Helmed by eclectic Nøemi Aurora and polyhedric studio guru MaXX, they blossom in the evening twilight. They compose an elegant array of distortions and melody lead by a revolutionary beauty of stylistic range. Let’s get cyber addicted in their glorious kingdom of music…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born? Where are you living now?
N0emi Aurora: I was born in Italy, precisely in Albano Laziale, a small town next to Rome located in the middle of Castelli Romani. Now I live just a short walk from there, in the middle of nature. It’s a wonderful place, since I can choose to reach the center of Rome in a few minutes or disappear for days in the woods, looking for silence and inspiration.
maXX: I was born 50km far from Rome. I grew up in a beautiful city at the doors of Rome which is the seed of the Ancient Roman culture, full of sacred woods and mystery. Many people used to immerse themselves here, from American anthropologists to Popes. I’m proud of my roots. Also, I am happy to live here and to get direct access to these areas that are quite the opposite from the chaos of the big metropolis that Rome is. When I need that chaos it just takes me a half hour to reach it.
What was it like growing up in Rome?
N0emi Aurora: It was both pleasant and difficult. It’s a beautiful place without doubts. I had the chance to grow up in contact with nature, in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood. Maybe too quiet. In fact it was very difficult for me to find people ready to share my passion for dark/metal music, visual arts and underground culture. Most of the people in Rome were interested to haute couture, pop ranking music and sports. So, I always felt out of this World. To feel free to express myself, I used to spend my time at the dance institute painting, taking photos and of course listening to lots of music. I can say thanks to Rome for having forced me to react and build my current artistic world.
maXX: I love Rome. I love the area where I live (Roman Castles). It’s not about the quality of people but what it’s able to inspire me. Shitty people, shitty life, the system is always their ready to knock at your door, they are everywhere. When I need to take a break I can find shelter in the woods that surround the area where I live. At the same time, if I need to buy a rare record I can count on Rome. I don’t necessarily need to get an Amazon subscription, I can find all that I want here. Rome is like a vicious whore who doesn’t let you go out, it’s a huge force and you can breathe it in the air.
Can you remember when you 1st discovered Goth, Metal, Punk and Electro? How did it make you feel?
N0emi Aurora: I grew up surrounded by hundreds of Metal and Hard Rock vinyls, since my older brother used to play electric guitar in a Rock band. He introduced me to extreme music, so it was normal for me to go to primary school singing Metallica or Slayer. I started to listen to Gothic music thanx to ‘The Crow’ movie. I was immediately struck by the soundtrack. This introduced me to bands like ‘The Cure’ but I remember the day that changed my life was when I watched Marilyn Manson’s video ‘Sweet Dreams’ on MTV for the 1st time. It was 1995, I was 13. My first thought was: ‘OMG! Someone managed to get into my head!’. One hour after, I was holding the ‘Smells Like Children’ Ep in my hands. From that day, I started to listen to industrial music, gothic, electronic and trance music. I’m not a huge fan of punk, but the Ramones and Misfits are among my very favorites bands.
maXX: I started searching for my favorite music when I was a kid, 7-8 years old. It was 1987. I loved the great Hard Rock/Metal bands of that period, you know, Def Leppard, Europe, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, Guns’n Roses, Motley Crue etc… I discovered Metallica in 1988 then I digged Punk/Hardcore and Dark/Goth stuff because of their cover of “The Wait” by Killing Joke. I discovered bands that they were always citing as their own influences, like Misfits, Samhain or Discharge. To me, it was just beautiful aggressive music that makes me feel fine. It’s music coming from anger and I always have big doses of anger growing on me. It may become dangerous when that anger doesn’t turn in something higher, like being one with music, for example. Playing music, writing lyrics, always putting self-expression as the highest value in your life is what kept me far from self-destruction. I must be thankful to this music (may it be Goth, Metal or Punk) for having activated that infinite passion that still makes my day.
Do you consider yourself a cult band? Would you like to become a more global phenomenon?
(HF) Many people love to think of us in terms of a ‘cult’ band. Honestly, we don’t know what to think about it. We don’t spend my time trying to understand things like that. We’d like to become ever bigger simply because we need to live music on a daily basis on a greater level. We never thought of Helalyn Flowers like a band that started as a joke, or hobby. On the Contrary, we always took this very seriously keeping the dream alive.
Can you believe we’re in the 21st century?! What are some things that you love in our modern day and age?
