EYNOMIA bandpic


How many bands can say they have Mike LePond in their line-up? A quick look on Encyclopaedia Metallum, aka The Metal Archives, tells you… a lot! Yet still the man, known best for his work with Symphony X, said yes” to EYNOMIA when singer Phyllis Rutter asked him to join the band she and guitarist Chris Bickley had started in 2015. This interview, however, is not about the bass player, it is about how EYNOMIA started, the debut album “Break Free”, but most of all about their upcoming sophomore album “Sea Of Tears”. We found an ultra friendly and very helpful (thank you for that) Phyllis willing to answer some of our questions.

Interview by: Henk van Nieuwenhoven

EYNOMIA started in late 2015 when you and guitarist Chris Bickley met on Facebook and were sending each other musical ideas. Each of you brought in other musicians, but the biggest catch was no doubt dyed-in-the-wool professional, bassist Mike LePond. How did you reel him in, while he was already in so many other bands?
I’ve been Facebook friends with Mike since about 2011, but never really talked to him. At that time in 2015, I had started to make guitar straps and got up the courage and asked if he would like one. We then started to chat, and I shared some demos that I had done of some songs I had written. I knew that Mike was involved in a lot of other artists projects, so on one of his posts on Facebook I told him that my dream would be to have him play bass on my new album, and I was fortune enough that he said yes!

Bickley called in his long-time friend, drummer Gaetano Nicolosi, as well as keyboardist Jimmy Pitts. What can you tell us about them?
Chris has been a touring guitarist for Christine Ohlman, who is the house band singer in one of the most successful long running shows, Saturday Night Live. Jimmy Pitts played keyboards on Chris’ second solo album “Digital Reflection”. Gaetano Nicolosi was playing in Ron Keel‘s band Iron Horse around 1999 and Chris’ band at the time was warming them up. They met and became friends after the show.

In what genre would you put EYNOMIA? Symphonic prog metal, just prog metal or, as The Metal Archives says, melodic heavy metal?
I actually think you could say we are a mishmash of all of those things. Symphonic prog metal-rock / melodic metal-rock. Hopefully it just comes out as good music that people will enjoy.EYNOMIA PhylliscolIn 2018 EYNOMIA released their debut album “Break Free” on Pure Legend Records, but the new album “Sea Of Tears” will be out on Mirror Image Music Group. Why this switch?
It’s actually not uncommon for a band/artist to have a different label for each album, at least here in the US. With Mirror Image Music Group we are able to reach a wider audience as they are in partnership with Sony Music/The Orchard.

Who’s responsible for writing the music and lyrics in EYNOMIA?
Chris and I write most of the songs. Chris comes up with a riff and I help arrange it for vocal purposes. Sometimes Chris will come up with a title which helps me write lyrics and the direction that the song will go. I write most of the vocal melody lines. When Chris sent me the start of “Reborn”, lol, it blew me away so much that I told him… Chris, I’ve been “Reborn”! Haha. So that’s how we got the title to that song. The song “Time Will Come”, actually I wrote the start of it on my acoustic guitar and did a rough recording of it on my cell phone and then sent it to Chris and he metalized it! We do have two songs that were co-written with people outside the band. A friend of Chris, Steve Coyne, helped write “The One” and my old band mate Neil Rawlings co-wrote “Set Back”.

“Sea Of Tears” was recorded separately, where each member of the band recorded his or, in your case, her part in the place they live in. Doesn’t that affect creativity, as it is much easier to discuss short-term new ideas in a studio than through the internet?
We let each other come up with their own musical part unless there is some specific idea that Chris or I have in mind, but I think that this way gives each player the ability to put their own flavor on each song. We actually get a big surprise as the song builds especially when it comes to mixing down, which is really exciting! Everyone has their own home studio. Mike records at his friend’s house. I do my scratch vocals at home and the final vocal at Brian Barts Studio in Minnetonka, called Logic Recording. The songs are all mixed and mastered by Robert Romagna who lives in Austria, who has worked with members of Whitesnake, Rainbow and Black Sabbath and many more, including Mike Vescera.EYNOMIA albumThe first single off the new album was “Jekyll And Hyde” with a very nice animated lyric video. But the lyrics (“Sometimes you’re Jekyll and sometimes they hide”) go way deeper than just a transcription from the famous Robert Louis Stevenson book, don’t they?
Yes! This song is about alcoholism and how they can become like Jekyll and Hyde. Split personality. One minute you’re a nice human being and the next you’re a monster. “Hide” is a play on the name Hyde as to pertain to hiding from your truth.

Next one up was “Mask Of Vengeance”, again along with a beautiful animated lyric video. On this song we also hear guest vocals from Michael Vescera, whom is known best as the ex-Loudness and ex-Yngwie Malmsteen front man. And he’s one of the guys from Mike’s gargantuan network, of course, right?
Mike Vescera actually is a very good friend of Chris Bickley! They’ve lived in Connecticut. However, Mike Vescera and Mike LePond have worked on mutual projects for others.

On May 17th, you dropped the third single “Reborn” that was scheduled for May 24th. This one has an audio video only. Did anything happen that made you push forward the release date and not make another animated lyric video?
We originally were only going to release 3 singles. One in March, April and June and then also the album. Since this initial plan we have acquired this wonder publicist that suggest we drop a single in May as well to keep the momentum going, so that moved some dates around. This is also why that is in audio format. The last single being released is “The One” which will be a lyric video.

On “The One” you broach another social issue that unfortunately still exists: bullying. What would you like to say to the bully and the victim when you got them both in one room?
What my parents always used to say to me… LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Even if Mike LePond could fit in EYNOMIA into his busy schedule, are there plans to tour “Sea Of Tears” in the US with him on bass or would you need a substitute?
As long as we can fit a tour around his schedule, I’m pretty confident Mike would be up to it. So yes, Mike would be on bass. We would like to go on tour or do festivals. It would depend on some of factors.