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Nino Sable (Aeon Sable, Melanculia) - Interview

Interview with: Nino Sable
Conducted by: T.V.

I guess you all know Aeon Sable, a German band which creates some of the most unique, visionary, deep and forward thinking dark/gothic rock music released lately, and you must also know the amazing frontman/vocalist Nino Sable. Ok, but Aeon Sable, who were founded by Nino and his mate Din Tah Aeon in 2010, was not the first musical endeavor of this prolific musician, Nino is in this "business" since 1997! One of his first musical creations was the indie/alternative-rock/post-punk band named Melanculia. I must also mention that both, Nino and Din were involved in the dark electro project Deied, which is now dormant. This year Nino decided to bring Melanculia back to life, after some years of silence since the last album named Paths was released in 2013. Recently he announced that the new album, The Seventh Circle, is in the making and as well some gigs will follow. If Melanculia consisted before of both, Nino sable and Din Tah Aeon, Nino, who is the main author of all the songs and lyrics, is now joined by Jo (bass), Quoth (guitars) and Drobi (drums), both Jo and Quoth are known as live members of Aeon Sable. Nino's main band Aeon Sable is also in the making of a new highly anticipated new album, of which I'm more than certain that every fan of dark rock music is eagerly awaiting to be released. I had to ask Nino about some things around Melanculia, but it ended up with a lenghty and insightful interview about almost everything in what Nino is involved. Read this interesting discussion and of course look out for new albums by both, Aeon sable and Melanculia!