N0emi Aurora: It is true, numbers tell that we are in the future, although I think that this World is living a countdown. There are lots of things I love in our modern age. Starting from technology, internet and medical progress. These are all positive factors, but it’s known that the abuse creates damages. We’re also losing respect for life itself. We take too much for granted.
maXX: I can see how fast things change. The world of today is totally different from the one I grew up in when I was a child, or teen. It seems like everything is never enough. The whole world is turning into globalism, with the weapons of technology, but I see that the system is literally intoxicating individuals with irrelevant and futile things. Everything’s so compulsive, aiming to vanity and trends. It’s not because of technology (it’s beautiful that I can start an international band sharing files on the web or that I can produce a band from Belgium staying here in my studio in Rome). Yet because people use the internet for stupidity, I feel like an alien most of the time. I can’t recognize things that accompanied my younger age, there is no more respect for music and art and the way to socialize is totally fake. I want to see gangs not people chatting via facebook on the streets! I’d definitely prefer to go back in the 80s/90s and lock the time like in a beautiful limbo. I don’t suffer from it, I have my life, my passion, I do what I want, I know what I need and how to get it. I definitely can’t undertake all the decadence of this world!
Helayn Flowers has released four albums and five EP’s, have you used the same methods when creating, mixing and mastering since the beginning?
(HF) Absolutely not! It would mean not being Helalyn Flowers. We always refresh our ways, release to release. It’s not changing, because we always reveal what we really are. We think one can hear it while listening to our entire discography in chronologic order. We reached a great formula with our new album “Sonic Foundation” but we can’t say that we’re gonna repeat it on our next work. We always loved to think of Helalyn Flowers not like a duo, but like a two-headed entity, acting like chameleonic solo-artists such as David Bowie, Marilyn Manson or Peter Gabriel.
What would you like to accomplish with your music?
N0emi Aurora: I would like to be able to communicate a message addressed to all those who need to express themselves outside the choir. To live of a passion, and be a reference to a generation that needs to start a new story.
maXX: A life made of what you really love to do and to be.
How did the death of David Bowie impact your lives?
N0emi Aurora: David Bowie definitively changed my approach to art. His album ‘Outside’ was one of our latest album ‘Sonic Foundation’ main influences. When I knew he was dead I started to cry like if I lost a childhood friend. The day before his death I was buying his latest album ‘Black Star’ LP. When I listened to the single ‘Lazarus’, I felt like a shiver and I thought: ‘It seems his last good-bye’.
maXX: Simply I realized that I had to stop wondering about what Bowie is going to do with his next album. The excitement of that expectation is gone with his body. What I can do is go back to his large catalogue and discover stuff on stuff, even the songs that nobody never talks about. Absolutely Bowie is one of the reasons why Helalyn Flowers exist. I approached him when I was a child. I can remember my uncle coming in my house always bringing records on records to take a listen to, and Bowie was among them. “Heroes”, “Hunky Dory”, “Aladdin Sane” were the ones I still have a remembrance of. Later I went to buy them because I wanted to own them. I could stay in my bed listening to “Diamond Dogs” in the dark isolating myself from the rest of the world. I always believed that his albums have a sort of strange, hypnotic force. Especially the “Outside” album that Noemi and I literally consumed when writing songs for the new album.
When writing music, are you reflecting the world around you or is it from deep within your soul, or a mixture of both?
N0emi Aurora: When I write music, I immerse myself in a state of isolation where nothing and no one can reach me. Sometimes I let the music join me and other times I turn into an huntress hungry for tunes.
maXX: Absolutely it comes from my soul but also it reflects parts of the world that are important to me. Not the ‘social’ world, but the perception I have of it. Often, things in this world are here to represent something else than how they appear to us. Even most of the individuals actually ignore what lives inside them.
What would you say is different about you from when you started out your careers?
N0emi Aurora: At the beginning I dreamed big. I was unaware of Helalyn Flowers’ destiny, but I never lived music like a hobby. Now I’m living a part of the dream, but I still dream big, even from the beginning of our career. I’m just less naive and I sharpened my claws. We also grew as producers. We built our own recording studios and we had the chance to take care of other bands’ album production and design. That’s just amazing.
maXX: I gained more strength. I learned the art of detachment and how to channel the rage within me. Also, I don’t care of what people may think of me because I don’t expect anything from them. That’s very difficult to reach but I’m happy I did it.
How about a special message to your fans:
N0emi Aurora: Don’t let other people build up your life. Always ask yourself: ‘is it really what I want?’ Because we own our destiny and we were born with a purpose. Never give up! Be a Wireless Survivor.
maXX: Don’t hide what you are or what you do. Incoherence doesn’t exist. The mind has many closets that are there just because you have the power to erase them. We can be Gods!
We’d love to know more about your future plans:
N0emi Aurora: At the moment we’re collecting the first fruits from our latest album. In a few weeks we’re going to release a brand new single, and we’re planning to shoot a videoclip. We’re also working on a couple of great collaborations and we already started to write new music for our next album. As soon as we finish our studio recordings, we plan to come back on stage and manage new live sets to promote our album around the globe. Our aim target is to play in the US, we’re working hard to make it possible!
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty is passionate, deep and sincere. It’s not just perfume and purse. It represents a state of mind. Dark Beauty pulsates the blood of the soul’s beauty.