Exclusive Interview: DODECAHEDRON’s M. Nienhuis And M. Eikenaar

Dodecahedron’s debut album came out late last month and put my mind through the ringer. If you’re looking for complex, dissonant, experimental black metal than look no further. I recently caught up with guitarist M. Nienhuis and vocalist M. Eikenaar to answer some questions regarding the band’s new album, the band’s origin, and more.

-Lane Oliver

Hello. How are you? Could you please introduce yourself and what you do in Dodecahedron?

 M. Nienhuis:

I play guitar and I’m the composer and co-producer for DODECAHEDRON. Between 2006 and 2011 I wrote all the music for our debut album.

M. Eikenaar:

I am the vocalist and I made the artwork for the album.

Could you tell me about the origin of Dodecahedron?

M. Nienhuis: 

It started out around 2006 when I came up with the concept for what is now called DODECAHEDRON. I wanted to write music rooted in black metal, but with more atmosphere and aggression.

When I started working with J. Bonis I learned about sound synthesis, and I immediately saw opportunities here. It would be way better to make atmospheric layers using this technique rather than a keyboard or synthesizer.

In 2009 the current line-up was established and in 2011 we recorded, mixed and mastered the whole album. In June 2011 we got signed to Season Of Mist, which led to this release.

Is there any specific reason why “Dodecahedron” was chosen as the band’s name?

M. Eikenaar: 

The dodecahedron is a perfect example of the golden section, a ratio you can find in the entire nature and cosmos around us. From a genetic level to the proportions in our body to the perfection in art and music. The dodecahedron is a perfect geometrical shape which consists of 12 sides. Each side is divided into 5 equal sides which fit a perfect pentagram (the pentagram being the perfect five pointed star; the most perfect shape of the golden section) which is a symbol connected to the power of white and black magic.

The dodecahedron resembles the fith element. Besides air, water, fire and earth, The dodecahedron is the omnipotent universe (also ether or quintessence). Our music is pretty complex at times so we see the shape of the Dodecahedron fits as our band name. It is also an inspiration for both the music and artwork.

Could you tell me a little bit about the writing and recording process of the new record?

 M. Nienhuis:

It was a very intense process. I had been writing stuff over the years, but when we started recording it became a exceptionally heavy job. J. Bonis and I had numerous discussion about the way we wanted things to sound and made a lot of choices regarding that before we started recording. The instruments were recorded between  February and June 2011. In July and August J. Bonis and I worked every single day on the mix and the master. We had established a clear vision on how the album should sound and we wouldn’t rest until it sounded that way.

The record has a pretty unique sound. What are the influences that help you form your compositions? Are there any particular artists that you cite as influences?

 M. Nienhuis:

We are influenced by numerous different artists, musical and visual. What makes us unique is that we also draw from the worlds of contemporary classical music and electronic music. Contemporary composers such as György Ligeti and Alexander Mosolov are important, as well as electronic composers Jaap Vink and Rene Uijlenhoet. Next to that there are of course bands with an inventive and aggressive approach that we highly value, such as Meshuggah, Kickback, Gorguts and Converge.

The lyrics on the album are exceptionally dark. Could you explain the meanings behind the lyrical content and what influenced you to write such lyrics?

M. Eikenaar:

The lyrics are written under the influence of the music. They are very cinematic; they paint dark and deep pictures. Metaphors are taken from occult and Christian aesthetics. We don’t have a clear message, we just want to invoke a certain atmosphere regarding the miserable failure of man.
Man: a creator of the finest arts and the most horrific things on this planet. Humans in need of religion and mystic experience ready to fuck up the world and let it burn down in ruin.

What are your opinions on the current heavy music scene; the black metal scene in particular?

M. Nienhuis:

We don’t really care about that. We are mainly focused on our own artistic endeavors.

I had read in another interview that you are unsure whether or not Dodecahedron will perform live. Are you guys not interested in touring? 

M. Nienhuis:

Intensive touring is impossible because of practical circumstances. We are open to suggestions for shows but we are not a band that rehearses every week so it would take some time. We will look at it when requests come in.

What can we expect next from Dodecahedron?

Nienhuis:

At the moment we are really busy promoting this release. That is taking a lot of effort and time and we want to give it all our energy because we have worked so hard on this record.
The dodecahedron and other mystical geometrical forms are an enormous source of inspiration however and I strongly feel that we can draw enough from that source to make another album.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. Take care.

 M. Nienhuis:

Thank you for your interest. If you like our music, please support us by buying a cd or t-shirt from our webshop on www.ddchdrn.com

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