Interview: May, 27th 2018
We asked Arnold Boukes, guitarist and vocalist from Nox Aeterna, some questions about the band and his personal taste. Find out which record he bought on a school trip and which video influenced his Heavy Metal taste the most!
– The band exists since 2002. You have released an EP and three albums. The last “Aurora Borealis” is recently released. Really a great album! Are you satisfied with the album and how it is received?
Thanks! We are really pleased with the new album and the attention it gets from the metalcommunity.
We are a do-it-yourself band and aren’t signed by a label. So all promotion and marketing is done by us.
Considering that, I think Aurora Borealis has allready given us a lot new fans.
For me, as the producer of the album, I tend to look to it a bit different. Like our two previous albums I produced Aurora Borealis, which I’ve been working on for about two years.
I have a daytime job, so all the work on the new album was done in weekends and holidays. Overall I think it’s a pretty nice endresult and, so far, the production gets good comments.
So that puts a smile on my face.
– Are you satisfied with the last 16 years for Nox Aeterna? And is there anything in the past 16 years what you might have done differently afterwards.
In general I’m pretty content with everything we have done so far. Like I said before, we are a do-it-yourself band and we try to hold quality as high as possible.
Some things I think we could have done differently back in the day, but that is water under the bridge.
The thing I most regret are the various line-up changes. The past sixteen years we had various line-up changes, even to a point when it was just Debbie (guitarplayer) and myself.
Rebuilding a full band takes time. You have to find musicians who are technically able to play the songs, and with whom you have a connection on a personal level.
We have lost a lot of time with all of the past changes, very unfortunate.
I really like our current line-up. We have had this line-up for about four years now, and I think it’s the strongest we had so far. Hopefully we can continue with this line-up for many years to come.
One thing I have learned is to cherrish it while it lasts, you never know what will happen, haha!
– What do you think is the biggest succes with the band so far?
Ow wow, that’s a hard one. We did so much cool stuff over the years. Things that come to mind are two sold-out festival which we organised ourselves, the albums we have releases, our Halloween themed ‘The Exorcists‘ video, and some great shows in really nice venues. Very hard to choose from, but personally I would say the albums. Playing a great show is a really cool thing, but the albums last forever.
– Do you have international ambitions?
Our albums have found their way abroad. We have shipped albums all over Europe, and even to Canada.
However, we haven’t received good offers for shows yet. Maybe the new album will get us some good offers!
– Where would you ever want to perform?
Graspop or Wacken Open Air would be cool. They can contact me any day of the week, haha!
– Which artist would you like to work with, on podium or in the studio or writing a song?
On a studiolevel Andy Sneap comes to mind. He is such a talented producer.
I would really like to have him produce a Nox Aeterna album someday.
– Where do you hope to be, let say in 5 years time?
Because of our history with line-up changes we don’t plan that far ahead. We just released a new album, so the rest of the year we will mainly do some gigs.
Maybe we will start putting new songs together at the end of the year, all in preperation of the next album. First, let’s just see what the rest of 2018 will bring, haha!
We would like to reach a bigger audience though. In order to achieve this, our new album can be streamed on Spotify and YouTube.
A very easy way to reach new listeners, so check it out!
– What are your ambitions for the near future?
See answer above =)
– Which band would you like to join as a support act?
Ah, this is a good one. Off course we all have our favourite bands who we would like to open a show for.
For me, I would have to say Kataklysm. Such an awesome band!
– Suppose Nox Aeterna is a big famous band like Metallica and you want to support a band like yourself, who would you take as a support act?
Cool! In this case ‘hell froze over’ so we need something with a Nordic vibe, haha!
I would like to see a cool package with Nox Aeterna – Kataklysm – Amon Amarth & Kalmah. Seems like a good deal to me.
A few questions about the development of your personal taste.
– Which album had the biggest impact on you as a teenager?
I didn’t grow up with a lot of music. My parents listen to music, but it didn’t have a big role in the family.
When I went to highschool I met a guy who gave me a tape with Aerosmith and ACDC tracks. I was hooked from the first listen.
Later I got a tape with Metallica’s ‘Kill ’em All‘. I was blown away! The intro of Motorbreath (in all its simplicity) even made me wanna play the guitar myself.
