Back in 2014, when I heard Aephanemer for the first time and its instrumental Melodic Death, it was a blast. I immediatly contacted Martin Hamiche, the one-man show behind the band and ordered a signed copy of the Know Thyself EP. To me, this represented the best Metal newcomer of 2014. Meanwhile, Martin constituted a band and recently the first album, Memento Mori, was released. And here is the interview with one of the most promising and refreshing Melodic Death bands.
Hello Martin, just a couple of days ago since the release and probably with a busy schedule, thanks a lot for the interview! And congratulations for a 10/10 review (Sounds from Apocalypse Reviews) ☺
Hello and thank you for this interview! Indeed quite busy schedule, but nothing to complain about :)
When did you start to listen to Metal, and what were your main preferences?
Well I started listening to Metal when I was 13, when I discovered System Of A Down. That’s a band my older sister was listening to, and I appreciated it a lot! I wasn’t listening any music before that.
The decision to start playing and composing happened at the same time?
Indeed, I loved the guitar work of Daron Malakian and I wanted to compose songs and to play guitar too! Still, I was young and I didn’t have money so I had to wait several years before getting my first guitar. It happened when I was 16. In fact, I started composing (terrible) songs on my computer before I had a guitar to play them. I guess it explains why I’m better today at composing songs than at playing the songs I compose ☺
How were the reactions to Know Thyself? It surprised you?
The reactions to Know Thyself were really good, and of course I was surprised. I didn’t expect anything at all with these songs, especially since they were instrumental songs, but I received very positive feedbacks from people living in countries I didn’t even know! I realized that music can really be a wonderful tool to make people feel good. It even works with people who speak a different language, which is awesome.
The Wolf head (exquisite art by the way!) is an Aephanemer mark. Is it like a mascot? What's the story behind? Does it have a name?
The wolf head is indeed a kind of mascot of our band. When I contacted Niklas Sundin to design our first EP cover, I also asked him to create this mascot. I always liked the “Jester Head” mascot from In Flames, and I wanted something similar for Aephanemer, that everybody could recognize easily!
When did you decide to go from a solo project to a band?
I decided to form a full band just after the release of Know Thyself, because it became obvious to me that creating music was really something I loved, and that I needed a full band to strengthen the project.
Was it easy to find the other members? Did you make many auditions?
It has been easy, but with hindsight I can say I have been really lucky. It could have been much harder! Anthony was my friend for more than 10 years so it was natural to ask him if he wanted to join the band, and he did. We made auditions to find Marion and Mickaël, and we found them almost immediately! Anthony and I have been very lucky to find people who had the same mindset and the same tastes than us ☺
Probably you and the other members can't live only from music. Do you have regular jobs? Is it easy to manage time between music and other activities?
Indeed, I worked as a software engineer until 2015, but I left my job to focus on the band, on our label (Primeval Records) and I’m giving guitar lessons as well. Marion and Mickaël are currently working as software engineers too, and Anthony is an aviation technician. Anthony handles a part of the label work, and Marion writes lyrics, but I handle most of the band activity alone and to be honest it’s sometimes very hard to manage everything. Still, I enjoy everything I do and I really have nothing to complain about. When I was working in software engineering there were also tough times, but I didn’t have the joy of doing what I love!
Does the band plan to go on tour? Any contact for playing outside France?
We are studying different options, but most of the people who want us to play in their city/festival are living in far countries, where we can’t afford travelling haha! We have several interesting contacts in North and South America, but it would be too expensive to play there for now. We prefer to focus on Europe, but we are still a little band and opportunities are rare.
For what I'm hearing, the Toulouse Metal scene is great. Any comments? Was it the perfect birthplace for Aephanemer?
Indeed, the Toulouse Metal scene is thriving and we got plenty of bands who are forming every year! I have the feeling the local scene is getting bigger, and I hope to be right. Still, I think Aephanemer is a kind of solitary band and we have not been really affected by what happens in Toulouse since our creation.
I believe Aephanemer's dissemination rely mainly on the net and social media. How do you see the Metal scene nowadays, with the proliferation of so many bands that don't depend on large record companies?
Well I believe internet and home-studios gave the opportunity to most bands to share their music, which is a good thing and a bad thing. It is a good thing because if you’re doing it properly, you can really build an audience through social media and develop authentic relationships with your fans. It is a bad thing because many band don’t really understand how social media and internet work, and they are just shouting their music everywhere without understanding that’s not how it works!
I think some bands can grow without a label, but most bands can’t. Internet is just a tool and there are many skills to develop day after day to use it properly. Nothing really difficult here, but most musicians are just not interested in it, and we can’t blame them: they just want to create music! For this reason (and many other reasons), labels will always exist and will always be necessary for most of the bands.
You created the Primeval Records company and Memento Mori should be release number one. Any promising contracts?
In fact, we needed to show what we can do and release our own album before negotiating with bands who could join our roster. I think this is a success, and now we will start contacting bands to study potential collaborations. These bands will be able to see and measure the concrete results we obtained with our album, which will be more persuasive than any long speech we could write ☺
Have you visited Portugal? Besides football and stupid politicians, what do do you know about us? Do you know and like any Portuguese Metal band?
I have not visited Portugal yet but I would love to do it! To be honest, I don’t know much about your country and that is why I want to visit it. I know Dark Oath which are doing great music! Unfortunately, I don’t know them personally since they ignored the messages we sent to them ☺
(Martin also knows Moonshade, but didn't know they are Portuguese. And Dark Oath didn't answer just the invitation to Primeval Recolds ☺)
And our classic question. Do you want to leave a final message to the Sounds from Apocalypse readers?
Thank you for reading! If you like Melodic Death Metal or more generally melodic metal, you may want to check our music! ☺

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