EMQ’s with AETERNITAS
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Lübeck, Northern Germany based Symphonic Metal band Aeternitas. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Alex Hunzinger for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
I’m Alex, founder, guitarist, singer and producer of AETERNITAS. In 1999 I started the band as a studio project with my future wife Anja, with the main goal to write and produce a metal version of a Requiem based on the original Latin lyrics. After the success of our debut album we decided to find other musicians to build up a band and play the songs live. Currently we are working on our sixth studio album “Haunted Minds” which will be released later this year.
How did you come up with your band name?
The band name is very closely related to our debut album “requiem” and came into our mind after we’ve finished some songs from it using the original Medieval Latin death mess lyrics. Herein the word “aeternitas”, the Latin word for eternity, plays an important role, which was the reason why we chose it as band name. At that time, the name was meant to link the band’s name to our first album.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are located in Lübeck – a Northern German city close to the Baltic Sea. But this is only the city where we have our rehearsal room and my studio. Our band members live all across Northern Germany. One of the biggest Metal festivals – Wacken Open Air – is located just an hour from us. But that does not mean that we have a very big metal scene here. There are of course a variety of different bands in our region, but I wouldn’t say that we are a hotspot of the metal scene.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release was the music video ‘Child Of The Darkness’ which we released in April 2019. This song comes originally from our last album “Tales Of The Grotesque” from 2018. But for the video we used a special version in which I re-recorded my male vocals after our former male singer Oliver left the band end of 2018. Our intention was to release a new video introducing myself as new front singer.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Musically the inspiration came from different sources, classical or movie works and also different bands. Great bands of our genre like Nightwish, Within Temptation or Epica have paved the way of course, but these influences to our music changed over the time, so there is no overall inspiration or any band which we could name as greatest influence.
What first got you into music?
In general, it was the love to music in particular to metal and here especially melodic metal. Personally, Paradise Lost was an important inspiration to start making music in my beginning, although they have no more influence on my current productions.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
In our upcoming album we made a song with our long-time friend Henning Basse (Ex-Firewind, Ex-Metalium) and we are very happy that it worked finally. Such a collaboration is always very inspiring, and I think we will go on with other collaborations in the future without dropping names here.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
This would be Wacken Open Air. Although this festival is close to our hometown as mentioned above, we never had the chance to play there for several reasons. I was in Wacken as a fan and I worked there as audio engineer but never played there as a musician, that’s definitely a missing link.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
To be honest, we didn’t receive any spectacular gifts from our fans so far.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Enjoy our music and every other good music and give the music the value it deserves.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
I wonder what great songs Freddie Mercury would have done if he’d lived longer.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Being creative is the best thing about being a musician, although I guess this is also true for other artists like writers or painters. It is very fulfilling to finish a new song. On the other hand, it can be frustrating to work for hours or days on a song and yet the result is very bad.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The fact that we call it an industry, as if we are producing cars or smartphones, shows the core mismatch to me. Music is a very important value to the society and thus should not be treated like a shareholder industry. But it would take more than one thing to change this, it would mean to change the whole attitude in the society about music.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
In fact, I don’t have a favourite album, at least not in the context you mentioned in your questions, like an album from the childhood or youth which you’d love to hear every time. My preferences change from time to time and I don’t keep hold too much of things from the past.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
In terms of sound quality this is vinyl and CD. Vinyl or CD are for music lovers who what to own physical copies and celebrate listening to music. Downloads and any kind of digital copies are more convenient for the daily use. From the business part it is a different story. I think it’s well known that digital formats are too cheap to recoup the costs of an album production if we aren’t talking about hundreds of million streams.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Without any doubt this was our exclusive support show for the Scorpions on the biggest open-air stage in Europe and it was absolutely amazing. The crowd welcomed us so warmly even though we were almost a surprise act that day. And for us it was more than an honour to open a show for such legends of rock. We’ll never forget this fantastic day. Luckily, we had a camera guy with us that day, otherwise I could not believe that this was real and not only a dream.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Maybe I would work only as an audio engineer, but that is a very theoretical question and hard to tell.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
I think I would rather invite some of my best friends to a dinner party and have a nice evening. Some famous persons won’t necessarily make a nice party and in the daily business there is only few times left for meetings with close friends. So better use time for our friends.
What’s next for the band?
We are close to releasing our sixth studio album “Haunted Minds” later this year. Our new label partner Wormholedeath will inform about the release date soon. With a new album there are also music videos in the pipeline and we will prepare the new songs for a live performance although – in the middle of the Corona pandemic – we don’t know when and how we will be able to perform live again.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Besides our own website we mainly use Facebook and Instagram and rarely Twitter. But we follow the market and have an eye on new technologies to find out what the fans like. For the digital distribution, our label and their distribution partners take care to bring our music to all relevant platforms.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Thank you that you drew my attention to one of the biggest questions of mankind… To me Jaffa Cakes are biscuits, which I don’t like very much by the way. But I have to mention that this discussion is not taking place here in Germany 😉
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