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Interview: AISLING
Title: Dreamlike visions

With its big epic Pagan Celtic Folk Metal would these Italians be allowed to enthusing many listeners, which prefer it gladly hard, quickly, warlike, and melodic, and at it‘s best yet all together in the demanding combine.

Already the one, of the same name 2003 debut album, announced of the reached high musical skills of these nature admirers out of Trieste, followed a year later of the very independent mini album „Tráth Na Gaoth“.

Now, signed by a suitable to the music fitting German label, the playfully quite impulsive troop presumes itself in the very best hands. So the probably a long time overdue re-release of both rare works of Aisling stands finally, which were packed now together on one CD. Rhythm guitarist Cernunnos does, out of current occasion, an exciting speech duel with me.

Cernunnos, how are you doing at the moment?

„All Aisling members are excited in waiting for the upcoming release through Einheit Produktionen. We are ready to receive all critics from media and fans both positive and negative even if in the past we got good critics about this release when we did spread it as self produced demo. 'Aisling' with the mini CD 'Tráth Na Gaoth' as bonus represent our last 5 years, surely the most important time till now of our existence as band.”

How did you find the way to Aisling?

„I haven't chosen to found Aisling just to play music. I took the touch of Gods, an inspiration leaded by an invisible will and so I founded the band, without a capable reason, but with the consciousness that it would be very soon the best way to express my hidden feelings, emotions, and the dark side of my spiritualism. Than the concept based on our roots and land, on the deepest devotion to Nature attracted the other members of the band...the vision continues...“

How is the chemistry between the musicians in the band?

„I would call it 'alchemy' because the feeling that exist in Aisling, as in many other bands, is something uncapable, it is a sort of alchemy, a favourite conjuring of stars that creates a strong unit between the members of Aisling. I could say that is the same oneiric vision that we have of reality that linked us in this strong way. I hope people could listen and feel this unit also on the next albums of our band.“

The motto of Aisling: „Music is mysticism”. Please describe it detailed!

„It isn't so simple to explain it but I'll try: our music borns by the touch between us (it doesn't metter if through body or soul) and Nature. Nature for us is something divine so the music that flows thank to a meeting with something divine can't be something different from a mystic experience. The meaning of Aisling, a Celtic word, is 'dream-like vision, oneiric vision; a vision created in a dream, as the meeting of something divine...you feel to be into a dream when it happens... Therefore we would like you to use the photos you got (winter and autumnal wood) if you accept.”

Where do you come from? Please describe your hometown and the area!

„It could be appearing a few estrange answers but our hometown has a prime role in the essence of Aisling. Aisling have their roots still alive in their native city called Trieste - now north east of Italy – and founded about 500 years b.c. by a Celtic tribe called Carni Càtali. Now, you know that in the pagan religion the foundation act has the greatest importance to link the place to their inhabitants, more than the develop of the history of that same place. So we are linked to pur past, to the history and spiritualism of the ancient people that founded our city. We live in a city that stay on the sea and on borders, before here stayed Celts, than Romans, than we were part of the Augsburgic Empire for 500 years and you can still breath the atmosphere of that times, and from one century we are part of Italy. Our history show us a neverending cycle and twisted form of different people, religions, languages. Aisling music maybe suffer this big and perpetual changings but it is linked to the roots of ancient spiritualism that was born with the foundation act, and this eternal - spiritual untouchable feeling between it and Aisling can't be distorted by material facts. We have still our own celtic legends that are still alive in the memory of people of our days. Aisling love their land, all people should be proud of their native land, and when I say this I don't want to say anything of political. Aisling will never be a political band and we don't want that our words could be manipulated by media. We don't see nothing political if we like the Nature of our city and nearest lands.“

Which was your first own bought album with Rock or Metal?

„I started with "The Number Of The Beast" of Iron Maiden. Than I was excited by the extremest album I bought. I saw the birth of Black Metal and it was love at first moment. I liked Thrash Metal (teutonic/european Thrash in particular) but then Black Metal became my favourite Metal genre. No doubt about it.“

In which philosophy of life do you believe?

„I can answer only for myself and not for all Aisling members. I believe in the ancient religions followed by Celts. I learned naturally, step by step in all these years, before without names, definitions, rites, then with passing time I learned to give a name to some things, actions. Now I know how to call one of the Gods that I beg, but I repeat myself: inner spirituality isn't a thing that you learn by books, speeches, it is something not capable that you know step by step from experiences also mystic. Aisling and me aren't druids or something like that. We laugh when someone makes proclamations like that, selfcrowned definitions of druids or something else. It was the society or Gods that decided if you were someone more from a simple prayer. Aisling are just people that try to express their feelings (sometimes provoked by the contacts with Gods, sometimes not) through a kind of music both Metal and both acoustic to give it a touch of 'ancient'. We don't want to teach something to someone or to spread a religion or things like that.“

Which things do you make besides making of music day by day mainly?

„Making music is a greeting to your soul, body and mind. We feel complete, we understand that we can create something by ourselves, with inner or outside inspiration it doesn't matter, we make music in a natural instinctive way leaded by emotions. Music is a very important thing in the lifetime of a man, and it exist also in our Tir Na n'Og... the hereafter dimension of Celts. So we'll never stop to play it.“

Please describe your development as a musician! Did you already begun to love music as a child?