T.V.: Hi Nino! It's obvious that you must be really busy and creative this days... Working on a new album of Aeon Sable, reviving your side project Melanculia and as well having quite some live shows, and yet answering to my questions. How do you manage to do all this? Are you a hyperactive person or what?
: I in fact I am a hyperactive person. I only live once, at least with this body. So I try to do as much as I can in oder to leave a footprint. And I have a lot of ideas all the time... what you hear and see is only 25%.
T.V.: Only 25%, and where's the rest?
Nino: A lot of ideas I cannot realize right now, because of lack of time or money. Other ideas are still in progress. And... There are a lot of ideas, songs that simply don’t satisfy me and are thrown away.
T.V.: Ok, I see. Now please tell me what was the main reason to bring Melanculia back to life, as I remember well that in one of our previous interviews you mentioned that for you Melanculia is pretty much dead?
Nino: Melanculia was my very first musical path. Aeon Sable came along and so I didn’t found the time to continue it and started putting all the ideas and energy in Aeon Sable. Last year I had a terrible time and so I started looking around, searching for my roots... Melanculia became my new port and I started working on a new album. The first 40 tracks I created were absolutely shit. But then... I found back the path to Melanculia and I followed it.
T.V.: From what I see it's obvious that you want to work on Melanculia more professional than ever. You have now a complete line-up also for live shows.
Nino: Professional... well, I don’t know. I’m planing to make nice shows but I’m not sure if I will use the resources I got from Aeon Sable. I’m still not sure if we will have a great lightshow, like with Aeon Sable. My band mates from Aeon Sable encouraged me to play live shows with Melanculia. The live crew is now based on Jo (bass), Quoth (guitars), Drobi (drums) and me (vocals). Maybe we will also have someone on the keys.
T.V.: On the first two albums of Melanculia also your band mate from Aeon Sable Din-Tah took a part of  the band. How it came that he's not present in the new line-up?
Nino: I really wanted him in the live band but he told me that he has no time for touring. He is working a lot on Aeon Sable.
T.V.: I see and understand. Are the new songs of Melanculia following the path of the previous two albums, or have you taken the sound and compositions into some other directions?
Nino: The new album is a continuation of The Dazed Prophet and Paths but also an upgrade to both albums. I had the possibility to learn a lot about composition in the last years with Aeon Sable. I also did a lot of experiences that influence my way I see the world... but basically the Melanculia cosmos follows a certain, very unique beat. I also opted for not overproducing this album in any way. Melanculia albums are raw. It’s a law!
T.V.: Melanculia is musically very different from Aeon Sable. It has almost nothing to do with any kind of dark or goth music. Tell ne, which bands or artists were the main influences when you started with this band?
Nino: I startet this in 2000 and I'm a child of the nineties. I guess that Nirvana had a lot of influence but also Iggy Pop, King Dude, Nick Cave, Radiohead, Peter Murphy,... We did covers of some Melanculia tracks with Aeon Sable. “Long Road Out Of Hell”, “Fabulous Land”,... just to name a few. I guess if something is goth or not depends on the listener.
T.V.: When can we expect the new album to be released and can you give any details like is title, label, song names,... anything?
Nino: First things first. First of all we have to finish the new Aeon Sable album. After that we, I guess Din will help me, will mix and master the new Melanculia album. The album is to be called The Seventh Circle and will not be released at any label. I created a Bandcamp site and I will personally ship every CD. CDs will not be sold on amazon, iTunes... just at our Bandcamp and at concerts. I think it is time to go back to indie. But I can already reveal the cover artwork, at least that's my plan...
T.V.: Oh nice! Is that you and your parents on the picture? It's full of nostalgia.
Nino: Yes! That picture has a lot of elements. The old white Mercedes, the building in the background that really talks the language of the Ruhr area where we live. Full of melancholy.
T.V.: So, I imagine that lyrics of Melanculia must be pretty much inspired by these past times?
Nino: Melanculia lyrics are full of melancholy, dreams, visions, sex, drugs and Lucifer. But the main reason for me to choose this picture as the cover of the CD is because of the symbolism, the composition and because I was really looking for my roots during this album.
T.V.: Can we say that Melanculia is Nino in his most "stripped" form?
Nino: It is at least one of the most “stripped” forms of Nino. Haha. As said before, there is so much more to be done. More music, videos, maybe write a book, paint...
T.V.: Ok, let's leave Melanculia aside for a while and tell me how are the works on the new Aeon Sable album progressing?
Nino: Oh, Din and I are working on it. It is going to be another Hypaerion. Very deep and dark and with a lot of guitars. I guess we can say that it will be our hardest but even more compact album release so far. Right now there is no schedule. We are working on it. I guess that it'll be released by Solar Lodge as our previous two albums.
T.V.: This summer Aeon Sable played quite some festivals. Tell me how it was for you and which was the best in your opinion. I mean for the band, from organization side and from public?
Nino: Wave gothic Treffen! We heard a lot of shit in advance about the organizers (bla bla) but they never disappointed us. We love WGT and we will always play there again. This year we had a 1600 venue and we filled it completely. Also in term of organisation, trust, Support... WGT is one of the best festivals we played so far.
T.V.: Ok, I see, and I really hope that one day I'll have a chance to visit this legendary festival. From what I've seen on some live videos that you've shared it's pretty obvious that light-show plays quite an important role in Aeon Sable show...
Nino: Oh yes. Lucifer is the light! We met Lux, our lighting technician while we played in Greece with Merciful Nuns a few years ago and we became friends. Lux is very talented and we trust him. We told him to imagine a gigantic light show for Aeon Sable and he did so.

