Friday, June 17, 2016

Age Of Agony Interview

 Balázs Kovács, the drummer:

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the name album?
First of all, thank you for the interview and greetings to the readers!
Death Metal Artillery was released on cassette and CD in the summer 2014. We had some live gigs in clubs, we played on some festivals too, so the band was active on the concert front.
Meanwhile we began to write material for our fifth album For The Forgotten, which we finished recording in january this year. It was released this spring, but there was a change regarding the label. It was released by the (also)Hungarian label Neverheard on CD and cassette because Terranis Records, the label behind D.M.A., finished releasing records.
After recording the new album there was a change in the lineup: guitarist Gábor Ferencz left the band because of his engagements in civil life(studies), he was replaced by Péter Kéméndi, who used to play in the Death Metal band Catalepsy. The lineup change went smoothly, the band is OK.

    2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
You obviously can't say, that there is no difference between our new album and the old ones. For The Forgotten is a concept album, which means, that every song is about  a significant Hungarian event of WW1. Those with knowledge about this era know, that this war had catastrophic consequences for Hungary. Alongside the human losses, the treaty of Trianon dismembered our country, more than 60% of our territory was cut away and given to our enemies(with the assist of traitors).
So For The Forgotten is not a happy album. Not by far… Each song is based on real events and the bloody reality of war. War is not something funny or happy. That is why we made an album with more significant atmospheric elements in the music.
So our goals didn't change, we play old school Death Metal, but the central topic of the lyrics called for a music with more dismal and monumental elements.
An other significant change was, that for the first time in the band's history we worked with a sound engineer, who is specialized in Death Metal and you can definitely hear it!
Dávid Fehér from the Noise Labs Studio has done a great job, finally the band sounds as it always should have.

    3.What are some of the lyric topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
As I mentioned before the songs are bound together by the concept of World War I, from the perspective of Hungarian soldiers, from 1914 to 1921.
The lyrics tell about soldiers(hussars, stormtroopers, artillerymen, a flying ace etc.),
whose sacrifice and bravery were buried later by the catastrophy of the lost war(1918),
the communist terror(1919) and the consequences of the treaty of Trianon(1920).
There's no place for them in today's schoolbooks, so we thought, by telling their story, we give them the well-deserved respect and honor! A musical monument for the forgotten!

    4.Originally the band was known as 'Silent Agony' what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Age of Agony'?
Hey, just in time, it was almost 16 years ago… Hehehe
Nothing significant really. We started as Silent Agony, but after our second demo we heard, that there is a band in Austria with the same name, so we changed it. After years we learned that there is a band called Age Of Agony too, but we don't care, we won't change the name again. You can't come up with anything new nowadays anyway, can you? Hehe

    5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Agony is an active band on the „concert front”, we play regularly in Hungary and also abroad, but we don't want to overdo this. We have lots of other things going on beside the band and that would not allow us to be constantly on the road, but it never was our goal either. You know, only eat so much, your body can take…
On stage we are aggressive and serious, we all know what the songs we play are about, so no jokes on stage. The lyrical topics not allow us to be a band of idiotic, funny dressed clowns on stage. We leave that to other bands…
After 20 years of playing concerts it's not easy to pick the best ones. One of my favourites is definitely the gig we played with Nunslaughter(R.I.P. Jim Sadist!!!), but our tour in the Székely Land(Transsylvania) in 2011 and our gigs In Mlada Boleslav(Czech Republic) were also great!

    6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Yes, surely because of the new album we have more live gigs this year.  End of  april we played in Vienna, after that, there was an outstanding event in Szeged, the Szegedeath Festival. We played two gigs in the Czech Republic and our next concert will be at the Total War Fest, which also is an awesome event. This year later we are going  back to the Czech Republic, but also play some concerts in the Hungarian Highlands(today Slovakia) and in Erdély(Transsylvania). In October we do a gig with Infernal War in Budapest and I could go on. 

    7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?
The feedbacks, that reach us, are mainly positive but nowadays we can't have high hopes… We play Death Metal for a long time now, we are an old band, we are present in the scene since our demo phase, so there are people in every corner of the world, who know/like our music. We see in the concerts, that our fans take the band seriously and they acknowledge our persistence too. Being honest, we can't ask for more.

    8.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
I am the only member of the band, who plays in an other band too. I am the drummer of the Black Metal band Tymah, our new album will be released by Sinister Flames during the fall.
There was a project called Vulcanizer, which was actually Age Of Agony but we only played  covers of our favourite Death, Balck and Thrash Metal bands. We had only two live gigs, but now we don't really have the time for this project, so I don't know if there will be any more Vulcanizer concerts in the near future.

    9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
As long as the band exists, we play Death Metal, there's no other way. Of course it's  always going to be the old school way, in this genre and this scene we always give our best to make the best songs and albums. It can't hurt to make some minor changes sometimes but nothing radical. A good example is our new album. It's a bit different, a bit more melodic, compared to our earlier albums, there are guitar solos, longer songs but you can tell from the first sounds that it's 100% Age Of Agony. And that's the most important thing: the own style within a genre...

    10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Our main influences are early Death Metal classics like Massacre, Death, Autopsy, Asphyx, Dismember, Grave, Entombed and so on. An other undeniable influence is the underground band Nunslaughter, but my drumming was influenced by some Black Metal albums like Mayhem's  De Mysteriis Dom Satanas or Marduk's Nightwing. Some other favourites are Vomitory, Gruesome, Infernal War, Grave, Miasma, Funebrarum, Voidhanger, Witchcraft, Deströyer 666, Dead Congregation, Mgla and Desaster.

    11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Music is our main hobby. You didn't think we can make a living playing music did you? Hehe…
Every member is a working family man, we rehearse every Sunday. That's our hobby, it's the best way to spend our free time.

    12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks for the opportunity, I think your questions covered everything important.


No comments:

Post a Comment