Raven X is a Gothic Death Metal band from Ohio. I originally interviewed them about five years ago for INCLINATION and I’ve always loved their blend of styles. I was very excited to see they had released their debut album “Essence Without Light” and had to catch up with this talented couple!
MAG: You have been working on music together for a long time; tell us how it all got started
Khâos: Nÿx and I were a couple before the thought of Raven X ever existed. I had been playing in various bands and struggling to find the right situation. Nÿx had expressed interest in singing and I thought it would definitely be worth a try because I knew she had a great ear for music and she also had piano training in the past. We called a friend that was a drummer in another band and asked him to play with us so that we could see how she would handle singing with a “live” band. When I was setting levels on the mixing board I asked Nÿx to check the mic. The singer from the drummer’s band was present and when Nÿx tested the mic level with a death growl, she sacred the hell out of him! I knew right then that we were on to something.
MAG: Your long awaited debut album, “Essence Without Light” came out March 2013, how did it all come together?
Khâos: Recording the album was a long, drawn out process that took quite a bit longer than we had originally envisioned. At first, we tried to put together a full band for Raven X and although we played with some very good musicians, nothing ever seemed to really click musically with any of them. We decided that the only way we were going to create the sound we had in mind was to do the album as a two-piece and to record it completely on our own. This turned into a huge project because we had to handle more than just the music and performance side of things. The technical aspects of recording and releasing the album were a learning process and sometimes took longer than expected. The finished product made the long process worthwhile and we are very happy with the final outcome.
MAG: I love the title track, any thoughts on doing more of the acoustic style songs?
Khâos: The title track holds a special place for me because it shows another side of our writing style and adds another dimension to the album. At first, I was skeptical if it would fit in with the other songs on the album and be a cohesive part of the overall sound, but when the song was finished we really felt like it added another dynamic to the finished work. I can say that from early songwriting for the next album, I am sure that more songs and sections of songs will contain the acoustic style. We have actually been playing some small gigs locally as an acoustic duo and we have been receiving great response to these shows. The material we play in our acoustic duo is predominantly covers of everything from classic rock to metal songs and we have a lot of fun with it, especially because of the fact that Raven X cannot play live shows due to being a two piece band.
MAG: Your names, Khâos and Nÿx come from Greek Mythology- do any of your songs have a Greek Mythology theme to them?
Nÿx: The opening track “Erebos” comes from Greek Mythology and means “personification of darkness” or the “place between earth and hades”. Erebos is the offspring of Khaos. Because the song is an instrumental that is written and performed by Khâos, the name “Erebos” seemed to be the perfect title for the track.
MAG: What do you listen to for pleasure? Who are your favorite bands and do they influence the music you write?
Nÿx: I listen to many genres of music. I enjoy listening to music from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and also some newer music. I really like the 80’s and 90’s alternative music. I have so many favorites it is hard to list them all. Just to name a few, I love The Cure, Bjork (including the Sugarcubes), Catherine Wheel, Depeche Mode, Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Smiths. Some of my favorite metal bands include Ihsahn, Deftones, Emperor, Peccatum, Dimmu Borgir, Gojira, Pantera, Opeth, Crisis, and Made Out of Babies. I guess you can say that they are all an influence on me in one way or another. Sometimes it is just the way a song pulls at my heart strings and at other times it can be the way a singer’s voice sounds or even the way they breathe that can bring me somewhere. Chine Moreno of the Deftones comes to mind for his presence. I also look up to Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth. The diversity of his low, powerful growls combined with his beautiful singing voice is amazing.
Khâos: I am into many different styles of music including classical, funk, shoegaze, etc. I would say I probably listen to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as much as anything and his music has become more and more influential to me. I am also a big fan of Prince. I am very inspired by his ability to create all aspects of the music with his songwriting and his understanding of how each instrument fits in on any particular song. His songwriting is truly amazing. I have always been influenced by bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and they continue to have impact on my songwriting. As far as new music, I have been really into Alcest.
MAG: You talked before about getting a bass player and a drummer and possibly playing live shows, are there still plans to go in that direction?
Nÿx: Finding a bass player and drummer to complete Raven X would be amazing. We will always be open to this, but it is hard to find people that are 100% serious about it. Regardless if that happens, we will not let it stop our progress and we will continue to move forward.
MAG: What is your favorite song on the album and why?
Nÿx: All of the songs on “Essence Without Light” are special to me. If I had to pick one, it would be “Angel Of The Night”. It was the first song I had the experience of writing lyrics to and feel and theme of the song came to me instantly and without hesitation.
Khâos: As with Nÿx, every song is special to me in a different way, but if pressed for an answer I would have to say the title track. It has a sound that I think helps to set us apart from other bands and we definitely plan to incorporate more material like this song into the next album.
What are your plans for the future?
Nÿx: We have recently made our first t-shirt design available for purchase and we plan to have more Raven X merchandise available in the near future. We also are planning to record new material during the upcoming winter months. We have both been writing on our own and now we are beginning to merge our ideas into songs. We hope to announce a release date for the new material in the near future.