„Most of us started many years ago to listen to Metal, extreme music. But not only Metal, bacause we like also classic music and other forms as medieval and celtic. Personally I listen Metal from about 18 years and I was ever attracted from the extremest forms of Metal music. Then Black Metal arrived and it is my favourite genre even if I like also other genres of Metal. I like Black Metal because, taken in a not narrow minded definition, it has many different forms some of them are grim other melancholic. I started to play the guitar in a way forged by instinct, without instructions, and I'll continue to this way, trying to increase my skill but I want to stay a empty soul that inspiration has to fill to create music as in a sort of estatic possession.“

From where do Aisling take the magnificent melodies within the composing ideas?

„Thank you very much for 'magnificent melodies'. We Aisling are emotive people so we are ruled by passions sometimes and if music flows by these experiences so our music will become a mirror where youcan see all our emotions. If the music that we write transmit these emotions you'll could listen to melodies full of strenght, melancholy, anger. Fortunately we are very different people inside the band so different ways to feel, to express feeling produce a complex mood that sometimes creates music with an original idea.“

In which mood do you feel the best creativeness?

„The answer this time is very simple. Melancholy. Melancholy is the biggest feeling that live in the soul of all Aisling members. Melancholy contains many other feelings and maybe it gives to a man the best approach with Nature. Melancholy rises inside our heart but it is also created bythe contact with Nature that transmit us this feeling. In my opinion this is the best feeling to enter in contact with a mystical relationship.“

What contains a really good song in your opinion?

„A good song has to contain many rhythms, many moods, extreme parts but also celestial moments created by pure atmosphere and, why not, acoustic parts to blind the time and transport it to an unknown ancient age. If a song can give you the impression of a cyclic motion I think it is a good one. As an endless cycle... But for a Aisling song we need to extreme Metal parts to express hate anger, violence ad we need something melancholic, calm and dreaming.“

Please tell me some musical influences for the compositions of Aisling!

„Weather, seasons, winds, rain, water, stars. If you are able to catch the noise of some parts of Nature and trasform them in sounds, symphonies so then you'll find our influences. Just an exaple: our city is famous because here there's the wind Bora, the coldest wind that start in the far Siberia and comes here like an hurricane... you should listen to the it screams to understand our Black Metal influences, or you should follow us into a narrow and wodded valley with mountains that cover the sun to listen the sound of a waterfall and the smell of trees to understand where comes from the influences of our acoustic parts.“

Why did you choose Einheit Produktionen for the label-contract?

„I'll be honest. Einheit chose Aisling one year ago, no other label. And we are proud of it. They have ever showed a great interest in our band and we like very much their way of working. I think that a good feeling exist between us and it is very pleasant to work with them. We want to show to them that they made a good thing in signing Aisling, we want to increase as band at top and we want to do this during our contract with them.“

Do you like the other bands on these company?

„Yes! We are very pleased to be part of a label that support bands that play a similar genre. I think Ulvhedin are a very good Viking Metal band. I like Black Messiah because mix thrash and epic warrior Metal with black influences in a good way. But the most important thing that Einheit had the courage to do is to give a chance to emerging bands that sound very similar, all oriented to Viking/Pagan Metal sometimes with black influences.“

Please name us your favourite bands!

„We listen to very different kind of music, not only Metal too, so I can say you my favourite bands: first part of career of bands like Tiamat, Samael, Amorphis, Satyricon and Emperor just to do some example. I like true Black Metal so much even if it doens't influence the music of Aisling. I like Enslaved, Perished too, and other Viking and Pagan Metal bands. I like also something symphonic as Summoning, Empyrium, Borknagar, all bands that are able to transmit emotions. Better if provoked by Mother Nature.“

Please tell some lyrical influences for the compositions of Aisling!

„You probably won't ever read in our lyrics something like the 'same' description of woods, of ancient epic battles and warriors that you could read in the lyrics of many other Pagan Metal bands. Our lyrics are produced by visions, by inner experienced that they are tell together a celtic vision of world. So our lyrics are a mix of concrete (celtic spiritualism, celtic wolrd conception) and ethereal (visions made by dreams) elements.“

Please describe the readers the lyrical conception of the upcoming re-release!

„Album "Aisling" is focused on different themes linked in various ways to the relationship between Man and Nature. This world produce suffering, melancholy and wrath in our souls: it is so difficult to love Nature in our society, to mantain a right way in respect of Nature. Technology has changed the way of living of Man so it is very difficult to be coherent with inner principles that consist in loving Nature. We are all incoherent unfortunately even if ouy will won't ever admit this. This difficult of relationships produce malancholy and wrath in our soul and inspire us to express this sensations. But the love for nature inspire us to declare the inspiration that nature gives to some people. Some lyrics are about the vengeance of Gods against misbelieving people, other songs tell about the melancholic message of Autumn. Many lyrics are written during estathic state so they tell about visions, and memories inspired by a cyclic conception of time and life. We don't want to teach something to someone, these lyrics express simply our feeling, thoughts and view of life.“

How much a week do you guys rehearse with Aisling?

