Empire Auriga (2006)

Auriga Dying is the debut release from American (Lansing, Michigan) post-apocalyptic visionaries EMPIRE AURIGA.
A copy of the self-released CDr was sent earlier this year by Boethius the Torturer, we now have a few copies to spread. A professional pressing will be released in 2006 by Dark Horizon, USA.
The music is described as mixtures of early industrial, black metal, shoegazer, military fanfare, and trance-guitar. Later BURZUM, and NORTT with industrial roughness and originality. Expansion, contemplation, destruction, regeneration. Auriga Dying is an epic tale, timeless vision and a superb recording.

Empire Auriga - Time Expanding

Interview with Boethius & 90000065b
22 May 2006

When was EMPIRE AURIGA initially conceived and then formed?

Boethius - It was initially conceived around March 2005. Its original intent was unclear. There was a much more industrial feel to our first thoughts, but the pureness of blackmetal mixed with deepest space was an inescapable draw as songwriting actually began. There was nothing before Auriga Dying.

It is assumed the name Auriga relates to the northern constellation. Does it have further relevance to the lyrics and music?

Boethius - It was not chosen for this reason. To me, the general theme behind the project is that of such a distant future it cannot be imagined.

Human existence has plundered on for hundreds of thousands of years and stretched into an age where even our beginnings on earth have been forgotten. In this age, perhaps the myths of constellations have still endured through lore and historical knowledge. Our music consists of happenings within this "empire" that is located in what was once known as the Auriga constellation.

There seems to be a strong narrative throughout the recording, was it intended as such? Can you give an overview to the lyrical side of Auriga Dying?

Boethius - The lyrics are more abstracted than they are attempting any one story. My largest intent with them is stir pictures within the mind that can only be created through combinations of droning space-induced music and strings of imagery heavy words. Hopefully our combinations can allow you to fold space. It is then that the trances can reach their peak and allow your brain to open toward the void between stars.

"post-apocalyptic landscapes"-artistically, or a future you see as inevitable?

Boethius - Post apocalyptic landscapes are certainly an influencial thing.
Most of this album was created with the thought that the "Empire" is under intense military/police state government. This government is, of course, playing on peoples weaknesses via the use of religion. The album is intended to have that sense of tense-ness related to the upheaval and revolution that will soon happen as the masses gather to overthrow the religious dictatorship of known galaxies. Some wars have already been fought, but many are still to come. A direct example can be "The Lurker" being interpreted as a person who is "lurking" within the populace stiring anti-governmental thought.

Are you using astronomy metaphorically to create epic visions of more earth-bound ideas?

Boethius - Not as such.

"Satan Take Me, Fullfill The Hollow" - do you see Satan as the freeing/rebel side of universe-nature?

Boethius - I personally see Satan and Satanism as that which they were originally devised as: the embodiment of all that is in opposition to christianity. I do not believe in any such actual living or spiritual entity, only a mindframe that is set against christian beliefs.
Personally, I am against all forms of unified religion. Everybody believes something different in at least some small way. So having a bunch of people ban together to rally behind one type of religious thought is generally useless. Think for your own damn selves. It pisses me off and I see blackmetal and the music I participate in as a small way in which to make this statement known: Depend on yourself and the nature that you live in, not some false deities.

Are there any fiction/non-fiction writers / artists / movies that have influenced your approach lyrically / conceptually?

Boethius - Lyrically, VED BUENS ENDE, AURA NOIR, and DODHEIMSGARD are all in my most influencial. Carl Michael, Apollyon and crew are geniuses that deserve all the credit they can get for their work in and out of the metal realm. Fenriz is also great in the abstracted satanic style. As far as conceptually and an outright list goes. Frank Herbert's Dune, Stephen R. Donaldson's The Gap Cycle, THX1138, David Lynch's Dune, Werner Herzog in general, SUMMONING, Robert Fripp, NEPTUNE TOWERS, BURZUM, CAMEL, XASTHUR, AMON DUUL II, and so so many others.

How do Empire Auriga record?

Boethius - Usually either a drum track or a guitar track is written first, then we come together and create a song around that one idea. I usually have a decent amount of lyrics lying around at any given time, so I then fit which ones match the song's feeling the best and alter them to make sure it is purely within realm of what feelings and thoughts the song should purvey. As for equipment, I'll let 90000065b handle that.
90000065b - For the equipment I record onto my PC using Nuendo, I have a couple keyboards: Roland JX-305, and a Korg MS2000. I have lots of other toys that we used like: Line6 guitar processor, some real cheap drum machines, samplers, walkie talkies.

Did any records along with BURZUM's Filosofem offer any inspiration when creating these songs?

90000065b - SUMMONING Dol Guldor, DEATHPROD Morals and Dogma, BABYFLESH New Wave of Cynicism, THE CURE Pornography, Brian Eno Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks, TANGERINE DREAM Alpha Centauri, XASTHUR To Violate the Oblivious some other influences for me were: George Orwell's 1984, and Animal Farm, Ridley Scott's Alien, and Bladerunner, Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, Kubricks 2001 Space Odyssey, Lucas THX 1138, Metroid, Max Ernst, the wonderful artwork of Sytraxia, and so many other influences.

How would you want the record to be experienced ideally & how would you want the record to affect that listener ideally?

Boethius - For me, driving long empty highways through countryside at night is often the best time to fall into the comas that can be induced by the greatest music. I would hope then that this would also be the best time for falling into trance from EMPIRE AURIGA. As for the affect upon the listener, a trance creating the images of space deeper than all thought would be ideal. David Lynch's movie adaptation of Dune creates an incredible feeling of distant space for me. This feeling would be the best for our listeners to achieve.

Scene from Dune (1984)

Is Empire Auriga something that could be played live, are there any plans to play live in the future?

Boethius - It would be a very poor live show since there are only two of us and such a thing would detract horribly from the overall inhuman feel of the void behind the music. There will be no shows.
90000065b - a live show would never happen because I can't remember any of the guitar riffs. haha

Do you play in any other bands now or previously?

Boethius - I have a forest blackmetal/improv noise project called QUINTESSENCE which has currently only released the demo titled The Dead Landscapes. We were on hold for a while, but shall soon be playing some shows again and with a little hope, doing a bit more recording. I have one other project called CARNAGE BASTARDS. This is disgusting blackmetal influenced by SARCOFAGO, ROOT, MOTORHEAD and all good fucking punk! Our demo is in the works. CARNAGE BASTARDS and QUINTESSENCE both include members of the SAURON thrash metal band that released the CD Thrash Assault.
90000065b - I am involved with VORTEX OF MALICE which is dark, ambient, soundtrack sorta stuff, I have a couple other small music projects in the works but nothing is completed yet, just ideas right now. But mainly I am focused on the follow-up EMPIRE AURIGA release.

Auriga Dying will see professional release through Dark Horizon. Will there be any different artwork/material on this edition?
Are there already plans for a follow-up? Did you record any tracks which are not included on this album?

Boethius - The Dark Horizon Records version will be exactly the same musically. The artwork will be full color with print on the CD instead of just black. Otherwise damn close to the same. There are no "extra" tracks floating around, however we have indeed started writing for the next album.

Thanks again for your interest in us,
-Boethius and 90000065b