It was still 2014 when I chatted with Nico from Age Of Torment, if they are interested in doing an interview for The Blek Goat and as you can see, they were. AOT is a 4-piece band from Brussels, Belgium which consists of Nico (bass), Bruno (lead vocals, frontman), Shaun (guitar, vocals) and Charles (drums). They started back in 2009 as a “friends’ metal project,” but it quickly evolved into something more than just a project. Their passion for the music and hard work led into releasing their debut album “Dying Breed Reborn” in about a year of their existence. 2015 will be quite a busy year for Age Of Torment since they already started working on their third album with Charles D., the new guy behind the drums.
They are saying that we need to prepare ourselves for a negative mayhem like we’ve never heard before. Age Of Torment is going to be angrier, darker and stronger.
Jump into the interview and find out a little more about the guys.
(P.S. Today we celebrate because this is out first 2015 interview!)
1. Please introduce yourself first. Who are you, where do you come from, who are band members and when was band formed?
We are Age Of Torment, we’re a modern thrash metal band from Brussels, Belgium. The band began in 2009 like a simple “friends’ metal project,” but quickly became more serious.
Bruno: Lead vocals – frontman
Shaun: Guitar – vocals
2. What was the main reason to start Age Of Torment? Who’s idea was to start the band?
Age Of Torment is the definition of what started off as a gathering between friends, but evolved quickly to a serious band which wanted to make a statement. Shaun was the one to start off the project and develop it in the earliest stages of the band.
3. Tell me, what is the story behind the name Age Of Torment? Why you picked this name?
If you take a look at the world we’re living in, you can’t deny that we’re living in the age of torment… It is so big… So the name was really appropriate.
4. In just about a year of AOT’s existence you released your first album, “Dying Breed Reborn.” How excited were you back then about the release and what kind of respond you got from the crowd?
The first album is still a special thing. For DBR we’re still proud of what we’ve done, but for sure we know that this album sounds pretty “roots” :).
We had many positive answers from the crowd and that’s probably why we try to keep it in the same direction, but you know, more… mature.
5. How do you prepare yourself for the show? Any special rituals?
We probably should :). But sometimes one of us tries to be professional and makes some push ups… but 3 push ups are enough, right? … No we just prepare our sound before the show to feel good on stage and get a massive sound and we warm up a bit. After that we just rock on!
6. Who got you into metal music? Do you still remember the first metal song you ever heard?
Nico: When I was a child my father had an old school jukebox (cok ola) with many vinyls of blues and rock music. And the first “real metal song” I think was “Enter Sandman.” I was a child… I just remember myself on a biker convention and this song… Probably the first one.
Shaun: Queen is what got me into rock and metal music. I’ve been the biggest fan of the band since I was 2 and listening to a tape recording of “greatest hits.” To me my introduction to metal will always be the solo part of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” or in a later stage I’d have to go with Metallica. “Enter Sandman” was one of the first metal songs to kick my ass!
Bruno: I was 5 years old and my parents had Love Gun from KISS and I started to listen to rock and metal by this way.
Charles: “People=Shit” from Slipknot.
7. It seems you guys were pretty busy promoting your latest “I, Against” album. How is being busy with shows and promotions affecting your friends and family?
Sometimes we have to miss a moment with people we love, but they understand that we love what we do. But most part of the time we’re checking to book our agenda as well as we can. It’s a lifestyle’s organisation.
“Age Of Torment is like a person… It’s living.”
8. You said in 2015 we can expect a new Age Of Torment album. Since you worked with two studios already, will you pick one of them for the next recording or will you go with a new one? Why did you change studios in first place?
We wanted something different. The first album sounds really roots and between “Dying Breed Reborn” and “I, Against” we just evolved. We see our music deeply and the line we’re following too. AOT is like a person… It’s living, changing, growing up, but will always keep “something” from the inside.
9. What advice would Age Of Torment give to fellow bands when picking up a studio?
Practicing… Understanding what you want to express… These are the two most important things, really. And not the easiest :).
10. Who is writing lyrics and what topics do you try to cover?
Until “I, Against,” our second album, the line up changed a lot. So we had to write many by ourself. 2 weeks before recording, Bruno joined the band and did a great job in a really short time.
We’re speaking about “torment”… really. It seems stereotypically, but that’s the thing. We try to explain natural feeling through music.
Till now, me (Nico) and Shaun had to wrote lyrics. With Bruno the meaning of our lyrics grows up and he’s a great song writer so he wrote a lot for “I, Against” too.
11. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Nico: Working on any other music project… I love art in many different ways, not only music. I try to travel a lot. It’s real inspiration for an artist to discover other landscapes.
Bruno: I love comics and music and many series. I am a big superheroes fan.
Shaun: Collecting vinyls, composing many music… Looking for new stuff. I do enjoy life with wife and family.
Charles: Creating sounds and videos… Travels.
12. Outside metal, what music do you like?
Nico: Many, Spanish, blues, Daft Punk, Red Hot, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Hugh Laurie, Simon And Garfunkle disco, and many others. I don’t really care about the style… I just have to feel it.
Bruno: Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Hugh Laurie and many old school rock ‘n’ roll songs.
Shaun: I am a big fan of Queen. I love Trigger finger and many other rock bands, also Daft Punk. I recently discovered Royal Bond and it’s such an amazing band.
Charles: Many different styles and bands like Emmure and Periphery, but also other music styles from old school classical legendary musicians to wave electro music.
13. Would you rather spend a day with Tom Araya driving around in his car listening to Skrillex or with Kerry King swimming in a pool full of snakes?
Nico: Probably Araya… Looks like “Las Vegas parano” trip!
Shaun: I’m going for Araya too on this one, it will only turn out to a joyride with eventually old school thrash metal on tape.
Bruno: Of course Araya…
Charles: Araya too…
14 Finish this sentence: If I were a volcano…
Nico: I’d probably sleep for a long time until bursting and liberate myself.
Shaun: I’d burst.
Bruno: I’m always borderline with bursting…
Charles: I would be on the sun and shine as much as possible when I’d burst.
15. What are your current top 5 most played songs on your iPod/mp3 player?
– “Explosia” (live Brixton Academy) – Gojira
– “The Sound Of Silence” (my favorite song ever) – Simon And Garfunkle
– “Extirpation Agenda” – Aborted (BE)
– “Tempesta” and different masterpieces from Beethoven.
– Many personal projects I have to work on it and need to listen to these to find inspiration.
– “Figure It Out” – Royal Blood
– “Father To Son” – Queen
– “Radio Nowhere” – Bruce Springsteen
– “Delicious Of Fear” – Malevolence
– “More To Love Than This” – Queen
– “The Gift Of Guilt” – Gojira
– “The Architect Of Extinction” – Ingested
– “Necrotic Manifesto” – Aborted
– Rodrigo Y Gabriela…
– “Guardians Of Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol 1″
– “Do I Wanna Know” – Arctic Monkeys
– “Bridge Burning” – Foo Fighter
– “Decode” – Paramore
– “Nothing Left” – As I Lay Dying
– “Sleep” – The Roots
16. Besides releasing new album, what can we expect from Age Of Torment in 2015?
Some new goodies… We just recorded for a vinyl with a new version of an old song we still play and a special track of my personal interpretation that seduced the other band members. Next month we’ll play in Denmark with friends from Contrition.
And many other stuff :). And we are actually working on our third album.
17. We are deeply in January already, but still, who would you like to wish a Happy New Year?
Nico: Would say anyone who deserves.
Shaun: Anyone who gives a shit about it:).