Eryn Non Dae | Interview with Mika

[Eryn Non Dae]

Previously known solely as End, Eryn Non Dae is a young collective from Toulose – France that self released an EP called ‘The Never Ending Whirl of Confusion’ in 2007, which garnered lots of media recognition in Europe and the US, and caught the attention of Metal Blade’s head combo Brian Slagel. Two years later, with a different moniker and with the support of one the strongest metal labels in activity, the band unleashed their debut length work entitled ‘Hydra Lernaïa’. More dense and eerie than their previous EP, each track from their newest work delves into distinct human feelings that are on the genesis of our everyday life struggles. Scratch the Surfaced quizzed bass player Mika about this intriguing lyrical concept and other pertinent matters. Read on…

Named after an ancient serpent-like beast from Greek mythology that possessed 9 heads, the debut full-length album from French collective Eryn Non Dae, “Hydra Lernaia” lyrically explores nine feelings like hate, distrust and devotion that basically sets us humans apart from other races and are the genesis of our everyday life conflicts.
What motivated or inspired the band to develop this lyrical concept based on nine human’s feelings and their convergence towards negativity and self destruction?

“Our singer Mathieu wrote these lyrics according to his own personal feelings but while coming to the end of the writing process he was searching for a strong image to embody this lyrical concept and he came with the idea of the ‘Hydra Lernaïa’, this nine-head mythological beast was the perfect image for these nine human destructive feelings.”

It’s an interesting and intriguing theme that totally fits the ambiguous and extreme nature of their sonic creations, which ranges from a pummeling and byzantine aggression reminiscent of Meshuggah to a dense and dark atmosphere similar to Neurosis. Did this album come together pretty easily and are you completely satisfied with the end results?

“Easily isn’t the word I would use, our composition process is quite slow and due the fact that most of us had a regular jobs and families and during the past years we often had to interrupt the composition process to rehearse live sets for the gigs. But when we decided to stop gigs to finish up the songs for the album, I remember that things came together pretty naturally during rehearsal, I mean everybody was full of ideas for the songs. Considering just the music I think we’re totally satisfied with ‘Hydra Lernaïa’, I mean at the time this was best music we could produce, but since we carry on our expression path we’re focused on writing a better next record and not very much to judge ‘Hydra Lernaïa’, but yes we’re proud of these nine songs, concerning production and sound one more time the band and Mobo (the sound engineer) did the things that way at this precise moment, but we will do a few things differently with the next record, I think we have a huge work to do on the drum sound for instance…"

Your principal influences seem to derive from the likes of Meshuggah, Neurosis, Gojira, etc… What other artists and sources of influence have had a profound effect on your music that might not be as evident?

“These great bands surely have their influence on our music but there is also more and more of everyday’s feelings when it comes to write songs, I mean we work more with trying to express a mood or an atmosphere than trying to play a precise type of riffs or things like that…But just to speak about musical influences we could mention Metallica for their song writing quality, Breach, Converge and Tom Waits are musicians that speak directly to our heart I think.”

“Hydra Lernaia” is Eryn Non Dae’s debut full-length work and follows their acclaimed EP called “Never Ending Whirl of Confusion” released in 2005, which caught the attention of a Metal Blade Records’ employer and eventually led to a record deal with the home of well known artists like Amon Amarth, Cannibal Corpse, Mercyful Fate and so on. I understand that your deal with Metal Blade has the approval of head combo Brian Slagel, is that something that gave you extra confidence?

“It’s a hard question. I mean, of course it’s a kind of honor to think that someone like Brian Slagel put some interest in Eryn Non Dae, but this kind of consideration doesn’t last very long for me, it’s quite personal but pretty soon you began to think wow!! We have to make our best to keep their confidence and that’s something very weird for me; hard to explain, there’s a part of 'wow our music is worthy of interest” and a part of “we are just a minimal number of CD sales before they say goodbye'…”

Do you feel that now with a strong label like Metal Blade Records behind Eryn Non Dae, there are more doors to be opened for you guys?

“Yes and no, since “Hydra Lernaïa” is out we gave a lot of interviews, we have good reviews and some attention it’s evident, but at the same time we will be able to stand out from other bands by keep working very hard as we done during the EP time. Of course we hope it will help, but things seem pretty different now with billions bands and the dying music industry, everything is hard for a new coming band, but until now we’re very happy about Metal Blade’s job for us.”

Eryn Non Dae were previously known as END, but following the signature of the deal with Metal Blade they opted to change their name and adopted some worlds that could play some significance with their previous moniker, hence the new name Eryn Non Dae. So how did you come up with the name Eryn Non Dae, is there any particular meaning in the name or is just an intriguing set of words?

“Both yes and no! When we‘ve been asked to change the band name we were quite sad, but the reason was easily understandable. We were very attached to END, so we decided to keep the letters trying to find something with that, but quickly we realized that finding something satisfying with such restrictions was pretty hard. We had about five days to find a new one since everything was ready to go to the factory, so we decided to focus on finding nice words to set a kind of mysterious mood more than finding something with a deep sense which we do with everything else!! Ha, ha!
But the funny thing is that just after deciding for Eryn Non Dae, one of our friends who were helping us told us that these words could have a meaning in an elfic language, something like “low sound from the woods” or something like that, pretty black metal isn’t it? As if these words were waiting somewhere around us…”

Was the name change something that the recorded label demanded to avoid confusions with other bands that had the word in their name like for instance The End, or it was a decision from the band?

“No you’re right it’s something asked by Metal Blade US to be more precise, Metal Blade Europe didn’t seemed worried about that kind of thing, but Metal Blade US just said that it was almost impossible to pull out the records with only END in front of it without having some legal problems with other bands, but I understand the differences between the European and the American office, so change our band name was the best thing to do, but quite a hard time as I said above.”

What’s next Eryn Non Dae? Will there be some kind of tour in support of the album?

“We’re actually looking for gigs, we really want to play everywhere we can, the live thing is really important for Eryn Non Dae. A few gigs are coming and I hope for more and more. We have also a few songs ready for the next records!!”

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