At the tail end of 2016, Norwegian metalcore quartet Aerial released their debut EP, Foresight, to the general public. Within the weeks following its release, the band amassed over 250,000 plays of their tracks and were added to several Spotify influencer playlists. They hit several cities around the country on tour, and even ended up performing at Skjærgårds, the largest music festival in Norway.
Going into 2017, the band released the music video for "Foreign Coast", one of the most moving tracks on the album. Within two weeks, the video had amassed over 20,000 plays, and is now sitting at over 40,000 since its January 27 debut. For an unsigned band, this is an impressive feat.
We were lucky enough to speak with the gentlemen in Aerial about their current success, the release of their debut EP, the concept behind the music video and track "Foreign Coast", and much more.
Your debut EP, Foresight, came out back in 2016. The release date anniversary is coming up in the next couple of months. What would you say has been one of the biggest things you’ve learned about the direction of the band since putting out this first release?
Yeah, the anniversary is coming up real soon. We’re really grateful for the response we have gotten so far. It honestly means a lot to us. It’s an interesting question though, because it’s not something one would stop and think about often.
We’ve been feeling a bit stagnant from time to time. After moving back from the UK we were expecting a lot more concerts and tours, which turned out to be a lot harder than we thought. Since that didn’t happen the way we expected, we’ve been working a lot behind the scenes, trying to build a network that can help us get out of Norway again and get us where we want to be.
When it comes to the question about what we’ve learned, the biggest lesson is definitely the importance of a live performance. This year we’ve been investing a ton of both money and time to get our performance where it needs to be before releasing a full-length album and touring the world. Our goal has been to get our live performance as close to the production of the EP as possible, which we now feel we’ve gotten pretty close to. So now that we’re ready to give our fans a good live show we’re stoked to go on our European tour this April.
There are five great metalcore tracks on this EP. What made you guys gravitate towards making a music video for “Foreign Coast” over any others on the release?
Thanks, well we have a strong underlying message throughout the EP. Foreign Coast is a cut above from the rest of the songs. Because we find it’s a bit more dynamic in a sense, and it has really powerful lyrics. Either way, all of us have a different “favorite song” on the EP, but we all agreed that this track was the best choice for a music video.
You released a single in the middle of 2015 called “Realizations”, which I believe ended up being your first release as a group. What was it about that release that you think really pushed you guys into that mentality of, “Yes, this is what we want to do.”?
After releasing this song, which was our first release as a band, we where lucky enough to play at Skjærgårds Music Festival, one of our countries largest festivals. This show gave us an enormous boost and determination to pursue our bands career, which made us put everything aside to move overseas and write the Foresight EP.
As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve played together in several bands earlier, and at this time we just knew that if we wanted to play music we had to put everything aside and do it properly. Our main drive was firstly to play shows and start touring, but even with the great response we got of the single we knew that we weren’t even close to our true potential, so that was really encouraging to us. “Realizations” was by no means our drive to go, it was more our passion to play and share music with the world. We really encourage people to just go out and try. The worst thing that can happen is that you need to head back home, and home isn’t a bad place to be either.
You worked with Keaton Goldwire (Invent, Animate) and Jesse Cash (Erra) to produce the record. What did they bring to the table for you guys as producers, and what drew you towards them initially?
After writing our material, piece by piece, we reached out to Keaton because of his writing in Invent Animate. Our passion for the old melodic metalcore was a big drive, and since Keaton had a long experience in this genre we knew he would fit perfectly.
He’s an incredible guitarist, so writing guitar licks and improvements to what we’d already written is one of the biggest things he could provide for us. So we sent him our material and kept sending material back and forth having him put his thoughts and opinions into the writing process. Since Keaton is a friend of Jesse we had him ask if he’d be interested to help produce the vocals, and so he did.
There’s a verse at the end of “Foreign Coast” that really stuck out to me, lyrically. “A skyline unfolds in the red distant sea/It speaks to my suppressed beliefs/For there’s nowhere out and nowhere to be/And nothing remains beyond our false reliefs.” What did you mean by suppressed beliefs? What kind of place were you, mentally, when you were writing a track like this?
That’s fantastic. First and foremost I’d like to address that we try to paint a canvas with our lyrics, so that people can feel free to interpret it however they like.
However, what we mean by “suppressed beliefs” is the struggle with self-worth, so when you’re in a state of hatred towards yourself, everything else starts to fade as well. It kind of just spirals down and down. Your belief, your ability to connect with people and your views towards life gets distorted. So mentally it’s us finding hope within that destructive frame. Our perspective changed drastically.
Last two questions. First, what kind of message (if you have one), would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
The message of our EP is hope. We want to inspire unity, love and liberation. We want to celebrate the good life. I think our music applies as a reminder of hope when things are stale, and a reminder of pain when life is great. An inspiration and appreciation towards life. We want our shows to be a place where you can express yourself and enjoy music, by giving a little piece of our hearts.
What does music mean to you?
Music has a way of speaking to you on a really deep level. It’s speaking to you both emotionally and logically. It’s so essential. It means everything. A life without music is unimaginable.
Aerial's debut EP, Foresight, is now available on iTunes. You can purchase it by clicking the badge below.