T.V.: You personally, as a frontman of the band, have kind of a specific presence on stage. Tell me who are your role models in that?
Nino: It comes from the inside. There are a lot of people that inspired me, Manson, Iggy and a lot of metal heads... but the “Aeon Sable moves” comes from the inside and grow with the music.
T.V.: Aeon Sable already have five albums released and the sixth one is in the making. If you ask me, regarding everything superb that you did until now, I would imagine Aeon Sable already having a status of a big player on the international music scene, but somehow you are still in the underground. What do you think is the main reason for that?
Nino: We don’t deserve it. Hahaha. We are the underground. I guess I’m not the right person to ask this question to. Maybe it has to do with the point that music business is fucked up since mp3, Napster, winmx, YouTube and and other streaming technologies. I guess there is no money in music business anymore, so. Here we are. The only place where good music is still alive. In the underground!
T.V.: I guess that's the reason. When we talk in private you are very open about everything around your bands, but publicly you try to keep kind of a mysterious veil around everything. Why have you decided to do so?
Nino: The more people know the more they’ll hurt you.
T.V.: You must be right about that. Now, after reviving Melanculia, can we expect also your now almost forgotten electronic project Deied to come back into life?
Nino: I don't know. Right now Deied is a zombie. Record labels are not interested in a cooperation. Music is dead. Haha. Sometimes I have great visions for Deied but at the moment there is no money/time for that kind of projects. A live show of Deied would certainly be a great celebration.
T.V.: Let's get back to Melanculia. Was there any record label interested to release The Seventh Circle, or are you completely decided to make it as a self-release?
Nino: No - I did my best and talked to a lot of record labels but the only one interested told me that if he was me, he would rather release the CDs on his own. That brought me to the idea to release it on my own. No big deals, no distribution, no promotors, no label - just Melanculia. The plan is to sell everything through Bandcamp or at our shows. If record stores wants it - they can talk to me. This is indie baby.
T.V.: I see. Ok, maybe even better that way! You already have one show planned with Melanculia in December. What can the audience expect from Melanculia on a live show? And can we expect to see you playing also outside Germany?
Nino: I’m very excited about Melanculia live show. I can’t tell you exactly what people can expect. You know me, I have a million of plans and I only realize a few but I have some visions. Let’s see what I can realize until then. With Melanculia I’m also collaborating with an anti-fashion label run by a friend of mine called “hope” ( in order to have some crazy goodies for our fans. Not just shirts, but... There are already other organizers booking Melanculia for live shows but I’m not allowed to talk about it yet. But for now only in Germany. But if people request us to play outside, we will.
T.V.: If you are asked what's the main difference between Aeon Sable and Melanculia in the very core, what would you answer?
Nino: Professionalism! Aeon Sable is high class art and Melanculia is raw underground art.
T.V.:  Have Jo, Quoth and Drobi also something to do when it comes to compositions, or are the songs made solely by yourself?
Nino: Right now they are solely made by me. But we want to change this as soon as possible. But I just can’t stop being creative and the times we meet are rare, so I use to work everything out of my brain right on time when I feel inspired at home.
T.V.: Can you reveal the process how you compose songs? What comes first? Are the songs made on computer or do you use real instruments?
Nino: Both. Most of the times there is a melody coming to my mind and I record it and build all instruments around. Other times I play some bass or guitars and the compositions just flow... I have a bass and a few guitars, a microphone and some vst’s here installed on my pc. Some people may laugh at me if I tell them that I still work with FL studio but for me it is the most effective software to compose songs the fast way. I also bought EZdrummer, a wonderful virtual drum. This is the way I make the raw versions. Afterwards I visit a studio in order to record the instruments in a better way.
T.V.: And what about the lyrics, any special messages in there? What inspires you the most?
Nino: Lyrics are always right outa my brain. Some mystics, some dope a lot of love and melancholy. Inspiration is and will always be life itself.
T.V.: You already revealed that the title of new Melanculia album will be The Seventh Circle. Quite a significant title and I wonder what does it stands for and represents?
Nino: It has, like every one of our albums, a few meanings. One of them is certainly a hint to the fact that this is the seventh Melanculia album. But there is much more hidden. You know that I’m not a friend of explaining art. I want people to discover art. Every explanation would demystify and lead people to think in a very straight direction. I prefer it when people think for themselves.
T.V.: Seventh Melanculia album? I know only for two albums that were released before. Nothing else can be found online? Explain me please.
Nino: There have been five album releases so far but I removed some of them from the internet because the recordings and quality was not good enough. Nevertheless, beside that there was one album that I finished but didn’t release it. Now this is the seventh set of originals so to say. But that songs will not be forgotten. We will play some of them live from time to time.

