If you listen to Aenygmist, then you’re probably either living in or around southern Quebec, a black/death completist with internet access and no career prospects, or me.
If you haven’t heard this female five-piece’s gut-ripping 2010 record Creation Born of Trauma, you can hardly be blamed. Creation is the band’s self-released 2010 full-length, their first and only entry (so far) in the blackly blossoming annals of extreme music. The album packages 45 minutes of baroque brutality into crate of sweating dynamite and ties it off with a razor wire bow. It’s un-fucking-lovely and in-fucking-credible. I’ve tried to talk about Creation without resorting to emphatic profanity, and I fucking can’t.
I hit up axe-gal Roxane Labonté (while ignoring the inevitable echoes of Sting’s strident voice cutting through my weak mind) for some background on the band and their harrowing Creation, so you can read her responses while digging on the pair of album tracks below.
How and when did the band come together?
It all started in 2005 when Joannie and [I] met. We started to play some covers and eventually started to write our own songs. Then in 2007, Joannie met Marie at music school (they were paired up together to play a few songs in a concert). The band got more serious and wrote some of the songs that are on Creation Born Of Trauma. Then in 2009, [we] met Vanessa and Jessica. We started to play gigs (actually, we sucked LOL) that year. We kept on writing songs and eventually got enough material to record an album.
What were the band’s first few years like before Creation Born of Trauma started happening.
We played a lot of shows at the begining, and that taught us important stuff. As an exemple, a lot of those shows were filmed and, by watching ourselves, we learned how to move on stage and how to connect with the crowd. Of course, we are still improving with every show we play. We rehearsed every week in Marie’s parents’ basement, that made us closer and allowed us to get more comfortable playing the songs.
What music or other art or aspects of your life inspired Creation?
Maaaaaaaany bands! There are too many to list, but the most notable are Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom, Kittie, Astarte, Immortal and Behemoth. Other aspects would be life and what we felt inspired us to create. Usually it was pretty dark stuff that we were going through. We were also watching the Teletubbies a lot. Haha.
How and when was Creation written? How did you determine which elements you wanted to include (almost exclusively extreme vocals, piano accompaniment, etc.)?
We didn’t really write Creation Born Of Trauma as an album, we just decided to record the songs we had written so far and see what we’d get out of them. It turned out so well that we decided to make it an album, but it could have been a demo. And as for the elements, everything came naturally.
How long did it take to record the album?
It took about two months to finish, because everyone, including our engineer, had school or a job besides recording the album. It wasn’t intensive, it was more like ”Hey, I’ve got three hours free tonight, I could record some stuff!” We recorded all the drum tracks in one day though, because we had to rent gear and we didn’t have a huge budget. Mixing and mastering probably took longer than the actual recordings because since the recording engineer [Maxime Côté of Hands of Despair and Catuvolcus] was a student, we were his training.
How often do you play live shows?
We play as often as we can. Sometimes there is more time between the shows and some other times we play a few shows in one month. It really depends on the people who schedule shows. Every show is different, and we get something interesting out of every event.
Any new recordings in the works?
We are currently writing new songs, we hope to hit the studio as soon as they are done. Currently, we have 2 new songs done and we are working on a third one, so hopefully all the songs are going to be ready by the end of the year.
What other interesting things are Aenygmist members doing these days?
We love to bake children, we also enjoy kidnapping men and force them to wear pink. We make our own lipbalm with virgin’s blood and we adopt goats. Also, our favorite TV show is Sex In The City. We make our popcorn on burning churches. Actually, Joannie works in restauration, Roxane is a graphic designer, Marie is a computer technician, Jessica has a lot of bands but she also works part time at a video club and Vanessa drives trucks for a huge percussion school. She also has other bands.
**Check out the band at their Facebook page for more info and updates.**