Solipsis by Rob
XAON. An elusive name born amidst Switzerland’s highest mountains. Never quite fitting in any of the numerous galleries metal has to offer, drifting through the extremes whilst juxtaposing finesse and vehemence from an unworldly orchestra, endlessly exploring the vast echoic gloominess of the human mind. In only a few short years, the combo led by Vincent Zermatten (guitars) and Rob Carson (vocals/orchestrations) has managed to tour the world through the release of their critically acclaimed debut album “The Drift”, notably across Europe with gothic metal monsters Sirenia and folk metal legends TYR, in Japan with Obscura and Archspire, in the US with The Veer Union, and sharing the stage in festivals across Europe with bands such as Megadeth, Testament, Exodus, Gojira, Paradise Lost, Eluveitie and many more.
In 2019, Xaon is back with their 2nd album somberly entitled “Solipsis” available through Mighty Music, bringing the band’s grandiose aggressiveness to a whole new level, pummeling their way through a cataclysmic atmosphere while reaching a new majestic apotheosis. This new album debuted on April 12th and received raging reviews from the press. It took the band on the road across Europe with SepticFlesh and Krisiun while continuing to prove itself as an upcoming force around the Metal world.
Most of us are mostly self-taught, I started out playing the guitar in my early teens and got really interested in orchestration, so I taught myself how to play the piano. I started picking up the bass a few years ago to play with some buddies in a grunge band. Vocals kinda came naturally for me, I’ve just been experimenting over the years and seeing how far I can push it. Before Xaon, our lead guitarist and founder Vinc had a band called Ever Since, with whom he played for about 20 years and the demise of this band led him to form Xaon. John (bass) and Klin (rhythm guitar) are old friends of mine with whom we had a band called Bloodstorm that played for about 10 years when Vinc asked me for new members to join in they were the first I thought about. Julien (drums), our newest addition, is a drum teacher and an old friend who’s been playing in countless bands in the area and just a sensational drummer!
Vinc and I both write the songs. For this record we both worked on our own songs and sent demos to each other to have the other one take a look with a fresh perspective and make the necessary tweaks or expand on the song, I’ll then rework the orchestration. This album was really difficult because we got pressed on time due to an offer to tour Europe with Septicflesh and we really want to have the new record out much sooner than we originally anticipated. The rest of the guys got the demos very shortly before the recording session and kinda had to learn the songs on the spot, it’s not ideal but we made it work. I run a recording studio in the French Alps so that gives us a lot more freedom to work on our own terms. I mixed the album and we got it mastered by our friend Brett Caldas-Lima of Tower Studio in the south of France, who also did the mastering for our first record.
The ramifications of “escapism” can be extremely vast, of course, it can be a way to escape reality and dream of slaying dragons and fucking princesses but it can lead to so much more, maybe acknowledging a deep issue inked into someone and resurfacing in a fantasy in a totally different aesthetic mirroring the situation and enabling us to fight it or heal it, by redefining the parameters of the situation and dealing with it on our own terms.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2019 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.