Post rock duo, “Niō”, has just unveiled their self titled E.P., with Davide Tiso on metal/ rock lead guitar and Jef Pauly on the drums. Their music is dauntless and unique, ranging from instrumental relaxing moments to compelling, explosive notes of attention. 

The two are based in San Fransisco and have a distinct sound. Both talented musicians, Davide from Ephel Duath and Jef from the band Vela Eyes, are currently working to release their debut full length album. Davide was kind enough to answer the questions posed by Louder Than War.

Louder Than War: Your music is very powerful, yet haunting, I am intrigued by it and I would like to know what the two of you were thinking while writing each song?
I see Niō like a shamanic circle of power. Inside that circle we are protected from the outside world and free to fully express ourselves as we please. Inside that circle we are free to musically go as we please, free to warp things, free to change skin, free to look at things upside down. We symbolize this aspect of our band playing live facing each other and surrounded by a circle of white lights. Improvisation and musical interaction is a focal point in our composition mode, while instinct and gut feelings are our muses. This band is about letting go and capturing raw feelings.

How long did it take you to compose this release?

Jef and I started playing together and composing this EP last May. We then rehearsed those songs and entered the studio for recording in early August. We clicked in 5 min tops. I immediately felt we were meant to play together this way, as a duo.

How long have the two of you been working together?

Same as above!

You wake up in he morning, have your coffee, and then what motivates you?
Life motivates me. This is an exciting time for me. I’m in my mid thirties and after a roller coaster of ups and downs I finally feel comfortable where I am, personally, spiritually and musically. For a while it was hard for me to deal with the state of the music business. After many years trying to make it, it felt very sour for me to come to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to make music a full time job. Now that I fully accepted that, I returned to have fun playing and I’m going for it. I’m very, very proud of what Jef and I are creating: it’s spontaneous, urgent, deep and solid. The same way I see my life these days.

Favorite artist of all time?
Swans. I literally loose myself in Michael Gira’s music. I find it healing. I have the biggest respect for this wonderful visionary that keep building such incredible and resonating musical architectures. Swans inspire me to keep searching, keep looking for my own personal musical voice.

There is a lot of deep feelings and passion in your music, if I could look inside your heart, what would I find?
The beauty of a duo like Niõ is that there’s no where to hide. In two, just drums and guitars without using any overdubs or loopers – we have this precious gift to be musically naked. Being naked gives us the chance to let go and scream out our emotion with the strength of who has nothing to loose. Because of that, our songs get that passionate and emotional: every note counts and it’s up to Jef and I to make them roar or whisper based on what we feel in that moment.
This band gives me the chance to be the most sincere musician I can be, and what a wonderful sensation that is.

Do you have a favorite track?
We feel very connected to each track of the EP, but I have to admit that the closing one, Cave Dweller, has a soft spot in our hearts. The journey-like structure of the song and the spirally shaped final really resonate with us. I get goose bumps every time I play or listen to that riff.

Are you going to tour?
I think this band expresses itself best when on stage. This is above all a live band. We started playing shows and we are hungry to tour. Few weeks back we supported Negura Bunget and Dynfari in San Francisco and we had a blast.

What is next for Niō?
We just entered the recording studio for the first rounds of pre-production for our debut full length album. After recording the EP we just kept going and in few weeks of jams we collected a pretty impressive amount of new material for our full length. We are very proud of these new songs, they are adventurous and charged, powerful and emotional.


Thank you for the interview! Davide and Jef – Niō can de found on Facebook and Bandcamp.

All words by Eileen Shapiro. More of Eileen’s writing can be found in her author’s archive.



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