– Maybe the same album as the question before (not in my case), but which record has formed your heavy metal taste the most?
Many years ago we had a television show called ‘Wet and Wild’. This was a one hour show every Monday evening where they played the latest metalvideos.
I remember one night I saw the video of Children Of Bodom’s ‘Downfall‘. The guitarmelodies blew me away! It made me want to incorporate more melody in my own playing.
After all, maybe it didn’t resulted in the neo-classical stuff they were into those days, but it definitly opened my eyes to start playing a different kind of riffs.
– What is the first metal album you ever bought?
Ah, cool story! The first metal album I ever bought was ‘Arise‘ by Sepultura. I remember we were on a school field trip to Antwerp and we had a couple of hours of free time to explore the city.
At one point me and my friends found this little obscure musicstore. I was browsing though the albums and the artwork of ‘Arise‘ really stood out to me. So I picked up a copy, spending all my ‘foodmoney’ on it.
The rest of the trip I actually had to borrow money for food from my friend. The other thing is that I didn’t had a CD player with me, so I had to wait a couple of days to get home and listen to it, haha!
The moment I got home I put on the album and it was everything I expected, and more.
– Which album did made a massive impression on you and was the reason that you make the kind of music you’ll play with your band?
I think it’s the sum of many. ‘Kill ’em All‘ got me hooked and made me wanna play guitar. Later, I encountered more European bands which also leave a mark on my playing/writing.
Listening to various genres of metal will, on a subcontious level, influence your style. When I’m writing music all of these influences somehow come to the surface. Sometimes it’s the vibe of a certain riff, the other time it’s a certain beat. Nowadays, I listen to a lot of (European) melodic death metal. So those influences tend to appear when writing music myself.
– If you take a maximum of 5 albums with you, for example to an uninhabited island, which ones would you definitely take with you?
Only five? Hmm, let’s see. I would say ‘Kataklysm – Of Ghosts And Gods‘, ‘Metallica – …And Justice For All‘, ‘Children Of Bodom – Hate Crew Deathroll‘, ‘Amon Amarth – Deceiver Of The Gods‘ and ‘Nox Aeterna – Aurora Borealis‘. That last one would obviously be for the situation if another person would appear on the island so I can explain what music I make, haha!
– On which album ever recorded, would you’ve liked to play yourself?
Wow…never thought on this one. Even though my playing style is so different I would say ‘Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misantrophia‘. Still one of my ‘go-to-albums’.
– What do you think is the best live album?
I’m not that much into live albums. But I would have to say ‘Metallica – Live Shit Binge & Purge‘ for nostalgic reasons.
– Which album do you play the most in recent weeks/months?
Like most people, I have periods when I listen to a specific genre for a while. I just came out of a black metal period, mostly playing Marduk and Immortal.
Most recently I have been on a Graveworm rampage, haha! The ‘Ascending Hate‘ album is being played a lot.
– Which album do you like best so far in 2018?
To be honest, I haven’t heard a lot of new releases because of all the work on Aurora Borealis. The latest Machine Head has a couple of cool tracks on it.
My wife Debbie just bought the latest Dimmu Borgir album though.
I think it is decent, but a bit to symphonic for my taste. I did pre-order the new Kataklysm album, I’m very curious and exited about that one.
– Do you have any more interest besides Heavy Metal?
To much to be honest, haha! I really enjoy firing up the BBQ and grill/smoke a nice peace of meat. Having some friends over and enjoy the good life. Obviously, having a few beers in the process. Listening to bands such as Wardruna, Danheim and Corvus Corax in the background.
I’m also a big fan of the NHL and NFL. And last but not least, my old vintage Super Nintendo, haha!
– And we’ll finish off with the most happy question of all, which song should they definitely play on your funeral.
That’s the first time I’ve got this question. I don’t know…I mean…it’s not like I’ll be around to enjoy it.
Well, just to shock the non-metalheads who are attending, I think ‘Payback‘ by Slayer at volume 11 would be a good one, haha!
– Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you for the opportunity! Be sure to check out our latest album Aurora Borealis.
Stream it on Spotify, watch it on YouTube, order it at Nox Aeterna and let us know what you think!