„Two times a week with all members of the band but often some of us play to create some acoustic parts or some symphonic parts. We love to create something new but we proceed very slow because we want to find the right equilibrium inside each song so the songwriting process take much time. In some periods when we are inspired by Nature this process goes on very fast, but there is some months that we don't feel a deep inspiration and during this period we prefer to not write new songs.“

What´s your favourite kind of beer?

„Red beer of course.”

When we will get the next album of Aisling? And in which special direction will your music go?

„We will take the time we need. Anyway we would publish the new album during 2006. Metal parts will be more various, will be influenced by many kind of extreme Metal music, but you'll find more and more acoustic parts. So the Metal parts will be more extreme, and the other part of music will have much atmosphere. maybe in the future we will do a complete acoustic album. But next album will continue the 'Aisling style' or the searching for our own style. We will never play a complete Black or Death or Viking Metal album. Our music reflect our emotions and our emotions need violent music, epic sensations, but also an ancient atmosphere that extreme Metal can't possess. The alternative choice in Metal and acoustic parts is the tipical art of Aisling and we don't want to leave this way.“

Did you played live in 2005?

„No we didn't played alive because our drummer was badly injuried at his back and leg. Now the things are going better and maybe we will be back on stage again at the end of the year. We are impatient to return on stage.“

Which one got your best gig ever?

„Our best gig we played near Venice a couple of year ago and it was our last gig till now. It was also the last gig with the old formation, but we played at the top so we are happy to have ended a cycle at the best with our ex members. Anyway, we hope in the future, after a period and some concerts, to demonstrate our values as band on gigs again. We are just in the beginning...“

Do you like it much to play live?

„Yes. It is the best chance to meet fans and other people, to discuss about music with them and to enjoy. We need to play alive to show that we are a real band, that need to increase skills and experience, but we are a real Metal band that is able to play alive. On our cd there are many acoustic parts that during shows are sacrified in spite of Metal parts. It is very difficult re-create an ancient atmosphere on stage, better to show the aggressive part of our music.“

And what´s special at a show of Aisling?

„Unfortunately we haven't played so much and with the best conditions to organize something interesting in the shows. For the future we are planning something new to recreate also on stage an ancient atmosphere. Anyway Aisling on live are heavier than on the album because we prefer to be more aggressive and we sacrifice a little bit of atmosphere in the songs.“

What is your biggest dream as a musician?

„My dream, I don't ever know the dreams of all members of the band, is to continue to play this kind of music under the flag of Aisling. Music is mysticism, music is a form of art which can receive immortality. It doesn't matter who is under the name of Aisling, what is needed is the music made by Aisling and its inner, sometimes spiritual, meaning.“

Which would be your biggest temptation as a musician?

„When you are able to express your inner feelings through music and when you are proud of what you did so if you find other people who really understand your art your way to express yourself or try to do it, so I think this is the most important satisfaction that music can give you. Temptation is the wish that all people that listen music like and understand your music, but this kind of temptation will never win on Aisling, we don't care to do 'false' music to get attention by masses, we prefer to have the respect of how really like our band, it doesn't matter if they are few or not.“

What do you think about the mankind and their more and more executed damage of our holy mother earth?

„Monotheistic religions, the main guilty of this situation, will destroy themselves very soon. A dawn of a new age is coming, the cycle will start again, an age made of pagan cultures will start again so Mother Earth will be saved. And even if this won't happen and it will be destroyed or the human race won't exist, don't worry because Nature will continue to exist it doesn't need humans to exist, it is a neverending entity.“

What do you think about Religion in general?

„Members of Aisling have different answers to your questions, but all of us have a deep respect to Nature. We don't like monotheistic religions at all, some of us follow the ancient pagan religions of ouc celtic ancestors. Anyway, it is too much complicated to explain what do you feel if you believe in a religion and how do you do that. It is a inner thing that must have respect and can't be revealed in some words. You'll never read explicit lyrics agains other religions, we pagan men think in a different way, we don't care what are the other religions, we follow what we believe, this is the most important thing; other religions are too much distant from our way of thinking, of life. And we don't need to declare in a exhibitionist way what we are, often people that do this aren't so religious...“

Do you think, Pagan and Heathen Metal is a trend for most of the fans, like all trends in music, coming and going?

„Yes, it's sad but true, many kids and bands that love this kind of music are attracted also by the spiritual, historical, religious implications. In my opinion it happens in every kind of music. And it isn't always a guilty, somebody plays Pagan Metal because like the music, someone else because are involved in historical aspects of ancient civilizations, bands like Aisling play Pagan Metal because some members believe also in a religious aspect.“

Which are your plans for the future?

„We will try to promote as well as possible our re-released album but we are also writing the news songs for the next album planned for 2006. We are honoured to be interviewed on your magazine, we like it even if it isn't distribuited in our land. Thank you very much Markus for your dedicated support. We must buy you many beers when we'll meet in Germany! Sincerely. And remember... – music is mysticism.“

© Markus Eck, 05.10.2005

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