Rise of Asura: blending raw energy and emotional depth in alternative rock – An exclusive interview with the band

Rise of Asura, the electrifying rock outfit hailing from Fredrikstad, Norway, has carved a prominent niche in the alternative music realm. With a distinctive blend of classic rock and contemporary influences, their music pulsates with raw energy, driven by gripping guitar riffs, resonant vocals, and captivating melodies. Beyond their musical prowess, Rise of Asura delves into the depths of human emotions and personal struggles through introspective lyrics, inviting listeners on a journey of self-discovery and catharsis. Their ability to intertwine the unrestrained vigor of rock with the contemplative essence of alternative music sets them apart, solidifying their standing as a formidable force in the industry. Extramusic had the pleasure of interviewing Ben, the songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist of Rise of Asura, to gain deeper insight into their captivating musical journey.

Your music is known for blending classic rock and contemporary alternative influences. How did this fusion of genres shape the creation of “Sky Empire”?

Well we all listen to a lot of different music and genres. I love quality pop music, and songs like Sanctuary is a reflection of that. I really dig Twenty One Pilots stuff. Muse is also a big one. That is probably why we love a big chorus, hehe.

“Sky Empire” seems to delve into complex emotions and personal struggles. Could you share the inspirations behind the themes explored in this album?

I wanted the album to be sort of a diary. From a perspective of souls that leave the earth and go to “Sky Empire” to sort of write down the last words before they left for the otherside. The inspiration behind that is depression, anxiety and heartache. And of course the experience of losing loved ones.

What was the creative process like for “Sky Empire”? Did you face any challenges while working on this particular album?

I think the main challenge was that it took a long time. It was our first album, so a lot went in to making it as good as it could be in that particular time. I found that completing a piece of work and sharing it, makes you evolve. So the second record “which is done” took a lot less effort to make. We recorded drums vocals and mixed the album in Herman Hollywood’s studio “Drummer” Guitar and bass was recorded in my studio and we reamped it through tube amps and tube preamps to Get that big sound. I Also programmed the synths.

The album showcases both high-energy tracks and more introspective pieces. How did you strike a balance between these different musical expressions?

Well Thank you. I am day to day, always in a different mood, so that helps the inspiration to make different sounding songs. Which I like. I think the ballance came naturally when it was time to make the track order. Also we completed each song before we started another one, which I think helped getting perspective.

“Rise of Asura” has a reputation for connecting deeply with audiences through emotional and evocative lyrics. How do you aim to resonate with listeners through “Sky Empire”?

I experience major depression from time to time, which I haven’t taken care of in a healthy way until recently. It’s very much about a that. Finding ways to cope Even though it’s very Dark and painfull. I hope that putting words to it, that other people can resonate with it and maybe find some kind of relief. Mental health is a big one, and I feel that as a society, we are in a right way, talking about it more and brining it more to the light.

In what ways do you feel “Sky Empire” showcases the band’s evolution or growth since your earlier releases?

Sky Empire is actually our first release. We rereleased it through a new distro earlier this year. But personally from earlier projects, I feel that I grew as a songwriter and guitarist the most. I am Finally proud of the songs I made, and not fearfull. Wanting to share it with the world.

Can you highlight any specific tracks from “Sky Empire” that hold significant meaning to the band or have interesting stories behind their creation?

Sanctuary was very fun to make. It was very playfull and intuitive. We engineer, record and mix ourselves, we really enjoy it. It was recorded 100% digitally at first, with only a simple beat to it. We then recorded the drums with a bass drum and big toms to make that war drum effect. We made all the samples from scratch. Also, The Final Stage has become sort of a fan favorite, and the lyrics is all about the message and concept of the band.

The album cover art for “Sky Empire” is visually striking. What’s the story behind its creation and how does it relate to the album’s themes?

Yes, the cover was created by Christoffer Karlsen, from definitiv design. We came in contact on Instagram, he was really interested in the band concept and story. Rise of Asura means Rise of demons/demi gods. It’s a hindu mythology. Which for us, reflect the current state of the world or just human nature in general. It’s about good and evil, what choices we make and what we do with our inner voice. Both the war within and out. Which I believe is very much conected. The album is about the souls final message, so the cover reflect that. What we will be remembered by. The upside down portal is a symbol of the dark, and opposite the light.

Being from Fredrikstad, Norway, are there any Norwegian bands or artists that have significantly influenced or inspired Rise of Asura’s music? What Norwegian musicians or bands do you personally enjoy listening to?

We listen mostly to international acts. But one artist that comes to mind is Susanne Sundfør. Great voice and songwriter. Other than that, we really enjoy Muse, Devin Townsend, Rammstein, Avenged Sevenfold, Iron Maiden, Metallica, System Of A Down and Ghost for the heavy stuff. But we also like pop acts like Keane, Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons and Coldplay. One major influence is The Beatles.

With the release of “Sky Empire,” what do you hope listeners take away from the album? Are there any particular emotions or messages you aim to convey through your music?

Like I said earlier it’s very much about the light and the Dark Within ourselves. May it be depression, hope, hate and love. Mental health is important to us. What do we choose to focus on and Even though we made mistakes in the past, it makes us grow and learn about life in a deeper way. It’s never to late to find the right path. And I think the journey of life is not always meant to be only light. It’s a balance. Pain makes us see life in a different way. So we hope Sky Empire can reflect upon that.

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