EMQ’s with AUFHEBUNG
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Belgian based, Post-Metal band Aufhebung. Huge thanks to guitarists Seb Weyts & Simon Neskens, 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?
Seb: We’re called Aufhebung and we play post-metal. Basically, it’s a fusion of two bands, Luchtbegrafenis and Aufhebung (yes, we came up with a lot of new options but Simon felt none really beat the name Aufhebung). Two members overlapped already (Simon and Joris) and when Aufhebung was going to prepare recording their debut album, some band members couldn’t go on because of COVID regulations etc. Since Aufhebung’s composer, Simon, clicked perfectly musically and mindset-wise with Luchtbegrafenis’ (me), the decision was made to just fuse both. For a bassist we invited August, who played in Opium Heathen and The Waltz and I knew he’d be into this kind of stuff. We then started to rewrite our material to make it match even that bit better. And we’re super productive as well! The first album is just released and the second is already 70% composed.
Simon: It’s a dope team.
How did you come up with your band name?
Seb: Well, before the merge, Simon was looking for a name that would address his desire for mankind to cease destroying nature. At one time I said, referring to Hegelian philosophy, ‘Ah so you mean an Aufhebung of the opposition between culture and nature?’ and he was immediately convinced. Aufhebung, which both means ‘to lift (to a higher level)’ and ‘to annihilate’, is used for what happens when a synthesis is reached between a thesis and an antithesis: their opposition is annihilated and both now coexist in a new way of being. Luchtbegrafenis, as the other originating band was called, means sky burial (Jhator), a form of excarnation practiced in Asia and America. We originally wanted to come up with a new name for the fused band, but none were really better than those we had and the meaning of Aufhebung more than perfectly suits this new and improved synthesis of both bands, we just stuck to that.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Seb: We’re from different parts of Belgium (and Weiyan, the drummer, is from Kuala Lumpur). It’s a small country with a really vibrant scene. There’s a lot of really cool and innovative music coming from all around. There are bands like Stake, Raketkanon, Amenra, Briqueville… We’ve had a lot of really cool experimental music in Belgium since at least the eighties and there’s been a long standing hardcore scene in West-vlaanderen, but in recent years there’s just so much interaction between the different parts of the country and its soundscape. It’s a good time and place to live if you’re into heavy music, or it was, until this pandemic thing started of course.
Simon: Limbuuurg. Vies dikke shgijvhe!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Seb: We released our first single, ‘Lament’, last month, the 23rd of April and on the 23rd of May, our first album, “Chasms”, was released as well! It’ll be all digital (since we can’t play any shows to sell our merch at the moment – and we don’t have any money) but we’ll do a physical release, vinyl, when funds allow it.
Simon: That’s correct.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Seb: For me, that would be Russian Circles, Fall of Efrafa, Amenra, Raketkanon, Dietrich Buxtehude and Dhafer Youssef, though the latter ones might be more indirect.
Simon: And Yob and Neurosis.
What first got you into music?
Seb: Well, I was kinda lucky. When I was born, I already had a variety of music accessible to me. Not just Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Rage Against the Machine, but also good jazz, classical etcetera. I woke up my family with Beethoven when I was six, with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers when I was eight and with Rammstein when I was ten. And also, there were guitars. When I was maybe seven, my parents decided it was a good idea to have me get guitar classes, and since I was a docile little kid, that’s what I did.
Simon: For me it was some Tony Hawk Pro Skater game.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Seb: That’s a difficult one! I’d say either Colin H. Van Eeckhout (Amenra) or Siegfried Burroughs (Doodseskader, Onmens…) for some real nice vocals. Or Oyaarss for awesome hybrid electronic stuff. Or Russian Circles’ Dave Turncrantz if he’d want to hang out in Europe for a while.
Simon: I could add to this list, but let’s first try these. Or Scott Kelly (Neurosis).
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Seb: ArcTanGent really has awesome line-ups each year. Rock solid line-ups would be the best argument for a festival I’d say. And we could get there without flying, which is a good thing.
