In 2015, the Vilnius-based foursome released their self-titled debut album on the Polish record label, Witching Hour Productions. Last year also saw them perform at Lithuania’s hardest rocking festival, DevilStone.
Simonas explained the band’s past and future to MXF, and also revealed why it is important for the band to carry-out all of their communication in English…
Music Export Fund: How was your band established?
Simonas: The founding members of the band already knew each other from their previous band Paralytic, which was together from 2009-2013. When they felt that the band was coming to an end creatively, it was a natural progression to form a new project. Au-dessus became that project.
MXF: How did you find your own sound?
Simonas: There is no easy answer to that. It was just that during the Paralytic years there were some ideas that were interesting. However, they were not entirely in line with the feel of the band. Those ideas were put on a mental shelf somewhere, waiting for the right opportunity to come to life – with this new project, they have that chance!
It would also be important to say that the sound isn’t yet fully established, and that there is still a lot of experimentation going on, which means trying new things and keeping things interesting.
MXF: Neither the name of the group nor the song lyrics are in Lithuanian. Was that planned from the start, and did you originally plan to target an international audience?
Simonas: Absolutely. The metal crowd in Lithuania is quite small compared to the rest of Europe, so right from the beginning it was clear that the band wanted to reach a wider fanbase. To fit in with that, the name, the lyrics, and all of the communication is done in English. Quite a large number of the fans are not Lithuanian, so this was a really well thought-out decision and it has helped us get noticed internationally.
MXF: How did you start working with the Polish label, Witching Hour Productions? Do you think there are similar producers in Lithuania who could introduce you to international audiences?
Simonas: There are a few Lithuanian producers who know what they are doing in terms of producing and recording music, but the band, already with some experience, wanted a label that has more active connections and more ability to promote the band and its music. We were approached by Witching Hour Productions and we liked their ideas, their other signed bands, and their plans for the future, so a decision was taken to sign with them.
MXF: In addition to Devilstone in Lithuania, what other festivals did you play, and have you had a chance to play abroad?
Simonas: Au-Dessus has only had the chance to play in Poland, but during the Paralytic years we played the Wacken Open Air festival in Poland in 2011.
MXF: Following the release of your debut album, do you plan a second?
Simonas: The second album is already coming together and the recording sessions have started. On the band‘s Facebook page, you can already see and listen to some teasers from the upcoming album.
MXF: Do you have any international festival appearances planned for 2016, and what festivals do you dream of playing?
Simonas: The updates for band‘s appearances are regularly posted on the Facebook page, so you can find the announcements there. Some international appearances are also planned in Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
Regarding our dream appearance, it would be amazing to play in Hellfest in France.
MXF: In what direction do you plan to take your music in the future?
Simonas: That is still up for discussion, but some new experiments will be on the second album. Beyond that the future is unpredictable!
Any Other Business…
MXF: Which Lithuanian bands would you recommend to an international audience?
Simonas: No Real Pioneers, Golden Parazyth, Colours of Bubbles and Solo Ansamblis! No Real Pioneers and Colours of Bubbles are also scheduled to play at DevilStone 2016 – if you have the chance, definitely check them out.
MXF: Two official videos from your debut album have been uploaded to YouTube and have almost 25,000 views. How do you feel about that?
Simonas: Oh, definitely happy about the reach that gives us. People are only going to buy an album if they already know the band, and if they don‘t, they won‘t. So, letting them listen to the music and discover the band is very important. Once they do that and once they decide that they love what they hear, then they will be willing to buy an album or to come to a concert.