interview with Aldenon conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #31 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine
When Cold Meat Industry started to send me CD’s, I did not really understand the sort of “music” that was coming my way. It wasn’t until I heard thy first album that I took that label seriously. The other acts seemed to be a bit pretentious, a kind of bullshit being sold as art. Hast thou ever thought the same thing about the earlier Cold Meat Industry bands?
No… I come from the industrial scene to begin with, and I’m very fond of the early Cold Meat Industry stuff. I actually like it a lot better than much of what is released these days.
The main thing that separated thee at the time was the total sincerity of the music. It instantly appealed to the mind and was a sort of paradox. Some of it seemed so familiar, and at the same time it was new and unique. What makes thee so familiar with the many states of consciousness?
Without pretending to be an expert on different states of consciousness – I do take a great deal of pride in constantly changing and evolving. Most people have respected me for that and I will continue. I want to be able to use Coph Nia solely as an expression of my will. Thus I won’t start a new side-project each time I create a musical piece that sounds a bit different than the ones I’ve done before.
Of course, I learned about Arcana a bit later, as well as Sophia, which are trophies among my CD’s. Cold Meat Industries has some superb music, in my opinion. Is Coph Nia one of their top sellers?
Yes, right now I think I’m among the top three, which is very satisfying since the debut came out 2000. That is not to say that I’m a young punk, but Coph Nia is still a pretty fresh act on Cold Meat.
One of the things that really hit me on the “Shape Shifter” album was how masterfully spoken the unusual lyrics were. In America, pronunciation is dying, and more and more consonants are becoming as silent vowels. Vocabulary also diminishes here, and I
fear that in twenty years I will have to move to another country if I want to converse with someone whose manner of speech is above that of a retard. How is it that thou, a Swede, shames Americans with thy superior command of English?
Well I have always had a talent for language. And also the fact that English is not my language makes me pay a lot more attention to
getting pronunciation correct. But I have the same feelings as you towards what’s happening to the Swedish language. People can’t speak or write anymore. It’s all very sad.
Thou hast made some very haunting music. I wonder how thou doth prepare thyself when beginning to compose such things.
I prepareth myself thusly: I pour myself a glass of wine and let utter pathos consume me! Seriously, I have no given formula for that.
Sometimes I have a very specific concept in mind long before I start the creative process. Other songs are born out of “sound design sessions”. Lately, as I’ve focused on vocal songs, I have started with a very simple and basic musical idea. After that I make a quick vocal take which serves as the basis for the whole song. A lot of considerations go into the sound design stage, and I have certain ceremonial preparations for the final vocal takes. But it’s not what
some romantic sods seem to think… I don’t raise Goetic demons to aid me in the studio!
There are some moments in the music that seem like an evil mystisicm, of dark ritual. It seems to me that thou art acquainted with Jung’s archetypes, like that of the shadow. Is this true?
I’m not very familiar with the Jung terminology. I have been meaning to study his works but never gotten to it. But I am very interested in
mysticism and ceremonial magic. The western magical tradition in general and Crowley in particular is definitely the main influence on my work with Coph Nia
I have been exploring some of the works of Stravinsky, and the music seems perfect for horror. Every once in a while, I catch a similarity to his music in horror or action movies. Thy music is quite horrific too, but in a surreal sense. A schizophrenic may appear like a dull-witted person, sitting and looking at something with no comprehension, face showing no expression. Just dull. But, in that tortured mind, a powerful dread tears the person apart as his consciousness is pure nightmare, but no indication of the internal sensations are evident externally. The wretch suffers in silence. Thy instrumental pieces remind me of that a lot. Calmness and terror combined. What is the motivation for making such music?
That is a feeling I very much enjoy to wallow in. Eire and brooding as opposed to “in your face” horror, violence and terror that so many others seem to prefer. Darkness for me is not negative or “evil” in any sense.
Ah! I just realized that the name is actually two words: Coph Nia. What is the meaning, if I may ask such a standard question?
The words are taken from Crowley’s ’Liber Al vel Legis’, more popularly known as ’The Book of the Law’. The full passage reads: ”I am the Lord of the Double Wand of Power; the wand of the Force of Coph Nia—but my left hand is empty, for I have crushed a Universe; and bought remains.” To my knowledge, Crowley himself never came up with a completely satisfactory explanation of the words, as he claims Liber Al was not really written by him, but received from an entity named Aiwaz. He talks about the wand in question as “controlling both the active and the passive“, which leaves a lot of room for creative interpretation. Numerous people have put forth theories about the meaning of ’Coph Nia’, mostly concerning its numerological properties. To tell the truth, I don’t care very much about finding out what it implies. I chose the name mainly because of the mystery surrounding it.
It must be hard to sell albums that do not fit any category. What measures art thou taking to make sure that fame comes to thee whilst thou yet live?
I haven’t had to do anything. My music has spread on its own merit. It’s true however that anything released on Cold Meat Industry instantaneously moves 500 to 1000 copies, but after that you’re
on your own… I am very happy that so many people enjoy my work.