APOPHIS AND AIDIAN CIBICH MUSIC INTERVIEW.
Good Morning Aidan! I recently had the pleasure of reviewing "Echoes of Eternity" by your melodic death metal project Apophis - would you mind telling me what inspired you and influenced you to create "Echoes of Eternity"?
Good morning. The inspiration and influences for the latest album are quite varied. The inspiration was to create an album (like with the first two) which could tell a story using metal, with instrumental music without the use of vocals, that would still carry a listener on a journey from start to finish, in the same way that a movie score carries a movie. Musically, the influences came from a lot of outside metal places, such classical music for a lot of the arrangements and jazz for the solos.
You've recently changed your Apophis page to Aidan Cibich Musician to include all of your projects- including some projects that are quite a different step away from your Apophis material, what prompted you to explore different avenues musically?
Changing the name from Apophis back to being under my own name after releasing the 3rd album was done for a few reasons. Firstly- the 3rd Apophis finishes the trilogy album idea I started with the first one, it comes full circle and finishes that story and musical arc which is for lack of better or a term, is Apophis. The next and main reason for the change, it’s a pure and natural progression musically, deciding to move further away from just playing metal and bringing in more of my influences into the music. It felt like the right time to make that change and decide to finally start using my name instead of a “band” name and branching out into more guitar melody driven music that has more to say then what I could say with only being called Apophis- sort of in the way of my heroes Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.
I've noticed that apart from Apophis, you also have quite a few projects in your name- would you mind telling us about them? Gladly. The main project that I was apart of up until late last year was a black metal band called Tanin’iver, which I did two full length albums and a single with over the course of last year. I left Tanin’iver on good terms. Full disclosure and honesty about my leaving of Tanin’iver and also a bit of changing Apophis to being under my own name- is also because I no longer feel like I can express myself through extreme metal in the way I want to. I still love those albums, and proud of everything I have done, but as musician who is always pushing myself to create, explore and expand my sound, I have felt the limits of only stating in one genre, even if I lose fans by being honest and by in away leaving extreme metal to go down a whole different path musically- it’s a risk and gamble I am willing to take as those who are closest to me know how diverse my taste in music actually is. One thing I don’t mind answering in questions is being as truthful as possible, even if it upsets people or I lose fans, one of the reasons why I’m leaving metal and doing more melody driven music is also because I’m sick of being in a scene where it feels like people can’t take constructive criticism. For instance, I come from studying jazz first, way before I started playing metal (metal was the last thing I got into) . In my training, you are always under criticism- it helps you get better, grow as a musician and learn. Where as in metal, esp guitar wise, I’ve found lately, it feels like you have to tip toe around it to not hurt peoples feelings about their playing and I’m over that. If you ask me what I think, I will tell you- because the way I was taught was each and every note you played was under the microscope, and I did 100’s of jazz gigs where I failed and succeeded but would still get constructive criticism about my playing. Did I go home crying or defending my playing? No, I never looked to argue with my teachers- they only wanted to push my playing and growth as a musician, and it was the best experience I could have ever had as a musician. So much more then being in the metal scene, where I personally feel like you can never say anything bad and if you do-there’s always an excuse, or argument. And they call jazz musicians weak!
So are there any other avenues as an artist you can see yourself exploring in the future?
I can see myself further developing more jazz/fusion ideas in my music and bringing in more genres and theory/modal ideas as well. There are no limits to my music, and each year I see a progression and slight natural changes happening. I look at artists like Miles Davis, whom changed like the seasons. For better or worse, change happens and I welcome the change.
I'm really excited to see what direction you go in as well With Apophis- what inspired you to do an instrumental melodic death metal release?
The inspiration to do melodic death metal came from liking bands like at the gates and dark tranquility, and deciding to go instrumental was pretty simple, I’m terrible at vocals so decide I’ll just go instrumental.
So what inspired you to follow the path of extreme metal?
It really was, it helped me to also keep my ear open to other genres because you learn and pick up ideas from different places that you can use for your own music and helps to create your own style. I always loved metal as much as jazz growing up, my dad showed me bands like Iron Maiden and Metallica at an early age (first thing he ever showed me was the sex pistols haha, still love them) but I didn’t really get into the more extreme stuff till late high school. I grew up in a small town called Port Lincoln on the west coast of South Australia and pre YouTube days, you didn’t really find that much extreme metal unless a friend was into it. I started following the path of playing more extreme metal which became what my first 3 solo albums, because I loved the riffs and I could always hear that epic movie score sound in it.
What's a constant quality that you look for consistently throughout genres?
That’s a pretty difficult question and it’s not so much of looking for quality. It depends on the genre as well, but the biggest things I look for are a sense of timing, melody, something original that stands out. These days I rarely listen to metal, apart from Maiden, and more classic stuff like that. I’m more listening to old jazz records and guitar solo music that has more to say to my ears that is.
How would you describe it and your influences in it so our readers have an idea about your new direction?
After spending some time going back to basics with my playing, working on stuff like music theory, phrasing and also more importantly listening to albums that made me want to be a musician in the first place, it has all led to what I've decided will be my next album, and quite possibly the most fun and fulfilling album I have yet to do. This next album, which is already written and in demo form at the moment, captures everything I love about music, bringing together everything I love, from the raw energy and excitement from punk (The Misfits and Sex Pistols) the power of old school metal (Iron Maiden and old Metallica), the song writing and thrill of classic dirty rock bands (Kiss and Guns and Roses) to my love of different guitar solo approaches ranging from blues, rock, a bit of jazz and 80's shred. No release date as of yet, as I am going back to uni to study music production, I intend to use what I learn and use it to make this album the best it can be.
Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?
It’s been an absolute pleasure indeed. Thank you so very much for taking the time to interview me. And I don’t think I have anything else to say, I think I’ve said everything in all the answers to the questions.
Thankyou so much for your time- It’s genuinely been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to seeing your new material!