This e-mail interview with Chlordane of The Amenta was done by Shane Wall in early August, 2004.

The Australian black metal act The Amenta came to life in the year 2000. In 2002 they recorded a mini album which led up to a deal with France's Listenable Records. On August 30th, 2004, their debut album "Occasus" will be released. Chlordane took some time off to answer our questions.

How did the Amenta come into being?
The Amenta began in 2000 when our various other bands ground to a halt. We wanted to make music that pushed boundaries and offered new ideas so we joined together as The Amenta. In 2002 we released our debut a three track MCD entitled “Mictlan”. “Mictlan” also had a bonus multimedia section that contained a bio, images and an exclusive bonus track. This MCD resulted in our deal with Listenable Records.

How would you describe your music?
Our music is Extreme Music. Other people have called us Death or Black or Death/Black/Industrial as well as many other strange combinations but I think that Extreme Music is ideal as it gives no prior implications as to how the music should sound. We certainly contain elements of Death, Black and Industrial but their definitions are too limiting when it comes to describing the multitude of sounds that we have captured on our album “Occasus”.

What is the band's ultimate goal, artistically speaking?
Artistically speaking our ultimate goal is to create the best albums possible. We want to introduce new sounds to the extreme music palate and we will keep evolving so that our albums are always relevant. It is very important to me that The Amenta never becomes stale and stagnant. Our artistic creed is experimentation. We are constantly trying new ways to push the extreme music envelope.

Your recently released debut 'Occasus' originally bore the title of 'Ennea', was there any significant reason for the change?
“Ennea” was always a working title. Ennea means 9 in Greek and at the time we had 9 tracks for the album. “Occasus” suits the album much better as it is Latin for west, sunset and decay. The west aspect refers to Western Society, the sunset refers to the twilight of said society and the decay is a reference to the decay of individual thought in humanity due to the soul crushing regularities of dogma.

Your artwork and lyrics display a refreshingly high-minded approach to metal, what was the inspiration behind this?
This high minded approach, which I am gratified that you have noticed, is a further result of our pursuit for artistic perfection. I believe that metal is an art form and that it should be high art rather than cheap pop art knock offs. Our inspirations for our lyrics come from many different sources such as literature, specifically William Burroughs, Albert Camus, Jean Paul Satre and J. G. Ballard.

In previous interviews, you've indicated that the visual, aural and lyrical facets of The Amenta are of equal importance, but when writing songs, which appears first, the music or the lyrics?
The music invariably comes first. Often we tear the song apart and rearrange it in order to get the optimum arrangement. If we tried to fit music to pre-existing lyrics this would be a nightmare as the songs are quite mercurial. Also we often find that the ambience of a song will suggest a particular tack for the lyrics to take. However that said, the two once combined, are inextricably linked and are of equal importance to the music of The Amenta.

How strongly will the visual aesthetic of the band be carried over into live performances?
The visual aesthetic of the band will be carried over to live performance in its entirety and will also be complemented by other facets such as lighting and other visual elements. At the moment we are rehearsing for an Australian East Coast Tour and are working out ways to transfer the entire album, samples, FX and interludes included, into the live setting utilizing samplers and keyboards. The visual aspect is also an important part of the album and so equal attention will be paid to bring that to the stage.

Many Australian metal bands are forced to move overseas because of a lack of promotion and finance in the local scene, how likely is this situation to eventuate to The Amenta?
This is definitely something we have and will consider as the local scene is indeed small. However currently, with Listenable’s able promoting and interviews such as this one, we can do a lot of work from Australia. I guess it will be easier to answer this question when the album is out and we are able to evaluate our options with all the facts in mind.

You seem to be fairly uncomprising in your musical vision, how receptive were Listenable Records to this?
Listenable were excellent when it came to putting up with our uncompromising stance on music. I think they understood what we where trying to do and they were certainly happy when they received the album. Musically they just let us get on with it and this gave us a lot of confidence in the studio to experiment with effects and synths that really lend a different edge to the album.

What plans do The Amenta have for the near future?
As I said, we are currently rehearsing for a local tour and we are also planning to get over to Europe soon. We are working on a film clip for the album with the makers of the award wining film Zero Tolerance Squad – State of Entropy. (Best Film, Best Director, Jury Prize at the Fifth Planet Indie Film festival in Toronto).

Thanks a lot for this interview and good luck in the future!
Thank you for the interview, Shane. Anyone interested in The Amenta should download the full Mp3 of the track “Erebus” from our website. The track is taken from our album “Occasus”.

Links of interest:

The Amenta
Listenable Records