Musicscan: Ganz nach Belieben spielt man die eine oder andere Facette der eigenen, unbegrenzt scheinenden Möglichkeiten aus. In einem Moment steht man in feinster Maiden-Tradition, dann zeigt man sich modern komplex und verfrickelt, um gleich im nächsten Moment den Melodien-Overkill im Stile AILDs auszupacken. ANTERIOR sprudeln vor technischem Anspruch, ehrfürchtiger Andacht vor großen Metal-Helden und verqueren Ideen geradezu über. Dabei beherrschen sie Stilelemente und Instrumente nach Belieben. Und die jungen Musiker zocken auf allerhöchstem Niveau. Egal, ob man Fan extremer Metal-Klänge oder des seicht-poppigen Bullet For My Valentine-Stils ist. Die Metal Blade-Truppe dürften jeden (!) ansprechen, der auch nur im Entferntesten eine Affinität für Metal-Sounds aufweist. Das Potenzial und die Breitenwirkung von ANTERIOR scheint grenzenlos, und mit einer Platte wie “This Age Of Silence“ könnten die Waliser von jetzt auf gleich wie eine Bombe in der Metal-Szene einschlagen. Grund genug für ein Interview mit den Jungs…
Musicscan: Give our readers a short briefing about Anterior, please. What have you guys currently been up to?
Anterior: Hi there, my name's Luke and I play guitar and sing for Anterior, weve been going for pretty much 3 years as this current, albeit somewhat depleated lineup. Prior to that Anterior was around but with a slightly different lineup, I wasnt singing at that point, just playing guitar. At the moment we're just about to head on a UK tour with The Black Daliah Murder and The Ocean. Ive got to say im really looking forward to it aswell. We want to get as many gigs in as possible in the next few months, just to get some promotion in for Anterior and for the new album.
Musicscan: How did you first get involved in hardcore, metalcore, metal, punk, grind, etc...? What is your background? Where you in any previous bands noteworthy to mention?
Anterior: I suppose ive always been into music, even when i was real young. My dad would always be playing Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy around the house so I suppose that was my initial introduction to rock music. I started listening to as much rock music as I could get my hands on. It was quite hard to find heaby rock bands when I was younger, there was no internet for me to search on, the radio only had one show worth listening to and that was only 2 hours a week. When i was a lot younger my favourite bands would have been considerably 'lighter' than the music im into now. I just out about Metallica and Rage Against The Machine, and now im enjoing Nile and Arch Enemy. As for bands ive only really been in Anterior, back then it wasn't as serious, it was really just a hobby that we enjoyed.
Musicscan: As you were forming Anterior what was influencing the direction you would take the band?
Anterior: I don't think that we had a specific direction that we wanted to take the band in, especially when we were a lot younger, we just wanted to play rock music and whatever happened to sound good then that was that, done. As we grew up, i think we deffinately wanted to try and take the technical side of Metal as far as we could, but really trying to remember the melody in the music, I think that is incredibly important, keeping it 100% agressive as hell all the time just wouldnt fly with us.
Musicscan: What is the most significant way signing Metal Blade has affected your band and why did you especially settle with this label?
Anterior: It really has gone from just being a hobby to being the first thing you think about in the monrning and the last thing you think about in the night. It consumes you totally and thats the way it has to be, you have to completely throw yourself into it, because there's always another Anterior laying around somewhere not on a label but trying like hell. You have to put your stamp on your music, keep yourself in the game. Also the business side of the indistry has become a major factor, at the end of the day a band is a business, your selling a product. It's fine to say 'im all bout the music and that's it' but you have to start thinking about things. Your signing a contract and theres a lot of money being tossed around, you have to be more aware. The reason we settled with Metal Blade is because its possibly the best label to deal with. Everyone who works at Metal Blade be it in any of the office's around the world, everyone is so friendly and helpfull. Metal Blade was way too big of an opportunity for us lot to miss.
Musicscan: What's your attitude towards Anterior in general? I noticed that you are a highly professional working band regarding the music, but that you at the same time don’t take yourself too serious, right?
Anterior: Of course! You have to be really serious about practicing, be disiplined with rehearsal and serious with all the money and the industry, but you are playing music in a band. Thats what we enjoy doing more than anything else, and if your enjoying something then its going to be a good laugh. We're all not that serious, we try to not take anything too serious, we're playing metal which is fully grown men shouting and screaming and throwing hair around, its ridiculous!
