For my second interview, I sat down with Massachusetts musician amnaeon, or Justin Bonitz. He does everything in his band and is relatively unknown right now. So I thought I would get to know the man and learn his story.
NT: Hey Justin! Please introduce yourself to the readers.
A: HIYA! My name’s Justin Bonitz, I’m 22 years old, and I’m the Vocals/guitar/bass/drums for the band amnaeon. I write, compose, and record all the music myself. When I do play a live show, I have Anthony Leroy on drums, Dan Lavoie on Rhythm guitar, and Tyler Berube on bass, while I sing and do lead guitar. But music/recording-wise I do everything myself.
NT: What is your inspiration for writing music?
A: My inspiration for writing my music is a story I’ve been writing called “The Mourn”. The story in a nut shell is
about a creature called “The Maker” that created an artificial star to control the cycle of life and death, and the
planet amnaeon revolts against him. All of my lyrics/music tell the story, and each song is a chapter in a book. The
instrumental part of the music just comes out of me like a painting. After I finish a song I usually don’t have any
recollection of writing it at first. It seems almost like it was a fading dream.
NT: Tell me about life as a musician.
A: I’ve been a musician since I was 10 when I learned how to play guitar. At first I was forced to play it, and I
absolutely hated it. After about a year I wrote my first song and I loved it. That song evolved into what is now the
track “Undefined” on the album Aorta Borealis. But life as a musician for me is just wonderful. Doing what I love everyday… I couldn’t ask for anymore.
NT: Where did the name amnaeon come from?
A: The name amnaeon has come a long way. I started the band when I was 17, originally under the name of “6 Minutes To A Wheelchair”, then we got a new drummer and we became “Blind Can’t Follow”. After like a year I decided I wanted to change the band name again. amnaeon is the name of the planet that my story takes place on. It was a play off of the words amnesia and aeon to mean “forgetting yourself over a long span of time”.
NT: Any upcoming projects you wanna tell us about?
A: As of right now, I have 10/14 tracks off amnaeon’s second album “The Proamates” fully finished and recorded. I have 4/14 tracks fully finished and recorded off of the third album “Wolfpit Drive”, and have about 5 instrumentals done. 5/14 tracks off of the fourth album “Mount Krell” are also finished, and I about 8 instrumentals ready for the fifth album “General Reem”. I’m planning on doing 6 albums total. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do after that. I’ve also been making music videos for the first album. They are hand-drawn charcoal animations, which is a little different than the typical music video, but I really want to show the world of that the story takes place in. I’ll be releasing the first video within the next couple months.
NT: Do you have any inspirations?
A: I have many, many inspirations for my music. I wake up every day and look for what I can use to make my music and myself better. I listen to everything, not just music. The sounds of cars, trees in the wind animals, people talking, any sound can be made into music in my ears. Living and experiencing is what inspires me to make music. I don’t try to fit into a specific genre, I just write what I feel. Music-wise, my inspirations would be Coheed & Cambria, old 3Doors Down, old Fuel, 36Cazy Fists, Pathogenic, 3, Haste, old Rise Against, Atmosphere, and a crap ton of other artists. The game Oddworld was also a HUGE inspiration for me when I was growing up.
NT: If you could be signed to one label, which label would you pick?
A:I honestly will never get signed to a label.
NT: Why will you never be signed to a label?
A: I’ll never get signed to a label just because I don’t like the music industry. It seems a lot like politics to me.
Labels sign bands to make money off of them. It’s just a game, and the bands become the game pieces. I don’t want to be used as a tool to acquire something that encourages greed. I want to be heard so that I can make a difference in people’s lives, and encourage imagination and creativity. I get so depressed when I hear bands that all sound the same because they want to fit into a genre that people like. I have no respect for musicians like that. As I said earlier, for me it’s just about manifesting the music that I hear in my head into a physical form and sharing it with the world.
NT: If there was any band you would love to tour with, who would it be and why?
A: If I could tour with any band, I would probably pick Coheed & Cambria. They are hands down my favorite band, and Claudio Sanchez just seems like he’d be really fun to hang out with.
NT: What about a specific major tour you would love to be on?
A: As of right now, I wouldn’t want to be on a tour. I do really love putting on a show, but in the 4 years that I’ve
been playing local venues I couldn’t stand it. When my band played and we were all under 21, the bars always gave us a hard time. When we finally turned 21 I just started not enjoying the experience. I don’t like how venues rush bands to set up and get their sets in. They never give us time to make sure everything even sounds good. Nobody ever shows up either…it’s usually just bands playing for the other bands. I’m always worried about getting my equipment stolen… I just prefer being a studio musician right now. Maybe after I establish a fan base and I knew people would actually come watch me play… then I’d consider going on tour.
NT: Any bands you want to collab with?
A: Doing a collaboration would be a really neat experience. I’d love to do a collaboration with Coheed & Cambria.
NT: Is there any band out there today that you feel shouldn’t have the fame they have?
A: I’m not really a big fan of the word “fame”. There are a lot of bands out there that I personally don’t enjoy
listening to, but somewhere in the world somebody does. I feel everybody has the right to their own opinion about music, but in the end music IS music. It’s not my place to call other bands crappy or undeserving. A lot of bands that sellout do it simply for the money whether they’re selling out in their music or their look. I personally wouldn’t do that, but if it’s about money for them, then let them do their thing. For me, it’s all about the music. Not to sound pompous, but I write music for me. I enjoy listening to the things that I come up with just as an artist enjoys looking at his or her own painting.
NT: Any words for the fanbase you have garnered?
A: For the fan base I’ve gathered so far I’d say you should really try and get into the story. Listen to the lyrics and
try to understand what’s going on. It will be a lot easier when I release the music videos so you can see what the
characters and the world looks like. Like I said I already have started writing and recording the next 5 albums, so I
hope nobody gets turned off by them. I’m going to be doing a lot of different things the more story progresses, and I really hope that everybody enjoys the future albums as much as they enjoyed the first.
NT: I hear similarities with Coheed & Cambria in your music. Would you agree?
A: I definitely hear a lot of similarities with Coheed & Cambria. More so in the vocals than the instrumental aspect. I have a really weird voice, and I have a pretty high range, so I learned a lot on how to control my voice and blend it with the music from listening to that band. I also forgot to mention that I get a lot of inspiration from the band TOOL, and I’ve been compared to them music-wise a few times.
NT: Well thank you for your time man. Anything else you wanna say?
A: Rock on fellow musicians! Just keep doing your thing!