Jondix, world revered tattoo artist and channel of otherworldly patterns and visual construction, this is his trade and one that has made him a household name within the tattoo industry. However, he also writes and performs in slow crawling lysergic doom bands, the latest being Aeonsgate, a collective of musicians from around the world and a very personal expression of his. We catch up with him to discuss this latest project and try to cut through the smog of mysticism that surrounds him in his Barcelona base.
Jondix, our readers may be familiar with your work in the world of tattoo, but it is the sonic side of your work that we will focus on today. It is in the year 2012 that you will be releasing a new musical vision in the form of one long track from your new band Aeonsgate. This will be a largely unknown entity to many at present, what is this vision of yours and from which source of inspiration is it rising from?
Around 6 years ago I release a CD with 8Hands4 Kali (my older band with Tas on drums) and it was one song only 55 min called Himalayan Necromantia…it was more space-stoner experimental with more noise and special effects, but we were so happy… at that time we were big fans of Sleep who also did a super long song album..
I like long songs… doomy and long songs put you in a trance… this time the song is more advance, more epic, more complex structure, but still “easy-listening”… I borrowed the first 2 riffs from Himalayan Necromantia as a Tribute to my good times with Tas and from there developed it to a more Metal experience. My vision was also to tell a story…cause the lyrics are important for me
You mention telling a story through lyrics, can you elaborate on this? What kind of story are you wishing to unfold in the mind of the listener?
Is the story of someone who is in the exact moment of dying, but doesn’t want to die and not be able to keep in touch with his wife who is still alive…It’s very romantic and sad, but the guy read many books on reincarnation techniques, etc…the whole song is a soul trip to another life more or less…
Your previous band Atman-Acron disbanded in March 2012 following a 7″ on Doomantia Records (108 Luciferian Neutronic Eyes), how does Aeonsgate differ to Atman-Acron musically and conceptually? Do you consider Aeonsgate to be a more permanent vessel for sonic expression?
Aeonsgate is a one of a kind project to be alone by itself and will develop into cult status…as soon as it was starting it was also finished.
Atman Acron is more Electric Wizard 70’s influenced, where Aeonsgate is more in an epic doom vein…more like Great Coven (another one of my previous bans with Tas that signed with IHateRecords) but more mature and progressive..
Writing one hour long track for your first release is a bold move, is the length of the song an intentional and considered move or a natural one born from the song-writing cycle? What journey do you wish to take the listener on during this piece?
In a time where everything is the same and the same again and again I think is good to follow your instinct into new things…
With a long song your mind goes to places it’s never been before due to the trance and repetition of the riffs…that’s important to me…long, slow, misery…. The song is more than one hour long and it’s called PENTALPHA.
Do you think the power of repetition within heavy music has the ability to mimic a drug induced state or meditative consciousness, a place that only this music can take you?
Of course!!! The drugs that helped me build this monster are purple xanax and my new e-vaporizer…and meditation classes should be taught at school for god’s sake…But who cares, everything is a drug in our lives…TV, bad food, specially aspartame, bad friends, pollution, money,…
From previous discussions you’ve stated that the origins of Aeonsgate came from some frustration at the lack of progression and commitment with Atman-Acron, how did you go about forming the new band? You have some well-known names contributing to the record, tell us about them and how they became involved?
I’m not a good jamming musician, but I have good ideas and the whole band must follow them, cause I’m not good interpreting bassists riffs of singers riffs from their mind…So I basically recorded a demo with all the structure and me singing all melodies. Then asked the other members if they wanted to be part of it and the answer was super positive…
My bro Joseph Diaz operates a recording studio and he played the bass and keyboard and become a pivotal part of the band…without him NADA…Mats Leven (Therion, Krux, Candlemass…) loved the music and recorded some of the more incredible doomy and depressive vocals known to this date…. people will not believe…. And because the song was long and difficult I needed a drummer from another musical territory and finally Marco Minnerman (Kreator, Necrophagist, Steven Wilson) agreed to lay down the heart of Aeonsgate…the drums are everything in this band….Dinamics of Doom rhythm evolution…
There is always a strong defined visual and conceptual aesthetic running through your work, be it tattoo, art or music, what forces both internal and external motivate you? Your work focuses on thoughts and philosophies of unreality, mysticism and concepts of light and death, can you expand on how these ideas are channelled into your creative output?
Death is the only reality…
Everything is an illusion…
Aeonsgate is about live after death….the most important thing in my mind NOW.
We perceive everything through our earthly senses and those patterns are formed into the senses we know by the brain, this is only an illusion of the brain. What does death bring do you think? Is death a liberation and how does death relate to Aeonsgate?
We don’t know anything about us, where we come from, about life what will happen after,…..only when we die, maybe, we will know….
That’s why death is important…That’s why death rituals were or are important…That’s why blood is important, because it’s drops of life….
You are credited as appearing on the upcoming Satan’s Wrath record, formed by your long time friend Tas (ex-Electric Wizard) can you tell us any more about this, the whole project is shrouded in mystery?
They just signed 4 records to Metal Blade…
Album release 24 September…
It’s the new level of metal….
For fans of Possessed…ha ha ha
I just played some neoclassical solos to end one of the songs.
Tas also contributes to Aeonsgate as the Astral demon… He knows…..
What format do you plan to release the Aeonsgate material? Do you have any label interest in the release?
It will be only CD released due to the length of the song….Deluxe packaging to honour the artwork is important this time. For sure every metal label is interested…just waiting to see what more quality they can provide to the music.
Can we expect any live performances from the current band?
This will be dictated by the sales and acceptance of the CD, because every one of us is so busy with other art matters, that we need a lot of magnetism to reunite…but who knows…everything is possible…
With all the different schedules and countries that the band work from it must be difficult to organise?
Man we live in the Internet Era, plus I don’t sleep a lot…ha ha ha
You live a semi-nomadic lifestyle traveling worldwide through your tattoo work, what priority does music play in your daily life?
Music is eveything. Metal is everything. Sabbath is everything. Judas… also Maiden…. Blackmore.. .Dio… Pentagram… Candlemass… all the same….
Where would we all be if Black Sabbath had never existed?
You mean the movie? or the Coven song?
No, I suggested something far too abominable to consider, what if…..there was no heavy metal?
Life without Maiden and Judas would be very sad…They created an army of millions of virtuoso musicians and music lovers…
Parting shots, where do you go from here Jondix? What does the future hold do you hope?
Just waiting for a good record company to really understand and promote it so people can enjoy it… But at the end I don’t really care.. I will always be creating something, music, art, jewels, kids, tattoos, anything from other fantasy worlds…
Interviewed by: Andrew Sloan