Simon: Yeah, well something eco, anti-fascist and not too mainstream. I heard Brutal Assault was cool too.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Seb: Well, that’s not super weird, but a guy kept on buying beers for me after a show when I kept telling him we got the beers for free. I guess it’s just the act of giving. Or he was also really into the venue.
Simon: This is also not really a gift, but one guy told us we sound like Pink Floyd. I love Pink Floyd, we all do, but I don’t think we sound anything like them. I assume it’s a compliment though. A gift of words.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Seb: Take care of our planet and its inhabitants!
Simon: And buy our stuff. It’s ecological.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Seb: Ian Curtis seemed like a guy to have an amazing chat with.
Simon: There are enough people on this planet already. Let them enjoy their death.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Seb: Playing together with the mates when we’re all feeling it and the sound is right is one of the best possible feelings. But maybe the very best is composing a song that to you sounds just as good as your favourite tracks.
Simon: And touring with the gang. That’s what I enjoy, not hate, just to clarify. I sometimes hate the ego’s you come across in this business.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Simon: No ethics: how the industry tolerates being a complete piece of human shit. If you arrive drunk at work and start talking shit to everyone, you’d get fired at most jobs. In this industry that makes you a ‘Rockstar’, or troubled mind…
I mean look at the Tim Lambesis story. He hired a hitman to murder his wife. The hitman luckily was a cop (luckily only in this specific case). Lambesis gets released from prison after merely 3 years and he immediately gets to play huge venues all around the world again.
Or how everyone, without even listening to the guy, knew Lil’ Peep was depressed and a danger to himself. Yet his label & management insisted on him touring, making them more money, instead of putting him in rehab, instead of helping the guy.
Disgusting industry with no ethics whatsoever. But that’s not unique to this industry.
Seb: Good answer.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Seb: “Elil” by Fall of Efrafa.
Simon: “Meddle” by Pink Floyd.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Seb: Well, nothing’s better than a lossless audio file I’d say. And it’s kind of ecological I’d assume. But vinyls are no doubt really nice to handle. I also like using my grandfather’s reel to reel tape deck.
Simon: I don’t own any outdated music playing thingies. But still, I agree.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Seb: I agree with what Simon is going to say!
Simon: With the current formation of the band, we have yet to play real gigs (if you don’t count live sessions). But gigs while on tour are always the best ones. It’s way easier to connect with the audience, with the people (also after the shows). In Belgium everyone has this “stiff upper lip” kinda mentality.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Seb: I sometimes wonder if I’d lose the use of my fingers or hearing, would I have the strength to study law to become some kind of human rights or animal rights or nature rights lawyer? I always liked novels and was moved by ethics, but nothing could replace what music does for me.
Simon: Being miserable and doing drugs ‘till i died or some other stupid shit probably. Music is my life.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Seb: Ozzy Osbourne, Vladimir Nabokov (can they be dead?), Slavoj Zizek, Wim Helsen…
Simon: And Yob’s Mike Scheidt.
Seb: That would be the best thing to ever happen.
What’s next for the band?
Seb: If the world doesn’t normalise soon, it’ll be recording the second album. Otherwise, just gigging, gigging, gigging. And looking for a new drummer when Weiyan’s residence permit expires.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Seb: The two of us are pretty much cavemen, luckily the others are tech savvy. We try to be present on all the relevant places: Facebook and Instagram, Bandcamp and Spotify and whatnot. Of course, we like Bandcamp most as musicians, but I guess you kind of need all of them as long as you’re not headlining big festivals.
Simon: Couldn’t have said it better.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Seb: The final argument for me would be consistency, making it cake.
Simon: I’m more of a ‘how do you eat it’ kind of guy, so I’d say biscuit. Also, if you share them, or count how many you’ve eaten, you’d sound like a maniac if you’d say, ‘one cake’s too little to share’ or ‘I’ve eaten twelve cakes today’.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Seb: Thank you for yours!
Simon: And just follow our profiles, you’ll be rewarded with great soundtracks to whatever you’re doing.
Joris: Is this where the interview is gonna be held?
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