Interviews: Athemon

We have had the opportunity to interview the  Progressive Metal band Athemon from Brazil. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Athemon: Athemon, the name of the band, came from the surname of a butterfly found in the Amazon rainforest, Dynamine-Athemon. When we think about the transformation process of a butterfly we can easily come across with the difficulties we all have in life when facing the struggling of self-conscious evolution. Somehow this subjective idea made us fall for the concept, naturally leading to the band’s name.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Adriano: I’m not sure if we chose a genre or a genre chooses you.

I came across heavy metal around 10 years old and absolutely fell in love with its intensity. In my case heavier and longer songs formed the ideal place to comfort the difficult emotions we all face. So I believe that naturally, I play this genre ‘cause I can find an easier way out to those hidden emotions. Like closing a symbiotic circle.

On a second thought now, by thinking about this symbiosis, probably is the genre that chooses you.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Adriano: I was about to enter a studio in São Paulo when the pandemic reached us all. So with the lockdown, I was needing an alternative to move further, when I saw Haken’s post on FB saying Tom was starting his Producer business (the Twelve-Tone Studio). I get in touch with him, and luckily we start a conversation that never ended.

Aside from the terrible consequences of a lethal virus and all the sadness around with death and fear it caused, I can state that meeting Tom was the best thing that could happen to me as a professional musician. I’m still learning a lot from him, plus he comes with a great scene of humor setup

4. Each band member favourite band?

Adriano: Dream Theater.

Tom: Weirdly, I’m more of a ‘solo artist’ guy than a band fan. I can always find time for stuff by Pat Metheny, Keith Jarrett, Esperanza Spalding etc. But I guess we’re talking rock and metal here, so two albums I’ve really enjoyed from the last couple of years are H.E.A.T. II by H.E.A.T. and Helloween by Helloween. Wait, there’s a theme here haha!

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Adriano: I’ll use the ‘what’:) The ‘what' for me is the possibility of reaching the mystery of what's within mind and heart. I feel that to play is also to learn who you are, to let time slips and become fully concentrated. It’s like a power plugin that generates a huge amount of electricity which naturally finds its way out. The output is related then with decompression. To be decompressed allows a better observatory state.

6. Where was your last gig?

Adriano: 2019, Teatro Eva Herz at Conjunto Nacional in Paulista avenue, São Paulo. Tom: It was an Alcest gig in London the day before national lockdown restrictions were imposed in the UK!

7. Where would you like to act?

Adriano: From small and cozy venues to big festivals, such as Hellfest, or Wacken, for example.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Adriano: It would be a fantastic experience to be featured with Dream Theater since it’s my favorite, but maybe Opeth’s style could proportionate to the audience a better music balance between different bands.

9. Whom not?

Adriano: Alcione. She has a magnificent voice, but we play very different styles hahaha! Jokes aside, I wouldn’t have any issue at all being featured with any band.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Adriano: I’m not as experienced as Tom, so I’ll probably need some beginner's tip here haha! Jokes aside, I think to feel butterflies in the stomach is absolutely natural, and the thrill can be renewed when embracing the fear it brings and throwing yourself toward those butterflies

Tom: I’ve been out of the scene for a while now, so I’m relying on memory here haha! But I know on the occasion I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed by the occasion - say at a huge festival or something - I found just looking over the heads of the audience to the back of the room/ field helps. It helps me kind of zone out.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Adriano: I have two phases: the first is the pre Images and Words album. The dominating inspiring bands back then were Death and Morbid Angel. I’d like also to mention the magnitude of the impact that Reign In Blood from Slayer caused on my brain during this first phase too.

After Images and Words, some bands from the prog scene brought to me the perception of going to distance, like moving away from standard patterns to build a song. The second phase was more inspired towards the freedom of experimenting, of speech.

12. Something to add?

Adriano: Yes. I’m living an incredible experience of becoming a professional metal musician. I can say I’m fulfilling a dream. But, I’d like to share that the amount of the inevitable hard-work behind every dream, always brings the will to give up. What changed for me was the understanding of letting go away the thoughts on the final results and being more focused on enjoying the journey, like taking good care of detail that comes with the ride. Something like getting to be more contemplative and less timeless. It’s just a thought that crossed my mind while answering these interesting questions, that felt good to share.

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