Interview with Lenax
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
It was a combination of early experiences. I came from a musical family, and was inspired by hearing my uncle playing guitar. My parents weren’t musicians but played records at home, and I had an early exposure to live music. If I went another path, perhaps I would have gone into full time martial arts.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
My two biggest hobbies would be physical fitness and reading. The latter definitely impacts my creativity, as I utilize horror, science fiction, and occult themes in my music.
How long has your band been around?
Less than a year at this point. I had been involved with other projects, but this is a first as far as writing my own music.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
The band is based out of Nashville, TN. This area is known the world over as a center for country music. However many locals will tell you that country is not the only thing we have at the local level. When you get away from the tourist destinations, and not even by far, you find a lot of smaller clubs where the local music scene is very vibrant and diverse.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The band’s name is an encoded word that means something to me, and it goes back at least five years before the band’s formation. That exact connection should remain somewhat enigmatic for now!
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I am going to be speaking more as a music fan here, since Lenax is still a few months from playing our first show. I think the most memorable show for me was from the mid-2000’s when I was at a metal festival, and one show in particular had a fairly large mosh pit. The experience was just intense. There is a group hysteria, high adrenaline, lost in a crowd sort of experience that can only really come with a combination of senses and the physical interactions. A good pit experience includes of course picking up the other guy!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Based on the local scene, I have two venues I want the band to hit next year: The Cobra and 404 Bar and Grill. Both are great local venues. After that, I think the biggest thing on my agenda is getting to festival stages.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Definitely some giants of black metal, especially the Norwegian bands. Wish list shows would be festival gigs such as Inferno Fest, Beyond the Gates, and Midgardsblot. As far as bands to play with, some of my absolute heroes would include Enslaved, Immortal, and 1349.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
The biggest advice is to just plain start playing. No song is made without playing one note after the other! Secondary to that is just start playing with other people. By the very act of meeting more people, everything else falls into place. You get inspired by bands that have gone before you, meet local promoters, and so on. As far as my younger self, I would not have thrown away that crappy demo tape I made in junior high!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Probably the biggest thing that derailed my life and took away years of enjoyment was going religious. I would absolutely have had a better, richer, and kinder life by steering far clear from church.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I would say “Inner Dimension” fits that bill. While this song has undergone some development since we released it, the lyrics of the song are extremely personal. “Discovering the curse is not the worst, just an inner dimension.” This speaks very directly to accepting who you are and making the best of it. What other people tell you are your weaknesses and flaws are the qualities that make you a unique and powerful individual.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Favorite to play is probably an unreleased song called “Inversion”. This is not only our most directly black metal song, complete with misanthropic lyrics, but is also melodic and just plain fun to play.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
The creative process normally starts with a riff or a drum loop, and the two are bounced back and forth until a whole song structure comes into being. Lyrically speaking, I am inspired by a combination of life experiences and dark themed fiction. Often once the lyrics start to become structures, the music gets an additional edit, until we are left with a cohesive whole.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
As a black metal band there are the expected themes of rebellion against conformity and personal freedom. I try to convey these in a way that includes a weight of seriousness and personality. What happens after rebellion? You can only invert crosses for so long before you need to just leave religious pain in the past and become the best person you can be. So more than a mere rebellious nature, I convey a sense of personal power and freedom that comes with truly knowing yourself.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
It may be a bit early to say. At this stage in the band, we are still in transition from Lenax as my personal project, to Lenax as a group project, still with me at the helm. That said, my band members are family members. Their input is valid and important to the overall sound and feel of the band, and that includes disagreements. The way we deal with things right now is just by being mature adults, and making decisions as a group wherever possible.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The next big thing for us is the upcoming release of our five song EP “Purity”. We have some final mixes to do, and hope to have this on digital distribution real soon!