 2013? What are some of your favorite albums released this year?

I think the Prog scene has really had a strong year with 2013. There have been so many releases from bands new and old that have all just been phenomenal. My personal favorite album to come out this year is The Ocean’s “Pelagial”. From start to finish I really feel the underwater journey that they present and the emotion that was put into it. Other releases that I really enjoyed were Steven Wilson’s “The Raven That Refused To Sing,” Dead Letter Circus’ “The Catalyst Fire,” Protest The Hero’s “Volition,” Shining’s “One One One,” Riverside’s “Shrine of New Generation Slaves,” Fates Warning’s “Darkness In A Different Light,” Coheed and Cambria’s “Afterman: Descension,” Last Chance To Reason’s “Level 3,” The Dear Hunter’s “Migrant,” Scale The Summit’s “The Migration,” Dream Theater’s Self Titled, and so much more! I think as the years go by, progressive rock and metal are only going to be getting stronger because of all the new things bands are going to try and experiment with to really push the bar.

Where do you see Aeonic Impulse in the future? What are your goals?

I see us progressing and trying new things while ultimately keeping a sound that lets people know who we are. There are so many ideas that everyone wants to try that I can’t see us staying in one spot musically for too long. Band-wise our goal for right now is to release our first album and start the touring process. I really want to hear what people think of the music both good and bad, and being able to play with more amazing bands. It would also be a treat to have a few evening with shows where we cover a whole album then play our own material afterwards kind of like Dream Theater did awhile back. Ultimately we want to write the music that we love and take others along for the ride.

Questions answered by the rhythm guitarist and lyricist Ryan Rappaport

Aeonic Impulse on the web:

http://aeonicimpulse.bandcamp.com/

https://twitter.com/AeonicImpulse

https://www.facebook.com/AeonicImpulse

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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