North Carolina metallers Aether Realm’s new album Redneck Vikings From Hell (order here) was released in May and marked their debut with Napalm Records. We caught up with the group to learn more about the record, signing with the label, working with Alestorm’s Christopher Bowes for “King Of Cups,” and more.
Many albums are getting pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What made you guys move forward releasing Redneck Vikings From Hell as planned?
I think I would have lost my mind if we didn’t. I tend to plan my life around album releases, and the time leading up to completion and release feels like holding your breath. I’ve been desperate for a breath for a while now. Plus, it’s not like people have all of a sudden stopped craving music and art while they’re at home – matter of fact we’ve wound up getting a lot of messages from new fans happy about having something to jam while shit’s all fucked up. When the world is a dark place, a little bit of light makes a lot of difference, ya know?
Compared to a traditional music video, how was it putting fan clips together and making the video for “TMHC?”
I think we built up the anticipation for ourselves a lot more than we needed to. We fussed over having a really exact plan when we filmed our “example video” but when we actually hit record, it all went out the window. Just turned into us all yelling at each other and running all over the house grabbing whatever we could and air guitaring on it, haha.
Compared to Goodbye, TMHC was definitely way easier for us (though Jaraad may say differently, he actually had to do the work). We had the benefit of a really helpful core team in Jaraad, Nick, DJ, and Julie. DJ and Julie reached out to a small number of fans privately for us, all we really had to do was sit back and watch our fans’ videos as they came in. Everything was so funny that it didn’t really work.
Were there any particular songs on the album that were more challenging to put together?
Craft and the Creator was definitely the headache of the album. A tempo-less guitar intro, three distinct movements, layers and layers and layers of guitars, orchestrations, synths, impact sounds. And that’s just tracking and mixing – the writing was a pain too! When we do these long songs like TSTMTS and C&TC I don’t even know how it fits together right away – it’s like when you’re putting together a 1000 piece puzzle and you know, you can get the border pretty quick but then I always wind up with multiple sections being built completely separate from each other. That’s how these songs happen too, so work on the individual sections flows pretty well usually, but the process of figuring out how they all fit together is a really exhausting one. You wind up working pretty hard on some sections that don’t even make their way into the song because they just don’t fit. But that doesn’t mean they’ll never find a song to live in, so it’s not all bad.
Can you talk more about the song “King of Cups” and getting Christopher Bowes to contribute?
Sure – I went to his house, we got drunk, and we wrote the lyrics and tracked the vocals haha. I remember distinctly telling him he had to put more stank on his “R”s – like “come on man do the pirate voice,” haha.
How has the experience been signing with Napalm Records?
It’s been awesome! They’ve helped develop the release, plan and promotional stuff (you probably wouldn’t be talking to me right now without Natalie and Jon on the PR train), keep everything sort of organized, and they paid to make it happen! I’m sure I’ll see that first sales report and we’ll be in the negative and I’ll wince a little bit, but what I wanted in this relationship was the resources to make some sick music, and the tools to get it out into people’s ears. They’ve provided that.
Between Arkansas having one of the first quarantine concerts to the possibility of no concerts until at least 2021, when do you think is a realistic timeframe for events to resume?
Your guess is as good as mine. I hope before the end of the year.
Is there anything else you want to say or add to your fans?
As always, shoutout to the TMHC /m\