Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London, UK based Groove Metal band After Smoke Clears. Huge thanks to bassist Aaron Dohnt for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Aaron and I’m the bassist for After Smoke Clears. We play a distinct and unique sub-genre of metal, combining elements of groove, tech, core and aggression. We released our first 3 track EP titled “Disillusion” and two amazing videos in 2019, at this point we were just starting to discover our sound. Shortly after we started toying with the idea of writing new material, this idea became a reality when we arrived at Floodgate Audio Studios in January 2020 and recorded an entire album.

How did you come up with your band name?

The band name is a reminder that change is constant, destruction can lead to new birth, as a metaphor: after fire and flames a new forest can thrive, after smoke clears your vision manifests. The concept that one brings their own reality with them and choose their reaction to positive and negative stimulus, so long as they are mindful and in touch with their spiritual self.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

As a collective we’re from London, but we hail from Leicester, Australia and Italy. Before the lockdown London was a great location for the Metal scene, an endless bounty of venues and a niche for every genre. We’re very fortunate to be able to exist in this space. Hopefully post-lockdown there will be an explosion of new live shows, and we are ready to ride that wave.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

In 2020 so far, we’ve released three singles in support of the upcoming album. The latest single release is ‘Beta to Gamma’. Beta to Gamma’s message is simple: the mind is a superb instrument if used rightly, and meditation holds the key. If we stay intensely present, and let the resistance go, we can watch our minds with curiosity instead of being its victim. #FeelTheFire

Beta To Gamma (Official Music Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

We all obviously love anything metal, and the heavier the better. Our favourite bands seem to come and go with each release, but there are some clear major influences such as; Lamb of God, Gojira, Meshuggah, Mudvayne, Tool…we could go on all day.

What first got you into music?

The unparalleled experience and dopamine release we get through listening and performing music. There’s truly nothing like it.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

There is so much talent in the world at the moment so this would an incredibly difficult decision. But if we had to pick someone at this exact moment, it would be Tatiana Shmaylyuk (Jinjer) as she brings such a versatile and unique vocal style to her music.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

It would be a dream come true to play one of the major festivals (and hopefully they start back up again in 2021). But if we could pick one, it would probably be Download but there are a hundred we could pick.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I’ll let you know when it happens haha

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Your future is in your hands, don’t fear yourself. Take care of your health, your community and the health of the planet, the rest will take care of itself.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Chester Bennington was such an inspiration to all of us as we were young aspiring musicians, gone too soon and too tragically. Hopefully, his passing is not in vain and we begin to take mental health more and more seriously.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Undoubtedly the most enjoyable thing is performing, there is absolutely nothing that can compare. The least enjoyable part is the business side of things, social media and money.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The disgusting reliance on social media needs to go.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Right now, I’ve been putting Sleep Token – “Sundowning” on an infinite loop, but a classic album that never seems to get old for me is Rage Against the Machine – “Evil Empire”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Whatever works for the listener, so long as the music is killer.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

We played a club night in London, called Facedown in 2019. The crowd was amazing, the atmosphere was buzzing, and everything just fell into place.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Probably practicing to become a musician, none of us could think of anything else we would rather be doing with our time on this earth.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’d need to invite people who have led such a ridiculous and incredible life so far. My choice off the top of my head would start with; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Beyonce, Anthony Kiedis, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Maynard James Keenan.

What’s next for the band?

We are almost at the halfway point in the run up to our album release, we still have 4 more singles and videos planned, so you’re gonna see a lot more of us in the coming months. The next single released drops at the end of July.

 What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

We use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and most streaming sites. Our website contains everything you could possibly need, www.aftersmokeclears.com will set you free

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Is this some kind of British joke that I’m too Australian to understand?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

We’re extremely grateful for the fantastic reception we’ve had so far, all the new fans we’re speaking with and everyone who has been supporting us mean an incredible amount to us. Subscribe to us everywhere because you’re not gonna want to miss what’s coming next!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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