Hail Ron and welcome to Hypnos Webzine. Would you like to introduce Aurora Borealis to our readers and explain why you choose one of the most enchanting natural phenomen as monicker?
Ron Vento: Thanks! Right now our line up is myself Ron Vento on guitars and vocals, Mark Green on drums and Jason Ian Vaughn Eckert on bass. We have had quite a few really good drummers in the past as well, such as Tony Laureano, Derek Roddy and Tim Yeung. As far as the name way back in 1994 when trying to come up with a name most bands were doing the gore thing or satanic thing and that stuff just wasn’t what I was into. I was always into history, mythology and space. My studios name is Nightsky Recording Studios and the band is Aurora Borealis. Both dealing with the skies. The name fits us well and I still like it to this day.
As you said, your journey began in 1994, twenty years ago. What are your most memorable memories or moments back in the early days?
Ron Vento: The most memorable one was working with a great drummer for the first time. I had always worked with guys from Maryland or Atlanta, they were always ok but they never could really do what I wanted. They all took forever to learn stuff and half ass played it… I was in Florida for a while just hanging out and Jamming with Jim, the drummer from Brutality trying him out on drums, and I heard a guy jamming in the Cannibal Corpse rehearsal space next door and I asked Jim “Who is that?”. He told me who he was and I started to try and track him down. I called Lee from Monstrosity and asked if he knew who this drummer was and out of the blue the drummer was Tony Laureano and he just happened to be hanging with Lee at the time. I asked Tony if he would be interested in going to Morrisound Studios with me and recording a cd and we got together, he checked out the music and agreed to do the cd. He learned the material so fast I was amazed. I gave him a tape of it and asked him how long he needed, he said come back in a day or two. Naturally I thought he was just bullshitting me, but when I came back he was playing the material better than any drummer who had ever tried out. That is when I realized I needed to step up my playing as well, it spoiled me and that is why we always have phenomenal drummers on my records.
How would you describe your music? Are there any bands or records that you consider to have been essential for the evolution of your sound?
Ron Vento: I like to call it a blend of anything from Death Metal to Black Metal (without the themes) and Thrash. Semi tech but not over the top. There are some bands out there that I know heavily influenced what and how I play and write. Mostly old Thrash like Kreator, Sodom, and even more known bands like Overkill. From the Death Metal area my favorite band was always Vader. When the album “De Profundis” came out, I sat there in amazement at Doc’s drumming and it is still my favorite record. Of course early Morbid Angel. I also listened to a lot of early melodic stuff like Dark Tranquility and Sentenced; their first couple records were amazing. Today I don’t like what those two bands are doing at all, but early on they were like Iron Maiden on crack. I also liked early Black Metal like Marduk, Dark Funeral and Setherial. I am sure all of those bands influenced me.
How does the writing process takes place? Does it involve all band members? And what about lyrics?
Ron Vento: No, I usually write everything, a riff or two may come from the bass player, but I would say it is 95% myself. I usually get a theme I want and think about that and let it guide my riff writing. I start with the riffs and tempo and build from there. Lyrics are always last. I usually have a concept I want to write about and after I get all the music written I listen to the songs and pick which song I feel fits best with the lyrical concept I am going for. Since the last couple albums have been stories it has been crucial to match the right song with the right lyrics.
Are you also involved in other projects or bands?
Ron Vento: Not right now, my recording studio keeps me very very busy. We record bands from all over, it has been my only full time job for the last 15 years or longer. I did some projects a while back. There was a band called Imperial Crystalline Entombment where we just did some crazy fast Black Metal with a ridiculous theme. It was really fun. Surprisingly it did very well considering we wrote the album in like two days.
In my opinion “Worldshapers” is a great album, a devastating and mesmerizing Black/Death experience. How has the audience reacted to this new work? Are you planning any tour dates to support it or are you already working on new material?
Ron Vento: Thanks a lot. I appreciate that. We have only got about 20 reviews back so far but all of these are saying the same thing, they feel like it is the best album we have ever done, as well as the best production studio wise. I always write for myself but when I was writing it I felt it could be the best cd I have ever done and I am glad to see others feel the same way about it. The people that have bought the cd are getting in touch and they all seem to love it as well. As far as touring I haven’t played shows in many years. I just do studio stuff. I have already written the first song for another album but then I got wrapped up in producing some other stuff. We always take a few years in between albums, this time won’t be any different.
As stated on your facebook page, it’s possible to download your whole discography for free. What’s your opinion on downloading and music industry?
Ron Vento: Yes, anyone can download our entire discography except for the new cd. Since we signed to a label for the first time in a long time we cannot offer that cd for free. If it was up to me I would put it out for free but the label has to make back some money for pressing it and promoting it. As far as downloading I really don’t care at all, I don’t make my living from my band so i really don’t care. I would rather someone that cannot afford my cd to have it anyway. Music may be one of the only joys they have in life but if they have access to a computer I want them to have my stuff if it makes them happy. We have a donate tab if someone does have extra money and likes it they can donate. I know other people that make their living from their bands and I guess for them the downloading is a bad thing and I guess people should support it and buy it if they like it but we are also living in an ever changing world and like it or not that is the future. I try to embrace it rather than fight it, there are other avenues bands can pursue to make up for lost income, they just have to go about it a different way than in the past.
What could you tell us about the extreme Metal scene in North America? Are you impressed by any bands?
Ron Vento: To be honest not really. As you can see from my influences I have mostly liked Euro stuff. There are a couple good bands here and there but for the most part it seems every time I stumble on a new band I like they are never from North America. I wish we had more creative bands here and not people that just follow the latest trend.
That was the last question. Thank you very much for the interview, the last words are yours!
Ron Vento: Thanks a lot for the space in your zine, I appreciate it greatly. We have never really been in the main stream eye of the Metal world and it is guys and zines like you that have always helped us reach a better audience. Everyone should check out the new “Worldshapers”. We also have merchandise available like shirts, posterflags and backpatches. So be sure to go to our facebook page for updates on everything. Anyone can get in touch with me via mail. I love talking to fans.