10th Feb 2020
MM - What was the highlight of 2019 for you as a band, and what was the funniest?
A:We released a new album called The Embers of Eternity! We’re super proud of this album, and we’re very excited to finally have released it after a lot of hard work and some bumps in the road along the way. The funniest was probably filming the two music videos we did summer of 2019, that was a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work. We had no budget, so we did everything ourselves.
MM - For any Aspherium virgins out there, please introduce the band members to us
A:There’s me (Marius Skarsem Pedersen) on guitars and vocals, Bjørn Tore Erlandsen on drums, Torgeir Lyby Vegge on bass and Morten Rangen Nielsen on guitars.
MM - When was the band formed and how did you all discover each other's mutual taste in making music?
A:Torgeir and I started the band in 2007. We went to school together, and he wasn’t really into metal, but when some other friends and I needed a bass player for a school project, we made Torgeir play bass, and went on to introduce him to a lot of metal music. When I first met Bjørn Tore, I quickly realized that we had a lot in common when it came to music. Torgeir and I played some cover songs with Bjørn Tore on drums before we started the band. We played Pantera and Soilwork. He was the first guy we thought of when we started Aspherium and needed a drummer. When Morten joined the band in 2009, I remember him listening to a lot of Nevermore, which is awesome.
MM - How would you describe your music and what do you hope people will take away from your music and your performances?
A:With this latest album I’m starting to get a melodic death metal feeling. But people usually refer to us as progressive death metal. We blend different styles of metal together and have quite a bit of melodic and mellow parts in our music. I love when our music makes people feel something. When it’s not just background music, but it means something to them. When it comes to the live performance, I want to get people’s attention and have them really get into it. You see some people really get lost in the music, and then we have the people that really know our music and sing along and rage.
MM - What bands did you grow up listening to and how did they help in creating the style of music you perform today?
A:Metallica was the first metal band I got into, and it really influenced my guitar playing and my song writing. Fear Factory was a huge influence on doing both brutal and clean vocals, and when it comes to super tight guitar and kick drums together. Opeth made me realize you could take the epic song writing of Metallica even further, and Nile taught me how to make things epic.
MM -Name an album you've heard recently and liked.
A:Mirror Reaper by Bell Witch. This album is one 83-minute-long song. It’s really haunting and dark, beautiful and dripping with atmosphere. This one you need to really have time and listen to.
MM - What one unique quality do your band have to offer that no other band possess?
A:I think it’s our song writing. We write songs that take the listener on a journey through a vast array of different landscapes.
MM - Who writes the songs that you perform? Is it a solo or joint effort?
A:It’s a collaboration. I do the majority, but Morten comes up with lots of riffs and Bjørn Tore comes up with ideas, riffs, melodies and pushes me to come up with different stuff. We also come up with a lot of cool music when we are jamming together. On the new album there’s a bunch of stuff that came out of jam sessions.
MM - Which Aspherium song is your personal favourite and why? Which one sends the crowds crazy at your gigs?
A:My favorite right now is Beneath the Shattered Sky. The penultimate track on the new album. It’s just really big and epic. It goes through these great sections and keeps building and building. It also includes my favorite guitar solo on the album, which I came up with just jamming a long to the song when recording the guitars.
Live I think it would be Reality Unfolds, the last song one our second album. It’s our longest song, goes through a lot of different sections and is really epic. And it has a sing a long part.
MM - How can people keep up to date with what the band are up to and do
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are probably the main sources. But you can find us on pretty much any social media available. Also follow us on Spotify and Youtube. And aspherium.com
MM - If you had to choose only one of the following options, which one would you choose?
(a) a short lived career that will earn you fame and fortune
(b) the opportunity to make music for the next 50 years but without any real recognition.
A:If I choose A, can I still make music after the short-lived career? If not, I guess I would have to go with B.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person, for better or for worse?
A:It would have to be Tony Iommi, right? He basically invented metal. And even if kids nowadays maybe aren’t aware of that, the bands that they listen to were influenced by Iommi. Everything goes back to Black Sabbath.
MM - How has the music media responded to the band so far and what's their biggest misconception about you?
A:We’re only gotten really good reviews, which is really nice. I don’t know that there are any real misconceptions. One site thought we were Swedish, so there’s that, I guess.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
A:Trying to grow the awareness of the band. The people that have heard us seem to really love it, but we need to get the music out to more people. So that’s what we must work on.
MM - How do you feel about the internet and the effect it is having on bands and independent music?
A:It makes a lot of things very easy to do and creates a lot of opportunities. But it’s also harder to break through the wall of other bands that are out there. The fact that anyone can release their music is really cool. But it’s not easy to make money that way. So, you need a day job, which leaves less time to work on the band…
MM - If one of your songs could appear on a soundtrack or any film or cult TV series, which one would you choose and why?
A:Echoes of a Lost World should be on the soundtrack to something post-apocalyptic. Where the world is destroyed, and you have pockets of humanity trying to survive in a really harsh environment. The protagonist would have these vivid dreams of the lost world that used to be, and our song would play in their head. Damn, maybe we shouldn’t have destroyed the planet….
1.Festival or Small intimate gig
A:Festival! Small, intimate gigs are what we usually do. We’ve only done a few festivals, so that would be fun.
2.Vinyl or Digital
A:I love vinyl for the experience. The music means more when you can hold it in your hands, and you can’t just skip the track or out on another band with a touch on a screen. Put on an album, have something nice to drink, enjoy the full album while looking at the cover art, reading the lyrics etc. Fantastic experience.
3.Drinking Beer or getting high by other means
4.Denim or Leather
5. Slipknot or Abba
Abba is great, but I would choose Slipknot. I love the first two records, and they have some great stuff here and there after that. Slipknot get a lot of flak, but I think they have a lot of amazing music, and they are more diverse than Abba, I wouldn’t get tired of it as fast. Eventhough Abba is great, it gets a bit samey to me after a while.
MM - Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to all your fans out there?
A:Huge thanks to everyone who takes time to listen to our music, come to our shows and support us by sharing our music, buying music and merch and being there for us. We really appreciate it! If you haven’t yet, please check out our new album The Embers of Eternity on Spotify! Thank you!