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By: Andrew Rawlinson
Downfall of Gaia‘s blend of post-metal riffs and black metal intensity reached crushing new heights on album number three Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay, which our writer Andrew Rawlinson dubbed an “absolute masterpiece in modern metal”. Andrew got in touch with Dominik Goncalves dos Reis (guitar/vocals) to find out more.
(((o))): According to sources you formed in 2008, how did the band originally meet?
Dominik: Anton (bass) and me started making music together back in 2006. We were living in the same area and knew each other already from our old bands and same friends. We got together and started to write some music. Back in the days we were totally into crust and d-beat. So, we played some kind of (shitty) d-beat and had a great time! In 2008 we met Peter (guitar) and we got along really well and we started talking about the idea of adding a second guitar to the band. As this would add so much more possibilities when it comes to writing music. All of us thought this is a great idea! So, we started to jam and it just did fit very well. Our sound kinda developed already and we were already playing more “epic and long tunes” when Peter joined. We also changed our band name a few weeks earlier into Downfall of Gaia. The old name and style just didn’t fit anymore and we felt that this new name would describe our sound the best. The whole old setlist got kicked out, we had some kind of a new beginning and we finally tried to write some “serious” music. You can say Downfall of Gaia grew out of the ashes of our old band. Even it was the same line up.
(((o))): I’m assuming the band name is derived form Greek mythology. Is this the case? And what does the name mean to you?
Dominik: Yes. You’re totally right!
In Greek mythology ‘Gaia’ is known as mother earth. Besides the beautiful sounding of the word/name it made total sense to add this one to our bandname. Of course we wanted to have a name that makes sense and fits to our music.
Downfall of Gaia describes in a very good way what this band, the lyrics and the atmosphere are about.
(((o))): Apart from the obvious bands who or what else has influenced you?
Dominik: Our sound is mainly influenced by doom, sludge and black metal, but on the other hand all of us are also listening to each kind of music and we are pretty open-minded as long as it’s good!
But besides the music it’s just the simple things. Daily life I would say. Our lyrics are shaped by the stuff that is happening around us, the situations that are surrounding us. So nothing that special I would say…
(((o))): Your very impressive new album Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay has a far more aggressive feel than previous album Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes was this intentional in relation to the concept of time that the album is based on?
Dominik: Our goal was definitely to write a more aggressive one as the previous record! Before we started with the songwriting we exchanged ideas, talked about the way things should be. We wanted to focus on the stuff that we also love to play live. And those are definitely the aggressive and fast moments in our songs. So we kept that in mind while we worked on our new record.
(((o))): Speaking of this concept how does the album reflect this for you?
Dominik: Each and every song tells a different story about time and all of its relentless sides. Each song deals with another unavoidable situation the most of us already got to know. The music is fast and aggressive just like time itself.
(((o))): What can the uninitiated expect from a Downfall of Gaia live show?
Dominik: A live show is always more intense as listening to a record (best case haha). We try to present our music the way you would expect it when you are listening to our records. It’s an intense moment that captures audience and band at the same time.
(((o))): What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Dominik: That’s tough to say. Over the years so many nice things happened to us! But I would say from this point of view our appearance at this year’s Hellfest or getting signed to a label like Metal Blade Records.
When we started this band we never thought that something like this would ever happen to us. I mean we didn’t start a band for all of this. We just wanted to play shows and release some vinyl but these are some cool things that I don’t take for granted!
(((o))): You’re given the opportunity to create your own festival. What would be the first five bands on your list?
- Electric Wizard
- Wolves In The Throne Room
(((o))): Are they any places you have yet to play that you really want to?
Dominik: We would love to play in Australia and Japan! We are trying to get there in 2015 but at the moment it seems pretty hard to get this done! But we are confident!
(((o))): What are your goals for 2015?
Dominik: 2015 is all about touring! We will tour as much as possible and maybe will start to write a new record at the end of the year. We will see!