The first time I saw Enochian, I was accompanying my friend (and patriotic fan) to a local show. Keep in mind, this is North Jersey—the bands are germinating by the minute. However, I quickly noticed the audience moshing and vibing out with this unsigned band. What’s the big deal with them, anyway? It’s another band in the plethora of heavy metal shows. I hastily noticed, why so. They’ve got the Jersey pride—constantly reminding us of the band’s birthplace. They’ve got the sound. And they’re a riot. I soon realized that I had to talk to these guys.
Couple weeks after, and upon visiting their studio, I was showered with every single item in their merch inventory. One of these included their hardcopy EP, Aimless Crown. Impressive. I felt terrible for not even buying a pin at their show. Then their overwhelming hospitality pretty much solidified my ruefulness. The dedication to their band shows in the way they take care of their studio. Rather than piled garbage, interlaced wires, and disorder—it was an artist’s den. It was a space for the creators.
Enochian is Ernesto Grassi on lead guitar, Alejandro Mena playing bass, and Michael Guevarez with drums. The three are currently auditioning for two members, after going through some lineup changes. It’s been a colossal year so far, as learned in a recent interview with The Aquarian.
First off, thank you guys for taking the time to speak with The Aquarian. The new EP is solid, and your show last week was damn awesome. What was the process for your EP, Aimless Crown?
Ernesto Grassi: It all came, all different years. The first song I ever wrote with Alex was “Aimless Crown.” We both wrote it in guitars only, then finished it in 2013. Then came “Reformist,” “Revise The Lines,” and “Exodium.” The tracklisting was written backwards, I guess you can say. We had everything well composed with my good friend here, Alex. And then eventually, Mike helped us with the drum tabs. Honestly, I couldn’t thank these two enough. This band has the best quality CD, under our name.
How did you guys meet?
Alex Mena: Our old band name was Visions Of The Vanished. We were looking to rebrand the name. Ernesto has been by my side for five years. How did we meet Mike? Well, we met him at a show, and we needed a drummer to record the EP. He saw how dedicated and diligent we were. He thought, we guys had something going on.
I want to be a part of this.
AM: Yes, and the music speaks for itself. We are chill dudes. So can I join?
EG: Hell yeah, we made him see the light.
And so, Enochian. How did that become the new name?
Mike Guevarez: When the band was still under the titles of Visions [Of The Vanished], we had many sitdowns. When we had the full lineup, we were brainstorming names for the rebrand. We just threw ideas, and our vocalist of the time came up with “Enochian.” Enochian means angelic language. We think the contrast with the music that we write is really cool. It’s something that we dig.
AM: I remember that night. I was dropping you off when we used to practice at 30th street. You were like, “Dude, I think we should change our band name.” I was like, “Naw…” but then I agreed.
I like the one word because it sticks with people.
AM: I came to that realization. Even though that was my baby, aw shit…
How about some places you’ve performed. The Nutley show rocked, but I heard you were in Brooklyn. Tell me about it.
EG: It was at The Black Bear Bar. [It’s] a mixture of a mini skatepark and a venue. It was a cool atmosphere.
Do you guys skate?
All: (Laughing) Haha, no but we bike.
You guys put together the physical album yourselves?
EG: We all collaborated with Joshua Feliz, he works under Solarnova Designs. So, he actually helped design the EP. We are forever thankful that he helped us get started from the bottom.
AM: The whole theme came from us. Before Enochian came to be, we were contemplating about the concept. One of our friends, Roberto, came up with the stone. There’s also dark bricks, and a secret window. So, that’s where the idea came. We gave it to him, and he made the idea come alive.
Alright, so let’s look at some of the lyrics here in “Aimless Crown.”
MG: I worked for a dark corporation, this ambassador job. I hackled people. It sucked… We had the “Aimless [Crown]” instrumental, and I listened to it, on repeat. I kept listening and gained inspiration… from those bastards. But I typically thought of “Aimless Crown” as a story. Not an actual Medieval thing per se, but, kind of like a crowd people standing up against an outside force. People creating a rebellion. Stand up for yourself, you know?
AM: It’s open to interpretation too. The first couple lines read, “It starts with one rule, and on to the next. They don’t believe that we’re meant for progression.” I think we face a lot of negative forces that interfere with what we want to pursue. It can be anything. There are going to be outside forces, telling you that you can’t do this. But, this is what I’m passionate about. So, that’s what the song means to me. You can really make up your own meaning to it.
It reminds me of Star Wars a bit… The rebellion, haha.
MG & AM: No spoilers.
The actual making of the EP, you recorded it here?
AM: We actually recorded it with our good friend, Chris Breen. This was his first serious metal band. It was in his garage, but he has all kickass equipment.
EG: There’s this thing called the Axe-fx, a digital preamp processor.
MG: It’s the Bugatti thing for guitars.
AM: So, yeah he helped us out.
You’re looking into the future. Are you writing?
AM: Always, every day. And can I just say that I posted a video of our recent performance, and then an hour later… one of the ‘likes’ were from Sumerian Records. For me, they are the future… they are the dream come true. Their bands are very similar to our style. We are also auditioning for another guitarist, and lead vocals. They’ve been performing with us, and do a hell of a good job. We are just making sure this is it.
I love that this is the unsigned issue. Really talking to down-to-earth guys like you. Why are you doing this?
AM: The only reason we are doing this is because we love it. Every time we step foot in [the studio], or in a performance, it’s for the love. We put so much into this, not only money. And it’s all for the passion of music. I think we’re getting close to the solid five members. Not saying it’s going to be easy, but the whole thing.
MG: And to add to that… What takes such a while, is finding other people who are on the same page. People in it, a hundred percent. It makes you selfish about what you’re doing with your music. If you’re going to drop a thousand dollars, you need people with the same work ethic. That’s what allows us to pick the guys that we work with. Someone in it, for the long haul.
So, the journey so far… like soldiers finding your comrades.
AM: Yup, the three of us… just pushing it through.
Enochian will be performing at The Stanhope House in Stanhope, NJ on Feb. 10. For more information, visit facebook.com/enochianNJ.