Musicscan: Many of todays heavy (hardcore) bands seem to miss originality and hearable passion, but Anterior has tons of both and i'm impressed every time i listen to your songs. Is it just a question of the right attitude towards music? What do you miss within the heavy music today?
Anterior: Im not quite sure to be honest, all our songs take a long time to write, and a lot of songs have been reworked or even completely scrapped over time because we think that something can be improved. Like i said earlier, theres always another band out there that would not hesitate to take your place so you have to make sure that everything is absolutely your best effort. I think I miss a real good long guitar solo in songs these days. Go back a decade or two, and there would be monster solo's flying everywhere. There are some solos dotted anout the genre, however i dont think that thier all that good.
Musicscan: Do you feel that Anterior already has found its "own" sound, or is it still evolving? And how did your sound develop since you founded the group?
Anterior: I really dont believe that we've found 'our sound', i dont think we ever will, theres always new ideas coming and new experiences. As long as its Metal and sounds good to us then it'll be in an Anterior song. Then again, if you ask me this same question in 2 or 3 years time i might just give you a completely different answer. We'll have to see.
Musicscan: Do you feel that „This Age Of Silence“ is a pretty good representation of bands sounding as of right now, or did bands sound change again after you recorded those ten tracks?
Anterior: No, i think the album is pretty accurate to describe Anterior at this moment in time. Maybe next year we'll be writing with a completely different approach but at the moment 'This Age Of Silence' is Anterior.
Musicscan: What makes Anterior stand out from your own point of view? What do you consider to be bands trademarks?
Anterior: I think it would be hard to not put the guitar work down as a serious trademark of Anterior. Metal music is really biased towards guitaring and I think we are too. The songs start off as riffs and everything else is built around that. I think the tightness is something we work hard on aswell, its important in my opinion to be real solid when your playing Metal, and that definatrly comes across in our live shows.
Musicscan: „This Age Of Silence“ covers a lot of bases musically - there's something for everyone of hardcore, metalcore or more traditional metal. Were you going for a more inclusive approach or is it an intentionell drive to you to make the songs as varied musically as possible?
Anterior: I think there was some idea to try and incorporate different styles and influences into our music, you get a lot of substance that way. To be completely honest though, the songs are like they are because that's what sounded best to us.
Musicscan: Describe the songwriting process, please. Your songs are incredible interesting and complicated but rarely ever stay in one place for too long...
Anterior: The songs pretty much always strat off as a riff and a few ideas regarding a chorus or 'middle section'. The rest of the song gets built on top of that. After that initial idea comes wave after wave of trial and error, what sounds good here? Could that be better? Its important to constantly challenge yourself and your band mates, that way you can squeeze every bit of talent out of them. We really try and make sure that the songs stay interesting, you want to avoid being bored while listening to a song, so we messed with quite a lot of key changes and different ideas to keep the songs 'fresh' if you will.
Musicscan: Were there any particular adjustments or things that you wanted to focus on from a technical aspect? How important is the technical side to Anterior?
Anterior: I think the technical side is incredibly important, we always wanted to make impression with technical playing, not just with guitar but with drums aswell. I know this sounds shallow but I think it great to watch a technically proficient band live, its really great to watch people play difficult stuff and thats something we wanted to achieve.
Musicscan: What bands do you consider to be truly inspiring to you? Do you think that your songwriting is affected by music your hear, or do you try not to be influenced by that?
Anterior: I think Metallica gave all of us that initial influence to start playing music. From there on i'd say bands such as Children Of Bodom, In Flames and Arch Enemy have played a part as an influence for us. We try to not be any of those bands, we want to retain some Anterior sound as our own.
Musicscan: What message where you trying to portray through "This Age Of Silence" lyrically? Do you feel you were successful in this respect? Unfortunately I only have access to a cardsleeve-promo at the moment…
Anterior: The general message behind 'This Age Of Silence' was all about politcal correctness. I think that this era of political correctness is way too over the top right now. Things are being taken out of context, and we wanted to say what we felt about it all. I think that we definately achieved that with this album
Musicscan: What sort of show do you feel more at home with, your "average" metal-hardcore show or one that places you in front of a "true" metal crowd? And what is more challeging for you guys?
Anterior: I'm not really sure, they both have thier good and bad points. Its always more fun to play a real small intimate show, where the fans are right there in your face and your practically in the crowd. We've played some big shows where your about 10 foot away from a big barrier and theres a few angry looking security guy inbetween you and the crowd, its harder to feel a reaction this way I think.