Metal-Roos: Welcome to Metal-Roos, Xenoyr. It’s a privilege to interview you!
Xenoyr: Hi and thank you, it’s a pleasure.
M-R: More than 15 years into the world of metal, being respected principally for your main band Ne Obliviscaris and some other collaborations with other bands… how can you summarise all this experience best?
Xenoyr: A constant learning process of compromise and awareness. If you’ve stopped learning and growing as a person and a musician, then you’re doomed to flounder.
M-R: Right now, your side project Omega Infinity shines light from the deep dark void. How did this project become a reality?
Xenoyr: I’d known Tentakel.P for quite some years. Our main bands had been on the same label. We’d crossed paths online and had been brought up in similar discussions, naturally as musicians we ended up in contact and became friends. The discovery of our similar tastes in music is what lead us to this darker path, as both our projects were missing that element in the music which needed further exploration. So, he came to me with a couple of pieces of music asking whether I’d be interested in being the vocalist. After hearing continuous blast beats I was sold, it was an easy decision.
M-R: Apart from your projects, you did some collaborations. The last one was with Lindsay Schoolcraft in her solo project. How did that go?
Xenoyr: I’ve been friends with Lindsay for a long time now. Ne Obliviscaris and Cradle of Filth had toured together a lot so we were quite familiar to how each other worked. She asked me to guest vocals on one of her tracks from her last solo album, at first I wasn’t sure how it would work due to the softer nature of her music in general, however this track I guess was the heaviest song on the album and so we made it happen.
M-R: Mentioning Lindsay Schoolcraft, you have also another project with her (currently in stand-by?) that is called Antiqva. Can you tell us a bit about Antiqva?
Xenoyr: Yes, Antiqva is percolating due to the pandemic we’re in the midst of. We were ready to go into the studio to record our first single (literally right now), but it has become a waiting game as certain members need access to studios and this project is no small thing so not everything can be done at home. Musically it’s quite involved due to having seven members across five countries and so it’s been quite the learning process, though very productive considering. It has the core of black metal mixed with a heavy orchestral component. I had to write 4 different sets of lyrics also for the single, and ultimately it’ll probably be the process for the rest of the album, which will be worked on after we complete the single.
MR: Returning to Ne Obliviscaris, in all these years you shared with many bands and artists that are respected worldwide, how can you describe the experience for you? What was the most exciting experience?
Xenoyr: Being an Australian band it makes it even more difficult to make a dint internationally due to the distance, and less exposure to grow earlier in the more centralised common touring markets, which means we’ve had to put in 200% to make a name for ourselves. As a musician, I’m quite lucky to be in the position of touring the world, creating art, and meeting some of my inspirations. I’ve had years of exciting experiences, playing some of the biggest festivals and sharing the stage with bands that I’ve looked up to for many years. However, I’d say the greatest experience was to tour supporting Ihsahn, an incredibly humble musician who has inspired me since I got into black metal. We did a short tour together towards the end of 2018 across Europe, it was the smoothest and most comfortable tours we’ve done as a band, and to be able to share the stage with such an incredible musician every day was an overwhelming experience, where I had to question my existence each day.
MR: Right now, the world has been stopped due to the spread of the Covid-19. What would you like to tell the metal fans of the world in this challenging time?
Xenoyr: Use this time wisely and productively, it can be a blessing in disguise. This occurrence is something that has the potential to bring families closer, force people to think outside the box, and potentially give them time to re-evaluate their paths forward in everything they do. People can either use this time to become stagnant or use it to create more meaning in their lives. I’ve seen a lot of terrible and pointless people online since this pandemic spread. Clearly, these are the people that need to not exist and are as bad as the virus itself.
Now to touch on the music industry, most people will perhaps be listening to a lot more music, so I would recommend supporting the industry that is helping them through the many hours they will spend at home, BUY music and help those to create more for the uncertain future ahead.
MR: Thanks for the interview, Xenoyr. It’s a great honour! Please tell us your social media to follow you and your career.
Xenoyr: Thank you for the interview and support of the music scene.
Photo by: Rikka Finn.
Interview Date: 2020-04-12
Interviewer: Jhossbert Gonzalez