T.V.: Oh, ok, now I see, but if anybody wants to discover this music (beside the albums Paths and The Dazed Prophet), where is possible to find it?
Nino: Wait for the new stuff. The old ones will sooner or later appear.
T.V.: Ok, I'll wait. Will the new album consist only of new songs or will you feature also some older, maybe never officially released songs?
Nino: No, the new Melanculia album will contain only new original tracks I composed this year.
T.V.: Now some personal questions. Who's Nino outside the music world? What are the things beside music of course, that enthuses you the most?
Nino: I guess there is no Nino outside of the music world. All my friends love music and are somehow connected to the music universe. I really enjoy theater and sometimes cinema.
T.V.: Now please tell me what kind of a connection do you have with Portugal? Beside often traveling there, you've also written some lyrics for Aeon Sable, or parts of them in Portuguese?
Nino: I lived in Portugal for 13 years. My heart is Portuguese, my soul is German. I live the country and the people, that’s why I travel there a lot of times. I also like Portuguese gothic rock. Like NU:N, Bal Onirique,...
T.V.: I see, do you also have Portuguese roots? And what about Portuguese gothic/dark metal. Some pretty significant bands come from there, like Moonspell or Heavenwood...
Nino: Well. My roots are German but I grew up in Portugal. Yes, indeed, I’m a big fan of Moonspell and Portuguese metal in general. I also like Bizarra Locomotiva (ex-Neoplashmah) and a lot of underground metal acts only a few outside Portugal know.
T.V.: I know that you like to discover new music, and this year quite many interesting albums were released. Tell me if you found out something so intriguing that you would like to recommend to our readers?
Nino: I haven’t been able to listen to a lot due to my output. But I ordered the new Ison album a few days ago and I’m really looking forward to it to be released. I also bought a few other records lately. It looks like lately I go more grunge hahaha, Baby Woodrose for example just released an awesome album and I really like the last output of The Witch Will Die Tomorrow.
T.V.: Ok, cool, Ison are really good, some of the best atmospheric stuff lately and I'm looking forward for the album to be released as well. Now, tell me, Aeon Sable deals a lot with occultism, how much of the occult stuff is in Melanculia?
Nino: Occultism is part of me and everything I do has a certain taste of it. I would say that occultism in Melanculia isn’t as dark as in Aeon Sable but the presence is the same.
T.V.: Both of the bands that you are involved in, Aeon Sable and also Melanculia are best known inside the gothic scene. So, what do you think about this scene in general? Do you think it's developing enough and what are the relations between bands, promoters and other people involved in it?
Nino: It is difficult to talk about the scene in general because I see no borders. You don’t have to wear like a goth to enjoy our music. But I guess I know what you mean. First of all let’s put the eye on the area where I live. The Ruhr Area is very big. It is a bit like a metropole spliced into several regions (cities). As we (the underground people) are not so many, we have to be organized and we have to coop with each other. If you walk alone, you are dead. We all know each other and we plan most of the festivals together... Mainly I would say that there are at least two segments in the so called “makers” scene. The big players (money) and the music lovers. The big players are just a few organizers dealing with all the big international names. The festivals we do are more in and for the underground, dealing with around 300 people at an event. All the people I know were doing their best to make festivals and to bring new, unknown bands into our region but to be true, at the end of the day, there is no money for the organizers. Underground is and will always stay underground.
T.V.: Is there anything else that you had in mind to say to fans of Aeon Sable or Melanculia?
Nino: Well lately I had some time to think about a lot of things and I came to the conclusion the we all should enjoy every moment and if you are not happy with it the way it is right now, don’t wait. Change it in order to enjoy it. Life is too short. Be creative. Be wild. Conclusion that we all should enjoy life. I know this has nothing to do with my bands... but you asked me... I could also try to convince you to buy our records and visit our concerts but... I’m not a capitalist. I’m human.
T.V.: Thank you Nino for your answers. I hope it wasn't pain in the ass to answer so many, but you know, I'm curious... The last words are all yours.
Nino: Hahaha, my pleasure. I guess my last words are already written above. I would love to see you all at our shows. Come and meet us. We are glad for your support, and I’m not talking about money right now! Thank you Tomaz! You do a great work with Terra Relicta!

Aeon Sable links: Official website, Facebook, Bandcamp
Melanculia links: Official website, Facebook, Bandcamp
Nino Sable: Facebook

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